Textual Criticism: When mere men become arbiters of truth

Last year (2012) fall, at the behest of a friend of mine, I attended a men’s bible study called Solomon’s Porch at Immanuel Bible Church. The person leading the study, Andrew Potter, I recall as a very smart and knowledgeable person. Andy was going through a study on the book of Romans. I remember him asking the class how we could be certain that Paul in fact was the author of Romans especially since Tertius in Romans 16:22 writes: “I Tertius, who wrote this epistle, salute you in the Lord.” My friend raised his hand and answered the question by saying that God in the bible has promised to preserve His Word therefore we have confidence that Paul in fact wrote the letter. Andy brushed this reply aside with a “yes, but …” so it was obvious that he was looking for a better answer than what had just been offered. Continue reading