1 The Bible

Tonight’s Challenge

8th Article of Faith We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated    correctly, and the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.

LDS apostle Orson Pratt :

The Hebrew and Greek manuscripts of the Bible from which translations have been made, are evidently very much corrupted …. The learned are under the necessity of translating from such mutilated, imperfect, and, in very many instances, contradictory copies that still exist. This uncertainty, combined with the imperfections of uninspired translators, renders the Bibles of all languages, at the very present day, emphatically the words of men, instead of the pure word of God.  

            Orson Pratt, A Series of Pamphlets (Liverpool, England: n.p., 1851).

If it be admitted that the apostles and evangelists did write the books of the New Testament, that does not prove of itself that they were divinely inspired at the time they wrote…. Add all this imperfection to the uncertainty of the translation, and who, IN HIS RIGHT MIND could for one moment suppose the Bible in its present form to be a perfect guide? Who knows that even one verse of the Bible has escaped pollution, so as to convey the same sense now that it did in the original?

(Divine Authority of the Book of Mormon, pp. 45, 47;

LDS apostle Mark Peterson :

Many insertions were made, some of them ‘slanted’ for selfish purposes, while at times deliberate falsifications and fabrications were perpetrated.

            Mark E. Peterson, As Translated Correctly (Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret, 1996), p. 4

Joseph Smith

“many important points touching the salvation of men, had been taken from the Bible, or lost before it was compiled ” (History of the Church, v. 1, p. 245)

“Ignorant translators, careless transcribers, or designing and corrupt priests have committed many errors” (T. of P.J.S., p. 327).

Its also common knowledge that the New Testament contains 150,000 to 200,000 errors.

         

          Some Facts

There are now more than 6,000 known Greek manuscripts (the original language) of the New Testament; over 10,000 of the Latin Vulgate (a Latin translation of the Bible done by Jerome between A.D. 382-405); and at least 9,300 other earlier manuscript versions (Syriac, Latin, and Coptic). We have more than 24,000 manuscript copies of portions of the New Testament in existence.

            NOTE: we presently have no original manuscripts.

 

The second largest group of New Testament Greek manuscripts (over 2,300) comes from the lectionaries. Following in the Jewish tradition of reading the Law and the Prophets in the synagogue each Sabbath day, the early Church devised a system of lessons from the Gospels and Epistles to be read on certain Sundays throughout the year. The lectionaries preserve a type of text that is frequently much older than the actual age of the manuscript.

Another source of data for the textual critic is from the citations and allusions to the New Testament found in the writings of the early Church Fathers. Although they are a secondary witness to the Greek manuscripts, textual scholars deem these writings to be of primary importance in tracing the history of textual transmission. Moreover, they give overwhelming support to the existence of twenty-seven authoritative books of the New Testament.

 

Quotes from early church fathers

Justin Martyr (AD133)                       330

Irenaeus (AD 110)                              1,819

Clement Alex (AD 150-212)              2,406

Origen (AD 185-253)                         17,922

Tertullian (AD 160-220)                     7,258

Hippolytus (AD 170-235)                   1,378

Eusebiys (AD~200)                            5,176

_____________________________________

TOTAL                                               36,289

It is important to remember that after two thousand years we have no known original autographs (manuscripts), the men listed above did have access to these works.

Dr. F.F. Bruce, comments on the. value of having so many manuscripts for textual scholars to analyze.

If the number of manuscripts increases the number of scribal errors, it increases proportionately the means of correcting such errors, so that the margin of doubt left in the process of recovering the exact original wording is not so large as might be feared; it is in truth remarkably small.

Notice how Dr. Bruce is not merely affirming our ability to recover the original meaning of the text:

He is affirming our ability to recover “the exact original wording” of the text, which is even more amazing!

Geisler and Nix make the following comment about how the textual variations are counted: «There is an ambiguity in saying there are some 200,000 variants in the existing manuscripts of the New Testament, since these represent only 10,000 places in the New Testament. If one single word is misspelled in 3,000 different manuscripts, this is counted as 3,000 variants or readings.”

Philip Schaff in “Comparison to the Greek Testament and the English Version” concluded that only 400 of the 150,000 variant readings caused doubt about the textual meaning, and only 50 of these were of great significance. Not one of the variations, Schaff says, altered” an article of faith or a precept of duty which is not abundantly sustained by other and undoubted passages, or by the whole tenor of Scripture teaching.”

