We are dealing with these five problems and you will find them in almost every textual criticism book. That’s why I want you to just know what they are.
I’m not going to expect you to know a lot of details, but let’s start with a basic one that comes up often—inexact quotations. There are many of them. I gave you an example out of Isaiah 40:3, matching Matthew 3:3, “Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight His path.” And you can see that there’s just a little variation in how it’s stated. Well, literally scores and scores of Old Testament quotations are like that in the New Testament. They are not quoted exactly.
Now some people say, “Well maybe they are quoted off of the Greek Old Testament rather than the Hebrew, like the Septuagint.” That’s a big promoted thing among a lot of guys. A lot of pastors think that’s the deal. I think that is hustling too much. That’s like trying to “strain at a gnat” a little too much (cf. Matthew 23:24). I don’t think the New Testament guys relied on the Septuagint at all, but a lot of people do. I don’t think they looked at the Greek Old Testament to quote it. First of all, I believe they were directed by the Holy Spirit and He was controlling the writer so that what was written was accurately reported.
So, how do you handle inexact quotations? What do you say? One is this: inspiration requires that the truth is told accurately, not that the quote be quoted verbatim. Did everybody get that? The truth must be told accurately, but the quote doesn’t need to be quoted verbatim. For example, on the same basis I could prove to you that Jesus takes the same principle, many of them found in the Sermon on the Mount, repeats them at other occasions only with slight variations. A liberal scholar comes, they look at that—like the difference between the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew and the Sermon on the Mount in Luke—and they say, “There you see an inexact quotation! No way to prove inspiration.”
What I’m saying to you is that it doesn’t violate it unless the truth is not accurate. I don’t need to quote it the same way. I can teach you the same truth in a Bible passage next week as I taught this week and not say it exactly the same way. When we say “inspiration,” we’re dealing with how accurate and reliable is the word. Well the truth is told accurately in every one of these without exception. Now, if we could find one where it altered the truth of it, then we’d have something here to go on. But we don’t, and I’m glad we don’t!
So we don’t have to quote the quote verbatim to give the exact truth. As a matter of fact, listen carefully class, it may be that the intention of the quote is better served by teaching the truth rather than quoting verbatim. Now, that might sound a little tricky but let me give you an example. In 1 Corinthians 1:18-21 where it says,
The preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this world?…For the world by its wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save those that believe.
Now, the phrase, “where is the wise; where is the disputer of this world?” is a quotation from the book of Isaiah 33:18. And it’s the story of Hezekiah and the Assyrians—185,000 of them killed in one night—and it’s referring to his counselors. The point of it is that going to worldly counsel instead of hearing from God is a mistake. Now in 1 Corinthians 1, the issue is trying to present some other gospel besides preaching the Word of the cross is a waste of time, because that’s the only thing God uses to bring the result. Are you following? So to quote Hezekiah verbatim from the story would only confuse the reader of 1 Corinthians 1 as to how it was applied. The truth of Hezekiah’s quote is that we don’t need to trust human wisdom. We need to go to the Lord directly. The truth is now quoted accurately and used accurately in 1 Corinthians 1, but it’s not quoted verbatim. Is everybody following that?
You see, under inspiration, we not only do not have to quote verbatim to have the truth be accurate, but we also can have an interpretation of the Old Testament quotation.
Now, if you’re Jewish—are you listening carefully? If you’re Jewish, you would say we have no right to do that in the New Testament. But if you believe in the inspiration of the Holy Spirit for the New Testament writers, then you believe the interpretation of an Old Testament passage as found in the New Testament is also accurately presented.
Let me put it to you another way. If I removed all of the interpretations in the New Testament of Old Testament quotations, I would strip half of it of its message. Do we have Old Testament quotations that are interpreted differently than the historical context? Sure we do. How about David’s betrayal by Ahithophel? That’s applied in the Gospels to Judas betraying Jesus. Is that an accurate way to interpret that passage? Yes. Does it mean that Ahithophel is really Judas? No. But that’s what, by the way, some people do. No. It means that the whole issue of the betrayal of Ahithophel to David is similar to Judas’s betrayal of Jesus. That’s why the passage is quoted there. Are you following? So, not only do we not have to quote it, we also know that the Holy Spirit who is guiding these men can give an interpretation of the Old Testament quote that was not the situation in the Old Testament.
