The Reliability of Scripture

The Nugget:

Isa 40:8  The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.

My Comment:

The evidence is clear:  the Bible is reliable. Its contents are settled. Our generally available English translations are quite accurate, though my scholar friend Dr. Malcolm Lavender has provided for us an even more accurate translation of the New Testament which is rigorously true to the grammar of the Greek text. There is no question about how many books belong in the Bible.

Nevertheless, claims are made by false religions and  false cults which seek to re-write the provisions of the Abrahamic Covenant to include themselves and exclude the Jewish people (as is done by some Muslim apologists), or which seek to add additional books to the Bible (as is done by Roman Catholic authorities, Anglicans, and no doubt others) called the Old Testament Apocrypha.

The False Claims:

Nayem Khan posted this comment on the “Christianity and Islam Friendly Debate” site on February 1, 2018:

“On My Previous Post I Posted About The Hate Jews had Toward that they even Changed the Scripture.”

My Answer:

The Hebrew text of the Old Testament and the Greek text of the New Testament have not been changed to any significant degree. This can be seen by comparing the very oldest manuscripts with newer manuscripts. What variations there are are very minor. Such changes are recorded in more scholarly resources both in print and in digital formats.

Modern study Bibles will answer the questions you raise regarding the account of Ishmael and Hagar in their accompanying footnotes.

The issues raised above are the result of misreading and misunderstanding the text of the Bible.

The Scriptures have not been changed. Anyone who believes that the Bible has been changed needs to provide academically credible documentation from scholarly sources which document facts.

A Muslim Reply:

ابو فاطمة firstly, the christiandom can’t agree which one is the real bible. i have christian friends who said this “one” is the real bible don’t read that “one”. secondly, the number of books comprising the bible is debatable, some say it’s 66 some say this number, some say this. thirdly laws considered divine in the torah were changed by paul in the new testament. fourthly, jesus did not speak greek and we can’t deny that a lot is lost in translations. fifthly, the practices (ways of worship) of christians during the time of jesus are totally different from what we see today. now if they can change something like this, how easy would it be to change the story of hajar and ismael.

My Answer:

All of your points are either mistaken or misguided. Just because some churches and denominations are mistaken about what books belong in the Bible does not mean we do not know what books belong in the Bible. There is no disagreement about the fact that the New Testament contains 27 books, the books we now have. As for the Old Testament, the 39 books of the Hebrew canon recognized in Israel are the correct books. The additional books included by the Septuagint translators are of historical value and also religious value but they are not divinely inspired Scripture.

The laws of the Old Testament were not changed by Paul. Paul was authorized by Jesus Christ Himself in person (Acts 9:15), for it is Jesus Christ who commissioned Paul to be a missionary to the Gentiles. Paul received further direct revelation from Jesus Christ regarding the content of the Gospel message Paul was commissioned to teach and preach. Furthermore, Paul was fully recognized and acknowledged by the original apostles of Jesus Christ and was given the right hand of fellowship by them. Paul’s false accusers are the ones guilty of claiming that Paul changed the law of Moses. All these things are most clear to anyone who has carefully read the record preserved in the New Testament. Jesus Christ came to fulfill the law not destroy the law. What Jesus said in Mark 7:19 shows that it was Jesus, not Paul, who set the precedent regarding which parts of the Law of Moses were now fulfilled and so set aside. The laws of Moses still apply to the Jews but do not apply to Christians, and did not apply to the Gentile converts under the ministry of Paul as was authoritatively settled by the verdict of the council reported in Acts 15, as against the Judaizers who mistakenly attempted to require obedience to the Law of Moses as a requirement for salvation.

It is most certain that Jesus Christ did speak Greek on occasion, for the figures of speech present in the Greek text of the New Testament could not have arisen in the process of translation from Aramaic, as thoroughly discussed by the great Greek scholar and grammatical authority Nigel Turner, in his work titled “Grammatical Insights,” page 181, and volume 4 of his book, “Grammar of New Testament Greek,” page 38.

The variety of the forms of worship among different groups of Christians are no argument against the truth, the historicity, the validity, and the accuracy of the New Testament. Religious groups are not divinely inspired. Denominations are not divinely inspired. The Bible is divinely inspired. We test the truth claims of individuals, groups, churches, denominations by comparing them to what the Bible itself teaches.

It is the Moslems, thousands of years after the fact, that are attempting to change the story of Hagar and Ishmael as it is given in the Hebrew Bible. The Bible is very clear that in answer to Abraham’s intercessory prayer, God established a separate Covenant with or for Ishmael, and that this Covenant is not to be confused with or joined to the original Covenant God made with Abraham and Sarah. Isaac is the son of promise and the heir of the Abrahamic Covenant as is evident by all that the rest of the Bible has to say on the subject. No one has authority to come along at a later day to change the oath-sworn Covenant given by God Himself to Abraham.

 

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