IS THIS GOD’S WORD
By: Gary L. Rodgers
2 Timothy 3: 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for instruction in righteousness:
***The word reproof means to prove by conviction and to prove by testing.
17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
*** Note: “throughly” – In two bible websites and in two different publishers of the KJV of scripture I have found this word spelled in this manner. In one other KJV of scripture I have found this to be spelled as thoroughly. The meaning from Strong’s Concordance # 1822 in the Greek means to equip fully or finish out, accomplish or thoroughly furnish. In reading this verse from the 1611 version the word is spelled throughly, however as languages change in spelling and pronunciation, the KJV has been revised to reflect these changes.
*** 1) prophecy (From the Strong’s Concordance)
a) a message coming to us from divine inspiration declaring the purposes of God, whether by reproving and admonishing (rebuking, advising earnestly) the wicked, or comforting the afflicted, or revealing things hidden; esp. by foretelling future events
b) Used in the NT of the utterance of OT prophets
God has given us a marvelous book to have for our very own. The more that we read it and study it the more that we will come to realize that this is a special book that was given to us from a Holy God!
A word of caution –
In the past year or more I have come across some interesting studies by some learned men regarding the mathematics of the bible that are interesting and do provide some food for thought. However interesting, I have come to the conclusion that we need to be careful not to get so bogged down with all of these theories that we get away from good sound bible study and scripture research. Nothing should ever take precedence over an active study in the word of God.
No doubt there is a numerical structure in the bible; that cannot be denied; which by all indications shows that the bible is so uniquely written that only an all powerful being with thoughts far above our thoughts could have possibly written it. In fact I have read someone’s calculation that the probability of scripture having been written by man as a conspiracy to fool the world in a deliberate manner was so improbable that he determined the ratio of chance for this to happen to be one in a multiple of billions of chance. So in short, man is incapable of producing a book over a 1600 year period that harmonizes its truths in the same manner as that of the bible.
There are many proofs given to us that the bible came from God, and as a child of God we need to settle any questionable doubts regarding that. Satan will make attacks against God and His word and if any of us were to doubt God’s word, then how can we be comforted in knowing that we are saved? To doubt God’s Word is to call Him a liar.
The secular world does give us many proofs that the book that we hold in our hands is indeed the very Word of God. One of those ways is through the excavations to ancient civilizations in and around what we call the holy lands.
There are many Archeological discoveries that have presented scientific evidence that the bible is historically accurate; such as the discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls that were uncovered during a ten year period from 1946 – 1956.
With regard to the Dead Sea scrolls –
- Before these scrolls were discovered the primary manuscripts that we had in our possession at the time dated back to 900 A. D. While the Dead Sea scrolls dated to a time 1,000 years prior to this date.
- Of the 972 texts discovered during this find, all of the Old Testament books were found in the Dead Sea scrolls
- Amazingly when the Dead Sea scrolls were compared to the 900 A. D. manuscripts there were practically no differences found. The differences amounted to about 5% and that was mostly in word spelling. One example of this would be the 2 Timothy 3:17 verse discussed earlier.
I have also in the KJV, run across a word spelled s-h-e-w; show! Although it is spelled with an “e” instead of an “o” it is pronounced the same and means basically the same as our word s-h-o-w.
As you study God’s Word and begin to study facts about the bible you will soon learn that the letter “J” was not found in the ancient Hebrew or Greek alphabets. In fact it was not introduced into the English alphabet until nearly 400 years ago in 1634 as the last letter to be introduced into our 26 letter alphabet; 23 years after the translation of the King James Bible of 1611.
Interestingly as you study this wonderful book and things about the way that the bible was originally written and later how the Holy Spirit worked in the interpretation and writing of the first English speaking bible of the KJV in 1611, you will come away with a new and profound admiration of respect for this book handed to us by God Himself.
Of all the books that have ever been written the bible has had more attacks on it by Satan and his cohorts than any other book ever written. It has been challenged many times by individuals and organizations as to its authenticity and accuracy and has withstood these assaults each and every time.
It is vitally important that the child of God settle this matter within themselves that the bible is God’s inerrant word, given to us by the divine inspiration of God the Holy Spirit and that it is trustworthy now and forever in all spiritual matters. It is true and can be said that the bible is a book that is God breathed.
Our church has been going through a study called “40 DAYS IN THE WORD” and I would encourage anyone who is going through this book to incorporate several of the study methods into your habit of research and study. Your method of study will greatly depend upon your attitude and approach towards this wonderful book and your desire to know God’s Word. There is so much height and depth to God’s word that in a life-time we will never find either extreme. Some before us have tried and have opened up so much to us in their discoveries that one must conclude that there exists a supreme being who has formed the foundations of the world and hung the earth, stars and planets upon nothing and has given us a book that we can trust and rely upon.
