The Bible by Guy Rasmussen





In the first instance Nature itself, discloses the existence of God. One only needs to look around and marvel at the breath-taking creation we live in. The Bible itself confirms this in Romans 1: 19-20

Nature provides the fact of God’s existence, but does not reveal what He is like.  In manufacturing clothing, one was able to see creativity and handiwork. While it gives certain clues, it did not reveal what the  person is like.

But nature points to the necessity of further revelation for man to have adequate understanding of what God is like.

In giving us the Bible, God has provided us with a very clear warning. Revelation 22. 18.

Rev 22:18-19

For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

This is God’s dividing line between what is acceptable and what is unnaceptable to Him. The Catholic Bible, with changes in the Scripture, and the addition of the Apocrypha, is a concern. More than a concern is the Koran and the Book of Mormon. These, and others, need to be approached with a great deal of caution in the light of the Lord’s warning in Revelation.

ALL we need to know about Him therefore, the way we should live, the way we act and react with others, is FULLY CONTAINED WITHIN THE PAGES OF THE WORD OF GOD !



 To know the answer to this we must first examine truth and error. Truth must exist first for a lie or error to exist. When a banknote is first made, it must enter circulation before a forgery can be made.


The Bible is the FIRST & ONLY book to explain and claim authenticity to the creative plan right from the beginning. It is also the first to teach the will of God concerning His creation by explaining the role of mankind and the path one must walk to receive eternal blessing. Therefore any subsequent writing which claims to be from God, cannot possibly be so, when the original clearly says we now have all the instruction we are going to get.

Another aspect of truth is that this state is the perfect correspondence with the mind of God, who is truth. There is no reality then, apart from His eternal nature. If we disagree with God’s interpretation of reality, then we lie, for God is truth ! The Bible confirms this many times. (SEE ISAIAH 45. 18,19 and 65. 16 :  JOHN 14. 6)  Jesus Himself used the words “I tell you the truth” 30 times in Matthew alone.



 The Bible claims to be inspired writing, written through the agency of man by God Himself, who is truth. In the Old Testament alone it uses language expressing the idea that it is the word of God a phenomenal 3,808 times ! In Psalm 119 this occurs 42 times, with at least 179 allusions to the Scriptures being the “Word of the Lord” in this one chapter.

The New Testament is explicit regarding both Testaments. ( 2 TIM 3.16,17) The word “inspiration” is from the Greek word “Theopneustos” which literally means “GOD-BREATHED”.  Peter records this powerful doctrinal statement in 2 Peter 1:20,21

These Scriptures contend that not only does Divine guidance cover ALL Scripture, but that God so guided the writers that the original manuscript carried the exact message that God intended without error !



 Many critics have come with many criticisms. The list is long and too involved to deal with here. However we will look at 2 of the contentious issues and give explanation to them.


Evidence shows that Moses probably wrote the first 5 books of the Old Testament. Some have challenged Mose’s authorship on the basis that evidence of writing was found archeologically only to 1000BC, therefore someone must have written the Law after Mose’s death.

Then archeologists made an uncomfortable discovery. They had concentrated on digging in Iraq, between the 2 great rivers, the Tigris and the Euphrates. On moving to the coastal plain they found tablets dating back to Mose’s time. The Bible supplies its own proof with the Hebrew word “Kathab” as used in the book of Judges. (JUDGES 8. 13,14) The RSV translators in 1884 could not bring themselves to use the correct words in their translation due to the criticisms of man’s ability to write in those days, so they translated “Kathab” as ”describe”, which gives a totally different meaning to the passage.  The correct translation is “wrote down” which clearly shows that the ability to write was even in the hands of common people in those days, as an ordinary prisoner of war was able to write a comprehensive description of the events of the day.


OT books attributed to one author do not read this way, but contain repetition and change of style. We find our answer in the fact that personal secretaries called “amanuenses” were used. The Greek scholar, O Roller, has shown that that the Greek authors allowed considerable literary freedom to their scribes, which is graphically demonstrated in Romans 16. 22.

“I, Tertius, who wrote this epistle, greet you in the Lord.”

As you can see, there is usually a simple answer to issues like these.



In todays world of Computers, photocopiers and printing presses we know that literally millions of the same document or book can be produced without a single mistake. It would only seem fair to ask then two very valid questions regarding the duplication of Scripture.


How accurate were the copyists ?

What guarantee have we got against mistakes ?


With regard to the Old Testament, the copyists were Jewish officials called ‘Massoretes.’  Fortunately today, we just happen to know the process and the rules by which they worked to, which were incredibly painstaking.


Accuracy was of the greatest importance, and to make sure that each book was reproduced in perfect fashion, a set of tables was devised for each book, showing how many times each alphabetical letter occurred in each book. When the scribe had finished copying a book, he then had to count up each individual alphabetical letter and compare his result with the Master List. One can only imagine what a laborious and time consuming task this was.


It boggles the mind to think what the Scribe’s reaction would have been on finding out that he had been less than perfect in his long task of translating. Only mistake free  copies were allowed to replace the ‘standard’ copies when they wore out, or were required elsewhere. However while 1 or 2 imperfect copies were permitted to exist as a lesser reference, anything beyond that had to be destroyed. Because of the painstaking method employed, the  accuracy of the Hebrew copyists is proven to be outstanding.


