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He That Has Ears To Hear, Let Him Hear
 (Matthew 11:15-30)
Challenging both secular wisdom and religious doctrines. - Will our descendants know moral virtue?

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Jesus Christ, the Word of God, became flesh
"Scripture cannot be broken"  John 10:35

The grass withers, the flower fades: but the word of our God shall stand for ever. Isaiah 40:8

"...they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction." 2 Peter 3:16

" In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made. In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness; and the darkness doesn't comprehend it." John 1:1-5

"He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. He came unto His own and His received Him not. But as may as received Him, to then gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name; which were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." John 1:10-14

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
Genesis 1:1-3

For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. Colossians 1:16-17

Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. Hebrews 11:3

By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. He gathered the waters of the sea together as an heap: he laid up the depth in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. For he spoke, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast. Psalms 33:6-9

If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. 1 John 1:6-10


Regardless of what "progressives" say:
"Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away."
Matthew 24:35
"...the scripture cannot be broken;
John 10:35

...blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it. Luke 11:28 

No matter what we say or do, the Word of God shall not pass away. Regardless of what your spouse or children may say or do. Regardless of what your Minister may say or do. Regardless of what you hear on the news, or see on TV. The Word of God cannot be broken. An evangelist may fall, a relative may be gay, the President may be immoral, and radio and TV hosts may get increasingly raunchy than the previous host, and coercive news anchors and reporters may try to equate religion with hate, but the Word of God remains - the "scripture cannot be broken."

Isaiah 55:11 - "So shall my word be that goes forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper as I intended."

Matthew 5:17-19 (Power New Testament) Jesus said: Do not think that I come to annul, to bring an incorrect interpretation to, the Torah or the Prophets. I did not come to annul but to bring spiritual abundance, for the Torah to be obeyed as it should be and God's promises to receive fulfillment. For truly I say to you: until the sky and the Earth would pass away, not one yod or one vav could ever pass away, from the Torah, until everything would come to pass. (Luke 16:17) Therefore, whoever would break one of the least of these commandments, and would teach people this way, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven: but whoever would do the commandments and would teach them, will be called great in the kingdom of the heavens.

(Power New Testament Footnotes: The yod is the smallest letter of the Hebrew alphabet. See Yod in Glossary. The vav is the second smallest letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The yod and the vav are called "soft letters" because they can be left out of a word and the word not be considered misspelled. See Yod in Glossary. The Glossary alone is worth the price of this book.)

Mark 11:22-24 - And Jesus answering said unto them, Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he said shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he said. Therefore I say unto you, What things so ever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

2 Corinthians 4:6,13,18 - For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. ... We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; ...While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Let them praise the name of the LORD: for he commanded, and they were created. Psalm 148:5

Romans 10:8-11 - But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou 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. For with the heart man believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believes on him shall not be ashamed.


Howard G. Hendricks  - “Many of us want a word from God, but we don't want the Word of God.” ... “Dusty Bibles always lead to dirty lives. In fact, you are either in the Word and the Word is conforming you to the image of Jesus Christ, or you are in the world and the world is squeezing you into its mold.”


"My little children, these things write I unto you, that you sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." 1 John 2:1-2

"Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound."  2 Timothy 2:9

"The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times." Psalm 12:6

"The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it." Psalm 68:11

"For this cause also we thank God without ceasing, because, when you received the word of God which you heard of us, you received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually works also in you that believe." 1 Thessalonians 2:13

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and returns not thither, but waters the earth, and makes it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goes forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper as I intended." Isaiah 55:8-11

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

"Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. My soul melts for heaviness: strengthen me Lord according to your word." 2 Peter 1:20

Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knows no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Ghost teaches; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ. 1 Corinthians 2:6-16

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it sees him not, neither knows him: but ye know him; for he dwells with you, and shall be in you. ...But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. John 14:16-17

Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. John 16:9-14

He answered and said unto them, Well has Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things you  do. And he said unto them, Full well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your own tradition. For Moses said, Honor your father and your mother; and, anyone who curses his father or mother, let him die the death: But you say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever you might be profited by me; he shall be free. And you suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother; Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which you have delivered: and many such like things you do. And when he had called all the people unto him, he said unto them, Hearken unto me every one of you, and understand: There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man. If any man have ears to hear, let him hear. Mark 7:6-16

