Digging Up God's Treasures
Hastening out of the store to get to the airport for a flight across country, I picked up a book to read while in flight. "The Untold Story of Qumran" by John C. Trever caught my eye as I passed the shelf. It held my attention all the way to my destination and back. This book tells the story of "the adventure and intrigue which followed the discovery of the most valuable archaeological documents of our time, by the fast American to see, examine, and photograph the Dead Sea Scrolls." I doubt that there is any book on the subject of archaeology which is more interesting.
We are noticing a great many new publications on the general theme "How We Got The Bible". This is a most relevant study for "the man in the pew." He has become aware of the fact that neither the King James Version, nor the American Standard Version, nor any other version came to us from a supernatural translating board in heaven somewhere. Among the many faith-eroding influences to which Christians are exposed are to be found various liberal approaches which supposedly debunk fundamental truths, like the verbal inspiration of the Bible, and the all-sufficiency of the material in the New Testament.
As a Christian's perspective broadens he becomes aware of the fact that there are textural difficulties and variations, and he may question the authenticity of the versions we use. If he does the right thing about his problem, he will seek out information on "How We Got The Bible", and with the proper information he will conclude that not only did God give us a perfect revelation in the original writings, but that through His providential care we have access to the perfect will of God today.
The discerning Christian will naturally become highly interested in the impact that modern discoveries may have on the text of the Bible as we have it. He will want to know if there is any reason for us to doubt the authenticity of the versions available to us, especially ones he has traditionally used. A healthy study will reveal to him that he has every reason to be confident that the King James Version. or the American Standard Version, and some others, constitute God's word for our guidance in these modern times.
Regarding this point, the author of the book referred to above observes, "No startling alterations in the Old Testament text will be necessary from what has been discovered so far, nor are any expected." This will be the conclusion of anyone, who gives a fair hearing and consideration of what modern (not modernistic) scholarship discovers regarding the text of both Old and New Testaments.
It is sad to see a number of Christians experience a shipwreck of faith after being faced with the onslaughts of modernistic attacks on basic beliefs about the verbal inspiration and divine origin of the Bible. The semi-modernists who hold loose positions damaging to foundations of faith are of little help to the Christian whose confidence in the essentials is slipping.
The best the modernist can do is to lead the slipping Christian to a watered down faith which does not contain the essential ingredients for making New Testament Christianity in 20th Century America. You just cannot have New Testament Christianity without the ingredients of the New Testament faith.
When the Christian gets into the field of "Christian Evidences," with proper guidance where needed, his faith can be strengthened. A new field of interest will open to him. He will become keenly interested in discoveries of archaeologists. Such stories as that of finding the Dead Sea Scrolls will be exciting to him.
If a questioning Christian will avail himself of the information coming from those who are digging up God's treasures, he will get a sense of God's providence in it all, and will become more permanently settled in the faith once for all delivered to the saints.