Blessed Bible, Precious Word

THE NOBLE BEREAN CHRISTIANS of old readily received the Gospel message, and searched the Scriptures daily to see whether or not the testimony of the Apostle Paul agreed with the Old Testament records. (Acts 17:11,12) Early truth seekers like the Bereans would have rejoiced at such students’ helps as we today can possess in the way of reference Bibles, concordances, histories, dictionaries; and all these are available on a computer.

Besides all these advantages, there is now the increasing light and knowledge of the approaching Millennial day. We are living in one of the greatest dispensational changes in the world’s history, and the Scriptures abound with information regarding these days. It is the foretold time when all the selfish and sinful elements of an old order are being ‘shaken.’ Satan’s ‘world’ is being dissolved to make way for God’s glorious kingdom.—II Pet. 3:11


Within these ‘last days’ the whole world has begun to stir itself as never before, forcing national, political, social, and religious changes everywhere. With the opening of the nineteenth century, an increase of knowledge was beginning very definitely to manifest itself through inventions and otherwise.

This resulted in rapid means of travel. Two hundred years ago the most rapid means of transportation and of communication was by horseback. Today, cities and continents are united by trains, ships, planes, cars, trucks and by telephone, radio, television, computers—so that places thousands of miles apart geographically, are only minutes or seconds apart in point of time. During merely the last one hundred years, there has been a marvelous increase of knowledge on practically every subject, including sciences such as medicine, electronics, etc.

The Bible has foretold this phenomenal increase of knowledge in our day, and that it would first of all result in a “time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation.” (Dan. 12:1,4) The tragic outcome of this increasing knowledge being selfishly and unwisely used is obvious.


The Prophet Nahum speaks of the “day” of the Lord’s “preparation,” and we are undoubtedly now living in that period. (Nahum 2:3) The world is being prepared for the establishment of God’s long-prayed-for kingdom. Before long, the true church will be glorified with her Lord; and together with him will constitute the “new Jerusalem” (Rev. 21:2), the fountain of joy and life to all mankind. Then shall be fulfilled that wonderful promise, “There shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain.”—vs. 4

The fully consecrated followers of the Master, are rejoicing as they carefully and prayerfully read and meditate upon the inspired Word. They are enjoying a special serving of the truth by their beloved Master, now present in fulfillment of Luke 12:37. Together with the progressive revelation and interpretation of Divine truth in our day, there is much freedom which permits us to read and study the Bible without interference.

During the Dark Ages of the past, this was not possible. Then, those in religious authority deliberately strove to keep the Word of God away from the people. In the name of religion, there was selfish scheming and ambition, impelled by Satanic energy, and cruelty unparalleled on the pages of history. War was made with God’s true people, the saints of the Most High, to overcome them and to wear them out.—Dan. 7:25


By comparison with the Dark Ages, we today live in a highly-favored period, for which we are surely sincerely grateful. It is a very favorable time for Christian growth in grace and knowledge, and also for witnessing to the truth. This situation, however, should not be expected to continue indefinitely, so we should be awake and alert to our present privileges and responsibilities. The Bible has become increasingly precious to us; “a lamp” unto our feet, and “a light” unto our path. (Ps. 119:105) It is a living Word, a power in the life; and we are enlightened by it that we may grow spiritually.

Erroneous teachings such as eternal torture for the wicked and the inherent immortality of the soul, cause the Scriptures to lack harmony. We rejoice to find that, by Divine grace, and in compliance with I Peter 3:15, we are in a position “to give an answer,” with meekness and reverence, for the hope which is within us. “The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.”—Ps. 25:9


In our study of the precious Word of truth, we are glad to make use of various ‘helps’ such as Hebrew and Greek concordances which indicate the true meaning of the original text. It is now a well-known fact that, in many places, the King James’ Version is not accurate. Besides, at the time it was translated and published (1611) there were only eight manuscripts available, and none of these dated back farther than the tenth century.

Very early manuscripts of the Bible are available today, some of which date back to the fifth century or before. These older manuscripts have escaped the errors and interpolations of the many copyists who did their work mostly during the period of the Dark Ages. Should an early copyist insert in the margin of a manuscript notes expressing his own thoughts, these notes could later be copied into the manuscript, and thus corrupt the inspired text.

Here are a few examples of interpolations as they appear in the King James’ Version: Mark 16:9-20—all of these verses; John 5:3—the last seven words; John 5:4—the entire verse; I John 5:7,8—all of verse 7, and ‘in earth’ in verse 8. All these were used to prove false doctrines.

In addition to the various interpolations, there are also faulty renderings of words in the King James’ Bible. For example, John 5:28,29 reads: “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” The Greek word krisis, here rendered ‘damnation,’ should be translated ‘judgment,’ and it is so rendered in the Revised Standard Version. Those who have done well, will be richly blessed by being raised to ‘life’—‘the resurrection of life.’ All others (the heavenly calling then having been closed) will experience the ‘resurrection of judgment.’


This applies to the earthly phase of the kingdom. After being awakened from the tomb, mankind’s obedience to God’s requirements in this resurrection [‘restanding,’ or ‘a rising up’] by judgment—will be a trial followed by a sentence. It will be a thousand-year judgment period. (Acts 17:31) When these judgments are in the earth, “the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.”—Isa. 26:9

It will be a time for the heavens to be glad, and for the earth to rejoice, “because he [the Lord] cometh to judge the earth.” (I Chron. 16:31-33) Then all will have a full and fair opportunity to attain perfection and everlasting life on the human plane. After such full blessings, any who are willfully and incorrigibly wicked will be mercifully cut off in death.

This is but one example of the manner in which a proper translation of the original Greek text helps to a better, more harmonious understanding of the Bible. There are many others which are helpful in assisting those who are earnestly seeking the truth.

However, regardless of the ‘helps’ we may use, whether printed or oral, we should always consider the Bible to be the final arbiter of our faith. All Christians should search the Scriptures, as did the Bereans of old, to see whether the teachings set forth from other sources are in harmony with the testimony of God’s Holy Word.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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