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The Truth Shall Make You Free



CHAPTER XVI

PRODUCING THE BOOK OF FREEDOM

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WRITE this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: that I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven." 80 Jehovah God commanded Moses after the victory which God gave to Captain Joshua over the attacking Amalekites, a victory which further established the Israelites in their freedom so recently gained from authoritarian Egypt. —Exodus 17:14, A.R.V.

"WRITE thou these words: for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel." So Jehovah God again commanded Moses, when he was with God in Mount Sinai and God delivered to him the laws, commandments and ordinances of his holy covenant with the nation of Israel. —Exodus 34: 27.

When the all-wise God gave such commands to write, he had in mind our perplexing day when mankind sorely need true guidance and a sound hope. "For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope." (Romans 15:4)

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Respecting the events in the career of God's covenant people it is stated under inspiration: "Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples [or, types]: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come." —1 Corinthians 10:11.

The writing of the Book of freedom, the Book of truth, the Bible, was not left to the inclination of some worldly historian. It was written at the command of Jehovah God to his devoted servants, who were God's free men and subject to His guidance. Moses is the first according to the record who received divine command to make a sacred written account of God's purposes and doings.

Almighty God knows man's frame and feebleness of memory, and knows too the Devil's aim to destroy the record and pervert and blot it out of men's minds. Hence God did not leave the education of the people subject to the process of tradition and to the power of religious clergymen, but caused a faithful record to be written for reading and consultation, that the true facts and teachings might be searched out. Since he commanded the record to be written expressly for those in need of vital information at the worst crisis of the nations in the end of the world, Almighty God would safeguard the sacred Scriptures and see to it that they would be preserved till the needed time, in the face of all efforts of the freedom-haters to destroy them and keep mankind in ignorance. "The word of

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the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.  —1 Peter 1:25; Isaiah 40: 8.

The first mention of a book is at Genesis 5:1, which states: "This is the book of the generations of Adam." Whether written records were made and preserved back that far is not shown, as the first writing and reading is mentioned in the time of Moses when God authorized him to write. It is therefore reasonable that from Adam till Moses the record was handed down by oral tradition from generation to generation. Evidence to this effect is God's statement about Abraham: "I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him."  —Genesis 18:19.

Abraham could learn the facts directly from Noah's son Shem, as Shem's life overlapped on Abraham's life 150 years. Shem could gather information direct from his great-grandfather Methuselah, who died in the year of the Flood, when Shem was 98 years old. In turn, Methuselah had much time to collect facts straight back to man's creation; for Adam's life overlapped on Methuselah's for 243 years. The facts thus handed down from Adam to Methuselah, then to Shem, and then to Abraham, this "friend of God" could pass direct on to his grandson Jacob, whom he knew for 15 years. Jacob could transmit the truthful record to his son Levi, the

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great-grandfather of Moses, or even to Levi's son Kohath. Kohath the Levite could deliver the facts of the book of Genesis to his son Amram. Though Kohath lived 133 years, he died before his grandson Moses' birth. Amram lived 137 years in Egypt, and his son Moses was born 80 years before Jehovah set the Israelites free from Egypt.

Almighty God, in whom is no lie, would see to it that the oral record, or tradition, was correctly remembered and passed down through the line of the above men. This he would do by his spirit, or invisible energy. It is the "spirit of truth", which acts that we might have the "comfort of the scriptures". Said Jesus in regard to the "spirit of truth", the "comforter", and the help it gives to memory: "The helper, the holy spirit, which the Father will send in my name, shall teach you all things, and remind you of all things which I said to you." —John 14:17, 26, Emphatic Diaglott.

Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Moses were prophets. As to the operation of God's invisible power or spirit upon them to bring forth a correct record, it is written: "No prophecy ever came by the will of man: but men spake from God, being moved by the holy spirit." (2 Peter 1:21, A.R.V.) At least with Moses God called a halt to oral tradition, when he commanded Moses to write. Hence with Moses the producing of the written Bible begins. Moses wrote his part of the Bible in the language which God indicated to him. It was the language in which

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God wrote the Ten Commandments on stone tablets. It was the Hebrew language. —Exodus 24:12; 31:18.

Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible. These made up just one book originally, but this was doubtless broken up into five volumes to make rolls or scrolls suitable for handling. The book of Genesis alone can make a scroll at least . thirty feet long. These writings were called "the book of the law of Moses". (Joshua 1:8; 8: 31-35) Joshua wrote the book bearing his own name. (Joshua 24:26) God by his power or spirit of inspiration moved others of his servants to write, such as David, Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Habakkuk, Nahum, and Ezra.1 At 1 Kings 14:19, 29 another writer mentions the book of the chronicles; while at 1 Chronicles 29: 29 the writer mentions the book of Samuel. At 2 Chronicles 16:11; 32:32 the book of the kings and the vision of Isaiah are mentioned, such showing that at that time those books existed. Daniel, 538 years before Christ, writes: "I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet." Five years later the angel of Jehovah said to Daniel: "I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth." (Daniel 9:2; 10:21) This proves that in Daniel's day there was a body or collection of books of inspired Scripture.

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From the days of David especially scribes are mentioned who were priests and Levites. (2 Samuel 8:17; 20:25) After Daniel, the scribe Ezra the priest became prominent. (Ezra 7:1,6,10-12) Doubtless from Ezra's time on there was increased rewriting or making of copies of the sacred inspired books. Why? Because the Israelites or Jews had then become scattered among many lands and synagogues were established to hear and study God's Word. Hence copies were needed for each synagogue. So, when Jesus went into the synagogue at Nazareth and was asked to preach, there could be delivered to him the book or scroll of the prophecy of Isaiah to read. (Luke 4:17) Later his apostle James commented on this spread of copies of God's Word, saying: "Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day." (Acts 15:21) Jesus' disciples quoted to him from Malachi's prophecy concerning the coming of an Elijah, and Jesus acknowledged the inspiration of Malachi's prophecy, saying: "Elijah indeed cometh, and shall restore all things." (Matthew 17:10-13, A.R.V.) This proves that the book of Malachi's prophecy, the last book of Hebrew scriptures of the Bible, existed in Jesus' day and that the canon (or collection of inspired books) in Hebrew was then complete, from Genesis, through Chronicles, and to Malachi, inclusive.

Such canonical books were openly displayed for reference on the library shelves of the Jew-

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ish priests and scribes. Other books which plainly were uninspired and hence not truthful or from God were hidden away from the public. Therefore they came to be called "Apocrypha", which means "hidden", because spurious, false, not genuinely of divine inspiration. The apocryphal books are not included in the Hebrew canon to this day. Nowhere in the Bible itself are the canonical Hebrew Scriptures called "The Old Testament". It is grossly wrong for men to designate them as such and to split them off from the scriptures which were later written in Greek after Christ and to call these Greek Scriptures "The New Testament". In the Hebrew Scriptures a new testament or covenant is both foretold and typified, but this testament does not refer to the collection of Greek Scriptures written by Christian writers.1 The whole Bible of Hebrew and Greek Scriptures, from Genesis to Revelation, is one book, from one Author, God, and is not two "testaments".

The unauthorized dividing of the Bible into "testaments" has led to the religious error that 'the Old Testament has been fulfilled and all that is necessary for Christians is to read the New Testament'. By this error the Devil has kept many self-styled "Christians" in bondage to ignorance and spiritual blindness.

Religionists who uphold traditions of men and who put priestcraft before the written Word of God defend themselves by saying that Jesus

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Christ gave no command to his disciples to write and hence a written Bible is not necessary or indispensable. To claim this would mean that Jesus' apostles did not write under inspiration of God. Since, however, they did write under His inspiration, then it was at His command. The types and prophetic dramas and prophecies of ancient times Jehovah God did not leave to be handed down by oral tradition, but commanded such life-giving truths to be committed to writing for accurate preservation. Reasonably, therefore, he would not leave the facts of the fulfillment of many such types, shadows and prophecies by Jesus and his apostles to depend on mere oral tradition subject to priestcraft. He would likewise have such newly revealed facts and truths preserved in writing. "For I, Jehovah, change not." —Malachi 3: 6, A.R.V.

