By Pastor Jack
The Source III

I want to continue looking at the Bible as the only infallible and reliable source of holy Scripture that truly reveals to us the nature, character and will of God. Speaking of holy scriptures, there is one thing we did conclude: “We don’t speak God, but God speaks man.” What are we saying? There are only two languages that we speak. Those of men, and when enabled by the Holy Spirit, those of angels.   NIV 1 Corinthians 13:1 “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, …”   The tongues of angels are something we do not command, nor comprehend. We must rely upon the Holy Spirit to give us the understanding in our own tongue. God has chosen to reveal himself through the languages of mankind and most specifically in the original language known as Hebrew. Ancient Hebrew is the language used making up approximately 77% of the Bible, 22% Greek, and the remaining 1% being Aramaic. Yes, Aramaic and Greek were also used by some of the authors of the Bible. But where the Aramaic and Greek portions are found, scholars agree that the language and culture of the Hebrews established a contextual foundation that heavily influenced the Aramaic and Greek portions. This makes it mandatory that the Hebrew meaning and context under these languages, must be taken into consideration if we are to have a complete and accurate translation and interpretation. This is not to imply that those portions written in Aramaic and Greek are any less inspired then the Hebrew. Absolutely not! What I am saying is that these two other languages are touched by and influenced by the Hebrew.   Dr. Walter Bauer, in his Introduction to the Lexicon of the Greek New Testament writes:   “The earliest Christian literature, with which this book deals, is made up of a number of writings which were composed in the Greek Language.” He goes on to explain that the “peculiarities of biblical Greek were not that of more ancient times”. This most peculiar form of Greek has been given the name “Koine Greek.” Bauer writes “so-called ‘Hebraists’ tried to explain the peculiarities of this Greek as due to the influence of the Hebrew. Their recognition of the special character of the Greek NT language constituted a strong impetus in the right direction.”   Can we see a small example of how the Hebrew language and culture is influencing the Greek of the New Testament? Here is something seemingly rather quaint and small in theological importance. But shows a Hebraic influence upon the text.   Luke 24:13 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. Luke 24:15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them;   We say this holy scripture is inerrant. The problem is the destination of their journey is unknown. Emmaus is not a known town. Is this historical account of Jesus walking with two men unreliable because their destination is refutable? Here we find three Judean men walking together outside of Jerusalem toward a town in the nearby Judean hillside.  “Older Bible Commentaries say that the site of Emmaus is unknown.” Lois Tverberg. Reading the Bible with Rabbi Jesus. pg 14)   How is this problem resolved? It is resolved when we look to find the Hebrew beneath the Greek word Emmaus. “The meaning of ‘Emmaus’ is disputed by scholars today. Today, three and a half miles to the east of Jerusalem, along an old (mostly buried) Roman highway, lies the small village of Motza. Emmaus is considered to be a transliteration of a Hebrew word.  That Hebrew word is ‘ha-mo-tza’ and it means “the spring”. “em-ma-oos” (Emmaus) is phonetically derived from the Hebrew ‘ah-mo-tza’.” Contextualized from Lois Tverberg. Reading the Bible with Rabbi Jesus. pg 14)   The mystery is resolved by understanding that many difficult words found in the Greek texts of the Bible are best understood when we uncover the Hebrew word(s) they intended to reveal. The point is that the language of the ancient Hebrews is the language (directly or indirectly) of the Bible. The language of the Bible, whether Hebrew, Greek or Aramaic in its origin, has been chosen by God to communicate with mankind. God is the author! Man was His instrument! Hebrew was the specific language and culture of the writers.   Professor Josef Stern, in his essay on ‘Language’, writes “Language, as it first appears in Genesis, is divine. The first spoken words ‘Let there be light’ (Gen 1:3) are God’s, and they not only announce the creation of light, but literally bring it into existence…  He who spoke and the world was created” is God. A pre-existent knowledgeable being, God, uses language, not only to communicate to man the mysteries of Himself and the universe, but to create. Contemporary Jewish Religious Thought. Language. Josef Stern. pg. 543.   For God, knowledge is shared through language and through this ‘God-breathed’ language things come supernaturally to life. What now is naturally formed, was first supernaturally created. The Holy Scriptures, though naturally written down by the hand of men, are wonderfully endowed with supernatural outcomes. Though in the natural dead, the content and messages are supernaturally alive. The spoken word of God brought forth life, and God himself is the word. Here is a deep mystery. Is the word the power or is the word empowered by God? BOTH! The answer is only understood supernaturally. What God says cannot be separated from what God is. What God says cannot in anyway be apart from who and what God is.  As part of His eternal supernatural being God cannot lie. His words are a perfect representation of Himself. God’s words, unlike our words, are not simply a representation of who He is, they are who He is! When scripture says “And God said…” it strongly implies the words spoken are not only His Will in action but His Character on full display! His words will not change over time because God does not change. Malachi 3:6

“I the LORD do not change…”

And these words are without repentance.   Romans 11:29 “for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable.”   All of this applies to what we can believe and trust from God’s words concerning our salvation, our healing, our calling, our relationships, our destiny. What is the greatest revelation that God’s word is the embodiment of Himself? That they are undividable? That they are infallibly one? As the book of Genesis reveals God, it is still incumbent upon us to do a lot of interpretive study. This is far from a chore and is truly a blessing to our hearts and an encouragement to our pursuit of a deeper relationship with God. But those discoveries are still at times veiled from full and absolute disclosure of the nature and character of God. We still want more.   Satisfaction comes most intimately with the revelation of Messiah.   John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.  4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men.”   Yes, Jesus is the fulfillment of all of God’s words. John 6:68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord (Jesus), to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.   The answer is to know Jesus is have the words of the living God dwelling in you.   John 6:63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.   Scripture is more than just a compilation of supportive ideas.  It is the revelation of God to man. It is life.