A seven lesson course on how the Lord gave and preserved His Word through the centuries.
By Cooper Abrams
(*All Rights Reserved)
This study is a general introduction to the subject of how the Bible was transmitted and preserved over the past 2000 years. It will give the average Christian a more thorough understanding of how the Bible has come down to us. Most believers have little understanding of the process that God used to write and preserve His Word to man. This study will show that God has, with no omissions or errors, preserved the Word of God and we have it in complete form today. The errors of the modern 20th Century translations will be noted and the superiority of the King James Version shown. This study is written as a general introduction to the Bible.
The salvation of men and their eternal destiny in heaven or hell rests on question as to whether the Bible is the inspired, preserved and accurate word of God or not. Because of the Bible being God's word to us as to how we may know Him and receive eternal life , throughout history there have many attacks on the authenticity of the Bible. Some are open and direct and others more subtle in seeking to discredit and cast a shadow over the Bible as being God's word. Clearly there is a common source for each of these attacks and that source is Satan himself who seeks to destroy men by destroying mankind's only source of knowledge of God and redemption from sin. Unregenerate and unbelieving men who are rejecting God, in the pride of their own selfish and corrupted minds, think they do a great service by criticizing the Bible. How sad and tragic is it that a man would personally reject God's love for them and His salvation and then seek to rob others of God's truth. The Lord gave a solemn warning to those who would tamper with His word in Revelation 22;18-19:
Ignoring God's warnings, there are many who have tried to add to the word of God and written supposed "scriptures" claiming that they come from God. The "Koran" of Islam and the "Book of Mormon" are examples of spurious books written by men present a false god to men. The content of these books clearly show they are not from God because they teach things that are contrary to the God's word. None of them can compare in its message or quality of writing with the sixty six Books of the Bible. Further they also fail the test of science and history. The many blatant errors in their content shows they are spurious and did not come from God who cannot produce error.
The Roman Catholic Church is a perfect example of a "church" that uses the Bible, but adds their decrees (bulls) of their popes, their traditions as received from their church councils, and the books Apocrypha as scripture. The Apocryphal books are the spurious "scriptures" from which the Roman Church gets its heretical doctrines of purgatory, Maryology, praying for the dead, etc which are not taught in the Bible.
Another example is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) who use the Bible, but have added the Book of Mormon as a companion along with other writings of their prophets the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price. The lastest copy of the Book of Mormon proclaims on it front cover that it is "Another Testimony of Jesus Christ." From the Book of Mormon the LDS church teach that Jesus came to the Americas and preached before he returned to heaven. From their other "scriptures" they get their teachings, baptisms for the dead, temple marriages for all time and eternity, God is a god of flesh and bone, Jesus, Lucifer and all men are bothers, and words based salvation, etc. These teachings all contradict what the Bible says and are clearly false.
Other attacks are more subtile in seeking to undermine God's written Word. The liberals of our modern era under the guise of scholarship use they call "higher criticism" to discredit the Bible as being the word of God. They claim that the Bible is the mere writings of fallible men and only a collection of myths and stories pasted down through time and they deny God, and anything supernatural including the miracles, prophecies, and including the deity of Jesus Christ.
Probably the most subtle attack has come from the modern English translations of the Bible which are based on several older, but clearly corrupted manuscripts of the Bible. Under the guise of making a better or more modern and understandable English Bible, corrupt translations are being offered which distort and remove verses entire passages from God's word. It is tragic that some many well meaning churches and Christians have allowed themselves to be deceived and are accepting these modern perverted Bibles with open arms. (If you would like to see a clear demonstration of this click this line)
However, Bible believing Christians accept the Bible as being the inspired word of God and the sixty six books of the Old and New Testaments and have rejected all other supposed writings as coming from God. They have based their faith on the overwhelming evidence that authenticates the Bible, as being God's word, and accepted God's promises and Jesus Christ as their Savior and sacrifice for sins. They have experienced the transforming power of God in their lives which comes from believing God's truth and know both from the evidences and from personal experience that the Bible is God's word and its message redeems those who believe.
This study "How We Got the Bible" will endeavor to answer the question as to why true Christians believe the Bible is the Word of God, and the only Word of God. Further, it will show that the Bible is complete and the revelation process was finished when the last book of the New Testament was written. This means that since that time God has not given man any additional revelation and this is why we reject all the so-called scriptures written since.
Every child of God, should know why the Bible is the Word of God. We do not have to "blindly" accept the Bible, because there is ample and overwhelming evidence that it is God's Word to man. That evidence is available to all who will examine it.
The first lesson will deal with inspiration and what it means to the one who seeks to know if the Bible is really God's Word.
Inspiration is the theological term taken from the Bible which expresses the truth that the Bible is God's "Very" word. To understand inspiration we must look at two classic Scripture verses:
The word "inspiration" can be literally interpreted, "God breathed." The Greek word is "theopneutos", which means "theo"= God, and "pneutos"= breathed. The Hebrew word is "nehemiah" and is used only once in the Old Testament in Job 32:8. The verse is saying God breathed on the writers of the Bible and they wrote His Very Word. In other words He superintended the writing of the Bible so that every word that was written was exactly the correct word He wanted to use.
Literally the verse is saying that inspiration is the process by which the Holy Spirit moved on the writers of Scripture and what they wrote was not their words, but the very Word of God.
Since the canon of Scripture was completed in 90-95 AD, when John finished the Book of Revelation, God has been speaking to us through the Bible which is His written word. John 1:1, 14 says of Jesus Christ, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . . .And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. " The verse plainly tells us that Jesus is the "Word" and therefore we cannot separate Jesus Christ from the word as He is the word. God says that He is speaking to us today through His the completed and preserved word and Jesus Christ is that word.
In the Old Testament we find examples of how God spoke to man or revealed Himself and His will. We must understand that during the Old Testament the written word of God was not available to most Jews. God during this period spoke to His prophets and they in turn revealed God's word to Israel. For example, Hosea 12:10 says "I have also spoken by the prophets, and have multiplied visions, and used similitudes, by the ministry of the prophets." A literal translation of the verse says, "I spoke to the prophets, gave them many visions. God also gave clear instructions concerning how to know if a man was a true prophet of God.
David said, "The spirit of
the Lord spake by me and his word was in my tongue" II Sam. 23:2. God used men
to speak to other men. When the prophets spoke what God had revealed to them,
they used phrases such as "thus saith the Lord", or "the Word of God cam to me
saying". They made it clear that what they were saying was from God.
To look at the matter in a practical way, we must understand that what happened was that as the writer wrote, God "breathed" on him by the ministry of the Holy Spirit. As he wrote the Holy Spirit guided and superintended his thoughts so that what he produced was from God without error or omission. It was literally, word for word, what God wanted written.
Some have supposed God used the writers like one would use a typewriter. This is called the "mechanical dictation theory." However, this idea is easily discounted as the different personalities and styles of the writers can be seen in their writings. Some scholars seeing this Book of Isaiah they have supposed the book was written by two men. The New Testament references to Isaiah, indicate there was only one Isaiah. He clearly changed his style of writing in chapters 40-46, which differs to some degree from the first 39 chapters. In all Scripture the personality of the writer shows through.
Verbal plenary inspiration is the view of Scripture which the Bible itself teaches. This phrase means that every word, that the man God used to write His word, was exactly as God intended as He superintended the writing. This stands in sharp contrast to the advocates of the modern translations movement (ASV, NASV, NIV, NEB, RSV, etc.) who believe in only a the conceptual view of inspiration. They believe the God inspired His divine concepts and then preserved these concepts in the extant Manuscripts (MSS). They do not accept that the Bible is the preserved infallible and inerrant word of God, but only concepts of truth. Consequently, through the supposed science of textual criticism, man can restore the approximate wording of the original text. Since the concepts are inspired and preserved, the exact words representing these concepts may not be available today. Hence the modern versions and their underlying Hebrew and Greek texts do not contain all of the original words form the Lord. Dr. Ken Barker, general editor of the popular New International Version reflects this uncertainty saying:
By admission Barker is verifying that these modern versions do not have all of the words of the Lord and include many erroneous translations. Mr. Barker in this last statement is referring to the clearly corrupt Eastern texts of the Aleph, A and B which is the faulty Greek text the NIV and all modern translations are based upon. In counter distinction the King James Bible is based on the Western text or Majority texts which have not been corrupted.
Can we not see how subtle is this attempt to corrupt God? If we do not have God's preserved and actuate word of God then how can anyone trust it? Has God chose to give us a Bible that we cannot trust and put in the hands of fallible men who claim they are the only one's who can accurately tells us what is God's revelation to men. I THINK NOT! The Devil would certainly have us to believe this, but the fact is God has preserved His word and we do have it accurately and complete. For an article on this subject click this line.
The word "verbal" refers to actual "words" that God inspired the writers to pen. The term "plenary" means "full" and is used to convey the truth that each word was actually what God wanted to use. These two words put together in a phrase means that God-breathed His very word of God in the full expression of His thoughts in that what the writer of Scripture wrote. This means that every word that was written was of God without error. In other words, although the Bible was penned by men, God is the author and the Bible is word for word exactly what God wanted said.
God guided the writers in the choice of every word and expression. This does not mean God did not allow for personality and cultural background of the writer to be used in expressing God's Words. God allowed the writers to express His thoughts in their own way. Some have concluded that the Bible is only the product of man and cannot be relied on as the Word of God because men actually penned it. They simply do not understand or are willing to accept how the Holy Spirit actually worked with the writers to produce the Scriptures.
The key to understanding this supposed problem is to see what the Bible says about itself. It tells us how men were able to write God's Very Word. 2 Tim. 3:16, states ALL Scripture was "God-breathed." Of the many men who God used to write the Bible it can be found that they all had something in common. They were directed by the Holy Spirit and what they produced is in complete harmony with each other.
Because God is the actual author, the Bible is complete in unity and order with itself. All the sixty six books agree with the others, and there is not even one contradiction. If the Bible were the product of man and God had not completely directed the whole of the writing over the 1800 years it was in the writing it could not have such unity. But you see God was the Author of the Bible, and His process of directing the writers produced a complete and correct revelation. Man does change, but God never changes, past, present or future. The Bible is a perfect Book in the original autographs, and is perfectly preserved today. More will be said about this later included addressing the issue of supposed contradictions.
It is true that there are
many "supposed" errors, mistakes or contradiction in the Bible. However, upon
close and scholarly examination every one can be explained and shown not to be
in error. There are many scholarly works available which address the supposed
discrepancies in the Bible. The problem is not with the Bible, but with
fallible men who have only a limited understanding and study of the Bible who
make false uninformed conclusions about it.
In order to understand the
Bible and what it means to us we must understand Biblical revelation,
inspiration and illumination. These are the three processes whereby the Lord
has revealed Himself to man, enabled different men to write His Word and
causes men to be able to understand it. The following will help us to
understand these processes God used and how they are important to us: THE REVELATION OF THE BIBLE.
THE REVELATION OF THE BIBLE.
