Daily Bible Nugget #399, Psalm 119:89

The Nugget:

Psalm_119:89 LAMED. For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.

My Comment:

The Bible, the very written Word of God, has not been changed.

Evidence demonstrates that over the nearly 2000 years that have intervened since the New Testament portion of the Bible was written, it has not been changed. Both the Hebrew text and the Greek text are well-established as evidenced by the manuscript witness to the Bible text. No other ancient work of literature has anything near the quantity, quality, and ancientness of manuscript evidence that the Bible has.

Nevertheless, not only Muslim apologists, but supposedly Christian teachers claim that the Bible has changed.

One such Christian writer who seems to be cited quite often on the “Islam and Christianity Debate Group” discussion threads I saw today is Dr. Bart Ehrman. I wonder if 2 Peter 2:1,  and 2 Peter 2:2    may well apply to him. His falling away from the faith is surely being used by Muslims to discredit the Bible.

I wrote against him before in January of 2006 on the Timebomb website religious discussion board. Let me share in full what I wrote back then with no concern now about post length, but rather concern to fully present the truth backed by careful evidence:

1-21-06 How many have read Ehrman’s book on the Bible?

Whoever “Ehrman” might be, he apparently has not done his homework to come up with a book title like that (“Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why” ).

First off, the Bible has NOT been changed.

The passage in John 8 belongs there. Scholar Dean Burgon provides the evidence for that in his often reprinted work The Woman Taken in Adultery: A Defense of the Authenticity of S. John 7:53–8:11..

Burgon interestingly comments at the beginning of his essay, “There was never a time–as far as any knows–when these twelve verses were not where they now are–and to all intents and purposes they are what they have always been. Is it not evident then that no merely ordinary method of proof–no merely common argument–will avail to dislodge twelve such verses as these?”

Burgon shows that these very verses have been in evidence back to the second century of our era. Jerome in the Latin Vulgate did not hesitate to retain them (A.D. 385). It is present in the ancient Latin version of John’s Gospel which precedes Jerome. Jerome states this passage “is found in many copies both Greek and Latin.” If I recall correctly, Jerome specifically cites a portion of the Greek text in the passage making it obvious that he had at hand the text in Greek as we have it today.

The text has been in use in the Eastern (Greek) church as far back as records go, where 9 of the twelve verses form the special lesson for October 8. Burgon comments, “It would be impossible to adduce in evidence a more significant circumstance. Any pretense to fasten a charge of spuriousness on a portion of Scripture so singled out by the Church for honor would be nothing else but monstrous.”

I quickly count thirty feet of shelf space in my personal library devoted to the subject of textual criticism and the original languages of Scripture. I have been reading and studying this material since the late 1950s.

It is absolute nonsense to suppose there has been some plot to change the text of Scripture. The very book title “Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why” by Bart Ehrman betrays the author’s absurd mindset against readily verifiable facts about the lineage of our present Bible text.

I have often said that there is less question regarding the textual certainty of the New Testament than there is question of the certainty of the English text of Shakespeare. In my own personal library here I have the published texts to prove it. There is no question of the certainty and accuracy of the Hebrew text.

As for the notion:
He also claims the Trinity (God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit) is also a later interpolation. 

–if this is an accurate report of his claims, such claims are equally absurd and misinformed.

That is as much of the original Timebomb post I shared minutes ago on the Facebook discussion thread in  the “Islam and Christianity Debate Group.”

My original Timebomb post continues with an unanswerable defense of the Bible doctrine of the Trinity:

As for the notion:


He also claims the Trinity (God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit) is also a later interpolation.

–if this is an accurate report of his claims, such claims are equally absurd and misinformed.

I notice on some of the Religion threads on this Timebomb site that several posters are quoting from the New World Translation. This supposedly doctrinally neutral translation (read the claim in the preface, the “translators” state they have attempted to avoid the “snare of religious traditionalism” allegedly present in other translations but absent from their own) is rabidly anti-trinitarian because it is published by an organization that is Arian and Unitarian in their doctrine. Slim chance for translation accuracy to be found there!

Texts of Scripture that might indeed display the truth on these matters are in that translation so garbled as to be unintelligible–I suspect on purpose–to hide the truth present in the original language text. Notice their lack of clarity in rendering Isaiah 8:20, where the NWT reads, “To the law and to the attestation! Surely they will keep saying what is according to this statement that will have no light of dawn.” Try any other translation you may choose, and it will doubtless be clearer. I believe the garble is presented in this text to weaken one of the strongest texts in support of the sufficiency, authority, and perspicuity of the Scripture. The King James Version reads “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” The text clearly states that any truth that does not precisely match what is written in the Bible is false.

Notice how the translation of Hebrews 1:8 is so garbled that it is meaningless, rendered by the NWT as “But with reference to the Son: ‘God is your throne forever and ever, and [the] scepter of uprightness.” Again, read as many other translations as you will, they won’t be as tortured as this. The NT text is a citation of Psalm 45:6, which in the NWT is likewise garbled. The King James Version renders Hebrews 1:8, “But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.” No wonder the NWT translators garble this one–can’t possibly let the New Testament writer in the Greek text as translated into English represent God the Father addressing His Son as “O God,” can we?

Hebrews chapter 1 is a very troublesome chapter indeed, what with verse 6 stating “Let all the angels of God worship him,” speaking of Jesus. This seems to be a difficulty when Jesus himself says (Matthew 4:10), “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” If only God is to be worshipped, yet Scripture clearly records the command for the angels to worship Jesus, then we have another one of those troublesome inferences that need to be drawn again.

