Wednesday, January 15, 2020

The Divine Nature of the Bible

The term “Bible” is used in the title of this article because I speak of true words on a page. Sometimes the term “Word of God” applies to an ethereal ideal that has no basis in today’s world. The following text addresses the divine nature of the Bible, the Scriptures, or the Word of God.
My thoughts move to the Psalmist’s description of words on a page as found in Psalm 119. This man of God interweaved four concepts that portray the divine nature of the words of the Word of God, rightly transferred and applied to the entirety of the Hebrew Scriptures, as well as to the New Testament.
  • God’s Word is eternal. 

While mentioned four times in Psalm 119:89, 144, 152, and 160, perhaps one verse will be enough to exemplify the Psalmists view of the eternality of Special Revelation: Psalm 119:152, “Concerning Your testimonies, I have known of old that You have founded them forever.”
  • God’s special revelation is both righteous and upright. 

Another truth repeated across the pages of Scripture and in 10 verses of Psalm 119: 62, 75, 106, 123, 128, 137, 138, 144, 160, and 164. Here are two verses that repeat these ideas several times: Psalm 119:137-138, “Righteous (tsedeq) art Thou, O Lord, And upright (yashar) are Thy judgments. Thou hast commanded Thy testimonies in righteousness (tsedeq) And exceeding faithfulness.”
  • The truthfulness of God’s words 

Is reaffirmed in Psalm 119:43, 142, 151, and 160. For example, Psalm 119:160 reads, “The sum of Thy word is truth, And every one of Thy righteous ordinances is everlasting.”
  • So also, God’s special revelation is deemed faithful

In Psalm 119:86 and 138. Psalm 119:138 reads, “Thou hast commanded Thy testimonies in righteousness And exceeding faithfulness.”
These four characteristics, eternality, righteousness, truth, and faithfulness are divine truths. The Psalmist seems to approach the Bible as if it were a divine book, not-at-all tainted by the sin nature of man. So also, a Psalm of David attributes to the written Word of God all the attributes of God:
Psalm 138:2, “For You have magnified Your word above all Your name.”
If, in fact, these things are true, would not God be required to create a “womb” around His Words, much like Jesus was kept pure from the sin nature of man within the womb of Mary? This womb would have to protect the original inscription of the individual words, and also the transcription of those words over the years.
It is clear that there is a mystery in the God-man homeostasis at work in all these processes. Further, it is obvious that the “serpent of old” was not asleep as God’s words became living and active agents of His will within this world. Yes, there are many complexities involved:
  • Original inscription of the words from the mind of God and the mind of the human author.
  • Original inscription of the words onto some type of medium: stone, velum, or papyrus.
  • Transcription by numerous scribes through the years with the oversight of leaders: Priests and Levites for the Hebrew Scriptures, Bishops and Pastors for the New Testament Scriptures.
  • The inevitability of some scribal error in the transcription processes.
  • The storage, guarding, and maintenance of “best texts” by Bishops and Pastors within the history of the churches.
  • The translation of these original language texts into the many languages of the world.

It appears, from Scripture, that God continues to guard these procedures. While they are not beyond the impact of “savage wolves … not sparing the flock” (Acts 20:29). God promised to preserve His words, and He is doing so in His way. Paul could speak to the Ephesian elders with divine assurance:
Acts 20:32, “So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.”
The “word of His grace” would preserve God’s people from the “savage wolves” he prophesied would ravage the flock of God. The only way that these words of grace could fulfill their promise of inheritance and accomplish their work of sanctification is if they themselves continued to perform these designated divine duties. God must-needs preserve His words. He has not left them to be devoured and twisted by the corruptions of men.
Psalm 12:6-7, “The words of the Lord are pure words, Like silver tried in a furnace of earth, Purified seven times. You shall keep them, O Lord, You shall preserve them from this generation forever.”
How God is accomplishing this feat remains within the depth of the riches of His unsearchable wisdom.

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