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"Editing Rights" - The Connection Devotional - Week of September 24

  • 2010 Sep 24

Week of September 24

Editing Rights
By Skip Heitzig

If you've done much "web-surfing" on your computer, you've probably seen a site called Wikipedia. It's an online encyclopedia where you can get fast information ("wiki" is the Hawaiian word for fast). But it was set up so that anyone can add or edit stuff on the site, so the information is constantly changing. According to its own statistics, there have been a third of a billion edits to its pages!

Recently, Wikipedia's founder decided to set up some controls over the content, including having editors approve some of the information. He did that because people have posted false or misleading information on some of the pages.

Imagine if the Bible were constantly changing that way. Some people believe it has, that errors have crept in over the centuries, as the Word was hand-copied again and again. But God does not change. In Malachi 3:6, He said, "For I am the LORD, I do not change." And likewise, His Word doesn't change. It is eternal. Jesus said, "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled" (Matthew 5:17-18). There's no stronger statement of God's Word being God's Word, down to the every letter and every mark.

"Jot" is a transliteration of the Hebrew "yodh." It's the smallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet. It's like a comma or an apostrophe. A "tittle" is even smaller; it's a distinguishing mark, a little protrusion off a letter that would distinguish one letter from another. Today, we would say something like "dotting the ‘I' and crossing the ‘T'." So it's God's Word down to the smallest mark. It's secure. It has been transmitted to us accurately. Centuries of copying and recopying have not altered it.

The finest example of this fact is the Dead Sea Scrolls. Discovered in 1947, these are copies of the Old Testament scripture that date from around 200 B.C. The earliest previously known copies were from 900 A.D., so the Dead Sea Scrolls are 1,100 years earlier. They are one of the greatest archaeological finds in the world. What was greater was what they didn't find: mistakes. When scholars compared them with later copies, they were exactly the same.

I could go on with the facts supporting the accuracy of the Bible—the nearly 6,000 manuscripts we have of the New Testament, etc. But you get the idea. The Bible was given by inspiration of God (2 Timothy 3:16). And the God who does not change, the original Author, the only one with editing rights, has protected His Word from all errors. You can depend on it.

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