FOUNDATIONS OF THE
There are four links in the chain "from God to us":
||God gave the message to the prophets who received
and recorded it.
||The recognition and collection by man of the
||The original writings were copied by scribes - these
are called Manuscript Copies
||The Manuscript Copies were translated into other
God could have chosen to continue to communicate with men as He did
initially in biblical times.
Sometimes God spoke through angels.
In fact, their very name means "messenger."
Our written record of their ministry to humanity began in Genesis
18-19), and continued through the very last chapter of the Bible
Now I, John, saw and heard these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell
down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things.
Then he said to me, "See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow
servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the
words of this book." (NKJV)
However, the very nature of their celestial intrusion into
the terrestrial made it a special revelation that did not lend itself to
permanence. There were certain distinct limitations in having to
call upon angels to convey everything that God wished to say to every man
under every circumstance in every age. One could imagine quite an endless
invasion from outer space in order to care for all the details of truth
transmitted to billions of people, many of which have
Visions and dreams
This was another means of communication that God occasionally chose to
utilize (cf. Dan. 7:1;
In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a
dream and visions of his head while on his bed. Then he wrote down
the dream, telling the main facts. (NKJV)
Visions and dreams had more potential for universality and individuality
than did angels. This is because it did not involve the mass of
heavenly traffic and it could even be worked into one's personal
experience more readily. However, this method also has serious three
|Visions and dreams tend to be subjective and
personal rather than objective and universal.
|They can easily be misunderstood and
|Even their ecstatic impact could wear off and be
Urim & Thummim and the Lot
These methods were sometimes
used to determine God's will (see Ex. 28;30; Prov. 16:33).
And you shall put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim,
and they shall be over Aaron's heart when he goes in before the LORD.
So Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel over his heart
before the LORD continually. (NKJV)
And the governor said to them that they should not eat of the most holy
things till a priest could consult with the Urim and Thummim. (NKJV)
The lot is cast into the lap,
But its every decision is from the LORD.
And they cast their lots, and the lot fell on Matthias. And he was
numbered with the eleven apostles.
were limited in the scope of the content of truth they could convey.
Apparently, all they could indicate was a yes or no answer to questions
that men happened to direct toward God. Thus, their scope was quite
limited when compared with a detailed description of God 's declarations
to men found in other media of transmission.
The moral law and creation
God has revealed Himself by the moral law "written in the heart" (Rom.
2:15) as well as through creation (Ps. 19;1 ff.) to
all men. But the amount of truth available here is limited and subject to
||Although the truth from creation is "evident within them," men "suppress the truth in unrighteousness."
1 Tim 4:2
|Their consciences also distort
the moral law
|Even though this general revelation is
sufficient for man's condemnation, only through special revelation
has salvation come to light.
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and
unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because
what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to
...who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience
also bearing witness. (NKJV)
1 Timothy 4:1-2
Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from
the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,
speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly
seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power
and Godhead, so that they are without excuse. (NKJV)
God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the
fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son,
whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the
worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His
person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by
Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on
high, having become so much better than the angels, as He has by
inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. (NKJV)
The audible voice
and the direct miracle
These were also media of divine communication (see 1 Sam. 3 and Judges
1 Samuel 3:10-12
Now the LORD came and stood and called as at other
times, "Samuel! Samuel!"
And Samuel answered, "Speak, for Your servant hears."
Then the LORD said to Samuel: "Behold, I will do
something in Israel at which both ears of everyone who hears it will
Then Gideon said to God, "Do not be angry with me, but let me speak just
once more: Let me test, I pray, just once more with the fleece; let it now
be dry only on the fleece, but on all the ground let there be dew." 40 And
God did so that night. It was dry on the fleece only, but there was dew on
all the ground. (NKJV)
But they suffered from the
same intrinsic difficulties that other means had, namely, they were good
ways for God to speak to one man on one occasion and for one specific
This is not to say that all of these methods were not good; they were in fact the ways by which God did speak to the prophets.
