In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them; Isaiah 63:9
Our heavenly Father has deep affections for us. The affection of parents is just a spark from his flame. His love passes knowledge and exceeds all dimensions; it is higher that heaven and broader than the sea. We are precious in his sight. He prizes his children above all his treasures. He delights in their company. He loves to see their countenance, and to hear their voice. He is full of sympathy, and pities them in their infirmities. In their injuries, every blow goes to his heart. He did, as it were, bleed in their wounds. ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’ When God’s children are stricken, his heart says, ‘He who touches you touches the apple of my eye’ (Zech. 2:8). God sees the least good in us. If there is but a good intention, he takes notice of it. He takes notice of the least spark of grace. Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord (1 Pet. 3:6). The Holy Spirit does not mention Sarah’s unbelief, or laughing at the promise. He put his finger upon the scar, winked at her failing, and only took notice of the good that was in her. What comfort is this! He can see a grain of corn hid under chaff, and his grace under corruption. Though there are many defects in our service he will not cast away our offering. He will not lay upon us more than we are able to bear. He deals gently and will not over-afflict. He mixes mercy with all our afflictions. If he gives us wormwood to drink, he will mix it with honey. In every cloud a child of God may see a rainbow of mercy shining. Jacob was hurt in wrestling—here was the affliction; but when he saw God’s face, and received a blessing from the angel, God gave mercy in the affliction. When God afflicts the body, he gives peace of conscience . As in the ark, the Lord placed the rod and the manna, so our Father’s rod always includes some manna.
The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable?
Can we trust the New Testament? Hasn’t it all been disproved? Doesn’t modern scholarship show that it was all made up much later, so that the supposedly historical foundations of Christianity are in fact a figment of the imagination?
This sort of thing is said so often in the media, in some churches, and in public life in general that many people take it for granted that nothing can be said on the other side. But, as so often, this is where careful, accurate historical scholarship of the type in which F.F. Bruce excelled has a quiet, thorough, and complete answer. Yes we can trust the New Testament. For a start, the documents themselves—the manuscripts from which our knowledge of the New Testament comes— are in far, far better shape than the manuscripts of any other work from the ancient world, by a very long way. Examine the New Testament, and you’ll find that our knowledge of it rests on a very large number of manuscripts, several hundred in fact, which go back as far, in some cases, as the early second century, less than a hundred years after the books were first written. There is better evidence for the New Testament than for any other ancient book.
This Modern Classic in the Field of New Testament Studies offers a compelling defense of biblical truth. F. F. Bruce, one of evangelicalism’s most respected scholars, makes a clear case for the historical trustworthiness of the Christian Scriptures, drawing on evidence from the New Testament documents themselves as well as extra-biblical sources. Concise chapters explore the canon and dating of the New Testament, the nature of the Gospels (including a look at miracles), the life and writings of Paul, and archaeological and literary evidence. Including here a completely updated bibliography. Bruce’s long-standing affirmation of the New Testament is still as authoritative and engaging as ever.
“Fred Bruce was a tower of strength in the worlds of scholarship and faith, and in particular to those who, like him, were and are determined not to separate the two. There are many recent books which explore the New Testament from a wide variety of angles. But this book is far from being out of date. Indeed, it remains one of the best popular introductions [to the topic of New Testament critical study] available. Enjoy it; think about it; use it as the basis for further exploration.” —N.T. Wright
Paperback; 149 pages