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Christian Beliefs

Dr. Allan P. Brown

The Origin and Authority of Scripture


Unit 1

THE ORIGIN AND AUTHORITY OF SCRIPTURE


(Unit One)
I. The Foundation for Belief in the inspiration, inerrancy, and authority of Scripture.
There are 2 kinds of facts:
scientific fact (observable, repeatable) and
historical fact (based upon eye witness accounts).
Either kind of fact is acceptable in a court of Law. Both are not required. The disposition of a
case may be decided upon historical facts (testimony) alone. Most court time is, in fact, taken
up with witness examination and cross-examination of witnesses.
Jesus is the Prime Witness as to the inspiration, inerrancy, and authority of Scripture. That he is
certifiable as an expert in this subject is evidenced by His claiming to be God and proving His
claim by rising from the dead. As God, the Second Person of the Trinity, the Eternal Logos
(Word), He is the Living Scripturethe Living Word of God. As God, He knows with certainty the
inspiration, inerrancy, and authority of the Scriptures.
All of these claims are subject, of course, to His being resurrected from the dead. No record
exists of any religious leader having died and subsequently raised from the dead. No other
claims of such have ever been made by any major religion in recorded history. Muhammad is
still in his grave. Buddha is still in his grave. Confucius is still in his grave. Lao-Tse, the founder of
Taoism, is still in his grave. Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the founder of Sikhism (Pakistan), is still in
his grave.1 Christianity stands alone in its claim that its founder, Jesus Christ, rose from the
dead. This resurrection, if real, is conclusive proof that Jesus is who he claimed to bethe very
Son of God, in fact, God of Very God!
Now, how can we know that Jesus Christ really rose from the dead?
The world is full of experts who insist that the Bible is not the Word of God, or insist that it
only contains the Word of God. Many insist that the Bible is not inerrant, nor infallible. They
have varying opinions of the inspiration of its message, many denying this as well. None
however deny that fact that the Bible is history. It is universally accepted that the Christian
scriptures are historical documents. Therefore, it is as proper to respect and believe the
historical narrative of the Bible as it is to respect and believe our historical accounts of
Presidents Washington and Lincoln, or any other historical figure or historical account. In fact
we may and must attribute more validity to the historicity of the Bible, as, we shall soon see
that there is much more evidence available to prove its authenticity than practically any other
historical document.
1

Hinduism (India) and Shintoism (Japan) have no Prophet, but rather are based on polytheistic ideas incorporating nature deities and
concepts of cosmic self-realization and inner enlightenment and development.

Christian Beliefs
Dr. Allan P. Brown

The Origin and Authority of Scripture


Unit 1

So, we are going to look, first of all at the Bible as a totally acceptable historical document.
Well see what the historical record says about Jesus.
A. The historical fact of the resurrection is verified by eyewitness accounts. (Acts 1:3) - he
shewed himself alive ... by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and
speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.
1. Testimony of the angels (Lk. 24:5,6) - Why seek ye the living among the dead? He
is not here, but is risen.
2. Testimony of eye witnesses:
a. Mary Magdalene (in garden) (Jn 20:11-18);
b. Mary, the mother of James, and Salome (Mk. 16:1);
c. Joanna (Lk 24:10),
d. the Emmaus road appearance (Lk. 24:13-35);
e. Peter, then the twelve, James, then of all the apostles, of above five hundred
brethren at once (most of whom were still alive, then of Paul (a period of about 5
years) (1 Cor. 15:5-8).
3. Behavior of eye witnesses verifies the truth of their testimony:
The Apostles went abroad preaching and teaching the resurrection of Jesus Christ
from the Dead. There are at least 16 references in the Book of Acts to the
Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Act 4:1-2 Now as they spoke to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple,
and the Sadducees came upon them, being greatly disturbed that they taught
the people and preached in Jesus the resurrection from the dead.
Act 4:33 And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the
Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all.
They were beaten for it and imprisoned for it. Ultimately, they all died for this
testimony (except John and Judas, of course). Let me assure you that people are not
willing to be martyred for something they know to be false, or a hoax. They saw Him
alive after His death and were willing to die rather than recant their testimony to the
truth of Jesus resurrection from the dead! The very behavior of those who saw Him
alive after His resurrection verifies the validity of Christs claim. Historical evidence
of Christians being willing to be tortured for this Christ substantiates their true claim
to having seen Him alive after His death!
Now, having established Jesus bona fides:

Christian Beliefs
Dr. Allan P. Brown

The Origin and Authority of Scripture


Unit 1

B. Jesus told us that we ought to believe the Bible. (Lk. 24:25 ,27) O fools, and slow of
heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken27 And beginning at Moses and all
the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning
himself.
C. THERE IS QUITE A HISTORICAL RECORD OF MASSIVE AND POWERFUL ATTEMPTS TO DESTROY
THE SCRIPTURES which have been supernaturally preserved by God, attesting to their
validity as a true Holy Book of God.
Over the centuries men like Jehoiakim, and Antiochus Epiphanes, and certain Roman
Emperors attempted to destroy all copies of the Scriptures. In the middle ages, the
Papacy tried to confiscate all Bibles. Thousands were burned.
In France, rationalism found a champion in Francois Marie Arouerpopularly known
by his pen-name, Voltaire a deist who produced several volumes brimming with
hatred for the Bible. No one in Europe did as much to try to destroy faith in the Word of
God as Voltaire.2
Robert Ingersoll, in America, was another who lectured extensively blasting the Bible.
But in spite of all this, God has preserved intact His Holy Wordthe Bible.
D. The PROPHECIES CONTAINED IN THE BIBLE THAT HAVE ALREADY BEEN FULFILLED (WITH 100

% ACCURACY) ATTESTS TO ITS DIVINE ORIGIN. 3

No claims are made about any other holy book containing prophecies that have come
to pass with even 50% accuracy, let alone 100% accuracy.
E. The Bible teaches the doctrine of inspiration.
Focus Questions:
1. What is the difference between scientific fact and historical fact?
2. Why should I believe that the Bible is the inspired, inerrant word of God?
3. Why should I believe what Jesus says?
4. What passage teaches that Jesus showed himself alive by many infallible proofs?
5. Give the reference that shows that Jesus calls anyone who does not believe all of the OT a
fool.
6. Does the Bible teach its own inspiration?

2
3

See appendix for article by Wayne Jackson, The Holy ScriptureIndestructible!


See appendix for the two articles on fulfilled prophecies.