When discussing the various methods of study from “40 DAYS IN THE WORD” in a Sunday morning class one person had made a comment that touched me deeply. They said that they were always told that they should read the bible but no one showed them how! Immediately my thoughts went back to the story of the Ethiopian Eunuch and Philip in Acts chapter 8: 30 to 31 and verse 35.
“ 30 And Philip ran thither to [him], and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? 31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.”
“ 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.”
God bless the Preacher and the brother or sister who takes the time to show another how to study God’s Word. May the Lord help us to be more attentive to this need!
In our Pastor’s message on (Jan. 27, 2013) from the book “40 DAYS IN THE WORD” I was so taken by the points noted that outlined the extreme care that was used when the scriptures were copied onto other scrolls. What fascinated me was how meticulous and detailed was the care that was taken to make such copies. Can you imagine having taken such care as to have a specified number of columns, number of lines and a specific number of letters on each line? In addition to this there was a specified black ink that had to be used and each time that the sacred name of God was written a fresh quill had to be used. Such reverence and care that these men took when copying the Word of God!
Equally noteworthy is that every word had to be copied letter by letter and nothing could be written from memory. After the work was complete the writers would count the number of times that each letter of the alphabet occurred in each of the books and if it didn’t come up to the known number that it should be, then the complete work was thrown away and it had to be done over again. Equally astonishing to me was that they knew what the middle letter of the first five books , (known as the Pentateuch) of the Old Testament was, and the middle letter of the entire book of the Old Testament (Torah) as well. They knew exactly how many letters there were to these known middle letters from both the front and back of the Old Testament; and if their count did not match this known information then again the entire work would be destroyed and re-written.
Imagine having copied by hand with a quill the Old Testament and after having done all of that, you went through the painstaking task of counting every letter only to find that it did not meet the requirements that were outlined to consider it a completed and accurate writing of scripture; and now you have to destroy the work and start over. Wow! Not only would this be a hard thing to do, but it is amazing to me that they would take such a task upon themselves. They didn’t have erasers, or white out or a program on a computer where they could edit and make corrections like we do today. I take my hat off to these men of ancient days that took such care to transcribe with reverence and great accuracy the Word of God. That is the way that it was done and I feel that it should still be done that way today.
Earlier we had gone over some of the evidence of scripture that the bible testifies of itself as to being God’s Word. Then we looked at the scientific evidence of Archeology as another means of proof, now let’s take a look at some of the Historic proofs:
The Bibles historic accuracy has been criticized repeatedly through the years, yet with the scientific proof of Archeology the historic details in scripture have withstood the assaults of these people.
- For years the critics have insisted that the story of Abram’s rescue of Lot in Genesis 14 was a farce. They said that the names of the kings listed were fictitious since they could not be confirmed through secular history. And that the King of Babylon serving the King of Elam was historically impossible. Since then other discoveries have proven these accusations wrong.
- For decades it was said by the critics that the writers of the bible invented the Hittite tribe. In 1911 – 1912 Professor Hugo Winchkler of Berlin documented and proved that such a tribe of people did exist through some ten thousand clay tablets that were found at the site of the Hittite capital.
- The existence of Solomon’s reign and his thousands of horses and chariots were in question until excavations revealed at Meggido one of the five chariot cities, thousands of horse stalls.
In scripture we find many eye-witness accounts of these historic events which cannot be denied.
These eyewitness accounts of scripture were written down by those who experienced them, thus giving us a first-hand account of specific events. The disciples were together in a room when they both heard and saw the resurrected Jesus appear before them. Such evidence and others are clearly recorded in scripture.
For years the atheists and the like have always pointed to carbon-dating as being a reliable method of testing, to date the past. In the Blue Letter Bible.org website I came across this interesting bit of information which says; “The radiocarbon method, for example, is now known to be so unreliable that many archaeologists have abandoned it altogether (Henry Morris with Gary Parker, What is Creation Science?, Revised edition, El Cajon, Calif.: Master Books, 1987, p. 14).”
Down through the centuries God has always had the ability to preserve His Word as the true reliable source of study for all of mankind. All we need to do is trust it.
Did the bible come from God? You better believe that it did! And you can rest assured that there is no other book like it anywhere. I’m thankful that we have such a wonderful God who is able to always leave for the world a testimony of His power and might. If you don’t believe me just take a look at the fragile Dogwood flower in the spring, the whole flower itself gives testimony that a Savior died for you and me.
May the Lord bless you in your study of God’s Word!