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SUNDAY STUDY: “Did God Really Say?”

By Don Landis

Ever since the serpent said to Eve, “Indeed, has God said?” (Gen. 3:1) the Word of God has been questioned and attacked.

The serpent’s words focused on two important elements— the accuracy and authority of God’s Word.

The Bible’s Accuracy

There are those who say that the Bible we have today cannot be trusted. They say that it was written by men and, therefore, contains errors. They also suggest that during the centuries of copying, men introduced many errors.

However, one important goal of anyone who defends the Bible is to give evidence that we have in our hands exactly what God said and exactly what He wants us to have.

One such evidence that the Bible has been copied accurately in the past is shown in the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. These scrolls, found by a shepherd boy in 1947, are dated from 250 to 150 BC. This discovery pushed back our available oldest Scripture text almost 1,000 years. And when the content of the scrolls was compared to later copies, no significant differences were found. That means scribes had been copying with great precision for almost ten centuries. This amazing discovery moved us one millennium closer to the originals.

We can also make sound arguments for the trustworthiness of Scripture based on lower criticism, grammar, and contextual evidence. We can show that the scribes were meticulous in their copying of the text of Scripture. We can evidence the life-changing qualities of the Bible in the lives of millions of believers. We can evidence the historical accuracy of the text of the Bible.

But there is another, internal argument for the accuracy of Scripture, based on the character and attributes of God, and this argument is supreme.

The Scriptures claim that God Himself breathed out Scripture (using human instruments, 2 Peter 1:21) and that it can be trusted to be His Word. His wisdom is infinite, and He is all-powerful and holy, so everything He says is trustworthy, accurate, and without error. Since God’s work will image His own nature, the accuracy of Scripture is guaranteed.

But this argument goes even further, including the faithfulness of God to preserve the record of His work through Christ. God sent His own Son, the second person of the trinity, to take human form for the purpose of redemption. What was the cost of God’s incredible gift of salvation offered to man? His own Son’s life!

The Bible is the record of Christ’s coming, His payment for our sin, and all the truths we need to know about Him.

So here is a question. If God sent His Son, paid the highest price imaginable for the redemption of human beings, and made a record so all future generations could know, would He allow the text to be adulterated and the message ruined by error? Impossible!

If God allowed the text to be lost and the message to be muddled, He would then be unfaithful to His own purpose and to His own Son and His sacrifice on the Cross. Logically, theoretically, practically, that is impossible.

God will not and cannot allow the record of the perfect work of His Son to be lost to mankind. Otherwise, He would void—for succeeding generations—the payment of His Son, Jesus Christ.

The nature, character, and attributes of God demand a faithful witness of His decrees, promise, plan, and purpose, climaxed in the death, burial, and resurrection of His Son.

The Bible’s Authority

The Scripture has authority because God has all authority. And because God is the author of all Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16), Scripture is authoritative. God is the basis for the Bible’s authority. Since God has ensured the transmission of the message of His Son and since He reinforces this message by His own authority, mankind has only two choices: to obey Him or reject Him. The fact that God gave us the Scripture is the reason we know that it is accurate and that it is exactly what He wants us to have. And because God has spoken it, we can be confident in the Scripture’s authority. It is true and represents faithfully His offer and promise of forgiveness and eternal life to those who meet His criteria of belief in His Son.