It was no doubt desirable to speak to the prophets "in divers manners," but
apparently God determined that the best way to speak to the men of all
ages through the prophets was to record the communication. The time-tested
superiority of a written record of truth was the one God chose to use in
order to make permanent and immortalize His message to men.
several decided advantages to this medium of revelation.
One of the advantages of language over the other media of
communication mentioned is the matter of precision.
It is a common experience that thoughts become more precise as they are expressed.
In this connection it may be said that a student can understand better with a pencil
than with any other instrument; because, if a thought can be apprehended
and expressed in writing, it must have been clearly understood.
Another illustration of the precision of language is the difference between
one's active and his passive vocabularies. It is possible to read and understand, in a general way,
more words than one can use or write in a specific way. This is true
because the accurate usage of words requires a more precise understanding
of them, and precision is attained by expression. It is
understandable that God should choose to have His truth
conveyed by books as precisely as is possible.
There is another advantage to written revelation, namely, the
matter of propagation.
It is possible to make more precise copies of a
written medium than a spoken one. No one will disagree that a written copy
can be, and usually is, a much more accurate reproduction than an oral
tradition. No matter how careful the communication is made orally, there
is always a greater chance for change and corruption of the original than
with a written record. A simple experiment used often as a party
game will suffice to convince the
skeptic: the word-of-mouth story passed around a circle of friends
returns with amazing emendations in a few short minutes.
In fact, it is
astounding to note that Jesus' disciples misinterpreted and incorrectly
a simple oral tradition that they thought they had heard Jesus say (John
21:23 - Then this saying went out among the brethren that this disciple
would not die. Yet Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but,
"If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you?"
Thus, in order to transmit revealed truth accurately, written
records were made and copied by hand, until the invention of movable type
in the printing process.
Once the movable type had been invented (in the
fifteenth century), the advantage of the printed page, and ability to
reproduce it on a mass scale, became most apparent.
Another advantage of writing is the matter of preservation.
Failing memories are sometimes a blessing, but they are a decided disadvantage in the retention of the repertoire of revelation. It is always better
to "make a note of it," or to "put it on record." As a matter of fact, it
is difficult to imagine the adjudication of justice in a court without a
record of testimony, to say nothing of the vacillation of memory in other
A written record has one additional advantage as well, namely, it
can stimulate memory and conjure up within the individual's imagination a
host of personal implications that are latent within the given symbols or
words of that record.
Words, then, are not so wooden as to prevent a
"personal blessing" for the individual reader, particularly in light of
the fact that biblical words are the objective vehicle through which the
Holy Spirit applies truth personally and subjectively to each reader
individually (John 16:13).
However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into
all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He
hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. (NKJV)
Having discussed why God chose to commit His truth to men by way of
writing, it is only natural to examine which languages He chose. Ostensibly, it could be expected that He who "works all things after the
counsel of His will" (Eph. 1:11) and who brought forth Christ "when the fullness of time came" (Gal. 4:4), would have chosen languages that were
particularly suited to the purpose of His revelation.
Old Testament Languages - the Semitic Family
Two important language groups trace their origins to the descendants of
||Called Coptic after the third century of the
|Coptic is the language used in the liturgy of
the early Christian church in Egypt.
||Dialects of North Africa
||Various dialects spoken along the upper
||South of the Sahara languages
||South of the Sahara languages
||(Bushman) South of the
||It was called Assyrian in
the periods of the oldest texts, and later it was called
Babylonian. It was the common language of all Southwest Asia during the height
of the Old Babylonian and Assyrian empires, a fact evidenced by the Amarna
Letters, which were sent by petty kings in Syria and Palestine to the
Pharaohs in Egypt around 1400-1360 B.C. These languages are not used in
the Old Testament.
||The most widely spoken Semitic
language in the modern world, being spoken by large numbers of
people over a vast area. In the sixteenth century Arabic
became the official language of Egypt. .
||Ethiopic was the language of Ethiopia (Cush),
a country referred to in each section of the Old
Testament (cf. Gen. 10:7-8; Isa. 45:14; Ps. 68:31).
those languages is used in the Old Testament.
||The Amorites inhabited Palestine
before and during Israel's occupation (cf. Gen. 10:16; 15:16;
Deut. 7:1; Josh. 10:6; 2 Chron. 8:7), but their language was
not used in the writing of the Old Testament.
||The common language of Jesus and
the disciples, and the people of Palestine in New
language of the Syrians, appears in all three sections of the Old
Testament either in writing or in place names (Gen. 10:22; 31:47; 2
Kings 18:26; Ezra 4:7-6:1; 7:12-26; Isa. 36:11; Jer. 10:11; Dan.
