Monday, July 23, 2012

The Power of One - Part 2

Here is part two of the mini-series about the Word of God. Once again, I'm not asking you to immediately believe what I write, but please, read it, think about it, and study it for yourself. It's way too important to miss!

In the last post, we discussed the importance of God's Word. We also determined that God is a God of order, not confusion, and therefore could not be the author of the many "versions" of the Bible that exist today. In fact, if we are to believe in absolute truth, then we must believe that God wrote one Bible. After all, the Bible says in John 17:17, " Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth." So, if God's Word is truth, there can be only one version of it.  From a human perspective, we often have different "sides of the coin", which could be called our "version of the truth". In reality, though, there can be only one truth. Just as there can be only one God and one way to Him, there can only be one Bible, the absolute truth on which our faith is based. Where do we find this absolute truth? Well, many people believe that this definitive truth, the perfect word of God, can be found only in the original Greek and Hebrew manuscripts. If this is the case, it's rather unfortunate for Christianity, isn't it? After all, we no longer have originals. The oldest manuscripts that we have are still merely copies of copies. Never fear, though, God's word still exists. How? Through His preservation. You see, God is, by nature, unable to lie. Absolute honesty. He is also all-powerful. Literally. Therefore, not only can He make unbreakable promises, but He can also keep them perfectly. 1 Peter 1:25  tells us,  "But the word of the Lord endureth for ever..." If God says something will happen, it will. Simple as that. In many places in the Bible, God promises that His word, His law, His commandments, His judgments, etc. will not pass away, but will exist forever. The question? Did He keep those promises? The answer? Absolutely!

One problem with all the version debate is that people often assume that with translation comes error and change. That argument, though, is useless, when we see that Jesus Himself translated the Word of God. (And since Jesus is God, you can be certain that He didn't make a mistake!) In fact, Matthew 4:4, ( But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.), is taken from Deuteronomy 8:3. Of course, the Old Testament was written in Hebrew, while Christ was speaking Greek. Did He translate His word? Was anything lost or misinterpreted? In reality, it's rather silly to assume that one must know Hebrew and Greek fluently in order to read the Word of God. Jesus Christ Himself shared the Word in the language of the people.

Now we have discussed the following points:
1. Every Word of God is important, so having the right Bible matters.
2. Only one "version" can be absolutely true.
3. God's absolutely perfect Word does exist today.
4. Translation does not necessarily corrupt the text.
5. Translation is a good thing., as it gives people the Word of God in their own language.

Again, I pray  that all of this has been said decently and in order. I pray that each word would appear to the read as it was written - the truth spoken in love. I know that I am just scratching the surface of the big, ugly wound on Christianity known as the "version debate". However, it my my fervent prayer and desire that each Christian would become confident in the Bible that they hold in their hands, and that their confidence would not be misplaced. While I cannot claim to speak with perfect knowledge,  I can tell you what I know, and allow you to study more from there.


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