Geisler says, that “only about one-eighth of all the variants had any weight, as most of them are merely mechanical matters such as spelling or style. Of the whole, then, only about one-sixtieth rise above ‘trivialities,’ or can in any sense be called ‘substantial variations.’ Mathematically this would compute to a text that is 98.33 percent pure.

‘That textual variations do not endanger doctrine is emphatically stated by Sir Frederic Kenyon (one of the great authorities in the field of New Testament textual criticism): “One word of warning already referred to, must be emphasized in conclusion No fundamental doctrine of the Christian faith rests on a disputed reading ••••

“‘It cannot be too strongly asserted that in substance the text of the Bible is certain: Especially is this the case with the New Testament. The number of manuscripts of the New Testament, of early translations from it, and of quotations from it in the oldest writers of the Church, is so large that it is practically certain that the true reading of every doubtful passage is preserved in some one or other of these ancient authorities. This can be said of no other ancient book in the world ..

         

          Examples

1 Corinthians 13:3 NIV

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

Copy A:  “give my body to be burned”          (Greek: kauthesomai)
Copy B: “give my body so I may boast”         (Greek: kauchesomai)

The following points are well worth mentioning:

1.    Notice that in the Greek the difference between the two words is only one letter and how an inadvertent change can alter the passage.

2.   Now consider how this corruption might be multiplied exponentially when both versions end up being copied hundreds of times over by faithful scribes.

3.    Notice that the original meaning of the passage is not at stake, nor is any doctrine of the Christian faith.

 

Mark 1:2

NIV text:    “It is written in Isaiah the prophet”

KJV text: “As it is written in the prophets”

Notice these points:

1.    The NIV text is found in all the earliest and (best) Greek manuscripts. It is also the only text found in all early translations (Latin, Coptic, and Syriac),

2.    This helped to give textual critics confidence that the more modern NIV text represented the original wording.

3.    Our earliest and (best) Greek manuscripts were unavailable to the translators of the KJV in 1611.

4.    It is apparent that a later copyist “corrected” Mark’s original text to make it more precise despite the fact that he introduced a textual corruption.

5.    Nevertheless, critics of the Bible will make straw man arguments for its historical unreliability on the basis of insignificant variants such as these.

* It is granted that well-meaning scribes intentionally altered the text to clarify the text, However  :It is not granted that they did so to the extent of making the original text unrecoverable.

Lee Strobel  asked Dr. Metzer “How many doctrines of the church are in jeopardy because of these variants?” Dr. Metzger replied, “I don’t know of any doctrine that is in jeopardy.” “None,” asked Lee? “None,” he repeated.

         

          What about Time

It is generally accepted that Mark wrote his Gospel before the other two Synoptics, those being Matthew and Luke. John’s was the last of the four Gospels being written. More significant still is the fact that most, if not all, of the apostle Paul’s letters predate all four Gospels.

Order written:  Paul’s Letters …Mark ….Matthew & Luke…Acts….John

As a follow-up to his Gospel, Luke also wrote the Book of Acts which is detailed historical account of the early Church (Acts 1:1-2). Oddly, Luke abruptly ends the Book of Acts with the apostle Paul still under a two-year house arrest in Rome (Acts 28:30-31).
That Luke does not mention the death of the apostle James in A.D. 62 as recorded by the Jewish historian Josephus, that there is no hint of the outbreak of Jewish war in A.D. 66 nor of the persecution of Christians in Rome under emperor Nero in the late 60’s, and that there is no mention of the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 all leads conservative scholars to believe that Acts could not be dated any later then A,D. 62.

Historical Event Not Recorded in Acts                   Date of Historical Event
The death of the apostle James                                   A.D. 62

The Jewish War                                                           A.D. 66
Nero’s persecution of Christians in Rome                   late A.D. 60’s
The fall of Jerusalem to Rome                                    A.D. 70

Conclusion:    Acts written before A.D. 62

Since Luke wrote Acts shortly after penning his Gospel, it logically follows that the Gospel of Luke should be dated at A.D. 60-62.

Because both Luke and Matthew clearly depend on Mark for some of the information in their Gospels this would require a date for Mark’s Gospel at least in the mid- to late fifties. Furthermore, the Dead Sea Scrolls provide copied portions of Mark’s Gospel that could be dated at A.D. 50, which requires an even earlier date for the originals.

