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Think About Eternity - Statement of Faith: God's Word

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Our Statement of Faith, Explicated, and With References:
God's Word

by Timothy Oliver

The Bible, inerrant as originally given, is God’s verbally inspired, complete revelation to mankind, and has been passed down through time to our day in a form sufficiently pure as to warrant complete faith in it, and full obedience to it.

“But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God” (1 Peter 1:20-21).
“Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust” (2 Peter 1:2-4).
“God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son,” (Heb. 1:1-2a).
“As for Me, this is My covenant with them,” says the LORD: “My Spirit which is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your offspring, nor from the mouth of your offspring’s offspring,” says the LORD, “from now and forever” (Isaiah 59:21).
“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Though written by men in their own language and with their own expressions and styles, the books of the Bible and the Bible itself are not the products of merely human authorship. The Holy Spirit of God superintended their writing, so working in the authors that what they wrote could be rightly described as “God-breathed.”

No verse or passage in scripture emphatically declares that divine revelation has ceased; no passage forbids any possibility of additional revelation. God spoke over a period of about fifteen-hundred years to produce the Bible. Some have argued that if He spoke for that long, why should we think He has stopped? But the Bible itself makes plain that there was a gap of about four-hundred years of “Divine silence” between the last of the Old Testament writings and the advent of Christ. Moreover, even those who claim divine revelation today usually say God was silent for almost 1800 years or more before their “modern revelations.” So one might just as well ask them, “If He was silent that long, and indeed since His last silence was longer than all the time in which He spoke to produce the Bible, why should we expect Him to be giving modern revelations today?

The real answer, however, as to why most Christians today do not believe God is giving additional, modern revelations, is in the nature and fullness of what He has already revealed. God’s revelation has always looked toward a goal—His own glory, in the revelation of Himself and the salvation of man. Under the prophets, revelation was piecemeal and fragmentary, line upon line, precept upon precept, and never complete. But now the goal of revelation has been fully accomplished in Christ. Jesus fully reveals the Father, and He did all that was necessary to save us. In the New Testament record of, and explanation of, Christ, God “has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness.” Therefore, while the possibility of further revelation may be open, there is really no reason to expect or anticipate it. Certainly, anything claiming to be revelation from God must be measured and judged according to the standard He has already set forth in the Bible.

God has also preserved His Word for us in a reliable and trustworthy form. Not only did God promise to so preserve it, but also there is abundant physical evidence to show that He kept His promise. For instance, there is the Isaiah scroll found among the Dead Sea Scrolls. Dated at 100 b.c., its text would be virtually identical to that which Jesus read and validated during His earthly ministry. It also predates the oldest Isaiah manuscript available to the King Kames translators by 1000 years. Yet apart from occasional spelling variations, there are no substantial differences between the two that could affect their meaning.

Most of us have at some time or another played the parlor game where one person whispers a message in one person’s ear, who whisper’s it in another’s, and so on, around the circle, until it returns to the person who originated it. It is always amusing to discover the variations that occur in the process of the message being transferred from person to person. Now imagine a transfer process involving a 1000-year period. If left to human devices alone, we cannot imagine any message surviving intact, nor probably in an even recognizable form. Obviously the transmission of the Isaiah text in so nearly perfect a form over such a long period of time could only happen by Divine intervention.

Another argument raised against the Bible is the number of translations through which it has passed. Yes, there have been many translations of the Bible over the centuries, but it is not as if the current translations are all “translations of a translation of a translation,” ad infinitum. Modern translations generally employ the earliest manuscript evidence available, some sources dating as close as 75 to 150 years after the original manuscripts. In terms of both the quality and the enormous quantity of manuscripts, manuscript fragments, and quotations of the scriptures in the writings of early church fathers, there is far more abundant and superior evidence for the authenticity and accuracy of the Bible’s text than for any other document coming down to us from antiquity.

The real problem with the Bible is that men do not like what it teaches and do not want to be held accountable to it. But God has so inspired, and so preserved, His Word, as to leave no legitimate excuse for disbelieving it or disobeying it.


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