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Well this 10 11 year olds for their class happier here with us this morning, especially if you’re visiting with us. We’re actually concluding a message series today talking about the genius of Jesus. In the days ahead. We’re going to start a new series on the core, which we’ll talk about the foundation of what our church is about and the vision we have for our, our community in the Lord and for you as an individual. So it’s a great series to be a part of. I want to invite you to that and as we get ready into today’s message, we’re going to be in Mark chapter 16 so I want to invite you to that. We’re going to deal with some challenging thoughts from Mark chapter 16 in fact, I’m going to get entitled today pit stains Sunday. We’re going to talk about the good, the bad, the ugly. In Christianity, we’re not afraid of truth.
We can air it all out and walk with Jesus and that is a wonderful thing. Hopefully throughout this series together, as we’ve looked at Mark, you have seen the beauty of the way the Bible ties itself together. If you’re familiar with scripture, the book, the Bible for us is a masterful piece of literature that spans over 1500 years, over 40 different authors on three different continents, in three languages and one can ruin theme. It is a masterful piece that the only thing that could, you could come to the conclusion on something and that literary power is that it’s inspired of God to see how that from beginning to end, it paints such a beautiful picture for us and we have seen that together as we’ve looked at the gospel of Mark down to the very detail of last week when we looked at the death of Jesus as the foreshadowing of all that Christ would fulfill how the old Testament had pictures of the temple and the law and the priests and the land in all of those where the ultimate fulfillment in Jesus, down to when Jesus was crucified, the very hour he was crucified was when the perpetual sacrifice took place in the temple of the sacrifice of the lamb.
And when the Passover lamb was sacrificed, of which John the Baptist told us in John chapter one verse 29 that Jesus was the lamb of God to take away the sins of the world. Incredible. The way the Bible does that, I mean it is, it is inspiring to the soul. And when God created you, one of the beautiful things about the way he created you is he made you a multifaceted being. You have the ability to think intellectually, body, soul, mind, spirit, emotion. I think when God, it provokes us to worship and we’re called to worship him with our lives. All of that holistically is who we are as human beings should be engaged in the beauty of who God is. And sometimes when we share messages, sometimes they may lean a little more towards the emotional part of just provoking us to respond. But we don’t want to just neglect the intellectual part of us.
And when we talk about faith, I think it’s very important that your faith be rooted in something. You know? In our society today we tend to treat faith like it’s a guessing game and I don’t think that’s the way God has designed us. He created. It gave you a mind for a reason and when it comes to the most important thing related to life like who you are, where you’re going, why in the world you exist, we should not let those things under the rug chocolate under religion and say it’s just, it’s just anyone’s guess. I think faith is rooted in something important for us to find that which is what brings me to where I am today. Mark chapter 16 beautiful passage dealing with the resurrection of Jesus and it’s also a challenging passage. One of the reasons that makes it challenging is the end of Mark starting with Mark chapter 16 verse nine and into the verse 20 that section of scripture isn’t in early manuscripts and so you possess a Bible and that’s what that contains.
A section of the scripture that you may, you don’t find an early Greek manuscripts of, of, of scripture, and so that leaves us with a, with a kind of a perplexing place that that’s the first time you’ve ever heard that. I don’t want to throw you for a loop or anything today, but let me just throw a couple more out there because that’s not the only place in the Bible. John chapter seven verse 53 to chapter eight verse 11 and first John chapter five verse seven and eight same thing. Those portions of scripture. You can’t find an early manuscripts yet. They’re contained in your Bible today. Now I’m going to let the cat out of the bag and just tell you, I believe in the verbal planarian Spiration of scripture, which and chalking it all up. The very words that we possessed today, I think is God’s words to us.
I think God’s word is reliable. I’ll tell you how I get there, but I think it’s important for us to root ourselves in something as Christians and when we root ourselves in a foundation, it helps us with the duration of life. Now, when we talk about the messages that we share here as a church family, provoking us holistically as a human being, it can engage different parts of our lives. It may have a more emotional connection to you on some weeks than others. One of the things I want to get across today is the intentions I have behind what I want to share with us this morning is more than just a simple emotional provoking and walking out of here and being fired up for your week and following after Jesus. That’s a good thing. I want you fired up following Jesus for your week, but I want to share something more that I think will help you in the duration of your relationship with Christ.
When we talk about relationships, maybe you’ve had in your life that romantic love for someone else than today. You call your husband or your bride and you know in the beginning there is this honeymoon stage, right? And then there’s beyond the honeymoon stage. There’s meat to that relationship there. There needs to be a foundation which it’s built on, something that endures beyond that high energy, emotionally, whatever you want to call that beginning stages. I don’t want to make it sound shallow, but you understand and walking with someone in life that the longer you walk, the deeper it gets. And there there becomes just some meat to the experience of that relationship, right? Especially as you spend life together and the topic that we’re going to get engage in today I think brings that type of health to your relationship to Jesus. This is something that you may not walk out this morning and just be on the top of the mountain.