This was the language spoken by the Israelites returning from
captivity in Ezra's time.
||Not used in the Old Testament,
but it has been instrumental in further study of the cognate
Hebrew language of the Old Testament. It was the language of
the Ras Shamra Tablets, discovered in Northern Syria since
1929, which provide another key to the Canaanite dialects.
||Although not used in the Old
Testament, Phoenicians are mentioned in all three sections (cf.
Gen. 10:8-12; 1 Kings 5:6; Neh. 13:16; Ezek. 27:9; Zeph. 1:11).
contribution of the Phoenicians is a major one, because it was they who
introduced the alphabet to other languages, thus making writing much less
cumbersome than it was for the Akkadians.
||Lot's descendants developed two dialects of Hebrew:
Moabite by way of his
oldest daughter, and
Ammonite by way of the younger.
Neither of these
languages were used in the Old Testament; however, their nations are
referred to repeatedly in all three sections of the Old Testament.
The Moabite Stone (c. 850 B.C.) is the first really long inscription in any
Canaanite language that has been discovered (found in 1868 at Dibon) and
is the account of the Moabite king, Mesha, concerning the revolt mentioned
in 2 Kings 1:1; 3:4-27.
||By far the most important
language of the Old Testament.
Most of the Old Testament is written in it, and it is called
"Judean" (2 Kings 18:26, 28), as well as
"the language of Canaan" (Isa. 19:18).
Except for the portions mentioned above (cf. Aramaic in
particular), the Old Testament was written in Hebrew.
During its long history, Hebrew has developed into five
The Hebrew Alphabet
The Hebrew alphabet consists of twenty-two letters, all of them
Obviously vowels were pronounced - speech would be virtually impossible
otherwise- but the ancient Hebrews, like many other Semites,
did not feel it necessary to write them.
However, in early Christian times, when the Hebrew language
was no longer in general use, the lack of vowels became an
occasion of embarrassment, and after certain preliminary attempts
the system of vowel symbols now familiar in
Hebrew Bibles was
developed along with two others that did not attain comparable popularity.
The direction of the writing was not yet established in the Sinaitic and
certain other early inscriptions, but otherwise the language has
always been written from right to left, in lines descending the
column or page.
In the Moabite Stone and the
the words are separated by a dot, a practice followed also in the
Lachish letters, although somewhat inconsistently. Later it
was abandoned, and separation of words was indicated only by
Since in crowded writing this might not always be apparent, and
because the letters of a word were not joined together as in our
cursive writing, occasions could well arise when it was not clear
whether a certain Consonant belonged to the preceding or following word -
and Hebrew is of such character that the shift of one
consonant can sometimes deeply alter the sense.
The Hebrew Bible: Writing, Text, and Manuscripts
From an early time Hebrew scribes were charged with the responsibility
of reproducing more or less considerable bodies of a growing
literature that was destined to be of extraordinary interest; and
from the fourth century B. C. onward they labored with the copying and
manuscripts of sacred collections that comprised in course of
time the three great sections of the Hebrew Bible
|The Law (Pentateuch)
The dispersion of the Jews, more especially after the
time of Alexander's conquests, with the consequently growing demand for
more and ever more copies of the Scriptures for both private and synagogue
use, must have placed the copyists under a sense of pressure
that aggravated the inevitability of error.
