Isaiah 40, The Bible Is The Eternal Word Of God
1. The Authors Were Inspired To Write God’s Word
2. The Prophecies Authenticate God’s Word
3. The Copies Accurately Preserve God’s Word
4. The Bible Is The Complete Set Of God’s Word
5. The Scriptures Are God’s Word For Eternal Life
Isaiah 40, The Bible Is The Eternal Word Of God
Isaiah 40, The Bible Is The Eternal Word Of God
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I had some blood work done this week and nothing crazy.
It was just normal testing for my thyroid levels.
Something I have to do about once a year or so just to make sure that the medication is still the appropriate level appropriate dosage.
And so I went into Kaiser.
I went to the laboratory.
I sat down in the chair.
I put my arm.
On the table and the nurse went to work and she took all of the blood out of my body.
No, that's not what happened.
Sometimes it feels that way, right, but what she took was a little tiny vial of blood.
It was just a sample and it represents the whole.
It represents all of the blood of my body but but it's just a sample which we're able to use or they're able.
To use to test.
The levels and find out the information that they need to find out and in a similar way.
This morning we're going to be looking at the prophet Isaiah as a small test sample of the entire.
Bible and understanding that the Bible is the eternal word of God and that's the title of the message this morning.
The Bible is the eternal word of God.
Here in Isaiah, Chapter 40 is the Prophet Isaiah is hearing from the Lord.
He hears this.
The voice that instructs him to shout.
And I say it says.
OK, I'm willing.
I'm the prophet of the Lord.
I'll do what the Lord tells me to do, but I'm lacking a.
Little bit of instruction.
What is it that I'm supposed to shout?
And so here's the message to shout.
People are like.
Grass, their beauty fades as quickly as the flowers.
In a field and the.
Lord, here is instructing Isaiah to shout this illustration and illustrating the idea of how temporary people.
We are and how short our time on this earth is.
The shouting that message is look at grass.
Grass is something that is not long lasting.
It is quite temporary and with one rain it can become green.
But then with a couple days of.
No rain or no.
Water, it can quickly become brown and fade, and.
In a similar way that we as people fade quickly like the flowers.
In a field, verse 7 tells us the grass Withers, the flowers feed beneath the breath of the Lord, and so it is with people.
The brevity of life is something that the scriptures touch on a few times.
As you work your way through the Bible, you might remember the Psalm of Moses Psalm, Chapter 90, where he says the days of our lives are 70 years, and if by reason of strength they are 80.
But it will soon be cut off and we will fly away.
I find it helpful and.
Worth considering the visual representation of that and so. Here is a timeline showing all of recorded history about 6000 years.
And in comparison.
In the 70 or 80 years that we get to have on this earth and in light of all of history, our piece of it in the timeline is really small.
It's just a a small little sliver of what has been recorded thus far, but of course history continues and.
What this doesn't factor in is eternity and so here's another look at it. With adding in 10,000 years of eternity and our little sliver of life here on.
This earth gets a little bit small.
And we need to be reminded.
Sometimes the Lord wants to shout at us and cause us to reflect and consider on the brevity of our life in contrast with.
The Eternality of God and his word in verse 8.
Again, it says the grass Withers, and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever.
No matter who a person is.
Is we have throughout history had have had some great men and women that have really left their mark and really made an impact for all of history.
But all of that fades and the best of the best, the strongest of the strong, the most beautiful of the beautiful, those who are the smartest with the best ideas.
All of our.
Inventions, all of that we can produce and provide it fades away.
But the word of God.
The Lord tells us here in Isaiah Chapter 40, verse 8 the word of our God stands forever, and so this morning I want to walk us through some things to refresh us in and renew us in our understanding of our grip on the Bible as the eternal word.
Reminding us the importance and the value that it has and the reality of what the word of God is for us, that we might immerse ourselves and base our lives upon what God has revealed to us in the scriptures.
The Bible is the eternal word of God.
Five things will walk through this morning to help us kind of recharge.
Our understanding of the word of God.
Our faith and confidence in the the scriptures that we have before us and and to help us rely upon God and connect with God through his word point #1 this morning.
The authors were inspired to write godsword.
The authors were inspired to write God's word again. Verse 8 says the grass Withers and the flowers fade.
But the word of our God stands forever.
Why did Isaiah record this?
Not because he wanted to say something, not because he had a message to share.
He recorded this because he was instructed to.
He was instructed to shout, and so he said, OK, I will shout.
I will bring forth the message.
What is the message?
And God said, here is the message that I want you to bring forth.
And so we have here in Isaiah Chapter 40 verse 80 record of God's word. Although Isaiah wrote it.
