William Perkins On Textual Criticism And The Preservation Of Scripture

Before I come to the consideration of these words, a doubt must be resolved. For some men may say that this is epistle is corrupted because these words are wanting in sundry translations and editions of the Bible. And Jerome says that they were not found in the copies of the Bible in his days. Answer. In the editions and translations of the Bible, there are sundry differences and diversities of readings. And these differences are not the fault of the Scripture, but of the men which used to write out the Bible. For the Bible heretofore was spread abroad, not by printing, but by writing. Again, though in the books of the Bible there be sundry varieties of reading, yet the providence of God has so watched over the Bible that the sense thereof remains entire, sound, and incorrupt, specially in the grounds of religion. And not the words principally, but the sense is the Scripture. For whether these words be left in, or put out, the sense of the verse is one and the same.

—William Perkins (1558–1602), The Works of William Perkins: vol. 2: Commentary on Galatians, ed. Paul M. Smalley (Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage Books, 2015), 146.

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