I know this departs from the themes of Holy Weekend, but I just had to share James D.G. Dunn’s humorous and insightful answer to what he thinks of the relationship between the doctrine of the inspiration of Scripture and the idea of “original autographs” (starting at about 1:02:00 on the video of Dunn’s second lecture from the playlist below…sorry, the link sends me to a playlist rather than directly to Dunn’s 2003 lecture):

Let me be really heretical on the “autographs”. I think, putting it very crudely, the attempt to defend doctrine of inspiration and so on in terms of original autographs was a drastic mistake….because, we don’t have the original autographs! And we’re never going to be able to recreate them. So, that means, we’re never going to have the kind of text that the whole theory of the theory of “original autograph” was attempting to defend. You’ve always got an imperfect text. And if you’ve got an imperfect text and everything depends on infallibility and inerrancy or the original autographs  you’re in trouble because you don’t have the original autograph, and that really is really worrying! I prefer to believe in the Holy Spirit rather than the Holy Scripture, if you may put it so. That’s my Trinity! You know: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit! Not God the Holy Church and not God the Holy Scripture….there, that’s me done for!

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