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We can believe what the Bible says about 'the suffering servant'

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in response to reader comment: The true Word of God

Submitted by Lactantius Jr (United Kingdom), Nov 4, 2008 at 17:42

Dear Masood

I'm so pleased you want to believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, and are studying the Holy Bible, which is indeed the true word of God, and if you want to read the Bible online, have a look at Bible Gateway, where you can very conveniently refer to different translations, searching the Scriptures either by chapter and verse or by words, Bible Gateway is at,

http://www.biblegateway.org/

What a wonderful journey you're on Masood, a journey that will get better and better until the day you stand in glory and see Him face to face!!! In the meantime, find and join a Bible-believing church where they love the Lord Jesus Christ, and enjoy the journey you're starting on.

What a wonderful passage of Scripture Isaiah 53:1-12 is, telling of "the suffering servant," and you ask whether Jewish brothers are reading the same words or with different words, and if they are reading different words, who has changed this true word of God.

First of all Masood, it is important to note that God Himself says, in Isaiah

"The grass withers and the flower fades, but the word of our God stands for ever."

Isaiah 40:8

And the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God says,

"Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away."

Matthew 24:35

So, no Mansoor, the Word of God cannot and has not been changed, and I will ask a Jewish believer in Jesus that I know, whether the unchanged words of Isaiah 53:1-12 are read in the synagogues, or whether Jews read it themselves, and if so, how are the words interpreted, who do the rabbis say the words are referring to?

What I can tell you Masood, is that when the Dead Sea Scrolls were found, around 60 years ago now, amongst them was a scroll containing what is found in the 66 chapters of the book of Isaiah that you have in your Bible. This ‘Great Scroll of Isaiah' is about 1,000 years older than any previously known copy of Isaiah, and is dated at between about 200 years before Christ was born, and about 68 years after he was born. This ‘Great Isaiah Scroll' is almost identical to the most recent manuscript version of the Masoretic text (the source for most translations of the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament) from about 900 years after Jesus was born, and this provides phenomenal evidence for the credibility of Biblical Scripture (scholars have discovered a handful of spelling and tense-oriented scribal errors, but nothing of significance).

The oldest known complete Bible manuscript is the Codex Sinaiticus, which is in the British Library in London, it dates from the fourth century AD, where it is currently being digitised, and will become accessible online at,

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4739369.stm

It contains the complete New Testament, together with the Greek Old Testament known as the Septuagint.

Another ancient Bible manuscript, also thought to be from the fourth century AD, and likely to be slightly older than Codex Sinaiticus is known as the Codex Vaticanus, being the most famous manuscript in the Vatican library in Rome. It is not complete.

These manuscripts provide the definitive documents against which translations can be checked, and whilst no translation is perfect, or can be perfect, they ensure that present day followers of the Lord Jesus Christ are well-served with reliable translations they can trust, and which accurately convey the Biblical message of the one way to the one true God, even the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and life in His Name.

One thing often overlooked in the Bible, is Old Testament prophecy fulfilled in the Lord Jesus Christ, just as Isaiah 53:1-12 finds its fulfilment in Jesus the Son of God, recorded in the New Testament at John 19:1-3 and a beautifully prepared website which illustrates so much fulfilled prophecy is "Of Whom do the Prophets Speak" which can be found at,

http://sidrom.com/exdis/prophets/index.html

and whilst you're enjoying looking at it Masood, please enjoy watching and listening to Kristyn Getty reading words from Isaiah 53 and then singing the beautiful song "The Power of the Cross" which can be found at,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubGCISQQ7Zo

I close by quoting Isaiah 53:1-12 the translation used being the Contemporary English Version, and is titled "What God's Servant Did For Us"

"Has anyone believed us or seen the mighty power of the LORD in action? Like a young plant or a root that sprouts in dry ground, the servant grew up obeying the LORD. He wasn't some handsome king. Nothing about the way He looked made Him attractive to us. He was hated and rejected; His life was filled with sorrow and terrible suffering. No one wanted to look at Him. We despised Him and said, ‘He is a nobody!' He suffered and endured great pain for us, but we thought His suffering was punishment from God.

He was wounded and crushed because of our sins; by taking our punishment, He made us completely well.

All of us were like sheep that had wandered off. We had each gone our own way, but the LORD gave Him the punishment we deserved. He was painfully abused, but He did not complain. He was silent like a lamb being led to the butcher, as quiet as a sheep having its wool cut off.

He was condemned to death without a fair trial. Who could have imagined what would happen to Him? His life was taken away because of the sinful thing my people had done. He wasn't dishonest or violent, but He was buried in a tomb of cruel and rich people. The LORD decided His servant would suffer as a sacrifice to take away the sin and guilt of others.

Now the servant will live to see His own descendants. He did everything the LORD had planned. By suffering, the servant will learn the true meaning of obeying the LORD.

Although He is innocent, He will take the punishment for the sins of others, so that many of them will no longer be guilty. The LORD will reward Him with honour and power for sacrificing His life.

Others thought He was a sinner, but He suffered for our sins and asked God to forgive us.

Halleluia, what a Saviour He is Masood.

With all good wishes

Lactantius Jr

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