Since it is the word of God, he was inspired by God and given the things to say by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
Now, as we think about God's word, we can of course think about it as anything that God speaks.
And so not everything that God speaks or has spoken is written down anything that God speaks is the word of God, and Isaiah.
Chapter 40, verse 8 the Word of God stands forever.
That applies to any word that God has ever brought forth in any fashion.
But of course we also have Bibles which we call the word of God, and that's the particular focus as I consider these things this morning, we have a collection of God words written down for us.
And we need to understand that this book, the Bible, is inspired by God by God.
It's written by.
Yeah, as well as Moses as well as the apostle Paul as well as Peter, as well as many other prophets and and men of God.
And so we have a collection of many different authors who have recorded for us the word of God revealed to them.
Peter tells us in second Peter, chapter one.
You must realize that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophets own understanding or from human initiative.
Now those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit and they spoke from God.
When we talk about the Bible, we need to understand we're talking about a portion, a collection of writings that were not invented by humanity that were not invented by great wisdom of man, but were the movings of the Holy Spirit upon men and women of God.
And they spoke from.
God, that's what we believe about the word of God, that the authors were inspired to write God's word.
Wasn't their idea wasn't their invention, it wasn't something that they wanted to communicate, or an agenda that they had.
They brought forth the word as God revealed it to them, and so we have an encapsulation of a record of things that God has actually declared things that God has actually said.
The word of God for you and I.
Now as I.
Shared at the beginning with the example of blood work that we can of course work our way through the scriptures as we're reading through the Bible in three years and pick apart and analyze every piece as we work our way through.
But that's a lot for us to take in this morning, right?
So just looking at Isaiah as a as a little test sample a little vial of.
Testing to consider the inspiring of the word of God upon the heart of Isaiah.
Now Isaiah the Prophet is quoted more times than all the other Old Testament prophetic books combined.
This is a book that is recorded or quoted from frequently in the New Testament and the Book of Isaiah Records for us some really incredible prophecies from the Lord, and so there has been an attempt throughout time to seek.
Isaiah and the prophecies that are recorded in one of the ways that there is an attempt to discredit the work of Isaiah is the idea that there must have been multiple authors.
There's no way that Isaiah could have recorded this hundreds of years in advance of these things that happened so.
There must have been someone else leader who added onto the original authentic work of Isaiah.
And so they got to see the events unfold, and then they wrote about it, pretending as if they were Isaiah hundreds of years before.
That is the theory that many people subscribe to and hold onto.
But it's not a great theory because it rejects the very teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ as you head into the New Testament Jesus.
Is one of those who quoted from the Book of Isaiah and he attributes this book to the Prophet Isaiah.
Consider Matthew chapter 12.
Matthew Chapter 13 verse 14.
It says this fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah that says when you hear what I say, you will not understand when you see what I do, you will not comprehend.
Now, if you're looking at that verse in a red letter version of the Bible, you'll see it's the direct quote of Jesus.
He is the one who is pulling out this passage out of Isaiah.
It comes from Isaiah Chapter 6.
He attributes it to Isaiah.
He says this is a prophecy and this prophecy is now fulfilled.
And so Jesus looks at Isaiah Chapter 6 and says this is the prophetic word of the Lord as given by Isaiah.
In Matthew Chapter 15 we have another example of this.
When Jesus says in Matthew 15 seven you hypocrites.
Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote these people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.
Looking again at the Prophet Isaiah, he names him by name, pulls out a quote. This time it's from Isaiah Chapter 29.
And Jesus says, this is the fulfillment of this prophecy.
Isaiah prophesied, he spoke on behalf of God about you.
Isaiah was inspired by the Lord and wrote these words about this people.
They honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.
Another good example to consider is Luke Chapter 4.
Jesus on the Sabbath heads into the synagogue.
Then gets the opportunity to read the scriptures before the people.
And it tells us that the scroll of Isaiah the Prophet was handed to Jesus and so he unrolled the scroll.
He and he found the place where it was written so.
He was handed the scroll. He opens it up. He's scrolling through, he's rolling one end, unrolling the other end getting to that place so that he can read this particular passage out of Isaiah Chapter 61.
The spirit of the Lord is upon me.
For he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, but the blind will see that the oppressed will be set free.
He went on to read a couple more verses, but then he sat down and explained this day.
Today, the scriptures have been fulfilled.
In your hearing.
By the prophet Isaiah, Jesus went there deliberately to deliver the message. This scripture is fulfilled as I am here in your presence. It's a quotation from Isaiah Chapter 61.
