Yahweh inspired more than 40 men to write down His messages to us in 3 languages over a period of 1500 years. He then moved men to collect and preserve those writings throughout history. What an amazing accomplishment! Nothing is too difficult for Yahweh, The Almighty God.
However, many people today do not know Yahweh or acknowledge His accomplishments, so they deny the accuracy of scripture. Entire books have been written hoping to undermine widespread confidence in the eternal Word of God. I have read some of these writings intended to cause a loss of faith and have been encouraged by what I learned about the history of the Bible. My post today is to encourage an informed understanding of the issues and the facts.
Even those scholars who believe some errors have crept into the Scriptures through its long history are forced to admit those changes are few and far between and do not affect the Bible’s overall message. The Jewish scribes who copied the Hebrew Old Testament by hand over many centuries followed very strict procedural guidelines to insure its accuracy. A partial list of those guidelines I found in The Story of the Bible by Larry Stone follows. (Great book!)
a. Nothing could be written from memory. A scribe was required to copy from another scroll and pronounce each word out loud before writing it down.
b. If a letter touched another letter or was written incorrectly, or if there was a hole, or a tear, or a smudge which made reading difficult the scroll was not usable.
c. No column was to have less than 48 nor more than 60 lines and it was to be an exact copy of the original.
d. An editor would review the copy within 30 days of its completion counting every letter (304,805) and every word (79,976). The middle word of each copy was checked to make sure it was the same as the middle word on the scroll being copied.
e. Revisions within 30 days of completion were allowed as follows. A scribe could fix up to three mistakes on a single page. If a single letter was added or left out and not fixed within 30 days of completion the manuscript had to be buried. (see The Story of The Bible by Larry Stone.)
During the New Testament era, Jesus (God in the flesh) grew up using the Old Testament scrolls and did not complain about errors in them. In fact, Jesus and the New Testament writers quoted from 34 of the 39 Old Testament books.
In his public speaking, Jesus confirmed the accuracy of the Old Testament by referring to many portions of scripture.
In defense of monogamous marriage for a lifetime, He spoke of the creation of the first man and his wife at the beginning. He also spoke of Abel, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Lot and Lot’s wife, Moses, Elijah and the widow in Zeraphath, Elisha, Naaman, David, Abiathar, Solomon, the Queen of Sheba, Zechariah, Daniel, Jonah, Satan, Sodom, Gommorah, The Law and the Prophets and Psalms.
He spoke of the people as historical figures and the places as historical places and He used the scriptures to confirm His identity and His mission.
Therefore, if we believe Jesus, we must believe what He said. He clearly endorsed the Old Testament as the inspired and prophetic Word of God. He said, “For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.” Matthew 5:18
In addition, the modern day discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls has confirmed the remarkable accuracy of the Old Testament which was maintained by following those strict scribal guidelines.
The New Testament has been copied so many times there are thousands of ancient manuscripts to compare to each other today which verify its accuracy as a whole. Yes, there are a few scriptures considered to be spurious by some scholars. These few verses are rejected or questioned by some scholars because they are not found in the oldest known manuscripts. The debate continues but, even if a few verses are spurious, they do not have the effect of cancelling the inspiration of God in the 99+% unquestioned portion of the New Testament. They simply reflect human error or misplaced zeal.
For further insight see:
Yahweh gave us His Word for a purpose and has preserved His Word for that same purpose. Let’s look at what the Word itself tells us about that purpose.
I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life. 1 John 5:13 NLT
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Tim 3:16-17 NIV
Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled. Romans 15:4 NLT
May you believe and receive eternal life. May you be fully equipped for every good work. May you have hope and be encouraged as you await the fulfillment of God’s promises!