Christian Beliefs
Dr. Allan P. Brown

The Origin and Authority of Scripture


Unit 1

II. The Origin of Scripture:


Is the Bible the product of finite man? Does it contain errors and contradictions? Is it
inerrant (without error)?
A. 2 TIMOTHY 3:16-17 - (the Divine Source). 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.
This is the key passage that teaches the origin of the Scriptures and the fact that
Scripture is inspired by God. This the is primary Scriptural reference to show the Bible
claims inspiration for itself. The focus of this passage is the Old Testament. It teaches
that the Old Testament is still profitable for doctrine. This passage refutes the
statement, we do not base our doctrinal beliefs, in this New Testament dispensation,
on the Old Testament.
All scripture(pa/sa grafh.) - refers especially to the Old Testament.
The phrase, all scripture. refers to all writings that are acknowledged by the Apostles
and the early Church Fathers to be genuinely inspired of God. Primarily, of course, it
means the OT, because most of the NT had not been compiled yet, but was incomplete
and in several locations.
The Inspiration of the NT can be attested to by both internal and external witness.
Peter, himself, said that the writings of Paul were scripture and it is evident that his
statement did not limit itself to the writings of Paul alone
2 Peter 3:15-16 and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation--as also
our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to
you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some
things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own
destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.
inspiration [qeo,pneustoj - theopneustos] - means literally God-breathed. or
breathed out by God - not in-breathed. (Dt. 8:3 - man shall not live by bread alone
but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God)
Inspiration is that extraordinary or supernatural divine influence given to those who
wrote the Holy Scriptures, rendering their writings infallible and inerrant. All scripture is
given by inspiration of God.
This is true of all the sacred writings, not in the sense of their being works of genius or
of supernatural insight, but as theopneustic, i.e., breathed out by God in such a sense

Christian Beliefs
Dr. Allan P. Brown

The Origin and Authority of Scripture


Unit 1

that the writers were supernaturally guided to express exactly what God intended them
to express as a revelation of his mind and will.
The testimony of the sacred writers themselves abundantly demonstrates this truth; and
if they are infallible as teachers of doctrine, then the doctrine of plenary4 inspiration must
be accepted. There are no errors of any kind (numerical, historical, scientific, or spiritual)
in the Bible as it came from God. None have been proved to exist. Every alleged
discrepancy can be harmonized.
All of the books of the Old and New Testaments are inspired. We do not say that they
contain, but that they are, the Word of God. The gift of inspiration rendered the writers
the organs of God, for the infallible communication of his mind and will, in the very
manner and words in which it was originally given.
As to the nature of inspiration we have no information. This only we know; it rendered
the writers infallible. They were all equally inspired, and are all equally infallible. The
inspiration of the sacred writers did not change their characters. They retained all their
individual peculiarities as thinkers or writers.5
Job 32:8 But there is a spirit in man, and the breath of the Almighty gives him understanding.6
Note that the God-breathing of the Holy Spirit is also the means whereby the believer or
child of God receives spiritual understanding.7 This process is not called inspiration in
the sense of the Biblical writers, but is called illumination. Its the means whereby we
get light from the Scriptures. When the breath of the Almighty gives us understanding,
the light goes on in our head. We get it! This is why the ungodly or the natural man
does not get the things of God. They are foolishness to him. (See 1 Cor. 2:12)
and is profitable for: (wvfe,limoj) - profitable, useful, beneficial
Doctrine (didaskali,an) - shows you the path on which we are to walk.
Reproof (evlegmo,n() - tells you that you are off the path. (rebuking, reproof,
convicting 1x)
Correction (evpano,rqwsin) - shows you how to get back on the path. (correcting,
amendment, a making upright again -1x)
Instruction in righteousness (paidei,an) - how to stay on the path. (training,
instruction, discipline chastening)
4

full and complete and not limited in any respect Microsoft Encarta Dictionary
Eastons Bible Dictionary, E-Sword Edition
6
Elihu, the son of Barachel the Buzite speaking in this passage.
7
1 Cor. 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been
freely given to us by God.
5

Christian Beliefs
Dr. Allan P. Brown

The Origin and Authority of Scripture


Unit 1

perfect (a;rtioj, v.17) - qualified, fully ready, perfectly fit (2T 3.17).
KJV translated this as perfect. NASB translates it as adequate All of these are speaking
of the same thing being entire or being all that we should be by Gods standards.
throughly furnished - (perf. pass part) lit. finish, complete; fig. in the NT, (1) of
thorough spiritual and moral preparedness equip completely, make adequate.
for every good work. Doing the will of God on a day-to-day basis and pleasing Him as
a natural by product of the faith generated by the Word of God.
Focus Questions:
1. What is the primary Scriptural reference to show the Bible claims inspiration for itself?
2. What is the primary focus of the phrase, all Scripture?
3. What is the literal meaning of inspired?
4. Where does Scripture come from (Deut. 8:3).
5. Scripture is profitable for what four things?
6. What do these verses teach about the writings of OT. Scripture?
7. In this NT dispensation, should we build doctrine upon the OT teachings?
8. What passage would you use to refute the statement, We do not base our doctrine on the
OT?
B. 2 PETER 1:19-21 (The Divine-human authorship). We have also a more sure word of
prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark
place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 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 spake as they were moved by
the Holy Ghost.
This is the key passage that explains the process of putting the words of God into writing. It
came from God, through the Holy Spirit, to men. It is therefore a divine-human book. And
it tells us that Scripture provides us with a better testimony than even the eye-witness
account of the three disciples on the mount of transfiguration.
a more sure word - scripture provides a better testimony than an eyewitness testimony
(v. 18). (Warfield)
prophecy (profhtei,a grafh/j - 'prophetic word') here refers to written scripture. [The
entirety of Scripture is conceived and spoken of elsewhere as 'prophetic' - see Romans
16:26.]

Christian Beliefs
Dr. Allan P. Brown

The Origin and Authority of Scripture


Unit 1

private interpretation - many trans. a matter of one's own interpretation (NAS, RSV,
NRSV). A.T. Robertson, It is the prophet's grasp of the prophecy, not that of the readers
that is here presented, as the next verse shows. The writers were not giving their personal
opinions. (Example: 1 Cor 7:12 - to the rest speak I, not the Lord = not Paul's opinion. He
had no quote from Jesus or the OT to give, but spoke new truth by divine inspiration.)
moved (fero,menoi, pres pass part) is in the passive voice. The passive voice refers to
something or someone that is/was acted upon. The Holy Spirit so moved upon the
human authors of Scripture so they were guided in what tey wrote. This insured inerrancy
but didn't negate individuality.
This means no inspired speaker has more authority than any other inspired speaker! The
inspiration originated outside of them and acted upn them in a continuing sense.
Therefore, Moses, Jesus, Paul, etc. were equally inspired and equally authoritative. All of
Scripture comes from God Himself, no matter who the human vehicle may be.
Focus Questions:
1. Is there a better testimony than an eye-witness account?
2. What does private interpretation mean?
3. Did any writer of Scripture give his personal opinion?
4. Why did men write Scripture?
5. Is there any difference in authority between the words that Christ spoke and the words of
Paul, Moses, or any other Bible writer?
C. I CORINTHIANS 2:13 (word-for-word inspiration). Which things also we speak, not in
the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth;
comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
The Bible teaches a word-for-word inspiration, not thought inspiration. A word-for-word
inspiration is not dictation. It simply means that God guided the writers even in the
selection of the individual words they used. For example, Galatians 3:16 bases an argument
on the distinction of the word seed (in the singular) versus the word seeds (in the
plural). See also Matthew 22:32 where the argument is based upon the present tense of
the verb I am.
Galatians 3:16: He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed,
which is Christ. (Gen. 13:15; 17:8; 22:18). The words are guided by the Spirit even in
matters of singular versus plural nouns.
Matthew 22:32: the entire argument to demonstrate the truth of the resurrection rests
upon the present tense of the verb: I am the God of Abraham, etc.

