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We are about to test different Bible translations to see how they are different. We will also see if the message remains the same. As I have already mentioned in the previous study, the best test is NOT the age of the documents copied from. The real test is in the integrity of the message itself.
But first, we need to know something very important. Why was the Bible written in the first place?
Jesus said the following:
38 And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not. 39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. 40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.
We need to understand that the scriptures testify of Jesus. They are a witness to tell us about Him. The scriptures are a messenger sent to speak to us in the name of the one who sent the message.
So, how do we know which messenger is telling the true words of the one who sent them? We need to have an understanding of the one who sent them. In other words, to know what version of the Bible tells the truth about Jesus we need to know Jesus.
This brings up a whole new problem. How do we know God without the Bible? Is it even possible? Consider that the Bible speaks of people like Abraham. He knew God as a close friend, long before the Bible was written. It’s obvious that the answer is yes, it is possible to know God without the Bible. But, that does not make the Bible less important in any way.
2 Timothy 3:15-17
15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
The Bible is able to test doctrine and give us information in a way that can refute false gods and teachings. We can use the witness of the Bible to rebuke spirits and the doctrines of devils. We may be able to know God without the Bible. But, the scriptures are certainly useful to know Him in a more solid way.
Let me explain that. Let’s say we have 3 prophets who preach about the one true God. Now, let’s say each one tells a different story of who God is. Which one is telling the truth? We would have no way to know. So our first instinct will be to accept the one who teaches what we already believe ourselves. But, what if we were wrong?
Who could tell us, and how could they convince us that we are wrong?
The reason the Bible was written was to be a witness to us. Basically, all 3 of those prophets are speaking of a different god. The Bible is one prophet among those 3. So it is just another witness telling another story.
It isn’t the fact that the Bible is a witness that makes it unique. What makes it unique is the message it delivers, how it does so, and with what accuracy it does. So again, how could we come to believe something that we don’t already know? Simple, we hear about it and then we test it.
This is how we come to faith.
17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Like I said, what if we already believe one of the other “prophets?” This can taint our view of every other prophet, including the Bible. Since we already believe that we know what is true we immediately shut our ears to anything else.
We think this is safe and that is why we do it. But, it is actually dangerous to us. It seems safe because if we DO believe something that is true we can not be tricked if we hear something else. But, it is dangerous, because if we DON’T believe something that is true then we can not hear the real truth.
To have real safety we need to be solid in our beliefs. That way we are able to stand against tricks when they do come. We should not shut our ears and pretending there is nothing that could oppose us, though.
I have found that when we do not listen to others it is often not because we know that they are wrong. It is normally because we believe that we already know better and don’t want to entertain any thought otherwise. Again, this is because we don’t really have the solid belief that we think we do.
After we open our ears we will see exactly how strong or weak we are. If we are weak then we will have an opportunity to explore the area of weakness to become stronger. If we are strong then we can rest even more sure knowing that what we believe is true, beyond any doubt.
Now, let’s start examining the Bible. First, why was the Bible written in the first place?
That you might believe and have life:
31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.
That you may know what to believe:
14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? 17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
That you would be informed well enough to preach, teach, rebuke, correct, and exhort:
2 Timothy 4:2
2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.
That you would know God and His ways by example:
1 Corinthians 10:11
11 Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
That you would know how to walk pleasing to God:
9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. 10 With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. 11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
To preserve the knowledge of God among the people, lest we forget Him and His word:
1 Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.
To make it known with certainty who tells the truth about God:
3 It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, 4 That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.
That we would become of one mind and one body, all in agreement:
1 John 1:3
3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; 21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
Nothing can a witness faster than the question their integrity. If a witness is caught in a lie then they can not be trusted. Their entire testimony will seem questionable at best and invalid at worst.
The Bible has endured A LOT of testing in this area! In fact, in recent days a visual representation of 439 supposed contradictions in the Bible has been online. The KJV was the translation used to quote from.
This is quite an accusation! But, when you begin to examine these contradictions you begin to understand that they are not contradictions. They are misunderstandings on the part of the one doing the accusing.
In fact, if you absolutely must know each one listed and an explanation of why they are not contradictory then see them here: Answering Skeptics.
The integrity of the KJV has held its own for MANY centuries against this harsh testing. It has been slandered far more than any other writing. So don’t take the word of someone that says it is full of contradictions. Don’t even accept their “examples” without first examining them very closely!
There is also the testing of the integrity of the Bible on moral grounds. This type of testing, however, is a simple “I know better than you” type of thing. Basically, man asserts his morality to be greater than the God of the Bible. Of course, this forgets where morality, right and wrong, come from. So this is not a good test.
The Bible has also been tested based on those who use it. In other words, there is a belief that the Bible is guilty through association with others who are guilty. This test is also an invalid test. The Bible stands on its own and the deeds of men who preach the Bible does not change the message of the Bible itself.
So one of the only valid tests is that of contradictions or falsehoods. The Bible has passed all such tests, even if it is asserted that it hasn’t. If you would like to see a list of things that skeptics say are false in the Bible, with the explanation of how they are actually true, then I recommend finding a course on apologetics. I am currently working on one for On The Line Ministries.
The best test of the Bible is its ability to speak the truth about things at the time of its writing, as well as historical things, and the future. Because the Bible claims to be the word of God it must be able to tell the future with 100% accuracy.
Again, in this test, the KJV is accurate thus far. In fact, even when it seemed impossible for things in the Bible to happen, those things did happen.
Take Daniel chapter 11 for example. While there are still things to come it is clear that much of the chapter has already happened. This includes the rise and fall of empires not yet known at the time of Daniel. Not only does the chapter include kingdom events, but also the specific events in the lives of the kings. View this link for more information on that, and to know where we currently are in the prophetic timeline: Daniel And 70 Weeks.
So the Bible has been tested and proven to be trustworthy. But there is one more problem. One method that Satan uses to hide the truth is by telling lies that look very similar to the truth. In this case, that means Satan will try to bring other witnesses (bibles) that are very close to the proven one and say that they are the same. But they are not.
The next study will explain that in detail.
July 12, 2015 at 3:22 am | | No comment