Maybe you will. Maybe this is the first time you’ve ever heard of the reliability of the Bible taught. You might not be on the top of the mountain in just the content of today for the week. But as you think about what’s expressed here throughout your life, I think this will gives you a foundation in walking with Jesus confidently. Because what we tend to teach in our culture today is that truth is relative. And we commonly make this sort of statement where we say, you know, it’s true for you but not for me, which is a contradictory statement to what true should be. Anyway, but, but we say it’s true for you and not for me. And how in the world do you respond? And then we, we kind of throw religions in that like you can think intellectually with science and math, but then when it comes to religion and you just sort of guessed based on what you feel like I’ve asked you this morning, how do you know what you believe is true?
And you just chalk it up to some sort of emotional experience. Like I don’t doubt you following Jesus provokes that within you. But so does everyone else have ever religion in the rest of the world? And the people tend to believe something because there’s some connection in some way. And every room, every person in every religion in the world at some point is going to claim some sort of emotional experience. But that doesn’t necessarily validate truth because when you compare them to one another, they don’t teach the same thing. And so an emotional experience doesn’t necessitate that something is true. But because we’ve not taught our culture to think critically, we’re left to the conclusion of saying, you know, that may be true, but not for you but not for me. So how do you deal with that? When we make a statement like that? It’s true for you, but not for me. What we’re claiming is that truth is relative. And what we’re saying about truth is that rather than discovering truth, that we are the determiners of truth. We dictate it so autonomously and myself separate from you. I have the authority to determine what is and is not true, which is inaccurate, but that’s what we teach in in our society. But let me just say truth is truth, whether you believe it or not.
And what I mean by that is if we in this building today, if some of us just decided to stop believing in gravity, that doesn’t mean all of a sudden you’re going to float away. We’re going to be like, Oh, believe in some gravity. Please come back now as that doesn’t happen because, because the reality of gravity exists. What do you believe in it or not?
I’m the same as true for any truth. And w what I mean by that is you’re not the dictator or the determiner of truth, but rather you’re in the position to discover truth and relativistic statements. Like it may be true for you but not for me. When you really look at them, they they become defeating within the context of their own statements. And just just by way of example for you, if you just consider this for a moment, if someone says there is no such thing as truth,
in order to make a statement like that, you’re making a truth claim like there is no such thing as truth. That the question into that and that relevance statement, is that true? And because you’re providing a foundation for truth to make a claim that there is no truth or if someone were to say everything is meaningless, it’s like, well, is that statement meaningless? Relativism doesn’t. It doesn’t work because there’s a foundation and organization to to the way life functions. That does not make any sense. Or what about this? You aren’t not judge. That’s a popular one, says who the one judging you or judging me by saying the statement that you should not judge self-defeating.
It’s how do you respond. It’s true for you but not for me. I think you just turn the statement on self. It’s true for you and not for me. Does that make that statement true for everyone? Because if it’s true for everyone, but you’re telling me it’s true for you and not for me, doesn’t that contradict itself because how could it be true for everyone when you’re telling me truth is relative and there is no solid foundation or absolute to it, the same as contradict one another. So how do you work through that? If you just think about in this context in our society, maybe you can try this and relativistic thinking. You go to the bank, I’ve heard Frank turkeys this before, but you got to the bank and you go to the teller and you’re like, I need to, I need to withdraw $500,000 and then tell her it looks up your account and it’s like, ah, you got 50 man, I can give you five $500,000 you only have 50 bucks.
And you used to be like, well that’s true for you, but not for me. It’s my opinion that $500,000 does that work? No, that’s not going to fly. Why? Because you examine the evidence and it’s been determined that that’s not in the account. It’s like when you, when you go to write a check for more than you have in the account, it’s, it’s fraudulent. And just because another faith may make another claim doesn’t make it true. Now we respect people regardless of their opinion, but it doesn’t make it true to claim something as accurate when it has no way. The evidence can be examined and it can be determined. It’s not accurate. That is fraudulent and truth is foundational. It is foundational to who you are, why you exist, where you came from, and where you’re going. And we’re not, we don’t need to be ashamed of that, but pursue it with, with our lives and diligence because it’s the very core of our identity. So what do you do with Christianity? You know, the world challenges. This Christianity’s claims are exclusive. Jesus says, I am the way, the truth in life. No one comes to the father, but by me, that is an exclusive claim that isolates from all other statements of faith in this world because the identity is in Jesus himself. Where are your foundations? Right? Just like you think of the bank teller and relativistic terms. But he looks at the account and money’s not there. It’s been weighed. How do you weigh the evidence of Christianity? Guessing game?
