“I, Jehovah, am your God, the One teaching you to benefit yourself.”—ISAIAH 48:17.
THE Scriptures are a gift from God. He inspired faithful men of the nation of Israel to write down his own thoughts. King David, who wrote many of the psalms, acknowledged: “The spirit of Jehovah it was that spoke by me, and his word was upon my tongue.”—2 Samuel 23:2.
What was God’s purpose in giving us the Scriptures?
The Scriptures not only explain our history and describe our future but also give us the answers to life’s most important questions: Why are we here? How can we have a truly happy future? We can know the answers only because our Creator, in his concern for us, has revealed them through the Scriptures, which say of God and his laws:
“The law of Jehovah is perfect, bringing back the soul. The reminder of Jehovah is trustworthy, making the inexperienced one wise. The orders from Jehovah are upright, causing the heart to rejoice; the commandment of Jehovah is clean, making the eyes shine.”—Psalm 19:7, 8 [19:8, 9, TNK].
Clearly, in large part, God gave us the Scriptures to enable us to have a happy life.
How do we know that our copies of the Scriptures are authentic?
From ancient times, such devoted men as Ezra, “a skilled copyist in the law of Moses,” exercised extreme care in order to preserve the text of the Scriptures. (Ezra 7:6) The Dead Sea Scrolls are an outstanding example of the success of their efforts. These scrolls were discovered in caves near Qumran, beginning in 1947. They include fragments of nearly all the books of the Hebrew Scriptures. Although the scrolls were written more than 2,000 years ago, they differ very little from one another and from the traditional Hebrew text in use today. “None of these variations affects the scriptural message itself,” notes Dead Sea Scrolls scholar Geza Vermes. Such accurate transmission provides evidence that our copies of the Scriptures faithfully represent the inspired originals.
Do prophecies really come true?
After entering the land that God had promised Israel, Joshua reminded them: “Not one word out of all the good words that Jehovah your God has spoken to you has failed.” (Joshua 23:14) That statement has always proved true. Why? Because God can make matters work out according to his will. Thus, his prophecies come true down to the last detail.
For example, God foretold Israel’s release from Babylon, as well as that city’s eventual desolation. Isaiah wrote that Babylon “must become as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. She will never be inhabited.” (Isaiah 13:19, 20) From that time through the end of the Second Temple period, Babylon was still a populated city. But within a few centuries, long after the Dead Sea Scroll of Isaiah was written, Babylon had become what it remains today—uninhabited.—Isaiah 13:21.a