There’s a third matter, class, and that is that sometimes translation from one language to another may be involved. When you go from Hebrew to Greek sometimes they just don’t go straight across the board. You have more letters, more words by far in Greek than you ever do in Hebrew. And Hebrew is a more flexible, fluid language. Greek is more mathematically exact. So when you go from one to the other, that’s going to cause a variety in the transmission of the text, no doubt about it. But it doesn’t mean it’s not accurate; it is accurately reported.
Be careful about this because this is what liberal critics use to attack the fundamentalist view of the Bible. They say, “Look, if this was what you’re saying, then all quotes must be quoted verbatim.” My answer to them: “Let me give you a verse in Hebrew and see if you can quote it verbatim in Greek. It’s impossible.”
That’s the problem we have in English, is it not? Can we always go straight from Greek to English and make sense? No. As a matter of fact, if you follow the word order you would really get confused, because the word order often in Greek is different than English. They might start with a verb and a participle and your subject is following it; whereas, in English it is always before it. Are you following?
So the problem of inexact quotation, I think is easily answered. But you watch out! A lot of people who attack the Bible—and we’re trying to look at this in an apologetic way to make you prepared to answer—but a lot of people use this to try to undermine people’s confidence in the Bible by simply saying, “Well, if it was accurate like you say, it would have to be quoted literally.” But you can never do that from one language to another. Plus the fact it may be interpreted differently. Or there’s a truth in the passage that’s being used in the New Testament that if you quoted verbatim, you wouldn’t understand.
Number two, another problem that is often brought out in books and writings—it comes in the newspaper too, in that Jesus Seminar deal—and that is variant reports. You have the same incidents, especially in the Gospels, which are reported differently. Another problem that is often mentioned to me is the superscription on the cross. They say, “Here is a flat out contradiction.” Why? First of all, we were told in John 19:20 that the superscription over the cross was in three languages. That alone would make a difference! But let’s just look at it again.
Matthew says, “This is Jesus, the king of the Jews.”
Mark says, “The king of the Jews.”
Luke says, “This is the king of the Jews.”
Now class, what is common to all three?—“The king of the Jews.”
If you ask me, “What was on the cross?”
Well, “They called Him the king of the Jews.”
Another guy comes up and says, “What did you say was on the cross?”
They said that “Jesus was the king of the Jews.”
Now those two are not the same. But did I give you a correct answer to what was on the cross? Sure. Do you understand what I’m saying? You’re pushing something that’s totally unnecessary. If you ask me…Let’s say the only thing on the cross was the king of the Jews. And you say, “What’s on that cross? What’s written up there?”
“Uh, it looks like the king of the Jews.”
Well, are the words “it looks like,” are they a part of what’s on there? No. I’m simply saying, “It looks like the king of the Jews.”
“Well, what do they say about that guy on the cross?”
“Oh, you mean Jesus, the king of the Jews?” Do you understand what I’m saying?
“What’s on that cross?”
“Well, it looks to me like they’re calling Him king of the Jews.”
There’s another change. And each time I’m simply accurately reporting what’s on the cross. Now if you look at it in a logical way, there is no contradiction whatsoever. None whatsoever! What was on that superscription?—“The king of the Jews.” That was what they wanted Pilate to change. He said, “What I have written, I have written.” That was a little rebuke to them. “I’ll show you what your king is like.”
Well, we also mention two other things under variant reports. One is that different views by different writers can still be reported accurately by each. Why not? Let’s suppose you are out in a boat in the Sea of Galilee and a storm comes. One writer says, “Man, I’ll tell you, that wind came up really rapidly!” The other says, “I’ll tell you, that was quite a storm. Wasn’t it?” One said wind. One said “storm”—contradiction? No. They are both saying exactly the same thing. The storm was caused by the wind.