The Bible gives us foundations in fact, and the apostle Paul in first Corinthians, he said this, if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless. We are of all men most to be pitied. It’s a policy saying you want a foundation for the Christian faith to examine to see if whether or not it’s accurate, which by definition if it becomes true, it eliminates all other claims of truth. It’s the resurrection of Jesus. Jesus going a little bit deeper said, I like this. He said, Jesus said to him are a little more broad. I should say I am the way and the truth and the life, and Jesus is not just saying he has life, but he has to give her and sustainer of life and when he’s talking about truth, he identifies himself as the foundation. So when it comes to Christianity, looking for the pillar of which we’re built on, it’s Jesus and his resurrection helps us identify the claims of who he is. Jesus himself prayed in John 17 he said, sanctify them in truth, your word is truth. That’s what we look up Mark 16 those are the two past. The two thoughts that we’re going to challenge today. If we’re dealing in the March 16 the resurrection of Jesus and a passage of the Bible that’s not found in early manuscripts, what do you do with that?
Jesus gives us himself, and the truth of the word isn’t reliable. I didn’t know Jesus isn’t a myth that the stories were about this guy that was impressive and it just sort of developed over time and now all of a sudden just like Paul Bunyan or John Henry or Johnny Appleseed, whatever. If Jesus is some mythological creature that’s been built up just like the Greek cultures would do with all our gods, I do, you know? Or how do you know the Bible hasn’t been corrupt?
Well, you know how it goes, right? You have a, you went to school as a kid and you sit around a circle and someone whispers in someone’s ear and whispers in someone else’s ear and whispers and you go around playing that telephone game, you get to the end and no one really knows what was originally said. And it’s funny to look at and now you’ve got a Bible here in the 21st century. I know that’s true. And put your faith in that your entire life. I mean, Jesus calls you, it says in scripture, he is savior and Lord and then that means he provides the premise for the way you choose to operate in life. Do you really believe that? Now when you don’t have a foundation that’s rooted in these things as to why you should really hold your faith to it, when pressure comes, you give up. How can you confidently walk in that? Well, let’s read Mark. Mark six
16 excuse me. First one, when the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of James and solemn may brought bought spices so they might come and anoint him talking about Jesus and barely early on, the first day of the week they came to the tomb when the sun had risen and they were saying to one another who roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the to looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away, although it was extremely large entering the tomb. They saw a young man sitting at the right wearing a white robe and they were amazed and he said to them, not be amazed. You’re looking for Jesus than Nazareen who has been crucified. He has risen. He’s not here. Behold, here is the place where they laid him, but go tell his disciples, and Peter, he’s going ahead of you to Galilee. And there you’ll see them just as he told you. And they went out and fled from the tomb for trembling and astonishment had gripped him and they said nothing to anyone for they were afraid.
I think the reaction is like it’s saying, it’s the same reaction that we’re afraid literally means phobia. It’s like they say see a zombie. They’re literally seeing a dead man walking. And if you ever wonder how you should react to that, you should have a phobia for zombies. Okay. That’s, that’s, that’s the response in this passage and it makes complete sense to me. If I see someone die, killed, tortured, and horrific way. Three days later they’re walking around, I’m going to freak out. All right. And then that’s the way it describes their reaction. But the, but the question then for us is how do you know the resurrection is real? I mean, Islamic traditions teach like a Swoon theory. Jesus wasn’t really dead. I think when you, when you study historically what happened around the crucifixion of Jesus, there’s no doubt Jesus was dead. But when you need to deny the believability of Christ, you’ve got to come up with something right? When you, when you think about what happened at Jesus’s crucifixion, I mean it wasn’t just a crucifixion and he was whipped by a whip that would have fragments of metal and bone, and the intention is when the whip would hit your body, it would grab ahold of your skin and when you pulled it away, it would rip your flesh, exposing your bones and your organs.
Several times that happen, a person could bleed out or go through such tremendous torture against their bodily organs that they could die. Jesus went through that. Then Jesus was crucified. He’s not crucified by just anybody like Tom and Joe from down the road. He’s crucified by Roman professional executioners. Their entire job for Rome is to make sure people are dead. And so they crucified Jesus. Crucifixion alone is enough to kill someone, but as if to make sure he was actually dead, they then take a spear and they run it into his heart. And if for some reason someone might believe that that’s not enough to have your Oregon’s ripped to pieces and to be crucified and speared in the heart, they then wrap him tightly and throw him in a tomb and leave him with no medical attention. Several days, the journal of American medical association in 1986 March 21st edition said this, they gave several statements about Jesus and what happened in his death, but they conclude with this accordingly, interpretations based on the assumption that Jesus did not die on the cross appear to be at odds with modern medical knowledge translated. You’re a fool if you don’t believe the skill somebody. Okay, so, so, so the statement is for us to simply recognize that Jesus died.