First we need to define the term "revelation." The word "revelation" comes from Latin and means "unveiling." In Greek it is "apocalypse". Revelation is the process by which God revealed Himself to Man. God is spirit and His abode is outside of man's material world. He exists in a spiritual not material world. Because man is confined to a material world he has no way of knowing about God unless God reveals Himself in some material way to him. Through revelation God has informed us of Himself and of man's origin. Further, by God's revelation God has informed us of how a man can personally know God, what is man's destiny, and what is God's plan for this world. God has preserved His revelation caused it to be written and recorded for man in the Holy Bible.
First there is General Revelation(Romans 1:20).
This is information that is revealed outside of the God's written revelation, the Bible. It comes from an observation of nature which is the creation of God. There is in nature evidences of God. The order of nature and its complexity is an example of data with indicates that some intelligence had to create this world. Nature itself, does not produce order or complexity. The Laws of Thermodynamics, is the scientific observation of this fact. Basically the Laws of thermodynamics observes that in nature things go from complex to simple. It is one of the strongest evidences against evolution. Evolution says the forces of nature created life from inert matter, which means nature would have to create something complex from something simple that had no life. Evolution is not observed in nature or shown from scientific examination. The evolutionist has two problems; the first being that inert material does not produce living organisms. Only that which is already alive can produce or better reproduce life. Second the First and Second Laws of; Thermodynamics are totally contrary to the claims of evolution.
However, God's creation, which is earth and the universe, show us things about the Creator. The order and complexity we see in nature does not tell us who our Creator is, but is points us to the Creator. It gives us evidence of His existence. This truth is mentioned in Romans 1:20:
We cannot see the power that controls, gives life and substance to this world. That power cannot be seen, but evidence of it can. Thus, the existence of this power points us to the existence of God, who is the source of this power. Further, when man examines the evidence he sees himself as small and weak in comparison to God. In this nature points the existence of the Godhead, or authority of God to rule over what He has Created and sustains.
Secondly there is "Special Revelation":
This is the unveiling of specific truths and information about God He Himself reveals to us. The Bible is God's Special Revelation to man. The Bible tells us who God is and how He has been revealing Himself to man down through the ages. God's special revelation tells us of our past, present and future. In order to be saved a man must have Special Revelation. He can not be saved apart from an acceptance of Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. He must hear the Gospel message that Jesus Christ is God, and that He took the form of man, and lived on this earth, a sinless life. One must know that He went to the Cross and died there in payment for the sins of all the World, and that a man can be saved by accepting by faith Christ's gift of Grace, and eternal life. All this is Special Revelation.
A man who sees the existence of God in nature and accepts General Revelation, will seek after God to know Him. Thus, he accepting General Revelation causes man to seek Special Revelation, and Jesus said, that if one will seek that he will find (Matt. 7:7). God will give Special Revelation to all who seek after Him and that Special Revelation is the Bible, the written Word of God.
"The doctrine of Progressive Revelation teaches that the complete revelation of God was unfolded to man progressively and gradually, not all at once in complete final form. God revealed Himself to man in progressive stages and periods Even in New Testament times, Christ was still telling His disciples, `I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now` (John 16:12). It was only after the writing of the last New Testament book, the Apocalypse, that formal revelation was finally closed with this clear warning--"If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book". (Paul Lee Tan, Principles of Interpretations,pg 111-112.)
Several truths should be understood about progressive revelation. God did not reveal everything to man at once. For example Abraham did not have God's complete revelation. God revealed to him that he would be a great nation and that all the nations of the earth would be blessed through his progeny. Abraham did not know the details of this nation God would use him to found or of how it would come to pass. In time, through Moses, God revealed more truth and the descendants of Abraham became a nation and they were given the Law. Abraham did not have the Law, because God chose to reveal it later in time when the nation was formed and needed law. This was an act of progressive revelation. God over time revealed more and more as it was needed.
One must understand that as truth was revealed it did not supersede prior revelation or change it, but simply added to it. New truth never replaced or contradicted truth given earlier. The order of the Bible and the fact that it does not contradict itself is evidence of this truth. God is immutable, meaning that He does not change and thus His revealed truth is also immutable. (see James 1:17, Hebrews 13:8) God is not constantly changing His mind about truth. When He revealed truth to Abraham, He later did not change His mind and give a contradicting revelation to a later prophet who followed Abraham.
Another important truth in understanding progressive revelation is that God did not necessarily repeat truth given earlier when He gave new revelation. When God revealed truth to man it was eternal truth which stands forever. God gave it and instructed man to accept it and live by it. When God gave new revelation it was to added to former truths He had given. When the new revelation was given, the Lord did not always repeat truth given earlier. All truths revealed in the Old Testament were not necessarily repeated in the New Testament.
Revelation that God gave was also provisional. This means that the nature of these truths was such that the manifestation of what was revealed was not necessarily all God would say on the matter, but that it was satisfactory for that period of time. The provisional property of the truth was pending a complete manifestation of the truth. This provisional nature of revelation ended when the Bible was completed at the end of the First Century with the Book of Revelation (about 95 AD).
As an example consider the Old Testament Tabernacle. It shadows and gives types of truths that were later revealed and made clear. The blood sprinkled on the mercy seat, was a picture of the atoning work of Christ in the shedding of; His blood on the cross for the sins of the world. The Israelites only had the picture of what God was to do by sending His Son Jesus Christ as the Savior. Hebrews 10:4 says, "For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins." The blood sprinkled on the altar was a picture of Christ's blood which would take away sin. Those that by faith believed what God told them obeyed what He said they were to do. They they were saved by faith in the truth that God had revealed to them; (Heb. 11). In New Testament times the apostles were shown the full extent of the truth when they saw Christ crucified and risen from the grave. Today we are able; to look back on the completed revelation of God as Hebrews 11:39-40 explains, "And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect."
The faithful Jew in the Old Testament did not understand the full significance of the sacrifices he offered to the Lord. Today we fully understand them because God has revealed the understanding in detail in the Bible which is now completed. Progressive revelation then is seen throughout the Scriptures as God directly or in types and shadows revealing more and more truth as time pasted and ending his revelation to man with the Book of Revelation.
Inspiration is a part of the revelation process by which God used man to write the Very Word of God. This was covered in Lesson 1. It should be noted that what was produced, as "God-breathed" on the writers of Scripture, was inspired and not authored by the writers themselves. How could sinful man produce a perfect book the Bible and the Word of God? The answer is God, by the process of inspiration, took a sinful man who did not have the ability to produce anything, but that which was tainted by sin, and using this man, God through him caused the man to produce the perfect Word of God. The men God used were each saved godly men, but even godly men could not produce the Word of God. What authenticates the word of God as being true is not the righteousness of the man or necessarily his credentials, but the fact God; the Holy Spirit, spoke through him as the man recorded God's message. The word of God is self-authenticating and does not rely upon anything but itself to prove itself as truth.
In 1 Corinthians 1:11-17, Paul warned this young church against the practice of holding a man in too high a regard. This warning was unheeded by Catholicism which made popes, cardinals and classes of believers. There is no biblical basics for making men saints and the praying to them. God is not a respecter of persons. All believers have a part in the body of Christ, but there are no "classes" of saints. The distinctions between the "clergy" (popes, cardinals, priests, ministers) and the "laity" (the people) are devised by man, not God. Believers will be judged at the BEMA judgment and there rewarded for faithfulness to Christ. The BEMA judgment is yet future and God has not given some believers a higher position than others now. Each believer will be reward for his faithfulness in doing what is God's will for his life. He is not reward on the basis of his "position" of service (1 Cor. 4:2). John wrote in Revelations 4:10-11, that the "crowns" the saints are given are cast before the Throne of God. Verse 11, states clearly the honor is Christ's and His alone.
In the Old Testament the prophets were responsible for the position that God gave them. They are seen as fallible men, but men of faith whom God used, but they are never seen as the actual authors of the faith. They were all mere messengers directed and carrying out God's wishes not their own. God directed them and He Himself founded Judaism and His revelation. The Moslems revere, Muhammad, and the LDS church, Joseph Smith to the point that they become almost deified. Joseph Smith according Orson Pratt, Mormon apostle, actually holds the keys of heaven and all must get his permission to enter heaven. (Extracts from the Second Epistle of Orson Pratt, from the "Seer", No. 11, Vol. VII, page 289) Such special status to prophets in not found in the Bible. God says that. ". . .that in all things He (meaning Christ) might have the preeminence." In the Bible, men are messengers only of God's truth. God does not share His glory or position with some earthly leader. He and He alone is the Head of the local church (Eph. 5:23) and the Creator and author of salvation.
This false idea of exalting men is not taught in the Bible. Hebrews 11, stands as God's "Hall of Faith." Those mentioned there, God has honored greatly in that they are given to us as examples of men who trusted God and by faith let God use them. They are not given any greater status than their personal reward for faithfulness and as being examples to believers. It is God who should be honored and not man.
Least anyone misunderstand....God does hold his preachers in high esteem. Church members are told to revere, obey and honor God's servant (See 1 Cor. 16:16, Phil. 2:29, 1 Thess. 5:13-14, 1 Tim. 5:17, Heb. 13:7, 17). The point is that the credibility of the Word of God does not rest on the credentials of men, but upon God only. The prophet, preachers and churches are the messengers of God. The revelation of God is given through them by God, but they are not the originators of the message. God has given no agency on earth the right to change or alter in any why He very Word to men.
2 Peter 1:21, describes these writers of Scripture as "holy" men. The word holy denotes separation. In other words God used men who were faithfully separated to Him. These were men consecrated unto God, and willing to be used by Him.
Webster says illumination is "a lighting up; supplying of light...clarification; explanation...enlightenment; instruction." In the scope of God's revelation to man, illumination is the process by which the Holy Spirit enables a man to understand the Word of God.
The work of illumination is the work of the Holy Spirit. John 16:13 says, "He will guide you into all truth.." I Cor. 2:14, states "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."
Man, apart from the Holy Spirit cannot understand the spiritual aspects of the Bible. Man is a carnal being with a sinful nature. In man is no good thing and man's righteousness is as filthy rags (Isa. 64:6). Man in his natural state does not have the ability to understand spiritual things. Only when he is indwelled by the Holy Spirit, when he receives the "new birth" can he understand the spiritual things of God. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit when a man is saved, gives man the ability to understand the Bible. Note what God says in 1 Cor. 2:10-14:
"But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned" (1 Cor. 2:10-24).
Man, on an intellectual level, can study the Bible and learn much about it in the same way literature is studied. But the Bible is a spiritual Book, given of God to impart spiritual truths for man to live by. If all one learns from the Bible is its worth as literature, he misses the whole point and purpose of the Scriptures. The Bible is God's plan for the saving of men's souls, which are spiritual. God is not through the Bible seeking to inspire men to produce truth, but through the Bible reveal truth to man. The need of man is a spiritual need. A look around us shows us man has made great advancement in the realm of the physical world. But not one technical advance of man has ever solved any of man's real problems. Man is still a murderer, thief, and has the whole gambit of social problems he has always had. You see the problem of man is not physical, but spiritual. The Bible is God revealing, the spiritual to man. But man must accept and trust God and become a child of God before he can understand these spiritual truths. The child of God who studies the Word of God finds the purpose of his existence, and of God's plan of redemption for man. Through the process of illumination, the Holy Spirit imparts understanding and practical use of the Bible in our lives. Only the Christian, who studies the Word of God and has it illuminated to his understanding can find peace in his heart and the joy the Bible speaks of. No man on earth has ever found true purpose apart from the Word of God. Only with God is there any eternal element to man's existence. For the man who rejects God, death is his only and ultimate purpose...that is to exist until he dies. However, with God man's purpose on earth and after death is defined.