Now those are a couple examples of the words of Jesus quoting directly from the Prophet Isaiah looking at Isaiah Chapter 6 looking at Isaiah Chapter 29.
Looking at Isaiah Chapter 61, those different segments where people say, well, there must have been different. Isaiah's or multiple Isaiah's.
Jesus looks at these different pieces which.
Dishonorable scholars, let's call them, would dispute and say that they were written by multiple Isaiahs Jesus quotes from each one of them and says this belongs to that same guy, the Prophet Isaiah.
He was inspired by the Holy Spirit, and he recorded for us the word.
And Jesus quoted these things as being fulfilled.
In his life and ministry.
The things that God had revealed through the prophet Isaiah.
Now, of course, there's many more quotations than that.
The commentator, Alec Motyer, says the New Testament quotes Isaiah more than all other prophets together, and though it does so in such a way as to leave no room for doubts that the New Testament writers and the Lord Jesus took Isaiah to be the author of the whole book that bears his name.
And I encourage you if you want to have a good little exercise of searching the scriptures.
There's plenty of lists that you can find and are available, or I can send you one if you want me to.
A list of quotations of the Book of Isaiah in the New Testament.
You can track them down.
You can see how they use, see how they're applied.
Jesus and all the other New Testament authors believed this book was written by Isaiah from beginning to end and understood them to be the very words of God through the prophet Isaiah that is.
The word of the Lord through Isaiah.
Now that's just a sample.
It's just a little vial test we can look at many, many more passages of Isaiah.
We could look at many more passages of the scriptures.
Hopefully this little test file helps you to be refreshed and reminded in the results.
Come in and we understand the authors are inspired to write the word of God, the very word of God written by these authors.
The apostle Paul puts it this way in second Timothy.
Three, all Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true.
To make us realize what is wrong with our lives, it corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.
God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.
This is one of the.
Reasons why there's that ongoing and consistent encouragement to join with us and reading through the Bible in three years because all Scripture is inspired by God.
It's why we spend the majority of our time together as we gather together as believers in the word of God.
Because the scripture is inspired by God and is useful.
For what God intended it to teach us, to train us to develop us, to equip us and prepare us for everything that he has for us.
Well, moving on to point number two, we get point #2 is this?
The prophecies authenticate godsword.
So the authors are inspired to write God's word.
And it's not just that we have a few quotations here or there.
It's not just that we have a little bit of a hint.
That this is the case, but we have some built in tests, some built in authentication that this is actually the case.
Did any of you this week try to win the Mega Millions jackpot?
Rumor has it it was.
Up to $1.3 billion.
1.28 is what this sign sign shows from a couple days ago, but it grew a bit and it turns out.
There was one who won.
1 ticket holder back in Illinois. The sole winner of this Mega Millions of estimated $1.34 billion.
When you think about playing the Mega Millions lottery, you might want to take note of this little side. Note that they say here it's one in 300,000,000 chants.
Of winning the lottery.
There's one guy in Illinois who was really lucky.
Beat those odds and won that jackpot.
Now the probability there is pretty low.
If you or I, you and I were to play the lottery, we wouldn't have much much.
Expectation that we would be successful in it.
In a similar way, similar kind of math, we can evaluate the prophecies of Scripture and to understand the reality of them being fulfilled as truly.
A thumbprint of God.
It really is an authentication that God has inspired and recorded.
These things on our behalf to prove that he is God.
Now in our reading this week.
This past week we read Isaiah 38 through 45 and repeatedly. God says that he is putting things down. He is writing out the scriptures. He is declaring things in advance in his.
Objective of proving that he is the one true God. He is the only God and there is no other God apart from him. We talked about this a little bit on Wednesday night in Isaiah Chapter 41.
But in multiple chapters this week, we see God say that over and over again I am the only God.
There is no other, and to prove it.
I'm going to tell you what is to come.
It's his authentication technique to prove beyond the history of these guys who recorded these things.
The future events that would come to pass that would unfold exactly the way that God had said they would in advance.
Now, I'm not going to get into a lot of crazy math here, but there is the opportunity if you want to research and kind.
Of dig into these things.
There was a professor by the name of Peter Stoner and back in the day he did some complex probability math to figure out what if.
8 prophecies were fulfilled in the life of one person.
What what would the odds be?
And so he went through the life of Jesus and looked at 8 prophecies.
That were given about the Messiah that were fulfilled in.
Jesus Christ and.
Mathematically, how likely is that to happen?
Is it about the same odds as winning the lottery?
What what's the statistical understanding of this? Now? You might have heard these things a little bit. Josh McDowell, a apologist and wrote several books about this kind of thing, as well as Chuck Missler used a lot of Peter Stoner's research.