In fact, one of the things that we’ve seen is the beauty of that. The way prophecy and scripture has beautifully communicated this Jesus, his life was about his death. Jesus would come and give specific details about where he would be born, how he would live his life, the way he would die, when he would die. We even saw the very hour he would die and then it would be resurrected. And in fact, one of the passages we looked at in the series together in Mark eight talking about the significance of this chapter as a turning point for followers of Jesus. Jesus told this to his followers, he said he began to teach them that the son of man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed. And after three days rise again. So Jesus is prophetically declaring his resurrection. He did it multiple times and scripture even compared himself to the sign of Jonah, Mark 1458 and Mark 16 four they would be in the, in the belly for three days and B resurrected.
Not only that, when you read the end of Mark, you see that the, the resurrection of Jesus happened, or the proof of the resurrection of Jesus started as let’s say with women now in our culture, hopefully that’s not that big of a deal because I think we’re encouraging equality among people, right? At least we want to push that way as a culture. And I’m not saying everything’s perfect, but, but we’re far better than the cultures of Jesus. His time in that area. And when you studied the way women were treated during the time of Christ, there their statements would not hold up in a court of law. They weren’t, they couldn’t give testimony about things because there’s their statements or their testimonies weren’t considered valid.
And so when, when Jesus is being crucified and resurrected, if you were to make up a story like this, you would not want the first people to encounter the resurrection of Jesus to validate this claim, to be women. That’s not to say to undermine or devalue women, but it’s just recognizing where that is culturally. And so you see in this story that it’s the women that start to give testimony of the resurrection of Jesus and everyone is running away with a phobia. I mean, Peter’s confronted by a little slave girl and he’s like, I don’t follow Jesus. No way. He curses and runs away. Number the scattered. They saw their leader crushed. And so the movement, but yet when you read first century accounts, second century accounts of Christianity, all of a sudden this momentum just explodes. So much so, but by the beginning of the fourth century, it becomes the state religion.
What happened when you read about the resurrection of Jesus? You don’t just have to read biblical accounts to the validity of the resurrection. In fact, there are historical accounts written outside of the Bible. There’s church, church history leaders, and there’s extra historians outside of Christianity that comments towards the resurrection. In fact, apply the wrong younger wrote to emperor Trajan talking about Christians and how he tries to bring them to reject Christianity and how they caused him to to bow down to images of the emperor and to malign against their Christian faith. And he writes a letter to emperor Trajan and you can even historically see the dialogue, the letter that’s sent in a letter that’s returned over the torture to Christians in the beginning of the second century illusion of SEM, asada. He’s a Greek writer. He says this about Christians, these diluted creatures you see, he’s writing middle of the second century. He says, these diluted creatures you see have persuaded themselves that they are immortal and will live forever. Where do they get the idea of they’re immortal?
That’s the resurrection. I’ve seen the dead man walking and they’ve, they’ve experienced this as promises that Jesus was, that he would overcome a crave and just like he overcome the grave, they would overcome the grade too. And so they think they’re immortal and live forever and he goes on and says this, which explains the contempt of death and willing self-sacrifice. So common among them. It was impressed on them by their law giver that from the moment they are converted, deny the gods of Greece and worship this crucified Sage. They’re recognizing the deity of Christ in the way that they interact.
Titus one 1580 he said this Nero who was the emperor in the 60s he said, this Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite torture on a class hated for their abominations called Christians by the populous Christus from whom the name has its origin suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of their procurators Pontius pilot, and the most mischievous superstition.
So you see the response of the society around them reacting to the Christians who experienced the resurrection of Jesus. In fact, these disciples that were once cowards, when they began to disperse, when they began to pursue Jesus because they saw the resurrection of Christ, they go all over the known world. When you read about the disciples, the 11 Judas had been killed, the 11 remaining disciples, they go from India to Africa to Rome, spreading all over the Roman empire. What led them to do that? They’d given up.
In fact, when you read the letters that they’re writing to the followers of Jesus, first John chapter one the opening. He says this, what was from the beginning, what we have heard. What we’ve seen with our eyes, what we’ve looked at and touched with our hands concerning the word of life and the life was manifest. John’s saying this was personal experience. It’s not just me just giving you mythology. I’ve touched, I’ve seen it. First Peter one verse 16 for we do not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and the coming of our Lord Jesus, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty Luke and writing the gospel of Luke. He was, he was given his resources to write his gospel from a man named Theopolis, traveled with Paul. This is what he says when he starts the book of Luke and again, something similar when he writes the book of acts, he says, in as much as many have undertaken to compile and account of the things accomplished among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word.
