Basic Statement of Faith
We believe in one God, the Father Almighty;
Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only begotten Son of God,
Begotten of the Father before all worlds;
God of God, Light of Light,
Very God of Very God,
Begotten, not made,
Being of one substance with the Father;
By whom all things were made;
Who, for us men and for our salvation,
Came down from heaven,
And was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary,
And was made man;
And was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate;
He suffered and was buried;
And the third day he rose again,
According to the Scriptures;
And ascended into heaven,
And sitteth on the right hand of the Father;
And he shall come again, with glory,
To judge both the quick and the dead;
Whose kingdom shall have no end.
And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life;
Who proceedeth from the Father [and the Son];
Who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified;
Who spake by the prophets.
And we believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins;
And we look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.
On the Scriptures
(All Bible references are taken from the KJV)
Inerrancy of Scriptures. The 66 books of the Bible are God's infallible words and will never contradict itself. (2 Tim. 3:16)
Entrusting of the Scriptures. The Scriptures were handed down to us by holy men through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Unregenerate and ungodly people no matter how educated and intelligent they are cannot be entrusted by God to handle His message. (Jn. 3:3, 2 Pet. 1:21, Luke 10:21, 1 Cor. 1:17-30)
Translation of Scriptures. The Scriptures are God's message to all men, thus its meant to be understood by all nations not just by a few select group of people, through the help of the Holy Spirit. (Matt. 28:19-20, Mark 16:15, Acts 1:8, 2:16-17, 1 Tim.2:2-5)
Access to Scriptures. The Scriptures are God's Word and property which makes Him responsible for everything that's written in them. God gave His Word not just to His spiritual children but to the entire race of Adam. Everyone has the inherent right in creation to receive and hear the Voice of his or her Creator. (Matt. 28:19-20, Mark 16:15, Acts 1:8, 2:16-17, 1 Tim.2:2-5)
Publishing of Scriptures. Moreover, the Great Mandate of Christ to believers is to "Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature."(Mark 16:15) Preaching is the same as publishing, sharing, or making publicly known or accessible. Therefore, no one or no group of people, in the spirit of the gospel, should claim exclusive rights to the publication, reproduction and full access of the Scriptures. It seems that we allowed the publishing of Scriptures to be handled solely by commercial and private entities and as a result, business practices which aims to profit the organization through worldly economics had crippled the growth of Bible literacy which directly impacts our less fortunate fellow men and women who badly need them. God has his own way of funding His work and its done in and through His Church which makes use of the Kingdom financial principles. The Church, as a whole & especially the five-fold ministry offices (Eph. 4:11-12), should rise up and take back that Biblical responsibility and management of publishing God's Holy Word. Therefore, by the grace of God, any local church, has all the authority from Scripture to produce, distribute, and translate copies of Scriptures to their mother tongue if need be, without the fear of breaking copyright laws. From this principle lays the foundation our new translations like Ang Malayang Biblia (AMB). AMB's CC (Creative Commons) international copyright allows reproduction, revision, and distribution of its contents without the need to seek permission from the translator/s; for free and/or for commercial purposes, as long as it abides by its copyright code as well.