Christian Beliefs
Dr. Allan P. Brown

The Origin and Authority of Scripture


Unit 1

Focus Questions:
1. What passage refutes the idea that God gave the writers of Scripture inspired thoughts but
let them express those thoughts with words of their own choosing?
2. How valid is the idea that when the Bible speaks about matters of faith it is infallible and
inerrant, but when it speaks on matters of science or history there could be errors? If God
guided every word, can there be any errors at all?
3. Give an example to show how one word can change the meaning of a Scriptural
teaching.
4. Give an example to show how a verb tense can be the basis of an argument.
5. What is the difference between word-for-word inspiration for the original manuscripts in
Greek and Hebrew and the modern day process of main idea translations that focus on
making the message relevant for the receptor people?
D. 2 Peter 3:2,15, 16: The NT is also inspired.
2 Peter 3:2: That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy
prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Savior.
In this verse Peter places the writings of the apostles on the same level as the Old Testament
scriptures.
2 Peter 3:15-16: Our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath
written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some
things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do
also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. In these verses Peter calls Paul's
writings Scripture.
In 1 Timothy 5:18, For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the
corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward,Paul quotes from Deuteronomy 25:4 and Luke
10:7 and calls both writings Scripture.
(See also 1 Thes. 2:13: For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye
received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it
is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.)
III. The Authority of Scripture
What authority does the Bible have? Is it all right to disagree with what it says? How can a
person be sure of what it says?
A. MATTHEW 5:17-20. Listen to Jesus statement: Think not that I am come to destroy
the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto

Christian Beliefs
Dr. Allan P. Brown

The Origin and Authority of Scripture


Unit 1

you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law,
till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments,
and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but
whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of
heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the
righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of
heaven.
Jesus refers to the authoritative and continuing nature of the law as the standard to measure
righteousness. He did not come to destroy it (5:17). Until everything is fulfilled, heaven and
earth will not pass away (5:18). The Law's authority can be seen in the fact that every minutia
will be fulfilled.
The Pharisees had wrongly interpreted the law of Moses, so Jesus Christ is now going to
properly interpret the righteous demands of God and show what true righteousness in the
sight of God is. He is going to show them the demands of Divine Holiness. Where does He go
to establish this teaching? To the law of Moses. Jesus separates, by the use of the law, those
who are seeking true righteousness which is by faith from those who are seeking false
righteousness which is by works. Please remember that Jesus never contradicted the teaching
of the OT. He did contradict wrong interpretations of the OT. Christ's preaching was so
different from that of the Pharisees and Sadducees that people were inclined to think Jesus was
trying to subvert and twist the teaching of God's Word.

The word destroy (katalu/sai) means to tear down; stop; do away with. Jesus
did not come to do away with the Old Testament.

The word fulfill (plhrw/sai) means make come true, bring about, make full; make
fully known, proclaim fully.

The context makes clear that Jesus is not speaking of His own life as the fulfilling of the Law.
Although He perfectly kept the Law, not one word regarding His own obedience is mentioned in
the entire passage. He is enforcing upon His hearers the duty to obey the Law themselves.
Romans 8:4 says that the righteous require-ments of the law is fulfilled in us who do not walk
according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
It is a sin to break or annul the least of the commandments. To teach others to break or annul
the commandments is also a sin. The phrase, called the least in the kingdom of heaven,
means that such a person shall have no place in the kingdom of Christ here, nor in the
kingdom of glory above (Adam Clarke, Matthew, p. 70; Broadus, Matthew, p. 101). On the
other hand, the person who recognizes the permanent abiding principles of the Law and lives
by them, and teaches others to do so, will be called great in the Kingdom of heaven. (Mat.
5:19).

Christian Beliefs
Dr. Allan P. Brown

The Origin and Authority of Scripture


Unit 1

Focus Questions:
1. What does the word destroy mean?
2. What does the word fulfill mean?
3. Does the life of Jesus fulfill the OT in the sense that NT believers are no longer under its
authority?
4. What must happen before heaven and earth can pass away?
5. Give the reference that shows that Jesus believed in the authoritative and continuing
nature of the law as the continuing standard to measure righteousness.
6. What does the phrase, called the least in the kingdom of heaven mean?
B. JOHN 10:35: If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the
scripture cannot be broken.
Broken (ouv du,natai luqh/nai h` grafh), - change, set aside, annul, invalidate.
In a disputation with the Jews (John 10:34-36), Jesus cites Ps. 82:6, after which He says that
Scripture cannot be broken. Here is the absolutely binding nature of the authority of
Scripture. The Scripture as a whole cannot be annulled, set aside, or invalidated.
The timeless principles in God's Word (the universal principles) have never and will never
change. The specific applications of timeless principles do change. For example, the specific
applications taught by the ceremonial law finds its continuing significance in the on-going High
Priestly ministry of Jesus Christ.
7. Focus Questions:
8. What passage says that Scripture cannot be broken?
9. What does broken mean?
C. ISAIAH 8:20: To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word,
it is because there is no light in them.
light (no morning for them (ASV); they have no dawn (NASB, RSV); will have no
dawn! (NRSV).
Anyone who does not adhere to the revelation made by God through His prophet
will remain in hopeless darkness. Light is found in the law of God. (E.J. Young, I,
320). Not to look elsewhere for truth of the future. (v. 19).
(law & testimony = These words are synonyms and refer to the written Word.).
This verse shows the need for book, chapter and verse to establish truth.
The standard by which to judge all teaching is the Word of God. The Word of God is
designed to give light or understanding.

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Christian Beliefs
Dr. Allan P. Brown

The Origin and Authority of Scripture


Unit 1

The classic passage on light is Ephesians 5:13.


Definition of light: Light is biblical information plus Holy Spirit illumined persuasion that
the information is correct.
1 John 1:7 tells us that we are to walk in the light.
Ephesians 5:8 tells us that we are to walk as children of light.
These passages tell us that our behavior (or, walk) is to reflect or demonstrate that we have a
correct understanding of spiritual truth, (or, light.)
If you are not sure the information is correct, you must search the Scriptures to establish the
truth (Prov. 23:23). Until the question marks are cleared up, you must keep your conscience
clear by not doing questionable things (Romans 14:23).8 When in doubt, DON'T!
Focus Questions:
1. What is the meaning of the terms law and testimony?
2. What is the classic NT passage on light?
3. What is the definition of light?
4. What must you do if you are not sure that the information is correct?
5. What is the correct procedure to follow until you have resolved all the doubts in a Biblical
manner?
6. What passages teaches that if you have any doubts about a matter, don't do it until the
doubts are resolved?
D. JOHN 12:48: He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth
him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.
Jesus is speaking here. But he is speaking only what God tells him to say.9 When
writers of Scripture wrote, they wrote only what God the Holy Spirit directed them to
write. Thus all of Scripture is equally inspired of God and equally authoritative. This
means that what Jesus says has no more validity than the rest of Scripture.
God's entire revelation in Scripture is God's final court of law. On the Day of Judgment,
when the books are opened, one of the books that will be opened will be the Word of
God. The question will be for people who has access to His Word: Did you obey My
Word? (See Mat. 7: 21, 24).

