Trustworthy Biblical Foundations

3 If the foundations be destroyed, what can  the righteous do?
Psalms 11:3

I've seen the Christian foundation deathly eroded in the church today. I'm not referring to the object of our faith, but to the "more sure word of prophecy":

19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
    2 Peter 1:19

The Bible! Naturally this would be the object of Satan's focus, for as the Psalmist warned, saints are helpless if that which they stand upon is destroyed. I'm not saying we cannot stand if we aren't able to have a copy of the Bible, but we cannot stand if we've had our faith destroyed so we can't trust what we're reading. Today, through the many footnotes different translators or publishers have added in the margins of our Bibles, our faith has been eroded. For volume's sake, I will limit myself to the New Testament. We read our New Testaments through and through. Each time we do, we notice the side marginal information telling us "ancient manuscripts do not contain this passage". After a few times through, we have those spots memorized and think we have become a lot more knowledgeable. Little do we realize we've been duped by a very successful tactic of the enemy. We also hear messages or read other books that tell of various renderings of the passages that create a sense of distrust for the reliability of God's word. Since we have our confidence destroyed by this devilish undermining, we are unable to have faith in standing authoritatively on God's word. After all, we can't help but think, "How do I know if that is what was really said?" Our faith is destroyed and so needlessly. God has taken care to preserve His word for us with amazing accuracy and reliability! Stop and think, wouldn't a loving Father take special interest to see His very book to us was kept reliably for His children? Do you doubt He was willing or capable of protecting His own word for us?

Quote With Confidence!
I would like to start a look at this fact with a word directly from that reliable scripture:

16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
    Galatians 3:16

Notice the difference Paul is relying upon for the whole power of his argument. The whole basis is on the fact he's sure the singular word was originally used and not the plural. In the Hebrew, this was one letter difference. Paul is also relying on a manuscript that would have originally been written as far in the past to him as the New Testament is to us. Paul had no doubt he could trust the word that God had preserved for him to that degree!

We have another statement of confidence from Jesus:

18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.  
Matthew 5:18

Take special note that Jesus was specifically referring to the writing of the books. The jot and the tittle were printed lettering. The jot was the smallest letter and the tittle was a simple cross line mark. Jesus could also have inserted the warning at this point of the manuscripts not being absolutely trustworthy anymore. He would have known! Instead we find the very opposite is declared.

We don't find any quote of the Old Testament in the New Testament casting doubt upon what they were quoting. It was always quoted with confidence in its accuracy. If such couldn't be trusted, wouldn't there have arisen even one statement of challenge? Such implications are to be found everywhere today amongst Christian preachers. Take heed, the implications of God's providential protection of His word are loud and clear!

Know What You're Reading!
I get a sick gut feeling when I see people carrying around their copies of The Living Bible as if they were real Bibles. They're not! There are people totally ignorant of the fact The Living Bible (TLB) they read regularly is something akin to a commentary. It's one man's opinion as to what verses in the Bible mean to him. That is what a paraphrase is.
Now consider this verse:

2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:   
1 Peter 2:2

This is powerfully put together. The "milk of the word" is the Bible. For a healthy baby, we can swap the mother's real milk for formula and the baby won't notice too much. The nutritional consequences are still to be felt however. As Christians, we can substitute God's real given food for something that poses itself as a good substitute. At what consequence? Peter makes the call for the "sincere milk".  I looked up the meaning of that word translated as sincere in this passage, it was defined as, "unadulterated". Mixing the pure with the impure is adulteration. Mixing men's opinions with God's word and relying upon that as the food is adulteration of that "sincere milk".

Adding & Deleting
Take a quick look at a warning in Revelation:

18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
    Revelation 22:18,19

Paraphrases do this and so do many versions. In a less obvious way, editions with notes in the margins telling us not to trust some section of reliable scripture are also taking away from God's word. Reader's Digest came out with its own shortened version of the Bible. I looked up these verses in Revelation. Guess what, they took them out.
Another pertinent passage:

6 Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.  
 Proverbs 30:6

This word addition is done to God's words through various means to manipulate people into accepting certain lines of interpretation. Young Christians will pick up these Bibles and read them. They're often unaware the actual word of God never even said what was added. They think God's word says what they read and so with that adulterated milk they now have a faulty moral foundation established. It has put a false calcium, as it were, into the bony frame that will have to have special work done later to remove that false calcium and replace it with true healthy stuff.

