The title of this booklet is partly factual and partly a matter of judgement. One Bible — Many Churches … is surely indisputable. Does it matter what we believe? is open to discussion. It seems sensible to begin where there is likely to be the greatest measure of agreement – that there is one Bible. Surely this is manifestly true. The Bible may be a collection of books but they are brought together in one volume, called ‘the Bible’. Of course there are several versions and many translations — but one Bible, whether the language is eastern or western, ancient or modern. The text is not open to alteration in order to bring it into harmony with this view or that. There are hundreds of scholars quick to detect any interference with the book. Thousands of pens are poised ready to condemn any attempt to meddle with the words. The Bible is unique, using the word in its proper sense — there is one Bible. It is true that the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches include some additional books which are not recognised by Protestant churches as inspired. But they make little difference to the integrity of the central collection of 66 books.
That there are many Churches seems equally self-evident. There are some who say that there are many names but the church is one. This is a verbal device to hide the divisions. The different names do stand for different causes. True, they are alike in some respects but the differences are real enough. There is a difference of teaching between one church and another, and sometimes the difference is very substantial, even fundamental. Then sometimes within the same church there are ideas and practices which contradict each other. In any case the effect speaks for itself — some seeking to find the true church are puzzled and perplexed and forced to cry at last that they cannot make up their mind when faced with so many different churches clustered around one Bible. The problem is intensified by the fact that most of the differing churches claim to have based their teaching on the one Bible. How has this situation arisen?
The Development of Differences