Psalms 119:88

Psalms 119:88 says, ďPsa 119:88Quicken me after thy lovingkindness; so shall I keep the testimony of thy mouth.Ē

The word quicken means to make alive. Life comes from God gives us life because he loves us. But there is something we need to understand and that is that all men are sinners and one of the consequences of sin is physical and spiritual death. If you donít have Christ you donít have spiritual life. Sin also explains the reason men grow old and die. It did not happen before sin entered the world. But God has a solution the forgiveness of sins in Jesus. Remember Jesus died but He also rose from the grave. Those who trust in Him are quickened. They are made alive. Spiritually you receive life immediately and also one day in Godís time according to Godís plan and Godís promise you will receive a perfect glorified body.

Now this gift of eternal life that is given through Christ should be a reason and a motivation for a person to do what is right to keep and to obey the word of God. If it does not motivate you as a Christian then that means you donít appreciate what God has done for you. In lovingkindness God gives us life and that makes us want to serve Him to do what is right.

Psalms 119:89 says, ďPsa 119:89LAMED. For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.Ē

Now we come to a change in topic from talking about being giving life and doing what is right to the preservation of Godís Word. The two truths are actually connected. After all if Godís word is preserved then its easy to read and to exactly what Godexpects of you in terms of right and wrong. If Godís word is not preserved how do you know what has been changed, or altered, or lost in the books and chapters of the bible and that would included passages that deal with right and wrong, Godís commandments. So it is an important issue.

Now there are only two views a person can hold. 1. Godís word is perfectly preserved and without error. 2. Godís Word is not preserved and therefore has errors in it.

In studying the issue of the preservation of Godís word there are 2 things to consider: 1. Whatí Godís Word says and 2 the evidence and when I say evidence I mean the historical and archeological evidence.

This topic has a lot of information too it. But Iím going to try to make it as simple as possible. First letís look at what Godís Word says.

Psalms 119:89 says, ďPsa 119:89LAMED. For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.Ē

The word settled is a word that can be translated pillar. It also means established, standing, appointed. So this verse makes it clear that Godís Word is in heaven. Itís there itís not going away, man is not corrupting it, altering it, changing it, destroying it.

But what about on the earth is Godís Word preserved on the earth? Psalms 12:6-7 says, ďPsa 12:6The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Psa 12:7Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.Ē

Which generation is being talked about here? Is talking about a specific generation the generation of men that were on the earth when those words were written or is it talking about simply which ever generation is the present generation? Well if we take the words at face value it says this generation. It doesnít say the present generation only. So this generation is the what ever generation is on the earth in other words all generations of men and mankind.

How about what Jesus said in the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. They all have these words worded the same way. Matthew 24:35 says, ďMat 24:35Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.Ē Jesus also promised inMatthew 5:18, ďMat 5:18For 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.Ē

So I Think the bible makes it very clear that God has promised to perfectly preserve all His Word without any errors whatsoever.

Now lets look at a story in Jeremiah. Jeremiah 36:27-28 says, ďJer 36:27Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, after that the king had burned the roll, and the words which Baruch wrote at the mouth of Jeremiah, saying, Jer 36:28Take thee again another roll, and write in it all the former words that were in the first roll, which Jehoiakim the king of Judah hath burned.Ē

In this story God gave Jeremiah His Word. It was written down given to the king and the king destroyed it. So what did God do? God gave the exact same words again. So this illustrates that an all powerful God is perfectly and easily capable of preserving His Word. That includes overcoming stumbling blocks such as scribal errors, printing press errors, translation errors, the barriers of language, or even people out right trying to destroy the word. These things are not stumbling blocks or difficulties to God.

Now lets consider these verses. Revelation 22:18-19 says, ďRev 22:18For 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: Rev 22:19And 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.Ē

These verses imply that the word of God was completed with the book of Revelation. If you add or take away from the book then youíre attacking the preservation of Godís Word. Now these verses make it clear Godís Word is complete. So how do you address the issue of other writings that people claim are part of Godís Word. The answer is simple they are not part of Godís Word. One issue is some books that are actually referred to in the bible itself like the book of Jasher for one example

2 Samuel 1:18 says, ď2Sa 1:18(Also he bade them teach the children of Judah the use of the bow: behold, it is written in the book of Jasher.)Ē

In this verse a book is referred to called the book of Jasher. The thing to realize is that the Bible never says the book of Jasher is part of the word of God. It just mentions it as a book. Its like the situation of king Solomon and his hundreds of wives. There mentioned in the bible but the fact that it is mentioned does not mean God approved of it anymore than mentioned a book by reference means that itís the word of God.