Now if you are having trouble with this, I want to recommend something to you. There is a book called, The Life of Christ in Stereo. It was done by a Westminster Conservative Baptist Seminary. It’s excellent, The Life of Christ in Stereo. It puts all of the reports of the Gospels together and over each word is a number when it’s a variant like, “the king of the Jews.” If Matthew had the, it would be number one. If it was Mark, it would be number two. If it was Luke it would be number three. If it’s John, it’s number four. So you can actually read it. And it reads beautifully by the way, just King James reading straight through the text. It’s all coordinated and the numbers are above the words, so you know where the word came from.
When you do that, then you see the problem of variant reports just goes away. It just goes away. But if you try to, you know…over here in Matthew it says, and over here in Mark and over here in Luke…and your eyes play tricks on you. You can’t see that. But when you see it all laid out and every word that’s in all four Gospels about the whole thing is all there and the numbers are there to show you when it isn’t the same in all four Gospels, it’s very helpful. I use it a lot.
A. T. Robertson years ago had a book called, The Harmony of the Gospels. That’s still being produced. It does somewhat of the same thing.
Okay, the third thing that people will use as difficulties deals with contradictory statements. I just had one this morning, a contradictory statement. It’s not a contradiction, but people could easily find it a contradiction. It dealt with 2 Samuel the last chapter and Chronicles, where we have the Lord apparently inciting David to number the people and another passage saying that Satan incited it. Now among all the Bible commentators and scholars on this, there are a lot of options. For instance “satan,” a normal word in Hebrew, does not necessarily have to refer to the devil. It refers to an adversary or an enemy. So, it could mean that the enemies were inciting David to do this. That was the immediate situation that was causing him to do this. The Lord was allowing this to happen, so that he’d learn to trust Him and not himself.
But it also could refer to Satan himself. And if Satan did it, I don’t have any problem with that. Why? Did the Lord ever allow Satan to do something to someone that would accomplish his purpose? Sure. He did in the book of Job 2:6. In 2 Corinthians 12:7 Paul said, “A thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet me.” 1 Peter 5:8-10 says that “the Lord will use Satan to perfect us, strengthen us, settle us and establish us.” God’s final joke on Satan—he thinks he’s trying to destroy you—God will use his temptation and attacks to actually make you stronger. How interesting!
So, who’s in control of Satan? God is. So did Satan stir David up to number? Probably, but just like the Bible says—or his adversaries—and did the Lord do it? Absolutely! The Lord was behind it all. And it was a great lesson learned, even for us today. Did the Lord send an evil spirit upon Saul? Sure. The Bible says so. God’s in control of that. So, we need to be careful.
Contradictory statements, I ask these five questions. One: Is the passage in the original text or confirmed by manuscript evidence? That I want to know! Two: Is the translation absolutely correct? Three: Is the interpretation the only possible one? Four: Is our present knowledge final? Think of all the things from archaeology that’s changed our view of that! It’s incredible! Five: Is reconciliation impossible? You see, you need to ask all those questions before you jump the gun.
In other words, there are a lot of things that are seeming contradictions that you have to do a little study and you apply these questions to really hit it, and it’s amazing how clear it becomes once you just take the time and walk through it. Is it possible that one of the reasons why we have this problem is because we are removed 1900 years? I’ll tell you the first time I went to Israel I couldn’t believe how my Bible all of a sudden looked different. I saw things I never saw before the moment I went there. I was always concerned about details, little details bothered me. I read in the Greek, when I was reading about the resurrection story about the stone, the angels rolled it up. It’s a Greek word “roll up.” So there had to be an incline. So when I saw the garden tomb and saw the incline, the trough in which the stone rolled, I mean, of course! Of course, they really did do that. It’s amazing.
