The Bible Itself
Why do I believe that the Bible is the very Word of God, the ultimate and final authority? I have been reading it regularly for some 45 years, studying it, teaching and preaching it for over sixteen of those years as a pastor. I have found the Bible to ring true as the Word of God. One thing that has impressed me as evidence that it is truly the Word of God is that it was written over a period of about 1600 years, by about 40 different men, of different backgrounds and social standings, that covered many different subjects, but who all combined together to belong to a common theme, and that in the original writings there are no real contradictions. Man, being as falable as he is, that just could not happen. Only a perfect God could use men to write what He would have them write, and oversee their writings in such a way that they were without any mistakes or contradictions. There are a number of supposed contradictions in the copies of the original manuscripts, as well as in modern versions of the Bible, that when rightly understood, are not contradictions at all. There are a number of supposed errors, that when rightly understood are not errors either. In these modern versions, translations, and paraphrases of the Bible, there are also a number of actual errors, but this does not prevent us from knowing what the original manuscripts originally said. It is also important to remember that none of the errors made by those that "copied" the Scriptures are of any major doctrinal importance. In regards to those that have taken it upon themselves to write their own Bibles according to their own understanding or views, with the usual reason being to make the Bible easier for people to understand, these may indeed have errors in them of major doctrinal importance. [See the comments on the next page on "Supposed Contradictions" under Jn 3:32,33 in regards to erroneous, Calvinistic thinkin.] One of the worst "Bibles" ever written (in my opinion) is The New World Translation, which was written for Jehovah's Witnesses, who are taught that Jesus was not God, but "a God," and that there is no eternal hell in which unsaved people will suffer forever in a "lake of fire."
Though the original manuscripts may be the actual "Word of God," one might wonder if it has been corrupted over the centuries of having to be copied over and over, and in being translated from Hebrew and Greek into English and other languages. The Bible itself addresses the subject of its own preservation in Psa 12:6,7 when it says "The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever."
Many think there is reason not to trust the Bible because copyists were only human, and would have made a lot of mistakes. Well, these copyists recognized this potential problem as well, and came up with a number of rules in copying the Scriptures to help prevent this.
Scriptural Copy Rules
The care and precision with which the scribes copied the Old Testament Scriptures are evident in the following rules that they followed. Their reverential awe can only attest to the fact that they believed they were handling the Word of God and treated it accordingly and respectfully.
A synagogue roll must be written on the skins of clean animals, prepared for the particular use of the synagogue by a Jew.
These must be fastened together with strings taken from clean animals.
Every skin must contain a certain number of columns, equal throughout the entire codex.
The length of each column must not extend over less than 48 or more than 60 lines;
and the breadth must consist of thirty letters.
The whole copy must be first-lined; and if three words be written without a line, it is worthless.
The ink should be black, neither red, green, not any other color, and be prepared according to a definite recipe.
An authentic copy must be exemplar, from which the transcriber ought not in the least deviate.
No word or letter, not even a yod, must be written from memory, the scribe not having looked at the codex in front of him…
Between every consonant the space of a hair or thread must intervene;
between every new parashah, or section, the breadth of nine consonants; between every book, three lines.
The fifth book of Moses must terminate exactly with a line; but the rest need not do so.
Besides this, the copyist must sit in full Jewish dress, wash his whole body,
not begin to write the name of God with a pen newly dipped in ink,
and should a king address him while writing that name he must take no notice of him.
I also have confidence that the Bibles that used the best copies of the original manuscripts are the very word of God because they retain God's "marks of authenticity." There is an extensive amount of patterns of words in the scriptures that seem to point to God as the only one that could have put them together.
Super Computers Discover Mathematically Coded Words in the Bible
By Chuck Missler (From his Book "The Creator Beyond Time and Space")
Of course Satan I am sure is behind those that have tried to prove that there is nothing to the "Equally Spaced Words" discoveries by computers. Satan always has an answer, a comeback, for the things that point to the truthworthiness of God and His Word, they are just wrong answers.
