The critical aspect of this Preservation process is that it was promised by God. All through the Old and New Testaments God promised to keep and preserve His words. Not just some of them but every word.
God’s Promise of Perfect Preservation
- “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled…” (Matthew 5:17-18) (We are talking punctuation and visual, micro-details of the written word here!)
- “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.” (Psalm 12: 6-7)
- “He hath remembered his covenant forever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations” (Psalm 105:8)
- “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever…
- But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you. ” (I Peter 1:23,25)
- “The scripture cannot be broken.” (John 10:35)
He also promised to keep them for the benefit of every generation. This means that every age of man has had access to God’s words. It also means that no religious group like the Catholic church, or some religious counsel, or some other special group of men were completely able to hold back these copies from the body of Christ.
So that the general body of Christ has always had access to the preserved scriptures throughout history.
How do I know this?
Because that is what the Lord promised to do.
These perfect words were not lost in time.
Neither were they so cleverly corrupted that men were unable to tell the difference between the perfect copies and those that men perverted.
The Ancient Battle Against God’s Words
And by the way, the perversion of copies began right away. Even during the days of the Apostles. So that it is possible to find that the most ancient of the texts extant (still physically existing) are corrupted texts.
Paul and others warned us of this. Attempted perversion of the word of God was already taking place in the New Testament days.
Which means that age is not the determinate factor in identifying an authentic copy. It just means you’ve got some old, corrupt texts. Period.
The corrupted texts probably survived because of rejection and relative disuse. Ending up in waste baskets and hidden places where they were forgotten and discarded. Remaining in good shape because the church had rejected them and, therefore, neither using nor copying them.
Which would not be the case for those that were accepted, received and regularly passed around. Copies of these would be abundant but not necessarily old. Because they would have been worn out by regular use.
Neither did these copies go into obscurity or disuse. They were available to every generation.
While I may seem obsessed with this generational-preservation idea, it is critical to note that modern, popular scholars reject this.
Popular Christian scholars accept the idea that the Bible texts were lost in history. And that today we are in an endless process of finding, identifying and restoring those texts. Which, if they were really honest with us, would shock us into seeing what a dangerous state we would, therefore, be in regarding God’s word.
If what they say is true.
To Be Continued . . .