The Westminster Confession of Faith (WCF) states very clearly that the inspired Scriptures in the original languages are by God’s “singular care and providence, kept pure in all ages” (WCF I:8). The Westminster divines used Matthew 5:18 as a proof text for this affirmation of the verbal plenary preservation (VPP) of the Scriptures. This proves that the doctrine of the VPP of Scripture is not just creedal, but more importantly Biblical.

The VPP of Scripture is a position of faith that is based solely on the Word of God. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb 11:1). “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom 10:17). “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Heb 11:6). It is a position that we must take if we are to weather and survive the onslaughts of postmodernism, pop-modernism, open-theism and neo-deism that seek to destroy the church today.

Definition of Verbal Plenary Preservation (VPP)

What does VPP mean? “Verbal” means “every word to the jot and tittle” (Ps 12:6–7, Matt 5:18). “Plenary” means “the Scripture as a whole with all the words intact” (Matt 24:35, 1 Pet 1:25). So VPP means the whole of Scripture with all its words even to the jot and tittle is perfectly preserved by God without any loss of the original words, prophecies, promises, commandments, doctrines, and truths, not only in the words of salvation, but also the words of history, geography and science. Every book, every chapter, every verse, every word, every syllable, every letter is infallibly preserved by the Lord Himself to the last iota.

What and where are the preserved words of God today? They are the inspired OT Hebrew words and NT Greek words the prophets, the apostles, the church fathers, the reformers used which are today found in the long and continuously abiding and preserved words underlying the Reformation Bibles best represented by the time-tested and time-honoured KJV, and NOT in the corrupted Alexandrian manuscripts and critical Westcott-Hort texts underlying the liberal, ecumenical, and neo-evangelical modern English versions.

The Far Eastern Bible College upholds the VPP of Scripture and believes in the following tenets:

  1. God has supernaturally preserved each and every one of His inspired Hebrew/Aramaic OT words and Greek NT words to the last jot and tittle, so that in every age, God’s people will always have in their possession His infallible and inerrant Word kept intact without the loss of any word (Ps 12:6–7, Matt 5:18, 24:35, Mark 13:31, Luke 21:33, John 10:35).
  2. The “providential” preservation of Scriptures is understood as God’s special and not general providence. Special providence or providentia extraordinaria speaks of God’s miraculous intervention in the events of history and in the affairs of mankind in fulfilment of His sovereign will for the sake of His elect and to the glory of His Name. The divine preservation of the Canon (books) and Text (words) of Scripture comes under God’s special providence.
  3. The Bible is not only infallible and inerrant in the past (in the Autographs), but also infallible and inerrant today (in the Apographs).
  4. The infallible and inerrant words of Scripture are found in the faithfully preserved Traditional/Byzantine/Majority manuscripts, and fully represented in the Printed and Received Text (or Textus Receptus) that underlie the Reformation Bibles best represented by the KJV, and NOT in the corrupted and rejected texts of Westcott and Hort that underlie the many modern versions of the English Bible like the NIV, NASV, ESV, RSV, TEV, CEV, TLB etc.
  5. There are no mistakes in the Bible, period. If there are “discrepancies” in the Bible, the “discrepancies” are only seeming or apparent, NOT real or actual.1 Any inability to understand or explain difficult passages in the Bible in no way negates its infallibility and inerrancy, applying the faithful Pauline principle of biblical interpretation: “let God be true, but every man a liar” (Rom 3:4).
  6. Knowing where the perfect Bible is is a matter of textual recognition and NOT textual criticism. In the field of textual recognition, Burgon is good, Hills is better, Waite is best.2
  7. The Chinese Union Version (CUV) is the “Word of God” for the Chinese people today since it is the best, most faithful, most reliable, and most accurate version among the Chinese versions presently available. Great care ought to be taken not to undermine our Chinese brethren’s confidence in the CUV. Nevertheless, versions or translations are never superior to the inspired and preserved Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek Scriptures; thus there is a need to consult these original language Scriptures for clarity and fulness of meaning, and to compare Scripture with Scripture.
Our Perfect Lord and His Perfect Word are the Foundation of Our Faith

“If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Ps 11:3).

It is only when we have a 100% perfect, infallible and inerrant Bible can we say the Bible is our only and final authority, and foundation of faith. If there is no such an infallible and inerrant Bible today, then the so-called “scholar” becomes the supreme authority, and we have to kowtow to his subjective and speculative judgements on and corrections of the Bible. Some may want to trust the words of men, but we trust only the words of our Lord who “died for our sins according to the scriptures … was buried … [and] rose again the third day according to the scriptures (1 Cor 15:3–4).

The Bible itself which is our supreme and final authority of faith and practice clearly teaches its plenary inspiration, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God,” and its verbal preservation, “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” (Matt 5:18), “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away (Matt 24:35, Mark 13:31, Luke 21:33). The doctrine of the 100% inspiration (VPI) and 100% preservation (VPP) of each and every word of the Bible is as old as the Bible itself. It is certainly NOT a new teaching or theory, and definitely NOT a false doctrine.

The twin doctrines of VPI and VPP must be received by faith (Rom 10:17, Heb 11:6). Our faith must be “according to the scriptures,” and NOT “according to the scholars.” “Let God be true, but every man a liar” (Rom 3:4). “For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth” (2 Cor 13:8). Soli Deo Gloria!


1 There are no mistakes or errors (scribal or otherwise) in such passages as Judges 18:30, 1 Samuel 13:1, 1 Kings 4:26, 1 Chronicles 18:3, 2 Chronicles 22:2 etc.

2 John William Burgon, The Revision Revised: A Refutation of Westcott and Hort’s False Greek Text and Theory (Collingswood: Dean Burgon Society Press, 2nd printing, 2000); Edward F Hills, The King James Version Defended (Des Moines: Christian Research Press, 1984); D A Waite, Defending the King James Bible, 2nd ed (Collingswood: Bible For Today Press, 1996).

FEBC’s response to articles against Verbal Plenary Preservation.

Click for Articles in Defence of Verbal Plenary Preservation.