You may have noticed my use of the phrase "best copies of the original manuscripts." Without going into the great detail (upon which books have been written on this individual subject) our existing Bibles (and in particular the New Testamen) in common use today come from two basic sources, regions, and time periods. The first is from the men that believed in the deity of Jesus of Nazareth, were from the area of Antioch (Syria), and lived from abou 100-200 A.D. The second is from men that did not believe in the deity of Jesus of Nazareth, were from the area of Alexandria (Egypt), and lived in the time of Origen (185-254 A.D.) and later. Though not all in the second group down through the ages that have worked on the production of copies of manuscripts or Bibles, have removed EVERY reference to Christ's deity, Christ's Lordship, and Mary's virginity at Christ's human conception, over two hundred verses on these subjects have been changed to omit them. All of our modern versions of the Bible within the last 100 years have relied on this second source. They have also relied upon manuscripts called Alexandrius, Vaticanus, and Siniaticus; all claimed to be "the best and oldest manuscripts," when in fact they too were compiled by those that did not fully hold to Jesus' deity. It is for this, and a few other reasons that you can find descripancies among various Bibles, not agreeing among themselves on what is being read.
So with all the Bibles that are out there, which one would I recommend? Just because one is easy to read ("like reading the newspaper") is not the best reason to recommend it. One that is too difficult to read would not be the best for you either, especially if you don't understand Hebrew and Greek. The KJV is a great Bible, but with a lot of archaic or Elizabethan English. Nathaniel Bowditch thought it worth learning Latin just so he could read the scientific book "Principia," which was written in that language. I have a number of Bibles, and exercise 1Th 5:21 "Prove all things, hold fast that which is good."
I like the "Life Essentials Study Bible" (Holman Bible) but was greatly disappointed with it's rendering of Ps12:7, one of the greatest verses on God's preservation of His Word. Instead of this verse speaking of the Word, Holman has it speaking of the follower of God. Do I not use this Bible at all because of this? No. In 2Ti 2:15 Holman's begins this verse by saying what it should say "Be diligent to present yourself approved...", whereas the KJV is "Study to show thyself approved..." This was accurate in 1611, but the modern reader today gets another understand than intended from the word "study." Do I not use the KJV on account of so many instances like this? No. In fact I use the KJV for all my memory work of scripture. Instead of chucking both these Bibles, use both these Bibles, the NIV, the NASB, the NKJV, and be aware of the faults and assets of each.
Divisions of the Bible
1 Bible, 66 books, 2 Covenants/testaments
1,189 ch (929 OT, 260 NT) Stephen Langton 1228 A.D.
(23,216 OT) Mordecai E. Nathan 1448 A.D.
(7,947 NT,) Robert Estienne/Stephens 1551 A.D.
(The Open Bible has 23,214 OT 7,949 NT)
774,176 words 3,566,480 letters 46,227 "ands"
Name of the 24 Books in the Jewish Hebrew Scriptures (The Tanach)
The Five Books of Moses (Chumash)
Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy (Law)
The Eight Books of the Prophets (Neviim)
Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, (Early History)
Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, The Twelve (Prophets)
The Eleven Books of the Writings (Kesuvim)
Psa, Pro, Job, Song of Songs, Ruth, Lam, Ecc, (Poetry)
Ester, Dan, Ezr/Neh, Chr (Late History)
PLENARY. 1: complete in every respect
VERBAL PLENARY INERRANCY means that one believes all of the Bible is inspired down to the very words of Scripture. The belief in non-verbal plenary inerrancy would mean that one believes all the Bible is inspired, but only as to its concepts—not all the words—meaning that it might contain historical errors.
When You Read the Bible Through Amos R. Wells
I supposed I knew my Bible, reading piecemeal, hit or miss,
now a bit of John or Matthew, now a snatch of Genesis,
certain chapter of Isaiah, certain Psalms (the twenty-third),
twelfth of Romans, first of Proverbs, Yes, I thought I knew the Word.
But I found that thorough reading was a different thing to do, and the way was unfamiliar when I read the Bible through.