It seemed fitting for me as well. Having investigated everything carefully from the beginning to write it out for you and consecutive order, most excellent the office so that you may know the exact truth about the things that you’ve been taught. Luke was a doctor. He went on this journey. He’s saying to give us the statements of Jesus with precision.
Paul, who was declared enemy of Christianity. He said, this fried deliver it to you. What I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures and that he was buried and that he was raised on the third day according to the scriptures. So he’s saying, Jesus fulfilled this prophecy, and Jesus did overcome the grave. And then he goes on and he’s saying that if you don’t believe me, listen to this and that. He appeared to Cephas, who’s Peter? And then to the 12 after that, he appeared to more than 500 brothers at one time. So he’s saying Jesus appeared to several people, 500 at one time to be exact, but many more than that. He’s giving them a challenge. He’s saying, if you don’t believe me, go ask him. There’s hundreds of them. He even goes on a little further. He says 500 brothers at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep. So he’s saying they’re around. Some have died, but they’re around talk to him. Then he appeared to James then, then to all the apostles and last of all as to one untimely born, he appeared to me also and look what he says for I’m the least of the apostles and not fit to be called an apostle because I persecuted the church of God. So what Paul is saying here is, um, I, I was an enemy.
I was an enemy. And something in me changed where I no longer was an enemy of Christ, but I was a pursuer of him. And it’s not just an ideology. It was that Saul, the resurrected Jesus. When you think about the early church, what led them to give their lives and pursuit of Christ in our society today, people die for ideology all the time. And we’re more familiar with it now since September 11th than ever before. People die for ideology all the time. And Christianity has some ideology to it. It talks about this kingdom that we promote, but the reason the disciples died wasn’t Friday. Ology, they died for a truth claim. Remember when Jesus crucified, they disperse there, they’re destroyed, they don’t know what ways are up. Peter denies Christ and all of a sudden they go from these cowards to these people going all over the the known world proclaiming Jesus. What led them to do that?
Truthfully, they saw the resurrected Christ. They couldn’t deny it. You think in your life if you’re going to give your life for something, if it’s just a hoax, if it’s something you’re building up of, it’s a lie. When it really comes to the point, it’s going to cost you. That’s that’s where you give up and for them it wasn’t just this ideology of a kingdom. It started on the basis of Jesus overcame the grave and Paul says, the foundation of the gospel is death, burial, resurrection, Jesus. And the reason the disciples are giving their lives at this point is because of the claim of, of, of Jesus overcoming the grave. And in fact, Paul says this in first Corinthians 15 to end this section. He says, Oh, death. Where is your victory? All death. Where is your sting? The sting of death is sin and the power of sin is the law, but thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord. Paul’s saying, the reason that we give our lives is because of this resurrection. Death holds nothing over God’s people.
Springs me. The next question, by the way, it’s, it’s just a little bit of content of the resurrection, but if you want to read anything more at our, our church, if you’re new here, one of the books we hand out as more than a carpenter, but if you’ve never read a book on the evidence of the resurrection, you think that will help you in your faith to solidify it no matter what comes your way. Josh McDowell wrote that book. He was a skeptic, turned Christian because he examined the evidence that’s happened repeatedly in history, especially in America. Like Simon Greenleaf wrote a book who founded Harvard law school. Same thing happened. Emily Strobel and the 80 same thing that happened to him. You don’t like that you can watch at least triples movie the case for Christ, but if you want that book when you leave today, it’s in the cabinet.
Say something to one of the, one of the hosts that Hans bulletins when you walk in this morning and they’ll be happy to make sure you get one of those. If you want to look at it more. That’s dealing with the resurrection of Jesus. We also have the responsibility of God’s word. Those are the foundation’s resurrection of Christ and the validity of God’s word. How do you know it’s true? What do you do with passages like Mark nine through 20 that you can’t find them? Early manuscripts of the Bible? How do you know the Bible wasn’t corrupted? I think that’s not an important question for you, but it’s important question our society here because people tend to think that the Bible, the Bible has been corrupted over time because of the telephone game, right? You whisper in the year, whisper in the year, whisper in the ear. By the time it gets to the end, who knows if what you got thrive, but just roll the dice and hope by faith in that wishful thinking.
It’s not really what faith is, but that wistful thinking that what you hold is God’s word and we’ll see who’s right in the end. That’s the way, and here’s, here’s how they typically respond. This is how you know someone’s operating from that way of thinking, which is totally Kearsley inaccurate is they’ll say, well, you look at all the English translations with so many different versions. How do you know what’s true? Now when someone starts talking about English translations as versions, they’re already telling you, I don’t know what I’m talking about, so please help me. Because anytime you start referring to translations as versions, what it’s trying to communicate or what it is communicating is that we have no idea what the early manuscripts say of the Bible and it’s just been this wishful guest and then when, when people got it to translate it like, I don’t know, let’s just create our own translation.
