By Dr. Theodore Letis
There was a general consensus among the Protestant dogmaticians of the seventeenth century that the apographa were inspired and authoritative. This position was a deliberate response to the Council of Trent and the Roman Catholic Counter-Reformation theologians.
While the dogmaticians held to a verbal view of inspiration and regarded the apographa as infallible this view was generally held in tension with all the phenomena in the apographa exhibiting a conflict with this notion. To appeal to a superior autographic text would have meant playing into the hands of the defenders of the Vulgate who argued that it was based on superior original language texts, closer to the original text.
In order to rescue Princeton, at the invitation of A.A. Hodge, Warfield shifted authority from the apographa to the autographa. To do this he demythologized the Westminster Confession, arguing that it taught the autographa alone were inspired and authoritative. In so doing, he made an important departure from not only the position of the Westminster Divines but from the paradigm of Biblical authority advanced by nearly all the major seventeenth century Protestant dogmaticians in response to Tridentine Roman Catholicism… [keep reading]
Source: Theodore P. Letis, “The Protestant dogmaticians and the late Princeton School on the status of the sacred apographa,” Scottish Bulletin of Evangelical Theology 8.1 (Spring 1990): 16-42.