Mark: mid- to late 50″s = less than 1 generation (20 Years )

Matthew: early to mid-60’s = 1 generation (30 Years )

Any way you slice it, there is strong evidence that all three Synoptic Gospels and the Book of Acts were written within 20-30 years (one generation) of the events they record. By the established principles of historiography, this is well within the period of time when people could check up on the accuracy of the facts they contain. John’s Gospel (A.D. 90″s?) is only two generations distant.(60 Years?)

         

          The Old Testament

In the case of the Old Testament, we cannot boast of the same manuscript authority that we can with the New Testament. Until the recent discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947, the oldest complete Hebrew manuscript we had in our possession was dated around A.D. 980. Since we know that the Hebrew Old Testament was originally completed around 400 B.C. this left a time gap of about 1,300 years. At first sight, it would appear that the Old Testament was no more reliable than other ancient literature. When the facts are known and compared, however, there is an overwhelming abundance of reasons for believing that the Old Testament manuscript copies we possess are in fact trustworthy.

 Dr. Gleason Archer states: Even though the two copies of Isaiah discovered in Qumran Cave near the Dead Sea in 1947 were a thousand years earlier than the oldest dated manuscript previously known (A.D. 980), they proved to be word for word identical with our standard Hebrew Bible in more than 95 percent of the text. The 5 percent variation consisted chiefly of obvious slips of the pen and variations in spelling. They do not affect the message of revelation in the slightest.

Dr. Norman Geisler concludes with a quote by Sir Frederic Kenyon, world-famous scholar of ancient manuscripts, by stating: The thousands of Hebrew manuscripts, with their confirmation by the Septuagint [the Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament] and the Samaritan Pentateuch [the Samaritan’s Hebrew version of the first five books of the Bible], and the numerous other cross-checks from outside and inside the text provide overwhelming support for the reliability of the Old Testament text. Hence, it is appropriate to conclude with Kenyon’s statement, “The Christian can take the whole Bible in his hand and say without fear or hesitation that he holds in it the true word of God, handed down without essential loss from generation to generation throughout the centuries.

Not even the Dead Sea Scrolls, which antedate (date earlier) our earliest Hebrew manuscripts of the Old Testament by 1,000 years, could lend support to any of the changes made in Joseph Smiths translation. They did, however, prove our book of Isaiah to be word-for-word identical in more than 95 percent of the text, with fragments from 37 of the remaining 38 books in the Hebrew Bible being similarly validated. This bodes amazingly well for the Bible, but casts a serious shadow of doubt on Joseph Smith’s credibility.

Luke 11: 51 (also Matthew 23:35): “••• from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah.” Jesus here confirms His witness to the extent of the Old Testament canon. Abel, as everyone knows, was the first martyr (Genesis 4: 8). Zechariah is the last martyr to be named (in the Hebrew Old Testament order. See listing below , having been stoned while prophesying to the people” in the court of the house of the Lord” (II Chronicles 24: 21). Genesis was the first book in the Hebrew canon and Chronicles the last book. Jesus basically said” from Genesis to Chronicles,” or, according to our order, “from Genesis to Malachi.” 15/96

 

The Law (Torah)   1.Genesis   2. Exodus   3. Leviticus   4 .Numbers   5. Deuteronomy

The Writings 

A. Poetical Books   1.Psalms   2.Proverbs   3. Job

B. Five Rolls  1. Song of Songs   2. Ruth   3. Lamentations   4. Esther   5. Ecclesiastes

The Prophets 

A. Former Prophets    1. Joshua    2. Judges    3. Samuel    4. Kings

B. Latter Prophets    1. Isaiah    2. Jeremiah    3. Ezekiel    4. The Twelve

C. Historical Books   1. Daniel    2. Ezra-Nehemiah    3. Chronicles

          What the Bible says about it’s self

Everlasting Word of God:

Isaiah 40:8    Matthew 5:18, 24:35   Mark 13:31   Luke 16:17, 21:33   1Peter 1:23-25

Psalm 89:34, 105:8, 119:89, 119:160   Romans 10:17    Psalm 11:6-7  

The Word is Proven and True:

2Samuel 22:31   Psalm 18:30, 33:4, 138:2   Matthew 4:4   John 17:17, 12:48-50   Acts 20:32

1Thessalonians 2:13   2Timothy 2:15, 3:16, 4:2   Titus 1:9   Hebrews 2:1-3, 4:12

James 1:21-22   Romans 10:17

The New Testament Witness to the Old Testament as Sacred Scripture

Matthew 21:42; 22:29; 26:54,56    Luke 24    John 5:39; 10:35 Acts 17:2, 11; 18:28  Romans 1:2; 4:3; 9:17; 10:11; 11:2; 15:4; 16:26   I Corinthians 15: 3,4 .  Galatians 3:8; 3:22; 4:30   I Timothy 5: 18    II Timothy 3: 16    II Peter 1: 20,21; 3:16

          Time fails to tell of the internal wonders of His word…

Daniel 2&7      Visions foretelling all gentile world kingdoms until Christ’s return Babylon, Medes &       Persians, Greece, and the Roman empire in two parts, past and future.