(Some the following material in the this heading was taken from On-Line Bible notes Ver. 6.1, edited by and with additional information by the author of this article)
The word "Bible" is the English form of the Greek word "Biblia," meaning "books," the name which in the fifth century was given to the entire collection of sacred books, the "Library of Divine Revelation." The name Bible was adopted by John Wycliffe (1380 AD to 1384 AD) , and afterward came gradually into use in our English language. The Bible consists of sixty-six different books, composed by many different writers, in three different languages, under different circumstances; writers of almost every social rank, statesmen and peasants, kings, herdsmen, fishermen, priests, tax gatherers, tent makers; educated and uneducated, Jews and Gentiles; most of them unknown to each other, and writing at various periods during the space of about 1600 years: and yet, after all, it is only one book dealing with only one subject in its numberless aspects and relations, the subject of man's redemption. It is divided into the Old Testament, containing books, and the New Testament, containing books.
The names given to the Old Testament in the writings of the New Testament are:
The Old Testament is divided into three parts>:
2. The Prophets, consisting of:
The New Testament consists of:
The division of the Bible into chapters and verses is altogether of human invention, designed to facilitate reference to it. The ancient Jews divided the Old Testament into certain sections for use in the synagogue service, and then at a later period, in the ninth century A.D., into verses. Our modern system of chapters for all the books of the Bible was introduced by Cardinal Hugo about the middle of the thirteenth century (he died 1263) The system of verses for the New Testament was introduced by Stephens in 1551 and generally adopted, although neither William Tyndale's (1525 AD) nor Coverdale's (1535 AD) English translation of the Bible has verses. The division is not always wisely made, yet it is very useful.
A version is a translation of the holy Scriptures. The word "version" is not found in the Bible, nevertheless, as frequent references are made in this work to various ancient as well as modern versions, it is fitting that some brief account should be given of the most important of these. These versions are important helps to the rightly interpretation of the Word.
The Targums of the Old Testament. After the return from the Babylonian Captivity, the Jews, no longer familiar with the old Hebrew, required that their Scriptures should be translated for them into the Chaldaic or Aramaic language (in Old Testament called Syrian Tongue) and interpreted. These translations and paraphrases were at first oral (spoken), but they were afterwards placed in writing, and thus Targums, (i.e., "versions" or "translations") have come down to us. The chief of these are:
The tar gum of Jonathan ben Uzziel comes next to that of Onkelos in respect of age and value. It is more a paraphrase on the Prophets, however, rather than a translation. Both of these Targums were issued from the Jewish school which then flourished at Babylon.
The Greek Versions of the Old Testament and New Testament. The oldest of these is the Septuagint,(pronounced "sept-to-a-gent") usually designated as the LXX, which is the Roman numerical for seventy. The origin of the LXX is involved in much obscurity. It derives its name from the popular notion that seventy translators were employed at the direction of Ptolemy Philadelphus, king of Egypt, and that it was accomplished in about seventy days, for the use of the Jews residing in that country. There is no historical warrant for this notion. It is, however, an established fact that this version was made at Alexandria; that it was begun about 280 B.C., and finished about 200 or 150 B.C.; that it was the work of a number of translators who differed greatly both in their knowledge of Hebrew and of Greek; and that from the earliest times it has borne the name of "The Septuagint", or "The Seventy."
The translators of the LXX left nothing in writing about the details of their work. The origin of the LXX rests mostly with a letter attributed to Aristeas, a Gentile courtier to Ptolemy II on which most of the accounts of the translation of the Septuagint are based. The problem is there are many serious problems with the authenticity of the letter and the historicity of the details it presents. An excellent article has been written by Benjamin G. Wright III, The Letter of Aristeas and the Question of Septuagint Origins Redux* at (http://blog.lib.umn.edu/cnes/news/Wright-Aristeas%20and%20Septuagint%20Origins.pdf) The New Testament.
The New Testament manuscripts fall into two divisions:
The change between the two kinds of Greek writing took place about the tenth century. Only five manuscripts of the New Testament approaching to completeness are more ancient than this dividing date. The first cursive, numbered A, is the Alexandrian manuscript or Codex (450 AD). In 1078 it was given to Patriarch of Alexandria, Egypt after whom it was named. In 1621 it was taken to Constantinople by Cyril Lucar, the Patriarch of Constantinople, who gave it to the British Ambassador to Turkey, Sir Thomas Roe. In 1624. it was brought to this England to be presented to James I. However, the king died and it was given to Charles I in 1627 too late to be used in the translation of the King James Bible. It is kept in the National Library of the British Museum. It is believed that it was written, not in that capital, but in Alexandria; whence its title. It is now dated in the fifth century A.D. (A "Codex" is a book in manuscript form with sheets bound together in book form rather than a scroll which is rolled) It contains the whole Old Testament, and most of the New. The text is "Western" or "Byzantine" means being geographically associated with Europe.
The second cursive, known as B, is the Vatican manuscript. "Vaticanus Codex" (325-350 AD) Is said to be the oldest manuscript called "vellum". A fine qualify writing material usually made from calf or antelope skins) It and the Codex Sinaiticus are the two oldest uncial manuscripts. They were probably written in the fourth century. The Vaticanus was placed in the Vatican Library at Rome by Pope Nicolas V. in 1448 its previous history being unknown. It originally consisted in all probability of a complete copy of the Septuagint and of the New Testament. It is now imperfect, and consists of 759 thin, delicate leaves, of which the New Testament fills 142. It is referred to by critics as Codex B. No one has been allowed to see the original manuscript since 1475 AD. Photographs were made in 1889-90 and 1904 (New Testament only). It is identified as "Eastern Text" and an example of Alexandrian type text, being associated with Egypt.
The Third, C, or the Ephraem manuscript or Codex, was so called because it was written over the writings of Ephraem, a Syrian theological author, a practice very common in the days when writing materials were scarce and dear. It is believed that it belongs to the fifth century, and perhaps a slightly earlier period of it than the manuscript A. (This type of manuscript is called a "palimpsest" meaning "rubbed again." The parchment was originally written on, but later erased and rewritten upon)
The fourth, D, or the Beza Codex, was so called because it belonged to the reformer Beza, who found it in the monastery of St. Irenaeus at Lyons in 1562 A.D. It is imperfect, and is dated in the sixth century.
The fifth (called Aleph) is the Sinaitic manuscript. "Sinaiticus Codex." Usually designated by the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, is referred to as one of the most valuable of ancient MSS. of the Greek New Testament. On the occasion of a third visit to the convent of St. Catherine, on Mount Sinai, in 1859 it was discovered by a Dr. Tischendorf. He had on a previous visit in 1844 obtained forty-three parchment leaves of the LXX., which he deposited in the university library of Leipsic, under the title of the Codex Frederico-Augustanus, after his royal patron the king of Saxony. In the year referred to (1859) the emperor of Russia sent him to prosecute his search for MSS., which he was convinced were still to be found in the Sinai convent.
The story of his finding the manuscript of the New Testament has all the interest of a romance. He reached the convent on the 31st January; but his inquiries appeared to be fruitless. On the 4th February he had resolved to return home without having gained his object. "On that day, when walking with the provisor the convent, he spoke with much regret of his ill-success. Returning from their promenade, Tischendorf accompanied the monk to his room, and there had displayed to him what his companion called a copy of the LXX., which he, the ghostly brother, owned. The manuscript was wrapped up in a piece of cloth, and on its being unrolled, to the surprise and delight of the critic the very document presented itself which he had given up all hope of seeing. His object had been to complete the fragmentary LXX. of 1844 which he had declared to be the most ancient of all Greek codices on vellum that are extant; but he found not only that, but a copy of the Greek New Testament attached, of the same age, and perfectly complete, not wanting a single page or paragraph."
This fragment, after some negotiations, he obtained possession of, and conveyed it to the Emperor Alexander, who fully appreciated its importance, and caused it to be published as nearly as possible in facsimile, so as to exhibit correctly the ancient handwriting. The entire Codex consists of 346 1/2 folios. Of these 199 belong to the Old Testament and 147 1/2 to the New, along with two ancient documents called the Epistle of Barnabas and the Shepherd of Hermas. The books of the New Testament stand thus: the four Gospels, the epistles of Paul, the Acts of the Apostles, the Catholic Epistles, the Apocalypse of John. It is shown by Tischendorf that this codex was written in the fourth century, and is thus of about the same age as the Vatican codex; but while the latter wants the greater part of Matthew and sundry leaves here and there besides, the Sinaiticus is the only copy of the New Testament in uncial characters which is complete. Thus it is the oldest extant MSS copy of the New Testament. Both the Vatican and the Sinai codices were probably written in Egypt. It should be noted that in both of these manuscripts there are obvious signs of tampering with the text. Many claim that because these are the oldest extant manuscripts and closest to the original autographs they are the most accurate. However, that cannot be shown from the evidence. It is the content, not the age of this manuscripts which authenticate them as being God's word or not. The evidence clearly demonstrates they are corrupted texts and cannot be trusted as accurate. More is said later in this study.
In 2 Kings 18:26, Ezra 4:7, Dan 2:4" the translation of the Scriptures into "Syrian tongue" more correctly rendered "Aramaic," which includes both the Syriac and the Chaldee languages. In the New Testament there are several Syriac words, such as:
A Syriac version of the Old Testament, containing all the canonical books, along with some apocryphal books (called the Peshitto, i.e.,simple translation, and not a paraphrase), was made early in the second century, and is therefore the first Christian translation of the Old Testament. It was made directly from the original Hebrew Old Testament, and not from the LXX. Version. The New Testament was also translated from Greek into Syriac about the same time. It is noticeable that this version does not contain the Second and Third Epistles of John, 2 Peter, Jude, and the Apocalypse. These were translated subsequently and placed in the version.
A Latin version of the Scriptures, called the "Old Latin," which originated in North Africa, was in common use in the time of Tertullian (A.D. 150). Of the Old Latin translation there appears to have been various copies or recensions made. Those made in Italy, and called the Itala was reckoned as the most accurate. This translation of the Old Testament seems to have been made not from the original Hebrew, but from the LXX, the Greek translation of the Old Testament. The Old Latin version became greatly corrupted by repeated transcription, and to remedy this problem Jerome (A.D. 329) was requested by Damascus, the bishop of Rome, to undertake a complete revision of it. It met with opposition at first, but was at length, in the seventh century, recognized as the "Vulgate" version. The word "Vulgate" is Latin for "common or "usual" and meant is was the normal text or usual Latin text used. It appeared in a printed form about A.D. 1455 and was the first book printed on the newly invented printing press. The Council of Trent (1546) declared it to be "authentic." It subsequently underwent various revisions, but in 1592 under the sanction of Pope Clement VIII was adopted as the basis of all subsequent editions. It is regarded as the sacred original in the Roman Catholic Church.
All modern European translations have been more or less influenced by the Vulgate. The Vulgate has many clearly identified errors. For example in Genesis 3:15, it reads incorrectly reads "ipsa" (feminine ending) instead of "ipse" (masculine ending) incorrectly reading "She shall bruise thy head" instead of the correct reading is "He shall bruise thy head."