In addition to the normal difficulties which the scribes faced, the (ravages of war and persecution very greatly endangered these
There were at least three events which threatened the very existence of the cherished records of the Jews.
||The destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar,
in 586 B. C.,
though at this time it is probable that some portions of the Old
Testament had been carried to Babylonia by the exiles eleven years before.
||When Antiochus Epiphanes (in 167 B.C.) ordered
all the copies of the law to be destroyed
(1 Macc. 1:56,57), his decree
did not reach to Babylonia, where Ezekiel and Ezra had been busy in
earlier centuries instructing their people, and where doubtless copies
of the Old Testament books were again preserved from the disaster that
swept Palestine. Nor did it reach to Egypt, where, about one hundred years
before, translators had busied themselves to put into Greek some at
least of the sacred books of the Jews."
that Antiochus Epiphanes made it a capital crime to possess copies of the
sacred books reveals as in a sudden flash of illumination something of
the adventure and danger of those days when the Jews chose to give
up their own lives rather than their religion or their Scriptures.
||The destruction of Jerusalem by Titus in A.D. 70
According to the
Babylonian Talmud, Titus destroyed copies of the law. Josephus (Wars 5:5,
7) states that one single copy of the law occupied a prominent place in
the victory of Vespasian. This is the earliest mentioned manuscript of
the Old Testament. This document was later deposited in the royal
library at Rome, and later, in A.D. 220, was handed over to the synagogue
of Severus, probably by the emperor, who was a good friend to the Jews.
Masoretes created a system of
vowel sounds (also referred to as
vowel points) and accentual marks which they inserted into
their manuscripts, above or below, and to a less extent into the body of
the consonants of the traditional text. It was pointed
out above that the Hebrew alphabet, in common with most Semitic alphabets,
consists of consonants alone. This was a reasonably satisfactory
method of writing so long as Hebrew continued to be the common language of
the people. But by early Christian times Aramaic had made heavy
inroads into the prevalence of Hebrew. Jewish scholars,
apparently about A.D. 700, found it desirable to undertake a system of
In Palestine, a group of symbols was evolved that is similar to the
vowel signs found in a few Samaritan manuscripts. This vowel
system is knows as Palestinian.
Early manuscripts were not punctuated and letters were not separated
into words by spaces.
As a result, HEISNOWHERE could either mean
|HE IS NOWHERE
HE IS NOW HERE
Another example is, DIDYOUEVERSEEABANDANCEONTHETABLE - could either mean
|DID YOU EVER SEE ABUNDANCE ON THE
DID YOU EVER SEE A BUN DANCE ON THE TABLE
According to the International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia:
As early as the Moabite and Siloam inscriptions, the dot was used to
separate words, and the vertical stroke for the end of a sentence.
Very soon after Ezra's day, and before the
translation, the matter of writing the Biblical books had become one of
very great care, the stipulations and the rules for careful correction by
the authorized text being very strict (Blau, 185-87). The
Synagogue Rolls) were written in columns (doors), and
a space between columns, books, etc., was prescribed, as also the width of
(from International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia, Electronic Database
Copyright (c)1996 by Biblesoft)
The Semitic Family
This is represented by both Hebrew and Aramaic
Most of the Hebrew influence is seen in the Greek translation of
the Aramaic idiom.
This may be seen in the use of the expression "and it
came to pass," the use of two nouns rather than an adjective and a noun
(I Thessalonians. 1:3),
and calling someone a child or son of a
given quality if he has that quality (Luke 10:6; Eph. 2:3)
|1 Thessalonians 1:3
Remembering without ceasing your work of faith,
labor of love, and patience of hope
in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father.
And if a son of peace is there, your peace will
rest on it; if not, it will return to you. (NKJV)
...and were by nature children of wrath, just as the
was no doubt the spoken language of the Lord and His disciples.
It was the
source of such words as
|Cephas, Matthew, Abba (Aramaic for
And He said, "Abba, Father, all things are possible for You.
Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but
what You will." (NKJV)
(I Cor 16:22)
|1 Corinthians 16:22
If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema
|1 Corinthians 16:22
If anyone does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed. O
Lord, come! (NKJV)
It is also noteworthy that in the very hour of His agony
on the cross, Jesus cried out in His native Aramaic tongue, " 'Eli, Eli,
lama sabachthani?' that is, 'My God, my God, why has Thou forsaken Me?' "
The Indo-European Family
Even more prominent are Latin and Greek.