The same troublesome chapter presents Jesus as the creator, as does John 1:1-3, and Colossians 1:16, “For by him were all things created.” Of course, the doctrinally “unbiased” New World Translation finds it necessary to add to the Scripture text here by inserting the word “other” four times. The NWT stands alone in this deviancy at this passage. I challenged some Watchtower visitors who brought up this text to me just two weeks ago to show me another English translation that likewise found it necessary to insert “other” here like they did. Originally, the 1950 NWT did not bracket the word “other” as subsequent printings do now. But the false doctrine of the Watchtower and their NWT force them to insert the word “other.” I suspect they might know that if Jesus is the creator, then Jesus must be God, because only God can create.

All three persons of the Godhead are said to create: Genesis 1:1 (Father), John 1:2, 3 (Son), Job 33:4 (Holy Spirit). You could read the NWT for a life time, and be in total darkness that the Bible actually presents the Holy Spirit as a person. That truth is nearly totally erased in the NWT.

Is the Holy Spirit a person? In linguistics, semantics, and grammar, verbs can be “personal” or “non-personal.” Some verbs can be used only of persons. In Ephesians 4:30, the NWT reads “Also, do not be grieving God’s holy spirit, with which you have been sealed for a day of releasing by ransom.” The King James Version reads “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.”

You can only grieve a person, not a non-person, or an influence, or emanation. This text alone absolutely proves the Holy Spirit is a person. There are many more such texts and evidences that prove the Holy Spirit is a person, from Genesis chapter 1 until the book of Revelation. At Genesis 1:2 the Holy Spirit is said to have “moved upon the face of the waters” (King James Version); “God’s active force was moving to and fro over the surface of the waters” (New World Translation); “but the Spirit of God was brooding on the face of the waters” (Rotherham’s The Emphasized Bible translation). Rotherham notes “The beautiful word “brooding”–an exact rendering of the Hebrew–is most suggestive; since it vividly describes the cherishing of incipient life, as a preparation for its outburst.”

But notice that word “brooding,” it is a verb which is personal, not non-personal, again proving from the very language and expression of Scripture that the Holy Spirit is a person. So when I read on a recent thread in this forum that the poster faulted the NIV, claiming it was a “Trinitarian” translation, I fault the poster for making such a blatantly false statement himself. Doesn’t he recognize that the New World Translation is blatantly anti-Trinitarian in its translation of the Scripture?

Recall that in Mark 2:8 and context the observers of the miracle of healing Jesus performed were thinking in their hearts, “Who can forgive sins but God only?” in response to what Jesus had said to the man He healed, “Thy sins be forgiven thee.” It was likewise a Jewish postulate that only God could perform a healing miracle.

Recall in context Jesus commented, (my paraphrase) “Which is easier to say, be healed, or thy sins be forgiven thee?” Clearly, that Jesus claimed to forgive sins and to heal, of the two claims, the claim to perform a miracle of healing was plainly verifiable by the visible result, and furnished the basis to believe His claim to forgive sins. But if the notion that “Who can forgive sins but God only?” is correct (and it obviously is), then what inference must be drawn from this incident recorded in Mark’s gospel? I hardly need spell it out further for those who have even a modicum of common sense and reading ability and intelligence enough to draw a valid conclusion from an obvious intended inference. Those who can’t make the valid inference are clearly prevented from doing so by their prior blindness to spiritual truth.

The Bible from the first chapter in Genesis until the last chapter in the book of Revelation is filled with all the evidence one could ever desire to prove the doctrine of the Trinity. Clearly, the Father is called God. The Son is called God (John 1:1. 20:28. 1 John 5:20). The Holy Spirit is called God (Acts 5:3, 4). Each of these three distinct persons in the Godhead share the incommunicable divine attributes of (1) eternity: Romans 16:26 (Father), Revelation 22:13 (Son), Hebrews 9:14 (Holy Spirit); (2) omnipresence: Jeremiah 23:24 (Father), Ephesians 1:23 (Son), Psalm 139:7 (Holy Spirit); (3) omniscience: Acts 15:18 (Father), Jon 21:17 (Son), 1 Corinthians 2:10, 11 (Holy Spirit); (4) sovereignty: Ephesians 1:11 (Father), Matthew 8:27 (Son), 1 Corinthians 12:11 (Holy Spirit); (5) immutability: Malachi 3:6 (Father), Hebrews 13:8 (Son), Matthew 12:32 (Holy Spirit); (6) immensity (Jeremiah 23:24 (Father), John 3:13 (Son), Psalm 139:7 (Holy Spirit). Since only God can possess the incommunicable divine attributes (even God Himself cannot communicate, delegate, or give these attributes to any created being, for such would be a contradiction in terms), yet in the Bible these attributes are ascribed alike to God the Father as well as to Jesus and to the Holy Spirit (as proven in the cited texts above), all three persons MUST be God. There is no other explanation which properly agrees with all the statements of Scripture.

The argument I have just presented is an unanswerable argument. I discussed the strength of absolute arguments in a prior apparently thread-killing post before. And as for the Booklist’s reviewer’s comment:


He further explains why textual criticism has frequently sparked intense controversy, especially among scripture-alone Protestants.

Don’t get me started. Firstly, textual criticism is divided into the lower criticism and the higher criticism. The lower criticism is a painstaking, scientific, inductive study of all the manuscript evidence. Higher criticism is nonsense. It is philosophical, not scientific, based on a worldview looking for flimsy arguments to support it, not arguments based on solid painstaking textual evidence. I have probably hundreds of volumes in my library pertaining to both.

As for the comment about “Scripture alone Protestants,” someone must be writing with Romanist blinders on. Since the Bible is the agreed upon sole primary source document we have which is the final authority in matters of faith and doctrine, it seems that any who call themselves Christians must, to be Biblical, meet the challenge of adhering to beliefs that are supported and not contradicted by what is taught in the Bible.


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