How credible is the Bible? Is it the Word of God?
The authority of the Bible is also discussed and will become clearer in the other meditations on www.gospel-truth.co.za, such as “Apparent Controversies in the Bible”, the meditation on Mohammed, and “Who is Jesus Christ”.
We will later consider the crucial five aspects of accreditation, further on in this meditation. We’ll also touch briefly on some other doctrines in comparison, such as the so-called “Christian Science” and the related Mormons as an example of man-made efforts to produce a Bible [an equivalent]. The Muslim’s version is covered in a meditation on its own, also found on this website. How Mrs. Mary Baker, for example, could develop her doctrines from the Bible as her “only textbook” is a great mystery because the Bible and “Christian Science” have absolutely nothing in common, yet they use – what seems to be – His Name? So, let’s briefly look at some facts concerning the Bible.
What is the Bible? What makes the Book so hated and so special in the entire world? The reason stems from the history and the contents of the Bible, and the fact that it is self-proclaimed to be inspired by God. If this is true, then it implies it is the final authority of the Creator to His creation. This, many do not like to hear, because they soon discover how wrong they are on moral issues such as abortion, homosexuality, and Who Jesus Christ really is and who He is not. (See the meditation by this author, “Who is Jesus Christ”). People [nations, religions] generally just don’t like being wrong. Remember here that confusion is a state of mind. This means you cannot trust your mind – or by implication, the mind of another human trying to sell his/her ideas – you can only trust the Word of God [Who made/designed your mind]. So let us first look at this issue of inspiration [spiritual communication] and the significance of the Bible.
Note here that many people claiming to be Christians do not [yet] believe the gospel of Jesus Christ! The meditation entitled “The Gospel” by the same author explains and proves this convincingly. Most religious institutions is still a far cry from the Body of Christ [is not His Church, His Body, His Zion, His Bride]. You will also note that the Book of Revelation begins by stating it is the revelation of Jesus Christ… He, in the Spirit, took John back a little while, and then showed him “what would soon happen” – in other words, what Jesus Christ had accomplished on His cross, having paid for with His Blood (12:11; 15:8; 16:17 with Jn 19:30). His work is a finished, accomplished work. We have to believe Him that He succeeded. There is only one Lamb of God Who was offered once for all on His cross at Golgotha. It has happened, it is done! And it was not Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy, Mohammed, Darwin, Buddha, or Nelson Mandela!
Charles Wesley McDowell, in Evidence that demands a verdict, 1990:178, says, “The Bible must be the invention either of good men or angels, bad men or devils, or of God. However, it was not written by good men, because good men would not tell lies by saying “Thus says the Lord”; it was not written by bad men because they would not write so honestly or about the good while condemning sin and unbelief, and themselves to hell; thus, it must be written by divine inspiration”.
But more concretely, surely over 60 000 ancient manuscripts must attest for something! In 170 AD Irenaeus cited 23 of the 27 N.T. books, omitting only Philemon, James, 2 Peter and 3 John. The Muratorian fragment, written about the same time, attests to the widespread use of all of the N.T. books except Hebrews, James, 1 Peter and 2 Peter. However, other church fathers had already cited those omitted books in various writings defending against Gnostic doctrines. The Codex Barococcio from 206 A.D. includes 64 of the 66 books of today’s Bible (Esther and Revelation were omitted), but they had already been declared as inspired Scripture by Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Clement, Tertullian and the Muratorian Canon. In 230 AD, Origen declared that all Christians acknowledged as Scripture the four Gospels, Acts, the epistles of Paul, 1 peter, 1 John and Revelation. In 367 AD, Athanasius formally circulated the “Easter Letter” that listed all 27 books as canonical. The Synod of Hippo (393 AD) and the third Synod of Carthage (397 AD) also recognized these 27 books as canonical. In addition, during this time, the highly influential church fathers, Jerome (340-420 AD) and Augustine (354-430 AD) published their lists of 27 books completing the N.T.
Translations such as the King James Version are derived from existing copies of ancient manuscripts such as the Hebrew Masoretic Text (Old Testament) and the Greek Textus Receptus (New Testament), and are not translations of texts translated from other interpretations. The primary difference between today’s Bible translations are merely related to how translators interpret a word or sentence from the original text source (Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek). Hermeneutics is the study of Scripture interpretation, known by scholars.
This author finds it rather strange (if it wasn’t so tragic it would have been funny), how many people in blindness to their self-righteousness ask, “Why the many translations for the Bible?” Implying they have now pointed out a major technical flaw – without having made any real in-depth study, nor put any rational thought to this question. Well, would you today have preferred only the original Greek script to be available world-wide or do you think it’s a mere [admirable] practical effort by scholars to try and give The Word of God in your language for you to benefit from without having to study – at least as a necessity – ancient and modern Greek? It should rather have been indicative of something remarkable that The Bible is today still the book printed in the most languages…
The absolute reliability of the manuscripts from which today’s Bibles are translated, has significant evidence in its favour. There are more than 14 000 existing Old Testament manuscripts and fragments copied throughout the Middle East, Mediterranean and European regions that agree dramatically with each other. In addition, these texts agree with the Septuagint version of the OT, which was translated from Hebrew to Greek some time during the 3rd century BC. The Dead Sea Scrolls, discovered in the 1940’s and 50’s, also provide phenomenal evidence for the reliability of the ancient transmission of Jewish Scriptures before the arrival of Jesus Christ. A single error would require the immediate destruction of the entire text, sometimes apparently even the death of careless scribes. The writings of so-called “Scientologists”, in contrast, contradict numerous original texts in its contextual meaning. We will later consider a few prime examples.
The honest and serious scholar will therefore soon discover that the Bible is [can only be] one, progressive, unfolding, revelation of God; and that this revelation is Jesus Christ as Lord and His gift to us – His Holy Spirit indwelling permanently those that believe Him. (Note that we are not [a] god(s), but that we are of God if we follow Him!). We then become new creations (2 Cor 5:16-21) to His image, we then reveal to be a spirit (re-born, 1 Cor 15:45-49, God -conscious) with a soul (self-conscious intellect, emotion, will) inside a body (physical). If not re-born [spiritually] you are still only like a beast. A beast is Bible language for a creature with a soul (mind, intellect, emotion, will) and a body that is all self-centred, but is not spiritual [Spirit is all God-conscious, living according to what His Spirit teaches, guides]. Jesus attests to the inspiration (Theopneustos means “God breathed out”) of the O.T. and His fulfilment of both the prophets and the law (ex. Mt 5:17,18; Lk 24:44; Jn 5:39). When Jesus refers to the law of Moses, the prophets and the Psalms, He is referring to the three-part division of the Tanakh.
The manuscript evidence for the NT is also dramatic, with over 5 300 known copies of fragments in the original Greek, nearly 800 of which were copied before 1 000 AD. Some manuscript texts date to the early second and third centuries, with the time between the autographs (original manuscripts) and our earliest existing copies being a remarkable short 60 years. This manuscript evidence far surpasses the manuscript reliability of other ancient writings that we trust as authentic every day. Look at these comparisons: Julius Caesar’s “The Gallic Wars” (10 manuscripts remain, with the earliest dating to 1 000 years after the original autograph); Pliny the Younger’s “History” (7 manuscripts, 750 years elapsed); Thucydides’ “History” ( 8 manuscripts, 1 300 years elapsed); Herodotus’ “History” (8 manuscripts, 1 300 years elapsed); Sophocles (193 manuscripts, 1 400 years); Euripides (9 manuscripts, 1 500 years); and Aristotle (49 scripts, 1 400 yrs).
Homer’s “Iliad”, the most renowned book of ancient Greece, has 643 copies of manuscript support. In those copies, there are 764 disputed lines of text, as compared to 40 lines in all the NT manuscripts. In fact, many people are unaware that each of William Shakespeare’s 37 plays (written in the 1 600’s) has gaps in the surviving manuscripts, forcing scholars to “fill in the blanks”. This pales into textual comparison to the over 5 300 copies and fragments of the NT that assure us nothing has been lost. In fact, all of the NT except 11 verses can be reconstructed from the writings of the early church fathers in the 2nd and 3rd centuries.