There are several other ancient versions which are of importance for Biblical critics, but which we need not mention particularly, such as:
The history of the English versions begins properly with Wycliffe. Portions, however, of the Scriptures were rendered into Saxon (as the Gospel according to John, by Bede, A.D. 735 and also into English (by Orme, called the "Ormulum," a portion of the Gospels and of the Acts in the form of a metrical paraphrase, toward the close of the seventh century), long before Wycliffe:
1946 Revised Standard Version NT
1952 Revised Standard Bible
1960-70 New American Standard
1973 New International Version of Bible
1982 New King James Version
The Bible is the basis of all truth on earth and the foundation of the Christian Faith. Satan has attacked the Bible through out History. In the first 300 years Christians were persecuted and killed. Diocletian, 303-305 AD, the Roman Emperor ordered meeting places (homes) razed to ground, Scriptures burned, leaders placed in prison if they did not recant from their belief in Jesus Christ.
During the next 1200 years the Scriptures were locked up by the Roman Catholic Church in monasteries and were not in public view. In 1380 AD John Wycliffe, published the first English Bible. He believed that the Scriptures alone in the hands of the people would be sufficient for the Holy Spirit to use them. He sent out the Lollards, who were "lay" preachers into the English country side. Wycliffe was a member of the Roman church, and sought reform. He believed the Scriptures alone to be the sole authority for the believer. It is noted that in 1401, the English Parliament, made preaching the Lollard ideas, punishable by death. During this time the common people did not have access to the Bible expect through their priests.
In 1456, Johann Gutenberg, invented the printing press, and the book printed was the Marzarin Bible. At the same time cheap paper was introduced to Europe. The first Hebrew Bible was published in 1488. Over 80 editions of the Latin Bible appeared in Europe. There still was not an English Bible in the hands of the people. Finally in 1524, William Tyndale began his translation of the Bible into English and just completed it before he was executed in 1536.
In 1546, Martin Luther, a Catholic monk, lead the Reformation which was an open denunciation of the false and unbiblical teachings and practices of the Roman Church. At this time many were already in political revolt against the Roman Catholic Church. There was great interest in the Scriptures. During this period the Roman Church canonized the Apocryphal books and added them to the 66 books of the Bible. Although the Bible was being published it was expensive and it was still many years before the Scriptures were readily available to common people.
In the 1800's "Higher Criticism" of the Bible came into being in Europe. Led by unbelieving churchman who denied the supernatural and influenced by evolution it strived to discredit the genuineness of the Bible. It was the father of the liberal movement which went so far as to deny even the existence of God.
One of Satan's attacks today is in the form of a new philosophy called, "existentialism." This false philosophy teaches that the Bible is not the Word of God, but it is beneficial if it helps a person to overcome his hostile environment. Its subtle influence can be seen in such modern "Christian" movements such as Unity, Norman Vincent Peale, the "Jesus freaks" and the new "Hollywood Christianity." Basically it destroys the authority of the Bible and teaches everyone can be inspired by the Bible as they see fit. The movement does not seek answer from the absolute message of the Bible, but use it only as a stimulus to find "their" true which comes from inside them.
Other attacks come in the form of the modern so called "revelations" of the cults, the Roman Catholic church, Pentecostals and Charismatics. These movements teach that God is still giving revelation to man and this means the Bible is not complete. Closely connected to these attacks is the modern translation movement. Almost monthly a new "translation" or paraphrase is published and these groups readily jump to use it.
The "inerrancy" controversy has caused great division among those who called themselves conservative such as the Southern Baptist Convention. Over the past ten years or more the controversy has been divided between the moderates or liberals who say the Bible "contains" the Word of God and the conservatives who believe that the Bible "is" the inerrant Word of God. The problem is this: If the Bible is not the infallible inerrant Word of God, then who is to say what is? If the Bible is not inerrant, because it has errors, then it stops being the authority that God gave it to be. Determining what is the real Word of God is then left for a man determine. This then leaves the critical question of determining what is truth to the faulty devices of men. God clearly says however that He is not the author of confusion. God has removed the confusion by telling us the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, and that He has preserved it for us.
The reliability of the Bible, that means the one we have today, it is vital to the Christian Faith. If the Bible we have is not the complete, and true revelation from God then we have no basis to say what really is. For the most part, those who sit in the pews in our churches, believe in Bible is the very Word of God. But it is hard to find a Bible college or seminary of any major denomination that teaches that truth. It, however, does not take many years before men trained by these schools begin teaching what they learned.
The most recent attack on the Word of God is coming in the form of the modern English translations. All modern translations, with the single exception of the New King James Bible, are all based on the corrupt Greek Eastern text and the work of liberal Greek scholars Westcott and Hort.
This controversy has grouped Christians into three groups:
The first group is the extremists, called Ruckmenites, who following apostate preacher Peter Ruckman, who teaches the King James Bible was a second revelation from God and it corrects the Greek text. This group with is unbiblical and cultic have done more to discredit the King James Bible than all the liberal put together.
The second group are the Only King James Bible group which believes the KJV is the best English translation we have and that is the preserved Word of God. These biblical Christians believe that the KJV could be improved, but it is not in its present form in error. The Only King James Bible people reject all modern translations because they are based on the corrupt Eastern Greek texts. This is the position of the author of this paper and is based on many years of detailed and extensive research. God has absolutely preserved His very word and the English King James Version is accurate and completely trustworthy.
There is further the Modern Translations Group, which say all the translation are the Word of God, with some better or worse than the others. They accept all modern translations and their criteria for picking a modern version is mostly based on personal appeal, rather than the evidence at a version is an accurate English translation of the Greek manuscripts. The conservatives of this group prefer the popular modern translation of the Bible, the New International Version. They blatantly ignore the gross errors and omissions which the NIV contains. (For a revealing comparison of the NIV with the KJV click this line and take a test on the NIV) On the conservative side would be those that use the American or New American Standard Version. The chief reason that like the modern translations is they say it is easier to read and they do not like the Old English of the KJV. In defending their preference for the modern Bibles they seek to lump the extremists Ruckmenites and with those who prefer the King James Bible because of its accuracy. By placing those who use the KJV of the Bible in the same group as the extremists they do a great injustice to the many God fearing preachers and believers who love the Word of God, revere the King James Bible as God's preserved Word, reject the attacks of the liberals on the Bible and do not believe in the extreme and erroneous teaching of the Ruckmenites. It is the author's opinion that they knowingly do so showing an extreme un-Christ like intolerance for those who disagree with them.
Often in the margins of reference Bibles you will find statements such as:
"These verses do not appear in two of the most trustworthy manuscripts of the N. T., though they are part of many other manuscripts and versions. If they are not a part of the genuine text of Mark, the abrupt ending at verse 8 is probably because the original closing verses were lost. The doubtful genuineness of verses 9-20 makes it unwise to build a doctrine or base an experience on them (especially vv. 16-18)" (Note on Mark 16:9-20, The Ryrie Study Bible, King James Version, Charles Caldwell Ryrie, Moody Press, Chicago, 1976, p1432)
This note is taken from the margin of the Ryrie Study Bible and is referring to Mark 16:9-20. When the average person reads this he will most likely accept that the statement as true and thus disregard these verses as worthy of acceptance as a part of the Word of God. At best he will seriously question their authenticity because the Bible "scholar" Charles Ryrie says it is unwise to build a doctrine on verses with doubtful genuineness. What the reader is not told is that the statement is only the opinion of the writer of the notes and that many other scholars, with equal or higher qualifications disagreed with his opinion and accept this as the Word of God.
The "two of the most trustworthy manuscripts" Ryrie and others are referring to are the ancient manuscripts of the Bible called the Sinaiticus (Aleph), dated 340 AD. and the Codex Vaticanus (B) dated 325-50 AD. These verses are indeed left out of these manuscripts plus ms 2386, certain Aramaic manuscripts and the writings of Clement, Origin, and Jerome. However, it is found in the mss A, C D K X W plus nine other ancient manuscripts and mentioned in the Diatessarn, (170 AD), the writings of Justin Martyr (died in 156 AD) in his work "Apology" and Irenaseus (140-203 AD). Note that the dates of this last group from the Lectionaries predate the Aleph and B, by almost two hundred years. Therefore the oldest evidence supports Mark 16:9-16 as being in the originals. This then casts doubt on the accuracy of manuscripts the Aleph and B, and brings up the possibility that it was left out of these two manuscripts by mistake or some other reason, maybe deliberately. The truth then is there is strong manuscript evidence that Mark 16:9-20 was in the original autographs.
The Textus Receptus (TR) is a representative of what is called the Majority Text which is based on over 5000 Greek extant (existing) manuscripts. It is referred to as the Byzantine or Western text which is associated geographically with Asia and Eastern Europe which was where most of the New Testament was written and distributed among the early churches. The Westcott-Hort text is referred to as the Minority text or Alexandrian or Eastern text geographically originating in Alexandria Egypt. The Minority Text today is comprised of the manuscripts the Codex Sinaiticus (Aleph), (340 AD) and the Codex Vaticanus (B) (325-50 AD), the Codex Alexandrius, and P33 (papyri). [(A codex is a manuscript bound together like a book instead of rolled into a scroll.]
In reality there is no manuscript evidence that the ending of Mark 16 was lost. Ryrie even notes that if verses 9-20 were not part of the original text you are left with an abrupt ending to the Charter at verse 8. If you conclude the verses 9-20 are not genuine then how then do you explain the abrupt ending at verse 8? Is it proper or honest to invent an explanation by concluding that the real ending was lost! The fact remains that no ancient manuscript with any other ending exists. However, in several Lectionaries dating almost two hundred years before the Aleph and B, you find the verses in whole or part quoted by the church fathers such as Tatian (Diatessaron, 170 AD), Justin Martyr (156 AD) and Irenaseus (140-203 AD). The Greek scholar John Bergen, in his excellent work, "The Last Twelve Verses of the Gospel of Mark." in over 300 pages goes over every scrap of evidence and proves that these verses should be here.
All modern English versions of the Bible with the exceptions of the KJV and the NKJV (*see note below) are based on a Greek text of the NT compiled by two Brook Foss Westcott (1825-1901) and Fenton John Anthony Hort (1828-1892) who were British "scholars" at Cambridge University in England. Hort as a young man despised the Textus Receptus, which was the Greek text from which the KJV was translated. In a letter he wrote to Bishop In 1851 Dec. 29-30th Fenton John Anthony Hort wrote in a private letter to a friend and stated "I had no idea till the last few weeks of the importance of texts, having read so little Greek Testament, and dragged on with the villainous Textus Receptus.. Think of that vile Textus Receptus leaning entirely on late MSS.; it is a blessing there are such early ones" (Life and Letters of Fenton John Anthony Hort, Vol. I, p.211).
