Camping’s knowledge of Bible verses and confidence led many to follow him as their only leader and teacher. He had become their guru. It is interesting how often people seek someone to follow unquestioningly. This reality has been called the Fuehrerprinzip or the leader principle. Whether a false prophet or a political leader or an intellectual authority, many people want someone whom they can follow simply and blindly. For some listeners to Family Radio, Camping became their leader or guru.
I corresponded with John Hughes recently and complimented him on a detailed scholarly article he wrote some years ago where he gave a most helpful treatment of Heb. 9:15-22. He mentioned in return that it was disappointing that his work seems to have made no impression on English translations that have appeared subsequently. Let’s look the passage over (going only to v. 18 for time’s sake). I will rehearse the heart of Hughes’s interpretation of Heb. 9:15-18 and zero in on one phrase in particular that I find especially illuminating for accepting his conclusions.
The sufficiency of Scripture is closely related to the inspiration and authority of the Bible. When we speak of the inspiration of Scripture, we refer to the fact that the various books of the Bible have their origin in the will of God. The books of the Bible have been breathed forth by God the Holy Spirit through the agency of human writers (2 Timothy 3:16).
Camping’s calculations and allegorical readings eventually led him to a truly heretical conclusion: that the age of the church was over and that all Christians were required to separate themselves from all churches. I had rather admired him over the years for not making himself a minister without proper education. I had never dreamed that he would instead abolish the pastoral office and the church.
When working with foreign words, we should be aware of a very important distinction: the distinction between meaning and gloss. For our purposes, a gloss is an English word substitute for a Greek word. In simple cases, a gloss is perfectly satisfactory to get the job done. For example, if I were to define Greek patēr with the gloss, “father,” akouō with “I hear,” or hagios with “holy” this would be adequate for most purposes. But not for all and maybe not for many.