I would like to put out a challenge to anyone who would claim that the Christian Bible is corrupted in its preservation or in its teaching. Have you ever read it? I would lovingly challenge you to read just a portion of it and see if it doesn’t have a profound effect on you. Also, if you feel that it was somehow wrong for Jesus to lay down his life on your behalf, then see if you can read the following and still feel that way. Why not pray a simple prayer and ask God to speak to you while you do? Let me know how it went. My email address is on my Contact page.
1 Who has believed our report?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
2 For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant,
And as a root out of dry ground.
He has no form or comeliness;
And when we see Him,
There is no beauty that we should desire Him.
3 He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
4 Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He opened not His mouth;
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.
8 He was taken from prison and from judgment,
And who will declare His generation?
For He was cut off from the land of the living;
For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.
9 And they made His grave with the wicked—
But with the rich at His death,
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was any deceit in His mouth.
10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him;(From NKJV)
He has put Him to grief.
When You make His soul an offering for sin,
He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days,
And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.
11 He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied.
By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many,
For He shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great,
And He shall divide the spoil with the strong,
Because He poured out His soul unto death,
And He was numbered with the transgressors,
And He bore the sin of many,
And made intercession for the transgressors.
How did you go? Now for the twist. That is not from the Christian New Testament. It is from Isaiah (Chapter 53). That was written before Jesus was even born. Isaiah is from the part of the scriptures that the Jews called “The Prophets”. So you might ask, “what does that have to do with preservation?” Well, there is an almost complete copy of the book of Isiah in the dead sea scrolls, and they were hidden in a cave around 70AD, and they were not discovered until 1946-47. The Isaiah scroll is known as “The Great Isaiah scroll” and is dated around 100 BC. Just let that sink in. There is a copy of Isaiah, still in existence Today, where the ink was already dry at the time that Jesus was fulfilling the prophecies written in it. Jesus even read another part of Isaiah and claimed that he was fulling another of Isaiah’s prophecies. (61:1)
Luke 4:16 to 21
So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”
Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
You can even see a digital copy of the Great Isaiah Scroll online for yourself, I did, and I can tell you that all of Isaiah 53 is there. (A few letters have a blotch covering them but the entire chapter is there. Check it out.
Do you still think that the Gospel message was not preserved? The Isaiah scroll can be compared with copies that are about 1000 years younger, the style of writing has obviously changed. Also, some words are spelt differently, and a few words may be added or omitted but the preservation of the text is amazing. Still don’t believe me? Compare it with the modern Hebrew interlinear on Bible hub and make your own mind up! Isaiah 53
Or view a more detailed analysis here.
Regardless of the changes, it is clear that there were compelling prophecies (that can only be talking about Jesus) in existence more than a century before Jesus was born. And I personally believe that they go back to the prophet Isaiah who lived in the 8th century B.C.