Archaeology has since brought modern day proof to support the accuracy of Hebrew Scripture.  The Temple site in Jerusalem was the repository of the Master copy, but in AD 70, the Temple was destroyed along with the City of Jerusalem, and the Standard copy was taken to Rome by the victorious Roman General Titus.


The Jews then existed for 500 years without a Standard copy until the Massoretes began again to reproduce a Standard copy by using, referring to, and comparing all the other copies then available.


In 1947, at Qumran, high in the Judean hills overlooking the Dead Sea, scrolls were discovered which contained much of the original Old Testament Scripture. When these were compared to the new Standard they were found to be as close to the original Massoretic text as to make no practical difference.


F.F. Bruce, in his book on the Dead Sea scrolls comments that the scrolls confirm… ‘that the Jewish scribes of the early Christian centuries  copied and re-copied the text of the  Hebrew Bible with the utmost fidelity.’


Although the New Testament copyists were nowhere near as accurate as their Jewish counterparts, the comparative accuracy of their copying has been protected by two important advantages.


Firstly, the New Testament manuscripts are much closer in time to the originals than the Old Testament manuscripts, and so the accuracy of the translation improves. When we compare the New Testament with some of the best known works of Classical literature and its authors, the result is overwhelming. The following chart shows that the New Testament Scriptures must be classified as being more accurate than any of the Classical works, simply because the elapsed time between the copy and the original is much shorter.



Name                         Wrote                        Earliest Copy              Gap


Aristotle                      384-322 BC              1100 AD                    1400 years


Tacitus                       100 AD                     1100 AD                    1000 years


Plato                          427-327 BC              900 AD                       1200 years


Aristophenes             460-385 BC              900 AD                       1200 years


Marks Gospel           48 AD                      130 AD                          80 years



Secondly, there is a wide variety of New Testament manuscript evidence to draw on as the chart below demonstrates.


Author                       Number of Surviving Manuscripts        


Caesar                                               10


Plato                                                     7


Tacitus                                               20


Sophocles                                       193


Suetonius                                           8


Heroditus                                            8


Thucydides                                         8


Aristotle                                              49


New Testament                         24,633


This shows an overwhelming number of manuscripts of the New Testament which have survived to the present day, compared with other contemporary writings of the day. The sheer size of the quantity involved has allowed tremendous comparisons to be made with reference to the accuracy of translation.


Consequently, we can conclude the following. Both the Old and New Testaments, by virtue of the stringent rules regarding the copying of the Old, and the sheer volume of copies of the New, come to us with a measure of accuracy unmatched in any other composite group of writings over the whole period of recorded history.



 An obvious question regarding the construction of the Bible is that of its composition. Even if the writers were inspired of God we need to find some answers as to how we have come to have the Bible we know today. The 3 main issues are as follows.

  1. On whose authority were the writings selected to be part of Scripture ?  In other words, someone, somewhere, must have expressed his belief that either individual books or a compilation of them were God’s word to us.


  1. If these were ‘God-breathed’ words, who  recognised this and saw them as being in a different category to many other ‘sacred’ writings ?


3With the Bible being written in two main languages (Hebrew and Greek), why were the Old and New Testaments placed together ?

The answers to these questions are very important and I will address each of them in a brief way below.



The Jewish Scriptures were completed by the 5th Century BC. However there were many other Jewish writings which were written after this time, but none were accepted into the canon of Scripture.


Philo and Josephus, two famous Jewish writers who lived in the 1st century AD, both believed that the Scriptures were complete. However, in AD 90, the Rabbis sought permission from Rome, to reconvene the Sanhedrin, so that they might discuss the issue of what was and what was not Scripture. They may have been moved to act in this way for two reasons:


Firstly, with the Standard no longer in Jerusalem through the sacking of the City in AD 70, there was a real chance of the disintegration of the integrity of their writings through dispersal. The opportunity was no longer there to compare all new copies with the Standard copy. Because they were known as `the people of the Book’, it was this very thing that bound the Jewish nation together.


Secondly, they may have felt a very real challenge to their collected writings because at this time New Testament writings were beginning to make an appearance. As these writings were of a Messiah which the Jews rejected, they were probably very concerned at protecting the canon of Scripture which they considered closed.


The Hebrew canon consisted of the ‘Torah’ or Law, this being the first 5 books (the Pentateuch) of our modern Bible. Following these initial Scriptures came the Prophets, the Five Rolls or Megilloth, the Historical books and the ‘writings’ which include the Psalms.


The make-up of the Jewish Old Testament canon is much the same as our modern day Christian Church would use. The order of the books differs however. Our Bible follows a topical order whereas the Jewish canon is by official order. Also the number of books vary. Our Bible, unlike the Jewish canon, divides Samuel, Kings and Chronicles into two books each. The Jews also treated the Minor Prophets as being only one book whereas they appear as twelve in our modern day Bible.

