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The Unique Bible

Sunday I mentioned, in passing, something regarding the copying methods of the Bible.  Here is a piece that I ran across this morning in my studies.  It speaks of the "supernatural element" of the copying and transmission of the Bible:

  1. Seventh Supernatural Element—Its Care and Copy.
  1. No book in history has been copied as many times with as much care as has been the Word of God. The Talmud lists the following rules for copying the Old Testament:
  2. The parchment had to be made from the skin of a clean animal, prepared by a Jew only, and was to be fastened by strings from clean animals.
  3. Each column must have no less than forty-eight or more than sixty lines.
  4. The ink must be of no other color than black, and had to be prepared according to a special recipe.
  5. No word nor letter could be written from memory; the scribe must have an authentic copy before him, and he had to read and pronounce aloud each word before writing it.
  6. He had to reverently wipe his pen each time before writing the Word of God, and had to wash his whole body before writing the sacred name Jehovah.
  7. One mistake on a sheet condemned the sheet; if three mistakes were found on any page, the entire manuscript was condemned.
  8. Every word and every letter was counted, and if a letter were omitted, an extra letter inserted, or if one letter touched another, the manuscript was condemned and destroyed at once.

The old rabbi gave the solemn warning to each young scribe: "Take heed how thou dost do thy work, for thy work is the work of heaven; lest thou drop or add a letter of a manuscript and so become a destroyer of the world!"

The scribe was also told that while he was writing if even a king would enter the room and speak with him, the scribe was to ignore him until he finished the page he was working on, lest he make a mistake. In fact, some texts were actually annotated—that is, each letter was individually counted. Thus in copying the Old Testament they would note that the letter aleph (first letter in the Hebrew alphabet) occurred 42,377 times, and so on.

According to Westcott and Hort, the points in which we cannot be sure of the original words are insignificant in proportion to the bulk of the whole, some 1/1000. Thus only one letter out of 1,580 in the Old Testament is open to question, and none of these uncertainties would change in the slightest any doctrinal teaching.

  1. Today there are almost 5,000 ancient Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. This perhaps does not seem like many, until one considers that:
  2. Fifteen hundred years after Herodotus wrote his history there was only one copy in the entire world.
  3. Twelve hundred years after Plato wrote his classic, there was only one manuscript.
  4. Today there exist but a few manuscripts of Sophocles, Euripedes, Virgil, and Cicero.
  1. Eighth Supernatural Element—Its Amazing Circulation. When David Hume said, "I see the twilight of Christianity and the Bible," he was much confused, for he could not tell the sunrise from the sunset!
  1. Only one-half of one percent of all books published survive seven years. Eighty percent of all books are forgotten in one year. For example, let us imagine that during this year, 200 new books are published in America. Statistics show that by next year only forty of these 200 will remain. At the end of the seventh year, of the original 200, only one lonely book will survive.

What other ancient religious book can even remotely be compared to the Bible? Where could one go today to purchase a copy of Zen Vedas, or the Egyptian Book of the Dead? In fact, dozens of religions which once flourished have simply disappeared from the face of the earth without leaving the slightest trace. But the smallest child can walk into almost any bookstore in America and pick up a copy of the Word of God.

Wilmington's Guide to the Bible.




Russian Soup

Nothing like Russian borscht, stuffed green peppers, homemade bread, American desserts, and old friends!

This is what Tia and I enjoyed Friday evening. We were invited over to Pastor Jim and Karen Britton's house, to visit with a couple of our Russian girl friends!

Olga Burkin (Andre's wife) took on a couple of extra jobs, back home, to pay for a trip over, to visit with Nadia Morosov (Serge's wife), who now lives in Massachusetts.  They had made the fifteen hour drive down on Thursday, for a visit in Springfield.

They both looked great, spoke super English, and can still cook, mighty fine!! 

I am always amazed at how the Lord has brought us "all together"!  What a fun time! But then again, that's the way I see it with all of our church friends and family!  Glory be to God!

Romantic Rain & Free Coffee

There is just something especially "romantic" about a cool rainy day in early autumn!  I get a wonderful feeling about it.  A rejoicing in my heart! 