For who hath stood in the counsel of the LORD, and hath perceived and heard his word? who hath marked his word, and heard it? Behold, a whirlwind of the LORD is gone forth in fury, even a grievous whirlwind: it shall fall grievously upon the head of the wicked. The anger of the LORD shall not return, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly. I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings. Am I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD. I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed. How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart; Which think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal. The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD. Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces? Jeremiah 23:18-29


Concerning this house which you are building, if you will walk in my statutes, and execute my judgments, and keep all my commandments to walk in them; then will I perform my word with you, which I spoke unto David your father: 1 Kings 6:12

For I am the LORD: I will speak, and the word that I shall speak shall come to pass; it shall be no more prolonged: for in your days, O rebellious house, will I say the word, and will perform it, saith the Lord GOD. Ezekiel 12:25

(Abraham) Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara's womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. Romans 4:18-25


Concerning the Old Testament

For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Romans 15:4

Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. 1 Corinthians 10:1-11


Applying the Science of Probability to the Scriptures Peter Stoner was chairman of the mathematics and astronomy departments at Pasadena City College until 1953 when he moved to Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California. There he served as chairman of the science division. At the time he wrote this book (SCIENCE SPEAKS online version), he was professor emeritus of science at Westmont. ...For example, the shape of the earth is mentioned in Isaiah 40:22. Gravity can be found in Job 26:7. Ecclesiastes 1:6 mentions atmospheric circulation. A reference to ocean currents can be found in Psalm 8:8, and the hydraulic cycle is described in Ecclesiastes 1:7 and Isaiah 55:10. The second law of thermodynamics is outlined in Psalm 102:25-27 and Romans 8:21. And these are only a few examples of scientific truths written in the Scriptures long before they were "discovered" by scientists.


Is the Bible the Inspired Word of God? By Jason Carlson and Ron Carlson - During a question and answer session at a recent speaking engagement, a university student asked me, “Why do you believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God?”  Now this is a very interesting question; and probably one of the most important questions any Christian could ask themselves.  What is so special, so unique about the Bible that Christians believe it is literally the inspired word of God? In answering this student’s question, I encouraged him to consider the following facts about the Bible:

First, the Bible is not just one single book.  This is a more common misconception than many people realize, especially with people who do not come from a Judeo-Christian background.  Rather than being a single book, the Bible is actually a collection of 66 books, which is called the canon of scriptures.  These 66 books contain a variety of genres: history, poetry, prophecy, wisdom literature, letters, and apocalyptic just to name a few. 

Second, these 66 books were written by 40 different authors.  These authors came from a variety of backgrounds: shepherds, fishermen, doctors, kings, prophets, and others.  And most of these authors never knew one another personally. 

Third, these 66 books were written over a period of 1500 years.  Yet again, this is another reminder that many of these authors never knew or collaborated with one another in writing these books.

Fourth, the 66 books of the Bible were written in 3 different languages.  In the Bible we have books that were written in the ancient languages of Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic; a reflection of the historical and cultural circumstances in which each of these books were written.

And finally, these 66 books were written on 3 different continents: Africa, Asia, and Europe.  Once again, this is a testament to the varied historical and cultural circumstances of God’s people.

Think about the above realities: 66 books, written by 40 different authors, over 1500 years, in 3 different languages, on 3 different continents.  What’s more, this collection of books shares a common storyline- the creation, fall, and redemption of God’s people; a common theme- God’s universal love for all of humanity; and a common message- salvation is available to all who repent of their sins and commit to following God with all of their heart, soul, mind and strength. In addition to sharing these commonalities, these 66 books contain no historical errors or contradictions.  God’s word truly is an amazing collection of writings! 

After I had shared the above facts with this student, I offered him the following challenge: I said to him, “If you do not believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God, if you do not believe that the Bible is of a supernatural origin, than I challenge you to a test.”  I said to the student, “I challenge you to go to any library in the world, you can choose any library you like, and find 66 books which match the characteristics of the 66 books in the Bible.  You must choose 66 books, written by 40 different authors, over 1500 years, in 3 different languages, written on 3 different continents.  However, they must share a common storyline, a common theme, and a common message, with no historical errors or contradictions.”  I went on to say, “If you can produce such a collection of books, I will admit that the Bible is not the inspired word of God.”  The student’s reply was almost instantaneous, he emphatically stated, “But that’s impossible!” 