Where Jesus died there was a garden. What do you have to have to have a garden? Water! But it’s a dry, barren land. There are only three water systems in all of ancient Jerusalem that hold cistern water, hold rain water. How are we going to get Him to the right place? Well, right in front of the garden tomb is one of the three cisterns. It holds 250,000 gallons of water. So when you get there and you look into that—okay, settled that! And we also know it was a garden because there is an ancient wine press right in front of the garden tomb, from the first century.
They used to laugh about Hazor. It was a major city in Joshua’s time and had to be conquered. Now you go and visit the excavations. One of the most amazing sites in Israel is Saphoros, the city set on a hill. It takes about forty minutes to walk to it from Nazareth, but it’s only about three miles from Nazareth. And you realize that Jesus was not a wandering country bumpkin of some sort, who worked in this carpenter’s shop. What we now know is that He was one of the most educated rabbis of His day. We have evidence of His being trained in the yeshivas and in the rabbinical schools of Saphoros and it is amazing!
And they had at the exact time the Bible says that He was a carpenter with His father, they were hiring artisans, carpenters from all around to work on Saphoros. It was one of the most amazing Roman structures ever. Now all those ruins are there, all of that. The Sanhedrin’s location was there. Now you realize that all that happened down in Jerusalem, they knew Jesus very well. John the Baptist is a cousin, grew up in a priest’s family. They all knew each other.
Your whole mind is just opened up to things you see that are wonderful. Geographical locations, going down to Jericho but up to Jerusalem, you find out why. There are just all kinds of things like that. So, be careful about contradictory statements. People throw them out, but hey, make sure you have taken the time to look them up.
The fourth thing is unscientific expressions. Boy, liberal critics love to laugh at this, “the ends of the earth.” And yet, I see it in modern literature. Journalists who say, “You know I’ll go to the ends of the earth in my love for you.” Well, it’s just an expression. “Four corners of the earth.” “The sun rising.” We still use that today. Has the sun come up? No, it doesn’t come up.
“Well, it is. It’s up there now.”
“No, it didn’t come up. We just rotated.”
“You mean the earth is rotating?”
“Yeah, it’s rotating.”
You see we have a common vocabulary that uses such expressions and also one major factor about the Bible we need to understand. It was written for all people. It’s written in Koine Greek. Koine is the word “common.” It was not classical Greek. It was not the Greek used in courts and law courts. It was a Greek that people spoke on the street. The Bible is for everybody. It uses the language of appearance because that’s the way we all talk.
Now, we come to the serious one, human errors. What do we mean by human errors? This actually happened in my seminary class. The teacher said something to the first student in the first row and asked him to write it down. He then asked that student to tell the other person in his ear what he had told him and to write it down. We went all the way around the class like that. And so he brought up the last guy’s little transmission from the first one and showed it. We all had a good laugh because it was so radically different. When the teacher did that I was sitting on the front row, and I didn’t like it. But I sat there in the front row. I didn’t like what he was doing. I thought to myself, “Well, neat little experiment. You got one problem here, they didn’t do that. They weren’t whispering in each others ear and passing along and asking them to write down what they said. They were copying off a manuscript in front of them!” Is everybody listening? Do you understand how simple people try to undermine you? They just use a little illustration. Watch out!
What about human errors? Are there human errors in the copies of the Bible? The answer is yes!
What do we have? We have, one, the slip of the pen. That’s easy to see. Have you ever done that in writing anything? Like the guy who handed me his prophecies he received directly from the Lord and I told him “I don’t think they came from the Lord.”
He said, “Why?”
I said, “Because He doesn’t misspell words.” Slip of the pen…that can happen.
Words similar in sound or appearance are confused. Did you know it’s only a little one tittle, on one letter of three letters in Hebrew that can change it from praise to profane? Little slip!
Omission of words, you know your eyesight. You’re copying down and maybe the thought is being repeated—that happens in many passages—and you leave them out. There are marginal notes, sometimes in the earlier manuscripts you see a marginal note that will say, “Check the quotation of this.” Or it might say, “In Luke it said ‘so and so,’” and we’re doing Matthew and it’s in a marginal note. What happens often, as these were transcribed sometimes, they’d put these marginal notes as the text.