The Bible – not the “Scientologist’s” or any other cult’s ideas that contradicts the Bible – clearly defines itself as the communication of God to His creation, through OT men known as prophets and ultimately in the historical [real] Person Jesus Christ. (Check the date – on Who is it based?). This communication defines His being, Himself, to His created. Also His plan [idea] with us and how men, throughout history, have missed it through their own unbelief [distrust, offense] in His Word. So He sent His unique Son [Word] to legally enter the natural realm to represent man and demonstrate how man should be with His Spirit inside of us. The first part of the Bible refer to this Messiah, then how He came and paid on His cross with His blood on behalf of all, once for all; and then in the last part, His teachings, revelations of what Jesus had accomplished in the Spiritual realm with that exchange on His cross (Is 53; Col 2; Rev 5:12; 7:14,17; 12:11; 13:8; 21:23,27), and examples of a new (NT) dispensation. God as a Father could so be understood to remain to be God, while sending a special Son to be the sole expression of Himself [Lord of lords, King of kings] here on earth with His Holy Spirit inside a real human body. No illusions! God is Spirit [invisible], so He is seeking those who worship Him in Spirit and in Truth (Jn 4:24; 8:32,36; 20:22). The Bible is very clear that Jesus will return as He left – in a visible, physical body (Jn 21:1-14; Lk 24; Mt 28; Acts 1:11; 1 Cor 15:12-22). No other foundation can anyone lay than that which is already laid, which is Jesus Christ (1 Cor 3:11). Consider Jesus Christ crucified (1 Cor 1:23-2:2; Is 53 and 1 Pet 2:24). The OT has a covenant; the NT a Testament (that’s why Jesus had to be buried – Heb 7; Heb 9). Righteousness does not come out of you, it has come to you in Jesus Christ (Phil 3:9; 2 Cor 5:21).
Man might have flaws, but God imputes His righteousness to believers in the finished work of Jesus Christ. The purpose of the law was so that people can see and hate self-righteousness (Gal 3; Js 2:10…). This the “Scientologist” completely misses in his blinded and puffed-up “knowledge” and ridiculous philosophical errors in reasoning. The law-mentality [merit-system] makes you think you can cash in on your goodness, and that God has this pre-requisite that you must impress Him first with works (even obedience to law, rules), before He can accept you. This is self-righteousness and not the righteousness God imputes through your Savior Jesus Christ, as Lord. Jesus [also] demonstrated that He was obedient because of sonship, not how to become a Son through obedience. Laws cannot change the desire in your heart to do wrong, only Jesus can when you accept His Spirit inside of you – Rom 3:20-28; 8:1-4; 10:1-4. Try Gal 5:4 again, you try to impress Him, and you sever yourself from grace. To reject the Word of God with philosophical nonsense is utterly futile.
The Bible defines the purpose of man and his life on earth. We are created to His image and we are to be above the natural as His children – in Christ (His anointing, power, Light, Life), we are supposed to trust in the certainty of His promises of an everlasting life in Christ, just as certain as the true prophecy Jesus gave of His own death and resurrection. God’s promise was His Spirit continuously inside and upon us, only achievable by the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and His resurrection from the dead. And yes, His resurrection was physical [real] – Jn 20:19-31.
In the Bible God had OT prophets announce, and then apostles (eye-witnesses. And please note that hallucinations are not contagious, in case you were told that hundreds of people hallucinated) who declared and proved, that Jesus Christ was this Savior, His salvation plan for all mankind that would accept His Word [Trust His Word]. Remember that God is Love, and that true love never manipulates. He gave you your will [to choose] for that very reason. Think about it. He gave you the ability and now you have the choice to respond. Ability + response = responsibility. Today still, to prophecy means to say what God has said all along (Num 11:29; 1 Cor 14:1-4; 1 Pet 1:10-13).
One thousand years before crucifixions were invented as a method of execution, David prophesied it in Ps 22:16. That same Psalm starts with the words Jesus uttered on His cross, and ends with His last words on His cross. Jesus fulfilled it, not Mrs. Eddy, Mohammed, Buddha or Mandela. Seven hundred years before the birth of Jesus, Isaiah described the death of the Christ [anointed] of God Who would die for all the sin of all the world (Is 52:13-53:12). In Daniel, 539 years before the birth of Jesus, we are given the exact day He would die as Messiah (Dan 9:24-27 is discussed in the meditation “Rapture raptured” p. 17-19)!
For more powerful revelations about the true gospel of Jesus Christ, study the other meditations by the same author. Jesus fulfilled over three hundred prophecies in amazing detail. But there is infinitely more. This is merely accepting historical facts recorded by the most credible writers of their time, as well as supernatural evidence of signs, miracles and wonders (not “illusions”); today still in the name of this same Jesus Christ as Lord. The author has seen Jesus save his own son from certain death and has seen many cancers healed. Contact him on 27(09)82 4428407 for his and many other verifiable true witnessing of the true Jehovah: Jesus Christ as Lord. If you have a problem with the Deity of Jesus Christ, you have a problem with God Himself. And this fact is no illusion!
The [Christian’s] Bible, containing its 66 Books, is thus most likely to be the Word of God in written form, as should be seen by the honest reader that consider this website in its entirety, and own further empirical research.
The Bible cannot to be compared with human efforts at writing [composing] even “holy” scriptures such as the Qur’an (Refer to “Jesus Christ’s passion for the lost vs Mohammad and the Qur’an” on www.gospel-truth.co.za); or the so-called NWT (New World Translation) of the so-called “Jehovah’s Witnesses” that selectively altered the context of the Bible and other manuscripts in an attempt to offer a “holy” book. Do yourself a favour, and also peruse [study] the meditations “The Four Gospels”; “Worldly philosophies vs the Word of God” and “Genesis to Revelation” on this website to realize The Bible can only be truly of God… it is so declared in 2 Tim 3:16-17, and then we find it’s absolutely unique statements in Jn 1:1-4; 3:14-21; Col 1:17; there is no mention of any name above that of Jesus Christ (Lk 23:2; 1 Tim 6:15; Rev 19:16); as a matter of fact, the Bible makes it abundantly clear that no human can be saved by any other means or name other than that of Jesus Christ [only] – Acts 4:12; Phil 2:9 (not any politician, preacher, “guru”, Mohammed, Buddha, “Freedom fighter”, TV personality… no one else! (See the footnote on so-called psychics). This makes nonsense of feeble attempts at righteousness and wisdom in all the non-Christian’s systems of “political correctness” (see meditation “Worldly Philosophies versus the Word of God”). Take note here that many false “Christians” have come and gone and are running amuck with their own self-interests… The Bible says that anyone claiming to be a Christian but does not follow the teaching of Jesus Christ, has not the Truth (Jn 14:6;3:16; 8:32,36!) in them – Jn 14:6! The meditations “Church” also expand on this great truth.
It is logical that a God [Creator as a Loving Father and Provider] would leave us a guideline on morality and His will for us without manipulation (see the meditation “The Will”… of God on this website, for more thoughts on this subject).
A Broad and brief overview of the Bible
It is a book. But, is soon discovered, a book like NO other. The name Bible is derived from the old Egyptian name for the papyrus that was weaved to form the oldest form of “writing meditation” known. The Greek then used the word Biblos. This is universally accepted today as referring only to the Book of all books under discussion here.
The Protestant Bible is a collection of 66 canon books (named later on in this meditation. kanon is from the Greek word describing a straight carpenters ruler and understood to mean the Truth against which all can be measured). It conveys the message of God’s righteousness as opposed to the self-righteousness of man.
The Bible is divided in two parts. The Old that is a Covenant (Gen 15:18) and a New that is a Testament (Heb 9:11-18). The Old comprises 39 books in which we read about God introducing Him to man before Jesus Christ was sent, and the New comprise 27 books (2 Cor 3:6). These will be very basically summarised shortly.
The fact that at least 40 different people wrote this down over a period of 1 500 years so that we see a result of one progressive unfolding revelation; can only be described by a super-natural phenomena. It makes the claim of a God that is a Spirit (Jn 4:24), very plausible so that He – that same Holy Spirit – inspired different men from different walks of life and vastly different backgrounds to contribute and knit together one and the same revelation over 1 500 years. Because God is not the manipulator propagated by so many religious institutions, was He prior to Jesus Christ heard only by those “who had ears to hear”, i.e. to those who humbled themselves to Him who is God; hence the “prophets” and writers of the books found in the Bible. Note here Heb 1:1-2.
The 10 extra books in the Roman Catholic Bible is called Apocrypha, and cannot be canon for reasons set out below. This is discussed further in the meditation “Church part two”. The Official Roman Catholic Bible, the Doway English Translation, is a good translation [literally], but from the corrupt Latin Vulgate Translation. The Alexandrian Bible by Origen in 240 A.D., from the Egypt Alexandrian cult (Acts 6:9), was used as the main source for the Latin Vulgate. After Martin Luther and the break of the Protestants from the Roman Catholic Church, the R.C. Church, in reaction, came up with their own Bible, declaring the Apocrypha to be canon at the Council of Trent (1545 – 1563) to legitimise their doctrines.
To make this vitally important Book available to more people in their mother tongue, translations were necessary.