What multiple translations and maybe one of them will be right? That’s what it’s communicating, but what they have is lack of, by the way, these are a couple of translations. What they have is a lack of understanding of the difference between translation and transmission. Translation is how you go from one language to another, right? We’re familiar with that. They have interpreters, they’re doing translating work. Some of you might speak multiple languages, which are more gifted than I am, and so that’s called translation, right? And then there’s the transmission of scripture. Transmission is how we deal with the passing of the Bible from generation to generation. In the assumption that we play the telephone game ignores the fact that today we have over 5,000 manuscripts in the Greek language of the Bible, which total 1.3 million pages. In addition to that, we don’t just have 5,000 plus Greek manuscripts.
We have over 19,000 other manuscripts of scripture. One of the beautiful things that happened when the Bible was written is when the early church started develop a, they experienced persecution and Rome had conquered the known world and they built a great system for transportation of which we still use today, that we call roads. Some of those Roman roads still exist. And what that enabled people to do was better travel than ever before. And so when the early church starts experiencing persecution and because Rome had conquered many people of different languages and tongues from different areas of the world, the church in that persecution began to spread and want to begin to spread. The Bible was brought into other languages. And so when you look at early manuscripts of the Bible, you see manuscripts in dead languages. Today you see manuscripts in Coptic and Syriac in Latin, in Gothic, in Georgian, all of these different languages. And what that helped to do is the preservation of scripture because if someone wants to try to pervert the pages of the Bible, not only did they need to know Greek, but they need to know every known language at the time of which the Bible was spreading into and they became an impossibility to even think about doing.
It’s transmission and translation are important when it comes to translations of the Bible, like the few that I hold, the one that we read from on Sunday morning, when a translator translates, they have to ask the answer the question, how do I want to engage it in the language in which I’m expressing? Because what happens in some cultures or every culture, they have particular idioms or statements that relate to that culture, but don’t correlate to the language that is being translated into. There could be certain phrases like in America that we might stay, I don’t even, I don’t even know, like it’s raining cats and dogs and you translate that into another language. It’s like it’s an American idiom. They don’t quite get the, maybe the expression and other language. So you have to answer the question, are you going to translate it exactly how it stayed in, in the American language or are you going to provide a, an equivalent to that language so they can better understand what was stated in this language.
And so when a translator translates, they’ve got to answer that question. We’re, how about this? In the biblical times, they use the currency of like say the word dinero when the word Dinair, what does that mean? Who knows what, when you study the idea of the narra, the Dinair, I was a day’s wages. So when you’re a translator translating you to answer the question, am I going to just translate the word Dinair I are inside the narrow or am I going to explain to the people reading it who may have no idea what a denarii is, that it’s a day’s wage. When you translate, that’s the type of answer that you’re having to conclude before you translate. A translation is only as good as the person that translates it, and so when they translate the Bible, you have the Bible in different, a translation works, they’re called literal dynamic, and paraphrase literal is a word for word on Sunday morning.
That’s what I choose to use. I love the word for word translation so that we can look at the original context and then make application to our lives, which eliminates the possibility of making more errors by just going straight to a cultural understanding. Love word for word translations, but also read dynamics, which puts idioms into our phrases today, which tells me rather than Dinair I, it’s, it’s a day’s wages is a dinero interpreting it dinero and interpreting day’s wages one more right than the other. No, it’s the same thought. And so when translators translate, they’re not creating different versions. There’s different styles to translation. And on top of that, when, when language develops over over decades and centuries, it tends to change. I can promise you first English translation of King James was in the 1611 if you picked up a 1611 today, you would have no idea what it’s talking about. No idea. Because language has changed. And so that becomes the need to update the translation work because of that. So when it comes to Christianity, we look at the different translations that exist. They’re not versions, they’re not versions because we have five points, or excuse me, 1.3 million manuscripts over thousand Greek manuscripts in existence. And so when scholars translate, they compare the manuscripts to see what was written. And when they look at the manuscripts, they’re not always perfect. And I don’t think we should expect that because they’re copied by people and people make mistakes.
The most common mistakes they find in the early manuscripts is sometimes they misspell a word or sometimes they leave out a word or even an entire line. Like if you copy line after line after line after line, eventually your eyes get a little tired and sometimes you might skip a line. You know how they recognize that a scribe did that because they compare 5,000 manuscripts. They had five less amaze because that’s how they know. They can look at that. Oh look, this guy got a little tired, he need some coffee or whatever, and he just skipped the line. Or he misspelled a word. He needed to get a better grade and the spelling tests and when the writing you gotta consider in your mind they didn’t go down to like office maximum. Like can I have your best pen and paper? I’m writing God’s word today.
