Posts Tagged "Old Testament"

Why I Believe the Bible #07 (Reliability of Transmission of Old Testament)

BIble

Many people who try to discredit the reliability of the Bible like to throw out the argument that goes something like this:

“The Bible we have today isn’t even close to the original version!  How can you rely on it?”

The fact of the matter is, there is plenty of evidence to indicate that the Old Testament and New Testament that we have today does not differ significantly from the original manuscripts.  This week we will look at the reliability of the transmission of the Old Testament which provides evidence that the version we read today is not significantly different than the original.  Next week we will look at the bibliographic evidence for the reliability of the New Testament.

The Problem

As we discussed in the last entry in this series on the supernatural survival of the text, the Bible was recorded on a number of materials which do not have a long life span.  Those included:

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Monday Morning Prophecy #22 – The Messiah Would Come From the Lineage of David

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Last week, we looked at the Old Testament prophecy that the Messiah would come from the line of Jesse.  This week we will examine the Old Testament prophecies that the Messiah would come from the line of Jesse’s son David.

In 2 Samuel, the Lord commissions Nathan to go the David:

Now, therefore, thus you shall say to my servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, that you should be prince over my people Israel. And I have been with you wherever you went and have cut off all your enemies from before you. And I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may dwell in their own place and be disturbed no more. And violent men shall afflict them no more, as formerly, from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel. And I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover, the LORD declares to you that the LORD will make you a house. When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. [2 Samuel 7:8-13]

God assures David that the eternal kingdom would come through his linage.  There are also several passage from the Psalm which indicate that God promised David that his offspring would endure and rule forever.  As indicated when we looked at the prophecies that the Christ would come from the line of Judah, only the Messiah fulfills any promise of eternal rule.

You have said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one; I have sworn to David my servant: ‘I will establish your offspring forever, and build your throne for all generations.'” Selah [Psalms 89:3-4]

Once for all I have sworn by my holiness; I will not lie to David. His offspring shall endure forever, his throne as long as the sun before me. [Psalms 89:35-36]

There I will make a horn to sprout for David; I have prepared a lamp for my anointed. [Psalms 132:17]

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Monday Morning Prophecy #21 – The Messiah Would Come From the Lineage of Jesse

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Over the last several weeks, we looked at prophecies made thousands of years before the birth of Jesus that indicated that the Messiah would come from the line of Abraham through Isaac through Jacob through Judah.  This week, we will skip a number of generations and look at Old Testament prophecies that the Messiah would come from the line of Jesse (a descendant of Judah and father of King David).

The prophet Isaiah prophecies hundreds of years before the birth of Christ that the Messiah would come from the line of Jesse:

There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. [Isaiah 11:1-2]

In that day the root of Jesse, who shall stand as a signal for the peoples–of him shall the nations inquire, and his resting place shall be glorious. [Isaiah 11:10]

In the New Testament, Paul refers to the prophecies of Isaiah in talking about Jesus:

And again Isaiah says, “The root of Jesse will come, even he who arises to rule the Gentiles; in him will the Gentiles hope.” [Romans 15:12]

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Monday Morning Prophecy #20 – The Messiah Would Come From the Lineage of Judah

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In the last three weeks, we have looked at Old Testament prophecies that the Messiah would come from the line of Abraham through Isaac through Jacob.  Unlike his father Isaac and grandfather Abraham, Jacob had many more sons – 12 to be exact.  You might know them as the twelve tribes of Israel (Jacob was renamed Israel by God).  They were (in order of birth):

  1. Reuben
  2. Simeon
  3. Levi
  4. Judah
  5. Dan
  6. Naphtali
  7. Gad
  8. Asher
  9. Issachar
  10. Zebulun
  11. Joseph
  12. Benjamin

Indeed, roughly the last half of the book of Genesis deals primarily with the story of Joseph (think coat of many colors!).  However, the Old Testament is clear that the promises of a blessing to the world and a coming Messiah would be fulfilled through the line of Judah.  In blessing his sons at the end of his life, Israel offers the following blessing to Judah:

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Monday Morning Prophecy #19 – The Messiah Would Come From the Lineage of Jacob

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Thus far, we have looked at the Old Testament prophecies detailing that the Messiah would come from the lineage of Abraham, and more specifically through his son Isaac.  Like Abraham, Isaac had two sons, and the Bible does not leave us guessing which son would be the ancestor of the Messiah.

Rebekah bore twins to Isaac – Esau (the older twin) and Jacob (the younger twin).  After Jacob conspired with his mother to trick Isaac into giving him the blessing meant for Esau, Jacob fled from his home and the anger of his brother.  On his way, he had a dream which is recounted for us in Genesis 28:

Jacob left Beersheba and went toward Haran. And he came to a certain place and stayed there that night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place to sleep. And he dreamed, and behold, there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven. And behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it! And behold, the LORD stood above it and said, “I am the LORD, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac. The land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring. Your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south, and in you and your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed.  [Genesis 28:10-14]

Like he had for Jacob’s grandfather Abraham and his father Isaac, God appeared to Jacob to make it clear that it was through him that his promises to Abraham and Isaac to bless the world through their offspring would be fulfilled.

In the book of Numbers, another prophecy makes it clear that the Messiah would come from the line of Jacob:

I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near: a star shall come out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel; it shall crush the forehead of Moab and break down all the sons of Sheth. [Numbers 24:17]

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