They have errors of memory or repetition. People ask me, “I hear that walking after the flesh not after the Spirit is not in Romans 8:1. It says, ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to those who walk not after the flesh but after the spirit.’ That last phrase is not in most manuscripts. It doesn’t belong in there.” Well, if you read the context, that’s what it’s about. But if you look down at verse four, it is there. It would be easy in the parallelism of a text, the way they are organized to see that twice or to leave it out once or whatever.
Have you ever seen a guy copy by hand the Bible? Have you ever seen the guys that work on these? Most of them have glasses that are like two inches thick. They are practically blind. All day long…. Do you understand what I’m saying? If you think this was an easy job, you don’t know what it was all about. No, I can easily see human errors.
Now, does that mean there are errors in the Bible? No. No, it means there are human errors in the transmission of the text. Watch out how people talk to you about this, it’s a very subtle difference. You see all those little slips and all that, I can examine other manuscripts on the same passage and find out whether this was a slip or a marginal note or whatever. That’s a part of what textual criticism is all about. But the truth of the matter is we are not talking about an error in the original manuscript. We’re talking about an error in the copying of the text. Boy, is that a big difference. And if you have only one copy, then it’s very significant. But if you have a thousand copies and the error only appears twenty times, then probably if 980 times it doesn’t appear, then you can understand it was a copyist error and then they kept copying the same error.
Now, have you ever heard anyone say there aren’t any more than a thousand variations in the New Testament? And then you read another book and it says there are 250,000 variations. What they mean is it depends on how you count. If you count the number of copies that copied the error, then they aren’t all separate errors, it’s just continually copying the same error. So how many variants do we actually have? We don’t have many at all. But if you want to know about copies of the bad copies, yeah we got a lot of those. But actually copying and counting the number of errors, it’s very, very small. In fact, again it’s smaller than any other document in ancient history. And Greek is not nearly as accurate in its transmission problems as Hebrew.
Well, two more things about this whole issue of difficulties. We talked about this in terms of theories and in terms of the transmission of the text, but how about in terms of the truthfulness of Jesus Himself? Jesus said in Matthew 5:17-18, “Not one jot or one tittle shall pass away until all this be fulfilled.” In Luke 24:44-46 He said, “All of these Scriptures are concerning Me.” In John 10:34-36 He said, “The Scripture cannot be broken.” Do you think God is capable of preserving His text as well as originally delivering it? Sure He is.
You see that brings me to the fourth issue, the terms of the testimony of the writers themselves.
[The following Scriptures were read aloud in class by the students from various versions of the Bible. In many cases the voices were inaudible, and therefore we have inserted the King James Version, read by Stephen Johnston.]
Here we go. This is the testimony of the writers themselves, so let’s see what we have.
Let’s start right over here with Joshua 1:8 (KJV).
This book of the law shalt not depart out of thy mouth, but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein. For then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
We are to be careful. We are to meditate on it day and night. Do you think anybody did? Yeah, I think they did then just like they do today.
As the LORD had commanded Moses his servant, so Moses commanded Joshua, and so Joshua did. He left nothing undone of all that the LORD commanded Moses.
Whoa! Pretty strong! “He left nothing undone of all that God commanded him.” Maybe he meant half?
Then Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God. And took a great stone, and set it up there under the oak that was by the sanctuary of the LORD.
He actually did what? And he wrote it down. He probably just freely translated it. Don’t think so?
1 Samuel 10:25 (KJV)
Then Samuel told the people the manner of the kingdom, and wrote it in a book and laid it up before the LORD. And Samuel sent all the people away, every man to his house.
He did what? Didn’t he just trust their memory? Oh, he actually wrote it in a book.
Now these be the last words of David. David the son of Jesse said, and the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel said, The Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word was in my tongue. The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spoke to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.
You mean the Spirit of God spoke to David? And he actually put the word on His tongue? You mean he really thought he got direct revelation from God?