Rom 14:23 But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.
John 17:8 For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; John 17:14 I have given them Your word;
John 12:49 For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should
speak.
9

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Christian Beliefs
Dr. Allan P. Brown

The Origin and Authority of Scripture


Unit 1

Focus Questions:
1. What is going to be the standard by which every person will be judged when they finally
stand before God?
2. Is there any difference in authority between the words that Christ spoke and the words of
Paul, Moses, or any other Bible writer?
E. PSALM 138:2: I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy
lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.
God's name is the same thing as God's character. God's word is a revelation of God's
character and shares His exalted nature. He stakes His exalted character on the
truthfulness and reliability of His Word.
Focus Questions:
1. How important does God say His holy words are?
2. What is the significance of God's name?
3. Should this affect a person's attitude toward Scripture?
4. Does this verse teach the inerrancy of Scripture?
IV. The Inerrancy, Infallibility, and Eternality of Scripture
Gods Word is our authority for two reasons:
1) because of Who God is as Creator, and
2) because He has spoken His Word to us.
Logical Progression:
1. God is the truth John 14:6 (I am the way, the truth, and the life)
2. Scripture comes from God - 2 Tim. 3:16 (All Scripture is given
3. God cannot lie Tit. 1:2 (God, who cannot lie, promised...)
4. The Holy Spirit guided the writers of Scripture so they did not give their own opinion,
but
only Gods opinion 2 Peter 1:19-21;10 therefore,
5. The Bible, which is Gods Word, is the truth.
The fact that God has spoken His word to us guarantees inerrancy. Inerrancy means there is no
error in what God revealed. Everything God has said, whether it be a statement about science,
history, or faith, if properly interpreted, is true. There can be no error in Gods Word.
God Word is not only inerrant, it is also infallible. Infallibility guarantees that everything God
said will happen. Scripture cannot fail (John 10:35). Everything in Gods Word is the truth and
will happen (Mat. 5:18).

10

prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

12

Christian Beliefs
Dr. Allan P. Brown

The Origin and Authority of Scripture


Unit 1

God Word is also eternal. Isaiah 40:8: The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of
our God shall stand for ever. Psalm 119:89: For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.
Focus Questions:
1. What is the meaning of the word inerrancy as applied to Scripture?
2. What is the meaning of the word infallible as applied to Scripture?
3. What is the meaning of the term eternal as applied to Scripture?
4. Does inspiration demand inerrancy?
5. What is wrong with the statement, The Bible is infallible when speaking on matters of
faith, but contains historical and scientific errors?
6. What passage says that God cannot lie?
7. What passage teaches that Gods Word shall stand forever?
8. What passage teaches that Gods Word is forever settled in heaven?
V. The Transmission and Preservation of Scripture
How do we know that what we have in the Bible today is what God really said so long ago?
How can we be sure that our bible has not been changed many times like other holy books
of other religions and cults?
Where is Gods inspired, inerrant, infallible, and eternal Word to be found? When we studied 2
Peter 1:19-21, we learned that God had holy men write down His Word. What they wrote was
not their own personal opinion. What they wrote was so guided by the Holy Spirit that they
faithfully gave us Gods truth. We may call what they wrote the original manuscripts
(autographs). The original manuscripts were inspired and contained every word God wanted
written.
Until Gutenberg invented the printing press in 1447, the Scriptures were copied by hand.
Scribes carefully made copies of the Scriptures. As careful as they were, errors in copying were
made. We do not have any of the original manuscripts. However, God providentially
superintended the process of copying of the original manuscripts. Over the process of history
we have gathered sufficient copies so that we can clearly tell what the original manuscripts
said. Any error introduced in the process of the transmission (copying) of Scripture is so small
that it has affected no doctrine.
For example, as we compare the more than five thousand Greek manuscripts we now have, we
find amazing agreement. The so-called errors are of the magnitude of a misspelled word, an
omitted word, a transposed word, etc. All of the variants (differences) among the Greek NT
manuscripts that have any significance to them at all (i.e., we wonder if it is this word or that
word), comprise no more than what could be placed on one page of a Greek New Testament.
(Illustration of a class of second graders copying a poem the teacher wrote on the board. The
teacher erases the poem. Can we determine the original poem? Yes, even though some of the

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Unit 1

students misspelled a few words, or a few students left out a few words. By comparing all of
the students copies, we can confidently say we know what the original poem the teacher
wrote on the board said). May I emphatically repeat: there is no doctrinal teaching of Gods
Word that is in any way affected by the so-called transmission errors.
Therefore, we may confidently say that we know what the original manuscripts said. Further,
we may say that the copies we have are the inspired Word of God to the extent that they
reflect the original manuscripts.
The same is true of a translation of Scripture into another language. A translation of the Bible
into a language other than the original languages (OT = 99% Hebrew, 1% Aramaic; NT=Greek),
is the inspired Word of God to the extent that it reflects the original manuscripts.
Focus Questions:
1. What is another word for original manuscript?
2. Do we have any of the original manuscripts?
3. How many Greek copies of the New Testament (either fragments or complete copies) do we
presently have?
4. Do any of the so-called manuscript errors (discrepancies) affect any doctrinal teaching of
the Bible?
5. Do we know what the original manuscripts said?
6. What is the proper statement we should make if we are asked about the inspiration or
authority of any of the copies of the Bible we now possess or any translation of the Bible?
(Ans. We should say, It is the inspired Word of God to the extent .. [finish the
statement]).
It is important that we do not misidentify the source of authority.
VI. The Sufficiency of Scripture
Does Scripture really provide everything we need for a fulfilling life that is pleasing to God, or
are there other sources necessary?
Because of the Word of God is inspired, inerrant, infallible, and eternal, there is no area of life
that does not come under its guidance. This means the Bible is sufficient for all our needs. 2
Peter 1:2-3: Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of
Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life
and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.
Everything you need for life and for godliness has been given to us by God in His written Word.
(The written Word tells us about the incarnate Word).
For example:

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1. The Word of God is sufficient for teaching us how to be parents and how to educate our
children (Prov. 22:6; Deut. 6:1-9; Eph. 6:4). Parents are to train and educate their
children.
2. The Word of God is sufficient for psychology. It teaches us that mans most basic need is
spiritual, not physical (contrary to what they teach is General Psychology through the
pyramid
of needs charts). Jesus said, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by
every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God (Mat. 4:4). A man can die for want of
bread but live forever having the Word of God; or a man can live on bread and die
forever not having the Word of God.
3. The Bible is sufficient for sociology. It teaches us that mans most basic problem is not his
society, not his background, not his repressed instincts, or his parents abuse, but his own
personal sin. The basic problem of mankind is the fact we are born self-centered and
choose to
sin. For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23;
see also Psa. 51:5; 58:3;).
4. The Bible is sufficient for science and morality. For instance, it teaches us that Physician
assisted suicide is murder. You do not have the right to end your life.
5. The Bible is sufficient to teach us about sexuality. It tells us that homosexuality is not just
an alternative lifestyle; it is sin. Further, homosexual behavior is not a genetically
determined activity. The Bible teaches that homosexual behavior is a personal choice
that a person will give an account for to God. It is an abomination to God. Sex outside of
marriage is not just a normal behavior; it is sin.
The Word of God is sufficient for every area of life. In every situation we face, the Bible gives
us our roles and our responsibilities. When we are in our role and fulfill our responsibilities, we
will find that His Word was sufficient to guide our lives. Most of the problems we experience in
our relationships occur because we either do not understand our God-given role or we are not
doing what God tells us to do in our role (our responsibilities). Properly understood, Gods
Word is sufficient for every need we have in life and for godliness.
This does not mean to imply that God has not appointed in the Body some to preach, some to
teach, etc.
This does mean that what they preach or teach must come from and conform to the Holy
Scriptures.
VII. Our Attitude Toward Scripture
Does one's attitude determine what he will get out of the Bible? What should one's attitude
toward Scripture be?

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A. PSALM 119:18,11: 18.Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out
of thy law. 11. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

[v.11] Gives the relationship of the Word to sin. The Word keeps us from sin, (or
sin keeps us from the word).

[v.18] Gives the importance of Spirit illumination to understand the Word.

Focus Questions:
1. Should a person ask God to help him understand Scripture?
2. What is the meaning of the term law in this context?
3. What is the relationship between God's word and sin?
4. Remember, the Bible will keep you from sin or sin will keep you from the Bible.
5. What is the difference between illumination and inspiration?
Explanation of Illumination 11
The doctrine of illumination must not be confused with revelation and inspiration. The
following differences need to be understood:
(1) Revelation refers to the content of Gods truth as it was revealed to the Old Testament
and New Testament authors of Scripture.
(2) Inspiration refers to the accurate transmission of that content to men, first verbally (as
with the prophets) and then in written form.
(3) Canonization refers to the recognition and collection of those inspired books into a canon,
the Bible.
(4) Illumination refers to understanding of the Bibles message to believers. Unbelievers can
only experience this work as it pertains to His convicting ministry in relation to the gospel
message (John 16:8-11).
As the Spirit of truth, the Holy Spirit is the believers means of spiritual illumination. Four New
Testament passages focus on this ministry of the Spirit; these are John 16:12-15; 1 Corinthians
2:9-3:3; Ephesians 3:16-19; and 1 John 2:20 and 27. The essence of these passages is as
follows:
(1) As the Spirit of truth and Gods special anointing, He is our Teacher. This is not a privilege
for a select few, but is available to all believers since He indwells all believers. The teaching
ministry of the Spirit is thus guaranteed to all believers.
(2) Since indwelling is limited to believers, unbelievers can only experience the illuminating
ministry of the Spirit in the matter of convicting and convincing them of the truth of the gospel

11

See article by Dan Wallace, The Holy Spirit and Hermeneutics, on The Biblical Studies web site, under Theology/Bibliology. Though this
article pertains to the issue of the role of the Spirit in interpretation, it obviously applies to His ministry of illumination as well.

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message (John 16:8-11). This does not mean they cannot achieve a high level of understanding
of the Bible, but its truth remains foolishness and they do not welcome it.
(3) As the extent of the Spirits illumination, it encompasses the whole council of the Bible,
Genesis to Revelation and Salvation to Things to Come.
(4) Several things can hamper the Spirits ministry of illumination. Carnality (1 Cor. 2:1-3),
indifference (cf. Heb. 5:1f with 1 Pet. 2:2), tradition and preconceived ideas (Mark 7:7-13),
ignorance (Mark 12:24; Luke 24:25-32; foolish in vs. 25 is the Greek, anohtos, not
understanding), and poor methods of Bible study or interpretation (cf. Pauls exhortation in 2
Tim. 3:15).
(5) The purpose of the Spirits ministry is not to focus on Himself, but to disclose to us the
glories and sufficiency of Christ and, as a result, to glorify Him (Eph. 3:16f; John 16:12-15).
(6) The Spirit uses those whom He has gifted with the gift of teaching in His ministry of
illuminating others (Rom. 12:7; 1 John 2:27). 1 John 2:27 does not mean we do not need
teachers. Otherwise, why would the Spirit give this gift? In the context, John was speaking of
discerning truth from error.12
J. C. Ryrie makes an important comment about inspiration and revelation:
The experience of illumination is not by direct revelation. The canon is closed. The Spirit
illumines the meaning of that closed canon, and He does so through study and meditation.
Study employs all the proper tools for ascertaining the meaning of the text. Meditation thinks
about the true facts of the text, putting them together into a harmonious whole and applying
them to ones own life. The end result of the illumination ministry of the Spirit is to glorify
Christ in the life, or to promote healthy doctrineteaching that brings spiritual health and
wholeness to the believers life. Illumination is not concerned merely with understanding facts
but with using those facts to promote Christlikeness. 13
B.

II TIMOTHY 2:15: Study [be diligent] to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman
that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (handling
accurately the word of truth -NASB)
study (spou,dason from spouda,zw imper aor act 2s, be eager to, make every effort to,
try hard to ). We must be eager and diligent about knowing the Word.
rightly dividing (ovrqotomou/nta from ovrqotome,w pres part acc masc 2s. lit. as cutting a
straight road through difficult terrain make a straight path; fig. in the NT, w. ref. to
correctly following and teaching God's message hold to a straight course, teach
accurately (2 Timother 2.15). Rightly following and interpreting it.

12
13

J. Hampton Keathley III, BIBIOLOGY The Doctrine of the Written Word, 1997 Biblical Studies Press
Ryrie, electronic media.

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Focus Questions:
1. What is the meaning of the word study?
2. What is the only way to keep from being put to shame as a workman of God?
C. ACTS 17:10-12 (How to be a Noble Christian). And the brethren immediately sent
away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue
of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received
the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those
things were so. Therefore many of them believed; also of honorable women which
were Greeks, and of men, not a few.
Listen carefully to what is presented - v.11 (received the Word with all readiness of
mind, evde,xanto to.n lo,gon meta. pa,shj proqumi,aj;. de,comai receive, accept as
assenting to God's message receive, accept, believe; proqumi, as a determined
disposition of mind readiness, zeal (AC 17.11); Be willing to believe the Word, but
dont be gullible.
Study the Scriptures diligently to ascertain the truth -v.11 (searched the scriptures
daily avnakri,nw - pres act part pl; . of the process of evaluation examine, question,
study carefully (AC 17.11)
Act on the new light you have gained - v. 12 (therefore many of them believed
evpi,steusan).
Remember: it is difficult to listen to another person when you believe he is wrong. But one of
the characteristics of a spiritual or wise person is that they can listen to other viewpoints.
James 3:17 says, But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and
easy to be intreated [open to reason,], full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and
without hypocrisy. The gloss easy to be intreated (euvpeiqh,j) means easily persuaded; hence,
compliant, congenial, open to reason.
Focus Questions:
1. What are the three traits of a noble Christian?
2. Is it easy to listen to another's opinion when you feel that they are definitely wrong?
3. Is a willingness to listen to another person's opinion, even a wrong opinion, a sign of
spirituality? (cf. James 3:17).
D. I TIMOTHY 6:3-5: If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words,
even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to
godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of
words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of
men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from
such withdraw thyself.
How do you know if someones preaching, teaching, or writing is Biblical?