Hereís another issue. John 21:25 says, ďJoh 21:25And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.Ē

Not everything that Jesus ever said and did when He was on this earth is recorded in the Bible. In fact we also know that the apostle Paul wrote other letters to the churchís which we donít have today. Do these two issues mean that Godís word is not preserved or that there are words or books missing from Godís Word. No. It simply means wehave the words and books that God wants us to have. Thatís what we have. God has given us exactly what He wants us to have.

†††††† Looking at these verses we can conclude the Bible makes it very clear God has perfectly preserved His Word without error.

Here is the thing about preservation, if Godís word has errors in it how do you know what the errors ††are? Maybe you think you know but maybe there is some other text out there some different version that says something different than any of the texts we already have and it has yet to be discovered. And thatís where the problem comes in. How do you even know how to be saved if there are errors in the Bible? You donít. You donít know if those verses that talk about and explain the gospel are accurate? Maybe the originals said something different how do you know if itís not preserved. How do you know the crucifixion even happened? How do you know Jesus rose from the grave? Maybe those are just stories someone added later? Do you see? In other words there is no way to know or to believe for certain if there are errors and if the word of God is not preserved not according to that philosophy. But the Bible makes the claim that Godís Word is preserved.

Preservation is not its not preservation in the sense of a mummy that is preserved but still slowly decaying but its preservation in the sense of perfect preservation without error.

Preservation does not mean that the old copies of the word are not going to fall apart from use and the ware of time but it means that as God had his word copied through the use of scribes and now in modern times through printing presses God would ensure there would always be accurate copies made, copies made without errors, thatís preservation.

New copies have to be made because the old ones get used and worn out.

When it comes to what the Bible say its pretty easy to explain God is God. God is holy God is all powerful and God is faithful so God always does what He says Heís going to do. God has clearly promised to preserve His word and He has done that. Really itís an issue of faith either you believe what God says or you donít. Either you believe that God is faithful or you think God isnít faithful.

††††††† Just think about it. What good would it do for God to give His Word to us but not preserve it. Well it would benefit the prophets and the apostles who directly who directly received his word and their associates and the early believers who say and read the original autographs but how would it benefit the rest of the world?

††††††† God wants people to know the truth. Godís wants people to be saved. God wants people to have confidence that the truth is true.

††††††† So now Iím going to briefly surmise the facts about the archeological and historical evidence. First I want to say this, there is nothing wrong with looking at the evidence and studying the evidence to help you understand the truth.

Doubting Thomas did this.He wanted to see the resurrected Jesus, the empty tomb wasnít enough. He had to put his hand in the nail prints in Jesus hand thrust his hand in Jesus side where the spear had pierced him and this helped his faith.

††††††† John 20:24-29, ďJoh 20:24But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. Joh 20:25The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. Joh 20:26And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. Joh 20:27Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. Joh 20:28And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. Joh 20:29Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.Ē

Jesus didnít condemn Thomas for wanting to see evidence. Observing and analyzing the evidence helped Thomas to believe. Of course those who simply believe are much more blessed Jesus said because faith please God. But God does allow and encourage us to use critical thinking skills and to examine the evidence.

The thing about the archeological and historical evidence is that no matter how much you study it and how much you learn about it youíre still going to have to ultimately make a decision to either believe or not believe what God said about preserving HIis word. For several reasons: 1. No matter how much you research youíre not going to know everything. Youíre not going to be able to account for every single scribe and every single time the Bible was copied or printed thatís just not possible. We do have a lot of evidence, thousands of ancient manuscripts to look at and compare but we donít have every single copy that was ever made or every bit of information about each scribe and the details of what happened. Only God knows all that. 2. We donít have the original autographs and that means we donít have the original first copies of the Bible that were written down. So ultimately we have to take it on faith that the copies say the same thing as the originals. Even if you had the 2nd copy and not the originals it would still be a copy wouldnít have the original to make a comparison as to whether they were the same, not even if the copy was copied and dated to the very oldest date possible still its just a copy and so we have to make a decision to believe or not to believe in Jesus and His promises.

