Iotas, Dots and Bytes

A question that came up recently prompted me to begin researching the doctrine of preservation of Scripture. At one point, I wanted to see how and where it is mentioned in the books of my Libronix library. This is why I like Logos software. I started with a general (simple) search: “doctrine of preservation”. Depending on how I keyed it in, the hits were either too scant or broad to be helpful. Another problem is that people refer to this teaching in different ways: preservation of Scripture, biblical preservation, preservation of the text, divine preservation, etc. So, I created a query that would find me what I needed, taking into account the varied terms. The graphical query looked like this:

I then applied the query (while adjusting the word-interval rate, ignoring the order and adding and deleting some terms) to certain books and journals like Bibliotheca Sacra and gradually to the entire library. I think that the query found most of the articles that touch on the topic, and the accuracy of the hits was very high. Most of the results were relevant. The best part is that all of this took about 15 minutes to complete. How long would that have taken with a print library?

The last time that I looked into this doctrine was in college almost 15 years ago, when some teachers purported a version of this teaching to promote one group of manuscripts, the Majority Text, above others (and by extension, one English translation). Now, it seems that that distracting controversy has waned. And what is really cool is that God continues to preserve his Word, every dot and iota.

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. (Matthew 24:35 ESV)


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