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How do you know if you can trust what they are saying? This is the Scripture!
1 Tim. 6:3-5 gives us the guidelines to evaluate the Scriptural trustworthiness of anyones
message.
First, we must examine what they are teaching to see if it is in harmony with the whole
Word of God. Jesus said that he spoke only what the Father told Himonly the Word of
God. We know that the Bible is the Word of God given to inspired writers who did not
write their own opinions, but that which God-breathed into them. It doesnt take very
much error to prove fatal! Remember that rat poison is 98% wholesome grain or food and
only 1 or 2 % arsenic. It will kill you just the same. All of what is being taught must be in
harmony and in balance with all of Scripture. How do you know if it is? Study to show
yourself approved Search the Scriptures whether these things are so
SECONDLY, we ask the question, it this teaching promoting holiness of heart and life? Does
this message bring us closer to the image of Christ and cause us to live a more Godly life.
Thirdly, we must look at the messengerthe preacher, the teacher, the writerand ask,
Is he humble? Is this a man that is promoting Christ and Godliness only, or is he the
center of attention, commanding the limelight, so to speak?
It is important that we do not evaluate any Christian preacher, teacher, or writer on the
grounds of his popularity or general acceptance by the masses, but that we carefully apply
this Scriptural evaluation to any messenger before we begin to swallow what he says.
Focus Questions:
1. This passage gives the three-fold test to establish whether teaching is truly Biblical. List the
tests.
2. When people are not in a right relationship with God, their understanding of Scripture is
affected. According to v.5, what is the influencing factor of all their thinking and
interpretations?
THE PURPOSES OF GOD'S WORD: (to serve as:)
A. FOOD - (to nourish and strengthen spiritual life).
I Peter 2:2 - As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow
thereby.
Deuteronomy 8:3 - Man doth not live by bread alone, but by every word that
proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth every man live.
Jesus quoted this last Scripture during His temptation in the wilderness. If the Son of Man

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needed every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord, [Scripture] then, do you
think you are going to make it spiritually without it?
B. FORTIFICATION - (for protection from demonic attack)
Ephesians 6:11 - Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against
the wiles of the devil.
Ephesians 6:17 - And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is
the word of God.
People, who wouldnt dream of going into a physically dangerous situation without all the
physical protection they could get, blithely transverse the spiritual battleground of this
life with all its temptations, pitfalls, and demonically inspired attacks against their very
spiritual life without any attempt at all to use the protection God has provided in His
Word.
C. FLOOD LIGHT - (to give guidance for our daily walk)
Psalm 119:105 - Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
Psalm 119:130 - The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding to the
simple.
How many times have you run across good intentioned people, who are struggling with
confusion over what they should do in troubling situations. When asked if they are
diligently studying their Bibles, they often reply, Well no. These passages teach that
understanding and ability to see the way comes from the Word of God. Good Godly
advice is a wonderful thing, but even the Godliest advisor does not have the big picture.
Only God has that. His Word is the only sure guide (light) for our daily walk.
D. FREEDOM - (to set us free from the bondage of sin)
John 17:17 - thy word is truth.
John 8:32 - And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
This passage teaches that God's Word does not bring bondage or legalism, but rather sets
a person free. Biblical freedom is not the license to do what you want, but is the ability
to do what you ought.
E. FAITH - (to produce and strengthen faith)
Romans 10:17 - So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

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This passage give the secret of how to gain more faith. Faith is man's obedient
response to God.
Albert Barnes comments:
When it is said that faith cometh by hearing, it is not meant that all who hear actually
believe, for that is not true; but that faith does not exist unless there is a message, or
report, to be heard or believed. It cannot come otherwise than by such a message; in
other words, unless there is something made known to be believed. And this shows us
at once the importance of the message, and the fact that people are converted by the
instrumentality of truth, and of truth only.14 [Emphasis mine]
Faith in generated in the heart when the message, found to be true, is believed. Mans
actions and behavior testifies to or reveals that faith. It is true that you can tell what a
man really believes by how he lives!
Obedience does not generate faith; faith generates obedience.
Show me someone whose Christian walk is flagging and I will show you someone whose
faith is lacking.
Stay in the Word! Live in the Word! You will have faith, and it will be strengthened!
VIII.

THE POWER OF THE WORD OF GOD


A. CONVICTS
Hebrews 4:12 - For the word of God is quick (alive), and powerful, and sharper than
any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of
the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
The Word of God is what God speaks - whether it be a promise or a threatening;
whether it be Law or gospel; whether it be a simple declaration or a statement of a
doctrine. The idea here is, that what God had said is suited to detect hypocrisy and to
lay open the true nature of the feelings of the soul, so that there can be no escape for
the guilty. His truth is adapted to bring out the real feelings, and to show man exactly
what he is. Truth always has this power - whether preached, or read, or communicated
by conversation, or impressed upon the memory and conscience by the Holy Spirit.
There can be no escape from the penetrating, searching application of the Word of
God. 15

14
15

Albert Barnes Note on the Bible, E-Sword Edition.


Albert Barnes Notes on the Bible, E-Sword Edition.

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B. CONVERTS
Psalm 19:7 - The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul....
perfect means lacking nothing to make it whole. God uses His Word to convert us.
This passage should settle the question whether or not the Old Testament scriptures
were designed to show a person how to be saved.
C. CLEANSES
John 15:3 - Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
Ephesians 5:26 - That he (Christ) might sanctify and cleanse it (the Church) with the
washing of water by the word,
In the first passage, Jesus is saying that the word he had spoken had cleansed them,
thus signifying that the Word of God is a cleansing agent. How that happens is further
illustrated in the second passage where Paul states under inspiration of the Holy Spirit
that Christ sanctifies and cleanses with the washing of water by the word.
Now, the washing of water speaks of the activity of the Holy Spirit using the Word to
purity the hearts of the hearers or readers. The Holy Spirit is likened by Jesus to the
figure of water.16 All spiritual cleansing is the work of the Holy Spirit in the human
heart. His primary tool is every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.
D. CORRECTS
2 Timothy 3:16 - All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for
doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.
E. CLARIFIES
1 John 5:13 - These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the
Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the
name of the Son of God.
The Bible will reveal whether you are a child of God or not. It will then tell you what
to do about it.

