The Jot And Tittle

  • Feb. 13, 2008
  • #6728

When part of Joni's answer in an interview is changed by a journalist, Joni thinks about the Bible and celebrates that God has preserved His Word.

I was reading an article the other day in a Christian magazine.  It was an interview I had done with a Christian newspaper journalist in the United Kingdom.  Anyway, it had been a lengthy interview, but because he was asking me questions about the subject of suffering and God's sovereignty, well... I was very select with my words; I had spoken slowly, carefully and thoughtfully; I did not want to be misquoted for that would have meant misrepresenting God on what I knew to be a very important topic.  I've spent much time studying the topic of God's sovereignty and suffering.

Anyway, they sent me the article and about halfway through - I couldn't believe it - they hadn't so much misquoted me, but they had left out several key words - very important words -- which completely altered the meaning of my answer.  I was so upset!  For me, it was an example of not only journalistic carelessness, but a disregard for the importance of the doctrine of God's sovereignty and how critical it is to represent that doctrine in a complete and cautious way.

You know, that little example, my irritations are one thing... but aren't you glad for the way God has not permitted any of His words to be dropped from the Holy Writ all these many centuries?!  Jesus says in Matthew 5, "For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law."  Isn't that amazing?! 

I mean, think of it God's Word has passed through the hands of thousands of translators down through the ages, yet the Holy Spirit hasn't allowed one word to be dropped.  And get this, not only a word, when Jesus talks about a jot and a tittle, Hebrew scholars tell me that He was making reference to, well... the smallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet.  And a tittle?  Well, that was either a small point; a vowel... or it could be considered a seraph, you know, those little flippy-looking things on the ends of Hebrew letters?  (You can tell I'm no Hebrew scholar).  But the lesson is for scholars and average saints alike:  the Spirit of God has preserved not only the words of God, but the letters of God.  Not only is each word of scripture safeguarded, but each vowel, each consonant, each letter of scripture is secure! 

Boy, I think I get upset when an interviewer leaves out three or four words in an article which changes the meaning of what I want to say.  Can you imagine how the Holy Spirit is grieved and, I dare say, angered when we leave out whole sentences that change the context of a passage of scripture?!  Whoa!  Friend, today join me in thanking God for preserving His Word, more specifically, His words... and even more exacting, His letters in scripture.  And join me in celebrating that each one of those words and letters actually mean something to the church today.  In short, God's letters - specific letters, vowels and consonants -- have something to say to you!

©  Joni and Friends

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