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©1989 Samuel C. Gipp. Reproduced by permission

Question #51


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QUESTION: Isn't it "Progressive Revelation" to believe that the King James Bible is to be trusted more than the originals?

ANSWER: No.

EXPLANATION: The term "Progressive Revelation" is another one of those tactics used by Bible critics to intimidate Bible believers into surrendering their faith in God's perfect Bible.

Their argument is: "Inspiration ended with the original autographs, therefore to believe that a mere translation can reveal more than the originals is to believe in a 'new' revelation, which is called Progressive Revelation."

Is there such a thing as "Progressive Revelation?" Of course, we cannot afford to settle the matter on the weight of prejudice, opinion or "conviction." Only our "final authority" can officially dictate what is or is not proper to believe.

The obvious question then is: "Is there an example of 'Progressive Revelation' in the Bible?" The answer is: "No, there are at least two."

Moses, in the book of Exodus, goes before Pharaoh to demand the release of the children of Israel. He performs signs and wonders to prove that he truly represents God. Early in the contest Pharaoh's magicians endeavor to match Moses "miracle for miracle." (Exodus 7:11, 12, 22 and 8:7). We know that Pharaoh's principal two magicians were Jannes and Jambres. BUT, those two names are not found anywhere in the forty-eight chapters of the book of Exodus. Neither are they named anywhere in any one of the thirty-nine books of the Old Testament. In fact, their names are not revealed ("revelation") until some fifteen centuries later. Could we not call that "Progressive Revelation?"

Next let us look to I Kings 17:1. In this Old Testament verse we find that Elijah prophesies that "there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word." In I Kings 18:41 "according to his word" Elijah lifts the three and one-half year drought from Israel. But wait. Did I say "three and one-half year" drought? Nowhere in I Kings is the length of time of the drought mentioned. In fact, we don't learn the length of Elijah's drought until Jesus tells us in Luke 4:25 that it was "three years and six months." (This information is repeated in James 5:17). Once again we see that one portion of an occurrence is recorded in the Old Testament while the remainder of the information is revealed centuries later in the New Testament. Rather "progressive." Wouldn't you say?

So we see that the Bible the critic's "boogyman" is indeed a Bible teaching.

By the way, if you want to know what kind of rock Moses smote in Exodus 17:6, don't look for the answer in Exodus. Read Psalm 114.