I included these statistics as well, but let me just walk you through them a little bit, so the odds of winning the lottery is about one in 303 million.
Technically it's 302,500,000. Is is the number there one in 302 million chance of winning the lottery.
But below that you see the odds of eight prophecies about Jesus being fulfilled in one man.
Is 1 in 10 to the 17th power?
Now that's a one with 17 zeros after it, so that number is represented there.
Below it you go millions then you go billions and then I got lost.
I have no idea what they're called after that so you can see though there.
There is a huge difference.
Even close in comparison, the odds of winning the lottery are incredibly higher than the odds of eight prophecies being fulfilled in Jesus life.
It's incredible now.
Statistically, this tells us that.
It is true everything that the Lord has said that Jesus is the one.
Who is prophesied about that?
It couldn't have been anybody else?
There's not even enough people in all of history to fill out this number, and you know, for Jesus to be the one of that many people like, there hasn't even been that many people, and so here we have this great example of understanding that the the reality is.
There could only be one person who is the Messiah who fulfills all of these prophecies and this is looking at 8 prophecies about the Messiah that we find fulfilled in the life of Jesus.
If you take it a little bit.
Further, which the scholars did one in. I'm sorry 48 prophecies.
About the life of Jesus, then it grows from 1 to the 17th power to one.
10 to the 157th power. Now I had to really reduce the font down, so I don't know if you can see the number of zeros there, but it's basically A1 with 157 zeros after it.
Right now, that's not just like a little bit more difficult, right?
A little bit less likely.
The probabilities aren't just slightly changed.
Or not even like just doubled or quadrupled like this is astronomically huge to consider.
Now to try to picture this, the professor described this dollar coin experiment covering the whole state of Texas and picking $1.00 coin out of the whole state of Texas several feet deep. You know like that.
Was the odds.
Like I don't know.
I don't know how good your geography is, but it's really hard for me to picture the whole state of Texas.
This for me visually, really helps me understand the probability.
Like we're talking about this mini zeros and we're talking about this mini zeros. It is an incredible, incredible impossible statistic and and yet we find more than 48 prophecies about the Messiah fulfilled in the life of Jesus.
And so one of the ways that we can be so certain.
That Jesus is the Messiah is the fulfillment of all of these prophecies.
One of the ways that we can be so certain that these prophecies indeed are the word of God is that they were all fulfilled.
It it works both ways and we can see the hand of God, the thumbprint of God.
Only God could do this.
Where God tells in advance the things that will take place, and then they are fulfilled exactly the way that Godheads said 100% every time without exception.
I guess if you wanted to have an exception, the exception would be.
There are some things that are yet to be fulfilled and so they have not been fulfilled yet, but they're not impossible to be fulfilled, they just haven't had their time yet, and so there are many more prophecies that we are waiting to see fulfilled.
But so many we've seen.
Fall in line just exactly the.
Way that God described in his word.
And so, taking a quick test sample of Isaiah again, you can go through the scriptures and you can examine these themes.
There's a book and I forget the author right now, but there's a book called Every Prophecy in the Bible, and it's a big thick book and it walks you through every prophecy and what the status is and how it's been fulfilled.
Or what we're waiting for in order for it to be fulfilled, and so you can kind of dive into those things.
But looking at just a couple of examples from the this past week, we can see a good test case in Isaiah, the Prophet and Isaiah Chapter 45.
Chapter 45 of Isaiah is today's reading actually Isaiah 45 verse one.
Tells us this.
Is what the Lord says to Cyrus.
His anointed 1
Whose right hand he will empower before him.
Mighty Kings will be paralyzed with fear.
Their fortress gates will be opened.
Never to shut again.
Here the Lord.
Through the prophet Isaiah speaks of a man named Cyrus.
And this is an incredible prophecy.
Because the man, Cyrus was.
The leader of the Medo Persian Empire.
In Isaiah's day.
The world dominating empire was the nation of Assyria, and we saw much of that earlier in Isaiah's book that he was addressing the situation.
With the the king of Assyria and the attacks against Israel and Judah, and during Israel, Isaiah's lifetime Assyria conquered the northern Kingdom and took them away captive.
But Assyria could not conquer Judah and Jerusalem the southern Kingdom.
After the nation of Assyria rose up another world power called Babylon.
Babylon conquered Assyria, took over the whole known world, and eventually was able to also conquer Judah and Jerusalem, and so the people of Judah were taken captive by Babylon, and they went into that 70 year captivity in Babylon.
Well, here in Isaiah, in these later portions, these chapters we've been reading this.