Why do people choose to not believe That God has preserved His word? I think there are 2 reasons or you could say two kinds of people. First of all there are those who are influenced and persuaded by the intellectual arguments of the non believers. But there are also those who simply donít believe in Jesus. They donít have faith in God. Therefore they are looking for a reason to not believe. You can always find a reason to not believe, A way to interpret the evidence to try and make it support your un belief and thatís what they do. Thatís where this whole philosophy of textual criticism came from. It came from people who were unbelievers. Of course an unbeliever is going to say ah Godís word isnít preserved. If it notís preserved then God isnít holy because He doesnít keep His promises. Maybe there is and maybe there isnít even a God and so I donít have to listen to Him and that means I donít have to repent of my sins and that means my sins arenít even sins and all I can keep enjoying them. Thatís whats really going on.

Now the truth is most people that approach the issue of the historical and archeological evidence are either going to approach it believing the Word of God is preserved or believing it has errors. Now one could argue there are ancient manuscripts where scribes made errors or alterations and there are manuscripts which have passages missing. Yes there are. But having a few, a minority of manuscripts in such a circumstance as compared to a majority of manuscripts which all say the same thing over a period of thousands of years and in different languages where does the evidence lead too. If you went by percentages and 95% of the ancient manuscripts all say the same thing and the other 5% donít then the conclusion is sometimes human make mistakes and sometimes those mistakes are done on purpose. But for the most part the manuscripts agree. So the evidence is in favor of the preservation of Godís Word. If 95% of the manuscripts did not agree with eachother but only 5% agreed then the opposite would be true. But the opposite is not true. The majority of the manuscripts are in agreement with each other the great vast majority. Thatís why itís called the Majority Text.

Now heres the way to explain the few texts with errors and passages missing. Youhave to realize that not every human being is honest being or a lover of truth or motivated by impartiality. This explains why we would expect to find some texts that have been altered and reject by Christians over the past thousands of years.

 

 

 

 

The problem we have today is most people hear the arguments of the textual critics but they donít hear the arguments of textual preservation. Now textual criticism is actually a philosophy that came about in the 1880ís. Thatís when the issue came up of these 3 Greek texts which have their origin in Alexandria Egypt where at the time they were written there was cult called the Gnostics headed by a guy named Origin. One of their basic beliefs was to deny the deity of Christ. So the Gnostics made some copies of the bible, copies that were never used and therefore never wore out. So copies are dated older than many of the accurate copies. But modern scholars argue that older is better. Older is not better older is simply older. If you have something old and you donít use it its going to last longer. Thatís why these rejected manuscripts have lasted. And to be honest its these Alexandrian texts that all of the modern translations of the Bible are based on.

Thatís why I choose to use an English translation of the bible done by people that I know were true believersand whose translation was influenced by the belief that Godís Word is without error. Such people were very careful to be as accurate as possible in doing a word for word translation.

If you choose to use a different translation thatís up to you but remember most if not all of the modern translations out there are done by non believers or people who believe Godís word is not preserved or only partially preserved and has errors in it. Therefore there going to make changes to it. Thatís why I use the King James Bible. Now I didnít really say much about ancient Greek and Hebrew texts. I could have. I could have talked about all the codexs, which isa term used for ancient manuscripts and things like the dead sea scrolls but thereís plenty of videos out there on you tube about that stuff. Itís very easy to research.

Psalms 119:89 says, ďPsa 119:89LAMED. For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.Ē

It really comes down to faith. Either you believe in Jesus or your do not. Now if you do not have faith in Christ I encourage you to put your faith in Christ today. Today is the day of salvation. Christ died for your sins, rose from the grave defeating death and Jesus Christ wants to forgive you and give you eternal life.

 

 

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