“God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.” (Romans 3:4)
The so-called science of modern textual criticism has developed a set of arbitrary rules to guide its decision-making process when faced with a textual variant. One of those rules is proclivi scriptioni praestat ardua, which means the harder reading is to be preferred. However, application of this rule often results in the critic preferring a reading that is just not sensible, or even introduces a factual error or an internal inconsistency/contradiction into the text of Scripture. For the Bible-believer, this is absurd. A textual variant that would introduce a factual error or an internal inconsistency/contradiction into the text of Scripture cannot be authentic. It must be rejected from theological considerations alone. This is not an arbitrary requirement, but one that honors the testimony of Scripture that: 1) God “cannot lie” (Tit1:2) and “with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (Jas1:17), and 2) God’s “word is truth” (Jn17:17) and “true from the beginning” (Ps119:160).