No paper was difficult to come by. How you went to the restroom and paper was difficult to come by. And so when you, when you had paper like you’re like, this is the most valuable thing I have. Oh my God, this is God’s word. I’m going to copy this and I’m going to have this. And sometimes when they would copy, they would even make their own notations on the copy because this was for them. They’re not thinking, you know what, Jeff in the 21st century is probably going to have this and I want Jeff to read my notations, or I don’t want to add any annotations because I don’t want Jeff to have my notations, but scribes would write because they’re thinking this is my personal copy. Then they would add some thoughts to help them understand a passage of scripture. Do you know how we know when a scribe adds thoughts? We have 5,000 manuscripts and you can look at and compare them. In fact, that’s where we come to Mark chapter 16 verses nine to 20 what do you do with that passage?
Well, let me say this, when it comes to God’s word, we have no business declaring God’s word to be more authoritative than the Bible itself declares it. Right? In Genesis chapter one when God creates it says, God said, and life began, right?
In fact, it does it multiple times. Verse six verse nine verse 11 verse 14 throughout all of creation, every day of creation, God said, and it became when God speaks life, God’s word has life.
I think when Paul wanted to describe God’s word, this was his thought in his mind. In fact, Jesus has called the word of God, I think for that same reason, but in second Timothy three 16 this how Paul chooses to describe God’s word, he says this all scripture. So you see the word all, all scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness so that the man of God may be adequately equipped for every good work. So God, he’s saying, he’s giving you everything that you need in his word. It is inspired and that word inspired literally means God-breathed. And so what Paul is saying is that when you hold God’s word, you’re holding the very word of God which brings life. It is powerful.
That’s the opportunity that you have today to read those words. When you look at the old Testament, you have copies of the old Testament older than Jesus. Look at the new Testament. We have copies of the new Testament that may date as early as 90 80. I heard in the January of 2015 they actually found another manuscript from the gospel of Mark on the face of a mummy, uh, that they think may predate a 90 80. Which means if, if that’s true, if that manuscript is determined to be what they think it is, that that manuscript would be earlier than the Bible in its completion. Unbelievable. That’s incredible. When you look at the attestation of scripture, I mean, when you consider all the religions of the world and the manuscripts they possess and you compare it to the Bible, I mean it’s like, it’s like a NFL athlete playing in the Peewee leagues. Man. It doesn’t even live in worth comparing. You can’t even put it in the same academic community. The value of the validation of scripture on believable.
I mean, you look at the Bible prophetically, the way it proclaims manuscripts older than Jesus talking about the coming of Jesus, the exact death of Jesus and the Jesus fulfilling it. That is is incredible for us to be able to have such content or, or the archaeological accuracy of the Bible or just the transparent honesty. When you think about when people write about themselves, when people want to share who they are with you, they don’t. They’re not like, let me tell you all my ugly parts. They want to put their best foot forward to really impress you. When you read about King David, Kings didn’t write bad things about themselves, but David is transparent about all of his shortcomings. Why? Because he knows the point. It’s not about his glorious about gods. When we read God’s word and the transparency and the honesty, unbelievable early church history, even if we didn’t have manuscripts of the Bible, early church history era ne is Polycarp. Ignatius first century followers of Jesus discipled by the disciples. The comments they make about the scripture, the commentaries they write, the way they quote scripture in their, in their, in their writings. I mean you could see how God’s word even in their lives as spoken used, shared.
We have copies of church history, manuscripts and then the manuscripts themselves. 1.3 million pages of just the Greek text. How do you deal with passages like Mark 16 nine to 28 John seven 53 eight to 11 first John five says for seven and eight I’m going to give you a little appreciation for your English Bible and giving you this answer, but the Bible first started to be translated into English. It was illegal when the Christians started to translate that work. Guys like John Wycliffe, who really came along first in that adventure, and then John Huss who followed right after John Wycliffe and little later William Tyndale.
They were risking their lives to do it, but what they believe is that you needed the power of God’s word in your hands. So they, they fought to translate into English. And John Haas and William Tyndale gave their lives for John. Why cliff didn’t wasn’t martyred for it, but they hated John Wycliffe so much that after he died, they dug up his body and burned his bones. When John Haas was, was burned at the stake for an English translation of the Bible, he was burned by copies of the English translation of the Bible given by his friend John Wycliffe, and that’s what people fought to do to get you the Bible into English because they knew the power contained and how important it was to get it into your hands. And when they did the translation work, some of those guys didn’t have access to early manuscripts. In fact, some of them use late data manuscripts and some of the, some of the guys even used translations from other translate languages, like they went from Greek to Latin into English.