Week Isaiah has been speaking about that time frame, so not his lifetime, but the next generation of those who would be in captivity in Babylon and how God was going to do a work to bring them out of Babylon and take them back to the promised land to be reestablished in.
Israel and in Jerusalem.
And the way that was going to take place, the way that the doors were going to be open for Israel to go back to their homeland was going to be centered around this man named Cyrus.
After the Babylonian Empire, or really during the Babylonian Empire, the Medo Persian Empire, the Medes and the Persians allied or joined together.
And took over the world, conquered Babylon and all of the known world at that time.
And so this is the man who led that Kingdom.
And he is the one who told the people of Israel.
You can go back to Jerusalem and build.
The temple now.
This is significant because Isaiah ministered again around the time where Assyria was in power during the time that Assyria was attacking the region around Judah and Jerusalem conquered the northern Kingdom.
150 years before Cyrus was born.
God, through the prophet Isaiah, names this man by name.
Refers to him specifically and lays out what he will do in releasing the people to return to Jerusalem.
Really incredible, this prophecy fulfilled clearly and to the letter, every detail in the man. Cyrus Isaiah Chapter 44, chapter 45 referred to this as well as some of the other chapters. But but in chapter 44 and 45, he's named by name.
Being 150 years before he was born, now that's you know would be similar to someone who is 150 years ago naming for us the next president.
Like we're living today and it'd be hard to name the next president pretty accurately, right? But 150 years ago for someone, let's say Abraham Lincoln, to name the next president that that it would just be impossible.
But it is the hand of God, and so he's able to declare those things that are to come.
Here in Isaiah Chapter 40 we have another good example to consider as in Chapter 40 verse 3.
Says listen, it's the voice of someone shouting clear the way through the wilderness for the Lord.
Make a straight highway through the wasteland for our God.
Here in Isaiah Chapter 40 the Prophet Isaiah foretells of the Ministry of John the Baptist, and this verse is actually quoted in light of John the Baptist.
This was a good description of his life and ministry.
He was out in the wilderness, making straight the highways.
For the Lord.
Jesus to come on the scene and be there.
As the Messiah.
Yeah, and so John the Baptist is the fulfillment of these things recorded in the first few verses of Isaiah Chapter 40.
Another good example to consider is Isaiah Chapter 53. We haven't quite got there in the reading yet, but we'll get there. Isaiah Chapter 53 records for us in incredible detail.
About the Lord Jesus and his suffering and what he went through as he went to the cross and endured the cross.
And just to get a couple verses here to give a sample of that. Isaiah Chapter 53, verse nine and 10.
Says he had done no wrong and had never deceived anyone, but he was buried like a criminal. He was put in a rich man's grave.
But it was the Lord's good plan to crush him and cause him grief.
Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have many descendants. He will enjoy a long life and the Lord's good plan will prosper in his hands.
Some very important details about the death of Jesus here in Isaiah 53.
First of all, it was a wrongful death done.
No wrong, never deceived anybody.
Fulfilled in the life of Jesus, buried like a criminal.
And yet put in a rich man's grave, and those could be, you know, seemingly contradictory. And yet we see them fulfilled in the life of Jesus as he's crucified as a criminal. But the.
The grave that was provided for him by the rich man is the empty tomb that we can now go visit in Israel.
He made an offering for sin.
And so the fulfillment of him as our substitution, taking the penalty of sin on our behalf.
Again confirmed in the New Testament, as this is doctrinally the purpose and the the reason for the death of Jesus.
You know there's a lot of people who die and the the death does not have such clear meaning and purpose, but but the death of Jesus Christ has this clear purpose.
It is that he died as an offering for it.
Then he will have many descendants, those who believe in him. He will enjoy a long life 'cause he's resurrected to live eternally right, and the Lord's good plan will prosper in his hands. And so you know, looking at just a few details here we can see.
These prophecies about Christ fulfilled exactly as declared as an authentication.
God's word is true.
This really is the inspired word of God, not just good words, not just good insights, not fables or stories or anything else.
Or it's not like any other book that has ever existed.
This is the very word of God.
It has the thumbprint of God authenticated.
It really is genuine by.
The prophecies that are given again, this is just looking at a sample couple quick examples from Isaiah, but there's so much more if you want to dig into that.
And see for sure the prophecies that confirm this is the word of God. Well, moving on the Third Point this morning is that the copies accurately preserve God's word.
The copies that we have today we don't have the original what they call an autograph.
Now when I think of an autograph I think of you.
Someone famous signing something.
It's a autograph because it was their hand fresh ink that signed whatever it was that we gave to them right now.
