Know Your Bible
Was The Bible Written In Code?
Bible Code II: The Countdown by Michael Drosnin, is his sequel to The Bible Code (1997), in which he alleges the Old Testament was written in secret, ancient codes, and forecasts current-day events such as a global "economic collapse" in 2002 (that didn't happen!) and a nuclear war in 2006.
I was recently asked if there is any truth to this book, to which I replied, "No"!
Bible Code II is a vain attempt by unbelievers to explain away the clear meaning and message of the Bible - that it is the word of God to mankind, and turn it into a secret message that can only be understood with a 21st century "message decoder"!
As Richard N. Ostling, AP Religion Writer observed, "Since Drosnin is an atheist, he figures the ancient codes weren't the work of God. Since the ancient Israelites lacked the necessary computers, the Bible must have come from high-tech superhumans in outer space and the codes provide ‘the first scientific evidence' that we're not alone in the universe." ("Bible Code Fad Persists", The Halifax Herald Limited, Saturday, February 23, 2003; http://www.herald.ns.ca/stories/2003/02/22/fReligion106.raw.html)
The Bible is not a hidden book that only computers and mathematicians can decipher. Neither is it from outer space! It is the inspired word of God which men and women can read, understand, and obey. It is too bad that those who reject God also reject His word.
Consider these Bible passages about our ability to understand God's word of truth -- without any codes: "For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?
Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it." (Deut. 30:11-14); "How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;" (Eph. 3:3-5); "Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (Jn.. 8:31-32); "Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is." (Eph. 5:17); "And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 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, throughly furnished unto all good works." (2 Tim. 3:15-17). Instead of twisting God's word to the destruction of souls we should "give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard" from the Bible and see that we do not "refuse Him who speaks" to us (Heb. 2:1; 12:25; 1:1-2)!
---Joe R. Price
The Transmission Of The Scriptures
How did the word of God come into existence, and how did the common man become recipient of it?
Scripture is God inspired words, breathed out by God, and serves His purposes (2 Tim. 3:16,17; Isa. 55:11). What process did God use in getting to man His "breathed out" words? It is true that God has ever spoken to men, but how? In time past He spoke to Adam and Eve orally, directly (Gen.1:28), to the fathers by the prophets (Heb. 1:1), and now to us by His Son (Heb. 1:2).
The Lord chose His apostles, endowed them with authority to speak in His name (Matt. 10:1ff; Mark 3:14,15; Acts 9:15; Rom. 1:1); with this portfolio they went forth with the everlasting gospel (Rev. 14:6), declaring heaven's conditions to men for a changed life and a better world to come. This is transmission of God's word to man; man received God's word.
Jesus promised the apostles that He would not leave them orphans (John 14:18), but when having gone back to heaven another (one of the same kind) Comforter would come unto them, Who is the Holy Spirit (John 14:26). The Holy Spirit was "sent down from heaven" (1 Pet. 1:12), and so influenced these men that they announced the wonderful message of redemption "as the Spirit gave them utterance" (Acts 2:;4), or "with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven" (1 Pet. 1:12). In this God placed His word in men (2 Cor.4:7), not the book, initially. So, God gave them a message and words with which to express that message, not leaving them to tell it with "words which man's wisdom teaches" (1 Cor. 2:13). Paul wrote the Thessalonians, that "ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God" (1 Thess. 2:;13), proving this very truth.
This message "was revealed," Peter said (1 Pet. 1:12), and Luke tells us "God sent" His word to man (Acts 10:36). Paul tells us God "manifested His word through preaching" (Titus 1:3). So Scripture was sent, manifested, revealed to man. What do these expressions mean? For one thing they mean God is the origin of Scripture, and not man. Peter says scripture was revealed; he is not discussing what scripture means, but rather its origin. McCord's translation reads: "Know this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of anyone's own release, for no prophecy was ever borne by the will of man; but men, being borne by the Holy Spirit, spoke from God."
Paul makes known to the Galatian brethren that the gospel he preached was not according to man; that he did not receive it through man, and he was not taught the scriptures he preached! So, the origin of scripture is not man; it came by the revelation of Jesus Christ (Gal. 1:11,12)! The scripture he announced was not after man, not received from man, not taught it by man. It was revealed from God by the Holy Spirit. Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
God being the source and man the recipient of scripture necessitates transmission. That "which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard" affirms transmission (Heb. 2: 3). The Holy Spirit gave words to holy men to express the message --- scripture (Acts 2:;4). This is God speaking through men. While God is the source of scripture He used man as His agent through whom He made known His mind. Matthew, showing God's purpose, says, "Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet" (Matt. 1:22). He reports that an angel told Joseph about the birth of Jesus, and shows that it fulfills Isaiah 7:14, but reports it was "by (hupo, immediate agent) the Lord through (dia, intermediate agent) the prophet." (See A.T. Robertson's, Word Pictures). The same structure is used in Matt. 2:15 of Joseph, Mary, and Jesus' night departure into Egypt until Herod's death: "that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of (hupo) the Lord by (dia) the prophet." This quote is from Hosea 11:1. Scripture came by or from the Lord through the prophet. The prophet so spoke being under the power of the Lord; he so functioned knowing he was under one higher. Repeatedly this is demonstrated in the Old Testament prophets: of Jeremiah it says, "the word of the Lord came"; "Then the word of the Lord came unto me, saying" (1:2,4). These prophets spoke "out of the mouth of the Lord" (Jer. 23:16), doing it "faithfully" (vs. 28), because they "spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost" (2 Pet. 1:21).
From this evidence we conclude that scripture did not come into being with man as the source, but rather God and God alone; and that He used prophets and apostles as intermediate agents through whom He spoke, using words the Holy Spirit gave them (1 Cor. 2:10-13). This is divine revelation, it is scripture. And "all scripture is given by inspiration of God" (2 Tim. 3:16)!
---Earl E. Robertson, Biblical Insights, Vol.1, No.1,Jan. 2001
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