He vowed to
rid the New Testament of any influence of the Textus Receptus. These two
men based their new version of the Greek New Testament on two ancient
manuscripts the Sinaiticus (Aleph), dated 340 AD. and the Codex
Vaticanus (B) dated 325-50 AD. Although they claimed their work was done
by examining ancient Greek manuscripts they actually produced their
Greek text by consulting the published works of other scholars. They
concluded that because the Aleph and B manuscripts were the oldest they
were the best and most accurate. They ignored the obvious evidence that
these manuscripts had been tampered with and were corrupt. The fact is
that these two manuscripts disagree more than thirty-four (34) times per
chapter in the Gospels alone. In some of the Epistles they disagree even
more. These two manuscripts came from Egypt which was a hotbed of heresy
during the time these manuscripts were produced. There is clear evidence
someone changed (corrupted) the words in the New Testament in order to
support false doctrine. Therefore all modern versions of the English
Bible are based are based on the flawed work of the Westcott-Hort
critical text. Only the KJV and the NKJV are based on the Textus
Receptus and represent the Majority text.
*(The translators of the NKJV claim that it is based entirely on the Textus Receptus, however there are problems with their translation work. (See Click this line for an informative article on the New King James Bible.)
Liberal scholar Bruce M. Metzger is in the forefront of promoting the Westcott-Hort text. In his book, he concludes his statements about denouncing the authenticity of Mark 16:9-20 with this statement: "At the same time, however, out of deference to the evident antiquity of the longer ending and its importance in the textual tradition of the Gospel, the Committee decided to include verses 9-20 as part of the text, but to enclose them within double square brackets to indicate that they are the work of an author other than the evangelist (Mark)." (Bruce M. Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, United Bible Society, 1971, p126) He thus admits the antiquity of the evidence for including verses 9-20, and includes it in the text, but still denies its authenticity. Such are the webs the liberals weave, in which they catch themselves, and knowingly discredit the Majority Text, which is the Word of God.
The question is this: Is the scholar, that Charles Ryrie and other "modern scholars" have cast a shadow over the ending of the Gospel of Mark. They also have made about 6000 other changes that are found in the modern versions. Is there work grounded in true scholarship that correctly represents the evidence? The obvious answer is no, it does not!
Why then do some Bible scholars make statements such as these and present them as being scholarly and supported by the best evidence? The answer is that they prescribe to the theories of the Westcott-Hort, that the Minority Greeks texts of the New Testament are better than the Majority texts of the Textus Receptus simply because they are older. Their statements are based on their liberal biased opinion...and nothing more. They do not believe in verbal plenary inspiration of Scripture and have little respect for the Word of God which they treat so lightly. Even though a person should be given the benefit of the doubt, it is not easy to overlook the fact that these "scholars" appear to knowingly be dishonest which is simply lying.
Joshua 2 Kings Judges 1 Chronicles Ruth 2 Chronicles 1 Samuel Ezra 2 Samuel Nehemiah 1 Kings Esther
Major Prophets; Minor Prophets Isaiah; Hosea; Habakkuk Jeremiah; Joel; Zephaniah Lamentation; Amos; Haggai Ezekiel; Obadiah; Zechariah Daniel; Jonah; Malachi Micah Nahum
The Pentateuch was written by Moses, and was the first five Books of the Old Testament to be written. The Pentateuch dates between 1500 BC and 1400 BC. Also, the Book of Job is believed to have been written during this period.
Following is a list of the Old Testament Books written after the
Pentateuch: (These dates are only approximate.)
The Old Testament was written in Hebrew. In 300 BC, Alexander the Great, made Greek the official language. Hebrews fearful that the Scriptures would be lost to their children who were being taught Greek, called a group of seventy scholars (six from each Tribe) together in Egypt and the translated the Old Testament into Greek. The translation is called the Septuagint, meaning The Seventy which is the supposed number of Scholars who made the translation. The Roman numerals LXX, symbolized the name. It was completed in 250 BC. It was a poor translation in many aspects and certainly not a uniform work. The spurious ancient "Letter of Aristeas" is presented as a record of how the translation was made saying for example it was completed in seventy two days. Probably the translation actually took more than a century to complete.
The LXX differs greatly from the Hebrew text in the books of Ester, Job, Amos, and Jeremiah. Job is 25% shorted and Jeremiah is almost 15% shorter. Daniel, Job and Proverbs are very loosely translated.
Some conclude that this was the translation in which Jesus and the Apostles read and quoted. Some of Jesus' quotes seem to be from the LXX and some are quotes are where the LXX and the Hebrew text is the same. Minion makes the following statement about Christ's use of the Old Testament:
[Author's note: There is no real support for the modern translations in saying that Jesus used the LXX which was a poor Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament. Although many "scholars" believe Jesus and the Apostles used the LXX there is also serious doubt that they actually did.)
The Masoretic Text. These are copies of the Old Testament made during the middle ages dating from 5th to the 9th Centuries AD. Scribes would carefully copy word for word each page of the Scriptures. These were the oldest copies of the Old Testament known until the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in 1947 to 1956. Many critics of the Bible cast doubt on the accuracy of the Scriptures, stating that we only had recent copies of the Old Testament. Further, they said that because of supposed copy errors we could not be sure the Old Testament was correct. However, the Dead Sea Scrolls, pushed the date of the manuscripts back a thousand years. When the Scrolls were compared with the Masoretic Text, they compared in 95 per cent of the text word for word. The 5 per cent variations between the two texts were ALL misspelled words, or obvious slips of the pen. Modern critics of the Scriptures were proven wrong again. God's Word was shown to be accurately preserved down through the ages.
The Canonicity of the Old Testament.
Canonicity is a human process of recognizing the authority of the Bible, which authority is inherent in the books of the Bible because of their inspiration. The word "canon" was originally from a Hebrew word "qaneh" meaning "reed" and from the Greek word "kanon" meaning "rod." The reed or rods were used to measure things. It came to mean "anything that serves to determine or regulate things." The word was applied to the authentication of the Scriptural books. A canon then is "the body of writing which go to make up the inspired ruler of faith and practice." The Old Testament canon is the 39 books of the Old Testament. The New Testament canon is made of 27 books.
The 66 books that make up the Bible have then been recognized down through time by examining both internal and external evidences that they are truly the authentic Word of God. Other books written through time have been rejected as not canonical because they contain historical, scientific and doctrinal errors. One series of these books are called the "Apocrypha." These 14 or 15 books are I & II Esdras, Tobit, Judith, The Rest of Esther, The Wisdom of Solomon, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, The Letter of Jeremiah, The Prayer of Azariah and the Song of the Three Young Men, Bel and the Dragon, The Prayer of Manasseh, I & II Book of the Maccabees. These non-canonical books were composed during the last two centuries before Christ and in the first Century afterwards. The Apocrypha, although not revelation from God does give much secular information on the political and religious developments during the Inter-Testamental Period (400 years from Malachi to John the Baptist). The beginnings of the Pharisees, Sadducees, and the synagogues are recorded in these books. Christ nor any New Testament writer quotes from the Apocrypha and they have never been accepted by the Jews. They were totally rejected by the Roman Catholic church until 1546 Ad when they accepted them as being Scriptures. Their teaching of purgatory (place where man go to be tormented for unpaid for sins after death before they are allowed to go to heaven) came from one of these books. (Ref: An Outline of Bibliology, by Dr. Hoyle E. Bowman, Piedmont Bible College)
Before the Exile (Period of 70 years in Babylon) there was a large body of sacred literature (Ex. 21-23; 24:4, 7; Josh. 24:26; I Sam. 10:25). Each of the Books of the Old Testament canon were accepted by Hebrews at the living Word of God. In the Fifth Century BC, the canonical books were collected and the Jews officially recognized the whole Old Testament as being inspired.
Josephus (the Jewish historian, who was born in Jerusalem in 37 AD) is quoted as limiting the Old Testament canon to 22 books, (the same as our 39 books). He called them "divine," and dates the Old Testament from Moses to the reign of Artazerxes (465-425 BC). Cyril of Jerusalem also wrote in 315 AD of the 22 books of the Old Testament.
1500-1400BC Pentateuch, Job? & Joshua. Original Pentateuch Scrolls Stored Inside the Ark of the Covenant ( Deut. 10:5,31:24, Joshua 1:7-9, Deut 17:14-20)
Shiloh Destroyed by Philistines & Tabernacle Moved. Original
Scrolls Dispersed and New Copies made(?) Judges & Ruth written.
1000 BC Davidic Psalms written. 1 Samuel, David. The Levites
Distributed copies throughout Israel.
Proverbs, Ecclesiastes. Song of Solomon, 2 Samuel added. Obadiah written near the end of the century. Copies brought to the Northern Kingdom during Elijah's reform.
800 BC Joel & Jonah Written. 1 Kings written by a succession of prophets & collected & edited by Jeremiah(?). Amos, Hosea & Micah written. Assyrians capture Samaria.
Isaiah Copies obtained by priest at the order of Saigon (2 Kings 17:27-28). Nahum, Habakkuk, & Zephaniah written. The Book of the Law is rediscovered in the Temple (2 Kings 22:8, 2 Chron. 34:6-9,21)
Ezekiel( Ezekiel Taken captive & Jerusalem destroyed) Copies brought to the people from Jerusalem during Josiah's reform (2 Chron. 34:6-9, 21). Jeremiah, Lam. & I&II Kings written.
Daniel, Cyrus captures Babylon. Haggai, The Temple Rebuilt.
Esther, Ezra, Chronicles, Ezra returns to Jerusalem. Nehemiah, Copies taken to Samaria at time of Nehemiah (Neh. 12:28-30).
THE EVIDENCE THAT THE BIBLE IS THE WORD OF GOD
The modern attack on the Bible has taken many forms. It would be a voluminous work to answer each criticism, however a better way to effectively address the issue is to study the evidences for our infallible, Bible. In examining the evidences for the Bible being the Very Word of God, and correctly transmitted to us today, we will see that the Bible is completely reliable, and is God's revelation to man.
There are forty known writers of Scripture and others that are not identified. These writers wrote over a period in time of fifteen hundred years. These men came from all walks of life, from the common unschooled man, to learned men as was Paul. Some were kings, while others farmers, fishermen, doctors, tax collectors, a soldier a cup bearer to the king, a scribe and a statesman. One thing that was common to all them was that had complete confidence that what they wrote was the Word of God. They claimed to be writing the Word of God, thousands of times in Scripture.
Earlier in our notes we have examined the Doctrine of Inspiration of Scripture. This was the process by which God enabled men to accurately write His very words, completely and without error. II Tim. 3:16, teaches that God "breathed" on them, and thus lead them to correctly produce His Word. II Peter 1:12, teaches these men were "holy" or men dedicated and separated unto God, but the accuracy of what they wrote does not rest on there "godliness". It does rest on the fact that God "breathed" on them as they wrote, this is why what they wrote is God's word. All that they wrote was also not included in the Bible. Paul wrote three letters or epistles to the Corinthians, but only two were included in the canon of Scripture. (I Cor. 5:9) One letter he wrote addressing the practice of fornication is lost. This shows us that all God that the writers produced was not Scripture.