And they buried him; and all Israel mourned for him, according to the word of the LORD, which He spake by the hand of his servant Ahijah the prophet. And the rest of the acts of Jeroboam, how he warred and how he reigned, behold, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel.
You mean he wrote them down? Everything he did? What does verse 29 say?
Now the rest of the acts of Rehoboam, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?
Wow! He wrote it down. Hmm, that’s interesting!
The rest of all the acts of Asa, and all his might, and all that he did, and the cities which he built, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? Nevertheless in the time of his old age he was diseased in his feet.…Now the rest of the acts of Nadab, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?
Well, apparently God is having them write all of this down. Hmm.
Now the rest of the acts of Elah, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?…Now the rest of the acts of Zimri, and his treason that he wrought, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?…Now the rest of the acts of Omri which he did, and the might that he shewed, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?
Aren’t these just stories, myths somebody made up? You mean they are actual events somebody wrote down? How about verse 34? Maybe that’s an exception.
In his days did Hiel the Bethelite build Jericho: he laid the foundation thereof in Abiram his firstborn, and set up the gates thereof in his youngest son Segub, according to the word of the LORD, which He spake by Joshua the son of Nun.
Oh, you mean God? You know we read about Moses. You mean Joshua too? God told him all that? Man! This is a little different than I thought.
Now the rest of the acts of Ahab, and all that he did, and the ivory house which he made, and all the cities that he built, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?…Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, and his might that he shewed, and how he warred, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?
Why don’t they just say, now the rest of the acts were told to all the kids? Apparently they didn’t trust them.
Now the acts of King David, first and last, indeed they are written in the book of Samuel the seer, in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the book of Gad the seer, with all his reign and his might, and the events that happened to him, to Israel, and to all the kingdoms of the countries.
Wow, all those guys are in the Bible!
Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and his goodness, behold, they are written in the vision of Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, and in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel.
Now, we’ve got Isaiah. We’ve got Samuel and Gad and Nathan and all these prophets and you’re telling me they wrote down what they said?
Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh, and his prayer unto his God, and the words of the seers that spake to him in the name of the LORD God of Israel, behold they are written in the book of the kings of Israel. His prayer also, and how God was intreated of him, and all his sin, and his trespass, and the places wherein he built high places, and set up groves and graven images, before he was humbled: behold, they are written among the sayings of the seers.
And all that was written down. Amazing! Next—
Now the rest of the acts of Josiah, and his goodness, according to that which was written in the law of the LORD, And his deeds, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah.
To fulfill the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths: for as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfill three score and ten years. Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD spoken by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing.
So it was all by the mouth of Jeremiah the prophet and God fulfilled it and it is all recorded every last bit of it.
Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing.
What came out of the mouth of Jeremiah, his own ideas you meant, didn’t you? What did it say? What came out of his mouth? How did it start? Read it again. Oh, “the word of the Lord!”
So they read in the book of the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.
That’s probably not true. They probably winged it a little bit. You don’t mean they took all that time and tried to get people to understand the exact meaning of the written word of God do you?
Forever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.
You mean it didn’t just happen? You mean this thing was all a shut case before we started? You probably didn’t read that right. What was that again, it says forever, huh?
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.
He has what? He magnified His word above His name? His name is who God is. What are you telling me? Are you trying to tell me this would have to be infallible then? Whoa!
And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also, according to the wisdom given to 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.
He did what? He wrote according to wisdom given to him—he didn’t come up with it himself? In all his epistles that which is written—what do you think, class? Do you think God is concerned about a written revelation? Yeah, I’d say so.
Shall we pray?
Father, thank You that You have given us a complete, final, sufficient revelation from Your mouth through Your prophets to us in written form that we can read and know Your word. May we not take this lightly, but may we become students of the word of God. May the next time when we’re alone, no one else is around to be impressed, when we open this blessed Book, may we remember it is Your word to us. Thank You, Lord, in Jesus’ name. Amen.