If I took your autographed whatever it was and made a copy of the signature, it doesn't have the same value 'cause it's not the autograph.
It's a copy of it.
It's not the real thing.
It's not the genuine right.
It's a copy of it.
Well, we don't have any of the original autographs.
The original manuscripts with the ink that was written by Isaiah or by any of the other authors of the old or the New Testament.
What we have our are copies of those autographs.
So the question has to be posed.
How do we know?
Do these accurately preserve what was originally recorded?
You know, feel fulfilled.
Prophecies aren't really no big deal.
If they were written after the events happened right then, that that takes away all of the probability.
All the statistics, all the math.
That doesn't matter.
If it was written after the fact.
The reason why they have such values because they were written before, and that's how it proves that it genuinely is from God and the word of God, and so can we know that what we have in our Bibles is the same as what the authors originally.
And of course the answer is yes, we can know that the copies accurately preserve God's word. There's a.
Of course, a great movement to kind of give the idea and the impression that the Bible has been changed over time.
So much time has passed.
It's kind of like evolution, right?
When evolution seems improbable, just add more time and then, well, OK, given that much more time it may be, then it could be true, right?
In a similar way that the timing the the length and duration of history.
Sometimes is overemphasized, as an attempt to say look, this was written thousands of years ago.
Of course it's changed over time.
That just has to be.
Our default assumption is the idea that's proposed, but.
The reality is it has not.
How do we know the Bible?
Has not changed over time.
One of the ways that we can evaluate this.
And can understand this.
Is by looking.
At the evidence of the manuscripts, the manuscripts are the copies the ancient copies.
Of the originals.
Now the Bible has more manuscript evidence than any other ancient literature talking about, you know, before the printing, press back before 400A D.
All literature before 480.
Has way less manuscript evidence than what we have for the scriptures.
In fact, you could take all the other ancient writings and combine them and there would still be significantly less than the manuscript evidence that we have for the scriptures.
And so again, not trying to show every case in every example, but here's a little sample.
This here illustrates a little bit of what we're talking about when we're talking about manuscript evidence.
There was a historian Herodotus who recorded the Battle of Thermopylae.
This you might be familiar with, not from Paradise or the Battle of Thermopylae, but the great story of the Spartans.
The 300 who held the uh and and there was the the great odds that they resisted and and all that incredible story that's that was.
Told that is written about movies are made about.
It all of that.
Is known primarily through this historian Herodus.
He wrote about this, but the earliest.
Copy of his work.
It is actually from 450 years after his life after he wrote it.
And so it's 450 years afterwards that we have that, and we have roughly about 100 manuscripts, 100 copies of his work, summer partial summer complete. Not all of them are complete, but but 450 years later, 100 manuscripts.
And so the pink bar there represents the amount of time 450 years represented in that long pink bar.
That little tiny bump of yellow.
I don't know if you can see it.
Those of you who are watching online there.
I'll try to move out of the way.
So you can see it on the screen, but there's just that little tiny bump of yellow and that represents the 100 or so manuscripts that that we have about that event.
No, no historians really questioned the validity of those documents or that event.
It's recorded for us and we have.
It, and so there it is.
Well then you get to the New Testament.
The numbers play out quite differently.
The earliest manuscript that we have of the New Testament, the earliest copy, is written, recorded 30 years after the original writing.
So we're talking about a difference of 30 years versus 450 years. When you compare the amount of time that has taken place since it was.
Written and the earliest copy that we have.
But then the number of manuscripts that we have of the New Testament now not all of them were written 30 years after right.
But but this is kind of capturing the the total of evidence that we.
Have but we have a total of 5800 manuscripts copies, again some partial some fool.
Of the New Testament writings.
That are early, less than 450 years like the record of herodus, and so this shows us.
It demonstrates to us we're talking about a short span of time.
It hasn't been thousands of years, and you know who knows, it could have changed.
There was a gap of 30 years of time that we have from the original writings to the.
Copies that we have and we have so much evidence.
5800 manuscripts, which is what enables us to be able to be so certain that the word of God hasn't changed because there's so many other copies to compare it to.
Now, if the manuscript of Herodus had changed, it would be much more difficult to identify that because there's only a few copies, there's 100 or so that that it would be much more difficult to prove to have certainty that it was valid and unchanged, because there's not much to compare it.
But when it?
Comes to the New Testament and all of the scriptures.
There is so much evidence that that it's easy to be certain.
The Bible has not changed.
It has not been corrupted over time.
This is a very conservative look at the.
Numbers I would suggest.
Many people in doing these kinds of comparisons also include there's another 24,000 manuscripts.
That are very early around the same time period, which are translations because the New Testament authors were writing in Greek.
