Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The Bible can be trusted.

The Bible contains the word of God. It's been translated into hundreds of languages and dialects. It doesn't lose it's divine inspiration because there may be a minor error in one particular translation. For years the King James version had an obvious error in it. In the song of Solomon it talked about the voice of the turtle. (Song 2:12 KJV) "The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land;"

The turtle has no voice. You've never heard a turtle sing grand opera or preach a sermon. When the NIV was first produced they corrected this obvious error in translation. They simply wrote "the voice of the turtle dove".
(Song 2:12 NIV) "Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land."

This correction cleared up the obvious "very minor" error in translation. Our faith is restored. The Bible is divinely inspired. Another interesting problem is found in (Gal 6:2 KJV) "Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ." Yet just a few verse later we read: (Gal 6:5 KJV) "For every man shall bear his own burden."

What's going on here? Does this mean the Bible contradicts itself? NO! It is simply a matter of understanding that nothing happens in a vacuum. There are always circumstances going on that can alter our perception of what is being said.

Let's consider two different circumstances. Suppose the individual in Verse 2 is an elderly widow in the church. She is not able to take care of herself. What should Christians do about this? Of course we have a duty to assist her and take care of her burdens. In Matthew 25 Jesus clearly taught that "compassion for those in need is absolutely mandatory if we want to be saved and go to heaven." And the sure and certain way to be lost is to ignore those in need.

Now, let's consider a person in the church who is lazy, won't work, always trying to get someone to do his share of the work. He is healthy and able to take care of his own needs. Now, Galatians 6:5 makes sense. "(Gal 6:5 KJV) "For every man shall bear his own burden."

The circumstances makes both statements perfectly clear and easy to understand. We have again obeyed the scriptures. (2 Tim 2:15 KJV) "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."

I have taught the Bible for over 60 years. I've read the Bible from cover to cover a great many times. I've researched the Bible with different commentaries and extended documents. I have looked at thousands of Hebrew and Greek words. They often have several dozen different meanings depending on the context or how the word is used in a passage.

The translators go back and find every available secular document from approximately the same time period to see how the word was used in that setting. Translating anything into another language is difficult to say the least.

Come with me and let's explore the wonderful gift God has given us. Meet me here for a daily bible study. I will help resolve some of the problems you may have when you talk about the Bible with Atheist or non-believers. I will help you build a rock solid confidence in the Bible. The Bible is the best link we have to understand not only the attributes of God but his will for this earthly life.

Do you have questions? Let me know what they are and I will consider doing a study on them.

God bless you and keep you strong in the faith,

Pastor Ken

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