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Today I want to continue our series on “Has the Bible been corrupted?” The reason we are looking at this subject is because this is one of the two greatest objections that Muslims have to the Gospel. It is important that we establish the authority of the Bible if we want to reach Muslims because how can we get them to accept the truth if they reject the source of truth?
Some might say that we can give arguments of science or logic, but where is the source of truth? God is the source of truth and His truth is found in His Word. Faith comes from hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17). Ephesians 2:8-9 says “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” If faith comes by hearing the Word of God then no one, Muslim or not, can be saved apart from the Word.
Muslims believe that Allah is the author of the Bible. They believe that he is the god of Abraham and Moses. They believe that the message was given truthfully in the Bible and that through the years man has corrupted it. While they believe that the Bible was corrupted, they do not believe that the Qur’an was.
We have been talking about the fact that there have been critics who have tried to prove the Bible cannot be trusted. We would expect the devil to do this. He did it in the Garden when he said “Hath God said…” The “science” of textual criticism was developed for this purpose. The effect has been the opposite, it has given more reasons to believe that our Bible can be trusted.
Remember, we don’t have the original manuscripts penned by the apostles and prophets. We do have copies, and as we saw yesterday, we do have plenty of evidence that the copies are reliable. We spoke of different families of manuscripts containing different errors. We saw that the largest family, which includes 95% of the almost 6,000 manuscripts, agree with the Bible we have today. In other words, out of nearly 6,000 manuscripts, no more than 300 disagree with what we have today, and they don’t agree with eachother.
When we look at the writings of the “church fathers,” men like Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Clement, etc., who live in the early centuries of Christianity, we find quotes from the Bible. Textual critics include these writings in their analysis of the Bible. For example Justin Martyr quoted 268 passages from the Bible. He quoted 10 passages from Acts, 43 from the pastoral epistles, 6 from the general epistles and 3 from Revelation etc. These agree with our present text and give us more proof of the preservation of the Scriptures.
Origen quoted more passages than anyone else. He quoted 17,900 passages. Tertullian quoted more than 7,000, and so forth. The point I want to make is that we have a host of manuscript sermons, over 40,000 in all, which contain quotes from the Bible by the “church fathers.” When we add the nearly 6,000 manuscripts of the Bible (many are just portions) we can make a very strong case for the integrity of the Bible we use today.
Later we will compare the evidence for the integrity of the Bible with that of the Qur’an. Remember, the Qur’an did not come into existence until more that 600 years after Christ. We should be able to expect to find the same kind of evidence for the Qur’an, but we don’t.
Lets look at the internal evidence for the integrity of the Word of God. There are a number of passages that teach the inspiration of Scripture.
2 Peter 1:21 says, “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”
Man didn’t just write these things down thinking that this was what God wanted them to say. No, God took control of these men by the Holy Ghost in such a way that they wrote the very words that God wanted recorded. The word “inspire” means to breath in. God actually breathed the words into these holy men of God.
2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”
Even the Qur’an makes the case for biblical inspiration in Surah 6,10,18,85.
God promised to preserve His Word forever.
Matthew 24:35 says, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”
Isaiah 40:8 tells us, “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.”
Psalms 119:89 says, “For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.”
The book of Revelation gives a very strong warning against tampering with the Word of God. To add to or take away from the Word of God is very dangerous.
Revelation 22:19 “And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”
There is ample proof that our Bibles were inspired of God. There is also ample proof that God has preserved His Word as He promised. Islam claims that the Bible has been corrupted but it offers no proof.