And so that’s not always the best way to translate. You want to get as early as possible to the original language, but they did the best they could to get English in, in the Bible, in into your language. In fact, when the King James was translated, the King James was done as much for political reasons as anything and they rushed that translation work and they didn’t give the scholars doing the translation that as much time to communicate with one another. In fact, you can see it as it plays out in the new Testament. Because when you read about the Holy spirit, you can tell when one translator translated and another translator translated because some people translate it, the Holy spirit in other parts of the S of the new Testament translated as Holy ghost. People that are ignorant to that don’t realize that the Holy ghost, the Holy spirit have the same thing. And I’ve seen groups create entire theology is over Holy spirit in Holy ghost being two different things.
But it’s the same Greek word. It’s the same Greek word and it all they have to do is look at the original Greek to see that. But different translators working on it had different ways that they can interpret it because spirit and goes to the same thing into our link, into our language. And so they translated it differently. And you see that in the early translations of the English Bible. And so that’s what I think happened is when it comes to the gospel of Mark, especially when you end the gospel of Mark and they were all with an F with a phobia, you know the question someone’s going to ask him and she goes, what else happened? Like this is the only piece of paper I have and I’m trying to go off the Mark here. And they’re just ending with, they’re all afraid around like what else happened?
And then someone shares stories, maybe historical stories they knew that happened during that time. So describes like, that’s great, I’m gonna share this with my friends. And they just write it down. It’s not part of the inspiration of scripture, but they understand this event was important. And so they write it down. And so when you get the later translations of that into the early English translation, because they have limited manuscripts, they write that down. Now is it bad? No, no. It’s served the church well and it doesn’t change any area of theology at all. And you read those passages in the Bible that I shared with it. It doesn’t change. The theology shares certain stories that the church thought was important doesn’t change anything.
Does that mean you don’t have God’s word? Do they know this mean on God’s word? Today you can look at the original manuscripts and see what the early church pursued. Excuse me, the early manuscripts. It’s to say and see what the church pursued and say, all this will lead to this thought
when the earliest manuscripts, we have P 52 John Reiland dates as early as 90 eighties possibly as late as one 30 80 earliest manuscripts we have of the Bible, the gospel of John. When you compare that manuscript, other manuscripts to Greek, Greek, new Testament manuscript codex, Allie, Alexandra, anise in fourth century, that Greek in the first century of John, it’s the same. You look at the 12th century manuscript, 1432 it’s the same and when the Bible is started to be printed, when printing presses were invented and Erasmus gave the first printing of the Greek new Testament, it’s exactly the same. When you think about the history of what it means to hold the English Bible the sacrifice that it plays into, it makes an incredible, the genre Island manuscript in the top left hand corner, P 52 I think in the early church, someone writing that down, it could have cost them their life.
I think of John Haas and John Wycliffe and William Tyndale translating into English. It costs them their life. When I follow the momentum of that translation work in history that there became this group of people that we call pilgrims and Puritans that went to Geneva, Switzerland, and they begin translating the Bible into English and they creed created the Geneva Bible, which by the way is the Bible that founded America wasn’t the King James, but the Geneva Bible. The King James is a good translation. I want to sound like I’m trying to bash it, but the Geneva Bible is what founded America. Those guys being persecuted, went to Geneva, Switzerland began to interpret the first study Bible in history, and they came to America with that Bible. Beautiful.
And one of the reasons our church when we started our church, I want it with the new American standard Bible as as the translation that we would use as one because it’s the most wooden translation. It’s the most word for word translation that you can get in English, but to the new American standard Bible has its history in the Geneva Bible. And when I hold a book like this in my mind, is the thought of history, who’s people sacrificing their lives for Bible and English going to Geneva, Switzerland, and eventually coming all the way over to America so that we could have a place to open it up and read it freely. Oh, beautiful. That is, why would they do that? Because God’s word is life, man. Every day you walk this earth, you have opportunity to open its pages and just read the life that can be imparted to your soul.
So when it comes to the foundation of Christianity, it’s not relative. It’s not relativism. Excuse me. It is relative, but it’s not relativism. It’s not what’s true for you is true for you. And what’s true for me is true for me. It is the foundation, the resurrection of Jesus, and the validity of scripture in compared to any other thing in this world that doesn’t even hold a candle to the foundation that’s laid for you. And so when I talk about a relationship with Jesus or Marissa in the beginning, that this, this relationship, it can be emotional and you can have these highs with Christ just like you can think about the falling in love and all that means, but there’s also some meat to it. So that builds a foundation that when things get Rocky, the consistency of what it is holds it true. And when you hold God’s word, that becomes that place for you.