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Part 6 - The Bible

February 12, 2023 Preacher: Trent Henderson Series: Remember This: Pillars of our Faith

Topic: Doctrine Scripture: 2 Peter 2:20–21

Doctrine stated

The Bible is the revealed story of God redeeming the world through Jesus the Messiah


  • Quantity of copies
    • Livy, Tacitus, Suetonius, Herodotus, Thucydides 5 ancient historians 400MSS
    • NT 5800 Greek, >10k Latin, <10k other 25,000MSS
  • Quality of copies
    • Proximity
      • 5 Ancient historians 300 years is closest to their life
      • Colin Roberts P52 (John 18) AD 90 (within 30 years)
      • Dead Sea Scrolls from AD 900 (Masoretic MSS) to 100 BC
    • Accuracy
      • Dead Sea Scrolls Isaiah 53 17 letters different, 10 spelling, 4 style, 3
      • NT 500,000 variants (meaningful and viable are metrics)
        • 70% spelling variations (a / an, theater vs. theatre)
        • 29% immaterial word order, synonyms (theater vs. cinema),
          untranslatable particle
          • “Jesus loves Peter almost 100 ways to write it in Greek
        • <1% - meaningful and not viable 1 Thes. 2.7 egenethemen nepioi” vs. egenethemen epioi” vs egenethemen hippoi
        • <1% meaningful and viable
          • Christ Jesus vs. Jesus Christ / 666 vs. 616
  • Ehrman: “Essential Christian beliefs are not affected by textual variants in the
    manuscripts of the NT Misquoting Jesus, appendix

You can be confident that what you read is what they wrote.

“But what about...” – there are some crazy things in the Bible, but we have to let it speak to us
on its terms and not ours (a good tourist).


  • God has spoken
    • Beyond echoes or responses it’s a clear, present Word to us
  • In our language
    • There is no code, no cosmic riddle
    • His clear intent is for us to understand
  • To reveal Himself
    • We cannot make this up (and wouldn’t if we could) this kind of God
    • Never be that creative, consistent, or clear we’d mess it up for sure

To be clear: the Bible is not authoritative because its authentic but because God, the Author
and one who spoke with authority, preserved its authenticity through history BUT WHY?

In the Bible, God is speaking our love language Hes a good communicator

  • Pastorally, most of our problem is either with its authority or my experience of it

Questions to ponder (and for discussion)

  1. Whats your favorite passage in the Bible? Do you have a favorite book? Least favorite?
  2. What are you reading right in the Bible that is uniquely speaking to you?
  3. What is your plan for reading the Bible (do you have one)?
  4. Is there something I am reading that I know I should obey?
  5. Is there something I am reading that I know I should surrender?
  6. Is there something I am reading that I know I should experience?

More in Remember This: Pillars of our Faith

March 5, 2023

Part 9 - The End

February 26, 2023

Part 8 - Creation

February 19, 2023

Part 7 - The Church