16

John 7:37-39 "If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will Flow
Rivers of living water. But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive;

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This passage should answer the question whether or not a person needs Scripture in
order to know he is right with God. The Word clarifies our relationship with God.
F. COMFORTS
1 Thessalonians 4:18 - Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
REMEMBER:
The Bible does not contain the Word of God; the Bible is the Word of God.
The Bible teaches us that you cannot be a disciple of Jesus Christ if you do not have a
regular intake of the Word of God. Jesus said, If you continue in My word, then are you My
disciples indeed; (John 8:31).
The common denominator of every great man and woman of God is that they knew the
Scriptures and spent consistent, regular time with the Lord in His Word.
Three things are needed to study God's word:
1) instruction = know how;
2) motivation = want to;
3) perseverance = stick with it.
[Remember: you may not stick these notes in your Bible. You must make you own notes. You will not need all the detailed information given
here in your notes.]
For more information, be sure to check your bibliography for recommended reading.

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Translation Comparison Charts

Above chart taken from http://www.zondervanbibles.com/translations.htm <link no longer active>


NASB
AMP
ESV
RSV
KJV
NKJV
HCSB
NRSV
NAB
NJB

New American Standard Bible (1971;


update 1995)
Amplified Bible (1965)
English Standard Version (2001)
Revised Standard Version (1952)
King James Version (1611; significantly
revised 1769)
New King James Version (1982)
Holman Christian Standard Version
(2004)
New Revised Standard Version (1989)
New American Bible (Catholic, 1970,
1986 (NT), 1991 (Psalms)
New Jerusalem Bible (Catholic, 1986;
revision of 1966 Jerusalem Bible)

NIV
New International Version (1984)
TNIV
Todays New International Version (NT
2001, OT 2005)
NCV
New Century Version
1
st
nd
NLT
New Living Translation (1 ed. 1996; 2
ed. 2004)
NIrV
New International readers Version
GNT
Good News Translation (also Good News
Bible)
CEV
Contemporary English Version
Living
Living Bible (1950). Paraphrase by Ken
Taylor. Liberal treatment of blood.
Message The Message by Eugene Peterson
(1991-2000s)

English Bible Translation Comparison chart taken from


http://www.gospelcom.net/ibs/bibles/translations/index.php

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Translations not identified in previous list


OIV
Oxfords Inclusive Language Version revision to NRSV to be more gender neutral
and politically correct.
GW
Gods Word to the Nations. Translation/paraphrase by William Beck. Little known.
REB
Revised English Bible

Translation Comparison of Selected Passages


Proverbs
18:24

KJV

NASB

ESV

NIV

NLT

Message

A man that
hath friends
must shew
himself
friendly: and
there is a
friend that
sticketh
closer than a
brother.

A man of
many friends
comes to
ruin, But
there is a
friend who
sticks closer
than a
brother.

A man of many
companions
may come to
ruin, but there
is a friend who
sticks closer
than a brother.

A man of many
companions
may come to
ruin, but there
is a friend who
sticks closer
than a brother.

There are
"friends" who
destroy each
other, but a
real friend
sticks closer
than a
brother.

Friends come
and friends
go, but a true
friend sticks
by you like
family.

Comments: The KJV follows the Septuagint (Greek OT) rather than the Hebrew text. The meaning of the Hebrew
text conveyed by the NASB, ESV, NIV, and more or less the NLT. The Message is completely out in left field. I see no
legitimate connection between the concept communicated by the Hebrew text and the text of The Message.

Romans
3:25

KJV

NASB

ESV

NIV

NLT

Message

Whom God
hath set forth
to be a
propitiation
through faith in
his blood, to
declare his
righteousness
for the
remission of
sins that are
past, through
the
forbearance of
God;

Whom God
displayed
publicly as a
propitiation in
His blood
through faith.
This was to
demonstrate
His
righteousness,
because in the
forbearance of
God He passed
over the sins
previously
committed;

whom God put


forward as a
propitiation by
his blood, to be
received by
faith. This was
to show God's
righteousness,
because in his
divine
forbearance he
had passed over
former sins.

God presented
him as a
sacrifice of
atonement,
through faith
in his blood.
He did this to
demonstrate
his justice,
because in his
forbearance
he had left the
sins
committed
beforehand
unpunished--

For God
presented
Jesus as the
sacrifice for
sin. People
are made
right with
God when
they believe
that Jesus
sacrificed his
life,
shedding his
blood. This
sacrifice
shows that
God was
being fair
when he
held back
and did not
punish those
who sinned
in times

God
sacrificed
Jesus on
the altar of
the world
to clear that
world of
sin. Having
faith in him
sets us in
the clear.
God
decided on
this course
of action in
full view of
the public-to set the
world in the
clear with
himself
through the
sacrifice of
Jesus,

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past,

finally
taking care
of the sins
he had so
patiently
endured.

Comments: KJV is the most literal here. There is disagreement about whether the word paresis means remission,
forgiveness or passing over, leaving unpunished. This explains the difference between the KJV and all cited
modern versions. Interesting to see the NIV agree with the KJV against the NASB and ESVs treatment of the phrase
in his blood. Original text data missing from The Message: no mention of blood or of Gods self-justification.
Confusing terminology: What does it mean to set the world in the clear with himself? And what is the altar of
the world?

Romans
8:35-37

KJV

NASB

ESV

NIV

NLT

Message

Who shall
separate us
from the love
of Christ?
shall
tribulation,
or distress,
or
persecution,
or famine, or
nakedness,
or peril, or
sword? 36 As
it is written,
For thy sake
we are killed
all the day
long; we are
accounted as
sheep for the
slaughter. 37
Nay, in all
these things
we are more
than
conquerors
through him
that loved
us.

Who shall
separate us
from the love of
Christ? Shall
tribulation, or
distress, or
persecution, or
famine, or
nakedness, or
peril, or sword?
36 Just as it is
written, "For
Thy sake we are
being put to
death all day
long; We were
considered as
sheep to be
slaughtered." 37
But in all these
things we
overwhelmingly
conquer
through Him
who loved us.

Who shall
separate us
from the love
of Christ?
Shall
tribulation, or
distress, or
persecution,
or famine, or
nakedness, or
danger, or
sword? 36 As
it is written,
"For your sake
we are being
killed all the
day long; we
are regarded
as sheep to be
slaughtered."
37 No, in all
these things
we are more
than
conquerors
through him
who loved us.

Who shall
separate us
from the love
of Christ?
Shall trouble
or hardship or
persecution
or famine or
nakedness or
danger or
sword? 36 As
it is written:
"For your sake
we face death
all day long;
we are
considered as
sheep to be
slaughtered."
37 No, in all
these things
we are more
than
conquerors
through him
who loved us.

Can anything
ever separate
us from
Christ's love?
Does it mean
he no longer
loves us if we
have trouble
or calamity, or
are
persecuted, or
hungry, or
destitute, or in
danger, or
threatened
with death? 36
(As the
Scriptures say,
"For your sake
we are killed
every day; we
are being
slaughtered
like sheep.")
37 No, despite
all these
things,
overwhelming
victory is ours
through Christ,
who loved us.

Do you think
anyone is
going to be
able to drive a
wedge
between us
and Christ's
love for us?
There is no
way! Not
trouble, not
hard times, not
hatred, not
hunger, not
homelessness,
not bullying
threats, not
backstabbing,
not even the
worst sins
listed in
Scripture: They
kill us in cold
blood because
they hate you.
We're sitting
ducks; they
pick us off one
by one. None
of this fazes us
because Jesus
loves us.