The oldest translation known is The Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Old Covenant, often shortened as LXX that means seventy. This refers to the legend that 70 translators that worked totally independently produced 70 identical results of the original Hebrew in 70 days. This translation was completed around 250 B.C. in Alexandria and used in the times of Christ. The handwritten text remained preserved in old codex’s, namely the Codex Vaticanus (4 A.D.; the Codex Sinaiticus (4 A.D.) and the Codex Alexandrinus (5 A.D.).
The 39 Old Covenant Books
The five books of which Moses is said to be the writer.
- Genesis. From the Greek meaning origin. The absolute and literal accurate records herein, particularly the creation account in six days at about 4 000 B.C. which are expanded on in the other meditations on this website, such as “Evolution”, “The Gap Theory” and “The Gospel”. In Gen 6-8 we read of the world-wide flood. This is addressed in a dedicated meditation entitled “The Flood” on gospel-truth.co.za. It also gives the history of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and especially Joseph. Carefully read Gen 22:2 with Gal 3:8; Ps 121:1; Mt 27:33…
A subtle note. “Universe” is a compound English word formed from “one” and “spoken sentence”. Note then, that we read early in Genesis chapter one of the creation “… And God said…”; then also, in Gen 1:2, that the “face” of the earth (H6440 from H6437) has in it’s meaning a concept of turning [away – as in Jn 1:10! (bear in mind Jn 1:1-4; Col 1:15-19)], so possibly the “face” of the earth hints at a notion of something that has [also] rotation!…
- Exodus. Derived from the Greek meaning to “depart”. It describes Israel and their slavery in Egypt and how God called Moses to lead them out of slavery. Refer to the meditation entitled “Israel racism”, for general misconceptions regarding the “elect” of God. Suffice for now, to consider Ex 32:7,9; 33:3,5 with Acts 7:39,43,51-58 (2:22-24,40). The parting of the Red Sea in Ex 14:13-31; 15:1-14 should fascinate the unbeliever and believer alike when watching even TV programs such as [the non-Christian] National Geography and Discovery Channel that show how the actual evidence was found on the sea-bed ridge in the Gulf of Aqabah in the Red Sea. Observe also the incorrect placing [charting by some scholars] of Mt. Sinai on maps while Gal 4:21-31 should have guided them to the absolute Biblical Truth. Take careful note of the astonishing correlation between Ex 15:17 and Gal 4:24; 5:4,18; Mt 27:33-35; Jn 19:17,18 with the amazing explanation Daniel gave Nebuchadnezzar of his dream (vision of historical forms of government) in Daniel 2:34-37 and its connection to 1 Pet 2:3-8 and David’s Ps 68:18 and 121:1-2! Then consider Acts 4:12 and Philippians 2:3-11…
- Leviticus. After the name of the Levis who were responsible to teach the Law. Study Jesus’ words in Mt 5 to see how they misunderstood the purpose of the law – namely to reveal self-righteousness (Phil 3:9) and that it was at any rate given to show – if you follow it – how to compensate, not how to retaliate!
- Numbers. Describes two counts (census), one of the army and one of the nation at the end of their wanderings. It also mentions their prescriptions and guidelines for general conduct and ceremonies. These are interspersed with experiences on the way to the Promised Land.
- Deuteronomy. It literally means repeating of the law. The death of Moses is also described.
The Historical books
- Joshua. The successor of Moses leads the Israelites into the Promised Land. This is the fore-shadow of Joshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ). Chapters 13-22 describe the division of the tribes.
- Judges. Chapter 2:11-16 gives a reference to the perpetual relapse into disobedience and self-righteousness that is mentioned in this book. Then we see God’s wrath and grace. 12 Judges rise up to lead the people.
- Ruth. A Moabite woman goes to Israel with her Jewish mother-in-law. It shows how a woman from heathendom gets a prominent place in the ascendants of David, and eventually, even Jesus of Nazareth…
- I and II Samuel; and I and II Kings. Regarded together as books 1-4 of the kings. The two books of Samuel contain the history of the last judge, Samuel, who also anointed the first king of Israel, Saul. The history of David’s government is also given in detail. The two books of Kings give us the history of the reign of David’s son, Solomon. It records the split of the kingdom in the 2 around Jerusalem (Judah) and the 10 in the north (Israel). Then follows the account of the fall of these two dynasties. In 722 B.C. Israel is lead away in exile to Assyria, and in 586 B.C. in exile to Babylonia.
- I and II Chronicles. The first part of the first book mainly repeats the history of the previous books. It serves to clarify some points (refer to “Apparent controversies in The Bible”), and the rest mainly cover the same as Kings but with numerous new details. It ends with the decision of king Koresh of Persia that the temple would be rebuilt at Jerusalem and that the Jews could return to their homeland. (See Acts 7:42-60).
- Ezra. It deals with the history of Ezra, the priest-scribe that in 450 B.C. returned from exile to Canaan. His purpose was to get the returned Jews to repent from their impure hearts and he fought their apostasy.
- Nehemiah. This book is mentioned in certain translations as II Ezra. He tried to get the nations to comply with the Law. Note in the other meditations on gospel-truth.co.za that law is generally greatly misunderstood.
- Esther. The story of the Jew through whom the Jewish people was saved from extinction in the time of king Ahasuerus (Xerxes 486 – 465 B.C.).
The poetic books
- Job. The trials of Job are greatly misrepresented (refer to the meditation “Christian suffering”, “Who by Fire” and “The Testimony”). Job’s three friends offer some superficial advice while a fourth, Alihu, more accurately hears from God and gets the message through. We see how Job’s prosperity returns. We also learn a lesson in 3:25-26 about fear that is distrust (unbelief), but how his prayers (1:5) were still heard. In Job 42:10 we deduct eternal life because his 7 sons and 3 daughters can only be double the first (Job 1:2) if the first children (Job 1:18-19) were still alive in another [spiritual] realm (Dt 30:1-3; Ps 126:1-2; Lk 20:38).
- Psalms. Mostly songs sung with string instruments and used in temple services. Profound depth of supernatural impartation via God-fearing people. According to tradition, the psalms were not referred to by the numbers we have today (for our reference purposes), but by the first and/or last sentence only. Now take Ps 22, for example, that re-iterates the words of Jesus Christ on His cross at Golgotha (Mt 27:46), the uncanny representation of Ps 22:6 in Mt 27:39-44; verse 7 in Mt 27:43; verse 8 in Mt 27:39,43; Mk 15:29,30; Lk 23:35; verse 12 in Ezek 39:18; verse 15 in Jn 19:28; verse 16 in Is 53:7 and Jn 19:37 (describing a crucifixion 1000 years before it was invented by the Romans); verse 17 with Lk 23:27,35; verse 18 with Jn 19:23,24; verse 22 with Jn 20:17; Rom 8:29; Heb 2:12; and verse 31 with Jn 19:30 – to name a few! Bear in mind as well, that Jesus on the cross was suffocating and probably could only with difficulty show that He was the fulfilling Messiah by quoting merely Ps 22:1,31. Selah.
- Proverbs. A collection of sayings, admonitions and exhortations. Wisdom is shown as impartation from God through His Holy Spirit.
- Ecclesiastes. Perhaps the crux of these thoughts is expressed in 12:13 where it is stated that the main aim in life should be to follow God [Holy Spirit, God the Creator’s wisdom] and adhere to His precepts (also what Jesus said in Jn 4:23-24; 14:6 with Jn 1:12; Rom 8:14…) This is reiterated by Paul in Col 3 and summarized in Col 3:2. One of the revelations to get is that the “Commandments of God” is not the futile attempt at self-righteousness via the 10 Commandments (The Law of Moses), but by following the precepts of Jesus Christ (Jn 1:14,17). (Refer to the meditations “The Covenant and the Law” and “The Gospel”)
- Song of Solomon. Husband and wife serenades each other in this simultaneous human and prophetic book. There are metaphorical language with the symbolism of Jesus (The Groom) and His true followers (Zion, His bride, church). (Eph 1;22,23; 4:12-16; especially Eph 5:32; Col 1:26,27; 1 Tim 3:15; 1 Pet 2:5)…
- Isaiah. Called to prophecy (say what God says) in the year when king Uzziah died (around 740 B.C.). Note that a true prophet says what God says, and is nothing like the soothsayers of the world, or the many false prophets the Bible warns against, and who have shown/will show themselves to be false. We also find gripping songs regarding “The coming Servant of the Lord” in chapters 42,49,50,52 and 53 – fulfilled in Jesus Christ. For us today, contemplate Heb 1:1-4 and the meditation “Church Part 1” with specific reference to the role of prophets and apostles [then] and God’s Spirit in all re-born Christians…
- Jeremiah. He acts as a prophet of God in Jerusalem up to the exile in 586 B.C. Typically, the people disregarded his warnings and even prosecuted him. He therefore consequently witnessed the destruction of Jerusalem and the exile of those who scoffed at him for hearing from God.