Ezekiel 36       How Israel will be re-gathered after hundreds of years, and receive their land back and     become a fruit full land. (exactly fulfilled)

Isaiah, Micah, Psalms, etc. tell of a super-natural birth in Bethlehem, a life of miracles, how He would      be crucified (not even thought of till hundreds of years later), His name and what we would call          Him…all fulfilled to the letter.

 Genesis 22      The picture of a Father willingly sacrificing a son, on a hill in Judea. “God will provide      Himself a Lamb”. Hundreds of years later, Jesus, the Lamb of God willingly gave himself as a          substitute for you and me on the very hill Abraham and Isaac acted out the drama.

Daniel 9           Maybe the most powerful prophecy recorded… tells of the time left for Israel, what’s to be accomplished, and of the very day when Jesus would ride into Jerusalem on a donkey. Proclaiming Himself as their Messiah. The death He would die, yet not for Himself. The destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., The last seven year period of time and it’s two halfs.

This book is really sixty-six books written by forty different authors over some two thousand years, on five continents and in three languages. Written by kings, slaves, fishermen, sheep herders, tent makers and tax collectors, yet all unified as to doctrine, Deity, and purpose. The whole of this book fits together like hand in glove. (think about that…we cant get two people to agree on details about any subject, yet God has these forty agree on it all.)

I’ll never convince you that this is God’s word to us… but if you will allow Him to, He most certainly can and will. (John 7:17 “If anyone wants to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority.) (Matthew 6:33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.)

You can know…1 John 5:13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.

Isaiah wrote, “The Word of our God shall stand forever (Is. 40:8). Peter said much the same: “The word of God which liveth and abideth forever” and “The word of the Lord endureth forever” (I Peter 1:23 & 25). Jesus also declared, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matt. 24:35). Jesus who made that claim also said, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth” (Matt. 28:18). If He has all power in heaven and earth, and He says His word will not pass away, we ought to be able to believe it! Rev. 19:6 also calls Him “The Lord God omnipotent” (all powerful). And if God cared enough to give mankind His Word, then He ought to also be able to preserve it. If the All Powerful Lord God can “keep” believers (I Peter 1:5), it is reasonable to believe that He can keep His Word too!

My challenge to you is to be real with God (Jeremiah 17:9). Put off your pre-conceived ideas and seek the truth (Proverbs 8:17, Jeremiah 29:13). Go to the lord in prayer and ask Him with a sincere heart to lead you into truth (John 14:6). Ask Him for the Spirit to lead you and instruct you in all truth (John 14:26). Then prayerfully read His word and let Him reveal Himself to you. God wishes to move in your life, but you must invite Him. Other wise it’s like steering a parked car, the wheels get turned but the car never moves. Invite Him today to go for a drive through His word because when He’s driving you’ll be amazed at the sights you see.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

 

Part two

2Pe 1:19  We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:  This guy stood on the mount of transfiguration with Christ and say him in his glory, saw Moses and Elijah, and tells us the more sure way of knowing truth is through the prophetic word not visions and miracles.

2Pe 1:20-21 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, You can not interpret the bible or prophecy, you must have the Holy Spirit and allow the bible to interpret the bible. for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. True prophecy only comes from God and He moved, He controlled, He orchestrated the words, timing and the results.

It is according with this pretence, That God has authored His word in such a way that it is unmistakably His, we are going to run a test tonight. If He has written to us and believes his word to be as it says in the psalm 119:89 “For ever, O Lord, Thy Word is settled in heaven”, or that as it says in Matthew 5:13 “till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled, then it should be apparent to any person with an open mind if this be so.

Think about it… If God has the power/technology to create you, does He have the technology to get a message to you? Can He protect that message? … Of course He can!

The question then becomes how does He authenticate it? How are we to know it’s really from Him and not some fraud?  Prophecy is His answer!