The Bible confirms through its own evidence why these writings were considered to be sacred. Exodus 24.4 and 7 records…

‘And Moses wrote all the words of Lord……and he took the book of the covenant, and read it in the audience of the people’ (KJV)

Numbers 33.2 also makes an unmistakable observation.

‘And Moses wrote their goings out according to their journeys by the commandment of the Lord;               (KJV)

Joshua 24.26 -27 continues with the same theme.

‘And Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God , and  took a great stone, and set it up there under an oak, that was by the  sanctuary of the Lord. And Joshua said unto all the people, Behold,  this stone shall be a witness unto us: it has heard all the words of the  Lord which He spake unto us;

As one can see, the writers in each case are passing on instructions as revealed to them by God Himself !

Let us not forget possibly the most powerful confirmation of all regarding the Old Testament canon.

Jesus Himself made this amazing statement of confirmation in the Upper Room when He was gathered with His Disciples. He said ‘that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the Law of Moses, and the Prophets, and the Psalms concerning Me.’

In this one sentence He gave His own approval to the makeup and content of the Old Testament canon.



We cannot proceed further without referring to a group of books known as the ‘Apocrypha’. These are a group of Old Testament books which have for centuries been argued about as to their Divine inspiration – in other words, should they be included or excluded from the Bible as we know it.

In 1546 the matter was settled for Catholics at the Council of Trent, where the books involved were declared to be inspired, and therefore, Holy writ. The Protestant Churches never accepted this view and at the Reformation, returned to the Hebrew canon which is the Jewish Old Testament. There are a good many reasons to accept this view and we list some of them for you.


  1. The 1st Century AD historical writers, Philo and Josephus along with Jews both in Jerusalem and dispersed, had all long regarded the canon of Scripture as closed.
  1.   The  New  Testament  writers  refer  to  the  Old Testament as ‘Scripture’ or ‘as it is  written’ more than 200 times, but not one mention is made by them of any writing in the  Apocrypha !


  1. Although Jesus Himself made much mention of the Old Testament Scriptures, He never once mentioned an Apocryphal book or reference.


  1. In Luke 11.50-51 Jesus quotes all the martyrs from Abel to Zecharias, but although  the Apocrypha mentions many martyrs who followed Zecharias, Jesus disregarded all these.


  1. The Apocrypha abounds in historical and geographical innacuracies, teaches false doctrine and advocates practices which are at variance with inspired Scripture.


For instance in 2 Maccabees 12.45-6, praying for the dead is advocated. (refer to Luke 16.25-6 and Hebrews 9.27)


Tobit 1.3-5 & 14.11 says that Tobit lived 158 years, but quotes him as being alive when Jeroboam staged his revolt in 931 BC and also alive in Assyrian captivity in 722 BC, which is clearly an impossibility which reflects on the whole account. In Judith  9.10 & 13, the story has God assisting Judith in a lie, an event which just does not line up with the revealed character of God as displayed throughout the rest of  Scripture.


  1.   There are no discernible numerical patterns to be seen in the Apocrypha – (see a later Chapter on Numerics – as you will discover this one thing alone is enough to discount any Apocryphal writing as being inspired.)




The early Christian Church was busy building up its own collection of sacred books which they added to the Old Testament, already accepted by them as the Word of God.  The last word of decision as to what should be included was not spoken until about 393 AD at the synod of Hippo, and the decision was confirmed by the 3rd synod of Carthage in 397 AD.

The bulk of the New Testament was written by the disciples and the Apostle Paul. Some authorship is still in doubt, such as the book of Hebrews and the book of James, although we could take an educated guess as to their writers. However, once again the individual human element is not as important as the fact that God had used man as a channel to speak to all mankind.

Once again the writers used the same expressiveness as the Old Testament writers to show that they knew of God’s hand of inspiration in what they were writing. Some examples to show the continuity of this theme are listed….

‘If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him   acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the  commandments of the Lord.’    1 Corinthians 14. 37

            ‘For the Scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox etc, etc …. 1 Timothy 5.18


These two references come in like form from Luke 10.7, and Deuteronomy 25.4 showing the recognition of Holy writing by the use of the word ‘Scripture.’


1 Corinthians 12.7-10 and Hebrews 1.1 show us that God’s miracle power of discernment has amongst other things been made available to man to recognize new Scripture. Alongside the reality of ‘inspiration from God’ as a means of recognition of new Scripture, lies the important test of apostolic authority. The Church was built on the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets and Christ had left them with the promise that He would, by The Holy Spirit, guide them into all truth !



If God has placed a watermark on His Scriptures and godly men down through the ages have received His inspired Word, knowing it to be God-breathed, then we need to take stock of what this means to us personally. We also need to run our own measuring rod over any other so-called inspired book in the light of what we have learnt, for the Bible clearly teaches that we face an adversary who is called ‘the father of lies.’ His job is to deceive and to lead as many as he can into error, and sadly today, this is the case for so many sincere people who have not rightly ‘separated the truth from error’ and are following the doctrine of demons, and the ideas of man.


Our only measuring rod is the inspired Word of God, which rings with a clear sound of truth.

































































































Genre: Teaching
Series: End Times | Subjects: Teaching