- Lamentations. He now empties his grief and affliction over the devastation of Jerusalem in 586 B.C. But, despite all the sorrow he finds comfort in the forgiveness, the grace and mercy of our Father-God.
- Ezekiel. He prophesies amongst the people whilst in exile with the message to persevere in faith.
- Daniel. The familiar history of Daniel and his three friends and their actions in the palaces of kings Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar and Darius during the 6th century B.C. The major prophecy in the Bible is given us via a heathen (Nebuchadnezzar) in Dan 9:24-27. This is expanded on in the meditation “Rapture raptured” on www.gospel-truth.co.za.
The 12 “minor prophets” follows
- Hosea. Around 750-735 B.C.
- Joel. He warns “The day of the Lord” is approaching (For us: Jn 19:30; Rev 16:17; Heb 9:10-26!)
- Amos. A farmer from around 750 B.C. that reveals the sins of Israel (eventually Jn 1:11; 16:9; 1 Jn 4:3)
- Obadiah and Jonah. About 800 B.C.
- Micah. Around 750 B.C.
- Nahum. Announces the fall of Nineveh in approximately 612 B.C.
- Habakkuk and Zephaniah. Both operated in the time of King Josiah (620 B.C.)
- Haggai. In 520 B.C. motivates the people to rebuild the temple (Job 4:19; Is 66:1-2; Acts 7:48; 17:24; Jn 2:19-25; Heb 9:11; Mt 7:20-24…)
- Zechariah. Also around 520 B.C.
- Malachi. Approximately 450 B.C. In the last chapters he announces that the coming of Jesus Christ as the Messiah would be preceded by the arrival of the big prophet Elijah. This then a perfect crossing to the New Testament with the arrival of Jesus Christ. Note that the NT technically only commences after the crucifixion, death and burial of Jesus (Heb 9:16-18)! The profound meaning and implication of this all too easy overlooked fact is discussed in the meditation “The Gospel”.
The New Testament
The historical books
The four Gospels are discussed in greater detail in the meditation “The Four Gospels” on www.gospel-truth.co.za.
- Matthew. His name used to be Levi and he was a tax collector. These people were mostly resented due to the extortion that was common amongst them.
- Mark. Short and concise. According to tradition John-Mark of Acts 12:12,25 that was a co-worker with Paul and Barnabas.
- Luke. A medical doctor also mentioned in Col 4:14 amongst his co-workers with Paul. He addresses his synoptic Gospel to Theophilus (Acts 1:1) stating that he had done a thorough research.
- John. The disciple whom Jesus loved. He was closest than them all because he chose to be. So can us.
- Acts. Church history starts here, providing the basic history of the spread of Christianity during the three decades immediately following the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is a pivotal book in the NT where Luke first tells of the life and work of Christ while the second part concerns itself with the ministry of followers of Christ. Note how many to this day fail to comply with 1 Jn 2:4 or 1 Cor 4:20 (Mk 16:16-20; Acts 2:22; 14:3; 17:6). The last part in this book describes mostly Paul’s missions.
The didactic or doctrinal books
- Romans. Summarised in 1:16,17. A most brilliant work by Paul, the ex-Pharisee Saul (Acts 23:6; 26:5; Phil 3:4-7) re-born on the road to Damascus (Acts 26), accentuating our righteousness in Jesus Christ.
- Corinthians I and II; Galatians; Ephesians; Philippians; Colossians; Thessalonians. Doctrine by Dr. Paul. The messages herein are discussed in detail in the meditations on www.gospel-truth.co.za.
- Hebrews. The only NT book with an unknown author, yet doctrine of immense importance and insight. Apparently aimed at the ex-Jews who became Christians. Note that the term “Messianic Jew” is a misnomer. This is discussed in the meditation called “Messianic Jews”. The writer does not identify himself, but probably because he was well known to the original recipients. The personal reference to Timothy in 13:23 (and to God’s grace and Truth) hints at Paul, while other opinions feel it could have also been someone just very close to Paul at the time, such as Barnabas or Apollos. Poignantly, Origin (John’s student already), was quoted to have said, “Who it was who wrote the epistle [Hebrews], God only knows”. The letters bear evidence of a second generation Christian, well-versed in the OT, who may have been a Jew, certainly a friend of Timothy and belonged to Paul’s circle of friends, and had a literally style closer to classical Greek more so than any other NT writer. The main theme from this writer in this epistle is the absolute supremacy and sufficiency of Jesus Christ as Revealer and Mediator of God’s grace and Truth. Frequent warnings are expressed to not neglect or reject this divine revelation through Jesus Christ of God’s grace, love, truth and perfection.
The Pastoral letters
These were advice by Paul and addressed to those responsible for leading congregations.
- Timothy I and II. Written to one of Paul’s most loyal co-workers (Acts 16-20).
- Titus. A letter from Paul to a converted heathen who became a co-worker with Paul, and received help for his ministry on the isle Crete.
- Philemon. A wealthy co-worker who resided in Colossians and received this short letter from Paul who was in Rome at the time. It is addressed to Apphia (probably his wife), to Archippus (Col 4:17), and to the church that meets in Philemon’s household. Evidently a converted slave Onesimus had escaped from Philemon in Colosse to Rome where he became a believer and associated with Paul. As a slave he was the legal property of Philemon. In addition, Onesimus had stolen some of Philemon’s goods. With this letter Paul sends Onesimus back to Philemon, emphasizing that Christian conduct should permeate their relationship. There can be an analogy here if we consider that Jesus bought us all free from slavery…
The General mission letters
- James. Of the earliest NT letters, probably written about the same time as Paul’s letter to the Galatians, approximately 48 A.D. James was the half-brother of Jesus (Mk 6:3), and is concerned with a practical ethical life. The necessity of faith is not negated, but he does insist that a genuine faith must produce results in good works.
- Peter I and II. Peter was probably in Rome at this time (A.D. 63), shortly before his death. The “Babylon” in 5:13 seems to be a code name for Rome since we have no evidence that Peter was in Babylon on the Euphrates and John-Mark (1 Pet 5:14) was in Rome with Peter at this time (Col 4:10). This letter reflects the fact that believers were facing suffering and persecution. Peter projects the eschatolical hope as encouragement for believers in their suffering, allowing the grace of God to be amplified in their lives.
- John I, II, III. All written at about the same time by John the apostle between 85-95 A.D. The first letter indicates that the readers were confronted with the error of Gnosticism, which became a more serious problem in the second century. As a philosophy of religion, it held that matter is evil and spirit is good. The solution to the tension between these two was proposed as knowledge (gnosis), through which man rose from the mundane to the spiritual. This led to two false theories concerning the Person of Christ – Decotism, regarding the human Jesus as a ghost, and Cerinthianism, making Jesus a dual personality, at times human and at times divine. The second letter of John is addressed to “the elect lady (Cyria) and her children” who may refer to a family or a church. Emphasis is given to the importance that Jesus is God’s Son in bodily form and that the readers should continue in God’s love and reject false doctrine. John also urged discernment in supporting travelling teachers, lest someone unintentionally contribute to the propagation of heresy rather than truth. The third letter is addressed to Gaius, possibly an outstanding leader in the church. He is instructed to support and entertain those who came as God’s genuine messengers. There is also a warning to Diotrephes about his lack of cooperation, and John hoping to deal personally with this problem.
- Jude. The brother of James, a half brother of Jesus (Mk 6:3). The date of writing was around 65-70 A.D. Addressed to an ex-Jewish Christian in Palestine. It seems as if Jude was stimulated by Peter’s message in Peter’s second letter. Jude indicates he planned to write about salvation but now changes his appeal to an apologetic approach, in light of certain immoral men circulating among them who were perverting the grace of God. He warns that error must be refuted and that God’s judgement (Jn 1:17-21; 16:8-10) will fall upon the apostates even as it fell upon Cain, Korah and Balaam. Perhaps refer here to 1 Cor 6:15-20 as well.
The prophetic Book
- The Revelation of Jesus Christ. Note that apocalypse does not mean catastrophic demise, as it is popularised today. Look it up in any decent [pre-seventies] dictionary. Better still, check the Greek dictionary of the N.T. [601. apŏkaluptō; 602. apŏkalupsis] – it means to uncover, to remove the veil, to disclose, lighten, revelation, appear and manifest and bring the mystery out in the open and shine light on it. Now consider the words penned by the same author [John] that penned the apŏkalupsis of Jesus Christ, i.e. the Revelation of Jesus Christ (Rev 1:1), in 95 A.D. in Jn 1:1-17 (Ampl.)… This book is mainly about the crucifixion and its meaning to/for us. Consider the meditations “Rapture raptured” and “Mixing Old and New” and of course, “Revelation the book”.