As Jehovah commanded the writing of the canonical Hebrew Scriptures, so he commanded the writing of the sacred Scriptures in Greek by the apostles and disciples of Jesus Christ. The apostle Peter wrote two epistles and gave as the reason this: "I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance." (2 Peter 1:15) He also spoke of the writings of the apostle Paul with approval, saying: "Our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable

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wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction." (2 Peter 3:15,16) When the apostle John was an old man, having outlived all the other apostles, the Lord Jesus Christ appeared to him in a vision and twelve times1 commanded him to write. "What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia." And the apostle introduces the book of this Revelation, saying: "Blessed is he that readeth." —Revelation 1: 3.

With John the writing of the inspired or canonical books of the Scriptures in Greek was finished. Thereby the canon (the authoritative Scriptures) was closed, not only of the Greek Scriptures but also of the whole Bible. At first the sixty-six books of the Bible were inscribed on rolls of fine-grained skins or on papyrus. Being written by hand and not printed by letter-type, these copies are called manuscripts, which means written by hand. None of the original autographed writings of these scribes inspired of God are extant or existent today, but the great Author of the "scripture of truth" caused copies to be made in close agreement with the originals. The Hebrews or Jews used the most scrupulous care in the faithful copying and preservation of the Hebrew Scriptures. Faithful copies thereof survive to this day, although the Roman Catholic crusades and Inquisition destroyed and caused to be destroyed innumerable copies of God's Word in the Hebrew. Vain

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such effort! "Surely the people is grass. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth; but the word of our God shall stand for ever," in spite of religious frenzy to destroy it. —Isaiah 40: 7,8.

Not only were many copies made of the Greek writings of Christ's inspired apostles and disciples, but also many translations thereof were made into other languages, in harmony with Jesus' command: "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, . . . teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you." "Ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." (Matthew 28:19, 20; Acts 1:8) On the day of Pentecost, ten days later, the disciples were anointed with the spirit or active force of God and were enabled to speak many foreign tongues. Many of those who then accepted Christianity were Greek-speaking Jews. (Acts 2:1-11; 6:1) Shortly thereafter the disciple Philip preached the gospel to a Jewish proselyte who was an Ethiopian, and baptized him. (Acts 8: 26-39) The translations of the Holy Scriptures from the Hebrew and Greek into these various languages are called versions. The making of manuscript copies of the original-language Scriptures and of such versions of them continued until the fifteenth century, toward the middle of which printing from movable type was invented.

Today the number of manuscripts of the Greek Scriptures written since Christ is over 4,000 in the original Greek. Besides this there

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are at least 8,000 manuscript copies of the Latin Vulgate translation. There are also about a thousand extant manuscripts of the early versions, the Ethiopic, Armenian, Syriac, Coptic, Gothic, Persian, Arabic, and the rest. It is therefore safe to say that there are now in existence 12,000 manuscript copies of the Scriptures written by Christ's apostles and disciples, of which, however, there are no two copies precisely the same.1

The Christians were the first ones to specialize in manuscripts put up in book form with pages and lids like this book in your hand, and not in rolls. Such a manuscript book is called a codex. In the latter half of the fourth century A.D. such a codex was written, and which is known today as Vatican Manuscript No. 1209. The evidence is that it was written in Egypt. In course of time it found its way into the Vatican library at Rome, where for the first time it appears in the library's catalogue of books of 1481. It originally contained, in Greek, not in Latin, the whole Bible, but has lost parts thereof, including the last book, the Revelation, or Apocalypse. It never included the spurious books of the Maccabees. It has three columns to the page.

The Vatican long begrudged to Bible researchers, such as Count Tischendorf, a brief sight of this Vatican MS. No. 1209. Finally, in 1868, the papal authorities issued an edition of

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the so-called "New Testament" part of the MS., which was followed in successive years by volumes containing the so-called "Old Testament". In 1889-1890 all previous publications thereof were backed up by a photographic facsimile copy of the whole original manuscript.