“But that’s impossible!”  It truly is impossible, for any collection of human writings.  However, the Bible passes this test.  The Bible contains 66 books, written by 40 different authors, over 1500 years, in 3 different languages, on 3 different continents, with no historical errors or contradictions.  The entire Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, bears the mark of Divine inspiration.

The next time you encounter someone who asks you why you believe the Bible is the inspired word of God, try sharing this challenge with them.  Better yet, don’t wait until you’re asked, just go ahead and share this challenge with a friend today.  You don’t even have to mention the Bible up front, just ask them if they think it would be realistic to assemble such a collection of books.  After they say, “But that’s impossible!” you’ve got a ready-made opportunity for sharing the truth of God’s word with somebody! 


See also
The Fourth Man and Some of God's Hebrew Names and their meaning.
Evidence for a God Authored Bible
The pure statistical evidence from a few messianic and historical prophecies, archeology and scientific facts, Jesus’ resurrection, miracles, and contemporary facts easily proves God authored the Bible. It would be well known if a credible fact exists that negates any part of Bible.


Lookup a word or passage in the Bible



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For precise interpretation of the Scriptures, these books below are recommended.

Has the thief robbed you by thinking the Scriptures are hard to understand, or has someone convinced you that if two people read a Scripture, both interpret it differently?

     

1. Tanakh the Old Testament translated according to the Traditional Hebrew Text. It is the culmination of three decades of collaboration by academic scholars and rabbis representing the three largest branches of organized Judaism in the United States. ...The resulting text is a triumph of literary style and Biblical scholarship, unsurpassed in accuracy and clarity.  

2. Power New Testament by Rev. Willian J. Morford. The New Testament translated from the original Greek with all the Jewish idioms which reveal how Christ "fulfilled the Law." (The Glossary alone is worth the cost of the book.) 

3. One New Man Bible: Revealing Jewish Roots (Old and New Testaments) by Rev. William J. Morford - This Bible includes Rev. Moford's previous release of the Power New Testament. The Jewish Roots of Christianity come to life in The One New Man Bible. This translation brings out the power of the Hebrew and Greek languages that has commonly been omitted from traditional English translations. (Again, the footnotes and Glossary are worth the costs.)

Sample passages:

Mark 5:25. And a woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years 26. and suffered much under many physicians and spent everything beyond her means and was not helped but rather became worse, 27. when she heard about Jesus, as she came from behind the crowd she touched the fringe of His prayer shawl: 28. for she was saying that "If I could just touch His prayer shawl I will be saved." 29. And immediately the flow of her blood dried and she knew that her body was healed from the plague. 

Footnotes/Glossary: Prayer Shawl is given in Numbers 15:37-41 where Moses is told, Speak to the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the corners of their garments throughout the generations, and that they put upon the fringe of each corner a thread of blue: and it shall be to you as a fringe, that you may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the Lord, and do them: and that you may remember, and do all My commandments, and be holy to your God. I am the Lord your God, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God. I am the Lord your God. The fringes, called tsisit in Hebrew, kraspedon in Greek, were placed on the corners of the outer garment, which was larger than the current prayer shawl and looked like a poncho with tsisit. The purpose for it is for everyone, including the wearer, to look at the corner fringe and remember all the commandments of the Lord. Rabbis centuries ago made a list of 613 commandments, including the promises of God, so in Jesus' day people would see all the power of God in that fringe, called tsisit in Hebrew, when the prayer shawl was worn by an anointed man of God. That is why the woman with the bloody issue reached for the fringe. Jesus also used the prayer shawl in Mark 5:41, the raising of Jairus' daughter. (Prayer shawl has more than a page of notes in the glossary.)