John 13:19 “Now I tell you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe that I am He.

Isaiah 42:9 Behold, the former things have come to pass, And new things I declare; Before they spring forth I tell you of them.”

Isaiah 48:5 Even from the beginning I have declared it to you; Before it came to pass I proclaimed it to you, Lest you should say, ‘My idol has done them, And my carved image and my molded image Have commanded them.’

Jehovah bids the prophets of false faiths to successfully predict events lying in the far distant future and their success or failure will show whether or not they are with God or merely pretenders and deceivers.

Tonight I want to provide you with information not that the bible contains the word of God… but that in fact it is the word of God. If it just contains the word of God, which parts are and which parts are not? This question is unanswerable.

God never intended you to be his editor…

(Recognize that this viewpoint is a trap for which there is no answer).

So tonight I want to look at the very thing the Lord says separates his word from all others. Before we really get started we need to ask Him to join us and also ask Him to supply His Holy Spirit. In 1 Corinthians 2:13-14 is says “These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 

All the way through the OT. God predict the coming of the Messiah, the Christ centuries in advance. Hundreds of predictions about His, birth place, blood line, what he was going to do, and some of these seemingly contradictory, suffer and die… yet live forever.

By one account there are some 8000 predictive verses in the bible, covering 2000 predictions, on over 700 different maters.

We are going to focus our attention on the ones concerning the Christ. Of some 300 prophecies available to us, we will look a just eight of the easiest ones. 

Micah 5:2 Born in Bethlehem…  

8 centuries before Christ was born and the OT was translated into Greek, that’s almost 300 years before Christ.  When these scribes quote this verse to Herod they are quoting from the Septuagint version.  Anytime you read a quote in the New Testament it’s a quote from the bible they used at that time… the Septuagint. This compilation was in book form and recognized as Gods word by 270 BC. I say this because you’re going to run into people who say the OT is incomplete, it’s missing books. Not according to Jesus, who put his thumb print on all the sections of the OT (Septuagint) and never asked for a reprint.

Matthew 2:1-8

It is going to be our purpose today to make a casual estimate about what is the probability that one person at random being born at Bethlehem?  Average population of 7000, in a world of 2 billion average.

<1 in 100,000 more like 1 in 200,000

Zach 9:9 presents himself as king riding a donkey, the foul or colt

(interestingly Jesus never allowed any to take him as king, several tried) but one specific day he arranges it.

Luke 19:30-36 one of my purposes in this little exercise is to have you notice the detail of these simple verses and to note that they were literally fulfilled.

How many kings in history have presented themselves riding a donkey? 

< 1 in 100  (comfortable)

Zach 11:12 betrayed for 30 pieces of silver    

Matt 26:15

How many people who were betrayed in history were betrayed for 30 silver?

Let’s say 1 in 1000

Zach 11:13 betrayal transaction in the temple and end up in the potters hands 

Matt 27:3-8 (you remember the story how Judas is possessed of Satan, receives the money, then regrets his decision, goes to the high priests and tries to give it back, they say what is that to us, Judas casts the money on the floor of the temple and goes and hangs himself, being good priests they find the loop hole for the silver and prepay a debt by buying a potters field.) 

With all that in mind… notice the subtleties the Holy Spirit includes and how literal this has been written and fulfilled. We have the price, the receiver and the place of the transaction.

What are the chances of that happening   lets say

1 in 100,000

Zach 13:6  Killed with wounds in his hands

Luke 23:33   

How many people taken at random have been killed with wounds in their hands?

1 in 1000

Isaiah 53:7 opened not His mouth, silent before his accusers

Matt 26:62-63, 27:11-13, Luke 23:8-9

We remember how he was silent before those who accused him and only talked when put  under oath. So the whole night, though innocent, he never made a defense for himself for this capital crime. 

Have you ever heard of someone accused of any crime, let alone one that they were going to die for, not bring a defense?

How many innocent people picked at random would die with out appeal or cry of foul?

1 in 1000

Isaiah 53:9 Died with wicked, grave with rich

Matt 27:38, 57-60

Jesus was crucified between two thieves yet he was buried in Joseph of Arimathea’s grave, who the Talmud says was one of the richest men in Israel.

