30 Seeking God through the Word.
Seeking God through the Word.
It could come as a shock to many when they discover that the Bible that they learned to love and trust is revealed to have shortcomings, inclusions or omissions that had not been part of the original autographs of the New Testament documents. One should honestly ask how that impacts on one’s mind and heart. Does that cause a breach in the trust of the word of God or even in God Himself?
Paramount is that the study of the Bible and all intercourse with the Bible is not about the Bible per se. It is all about the AUTHOR of the Bible Himself. It is all about the One and only, the Holy God who revealed Himself as the Triune God. The Bible is only a medium to know God Himself better. To help establish a living relationship with Him which would be enjoyed every day, even into eternity.
It is sad to notice that there are learned scholars who study the Bible, who might even teach preachers themselves yet have no relationship with God, or even doubt His existence! How sad this could be. On the other hand there are ordinary people reading the Bible but have experienced the truth of Jesus’ words in Mat.11:25: “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.“
Something else to bear in mind is that the first document that God Himself wrote down with His own finger, the ten commandments were shattered on the ground even before it could be read to the recipients. (Ex.32:15-19) God did write the commandments a second time, but these tablets of stone are also lost. (Ex.34:1) For the rest God made use of man to write down His will and His words. I read of only once that Jesus had written anything, and that was in the dust. (John 8:6,8.) It was God’s own decision to employ man, man with all his faults and imperfections. That there happened mistakes with the recording of the Word of God, and with the copying and transportation of the documents of the New Testament is a fact. Yet if we can understand what God wanted us to know, His mission with incorporating man was successful.
There is no reason to doubt the integrity knowledge or expertise of the compilers of the text at present used by the Bible Societies. That the text of Erasmus gained popularity when there was no competition, is understandable. But we need not cling to his text as though it is the only legitimate Greek text to be used for translation of the New Testament. One could also ask which of his versions should be elevated to such a high esteem. The first one in which he made up his own Greek? Or the second with 400 alterations, or the third with 118 alterations and the elaboration of 1John 5:6-7 while he himself doubted the authenticity of the manuscript given to him? Should we accept the fourth with 90 alterations in Revelation alone? He even made a new mistake by changing εν αις to εμαις in Rev.2:13! It is not my intention to belittle the Textus Receptus. At a time when no other was available, it played a vital role. But we need to honestly look at the facts and accept the integrity of the compiled text of the United Bible Societies. After all, they have access to so much more than Erasmus had almost 600 years ago!
Most important is that everyone studying the Bible should adhere to Eph.5:17: “Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”
This is a personal journey with God.
This blog will be used to discuss specific differences, looking at the hard evidence. May you all be greatly rewarded in your study of the Word of God, and in the discovery of His perfect will for your own personal life.
Soli Deo Gloria!