On www.gospel-truth.co.za, Revelation the book is discussed in a separate dedicated meditation so entitled.
This concludes the brief overview of the books of the Bible
The Supernatural property of The Bible
Note at Ezekiel 26:14 (In the Amplified Bible). According to Herodotus, Tyre’s history began in 2 750 B.C. It was a fortified city in Joshua’s time (Josh 19:29), and later became a great maritime commercial centre (Is 23:8). Yet Jeremiah (27:2-7; 47:4) and Ezekial (26:3-21; 28:6-10) foretold utter destruction for Tyre, naming not less than twenty-five separate details, each of which in the following centuries came true literally. Mathematicians have estimated, according to the ‘law of Compound Probabilities’, that if a prophecy concerning a person, place, or event has twenty-five details beyond the possibility of human collusion, calculation, coincidence, and comprehension, there is only one chance in more than thirty-three and one half million of its accidental fulfilment. Yet Tyre’s history at the hands of Nebuchadnezzar, and then more than two centuries later at the hands of Alexander the Great, and centuries after the hands of the “Crusaders” (see the meditation “Church Part 2”), was striking fulfilment of each detail of the prophet’s forecasts. No other city in the world’s history could have fulfilled them. The authenticity and credibility of God’s Word leaves no chance for sane denial. We find similar fulfilment of Bible prophecy with regard to Palestine (Zeph 2:7) and most notably of all, to the fulfilment of at least twenty-five details concerning the birth, betrayal, trial, death, burial and ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ – see the meditation “Who is Jesus Christ?” by this author on www.gospel-truth.co.za for indisputable facts and serious food for the sceptic thought.
The world can offer no match to prophecies fulfilled as can be found in the Bible (some scholars claim 3 886, all fulfilled with perfect accuracy). Isaiah’s prophecy in Is 60:5 is yet another example, namely that the [Dead] Sea holds “abundant wealth”. This puzzled scholars for ages for it had been considered only a place of death and desolation. Then in 1935 it was discovered that a staggering potential wealth (four times that of the USA!?) might be in the minerals it contains (potash, bromine, and other chemical salts). Isaiah himself was unlikely to have known this, but God certainly would… For a study on the startling fulfilment of the biggest prophecy of all – Dan 9:24-27 – refer to the meditation “Rapture raptured” (p. 17-19) by this author. We’ll leave prophecies for now and move on.
Be careful from what book(s) you read for reference. As an example, compare the following:
“That if though shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” – The Bible, Romans 10:9, King James Version
“Because if you acknowledge and confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and in your heart believe (adhere to, trust in, and rely on the truth) that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” – Amplified Bible, Romans 10:9
Compare the above with a so-called “translation” that is not a “translation” at all but a version that fits someone’s doctrine and not having a doctrine that fits the Bible and its original manuscripts by any means. We read then:
“… if you believe in your hearts and confess with your mouth Jesus is the Christ, that Joseph was a prophet, and that Brigham was his successor, you shall be saved in the Kingdom of God… no man… will ever enter into the Celestial Kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith… he reigns there supreme…” – Journal of Discourses by Brigham Young.
Note. Joseph Smith (23.12.1805 – 27.06.1844); and Brigham Young, a polygamist (01.06.1801 – 29.08.1877), were Mormons who didn’t believe in the deity of Jesus, nor held the same opinion of “Christ” as Jesus Christ…
We read from manuscripts much, much older than anything else in the world today, that “Through Your [God’s] precepts …we… get understanding; therefore I hate every false way. Your Word [The Bible for us today] is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” – Psalm 119:104,105. Psalm 118:8 is literally the middle verse in The Bible, 594 verses from the front and 594 verses from the end. If you add the verses you get 1188 [verses]. We find then that this middle verse is penned in Psalm 118:8, and it reads “It is better to trust in and take refuge in the Lord than put confidence in men”! And yes, according to this same Bible, there is only one way. We read that Jesus Christ said “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life: no one comes to the Father except by (through) Me” – John 14:6.
There is only one belief with a claim that God came to man [He created] and provided a Savior in His Son, Jesus Christ. All other religions have systems based on human efforts and their own [corrupted] merit. Just studying these meditations on this website, and understanding the Bible [Jesus Christ as Lord], will prove all [other] religious philosophical systems devoid of God’s Truth [God the Creator, not a god dreamt up by flawed human reasoning]. (See the meditation on Mohammed that will show that Allah is not God! Read it?)
There are five well accepted [academic] criteria of credibility that can be used to assess the credibility of documents or individual sources. This will also prove to elevate the Bible infinitely above all literary works that all humans combined could come up with. They are the following:
The first criterion, reputation, is whether the source’s history or status suggests reliability or unreliability. If we know that someone has told lies in the past, then we should be less trusting of them in future. If, on the other hand, they have been put in a position of authority and responsibility, then this suggests that they have earned it, and so this counts in their favour, to some degree at least.
Having said this, one must accept the logical acceptance of the fact that even any liar can [may, is capable to] tell some truth at some point [give a truthful account of what was perceived].
The reader could also peruse the meditations by this author entitled “Apparent Controversies in The Bible” as well as “The Four Gospels” to debunk the myth that the Bible has contradictions; and discover instead that the reader was probably just in the wrong spiritual place in ignorance, or was indoctrinated or influenced by wrong perceptions.
Please read on.
2. Ability to See
The second criterion, ability to see, concerns whether the source is in a position to know what they’re talking about. No matter how honest a source of information, if they don’t have access to the evidence then the value of their testimony is going to be limited. To assess a source using this criterion, consider whether the person was present to see what they are claiming occurred first-hand, and if they were, then whether there were any conditions that might have obstructed their view or otherwise impaired their access to evidence.
Compare here the overwhelming historical references and manuscripts of the Bible with the relatively brand new and weird ideas of Mrs. Eddy. All the works of Mary Baker Eddy (16.07.1821 – 03.12.1910; who was semi-literate and the founder of “Christian Science” or “Scientology”) are considered – by her followers – to be inspired of God. Whatever she said is believed to be authoritative. This, of course, boggles the mind if one compares her strange ideas with what is clearly to be read in the infinitely more credible Bible. More amazing is how easily multitudes of people just blindly follow a delusional human and claim to be wise and “enlightened” themselves. Unbelievable! Actually, tragic and sad.
3. Vested Interest
The vested interest criterion refers to whether the source of information has anything personally at stake. If they might gain something by lying, then their credibility is weakened by their vested interest. If they might lose a lot by being caught lying, then their credibility is strengthened by a vested interest to tell the truth or admit that they have erred. “Keeping face” then out rules a true confession.
Observe here the historically accurate accounts of the Life, teachings, and resurrection of Jesus Christ [as mentioned also in the Bible], as opposed to the concocted doctrines of humans such as Mrs. Eddy who claims that man has no body and that the fall of man did not occur (it was a fantasy, an illusion) and subsequently is sinfulness denied, and that there is no separate mind from God that implies that man and God are one and the same person (we are all God?)… One then have to ask if someone was just delusional (demented) or was there a vested interest in a self-glorification [bitterness] and attempts at self-righteousness? This is exactly why all humans needs [needed] a Divine Savoir!
One can also just wonder what the interest [motive] of a member to a diabolical organization such as the free masonry can be to true Christianity. Why use the name “Christ” but denies Him and His teachings (1 Jn 2:4)? Both Joseph and Hyrum Smith were free masons. In 1842, Joseph Smith became a Master Mason. The Mormon church has brought many of the masonic rituals into their services. In fact, the story of the golden plates could have been influenced by an ancient masonic legend. The association of Mr. Smith to the forming ideas of “Christian Science” is also undeniable and obvious.
In similar fashion the eastern philosophical religious concepts and ideas, all prove to be/have been either mentioned in manuscripts contained in The Bible first (where true principles are mentioned); or (otherwise) utter nonsense that denies Jesus Christ as Lord [God, Creator, Savior, Intercessor], the Name above all names and the King above all kings; the Truth, Life and the only Way to God the Father.
The fourth criterion is expertise. There are some situations in which it is difficult for normal observers to accurately interpret evidence because they lack specialized knowledge. For example, if I were to watch a high-level game of chess, my comments as to who was in the best position would be worthless, as even if I were able to see the board clearly I wouldn’t really know what was going on. My credibility about such matters would thus be weakened by my lack of expertise.