But as the church was seeking to reach all.
Of the world.
There's many translations of the New Testament that are early on in the church's history as well and so.
You can add on to that.
Or 18,000 rather manuscripts of the translation, so a total of 24,000 manuscripts to use to compare.
As you look at what was originally written and the various manuscripts we have in Greek as.
Well as other.
Languages in addition to that we have in the early church fathers talking about the 1st, 100 or 200 years, maybe 300 years after the life of Christ.
There's the writings of the early church fathers.
And they wrote.
About the word of God.
And in their writings, they quoted from the scriptures.
Both the Old Testament as well as the New Testament.
In fact, in the early church father writings, there's 38,000 quotations of the New Testament.
So much so.
That if we didn't have any of the original Greek manuscripts.
If we didn't have those copies, if we didn't have any other resources except for the writings of the early church fathers, the majority of the New Testament could be reconstructed from the quotations from the early church fathers.
I mean, if you think about it, if you're teaching a Bible study.
Very often, what do we do?
We take the scripture that's part of our notes, right?
We're we're teaching it.
If you ever want to look at my notes, I have the scriptures in here right?
In a similar way.
After I've taught through the Bible a few times, you could just take my notes and have a a really good understanding of all of the verses included.
In the scriptures, right?
In a similar way, we have basically these commentaries of the early church fathers, quoting from these very early texts, and of course as you look at this amount of evidence, it's huge and the major point to make is not just the quantity.
But that there is consistency.
The the Greek manuscripts the 6000 that we have the 18,000 translations of the Greek manuscripts.
Again, talking about this particular time frame very early in the church history, there's many more later on after that, the 38,000 quotations by the early Church fathers.
All of these.
Are consistent and agree the Bible has not changed and has not been corrupted over time.
Now, one thing that we have to consider of course is errors.
What about errors?
Because we hit that every once in a while.
There's some dispute about.
You know this particular part of a verse, or whether or not this verse has been modified, or this manuscript versus that manuscript.
There is some variance in all of these manuscripts, but you need to understand that the variance that we're talking about is less than one point.
5% of the Scriptures there is. There is some areas where we're like is it that number or this number?
And ah, we got to wrestle with that a little bit that that kind of thing accounts for less than 1 1/2% of the scriptures.
It is not hard to understand that as the Bible was being handwritten and copied that there would be what we would call today typos that that's the kind.
Of errors that we're talking.
About not an error like actually.
Isaiah said in this next verse there is no God.
I don't believe in him and I'm, you know, no, no, no, there's nothing.
Doctrinal in regards to these kinds of things, it's just, well, you could think of this like the word nobody.
Is it one word nobody or is it no space body, no body or nobody?
You could write it either way and get the same sense across in your writing right?
And that would be a typo if you're copying it originally was nobody and you said no body, or vice versa, that would be a typo, but it still conveys the same idea.
If you were saying dessert versus desert, well, there would be.
A little bit of a difference.
Right, and as you eat your dessert, you know you would begin to realize I might have misunderstood that word, but the context would clarify.
Yeah, the word deserts is there, but it was intended to be desert and so it's very clear from the context.
Oh yes, it's just an extra S.
No big deal right?
That that's the kind of errors that we see when we look at all of this manuscript evidence.
There is no doctrinal error.
There is no you know major change in any of the the storylines or anything like that.
It's just here and there.
Yes, copyists handwriting made errors made, mistakes, made some typos, and they're all clearly identifiable and usually fairly easy.
To understand what was intended or what took place.
There when that happened.
Again, looking at the example of Isaiah has a little vial test sample for us to consider.
Without getting into a lot of details, the Old Testament was recorded for us and translated.
Into Greek before Christ was born, and so a lot of the questions and struggles with the Scriptures primarily deal with the New Testament because the evidence of the Old Testament.
Is really outstanding and and hard to argue with and so we have the the Septuagint which is that Greek translation which again agrees with it's a translation, so it's not necessarily exactly every word that every scholar would agree on that that's the best translation, right, but?
You you get the point that the concepts and everything included in the Old Testament is been recorded and encapsulated for us there in that that document in the Septuagint written for us before Christ was born.
But we also have a cool example with Isaiah, because Isaiah is one of those books that has been disputed and questioned not so much in our lifetime, but in generations before, because again, of the the multitude of content.
Well, it's really late.
I just keep talking OK.
Just all the time.
OK, so Dead Sea Scrolls look him up.
We found the oldest copy of the the Book of Isaiah that we have found along with the Dead Sea Scrolls.
And again, it's older than the oldest Hebrew manuscript we had, so that's awesome.