Although Latin was used in the Eastern Roman Empire mostly by the legions,
it made its influence felt in the Rabbinical Hebrew, spoken Aramaic, and
Greek writings. Its influence in the New Testament is found mainly in
loanwords, for example,
So when the centurion, who stood opposite Him, saw that
He cried out like this and breathed His last, he said,
"Truly this Man was the Son of God!" (NKJV)
17:25; Mark 12:14, KJV)
And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received
tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master
pay tribute? (KJV)
When they had come to Capernaum, those who received the
temple tax came to Peter and said, "Does your Teacher
not pay the temple tax?" (NKJV)
Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He
will provide Me with more than twelve legions of
In addition to that, the
inscription on the cross was written in Latin, Hebrew, and Greek.
Greek of the New Testament has been quite problematic through the
The basic language of the New Testament, it has gone through
a series of changes similar to Latin, Hebrew, and English. There are five
basic periods of Greek: Homeric, Attic, Koine, Byzantine, and Modern. Until the late nineteenth century, the language of the New Testament (Koine)
was considered a sort of special "Holy Ghost" language because it was not
specifically identifiable with any of the other four periods, and the
vocabulary was somewhat different.
However, with the discovery in the
late nineteenth century of first-century letters and other documents in
Egypt, that view began to give way to the current view, that the New
Testament was written in the language of the common people. Why?
Because our Creator wants to communicate with His creation!
It should be
pointed out that Koine, or Hellenistic Greek, is not confined to the
vernacular speech. There was a flourishing koine literature in the
centuries before and after the time of Christ. It was this language that
was most widely known throughout the world:
|Its alphabet was derived from the Phoenicians
Its language and culture were not limited to a given geographical area
It became the official language of the empires into which
Alexander's conquests were divided
Even the Romans used Greek in their literature as fluently as they
Koine was not a
special "Holy Ghost" language, but its appearance was certainly
providentially directed, as Paul implied in his statement "When the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son" (Gal. 4:4).
Now that the background and development of the biblical languages have
been traced, it remains to examine how they fit God's purpose of
revelation. What was it that made these languages, above others,
particularly appropriate channels for God's truth? In theorizing about
this point, it would be imprudent to overlook a very practical purpose
for God 's choice of both major and minor languages, namely,
they were the
primary languages of the times and the people to whom God was speaking
This language, which shows influence in both vocabulary and form
in the New Testament, was the local language of the land of Palestine and
much of Syria when Jesus and the apostles lived and ministered. It was no
doubt the language that Jesus used in day-to-day conversation.
Aramaic had been the lingua franc a of the Near East in the sixth through
fourth centuries B.C., until the conquests of Alexander the Great. This
was the language of the documents, mostly papyri, left by the Jewish
colony at Elephantine (near modern Aswan, Egypt) during the fifth century
On the other hand, Latin, which made its influence felt in the New
Testament, was the military and political language of the Roman Empire.
The Empire included Herod's Palestine; and it was only natural that the
New Testament would include the use of Latin and Latinisms to some degree.
It would be too much to suppose that Hebrew and Greek, the major
biblical languages, were chosen by God because they just happened to be
the ones available when He decided to speak to man.
The Christian theist
who believes in special as well as general providence will expect that God
planned the very languages to fit the message and that God planned
the very age to which the
message was addressed.
Hebrew - Its biographical suitability
The Old Testament is primarily the
biography of a people and God's dealings with them. Hebrew was the primary
language in which the Old Testament was written, and it was particularly
suited for this kind of biographical expression for at least two reasons.
|It is a Pictorial Language
|Speaking with vivid, bold metaphors that challenge and dramatize the story.
|The Hebrew language possesses a
facility to present "pictures" of the events narrated.
|The Hebrews thought
in pictures, and consequently the nouns are concrete and vivid.
|The language shows "vast powers of association and,
therefore, of imagination."
|Some of this is lost in the English
translation, but even so, much of the vivid, concrete, and forthright
character of our English Old Testament is really a carrying over into
English of something of the genius of the Hebrew tongue.
|As a pictorial
language, Hebrew presents a vivid picture of the acts of God among a
people who became examples or illustrations for future generations (1 Cor. 10:11).