Inevitably the Bible critics are highly irregular and inconsistent with someone who knows God or the Word of God at all [accurately]. Some religions claim humans are [become] gods; they reject Jesus (deny that He existed, saying He is a figment of our deluded imagination; but some “accept” [what they perceive as] “Christ”. Many say man needs no salvation because they deny the reality of sin and evil. Many believe values should be formed on a majority’s opinion but is a logical absurdity that is ironically, revealing exactly a crucially sick mind that desperately needs to accept [believe, trust] Jesus Christ – not self.
Mary Baker Eddy, for example, must then have died in gross sin, since she taught her followers that if we believe that matter does not exist, then we would disappear from this material world. She did not disappear from this material world, she died… in sin (Jn 16:9). Bare in mind that she said being sick is a result of believing a lie (which in itself is a sin) and that she did not disappear but died of ill health. She said that to be material is to be a lie. Was she then just an illusion? Then why follow an illusion’s ideas?
The final criterion is neutrality bias, i.e. whether someone is predisposed to support a particular point of view for reasons other than vested interest. Someone who knows other people involved in a dispute, for example, may be liable to side with them or against them depending on their relationship, weakening their credibility.
People do not want to be wrong – until they are born-again (Jn 3:3). They tend to fervently defend whatever belief system they have bought into whether they can prove any of it or not. And the most accredited reference by all means by far, is the Word of God, the Bible consisting of its 66 Books. The “proof” that “Scientologists” come up with, is ridiculously childish and blinded by self. A typical example is (a) where “Scientologists” assume to quote Jn 1:18 but fail to read on to even verse 34, and even missed verses 1-17! They also completely missed Mt 11:27; or Jn 4:23-26; 5:19-26; 6:46; 9:35-41; 10:36; and (b) where they unbelievably claim Jesus did not know who He was because of an incredibly dull understanding of Mt 16:13-15 (Lk 9:18)! How can they not see that Jesus (Jn 1:1-4,17; 3:16-20; Col 1:13-20!) was revealing to them what they did not realize, namely that only God [Holy Spirit] could reveal to Peter (Simon, meaning “wavering reed” that Jesus already named Peter – “rock” in foreknowledge) that Jesus was indeed the Messiah that had been prophesied for ages. Amazing.
Don’t be so foolish as to compare over 60 000 ancient and proven manuscripts to a few novels of men. Again, read the corresponding sections in the other meditations on this website that expands on this basic fact.
Why would you deny such overwhelming evidence and historically accurate reports? Do you know Truth? God as Spirit materialized in a human body as Jesus Christ (Joshua Messiah), for at least these reasons:
1. To undo the work the devil had done in the beginning (1 Jn 3:8). See the meditation by the author entitled “Genesis to Revelation” and “Mixing Old and New” for a better exegesis. If you have a problem (bought a lie) that the devil or angels, does not exist, you are (selectively) ignoring the clear references thereto in the most credible literally work on earth – The Bible.
2. Jesus had to legitimately [truly] represent mankind and so had to be born of a woman (1 Cor 15:45). Note that He was sent, not created (Jn 1:1-3; Col 1:12-20) as a Seed [Word of God] – Jn 1:14.
3. Jesus had to pay for all sin of all mankind (Jn 1:29; 3:15-16; 1 Tim 2:5; and so on)
4. Jesus had to be buried (Heb 9:16-18; Jn 8:17 with Rom 8:17; Heb 2:8-18; 9:11-14,10:7-14…)
5. Jesus had to rise from the dead to show (a) our sins are forgiven (Mt 6:12,14-15; Jn 20:23; Rom 6 with 12:19); and (b) that Jesus Christ is everlasting Life (Jn 1:4; 5:37-47; 14:6; Rev 2:7; 22:2,14); and (c) that He is our Advocate/Intercessor/Friend (1 Jn 2:1-2; Heb 7:25; 9:24; Jn 3:17-21; Rom 8:2…); and (d) that this is all real (tangible) not “illusions” (false).
Trans-like chimes and reciting repetitively some man-made rhyme or ode will not change anything with the one and only true Creator-God, for it rejects God’s salvation plan for mankind – Jesus Christ [only]. The so-called “Scientologists” and “Church of Jesus Christ and Latter-day Saints” (“Mormons”) – just like many other religions – memorize and recite selected verses in parrot-like fashion after humans (not gods) who has rejected the Bible as the Word of God when they were still teenagers with no knowledge of the original text; humans who concocted their own doctrines to suit their own personal notions, who reasoned away their false predictions with false declarations that outright oppose the original manuscripts and the original Bible that is beyond any doubt the Word of God. These “scientists” and “believers” believe their own version of a Bible that they call true. This is absurd. The true God is a miracle working God that revealed Himself (to us) in three Persons: A Father, a Son, a Holy Spirit – His witnesses knows it for a fact. (The original Latin translation from Greek shows “person” to mean “mask” and is discussed in the meditation “Trinity Doctrine” on www.gospel-truth.co.za).
Knowing God can only be achieved by accurately knowing Jesus Christ (Jn 3:3,16, 10:9; 14:6; Rom 10) in a personal relationship (Jn 10:27,28; Mt 7:20-23). Fruit = answered prayers (prophecies) = joy. When you say what God has said all along [in trust, belief in His Word], His Word will not return void but fulfil what it was set out to do (Is 55:9-11; Gen 1:26-28; and Mt 13:33-43 with Heb 9:26 in the KJV and Mt 5:14). This is prayer [prayers answered] and this is prophecy: saying, declaring what God has said/promised all along!
Casually, and superficially, only Mt 28:19 and 2 Cor 13:14 seems capable of a Trinitarian interpretation. Then there are the plurality and simultaneous singular usage of reference to God as – for example – in Gen 1:26. The Deity of Christ is taught by Paul in Phil 2:6-8 and 1 Tim 3:16; also the personality of the Holy Spirit in Eph 4:30 – he then puts the Three together in the benediction of 2 Cor 13:14.
God has revealed Himself in three Persons (2 Tim 3:16-17), so we can understand His Personality:
1. The Father: Is 63:16; Mal 2:10. In Isaiah 9:6 Jesus is called everlasting Father [of eternity]!
2. The Son of Jehovah: Ps 45:6,7; 2:6,7,12; Prov 30:4; as Messiah with Divine titles in Jer 23:5,6; Is 9:6; and then the Angel of the Lord who bears God’s name and has power to either forgive or retain sins as in Ex 23:20,21. Also Jn 10:30; 14:9; etc. Also consider the Book of Hebrews, especially 1:5; 4:14; chap 7-10…
3. The Holy Spirit: Gen 1:2; Is 11:2,3; 48:16; 61:1; 63:10. Lying to the Holy Spirit is lying to God in Acts 5:3,4; Jn 16:8; see also 1 Cor 12:11. God is Spirit – Jn 4:24. This is how He can be omnipresent.
The Apostle Paul also held this possible view by comparing the following Scriptures:
1. Eph 4:11. The 5 leadership gifts (charismata) given by Jesus Himself to equip saints to prove the working of the Holy Spirit, building His church [His Body, Bride, those His Spirit indwells];
2. Rom 12:6-8. The 7 ministries (diakona) given by the Father to train saints to serve like Jesus;
3. 1 Cor 12:8-12. The 9 spiritual gifts (energemata) given by the Holy Spirit to show the Father’s power.
For a more in-depth study on the trinity, see the meditation entitled “Trinity Doctrine” by the author. Meanwhile, as a summery, we see from Genesis 1 through Revelations 22 that the three persons in the Godhead always work together: It’s as if God the Father conceives the thought, God the Son conveys it, and God the Holy Spirit effects it. The Father is the Creator, Sustainer and Giver of Life. The Son is our Lord, Example, First Born, Brother, and Savior. The Holy Spirit is Omnipresent, is our Helper, Comforter, Teacher, Guide and Power of God. He strengthens, leads, teaches and interprets, gives unity and peace, gives power to pray (and He translates for us) and power to worship and speak, He calls and sets the true believer in Jesus Christ as Savior, apart. If you insist on having a god you defined by man’s ideas, you have a god smaller than yourself and you cannot worship [trust] him. Think about it. Perhaps this is the issue with unbelievers in a Triune God.
In the beginning of this meditation, mention was made to find the truth, not to just try and win own arguments. Note here that Jesus Christ – after His indisputable resurrection – stated that all authority in heaven and earth was given Him, and that He is the Truth, and that if you know HIM, you will know the Truth and He will set you free, and if He sets you free, that you are free indeed (Mt 28:18; Jn 8:32,36). Do you believe Him? Or would you stubbornly (unreasonably), still prefer Mrs. Eddy or Joseph Smith, or Darwin or Buddha, or their equivalent?
If signs, miracles and wonders are not following you, you only have [another] dead religion (Mk 16:16-20). Ironically, could your biggest reality be your own “illusion” of unbelief in Jesus Christ.
