Session four the doctrine of preservation
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Session Four The Doctrine of Preservation. The Promise of Preservation. *See Session Two: Bible Basics. Inspiration is clearly declared by God* Equally as clear is His promise to preserve These two principles must work together

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Session Four The Doctrine of Preservation

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Session four the doctrine of preservation

Session FourThe Doctrine of Preservation

The promise of preservation

The Promise of Preservation

*See Session Two: Bible Basics

  • Inspiration is clearly declared by God*

  • Equally as clear is His promise to preserve

  • These two principles must work together

  • Without both doctrines we could never be 100% sure we actually have God’s word


The promise of preservation1

The Promise of Preservation

Psalm 12:6, 7

The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.

The promise of preservation2

The Promise of Preservation

Psalm 119:89

For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.

Isaiah 40:8

The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.

The promise of preservation3

The Promise of Preservation

Matthew 24:35

Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

John 10:35

If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;

The promise of preservation4

The Promise of Preservation

I Peter 1:23-25

Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endurethfor ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

The promise of preservation5

The Promise of Preservation

Psalm 138:2

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.

The responsibility of preservation

The Responsibility of Preservation

  • Scripture reveals that God is responsible for preserving His word

    Psalms 12:7 – O LORD, thou shalt preserve them

    Psalms 138:2 – thou hast magnified thy word

  • We’ve seen how God used man to give us His inspired word

  • God’s work of preservation would also employ the use of human vessels

The extent of preservation

The Extent of Preservation

  • What is to be preserved?

    • The original language manuscripts? No

    • The message of the Bible? Yes, but more than this.

    • The inspired WORDS of God!

  • For how long does preservation last?

    • Until the original manuscripts are gone? No

    • Until the original languages are obsolete? No

    • FOREVER!

Levels of preservation

Levels of Preservation




Preservation of the Bible as a…

Preservation observed in copying

Preservation Observed in Copying

Romans 3:1-2

What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.

  • Preservation is clearly observable in the copying practices of the Old Testament scribes

Preservation observed in copying1

Preservation Observed in Copying

Talmudic Rules for Old Testament Scribes*

  • Parchments must be prepared by Jews only

  • Black ink from a recipe

  • No word written from memory – each word read and pronounced from an authentic copy before writing

  • Between each consonant, a hair’s breadth; between each section, the breadth of nine consonants

  • One mistake condemns the sheet

  • Three mistakes on any sheet condemns the manuscript

  • Rolls must be checked within 30 days

  • Verification

    • Every word and letter counted

    • If one letter is missing, added, or touches another the whole manuscript is to be destroyed

*The scribal practices were very extensive; this is just a small sampling of the rules

Preservation observed in copying2

Preservation Observed in Copying

  • Masoretes (500-1000 A.D.)

    • Jewish scribes whose life’s work involved transmission of the pure Hebrew Old Testament text

    • Added to methods of ensuring purity

      • Counted number of times each letter occurred in each verse

      • Determined the middle word and middle letter of each book

    • Worn, damaged, or corrupt manuscripts were meticulously destroyed which accounts for the rarity of pre-1000 A.D. manuscripts

Preservation observed in copying3

Preservation Observed in Copying

The Hebrew Masoretic Text was the basis for the first Rabbinic Bible printed by Daniel Bomberg in 1516-17 A.D.

A second Rabbinic Bible was published in 1524-25 A.D. known as the Ben Chayyim Edition

This trustworthy compilation of the original language manuscripts (i.e. the Masoretic Text) was the basis for the King James translators

This was the unquestioned Hebrew text until Jacob ben Asher revised the work of Rudolf Kittel in 1967

Transmission of the old testament text

Transmission of the Old Testament Text

Preservation observed in copying4

Preservation Observed in Copying

I Timothy 3:15-17

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.

Preservation observed in copying5

Preservation Observed in Copying

Timothyhad the scriptures

Timothy did not have the original autographs

The copies Timothy had known from a child are called scripture and are said to be inspired

Indisputably this passage teaches that preserved copies of scripture are the inspired word of God

Preservation observed in canonization

Preservation Observed in Canonization

  • Canonization – man’s recognition of God’s inspiration

  • Canonization does not make any writing God’s word, it merely identifies it as God’s word

  • Old Testament scripture was given by inspiration and accepted as God’s word by Israel

  • New Testament scripture was given by inspiration and accepted by God’s churches as God’s word

  • Many contemporary writings were rejected as God’s word (apocryphal writings, false gospels, etc.)

Preservation observed in translation

Preservation Observed in Translation

  • The New Testament quotes the Old Testament

  • In some cases the Holy Spirit uses slightly different words without a loss of meaning

Preservation observed in translation1

Preservation Observed in Translation

  • The quotation went from Hebrew to Greek

  • Both references are taken from books which are stated to be scripture (see I Timothy 5:18)

  • As the Author of scripture, the Spirit of God is well-qualified to use different words

  • Conclusion, the same passage of scripture can be equally God’s word in more than one language

The logic of preservation

The Logic of Preservation

  • Why would God give us His inspired word, then allow His words to be distorted or lost over time?

  • If God gave us His word through the miracle of inspiration, would He not be able to keep them through the miracle of preservation?

    Ecclesaistes 3:14 I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.

The logic of preservation1

The Logic of Preservation

  • A logical conclusion

    • The Old Testament was penned in the Hebrew tongue

    • The New Testament was penned in the universal Greek language

    • God intended for His word to be read

    • What is the language of the world today?

  • The application of faith

    • Preservation is extended through translation

    • Therefore, “My Bible is God’s Word!”

The assurance of preservation

The Assurance of Preservation

Matthew 28:20

Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

The assurance of preservation1

The Assurance of Preservation

  • What are we to do? Teach new believers

  • What are we to teach? All things we’ve been commanded (i.e. the whole counsel of God)

  • For how long? However long Christ is with us – unto the end of the world

  • This passage teaches the church that it will ALWAYS have the entire word of God with which to instruct new believers

The denial of preservation

The Denial of Preservation

  • There are very gross consequences of a denial of the biblical doctrine of preservation

    • Allegorizing – false interpretation of scripture

    • Liberal theology

    • Evolutionism

    • Homosexual agenda

The mistake of preservation

The Mistake of Preservation

  • Can preservation be taken too far?

    • Does the King James correct the Hebrew and Greek?

    • Militant defense of the King James vs. emotionalism

  • Does preservation permit “reinspiration?”

    • The King James translators inspired?

    • Ruckmanismand “Double Inspiration”

  • Double Inspiration is simply not necessary if we trust in the preservation of scripture

Important questions

Important Questions

  • Is there value in the original languages?

    • They are God’s inspired word

    • They are preferable in producing new translations amongst non-English speaking people

    • They can provide insight in thorough study of a biblical passage

  • Can I be a serious Bible student without learning Hebrew and Greek? YES! Why? Because…

  • My Bible is God’s Word!

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