26

Christian Beliefs
Dr. Allan P. Brown

The Origin and Authority of Scripture


Unit 1

Comments: I was flabbergasted at the audacity of The Message. This is nothing less than adding to Gods Word
support for ones theological position. Paul would never have said such a thing: (1) the worst sin listed in Scripture
is unpardonable and, therefore, would without remedy separate one from Christ; (2) There is not one single
passage of Scripture that supports the contention that no sin is capable of separating a believer from Christ. This is
Eugene Peterson writing his own scripture; it is not Gods Word.

Manuscript evidence for superior


New Testament reliability
The New Testament is constantly under attack and its reliability and accuracy are often contested by critics.
But, if the critics want to disregard the New Testament, then they must also disregard other ancient writings by
Plato, Aristotle, and Homer. This is because the New Testament documents are better preserved and more
numerous than any other ancient writing. Because the copies are so numerous, they can be cross checked for
accuracy. This process has determined that the biblical documents are extremely consistent and accurate.
17
There are presently 5,686 Greek manuscripts in existence today for the New Testament. If we were to compare
the number of New Testament manuscripts to other ancient writings, we find that the New Testament
manuscripts far outweigh the others in quantity.
Author

18

Lucretius

Date
Written

Earliest
Copy

died 55 or 53 B.C.

Approximate Time Span between


original & copy

Number of
Copies

Accuracy of
Copies

1100 yrs

----

Pliny

61-113 A.D.

850 A.D.

750 yrs

----

Plato

427-347 B.C.

900 A.D.

1200 yrs

----

Demosthenes

4th Cent. B.C.

1100 A.D.

800 yrs

----

Herodotus

480-425 B.C.

900 A.D.

1300 yrs

----

Suetonius

75-160 A.D.

950 A.D.

800 yrs

----

Thucydides

460-400 B.C.

900 A.D.

1300 yrs

----

Euripides

480-406 B.C.

1100 A.D.

1300 yrs

----

Aristophanes

450-385 B.C.

900 A.D.

1200

10

----

Caesar

100-44 B.C.

900 A.D.

1000

10

----

Livy

59 BC-AD 17

----

???

20

----

Tacitus

circa 100 A.D.

1100 A.D.

1000 yrs

20

----

Aristotle

384-322 B.C.

1100 A.D.

1400

49

----

17

Norman Geisler & Peter Bocchino, Unshakeable Foundations, (Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 2001)
p. 256.
18
This chart was adapted from three sources: 1) Christian Apologetics, by Norman Geisler, 1976, p. 307; 2) the
article "Archaeology and History attest to the Reliability of the Bible," by Richard M. Fales, Ph.D., in The Evidence
Bible, Compiled by Ray Comfort, Bridge-Logos Publishers, Gainesville, FL, 2001, p. 163; and 3) A Ready Defense,
by Josh Mcdowell, 1993, p. 45.

27

Christian Beliefs
Dr. Allan P. Brown

Sophocles

The Origin and Authority of Scripture


Unit 1

496-406 B.C.

1000 A.D.

1400 yrs

193

----

900 B.C.

400 B.C.

500 yrs

643

95%

1st Cent. A.D. (50100 A.D.

2nd Cent.
A.D.
(c. 130
A.D. f.)

less than 100 years

5600

99.5%

Homer (Iliad)
New
Testament

As you can see, there are thousands more New Testament Greek manuscripts than any other ancient writing.
The internal consistency of the New Testament documents is about 99.5% textually pure. That is an amazing
accuracy. In addition there are over 19,000 copies in the Syriac, Latin, Coptic, and Aramaic languages. The total
supporting New Testament manuscript base is over 24,000.

A Comparison
The evidence for the early existence of the New Testament writings is clear. The wealth of materials for the
New Testament becomes even more significant when we compare it with other ancient documents which have
been accepted without question. Consider the following chart:
Author and
Work

Author's
Lifespan

Date of
Events

Date of
Writing*

Earliest
Extant MS**

Lapse: Event
to Writing

Lapse:
Event to MS

Matthew,
Gospel

ca. 0-70?

4 BC - AD
30

50 - 65/75

ca. 200

<50 years

<200 years

Mark,
Gospel

ca. 15-90?

27 - 30

65/70

ca. 225

<50 years

<200 years

Luke,
Gospel

ca. 10-80?

5 BC - AD
30

60/75

ca. 200

<50 years

<200 years

John,
Gospel

ca. 10-100

27-30

90-110

ca. 130

<80 years

<100 years

Paul,
Letters

ca. 0-65

30

50-65

ca. 200

20-30 years

<200 years

Josephus,
War

ca. 37-100

200 BC AD 70

ca. 80

ca. 950

10-300 years

900-1200
years

Josephus,
Antiquities

ca. 37-100

200 BC AD 65

ca. 95

ca. 1050

30-300 years

1000-1300
years

Tacitus,
Annals

ca. 56-120

AD 14-68

100-120

ca. 850

30-100 years

800-850
years

Seutonius,
Lives

ca. 69-130

50 BC - AD
ca. 120
95

ca. 850

25-170 years

750-900
years

Pliny,
Letters

ca. 60-115

97-112

110-112

ca. 850

0-3 years

725-750
years

Plutarch,
Lives

ca. 50-120

500 BC AD 70

ca. 100

ca. 950

30-600 years

850-1500
years

Herodotus,
History

ca. 485-425
BC

546-478
BC

430-425 BC

ca. 900

50-125 years

1400-1450
years

Thucydides,

ca. 460-400

431-411

410-400 BC

ca. 900

0-30 years

1300-1350

28

Christian Beliefs
Dr. Allan P. Brown

The Origin and Authority of Scripture


Unit 1

History

BC

BC

Xenophon,
Anabasis

ca. 430-355
BC

401-399
BC

385-375 BC

ca. 1350

15-25 years

1750 years

Polybius,
History

ca. 200-120
BC

220-168
BC

ca. 150 BC

ca. 950

20-70 years

1100-1150
years

years

*Where a slash occurs, the first date is conservative, and the second is liberal.
**New Testament manuscripts are fragmentary. Earliest complete manuscript is from ca. 350; lapse of event to
complete manuscript is about 325 years.
Almost all biblical scholars agree that the New Testament documents were all written before the close of the
first century. If Jesus was crucified in 30 A.D., then that means that the entire New Testament was completed
within 70 years. This is important because it means there were plenty of people around when the New Testament
documents were penned who could have contested the writings. In other words, those who wrote the documents
knew that if they were inaccurate, plenty of people would have pointed it out. But, we have absolutely no ancient
documents contemporary with the first century that contest the New Testament texts.
Furthermore, another important aspect of this discussion is the fact that we have a fragment of the gospel of
John that dates back to around 29 years from the original writing. This is extremely close to the original writing
date. This is simply unheard of in any other ancient writing and it demonstrates that the Gospel of John is a first
century document.

Compiled from:
http://www.carm.org/evidence/textualevidence.htm - CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS & RESEARCH MINISTRY
http://www.northave.org/MGManual/defense2/BibleNew.htm - Probe Ministries

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