But the main thing is, it's consistent.
It matches we have exactly the same thing as we have in our Bibles today. In those Hebrew manuscripts. OK, let's run through these real quick. The Bible is the complete set of God's word. Here's point, #4.
I think this one is really interesting and if I had another half hour I would really get into it.
I'm not sure how many of us as Christians have really thought through this, but the Canon of Scripture is complete in a similar way to this Canon of Star Wars movies is complete, right?
I have the complete set.
Lots of Star Wars.
Well, that was true back in the day, but then later on they added some before and then they added some after and then they added some in between, right?
It's not the complete set that it once was.
The Bible is not that way.
There's not going to be a oh look, we found third Timothy.
That's not going to happen.
The Bible we accept the Bible as it is the 39 books of the Old Testament. The 27 books in the New Testament.
Parallelling, by the way, the 66 chapters of Isaiah and the 66 books of the Bible don't use that to try to prove that the Bible is the word of God, because the chapters were added leader by man, not by God. So it's just a, uh, a nice thing to consider, and good for us to be encouraged, but.
But we have the complete everything that God wanted us to have.
Here included in the scriptures.
And everything that God didn't want us to have was never brought into the scriptures.
And apparently amount of time and so I don't get to tell you all those great things about it. But you can look into it and find out the Bible is the word of God. Jesus authenticated the Old Testament, psalms, prophets, and the law of Moses in Luke 2444.
He left room for the New Testament in John Chapter 16, verse 12 and 13.
He says the Holy Spirit is going to guide you into all truth, and so there is going to be the work of the Holy Spirit, the empowering and inspiring of the Holy Spirit in establishing the doctrine for the New Testament.
And then there was specific criteria for whether or not a book should be included in the word of God.
Based on the authority.
In the Old Testament that it was of a prophet or in the New Testament of an apostle, whether it was accepted at the time by the people as a whole.
As the word of God and whether or not it taught sound doctrine and every book is tested by that as as they were establishing the Canon of scriptures.
And so we have the final list. This is the final list of God's inspired word.
For us, there's not a third Timothy that you know the old, the the early Church fathers quoted from.
That you know.
Like that that doesn't exist that that that's not going to happen.
There's not going to be another book we would have known about it in advance that there was.
There are books that we don't have, and there are mentions you know Paul perhaps wrote a middle letter.
From first to our first Corinthians and 2nd Corinthians, there's probably a middle one in.
There we don't have that.
We don't know.
Why God doesn't tell us but the ones?
That we do have.
These are inspired by God and are the word.
Of God for us.
And so finally, the scriptures are God's word for eternal life, and I'll end with this quote from first Peter chapter one and first Peter chapter one. Peter quotes this passage here at Isaiah Chapter 40, that we started out with.
He says for you have been born again.
But not to a life that will quickly end your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal living word of God.
As the scriptures say.
People are like grass.
Their beauty is like a flower in the field.
Their grass Withers, the flower fades, but the word of our Lord remains forever and that word is the good news that was preached to you.
The word of God, Peter says, is eternal and you are eternal.
Because you have received the word of God, you've received the gospel.
You've believed in Jesus Christ, whose name is the word of God, right?
You've received the Lord and the Holy Spirit is working in your life and the word of God is the sword of the spirit, and so you partake of eternity.
Because you have received received the eternal word on our own apart from the word of God, we're temporary like grass and we will fade and nothing will last.
But receiving the word of God, we will live forever with the Lord, and so we need to take the word of God and use it as God has.
Instructed us and directed.
It to believe it to abide in it.
To live by every.
Word to meditate on it.
To do what it says, to teach it to.
Your children, and to preach the word.
Because it truly is.
The word of God, the word from God.
It's his message for us and that's why we read it.
That's why we study it.
That's why we.
Need to be people.
Of the book.
Who know the word of God and are committed to it?
Lord, we thank you for your word that you, through time and Space Lord, have worked miraculously to provide for us a trustworthy source.
To receive from you to hear from you, Lord, you know about you, to have you reveal yourself to us and teach us.
The things that we ought to do, the things that we need to know, the ways that we need to behave the way that you've called us to live.
But your word.
And you intended it to teach us everything that we need.
For life for godliness.
That we would be equipped and fully prepared for anything that you set before us.
And so help us Lord to appreciate your word, to receive it to believe you at your word.
Teach us Lord to meditate day and night on your word, Lord, that we would have more and more of you in our hearts and our minds and our lives that we would know you better that we would draw near to you.
Lord, that you would be glorified and magnified in us and Lord, that we would be useful vessels for honor in your Kingdom.
We pray this in Jesus name.