Second to Vatican MS. No. 1209 in rank is another one written in the fourth century, the Sinaitic Manuscript. It was found in the Greek Catholic monastery at Mount Sinai in Arabia,

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by Count Tischendorf, in 1859, and is now at the British Museum in London since 1933. It is in Greek, and originally contained the whole Bible, of which the "New Testament" part of it is practically complete, including the Revelation, or Apocalypse, four columns to a page.

The next manuscript in rank is the Alexandrine MS., written in the fifth century, in Egypt. By the Greek Catholic patriarch Cyril Lucar, who brought it from Alexandria to Constantinople (Istanbul) in 1621, it was presented to King James I of England, the monarch who caused the King James Version of the English Bible to be produced. The MS. was actually received by King Charles I in 1627, King James having died before the gift took effect. It is in the British Museum. It once contained the whole Bible in Greek.

In A.D. 382 Eusebius Hieronymus, known for short as Jerome, began his revision of the old Latin versions of the Bible. He undertook to translate first from the original Greek and from the Septuagint Greek Version, but finally turned also to the original Hebrew. The Latin version which Jerome produced, and which has been revised since, is called "the Latin Vulgate". When printing was invented, in the fifteenth century, it was this Latin Bible that was first committed to the press, at Mainz, Germany, in 1456, resulting in Gutenberg's edition known as the "Mazarin Bible".

John Wycliffe was the first to translate the Bible into English, in 1382-1384. It was hand-

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written. The first complete English Bible ever printed was that by Myles Coverdale, in 1535, who included therein the work hitherto done by William Tyndale, then in prison awaiting execution by the Roman Catholic Inquisition. Other





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English Bible translations followed, but the one that has proved the most popular is the King James Version, or Authorized Version, published in 1611. The Catholic Douay Version, in English, was first completed and published in 1610.

Much scholarly investigation and criticism of the original Greek manuscripts of the Bible followed in succeeding centuries, to get at the straight or accurate text as the apostles and their fellows wrote it. In 1774 J. J. Griesbach, who ranks high in textual criticism, produced the first of his three editions of the Greek "New Testament". Griesbach proceeded on the understanding that the most ancient manuscripts are the most genuine and correct in their text, such as the Alexandrine MS. known in his day.

Early in the 1800's English Bible Societies began to be formed, both the British and Foreign Bible Society and the New York Bible Society in 1804, the Philadelphia Bible Society in 1808, and the American Bible Society in 1816. In 1884 the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society was chartered, but already since July, 1879, the magazine The Watchtower had been published. The Watch Tower Society also distributed Bibles and a Bible help entitled "The Emphatic Diaglott", by one Benjamin Wilson, from whom later the plates and right to publish the Diaglott were bought.

The Diaglott contains the original Greek text, from Matthew's gospel to Revelation, which text is according to the revised text or recension by

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Dr. J. J. Griesbach. The lines of the Greek are interlined with an English translation following the Greek text word for word. To the right of this there is a column containing a new and emphatic translation into fluent English. (See page 46 herein.) This emphasized English translation by the author of The Emphatic Diaglott does not follow strictly or exclusively Dr. Griesbach's Greek text, but follows preferably the older text of Vatican MS. No. 1209, the most ancient and valuable MS. in existence and which was not published in Dr. Griesbach's time. Where the Vatican MS. No. 1209 is lacking, the Diaglott follows Vatican MS. No. 1160 and the Alexandrine. In 1942, the Watchtower edition of the Bible began to be published. This edition is the favorite King James Version Bible unchanged, but with special helps for students.

From the foregoing account the blasphemous claim of religionists is proved to be unfounded and foolish, namely, "If it were not for the Roman Catholic religious organization Christians would not have the Bible today, for the Roman Catholic organization was made God's repository of the truth and its preserver." Such self-conceited claim not only is untrue to fact, but takes the credit from God, who is the Author of the Holy Bible and who depends upon no man or group of men for its preservation. He has preserved His written Word and caused it to be spread world-wide despite the opposition and destructive efforts of all the religionists.



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