Do you believe in evolution? Assuming you are a Bible believer, you probably don’t. (If you do, let me gently suggest that you are very likely either uninformed or very misinformed, or have just made up your mind to believe something regardless of the clear teaching of scripture. And might I suggest creation.com as a resource?) And if you are a Biblical creationist, you should also accept the received text as the word of God. You see, the basis for the belief that the received text is corrupted and that the Alexandrian texts are to be preferred is the same as the basis for belief in evolution: trust men to come up with their own theories about the past, using their fallible minds and understanding to imagine history based on the extant evidence. The evolutionist, even the “theistic evolutionist”, believes what he believes, not because of scripture, but despite it. He believes what he believes because of what men say, not because of what God says. But the biblical creationist approaches the question from a biblical perspective. He realizes that the past is not subject to scientific inquiry, because observation and experimentation can only take place in the present. Every theory about the past must therefore be built upon some untested and untestable framework. We can either make up our own framework as we go along, or we can use a framework laid out for us by an eyewitness. Thus, the Bible-believer builds his framework upon the Rock, the testimony of the LORD himself. His framework is built on what God has said in scripture, and he interprets the extant evidence through that discerning lens. The evolutionist builds his framework upon the sand of human reason and understanding, which is ever changing, shifting, and destined to fall. In a prior post, we delved into the practice of textual criticism, explaining why scholars often believe that the received text is corrupted. And it is a conclusion which they come to in the same basic way that naturalists come to their conclusions on origins: they begin with the assumption that the natural world is all that has affected the history of God’s word, and then they use human reasoning and philosophy to interpret the evidence and the facts revealed to them by science. But when approaching the history and origin of the Bible, we should do the same as when we are approaching the history and the origin of the world: we should interpret the evidence within a biblical framework. We should begin by first understanding what the Bible has to say about its own history, and then base our beliefs on that. We shouldn’t build our framework upon the sand of human philosophy. Just as we believe in divine creation because the Bible says so, we should also believe in the divine origin of scripture. Just as we accept the Bible’s account of earth’s history, including the global flood, as fact, we should also accept the Bible’s account of its own history. And just as we hope in the future return of Christ, we should also embrace the Bible’s promises regarding itself. In short, we should not approach the history of the Bible as a naturalist or materialist. We should approach it as a Bible-believer. We shouldn’t be excluding the supernatural from the story of scripture, any more than we should from the story of creation. Just as we accept creation as a miraculous event, we should also accept the miraculous nature of the preservation of God’s word. We should not be cowed by claims that scholars have come to a consensus, any more than we are by the fact that the majority of scientists reject divine design (often, in both cases, because they reject the Designer). We should not be moved by talk of the “oldest and best manuscripts,” any more than we are by each new discovery of an “ape-like human ancestor.” We should not accept theories that arise from the human imagination, when God’s hand is barred from consideration. The Bible should be our starting point and final authority in regard to its origin and history, just as it is for the origin and history of the world. And anything that contradicts this, we should seek to refute, not allow it to change the very word itself. Or, we can accept that God’s word is corrupted, and that the mind of man must prevail to loose the seals. (But see Revelation 5.) And if we reject the miracle of preservation, then why should we accept the miracle of creation either? If we cannot trust the provenance of scripture, then why should we accept what it has to say on the origin of the world? If it was wrong about its own story, then why believe it on the story of everything? Why believe it at all? It is, indeed, a simple choice. Believe the word of God, or believe the word of man. Accept scholarship’s authority, or Divine authority. Trust the finite mind to plumb the past, or put faith in the infinite wisdom of God. The choice is yours. But if you believe in creation, for every reason that you do, you should also believe in the preservation of God’s word: it is taught by scripture; the overwhelming majority of evidence is clearly on our side; science cannot declare history; the Eyewitness is to be trusted, and not the human fancy; and the doctrine was clearly believed and taught by Christ (Matthew 5:18, Mark 13:31, Luke 16:17) and the apostles (1 Peter 1:23-25). So if you don’t believe in the received text, but instead trust the textual critics, then let me ask you again: do you believe in evolution?