Cults contrast the gospel of Jesus Christ by perverting and twisting the Truth to draw away disciples after themselves. They do not present the whole Truth and isolate Scripture without comparing Scripture with Scripture honestly; and worst of all, choose to ignore [“reason” away] hard facts. They alter copies of original manuscripts and accurate old translations accepted as Scripture to suit their pet doctrines and discard the rest. This is selective, false, and come from “amongst yourselves” – Acts 20:37-31. Cults are defined by their denial of the Lordship and Deity of Jesus Christ.
The reliability of ancient manuscripts from which today’s Bibles are translated, is remarkable. It is important to remember that the canon of the New Testament was not the result of any pronouncement by any official of the “church” or any organizational body. Rather, the canon was determined by the authoritative use of these books right from the start by the rapidly expanding church of the first and second centuries. The NT canon was merely a process of formal recognition of already recognized Scripture, to admonish against the various forms of Gnosticism and false teachings that were starting to creep throughout the ever-expanding church. By the early 300’s AD, all of the NT books were being used in the mainstream church body.
The Roman Catholic official Bible (with the Apocrypha included)
From the meditation entitled “Church, Part 2”, the following: The Official Roman Catholic Bible, the Doway English Translation, is a good translation [literally], but from the corrupt Latin Vulgate Translation. The Alexandrian Bible by Origen in 240 A.D., from the Egypt Alexandrian cult (Acts 6:9), was used as the main source for the Latin Vulgate. After Martin Luther and the break of the Protestants from the Roman Catholic Church, the R.C. Church, in reaction, came up with their own Bible, declaring the Apocrypha to be canon at the Council of Trent (1545 – 1563) to legitimise their doctrines.
The Apocrypha is rejected as canon by the following:
– The Jews (for Apocrypha not being in the Hebrew Old Testament)
– Jesus and His disciples (never referred to, or acknowledged Apocrypha)
– Protestants (who wanted to follow the teachings of Jesus, rather than man)
– Peshitta (Syriac Bible of 2nd century did not contain Apocrypha)
Reasons why the Apocrypha is rejected as canon
– Unbiblical teaching such as praying for the dead. II Maccabees 12:45-46 directly apposes Jesus in Luke 16:25,26; Mt 22:32; also Hebrews 7:25; 9:27,28; Is 8:19-22; Ex 20:3; Dt 5:6,7; taking special note of 1 Sam 28:7-11 with 1 Chron 10:13,14
– Judith 9:10,13 claims God to assist Judith in a lie, contradicting Scriptures such as Numbers 23:19; Rom 3:4; 1 Sam 15:29; Tit 1:2; Heb 6:17,18; Is 55:8,9
– Errors such as Tobit supposedly being alive when Jerobeam staged his revolt in 931 B.C. and was still living at the time of the Assyrian captivity in 722 B.C. Yet the book of Tobit says he lived only 158 years (Tobit 1:3-5; 14:11)
– There are no claims of divine inspiration of these books. Reading them alongside the Bible shows a vast difference.
As an amazing and beautiful prophetic clue, Isaiah reads like a “miniature Bible”
– Isaiah has 66 chapters, the Bible (without the Apocrypha), 66 Books
– The first 39 chapters of Isaiah captures the essence of the 39 O.T. Books
– The last 27 chapters of Isaiah captures the essence of the 27 N.T. Books
– The opening verses of chapter 40 of Isaiah, prophecies the beginning of the N.T. with the coming of John the Baptist – this corresponds with the Book of Matthew.
The world’s “hidden” bible – a wicked alternative destroying the faith of millions in their ignorance
Many “Christians” today fail to understand the significance of [even blindly] accepting a pseudo-scientific theory that the earth is millions of years old. The “Christians” (1 Jn 2:4?) that buy the illogical lie that they can “see” or “make” a fantastic old age for earth work while the Bible clearly indicates the opposite (see the meditation by this author entitled “Who is Jesus Christ” and a genealogy showing convincingly that Adam – and God’s creation here on earth – began about 4 000 years B.C.). They also seem to be oblivious about the fantastic degree of inaccuracy advocated in these “scientist’s” adaptations and adjusting of the ages they calculate [guess, based on mere assumptions]; all while the Bible has said the exact same thing all along, in effect from its manuscripts, for the last 3 500 years! From the meditation “Evolution” on www.gospel-truth.co.za, the following excerpt:
James Hutton (1726 – 1796) made a startling statement in his “Theory of The Earth”, p.19 (1795) that, “… the earth is much older than what most people thought…”. Many people today might be surprised to know that up to the early 1800’s most people believed the Bible and its creation account and the flood that happened about 2 345 to 2 349 BC. Then the age of “anti-monarchy” followed with revolution upon revolution and a drive towards a new form of government called democracy (where the majority is supposed to determine right from wrong). James Hutton propagated the principle of uniformitarianism that states that the earth processes occurring today are similar to those that occurred in the past and that this was very, very slow. He inferred that they always had the same rate of change and so hypothesized that it took much, much longer than a few thousand years to form layers of rock. He rejected the possibility of one cataclysmic event such as a global flood, the deluge the Bible clearly states. Hutton seemed to have initiated the idea that his idea was the key to the past rather than the Bible. A new Bible?
Enter Sir Charles Lyell in the early 1800’s, the Scottish lawyer well known to hate the Bible. This lawyer then proceeded to write “Principles of Geology” in 1830. He referred to himself when he writes on p.302, “Men of superior talent who thought for themselves, and were not blinded by authority (the Bible)…” and further stated that his goal was to “free the science from Moses…” – Life letters and journals, published by John Murray, 1881. This Sir Lyell then teamed up with some like-minded geologists of his time and came up with the idea that layers of dirt should be aged according to the fossils found in it. Voila! The geological column was born and this was to become the evolutionists Bible. Observe here that there are layers of rock on this planet but that in fact a single column like this exist nowhere on earth. If you find this origin of this bogus column (in any one location on earth) difficult to accept, see what the following scientists had to say about this in a fairly recent Earth Science, 1989, P 326: “…If there were a column of sediments continually deposited since the formation of the earth the entire history of the planet could be reconstructed. Unfortunately no such column exists. Where sediments are missing, a break in the sedimentary record occurs. Breaks result in gaps in the record that may range from a few years to hundreds of millions of years. Breaks in the sedimentary record are called unconformities…”
In Biology p. 385, A Beka Books, we read, “… if there were such a column in one location it would have to be 100 miles thick…” Note that there are no erosion marks consistent with millions of years between any such rock layers that can justify such separation. Instead, they are stacked like pancakes. A flood of Biblical proportions in Noah’s time would perfectly explain this phenomena, so why the obstinate refusal to acknowledge this possibility? Even a small child can mix dirt with water in a jar and see how it rather quickly settles automatically in layers. It is called hydrological sorting. Now think carefully about this.
“About 85 % of the earth’s land surface does not have even three geological periods appearing in ‘correct’ consecutive order. It becomes an overall exercise of gigantean special pleading and imagination for the evolutionary-uniformitarian paradigm to maintain that there ever were geological periods”. – Dr. John Woodmorappe, geologist, “The Essential Non-Existence of the Evolutionary Uniformitarian Geologic Column” CRSQ vol. 18, no. 1, June 1981, pp. 46-71.
- It takes less faith to believe and follow a Creator than to try and make sense of a random-order evolutionary process that gives no special place, importance or permanence to a human being. It is a great difficulty for the true Christian to fathom how the following can be rationalized with fantastic theories nowhere observed except in the reasoning of a conceited mind:
- If no intelligence existed [yet] nor anything known to man, how can the origin of everything have been an explosion? (a) What exploded? (b) Why? (c) How? (d) How can an explosion produce our astonishing complexity and any laws that govern these systems with no design of any kind??? (e) We frown upon a theory that insinuates that a law [constant] in nature could develop randomly on its own accord [by definition against its own rule]; yet start to govern something else consistently.
- If we have not been created, we have no responsibility to a creator; neither would mankind have any need for a saviour. It would not make sense. The book teaching this would then also be a lie, a fabrication. It is notable that the evolutionist’s “bible” have artists’ depictions [only] for all the major “scientific” base assumptions, such as one solid “geological column” and museum exhibitions fraught with imagination… and that the Bible, when studied honestly and sensibly, is supreme in its logic and consistency with unparalleled compliancy to all modern scholastic requirements for credibility. Even a global flood is an absolutely plausible explanation and fits in perfectly with physical evidence across the globe and a story told in the most extraordinary Book…
- How can any morality be propagated or expected if the source where this was first recorded is denied? The other meditations by this author on gospel-truth.co.za expand more on this.
