Gospel News · September - December 2017

Proof of the Genuineness of The Scriptures
he manuscripts (MSS) of scripture are innu-
merable. They belong to all ages and some
are very ancient. They have been kept for
centuries in distant parts of the world, under
the custody of opposing sects and in circum-
stances that made extensive or important
alterations impossible.
The possessors of the MSS deemed them of the
highest value, and professed to live under the
influence of the truths contained in them.
Copyists preserved them with the utmost
reverence, counting every letter of every book
and registering every tittle of the law. How
remarkable, how decisive as an evidence of
Divine care that while all the libraries of
Europe and the World containing copies of the
Sacred Scriptures have been examined, all
ancient versions compared, the MSS of all
countries from the 3rd to the 16th century
collated, the commentaries of the Fathers
again and again investigated, nothing has been
discovered, not even a single general reading,
which can set aside an important passage hith-
erto received as genuine.
This positive conclusion, that our Bible does
not essentially differ from the Bible of the
Primitive Church, is indeed ample recompense
for all the labour and time which has been
devoted to these pursuits.
What a Friend we have in Jesus
| Bro Moses Dhlakama (Chipinge Zimbabwe)
eal friendship is based on three things,
like-mindness and constancy. Proverbs has
a lot of wise things to say about it, among
which is the perceptive statement, “As in
water face answers to face, so the heart of
man to man”. This is like-
mindedness. We tend to
reflect the mental image of
our closest companions, and
unless there is this affinity
of the heart the friendship
cannot flourish. Men may
become “drinking compan-
ions” but not true friends.
So if we want to be friends
of Jesus, we must have this
kind of affinity with all that
he stands for. We must try
to reflect his image, sharing
his interests and his views
on life, to enjoy his friend-
Second ingredient is unselfishness in which the
Lord himself, as always, sets the example. For
he sacrificed everything for us, and we must
surely be prepared to sacrifice something for
him. We must not be just “fair-weather
friends” of Jesus; in it for what we get out of
it; promoting self-interest in the guise of
friendship, like a man seeking to make friends
with the manager in order to get favours. The
kind of friendship I am considering is a
meeting of minds; a self giving companionship,
likened by the apostle to the relationship of a
husband and wife in the
ideal marriage (Eph 5). It is
a love which forgets self
interest, and “gives till it
Thirdly, we think of
constancy as an ingredient
of friendship. “A friend
loveth at all times, and a
brother is born for adver-
sity” is the dictum of
Proverbs. And it is true of
Jesus. He will never let us
down. But if we consistently
and thoughtlessly let him
down, can we still claim to
his friends? “You are my
friends if you do whatever I command you” he
said. He has shown himself to be the real
friend of mankind, but men must respond to
his love, or eventually lose it. “He that hath
friends must show himself friendly” is true of
both human and divine associations.
David and Jonathan