1 Corinthians 10:11
Now all these things happened to them as examples,
and they were written for our admonition, upon
whom the ends of the ages have come. (NKJV)
|Because the Old Testament was intended as a biographical
book for believers, it was fitting for those truths to be presented
graphically in a "picture-language."
|It is a Personal Language
|It addresses itself to the heart and emotions
rather than merely to the mind or reason.
|Sometimes even nations are given
personalities (Mal. 1:2-3).
"I have loved you," says the LORD.
"Yet you say, 'In what way have You loved us?'
Was not Esau Jacob's brother?" Says the LORD.
"Yet Jacob I have loved; but Esau I have hated,
And laid waste his mountains and his heritage For the
jackals of the wilderness."
Even though Edom has said, "We have been impoverished,
but we will return and build the desolate places."
|Always the appeal is to the person in the
concrete realities of life and not to the abstract or
|Hebrew is a language through which the
message is felt rather than thought.
|As such, the language was highly qualified to
convey to the individual believer as well as to the worshiping
community the personal revelation of the living God in the
events of the Jewish nation.
F. F. Bruce sums up these characteristics
Biblical Hebrew does not deal with abstractions but with the facts of
experience. It is the right sort of language for the record of the self-revelation of
a God who does not make Himself known by philosophical propositions but by
controlling and intervening in the course of human history. Hebrew is not
afraid to use daring anthropomorphisms when speaking of God. If God
imparts to men the knowledge of Himself, He chooses to do so most effectively
in terms of human life and human language.
Greek - Its Evangelistic Suitability
The foundation of God's revelation of
Christ was laid in the biography of the Old Testament.
of the revelation of Christ was made in the theological language of the
New Testament. New Testament Greek was appropriately adapted to the end of propositionalizing and propagating the truth about Christ for two basic
|It is an Intellectual Language
|It was more a language of the mind than
of the heart, a fact to which the great Greek
philosophers gave abundant evidence.
|Greek was more suited to codifying a communication or
reflecting on a revelation of God in order to put it into simple communicable
|It was a language that could more easily
render the credible into the intelligible than could Hebrew.
|It was for this reason that New
Testament Greek was a most useful medium for expressing the propositional
truth of the New Testament, as Hebrew was for expressing
the biographical truth of the Old Testament.
|Because Greek possessed a
technical precision not found in Hebrew, the theological truths that were
more generally expressed in the Hebrew of the Old Testament were more
precisely formulated in the Greek of the New Testament.
It was a nearly Universal Language
|The truth of God in the Old Testament, which
was initially revealed to one nation (Israel), was
appropriately recorded in the language of that nation
(Hebrew). But the fuller revelation given by God in the
New Testament was not restricted in that way. In the
words of Luke's gospel, the message of Christ was
to "be proclaimed in His name to all nations" (Luke
Then He said to them, "Thus it is written, and thus it
was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from
the dead the third day, and that repentance
and remission of sins should be preached in His name
to all nations. (NKJV)
|The language most appropriate for the
propagation of that message was naturally the one that
was most widely spoken throughout the world.
|Such was the common (Koine) Greek, a
thoroughly international language of the first-century
It may be concluded, then, that God chose the very languages to communicate His truth which had, in His providence, been prepared to express most effectively the kind of truth He desired at that particular
time, in the unfolding of His overall plan.
||With its pictorial and personal vividness, expressed well
the biographical truth of the Old Testament.
It is a language well fitted to depict God's deeds in the
biography of the Old Testament.
||With its intellectual and universal potentialities, served well for the
doctrinal and evangelistic demands of the New
It is particularly suited to the expression and propagation of
the doctrines of the New Testament.
Summary and Conclusion
The written word, with all of its limitations, was by far the most
adequate means of conveying the truth of God because it could be
more easily preserved from corruption, and
more effectively propagated.
Therefore, when God - who spoke to the prophets by
visions, dreams or angels - desired to speak through the prophets to
succeeding generations, He chose to have them write their revelation. In
the providence of God the Hebrew and Greek languages were prepared to
express most appropriately the kind of revelation God desired for their
In other words: What God wanted all along, was to communicate