You who like to play at Bible, dip and dabble, here and there,
just before you kneel, a-weary, and yawn through a hurried prayer;
you who treat the crown of writings as you treat no other book,
just a paragraph disjointed, just a crude impatient look;
try a worthier procedure, try a broad and steady view;
you will kneel in very rapture, when you read the Bible through.
"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." 2Ti 3:16
"Scripture is profitable for teaching (what is right), for reproof (what is not right), for correction (how to get right), and for training in righteousness (how to stay right)." Warren Wiersbe
If the literal sense makes good sense, seek no other sense, lest you come up with nonsense.
THEMES of the 66 Books of the Bible
and how we can relate to Christ in every book of the Bible.
THE LAW OF MOSES
Gen The beginning of everything except God.
Christ: the Creator/God, the seed of the woman.
Ex The deliverance of the Israelites from the land of Egypt. God’s covenant Law w Israel.
Christ: the Passover Lamb/Redeemer.
Lev God’s plan for the walk, work, and service of the people of God.
Christ: your sanctification, your atoning sacrifice, your High Priest.
Nu Events on the journey between Sinai and the Jordan River.
Christ: your guide, the smitten Rock, the Star out of Jacob.
Dt Giving the law again to the next, younger generation.
Christ: your teacher, the Prophet.
Josh Conquering the Promised Land. Dividing the land among the 12 tribes.
Christ: the mighty conqueror, Captain of the Lord of Hosts.
Jdg The cycle of sin, oppression, repentance, and deliverance.
Christ: your Deliverer, gives victory over enemies, the messenger of Jehovah.
Ru Rest through redemption and union with the Redeemer.
Christ: your kinsman Redeemer, lover.
1Sa The people demand a king, choosing less than God’s best; David pursued by Saul.
Christ: the root of Jesse, the despised and rejected King.
2Sa Triumph turned to trouble through sin. Blessings on David until he commits adultery & murder.
Christ: the son of David.
1Ks Greatness under Solomon until many marriages. The divided kingdom is because of disobedience.
Christ: the King of kings.
2Ks Northern Kingdom of Israel and southern kingdom of Judah foolishly fall through disobedience.
Christ: the Lord of lords.
1Ch Recapping book of Kings, from priest’s and God’s view. David’s righteousness in 2 Samuel.
Christ: your Intercessor, the Lord of Heaven and Earth.
2Ch Solomon’s kingdom, to the destruction of Jerusalem. Rebuilding the temple, kings of Judah.
Christ: your High Priest.
Ezr Zerubbabel returns to rebuild the temple, Ezra returns to restore the spiritual condition of the people.
Christ: your temple, your house of worship.
Ne Nehemiah returns to rebuild walls of Jerusalem. There is no opportunity without opposition.
Christ: your mighty wall, protecting you from your enemies.
Est The providence of God, between the first & second returns to Judah, preserving the Jews.
Christ: your Advocate, delivers you from your enemies, your Protector.
Job Blessing through suffering. Seeing God’s sovereignty causes us to worship.
Christ: the arbitrator/our risen and returning Redeemer who helps in our troubles.
Ps Praise the Lord. Worship develops the fear of the Lord.
Christ: your song, and reason to sing, your all in all.
Pro True wisdom comes from God. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
Christ: your wisdom, helping you make sense in life, & helping you live it well.
Ecc Man’s reasoning outside of God. Following God’s wisdom overcomes life’s emptiness.
Christ: your purpose, your goal, delivering you from vanity.
SoS Marital love showing God’s love for his people. Wisdom can build a godly marriage.
Christ: your Beloved lover, your rose of Sharon, your satisfier.
Isa The judgment (ch 1-39) and grace (ch 40-66) of God.
Christ: our suffering substitute, our mighty counselor, prince of peace, Father, God, and everything you need.
Jer Accept God’s word and live, reject it and die.
Christ: soothing salve for your sin-sick soul, the balm of Gilead, the Lord our Righteousness.
Lam Mourning for Jerusalem.
Christ: the man of sorrows, the ever-faithful one you can depend on.
Eze They shall know I am the Lord.
Christ: the throne-sitter, the assurance of resurrection.
Dan The Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He will.
Christ: the smiting Stone, the everlasting, the Ancient of Days.
Hos God's love for Israel, & faithfulness of God. Return unto the Lord.
Christ: your faithful lover, always beckoning your return to Him when you need it.
Joe The Day of the Lord & judgment of nations.
Christ: your continual refuge for safety, the Lord of Bounty.
Amos Divine punishment follows persistent sin. All nations are responsible to God.
Christ: the husbandman, the One you can depend on to stay by your side, the rescuer of Israel.
Oba Doom upon Edom.
Christ: the Lord of the Kingdom, the Deliverer upon Mt. Zion.
Jon God's Mercy. Nineveh, repent! God's concern for Gentiles.
Christ: the buried & risen Savior, your salvation, bringing you back within His will.
Mic Judgment upon Israel & Judah. Bethlehem's King & kingdom. Message to leaders not to exploit the poor.
Christ: the judge of the nations, the everlasting God.
Nah Doom of Nineveh & Assyria.
Christ: the jealous God, our stronghold in the Day of Wrath.
Hab Why Chaldeans Judge Judah. The Lord's kingdom & people will triumph.
Christ: the Holy One, the anchor of our faith.
Zep Fall of Jerusalem. Remnant rescued for blessing. Judgment of nations. Day of the Lord.
Christ: the witness, Judge, and Cleansor.
Hag Restoration of Temple and Kingdom foretold.
Christ: the smitten shepherd, overthrows the enemies.
Zec Messiah the Branch & King-Priest.
Christ: the Branch, the Lord of Hosts.
Mal Final judgment & warning to the nation. Formalism rebuked. Stop withholding from God.
Christ: The messenger of God, the Sun of Righteousness.
Mt Jesus is the King of Israel/the Universe.
Christ: the King of the Jews.
Mk Jesus is the Servant of God.
Christ: the minister of God, the Ransomer.
Lk Jesus is the perfect God-Man.
Christ: the Son of Man, feeling what you feel, coming to seek and to save the lost.
Jn Jesus is the Son of God, equal with God.
Christ: the Son of God, the Savior of the world.
Ac The birth and early beginning of the church. Acts of Peter, Paul, Holy Spirit, Jesus part 2.
Christ: He is the Savior of the World, the Ascended Lord.
Ro The gospel of God.
Christ: the righteousness of God.
1Co Christian conduct.
Christ: the Rock that followed Israel, the first-fruits among the dead.
2Co Paul’s authority.
Christ: made sin for us, the triumphant One, giving victory.,
Ga Salvation by grace.
Christ: the end of the law, your liberty who sets you free.
Ep The church, Christ’s body.
Christ: your armor, the head of the Church
Phil Christian experience.
Christ: your joy, the supplier of every need.
Col Christ, the head of the church, Christ preeminence.
Christ: the Preeminent One, your completeness.
1Th Christ’s return.
Christ: your Returning Lord and hope.
2Th The day of the Lord.
Christ: your patience and discipline, the world’s returning Judge.
1Ti Church order.
Christ: the mediator between God and men, your faith.
2Ti Holding the truth.
Christ: your stability, and the bestower of crowns.
Tit Church order.
Christ: your great God and Savior, the truth.
Plm Love exemplified.
Christ: your benefactor, the Father’s partner.
Heb The priesthood of Christ.
Christ: your perfection, and High Priest, the Rest of faith, and fulfiller of types.
Jas Practical Christian living.
Christ: the Lord of Sabaoth, the power behind your faith.
1Pe Suffering and glory.
Christ: your example, the Theme of OT prophecy.
2Pe The last days.
Christ: your purity, the long-suffering Savior.
Christ: your life, the Word of Life.
2Jn Walking in truth of the doctrine of Christ.
Christ: the target of the AntiChrist, your pattern.
3Jn Walking in truth.
Christ: your motivation, the personification of truth.
Jd Contending for the faith.
Christ: the foundation of your faith, the believer’s security.
Rev The consummation of all things.
Christ: your coming King of kings, and Lord of Lords.