Authority of the Scriptures. No one has the authority over the Scriptures except the One who spoke it, God (Isa.66:2,Rev.3:8). God's Word is eternal (John 1:1-2). Man is mortal. Thus, even the writers inspired by God to publish His message were under this authority. Therefore, man has to submit to the authority of Scriptures not the Scriptures to man's authority. God's word doesn't need defending because God will always defend His word by simply proclaiming it (Mark 16:15,17-20). Moreover, seekers of God's word can identify between the false and the true Word (John 7:16-17). For those that belong to the Lord know His voice (John 10:2-5). To apply this principle, no person or group of people have the authority over any Bible translation for all Bible translations are derivative in nature, meaning they were all copies of another work, even the original Hebrew and Greek manuscripts! Furthermore, we believe that copyright laws should not be applied to the Biblical Text since the Author is never under man's authority. This doesn't mean that we encourage people to infringe on other people's original work. No we don't. Any person's original work is his exclusive property or the organization he or she works for. The fact is the Scriptures have survived throughout the centuries long before copyright laws ever existed. Although, its a fact that Christian cults do make and customize their own Bibles to conform to their abominable doctrines. They will share a corresponding amount of curses from God himself (Rev. 22:18-19). If Bible translators will only believe and obey the Bible, they will never copyright any of their translations. "...Freely you have received, freely give..." (Matt. 10:7,8)
Equality of languages. God created all languages equal, although its a fact that some languages have more vocabulary than the others. But it doesn't make a language superior by the size of its vocabulary. A well known language is not greater in quality than a language only spoken by a few thousands or hundreds. The best or preferred language is not English, or Greek, or Hebrew, but the language that any person listening can understand. Therefore, a well known language may not be the best language if it doesn't communicate to the hearer. That is why we translate. (Gen. 11:6-8, Acts 2:5-11)
Words in any language must support the thought or message conveyed by the person or speaker. The inspired writers knew what they were talking about and they communicated them in the Scriptures. Thus, its vital to know the doctrine of the Scriptures before teaching or proclaiming them to the people. We believe what's important above all is the message or thought conveyed through the words used in a language. A man who doesn't know what he is saying before he talks will not make any sense. His words mean nothing if he doesn't have a clue of what he's saying. A person thinks before he or she talks and he or she speaks according to his or her thoughts (Jn 3:11). That's the order of communication and not the opposite. Some translations especially those that try too hard to be too literal skip this principle thus they make their translations unintelligible because they only follow the words and not the thought or message conveyed in a given passage of Scripture. In saying this, it doesn't mean that words can just be omitted or added just to support a thought or theology. Everything has to be translated from Scripture and understandable based on all that the Bible has to say. (Luke 6:45, Rev. 22:18-19). If a particular Bible Translation is hard to understand even though you understand the definition of each word, its not because the Scriptures are hard to understand. The fact is, its the Bible translators or preachers who don't understand what they wrote or what they were talking about! Same thing applies with our old and current Tagalog Bibles. These versions make a lot of Filipinos not like reading the Tagalog Bible because many of their sentences and choice of words are not being used on a day to day basis. That's why they are hard to understand and that's also one reason many Filipino Christian leaders and educated folks prefer the English versions over our own Bible in Tagalog.
No word is inspired no matter what language it's written if it's not a thought or a word from the Scriptures. You can never find in the Bible where God says, "Only Hebrew, Greek and English translations/speakers of my Words are inspired by the Holy Spirit." It's like a cup of water. The water is the thought of God and the cup which holds it is the word on any given language. It's the water in the cup that gives you life not the cup. A lot of Christians preachers are so much focused on the cup and not the water in the cup! If the apostle Paul rises from the dead today and preaches in Greek or Hebrew the Gospel message to an unsaved Filipino, he could preach himself out till he dies again but that unsaved Filipino will not get the knowledge that will save his soul if the message is not spoken in a language that he understands. Why were many of the Jews in Christ's time here on earth never became Christians even though they memorized their Bibles (Old Testament)? Jesus told us that they have the Scriptures. Yes, they do have it both in Hebrew and Greek and yet they still needed the true message or meaning of the Scriptures which point to all that Jesus was and is. And why some got saved though they were not masters of the Hebrew nor Greek languages? Because Jesus the Word, explained it to them in a language they understood-not just in words but also in actions. Therefore, if we have the thoughts or message of Jesus taught us by the Scriptures, and if we put those those thoughts contained in words to writing, no matter what language it may be, it will be powerful, effective and is undoubtedly inspired by all means because those words didn't originate from man but from the God of the Scriptures. That is the main reason why we translate the Bible into all the languages of the world. That is the reason why an English, or a Chinese or a Tagalog Bible has the same inspiration as defined in 2 Tim 3:16,17 as the original Greek and Hebrew Scriptures if they are identical in thoughts and contents. Having said that, we still believe in the purity of the original language and is the final reference text to any form of Bible translations.