The Bible Says…

by C. Eldon McNabb

We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 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." 2 Pet. 1:19-21.

The prophecies of the Holy Scriptures which God has given us through the Jewish nation are totally reliable. More sure than any vision or even the experience of witnessing the transfiguration. Why? Because the prophets wrote down exactly what God said. They did not rearrange the syntax, nor did they simply write down what they thought it meant. By the time Peter wrote his epistle, the Jewish Scribes had meticulously reproduced the text exactly as it had been written, word for word, letter for letter, for over 1000 years. (It is quite possible, even probable, that they have continued to do so until the present time.)

In modern times, particularly regarding the New Testament, our modern-day scribes are telling us that they can rewrite the Bible to make it easier to read and to understand, and have done so. However, Peter said, concerning the writings of the Apostle Paul, "Our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction." (2 Pet. 3:15,16) Apparently Paul was not concerned with making it easier to understand. Instead, he said, "Making mention of you in my prayers; That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him." Paul knew that "the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." (1 Cor. 2:14) The Holy Spirit inspired the writing, and He will also inspire the reading.

I am reminded of an illustration which was used by the prophet Grady R. Kent, concerning changing the word of God. "If a woman buys a Betty Crocker cake mix and prepares it exactly according to the instructions, she has a Betty Crocker cake. However, if she so much as adds a half teaspoon of butter or embellishes it with another egg, it is no longer a Betty Crocker cake; it is her cake.

And so it is with the Word of God. We have many new renderings of the Holy Bible. Perhaps I could change one word of that statement and make it easier for us to understand. "We have many new renderings of the Bible." I have only changed one word, but what a difference I have made in my own "text." We can have the word of God, but many of us have the word of others instead. What a loss!