The Bible has been throughout history studied as literature alone, because it is one of the greatest literary books ever written. Yet it was produced by mostly untrained men over fifteen hundred years. Peter and John, unlearned fishermen, addressed the scholars of the Sanhedrin, and amazed them at their knowledge. (Acts 4:1-13)
The Bible is in complete agreement in all its sixty six books. There exists about 13,000 manuscript portions of the New Testament. All of them agree, with the exception of some obvious variants caused by hand copying. In the Old Testament only one word out of 1580 varies at all. In almost ever variant it can be seen it was caused by a copyist inverting a letter, or copying it wrong. Of all the variants in Scripture, over 99 percent of them are nothing more than variations in spelling. If you think about the fact it was written over a period of fifteen hundred years, and consider how many times man has changed his philosophy, traditions, customs and government during that time it seems an impossible task. However, the Bible is not the product of man's mind, but the mind of God. He is immutable, meaning He does not change. (James 1:17, Heb. 13:8) The fact of the absolute accuracy and harmony of the Scriptures is further evidence of God's direction of the writing of the Bible. The Scriptures are in harmony because God is unchanging, and even if the Bible had been produced over millions of years, it would still be in perfect harmony, because its true author, God does not change.
In the Old Testament, three thousand and eight times, the writers claimed to be writing the Word of God. (See Deut. 4:1-2). As God's prophet, Moses said explicitly that they accept his teachings as God's Word and do them. Also see Deut. 6:1-25.
The writers of the New Testament believed that the Old Testament was the Word of God, and quoted it 320 times. In over a thousand times they referred to it. Jesus believed the Old Testament was God's Word and quoted the Old Testament. One tenth of the 1800 verses quoting Jesus are Old Testament quotes. (These verses written in red in many Bibles. Jesus said that "Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me." (John 5:39) Also, see Luke 24:27, when Jesus used Moses and the prophets or the Old Testament to tell those He walked with on the Emmaus road about Himself. Jesus said He came to fulfill the Old Testament Scriptures. (Matt. 5:17, Matt. 26:24 & 54, John 10:35. Luke 18:31) When Jesus was tempted, He quoted the Old Testament as God's answer to Satan's tempting. (Matt. 4:3-10) Jesus fulfilled all the Old Testament Messianic prophecies. Jesus substantiated the Old Testament teaching on: Adam and Eve, the Flood, Abraham's faith, Circumcision, Sodom and Gomorrah, Jonah in the whales belly, the burning bush, Manna in the desert, and the Brazen Serpent. In Luke 16:29, states that the Old Testament was sufficient for salvation.
The Number of Manuscripts of New Testament Greek
81 Papyrus manuscripts (papyri, A ancient paper or writing material made from the pith of a plant by that name, with grew in the marshier of Egypt.)
276 Unicals (or Majuscles) (Means literally, "inch high," referring manuscript printed in large letters similar in size to capital letters)
2,764 Minuscules (Manuscript written in rather small letters, commonly in a cursive or free-flowing hand.)
1,997 Lectionaries (Early church service books containing selected Scripture readings usually from the Gospels and sometimes from Acts or the Epistles)
8000 Various manuscripts in Latin.
Comparing the time frame of the Bible manuscripts to other non-biblical ancient manuscripts.
The oldest manuscript for the Gallic Wars is some nine hundred years later than Caesar's day. The two manuscripts of Tacitus are eight and ten centuries later, respectively, than the original. In the case of Thucydides and Herodotus, the earliest manuscript is some thirteen hundred years after the autographs.
With the New Testament, it is different. In addition to the complete manuscripts only three hundred years later (B, Aleph), most of the New Testament is preserved in manuscripts less than two hundred years from the original. (P45,46,47). Some Books of the New Testament from little over one hundred years after their composition. (P 66) and one fragment (P52) comes within a generation of the first century. (Ref: A General Introduction to the Bible, Norman L. Geisler, William E. Nix, Moody Press, Chicago, 1968, pg284-5 and Which Bible?, David Otis Fuller, Grand Rapids Intern. Publications, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1970, pg26)
There are two division of the ancient manuscripts of the New Testament that have been preserved and survived until today. They are as follows:
|Erasmus' Greek Text 1516 (Referred to as the Textus Receptus (TR)or Received Text)||Westcott-Hort Greek Text, 1881-1882|
Eastern (Alexandria,Egypt, North Africa)
|Number of Manuscripts: Close to 6000||Number of Manuscripts: 3 (Yes, just three)|
|Time Span of the
(117-138 AD)Rylands Fragment
(250 AD) P45,46,47 Chester Beatty Papyri
(200 AD or earlier) P66,72,75 Bodmer Papyri & others
|Time Span of the
(325-50 AD) Codex Vaticanus (B)
(340 AD) Codex Sinaiticus (Aleph)
King James Version (1611)(KJV or AV)
New King James Version (1985) (NKJV)
Standard Versions; (ASV) |
Revised Standard Version (RSV)
New American Standard Version (NASV)
New International Version (NIV)
All modern versions
MATTHEW 27:49-50. The Text as it reads in the KJV:
In the Codex Sinaiticus (Aleph), Codex Vaticanus ( B), Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus (C), Codex Regius (L), Uncial, 110, and a few others, add John 19:34, after verse 49. It reads "But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water."
The reading as found in the KJV, which does not have the added verse, is found in the following manuscripts:
Codex Alexandrinus (A), Codex Bezae (D), Codex Cyprius (K), Codex Washingtonianus (W), and D PI THETA OP90. All these are all Uncials. 4 or 5 or 9th Century. Also this reading is found in the f1, f13 , which are families of a number (4 or 5) manuscripts.
So on one hand we have a great number manuscripts with this verse omitted and other early texts with the these words included. Are we to accept that because the several Eastern are older they are correct? What then is the solution to this variant reading in the available manuscripts?
First, after the Sinaiticus (Aleph), only one later manuscript has the text added.
Second, including the verse here cannot be true because Christ would have to be alive at the time the soldier used the spear. John 19:33, says "but when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs:" The soldier then thrust the spear into Jesus's side after He had given up the spirit and died. In Matthew, between verse 49 and 50 Jesus is alive! This means this reading is not correct and was clearly added to Matthew's Gospel in these four or so manuscripts. It appears a inapt scribe added to Matthew's text the information that John (John 19:34) gives about the soldier piercing Jesus' side and the water and blood running out.
The point is that this is a great embarrassment to the Westcott-Hort folks, because they boldly state as fact that the "better, best, most reliable, most trustworthy, etc" these texts are clearly in error. This and other examples show that these early Eastern texts were partly corrupted and in this case error involves doctrine.
In the United Bible Society text, which follows the Westcott-Hort tradition, they give these verses an "A" classification. This means they are stating that these verses absolutely should be in the text! But on what basis do they make such conclusions? It is based on three Eastern manuscripts which show clear evidence of being tampered with. However, it does not matter that the evidence is questionable or that the adding the verse is doctrinally in error. They state the Eastern text is older and therefore better thus it must be correct. This is putting the theory ahead of the evidence! They have committed themselves to the Minority text and thus they judge all things in how it supports these texts. Even if the evidence does not support the Westcott-Hort conclusions, they stand by that text. Obviously, as Bible scholars they know they are wrong, but knowingly continue perpetrating the error which is reflected in all the modern translations. The average person in the pew has no idea that the text he is reading is in error.
THE OLD TESTAMENT
Genesis tells us that God placed man in the area of the Fertile Crescent, or Mesopotamia. Archaeology has confirmed that man began in that area and migrated into the rest of the world. Genesis 11:1, states the earth had one language before the Tower of Babel. Philologist state that all modern languages probably had a common origin.
The Bible says the walls of Jericho fell outward, Joshua 6:20. Dr. John Garstang, director of the British School of Archaeology, in excavations of Jericho (1929-36) found all the walls had indeed fallen outward and were completely flat. In all other excavations of walled cites which fell the walls fall inward. God told the Israelites not to taken any spoils from the city. Garstang found, under the ashes and fallen walls, in the ruins of the store rooms, and abundance of food stuffs, wheat, barley, dates, lentils, and such, turned to charcoal by intense heat, untouched and uneaten: evidence that the conquerors refrained from appropriating the foods. (Halley's Bible Handbook, Henry H. Halley, Zondervan Pub. House, 1965, p 161.)
The genealogy of Abraham, has been proven historical. In 1974, in excavating the ancient city of Ebla, in modern Syria, over 16,000 clay tablets were found. Ebla dates at 2340 BC, which predates Abraham. The discoveries upheld the chronologies of the book of Genesis. Many names, such as "Abraham," were names that was in common use then. Before these discoveries, archaeologists did not know it Abraham was a title or persons name. It was a man's name just as the Bible states. It also, completely disproved the Graf-Wellhausen theory, which stated Moses lived in a primitive age in which writing was unknown and thus could not have written the Pentateuch.
Basically the archaeological discoveries have led most honest scholars, no matter what their religion, to affirm the historical accuracy of the Old Testament.
THE NEW TESTAMENT.
The Gospel of Luke, and the book of Acts is proven historically correct. Sir William Ramsey, believed that the Book of Acts was written in the mid-nineteenth century. He was a world renowned scholar, and set out to prove his beliefs. After his exhaustive research, Ramsey, concluded that Luke was "a historian of the first rank." In over twenty matters in which modern scholars thought Luke wrong, they proved him right. Archaeology has confirmed that the book of Acts is historically correct in every detail.
John 19:13, refers to the court where Jesus was tried by Pilate. Scholars believed it was a myth. Archaeology, has shown that the court was in the Tower of Antonia, the Roman military headquarters, which destroyed in the AD 66-70 siege of Jerusalem.
There was no record of the Pool of Bethesda, except in the New Testament. In 1888, it was found in the northeast quarter of the city. In October of 2002, your author visited this pool, which modern critics of the Bible said did not exist.
The places visited by Paul in his journeys have each been found as recorded. The daughter of Herodias, who asked for John the Baptist's head (Mark 6:22). The bible does not name her, however, archaeology has discovered her name was Salome, and her likeness was preserved in a small coin .
there are thousand of archaeological discoveries which confirm the
accuracy of the New Testament. (For some really interesting reading on
this subject read a good book on archaeology and the Bible such as
"The Bible as History", by Werner Keller, or "The Bible and
Archaeology" by J.A. Thompson. Also much information is found in Bible
dictionaries, and Bible hand books such as Halley's and Unger's)
Prophecies of the Bible concerning events yet future to the time when they were made are evidences that the Bible is the Word of God.
Man is not able to accurately predict the future. Of course there are those such as Jeanne Dixon, and Neostriatums who have made many predictions. Generally their predictions do not come to pass. Those that do are often very general in nature. It would be well to note that demonic activity is clearly involved in man's attempts to predict the future. Also most predictions a not specific and are very vague. Deut. 18:20-22, states clearly that if any man prophecies and even one of his prophecies does not come truth, he is a false prophet. In the Old Testament the false prophet was to be killed. A true prophet of God is one hundred percent correct, one hundred percent of the time! (See Jer. 28:9)
There is a great deal of prophecy in the Bible. Some examples: are:
The Bible makes very specific prophecies:
Isaiah 44:28. Before Judah was taken into captivity God predicted through Isaiah a king would release the Jews from captivity, and his name was given as Cyrus. This was 150 years before Cyrus was born! History records he came to power and did indeed free the Jews from the Babylonian captivity. Every detail of Isaiah's prophecy came true.
1 Kings 13:2. Three hundred years before Josiah was born his coming was prophesied. It also said he would burn the false priests. He was born and did just that!