Critical Doctrines
I'm going to pick on one particular hot doctrine of this age and walk a journey in the Bible corruptions we see. This is an example my wife actually encountered with one lady. She was ignorantly using The Living Bible as her Bible. She didn't know it wasn't really a Bible. She founded her faulty understanding of women preachers on that corrupted "Bible". She had no idea it was wrong for women to be pastors because of what she read in The Living Bible.

First let's see the pertinent passage from:
The King James Version:

11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. 12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.   
1 Timothy 2:11,12

The Living Bible:

11 Women should listen and learn quietly and humbly. 12 I never let women teach men or lord it over them. Let them be silent in your church meetings.   
1 Timothy 2:11,12

The New Testament - An Expanded Translation - Wuest:

11 Let a woman be learning in silence with every subjection. Moreover, I do not permit a woman to be a teacher [in an official position exercising authority over the man in matters of Church doctrine or discipline], neither to exercise authority over a man, but to be in silence,   
    1 Timothy 2:11,12

There's much I could comment on, but I'll endeavor to be brief. Notice the addition in The Living Bible of being silent in the church meetings. The original manuscripts don't contain anything like this. The passage in the KJV, which follows the original manuscripts, allows you to see the silence called for regards all applications of women teaching men and usurping authority over them. Not just in church meetings, which The Living Bible helps lead to that conclusion.
The Wuest Expansion specifically puts into the passage specifical limits to Wuest's personal view. A young Christian reads something like that and places confidence in his translation abilities, not discerning that the addition isn't a biblical limitation. They fail to realize the original text never carried that meaning in the actual words used. These are dangerous distortions that are taking place through too many Bibles.

The Mathematical Testimony
There are so many items to be discussed on this issue. It would take volumes to cover this critical area of our faith. Areas such as different sources of old Bible manuscripts, early translations made of the New Testament books such as the Peshita and the Syrian translations, the "Early Church Fathers" quotations of the verses they were talking about. (Which quotations amount to all but 11 verses of the entire New Testament.) Early church service books. The spread of the manuscripts and their harmony being in such diversant parts of the world at that time. Even the grossly corrupted manuscripts shed light as to where such distortions were taking place and the nature of such distortions.

Beyond the ancient aspects, there are the modern issues of methods of translation. The effects and spirit of the significant textual critics that have shaped the way we see Bible manuscripts today such as Westcott and Hort, Dean John W. Burgon and the two main textual lines being the Nestle-Aland Text and the Majority Text or Textus Receptus.

Passing these for now, I want to consider one rather rarely known glory God put in His word that's still found there. The New Testament is written in Greek. The Greek alphabet also served as their numerals. Which would be like our "A" is 1 and "B" is 2, etc. That means the entire New Testament is a mathematical picture. For example, the name of Jesus in Greek is the sum of 888.  We see the number of the name calling for wisdom to discern in Revelation 13:18. The number of the beast being 666. Different subjects come out as different mathematical basic numbers, such as those discussing "law" work out with various multiples of the number for law. When issues cross such as law and grace, you find characteristics such as the number for grace being a multiple with the number for law. Even passages such as that found in John 21:6-11, where it tells us the exact number of fish caught being 153, shows God's protection. That particular passage is filled with multiplications of 153 throughout the different sentences. If you changed a single word. The mathematical picture would show serious fractures. Repeated errors would totally collapse the mathematical picture.

Such mathematical imagery shows God's hand in the writing, for no man could naturally talk sensibly and be speaking mathematically consistent equations as he jumped through different issues. This is beyond man, even with computers as yet! It also gives us scientific evidence to rest our faith in of the proof of God's providential preservation of His Word.

Now seriously, don't you think a God who could write such a marvelous mathematical/language book, could also preserve His word for us? I have no doubt!

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Free to Copy under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND3.0 License by Darrell Farkas
All quotations are from the King James Version of the Bible

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