What’s the chance that you die with the wicked, yet buried with the rich…

not un-heard of… perhaps

1 in 1000

Psalm 22:16 pierced hands and feet

Matt 27:33-35

Jesus calls your attention to this psalm from the cross, My God, My god why have you forsaken me? Describes crucifixion, written by David 8 centuries before Christ was born, crucifixion was invented by the Romans about 90 BC. according to our records. And the mode of capital punishment in Israel was stoning.  This whole psalm is a discovery in how God uses his prophets because this appears to be written in the first person from the view point of hanging on the cross. 

What is the chance of a criminal being picked at random somewhere in time being crucified?   

1 in 10,000 probably more like one in a million but lets stay modest.

OK we have just walked through eight very well known prophecies. None of you were taken back by these facts because you have already heard them and for the most part believe. Fulfilled prophecy is so easy to take for granted. For most us have heard this our whole lives. But God says this is His trademark, how he signs His writings.

Lets look at these in a new light…

Go back and do the blue section.

Illustration…

If A’s probability is 1 in 1000 and B’s is 1 in 1000 the chance that A & B happen to the same person is 1 in 1 million (1000 x 1000)

What is the chance of one person fulfilling just these eight prophecies?

1 in 10/28th  that is a ten with 28 zeros behind it.

How many people have ever lived in history?

10/11th  (or 100 billion)

Divide 10/28th by 10/11th

that equals 10/17th

How big is that number?  Science says the universe is 10-15 billion years old.

That only 10/17th seconds in the history of the universe.

(cover the state of Texas two feet deep with silver dollars, mark one and that’s your chance. Remember we have only taken eight of three hundred.)

Even with all this we have not talked about some of the greatest and most difficult prophecies… Daniel 9 we are told the exact day he will ride that donkey into Jerusalem and present himself king. Some 5 centuries before He does it. And remember it was in the Greek Septuagint 300 years before Christ, written down in black and white.

Christianity is based upon the impregnable rock of Holy Scripture. The starting point of all doctrinal discussion must be the Bible. Upon the foundation of the Divine inspiration

of the Bible stands or falls the entire edifice of Christian truth.—

“If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?”(Psalm 11:3).

It is impossible to over-estimate the importance of the doctrine of the Divine inspiration of Scripture. In Genesis 3 this authority is the first thing to be challenged on this planet. It states that the serpent was more cunning (cleaver, perceptive) than any beast of the field which the Lord has made…

Has God indeed said? His 1st step is to cast doubt, his next move is to add to what God had said, and then to change it. ( his basic craft is deception) this still flourishes today. Many academic parties question, was there the written word in Abrahams day?, they claim the time of the early patriarchs was not real history, that the gospel writers didn’t write until the second century… on and on it goes. These have all been refuted by archeological, documentary discoveries and competent analysis.  But the most telling is what God says about his word.

(Isaiah 40:8, Matthew 5:18, 24:35, Mark 13:31, Luke 16:17, 21:33, 1 Peter 1:23-25, Psalm 89:34, 105:8, 119:89 & 160, Romans 10:17, 2 Timothy 2:15, 3:16, Titus 1:9. these are a few of the hundreds that talk about his word)

Now the Bible does not fear investigation. Instead of fearing it, the Bible courts and challenges consideration and examination. The more widely it is known, the more closely it is read, the more carefully it is studied, the more unreservedly will it be received as the Word of God.

Christians are not lovers of myths. They are not anxious to believe a delusion. If they are wrong, they wish to be set right. If they are deceived, they want to be straitened out. If they are mistaken, they desire to be corrected.

If the Bible is not inspired in the strictest sense of the word then it is worthless, for it claims to be God’s Word, and if its claims are spurious then its statements are unreliable and its contents are untrustworthy.

However a book that claims to be a Divine revelation cannot be rejected or even neglected without grave peril to the soul. True wisdom cannot refuse to examine it with care and impartiality.

If there is a personal God, and if we are the works of His hands, He surely would not leave us in doubt concerning the great problems which have to do with our temporal, spiritual, and eternal welfare. If an earthly parent advises and warns them of the perils and pitfalls of life; counsels them and makes known to them his plans concerning their future, surely it is incredible to suppose that our God would do less for us!

Christ comes and fulfills these prophecies to the letter, beyond competent dispute. Once this person comes and can be authenticated beyond doubt, when he authenticates the existing writings, that is the highest authentication of those manuscripts we could ask for. (He does this of the Greek translation known as the Septuagint version) once you know who He is, (and you must get there first), when He says the book is right and authoritative, you now have a decision to make. Believe God… or believe all that other stuff that’s out there in this world.

Simply put you must either believe God or believe man!

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