Maybe it's because I have had many wonderful life experiences around this time of the year.  Maybe it's because it is back-to-school time, and I don't have to go!  Maybe it is a natural feeling that we get as the Creator's children, over the phenomena of the changing of seasons and His masterful handiwork?  Does it affect you this way also?

I went out a bit ago for a second breakfast, of sorts. I stopped by Starbucks for a coffee.  I was in no hurry.  I was listening to a nice teaching tape, a very relaxing wait.  When I got up to the window, the gal said that it was "on them", because I had to wait too long.  I didn't think it was that long at all. I don't mind paying for things! And, it was only near one dollar.  None-the-less, even little things like that make you feel blessed!  I thought maybe I was on a roll, so I stopped by McDonald's... However, there they made me pay.

I leave you with this promise:

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. John 10:10 (KJV)

The Message
"I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of."

The Living Bible
"My purpose is to give life in all its fullness."

The Amplified Bible
"I came that they may have
and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows)."


Places I Have Slept

As I laid my head down last night, and prayed my bedtime prayers, "and your sleep shall be sweet...", I took a mental journey to some of the different places where I have lain my head.

One by one, I went, recalling each room and even the very bed slept in. How awesome!

Very soon, I found myself rejoicing greatly in all of the wonderful places where I have been blessed to visit.

I have to admit that I did not make it to every place before falling asleep.  That is to be continued!

Of course, one of the most memorable was a Russian night time.  We headed out very early that morning, in below zero temperatures, to the train station. Our first leg would be a two hour trip.

We arrived, still before the break of day. There was the strong smell of burning coal in the air, and the occasional eruption of a train's steam whistle. Very surreal!

On board this next train, we nestled in for a relaxing twelve hour train ride north into the frozen Russian landscape. Except for the occasional small village, all views out the window were snow and pines.

Once we arrived at our home of destination, we found that no one had been there for two weeks. Needless to say, it was a bit chilly. Except for a very small maintenance fire, in the small wood cooking stove, there was virtually no heat.

We went to bed that night with indoor temperatures in the 50's.  I was assigned a  fold-out cot with a body size groove right in the middle.  No rolling out of this one! And it was obvious, there would be no tossing and turning!  It was absolutely wonderful!

Waking up at dawn, it was time for a visit to the "restroom".  That would be out back!

I managed to grab someone's boots, headed out the first front door, into a pitch dark breezeway, stumbled over a cat anxious to get in, and out through the front porch.

I knew that I was "somewhere else" as I stepped outside.  Several feet of very crunchy snow, pines and birch trees intermixed, with the newly risen sun shimmering through everything. With your own breath frosting right in front of you, it was not at all hard to wake-up. The day had definitely begun.

There were only three houses out in this neck of the woods. I seemed to be greeted by a neighborhood dog's bark that echoed through the woods. I think that we were the only ones stirring.

Well, I finally made it out to the very cold "outhouse".  "Should I knock", I wondered?

Well, that was the beginning of my sweet sleep last night.  Only God can afford such things!




Angels have done it again! 

Last night at Bible Study Mike Hite shared how that he was driving out on a country road this week, and as he cleared a blind spot he saw two cars abreast heading right for him!

The oncoming car in Mike's lane got stopped just in the nick of time!

Wow! Another close call!  We don't even know all of the times that our angels have stepped in to help us or to SAVE us from disaster.

Do you think once we get to Heaven we will have a "sit down" with our personal angels, to hear every account throughout our lives, wherein they were called upon to help us!

I am convinced of it!

Psalm 91:11-13
For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
They shall bear thee up in
their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.

Matthew 18:10 
Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.





It was reinforced to me this past week, on several accounts, that the abundant life that Jesus promised, is difficult to obtain for some.  

Yet, the formula to succeed in it is very basic, and the Word of God plainly shows the way!

The simple formula is this:

When you truly understand the Love, Mercy, Grace, and Peace of God towards yourself, 

you can then walk in FaithHope and Love - in life, towards God, and towards others.

As we maintain a daily revelation and acceptance of the 4 former, and continually walk in the 3 latter - this is real Life Balance!  

"This is what it is all about"!

This is when life works!  This is when life is enjoyable!  This is when life pleases God!  This is where "life" becomes ABUNDANT!

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. 
John 10:10 (KJV)

He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. John 7:38 (KJV)

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