"The Whole Truth"
April 21, 2014
Sanctify them in the truth; Your Word is truth. John 17:17
Some time ago we mentioned the ancient papyrus which is now known as the Gospel of Jesus' Wife.
The media had a field day with the miniscule "gospel" when they found out there was a line that read, "Jesus said to them, 'My wife ....'" The skeptics felt that, at long last, they had a chunk of tangible proof, which might undermine Christianity and the traditional view of the inspired Word.
Although many of them didn't make it into the headlines or even back-page print, saner heads said, "Let's wait until all the tests are in." Well, my friends, I can tell you now, all the tests are in. Professors from Columbia, Harvard and MIT, covering the academic spectrum of electrical engineering, chemistry and biology have concluded the manuscript is really, really old -- and it is.
Unfortunately, for the Bible-underminers, the writing is not really, really, really old. By that I mean the best scientific guesstimates say the papyrus was written somewhere around 700 years after Christ lived and gave His life to rescue sinful humanity.
Both common sense and simple logic say anyone who is writing more than 700 years after an event can't claim to have a better and more thorough knowledge of that event than the people who were there and saw everything first-hand.
My friends, the date of that manuscript says nobody has to worry about this newly found writing offering any real challenges to the truths of the Bible. I say that because the further you get from an event the less likely it is you will be telling the truth. A person will do well to listen to the Gospel writers who saw Jesus' love and grace in action. A person will not do well to give credence to the individual whose testimony about the Christ is based on what he heard from someone, who heard it from someone, who heard it from someone, who heard it from someone, and so on.
Do you need some practical examples? Fine. Somewhere around 700 years ago, the following events happened:
1. The Renaissance began in Italy.
2. Twenty-five million Europeans died in the "Black Death."
3. The Ming Dynasty began in China.
4. John Wycliffe translated the Bible into English.
Any writer who wishes to put forth a history of those events will be forced to make things up or base his reports on the accounts of those who were there and lived through those days first-hand. When it comes to the ancient papyrus which caused such a stir, we are forced to believe that the author, without any corroborating evidence, was making things up as he went along.
Now this devotion has gone to great lengths to show the flaws and fallacies of this papyrus.
We have done so in the hope the next time you hear a "Bible-denying document" has been found, you will remember, in the final analysis, it is God's Word which is truth.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks for Your reliable Word, which has pointed me to Your truth that says, "Jesus Christ has come into this world to save sinners." For His sacrifice and Your grace, I give thanks. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries