(Article for publication week of 1-27-2010 AD)
"....His truth endureth to all generations" (Psalm 100:5b).
God has promised to preserve His Word to all generations. As long as the world shall stand, God's Word will be kept pure and be available for those who seek God. There has never been a generation that did not have the word of God somewhere on the earth. This is a truth that has always been under attack. Satan is always whispering, 'hath God said?" (Genesis 3:1).
One of the ways that Satan has questioned the Word of God is by suggesting that since the original manuscripts are not available, we cannot be sure we have the Word of God. This is a lie according to the Bible, for God has promised He will preserve His Word to all generations.
When you have time, turn to the thirty-sixth chapter of Jeremiah and read it in its entirety. Here is an amazing account of God faithfully keeping His Word to all generations. In this chapter we read that the first thirty-five chapters of Jeremiah's prophecy were presented to the king. It made him so mad, he cut the scrolls in pieces with his knife and threw it into the fire. According to the modernists and the "higher critics", this would have been the end of the Book of Jeremiah, because the "original" was destroyed. But as we continue reading through Jeremiah thirty-six, we see that God gave Jeremiah the exact words again and they were written down by his scribe. Although the original was destroyed, God preserved His Word just as He has promised.
It is true that as far as we know, none of the original manuscripts of the scriptures are in existence. However, God has preserved His Word through reliable copies. These copies can be, and have been studied through the centuries so that we know we have the Word of God in its purity.
In His Divine and Sovereign Providence, God has preserved His word through the usage of His people. Under the Old Testament, this was committed primarily to the priests. Under the New Testament, God has committed the preservation of His word to His people who are all "kings and priests (1 Peter 2:9; Revelation 1:6). If you ever hear somebody say they found a "better manuscript" in a trash can somewhere, mark it down they are lying, or misinformed. Although the originals were worn out through usage, other pure copies were made and passed down to us in what is known as the "Textus Receptus" (the Greek New Testament).
But someone may ask, "How do we know some copyist or printer did not make mistake?" I will answer this way. I have on my shelf a well-worn Oxford Bible in the Authorized Translation. There is a printer's error in I John 2:1-2. The reason I know it is an error is because I have several other copies and I worship with the Lord's people who also have copies. This same principle applies to all the manuscripts down through the ages. When there was a printing or copyist error, it was corrected by the multitude of other copies available to the Church.
I have no doubt that I have the pure Word of God to read, study, and preach from. God has preserved His Word to our generation. May the Lord bless you all, my dear readers.