In the Old Testament there are over three hundred prophecies which refer to Christ's coming. The latest of these prophecies of the birth of Christ was made four hundred years before Jesus was born. Yet their were fulfilled to the letter. No man would predict that a man would be born of a virgin, neither would man predict the exact year five hundreds years in the future when the Messiah would come or predict the very town of his birth. Yet the Old Testament prophets in over three hundred times made specific predictions of the coming of Christ. It further compounds the difficulty for accuracy when you think that not just one but many different prophets made these predictions over hundreds of years! Yet they all came true.
One of the most interesting prophecies was the great city Tyre. In Ezekiel 26:1-28:19 the Scriptures specifically predicted:
Nebuchadnezzar will destroy Tyre. (Ezekiel 26:7-8) Tyre was a great walled city fortified with 150 foot high walls, which were 15 foot thick. Nebuchadnezzar attacked the city and for 13 years laid siege to it. The people in the city, took their valuables a small island a half mile off shore. No spoils of the city were taken. In Ezekiel 26:12, it was said the towers would be broken down and the walls smashed, which was exactly what happened. The new city of Tyre existed for 250 years in the new location on the island.
Many nations will rise against Tyre. (Ezekiel 26:3-4) Down through the years even to today the cities has seen many different nations come against it. Tyre will be made bare like a flat rock. (Ezekiel 26:4,14) and the rubble would be cast into the sea. (Ezekiel 26:12). Alexander the Great, who conquered most of the known world in 332 BC complete destroyed the island city after it refused to surrender. To reach the city from the land he took the ruins of the old city and cast them into the sea and built a causeway to reach the island. Today you can not find any ruins of the old city. Fishermen will dry their nets there. (Ezekiel 26:5,14) Where the city was even today fisherman spread their nets there to dry. It will never be rebuilt. 26:14 To this very day the ancient city has not been rebuilt.
Many other prophecies of cities such as Sidon, which is twenty miles north of Tyre, are in Scripture. Sidon, founded by the first born child of Canaan, was a wicked city. Ezekiel 28:21-23 states that there would be swords and blood in its streets. It fell in 351 BC, to Persia is a horrible slaughter. Forty thousand of the city were burned in their homes by the Persians. Down through history the city has seen one blood bath after another. The Crusaders destroyed the city three times, as also the Moslems three times. In 1840, England, France and Turkey bombarded the city to ruins. Yet the prophecy did not say it would be ultimately destroyed. It stands still today.
Babylon, one of the greatest cities of the ancient world. The city was 196 square miles in area with a wall 56 miles long. It had a 30 foot moat around it. The double walls on the outside was 311 feet high and 87 feet thick. It had 100 huge brass gates and 250 watch towers which were 400 feet high. It was thought to be completely undefeatable, yet the Persians diverted the Euphrates River which ran into the city under the walls into canals and when the river was dry marched under them into the city. Isaiah 13:19-22, 14:23, and Jeremiah 51:26, 43 stated the city would fall and it did. It was so completely destroyed that until nineteenth century no one knew where it had existed.
Jesus said in Mark 13:2, that "there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down." He was speaking of the Temple. In 70 AD, were the Roman general Titus, entered Jerusalem after a long seize, he ordered the Temple to be left standing. However, it caught fire burned to the ground. The great wealth of gold which was inside melted and ran into the cracks of the stones. The Roman soldiers in recovering the gold literally dug all the stones up and left the Temple flat and totally destroyed. Not one stone was left upon another just as Jesus said. THE PROBABILITIES
It has been figured that the probability of just eleven of the prophecies of the Bible to come true by accident was 1 in 5.76 x 10 to the 56 power. One can easily see that behind this ancient book, the Bible is the God of the Universe. Only God working through man could have made these most specific prophecies all come true. There are many prophecies yet unfulfilled, yet they will come to pass as assuredly as those in the past.
All these evidences give us a overwhelming confidence in the reliability of our Bible. It is God's Word to man. No other so-called "bible", or scripture written by man compares in any way the Bible.
You and I can known that:
GOD'S MEDICAL PROMISE. EXODUS
The Hebrews had been in Egypt for four hundred years. The Egyptian Pharaoh had decreed all boy babies born to the Jews were to be put to death. Moses saved by Pharaoh's daughter when his mother placed him in a basket in the water near where the Pharaoh's daughter bathed in the River Nile. Pharaoh's daughter took Moses to be raised as her own son and he was trained in all the "sciences" of Egypt.
God called Moses to lead the Children of Israel out of Egypt and to make them a nation under God. At Mt. Sinai God gave Israel the Law which would govern their nation. The form of government was a "theocracy", or a nation ruled by God. The Ten Commandments and the rest of the Law was given to give them instruction in all areas of their lives including civil matters, foreign policy, criminal law, personal relationships, taxes, worship practices, and even medicine. God's made specific promises to Israel if they would obey Him and follow His instructions.
This was the best government man has ever seen on earth being designed by God Himself. The Law was fair and just and gave Israel a freedom that was unknown previously on Earth.
Compare the Medicine of the Bible with that of Egypt
The cure for loss of hair was to make a compound of six different animal fats. Horse, hippo, cat, crocodile, snake and ibex (wild goat). For the royal family the mixture was made of equal parts of the heel of an Abyssinian greyhound, date blossoms, asses hoofs boiled in oil. To cure snake bite one poured magic water on the wound, which was made by pouring water over an idol. Sticking a splinter in you finger could be fatal for the Egyptian! The cure was to made a medicine from worms blood and asses dung and apply to the wound. Dung being loaded with tetanus spores caused many to die of a simple splinter wound. From the Egyptian medical book, the Papyrus Ebers, was recorded the contents of many medical "cures." They used items such as lizards teeth, putrid meat, stinking fat, moisture from a pigs ear, milk of goose grease, excreta from animals, humans and flies. These were the latest medical cures of Moses' day.
With remedies such as these the Israelites fully understood the magnitude of the promise God made them in Exodus 15:26. Their only responsibility was to simply follow God's instructions to Israel.
If the Bible is the Word of God then it will be correct in all areas or subjects in which it addresses. This includes medical science. Long before man knew of "germs" or even what disease really was God gave positive effective cures and preventions for many diseases. These were not "miracle" cures, but practical methods of healing and prevention of disease. The medical advice the Bible contains has been proven accurate, and yet it was given in many cases thousands of years before man's knowledge had grown to the point of understanding the causes of man's medical problems.
B. Many times man explains away the prophesies of Scripture by saying the events supposedly "prophesied" were written "after the fact," and falsely claimed to be written before the events spoken of. However, this cannot be said of the medical statements of the Bible. The latest date anyone gives the Bible is found 90 AD. Yet many of the modern medical discoveries made only within the last 100 years have been known in Scripture for thousands of years earlier.
The point is that the accurate medical instructions could have only come from one who was knowledgeable of medical facts. This "one" was God, who is the creator of man, and author of the Bible.
SOME OF THE BIBLE'S MEDICAL INSTRUCTIONS.
THE BLACK PLAGUE. When this plague struck Europe the cities were quickly filled with the dead and dying. Bodies lay in the streets and houses and the chore of burying the dead was accomplished by unceremoniously dumping the dead in hastily dug trenches. The rich and poor were buried alike. It was a time of horror as millions died. There was no cure and again physicians could offer no help in stopping this murderous disease. However, church leaders again applying the Biblical laws of sanitation led the way in stopping the plague. The Bible set forth the effective sanitation practices which helped stop this disease.
CHOLERA, DYSENTERY, TYPHOID FEVER. These disease caused by unsanitary practices caused great lost of life. With no sewers human waste was dumped in the streets. At times heavy stenches hung over cites, and millions died from these diseases. Deuteronomy 23:12-13, gave Israel practical advice as to disposal of human waste.
For 3500 years this simple instruction was ignored by man and millions paid the price with their lives for man's ignorance.
CANCER OF THE CERVIX. Among non-Jewish women, cancer of the cervix accounts for 25 percent of all cancer in women. Jewish women are relatively free of this cancer. The reason research found was that Jews practice circumcision. This practice was instituted by God in Genesis 17:12. Every male born was to be circumcised on the eighth day after birth. Although this was a religious act given as a sign of the covenant between God and Abraham, it also has great medical value also. Circumcision effectively prevents the growth of the cancer producing Samegna bacillus and stops its transmission to women.
God said that if Israel would obey His commandments they would be spared the diseases of Egypt. Only until recently did man know of the extent of the benefits of keeping God's laws. Another interesting fact was the day in which the new born child was to be circumcised. God specifically stated on the eighth day. Only until 1946 did medical science understand that before eight days the infant's body did not contain enough blood clotting agents vitamin K and prothrombin. Vitamin K is produced between the fifth and seventh days after birth. Prothrombin production in a child is only about 30 per cent of normal after three days, however on the eighth day it sky rockets to 110 percent of normal.
The best possible day to circumcise is the eighth day, the day in which God told Israel to perform the act. Man had no knowledge of Vitamin K or prothrombin, yet the creator of these vital blood clotting agents knew and specified the correct time of circumcision.
It would be well to note that God did not reveal why He gave that particular day, but to Israel who obeyed God's instructions in faith and trust it was of great benefit. God is our creator and it is He who made us and this world. Who could one put his trust in better, than the designer of our world? Man's knowledge is limited, but we can overcome our ignorance by simply trusting God's Word. Only by living as God says live can a man experience a fulfilled and purposeful life.
ALCOHOLISM. One of the greatest contributors to untimely death in the world today is alcohol. Millions each year around the world are killed due to alcohol related deaths. Better that 41 percent of all violent deaths are related directly to consumption of alcohol. Its detrimental effects on man go far beyond death, and greatly effect man's life and always in each case negatively. There is no way to measure the heartache and suffering caused by drinking to ones self, ones friends, business associates, and most of all ones family. The horrible effects of alcohol go far beyond the unfortunate one who develops alcoholism. Its greatest harm is done in the realm of the "social" drink. It is social drinking which causes everything from adultery and family break up, to manslaughter on the highways. It is social drinking that gives the potential alcoholic his first drink.
Drunkenness has been one of the major vices of man from antiquity. God directed His prophets to denounce drunkenness as a great social evil.
The Bible vividly pictures the degrading effects of this drug. (Gen. 19:32-34, Job 12:25, Psa. 107:27, Isa. 19:14, 28:7, Hosea 4:11) The Bible clearly states that God's instruction to man was voluntary abstinence from all intoxicants. (See Matt. 6:24f, Mark 9:42f, Rom. 14:13-21, I Corinthians 8:8-13.) By simply living according to the principles God has given us in His Word, man would be free from this killer today. There would be no abuse of drugs of any type. No Christian has a license to use alcohol as a beverage and God has been very clear about this. Alcohol is a drug and the Bible approves its use only as a medicine. See Prov. 31:6, I Tim. 5:23. Priests, kings and princes were warned against its use. (Lev. 10:9, Ezek.44:21, Prov. 31:4-5)
Other Scriptures on drinking. Numbers 6:3,20, Deut. 32:29-33, Judges 13:4 (alcohol forbidden the pregnant woman), Deut. 29:5-6 Prov. 20:1, 21:7, 23:30-35, 26:9, 1 Cor. 5:11, Luke 1:15, Eph. 5:18, Gal 5:21, Deut. 29:5-6.