Most people, when they discover that they’ve been misled with something that they had based their entire belief system on, react with what they think is anger. This emotion is probably just a mixture of fear and embarrassment. But don’t despair – this is our opportunity to prove our sober maturity and honesty and logical reasoning… so let’s cut to the chase and look at this more observant and wisely, shall we?
In this website you have an author who is not a scientist but a plain and normal Christian. If you want to read the probably definitive website debunking evolution, Darwinism, neo-Darwinism and uniformitarianism, do yourself a favour and peruse www.trueorigin.org. You just need to type in “The True. Origin Archive” in your website search engine [Google] to get credible facts from real scientists; or try trueorigin.org. Be blessed ( Eph 1:3-23)!
For the purpose of this short overview, we will conclude this discussion about the Bible here. More is incorporated in the other meditations and is downloadable from www.Gospel-Truth.co.za. Please consider them seriously.
Peace to you in Jesus Christ, our only Savior and Lord.
1 Thess 5:23 to you!
from the meditation “Who is Jesus Christ”
SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE FOR A YOUNG WORLD
If we are “scientific” (examine facts and real observations that are repeatable by experiment), why not give scientists who believe in a young world an honest chance to explain the “clocks” they base this observation on? The reader will most likely be utterly shocked to find that hard scientific evidence for a young world abounds overwhelmingly while those obstinately claiming only very long periods (more than 10 000 years) base this mostly on pre-disposed assumptions! It is understandable that one would want to grab at assumptions that would “prove” the Bible wrong if you want to not be accountable to a Creator but only to yourself – if you choose to accept only that you have merely developed by chance from slime – a ridiculous scientific improbability. Examine for once, true facts.
On your own, dare to honestly and carefully peruse www.trueorigin.org to debunk Darwinism, Neo-Darwinism and dispensationalism once for all. Also see “It’s a young world after all” by Paul D. Ackerman in www.creationism.org/ackerman/. Do it “scientifically” – that is, not with pretence or a pre-determined idea but with an open mind that genuinely examine convincing facts and evidence.
There are trees mentioned in the creation account in Genesis and also by Jesus Christ who compared men to trees. Consider the meditations by this author that discusses this in the meditations “Worldly philosophies vs the Word of God”, “ABC Myths, legends, lies”, “Genesis to revelation”, etc.
Interestingly, the oldest living thing on earth is identified by scientists as either an Irish oak or a Bristlecone pine. If we assume a growth rate of one tree ring per year, the oldest trees date 4 500 to 4 767 years old. Because they are living still, can we not know yet how old they will get before they die. It also strongly suggests that something happened around 4 500 years ago which caused the immediate ancestors of these trees to die off. The Biblical flood was 2 349 BC. Note also (a) that it is a known fact that trees often produce more than one ring per year (evidence point to cycles such as being temperature related, rather than years); and (b) that apparently no evidence can be found that any fossil trees could thus far be found with more than about 1 500 rings (one claim says 1 700). This is significant since the Bible claim that God made the earth and all that is in it, and its rather easy to deduct – as in Appendix A – that this creation happened 1 651 years before the flood (around 4 000 BC).
The earth’s population was determined to be one billion in the 1810 A.D. census. Credible estimates guess the world population in the time of Jesus’ ministry at around a quarter billion. Taken all known factors into account (disasters, wars, average population growths, etc) and projecting this rate back, brings us to a very plausible scenario of eight people at about 2 349 B.C. (the year of the Biblical Flood). At any rate MUCH more reasonable than the 3 million years nonsense that evolutionists suggest! If Darwinists were right in that we have been on earth for 3 million years we should have had about 150 000 people per square inch at present. Incidentally, note how some evolutionists have casually dropped their time-span for human existence to 50 000 years – is their ridiculous range of inaccuracy credible? Is there no doubt on a belief system that alters their time spans and estimates by millions of years without blinking an eye? And you want to compare this to the one Book that has proven to be the most credible [by far the most ancient manuscripts, and most consistent] literary work on earth? This Book is called The Bible (comprising 66 books). It is about God and His salvation plan for us – Jesus Christ. Read it.
To avoid unnecessary repetition, this author invites you again, to consider the meditations on this website entitled “Evolution”, “The Flood”, “Worldly philosophies vs the Word of God”, “ABC Myths, legends, lies”, “Genesis to revelation”, etc. And then, why not honestly and openly contemplate creation-scientists observations? Go in peace – the real peace only obtainable by the One Who Loves you and paid for your sins. His is Name is Jesus Christ.
 Tanakh is an acrostic using the first letters of the words which compile the three sections of the OT. Ta = Torah, Na = Nebi’im (prophets), and Kh = K’tubim (writings). The books in the Tanakh are the same as in the Protestant OT, arranged in different order. The Torah is the first 5 books of Moses, the prophets consists of the former and later prophets and the writings begins with Psalms and ends with 2 chronicles.
 Norman L. Geisler and William E. Nix, A General introduction to the Bible, Moody, Chicago, revised and expanded 1986, p. 367
 Even accurately implying the use of nails; the Romans tied their victims with rope. The Jews crucified Jesus (Jn 19)!
 Psychic powers are none less than intentional trickery or self-delusion. In 1988 the U.S. National Academy of Sciences gave a report on the subject and concluded there is “no scientific justification from research conducted over a period of 130 years for the existence of parapsychological phenomena.” A study attempted to repeat recently reported parapsychological experiments that appeared to support the existence of precognition. All attempts to repeat the results “failed to produce significant effects”, and thus “do not support the existence of psychic ability.” Similarly will Wikipedia [also] note that Psychic surgery is a form of medical fraud, a pseudoscientific procedure typically involving the pretense of creating an incision using only the bare hands, the removal of pathological matter, and finally the spontaneous healing of the incision. It has been denounced by the US Federal Trade Commission as a “total hoax”,and the American Cancer Society maintains that psychic surgery may cause needless death by keeping the ill away from life-saving medical care.Medical professionals and skeptics classify it as sleight of hand and any positive results as a placebo effect. It first appeared in the Spiritualist communities of the Philippines and Brazil in the middle of the 20th century, and it has taken different paths in those two countries. Psychic information often wastes police time and resources following up on false leads. Despite popular belief and claims to the contrary, there is not a single documented case of a missing person being found or recovered due to psychic information. Psychics have consistently failed to find missing persons, including high-profile disappearances like Natalee Holloway and Holly Bobo (the Tennessee woman abducted in April 2011 who remains missing despite efforts by dozens of psychics). In perhaps the most glaring and tragic failure of psychics, Jaycee Dugard, the girl who was abducted and held hostage by a California husband and wife, was subjected to continual sexual and physical abuse for nearly 20 years while psychics offered wrong and contradictory information about her location and condition. James Randi has an article in Wired magazine exposing yet another fake psychic — Theresa Caputo, the Long Island Medium, who now has her own show on badly misnamed The Learning Channel (where the only thing you can learn about are fake psychics, incredibly obese people and women who have their uterus into a clown car). Caputo does what’s known in the trade as “cold reading.” The very best practitioners can pick up enough information in what seems like innocent, idle conversation to convince you that they know very specific things about you. The scientific phenomenon is called the Forer effect — giving credence to vague observations that seem personal. It’s also called the Barnum effect, after that famous showman credited with coining the phrase: “There’s a sucker born every minute.” That technique consists of simply tossing out initials, names and situations to the subject, asking casual questions while guessing, and a handful of other manipulative psychological techniques to appear to be demonstrating psychic powers. “Is there an anniversary coming up?” “A birthday or something?” “He/she just said to me …” “He’s proud of you” and the ever-popular “Do you understand?” — to which the answer is always a nod of assent. What else is a beguiled believer to do when told: “She’s happy in Heaven?” All of those inquiries come from Caputo, I should add. Use your internet search engine, and type in “How Psychic Scams Work: Don’t Get Conned!”… and don’t be conned!
 These books are called Tobit (about a pious family), Judith (acting on behalf of her people and murders Holofernes); Esther (additions to existing book); Maccabees I and II (freedom wars in Palestine around 176-135 B.C.); The Wisdom of Solomon and The wisdom of Sirach (proverbs); Baruch and Letter of Jeremiah (additions to existing book); Song of the three young men, Susanna, Bel and the dragon. These books are usually bound between the Old and New Testaments.
 Heb 2:8-18; Gal 4:5; Rom 6:5-10; 8:14-17;Js 4:5; Eph 2:5-10; Jn 17:20-26; and so on
 Note that the Spirit of God must be His Person. He can be grieved (Eph 4:30) and lied to (Acts 5:3); + Is 11:2; Rev 1:4
 Signs are miraculous authority over nature that authenticates God’s message; Miracles are works of God that demonstrates His love for people (Acts 10:38); Wonders are demonstrations of God’s unlimited power.