An open Bible and a cup of coffee.

But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.”
(1 Peter 5:10)

There is a funny irony to God’s call on my life. Though 99% of my work involves communication, both verbal and written, I often find myself committing grammar errors. What’s more, I can re-read my written material many times over and not see the glaring typos in the text. I know I am not alone in this; many folks have trouble editing their own work. When I think of these types of human limitations and imperfections, I marvel that the Bible has come down to us as perfectly as it has. There is no question that the Bible has not undergone substantial revision over its lengthy transmissional history. The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls has proven this beyond a shadow of a doubt with respect to the Old Testament. Turning our attention to the New Testament, we see that it is easily the best-attested literary work in history, boasting nearly 25,000 ancient copies which we are invited to collate and compare to one another. Added to this, we have hundreds of thousands of quotations from the New Testament in the writings of the early church fathers. Surely God has made good on His promise to preserve His word (Isaiah 40:8; Matthew 24:45; Mark 13:31; 1 Peter 1:24-25). Incredibly, God has chosen to accomplish this great feat through the agency of imperfect, error-prone people. No doubt, the strong scriptural warnings about mishandling the sacred text contributed to the seriousness with which the scribes did their work (Deuteronomy 4:2; 12:32; Proverbs 30:6; 2 Peter 3:15-16; Revelation 22:18-19). Even so, we must admit that the amazing preservation of the Scriptures through the ages calls for something more than human effort as an explanation. Nothing short of the mysterious, supernatural, guiding hand of God can account for the perfect Bible we have today. The fact that God chooses to get important things done on the earth using weak, imperfect, error-prone agents like ourselves ought to be very encouraging. It demonstrates not only the greatness of God in terms of wisdom and power, but in terms of His care and concern for us. The word, after all, was given to bless us spiritually, making us “wise unto salvation” (2 Timothy 3:15). Beyond that, the word is intended to bless us mentally and emotionally; in learning the Scriptures, God intends that we acquire the triple blessing of patience, comfort, and hope (Romans 15:4). In the present dispensation, God is pleased to use simple people like ourselves to accomplish His great work on the earth (1 Corinthians 1:26-29). In so doing man is put in his place, and God receives the glory. One day, perhaps not too distant, our present imperfectness will be swallowed up in flawless perfection (1 Corinthians 15:51-53). At long last we will be like the Blessed Redeemer Himself (1 John 3:1-3). Praise God and Maranatha!

God bless,

pastor john