SMOKING. The number one killer today is heart disease and number two is cancer. The number one contributor to these two diseases is smoking. The surest way to shorten life and die an untimely death is to smoke. Smoking is gradual suicide! It causes hardening of the arteries, cancer, heart disease, gastrointestinal illnesses, ulcers, nervous disorders, high blood pressure and lung disease. Today after over 30 years of research tobacco is a proven killer. The Bible's answer is found in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20:
SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES. The current epidemic of AIDS and venereal disease would be ended abruptly if God's laws were obeyed. Most see the commandments of God as social restrictions, which they in fact are. However, they are in a real sense preventive medicine also! When God said, "the wages of sin is death", and named sexual permissiveness as sin, he was giving both social and medical advice Today many believe the current spread of venereal diseases such as AIDS and herpes is a special judgment from God. I believe, however it is simply the natural and normal results of sin. Sin is progressive and its detrimental effects on man increases as it is allowed to continue. Few understand that sin is a sickness of the mind and heart. A spiritual sick mind or heart will produce physical sickness. God's answer? "Be not drunk with wine wherein is access, but be filled with the Spirit." "Abstain from all appearance of evil", I Thess. 5:22.
STRESS: Most overlook the medical benefits of God's instruction to avoid envy, strife, pride, selfishness, and covetousness. It is good medical advice to "mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth", and to "put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:". (Col. 3:1,10)
One of the greatest causes of all diseases of man is simple stress. Stress causes all types of mental and physical problems from loss of muscle tone to heart attacks. Sin makes people sick! Bitterness, hate, guilt are feeling which can destroy a persons peace, contentment and personal satisfaction. There is a peace available to man, and the ONLY way is by accepting Jesus Christ. What a multitude of medical and mental troubles would be avoided by simply taking God at his Word, trusting Jesus Christ as one's Savior and then living as He directs.
ABORTION. Carnal man has rejected the Bible as the Word of God. By rejecting God and His Word, man has brought upon himself the most horrible and degrading practices. Abortion, the killing of the unborn, is such a hideous practice. Man has let his perverted wisdom tell him that he only another animal. Thus, believing the lie of evolution, which says man is just an animal, has acted like an animal and kills hi s unborn, as a social convenience. The Bible in no uncertain terms states that God created man in His image, unlike any animal. (Gen. 1:27) In Psalm 139:13-18, God says that He recognizes the man, when he is conceived in his mother's womb, in the earliest stages of growth, "when as yet there was none of them" (V16), meaning even before the embryo was formed. Doctors who by oath, are sworn to protect and preserve human life, guided by the false teachings of evolution and humanism think nothing of murdering babies in the mother's womb.
Exodus 21: 22-25, answers the question "Is a man permitted by God to take life before birth?"
The answer is no and if a man causes the death of an unborn infant he shalt be put to death as a murderer. Medical science and modern man still has much to learn from the Bible, which is God's proven Word.
The Bible is proven to be medically correct and a source of medical knowledge before medical science existed. Man has stumbled around in his ignorance for centuries ignoring God and His medical advice. Yet, before the advent of modern medicine those who believed God and kept His commandments had the benefit of the Great Physician, Christ Himself.
The accuracy of the Bible on matters of medicine, proves that the Bible came from God. When man had little medical knowledge, God gave medical advice unknown to man. As an example, the medical instructions in the Pentateuch, written by Moses around 1450-1410 BC was unknown to man. In fact, Moses the writer had been trained in the quackery of medical practices of Egypt. It is clear the practices of Egypt were not made a part of the Bible, and that the source of the medical knowledge of the Pentateuch lay outside Moses!
The key to the matter is found in the Scriptures themselves. Moses was sent by the God as is recorded in Exodus 3:14, which says "I AM hath sent me unto you". "I AM", being the Lord God, YAHWEH or Jehovah.
"None of these Diseases",S. I. McMillen, MD., Spire
Books, Oct. 1977.
"Zondervan's Pictorial Bible Dictionary," Merrill C. Tenney, Zondervan Publishing, Sept. 1976.
EVIDENCE OF THE BIBLE'S RELIABILITY FROM SCIENCE
First and Second Law of Thermodynamics.
EVIDENCE OF THE BIBLE'S RELIABILITY FROM SCIENCE
The first verse of the Bible is the foundational verse of the Universe, it states that God first "created", matter, energy and space and time.
The word created is the Hebrew word, "bara". It is only used of God, as only God can create. It means to initiate something new or bringing into existence. The concept "ex nihilo" creation, which means "out of nothing", denotes that this was a special work only God could do. The verse says, that God "spoke" the universe into existence. "Heaven", is the plural word "shamayin", which refers to "space", either outer space, atmospheric, or inner space.
The word "Earth", refers to matter in the universe. Verse 1:2, says there was no "form" to the earth. It had no shape as it was only matter. The phrase, "In the beginning", notes that time was begun. In Hebrew it is one word, "bereshith", which means the start or first of sometime. Context of the use of the word denotes the start of time. "Without form and void", means "unstructured" and "empty" or uninhabited.
The First Law of Thermodynamics, which is one of the most universal and certain of all laws, states that matter is not being now created!
Thus "In the Beginning", God "created". The process was final and complete at the beginning. There is nothing being created now. Matter and energy, are one. Energy it the action of matter.
This is the First Law of Thermodynamics, that matter is not being created. This is exactly what the Bible says.
The Second Law of Thermodynamics, states that there is no loss of matter. It is called the Law of "increasing disorder." What happens to matter is that as energy is released the matter goes from complex structure to a less complex or ordered structure. All matter is in the process of breaking down. Science states that based on this Law, that in time all matter will break down and all processes of energy will cease and the universe will be dead!
In Gen. 1:31, The Bible says that everything that he had made was "good". However, in Gen. 3, man sinned and God cursed the ground. The word "ground" is the word "adama" meaning ground, land or earth or ones "home country." At the Fall of Man God set in motion the Second Law of Thermo- dynamics, that all things are in the destructive process of being less and less useful. God said that in the day that man was to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, man would surely die. The dying process is clearly seen in the Second Law of Thermodynamics.
Scriptures references to this fact of Science.
Isa. 40:26. It states God created all things, and that they do not cease to exist. . Neh. 9:6. Matter and energy, are created by God, and do not cease to exist. Eccl. 1:9-10. Nothing new is being created. (See Eccl. 3:14-15)
At the very heart of science is the First and Second Law of thermodynamics, all science is based on these two laws. Both of these laws are at the foundation of how God said He created the universe. Science does not understand the processes of matter, time and space and why they act as they do. But God who created them does, and the Bible God's Word, accurately is in harmony with the provable laws of science.
Evidences from Weather.
In each reference to weather the Bible accurately describes processes that science is only now in a small way beginning to understand.
Isaiah 55:10-1 Water falls from the sky in the form of rain and snow, and waters the earth. It does not return to the sky rain or snow, but as we know vapor and the cycle begins again. Isaiah says water will accomplish its purpose the same as the Word of God, does not return void of its purpose.
Ecclesiastes 1:6-7a. This describes the cycle of water, returning to the seas and being evaporated and then falling again as rain.
In Job. 36:27-28, the oldest book of the Bible, the process of evaporation and precipitation is accurately described. Also see Job 26:8, which speaks of condensation, and V10a which speaks of rain runoff.
Psalm 33:7, says God stores water, and 135:7, speaks of evaporation.
Ecclesiastes 1:6, the Bible describes the process of the winds of the
earth which are caused by the rotation of the earth.
Evidences from Astronomy.
In ancient times people believed the earth was either flat, or a flat earth under a globe. If you went to the edge of the earth you would fall off. The Greeks thought the earth was flat under a globe which was supported by a huge stick through the center that rotated. Only until Copernicus, who lived between 1473 to 1543 AD, did anyone suspect a round earth. He was condemned as a man out of his mind. Today we fully understand that the earth is round, and is a planet of the Sun, a star of the galaxy the Milky Way which is a part of the universe.
Job 22:12, stated that the earth was in the a vast and distant universe. Isaiah declared the earth was a sphere. (Isa. 40:22a) Job states the earth rotates on an axis. The ancients in writing used a cylinder of clay rolled on a stick. While the clay was soft the cylinder would be rolled across clay to make a impression. Job 26:7, states "He hangeth the earth upon nothing".
Science is always trying to measure the universe, and always finding new evidence that its calculations are wrong and need upgrading. Jer. 31:37, speaks of the vastness of space and that it can not be measured! This verse says man will never be able to measure it, because God has promised never to set Israel aside.
Jeremiah 33:22, also added that science will never be able to count the stars. Every time science has even made an estimate, they discover a new method of investigation and a new "estimate" is made. Science's use of the new infra red telescope satellite has opened the door now to billions of stars and galaxies that were not know to exist.
The orbits of the stars, and planets are absolute and science can predict the their exact location in the sky at any point in time. Jer. 31:35-36, states this only scientific fact.
In the past it was thought the Sun revolved around the Earth. Yet, the Psalmist correctly stated that the earth rotates around the Sun. Psalm 19:6
Man thought in days past that the moon glowed and produced light. Job 25:5a, states Job knew the moon was not an luminous body.
The Bible correctly referred to the fact that the oceans have vast mountains on its floor.
See Jonah 2:6. Man has only knows this in the past few years as satellites have been used to map the oceans. Sea currents are also a twentieth century discovery, yet Samuel referred to them in II Sam. 22:16a. Isaiah also made reference to them in Isaiah 43:16. The Psalmist mentions the fact that fish follows the sea currents. Psalm 8:8.
The man who discovered the sea currents was Matthew F. Maury. In reading the Scriptures he was directed by, Psalm 8:8, 107:23-24, Ecclesiastes 1:8 to seek to find what the Bible was referring to Inspired by the Bible, Maury, a native Virginian who died in 1873, found what men had overlooked for centuries, the wind and sea currents of the oceans.
Snakes are deaf to the sound of the air, however it picks up vibrations from the ground upon which the snake is resting. Psa. 58:4-5, states this only recently understood fact. The flute of a snake charmer is not heard by the snake, but it reacts to the movements of the charmer and the flute. The Indian and Egyptian cobra can be charmed, however the desert cobra of Israel cannot.
The Bible was not intended as a complete history or science reference book. It is an account of God's working, down through history, to bring about His plan of Redemption for Man. However, the Bible is a book which is about this earth and real people. When in the course of giving information about the real events of God working with man in the past the Bible mentions scientific information it is always correct! The author of the Bible is God Himself, who is the creator of all the universe. God is Truth, and God's Word the Bible is also Truth. Understanding this truth makes it no great mystery that the accurate scientific information we have listed was recorded in some cases thousands of years before man "discovered" or understood them. The truth is man has in the past been ignorant of many scientific truths which would have been of great benefit to him if he had of only trusted God and believed what God has revealed. It is pitiful that even today man blindly stumbles on in ignorance and science foolishly believes the false ideas of man. One such example is the belief and acceptance of Evolution as a scientific fact. The Bible clearly and plainly states the process of Creation, yet science bases itself on the false assumption of evolution and misses all the benefits of having science based on fact instead of fiction.
It should be understood that in the simple Bible verse of Genesis 1:1, the followings false philosophies of man are completely refuted:
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