Galatians 5:13-6:10 For you have been called in freedom, brothers: only not freedom in the flesh, but you are serving one another through love. For the whole Torah has found its full expression in one saying, in this "You will love your neighbor as yourself." (Lev 19:18) But if you bite and devour one another, do you not see that you would be consumed by one another! But I say, may you walk in the spirit so that you would not in any way fulfill any desire of the flesh. For flesh turns against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh, these things are opposed to one another, so that you would not do the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law of the flesh. And the works of the flesh are apparent, which are immorality, impurity, licentiousness (sexually immoral: pursuing desires aggressively and selfishly, unchecked by morality, especially in sexual matters), idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, outbreaks of selfishness, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and like things. I tell you beforehand, just as I told you before, that the ones who are doing things such as these will not inherit the Kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control: there is nothing in Torah against such as these. But those who belong to Messiah Jesus did crucify their flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, then we walk, directing our lives by the Spirit. We should not become boastful, neither provoking one another, nor envying one another. Brothers, if then a man would be overtaken with any sin, you, the spiritual, are to restore such a one as this in a spirit of gentleness, looking out for yourself lest you would also be tempted. Bear the burdens on one another and in this way you will fulfill the Torah of the Messiah. For if anyone thinks he is something and he is not, he deceives himself. And each must continually prove his conduct, and then he will have a reason for boasting only to himself, but not to another: for each will bear his own burden. And the one who is being taught the Word must continually share all good things with the one instructing. Do not be deceived, God is not mocked. For whatever the man would sow, this also will he reap: because the one who sows into his own flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who sows into the spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit. And we should not loose heart doing good. for in its own time we shall reap if we do not give out. So then as we have time, we should do good with all people, and especially with the households of the faithful. Power New Testament (Revealing Jewish Roots)


Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit testifies the Bible is true - What the Dead Sea Scroll manuscripts clearly demonstrate is that through about a thousand years there was essentially no significant alteration in the text. The scribes who transcribed the text of the Bible were so meticulous – they had such high standards of accuracy, counting every word and every letter of every word, dotting each "i" and crossing each "t", so to speak – that one may be absolutely certain the Old Testament text available to scholars today is in essence the same as the originals. The Dead Sea Scrolls are an incontrovertible archaeological confirmation that this is the case. The evidence for the reliability of the New Testament is equally strong with only approximately a 250-year gap between the original manuscripts and the copies currently available. "If you are still concerned about the gap of, say, 250 years," writes Erwin Lutzer of the Moody Bible Church of Chicago, "remember we can independently confirm the text of the New Testament by (1) papyri manuscripts that were discovered in Egypt, dated as early as A.D. 125, containing fragments of the New Testament. Also (2) extensive quotations of the New Testament occur in the writings of the early Church Fathers, as further proof that the New Testament writings were known to them, possessing the same content as we have today."


THE NEW ANSWERS BOOK 2: Chapter 17: Why 66? How can we be sure that we have the correct 66 books in our Bible? The Bible is a unique volume. It is composed of 66 books by 40 different writers over 1,500 years. But what makes it unique is that it has one consistent storyline running all the way through, and it has just one ultimate author  God. The story is about God's plan to rescue men and women from the devastating results of the Fall, a plan that was conceived in eternity, revealed through the prophets, and carried out by the Son of God, Jesus Christ.

Each writer of the Bible books wrote in his own language and style, using his own mind, and in some cases research, yet each was so overruled by the Holy Spirit that error was not allowed to creep into his work. For this reason, the Bible is understood by Christians to be a book without error.1

This collection of 66 books is known as the “canon” of Scripture. That word comes from the Hebrew kaneh (a rod), and the Greek kanon (a reed). Among other things, the words referred equally to the measuring rod of the carpenter and the ruler of the scribe. It became a common word for anything that was the measure by which others were to be judged (see Galatians 6:16, for example). After the apostles, church leaders used it to refer to the body of Christian doctrine accepted by the churches. Clement and Origen of Alexandria, in the third century, were possibly the first to employ the word to refer to the Scriptures (the Old Testament).2 From then on, it became more common in Christian use with reference to a collection of books that are fixed in their number, divine in their origin, and universal in their authority.

In the earliest centuries, there was little debate among Christians over which books belonged in the Bible; certainly by the time of the church leader Athanasius in the fourth century, the number of books had long been fixed. He set out the books of the New Testament just as we know them and added: These are the fountains of salvation, that whoever thirsts may be satisfied by the eloquence which is in them. In them alone is set forth the doctrine of piety. Let no one add to them, nor take anything from them.3

Today, however, there are attempts to undermine the clear witness of history; a host of publications, from the novel to the (supposedly) academic challenge the long-held convictions of Christians and the clear evidence of the past. Dan Brown in The Da Vinci Code claimed, More than eighty gospels were considered for the New Testament, and yet only relatively few were chosen for inclusion Matthew, Mark, Luke and John among them. 4 Richard Dawkins, professor of popular science at Oxford, England, has made similar comments.5

So, what is the evidence for our collection of 66 books? How certain can we be that these are the correct books to make up our Bible—no more and no less? ...


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