Jesus refers specifically to "the least stroke of a pen" within the "Law." Thus Jesus is speaking about precepts or injunctions or commands that are written down. What is this?
Jesus is speaking of Scripture.
Scripture is the commands and instructions given by God and His representatives. In Jesus' time, the teachings and instructions of the ancient Prophets were considered Scripture.
So what does Jesus mean by his statement? Why would it be easier for "heaven and earth to disappear" than for "the least stroke of a pen to drop out" of the Scripture?
Because Scripture is the written form of God's instructions, and the Supreme Being is omnipresent and omnipotent: So He is in complete control over the Scriptures and how they are handled.
But does this mean that the Scriptures cannot be mistranslated? Or otherwise manipulated?
Certainly not. To insist that humans don't have the ability to manipulate or mistranslate the Scriptures would in essence take away our freedom. The Supreme Being gives each of us the freedom to love Him or not, because without freedom you cannot have love.
God wants our love, so He gives us the freedom to love Him or not. Those who don't want to love God can manipulate and mistranslate the Scriptures if they want to. It doesn't mean this is pleasing to Him - and it doesn't mean that He cannot ultimately control how they are mishandled. But we still have the freedom at any rate.
Scripture can be manipulated
Besides, we know that Scripture can be mistranslated or otherwise manipulated. How do we know this? We can simply look at the various translations of the Bible and we find that there are so many different translations of the same Greek texts, with many saying completely different things. How could all of them be accurate if so many convey different meanings?
We also find the Latin translations of the Greek texts substantially different. And we find that a number of verses in today's Bibles were added by sectarian institutions long after those texts were originally written. Consider, for example Matthew 23:13 and John 5:4: These verses did not even exist in the early Greek texts (verse numbers were added much later) And Matthew 6:13, Matthew 27:35 and John 4:9 have entire sentences and phrases added long after the Greek texts were written.
Is this not a manipulation of Scripture? Who added these verses? Ecclesiastical scribes representing the Roman Catholic institution - those who wanted to make sure - along with their mistranslations - that the Bible substantiated their politically established Nicene Creed. (Politically established because it was voted on by a commission of appointees to the Synod of Nicaea by the Roman Emperor Constantine, who wanted to establish a unified "Christian" institution that his Roman government could control.)
Furthermore, we find that the Bible was manipulated with respect to the ordering of the Books. There were many more Books outside of the ones included in the Bible. Why did some Books - or scrolls - not make it in the Bible? Who chose only those Books? Because these Books - or scrolls - were chosen by Eusebius out of hundreds of others. Eusebius was appointed by Constantine and instructed to put together a Canon that he could approve of. Yes - this means that the Emperor of Rome ordered and personally approved the Canon, which became today's Bible.
And why are these Books put in the order they are? Are the Books of the Bible ordered chronologically? No. For example, the Book of Revelation was written long before the letters of Paul were written. Yet the Book of Revelation was put last by Eusebius. Why? Because they wanted to expand upon what the third to last verse of Revelation says:
And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. (Revelation 22:19 KJV)This of course makes it seem that this verse applies to the entire Bible - of course after it was manipulated by Constantine's appointed scribes. But the intent here is obvious: To seek to threaten those who might wish to read other Scriptures and other Scrolls outside of those that were approved and assembled into the Bible.
This of course is a manipulation. It is a blatant attempt to try to indicate that the Bible is the only Scripture.
The Bible is not the only Scripture
Such a notion is offensive. Are they saying that the commands and teachings coming from the Supreme Being and His devoted representatives is limited to those contained in the Bible? Such a notion is absurd. And offensive.
Certainly there are many other cultures and civilizations throughout the history of the universe that also have Scriptures that communicate God's instructions and describe the Supreme Being. Or are we saying that we are the only civilization to ever have a written set of Scriptures?
What about those who lived before the Biblical Canon was assembled in the Fourth Century A.D.? Did God overlook billions of people who lived before this time? Were they deprived of the use of Scripture?
No. And Jesus' statement here confirms that there was Scripture long before the Bible was put together. Jesus accepted these Scriptures of the Prophets as he indicates here. We also find that Jesus read most or all of these - as he quoted from various Prophets, including Moses, Abraham, Jeremiah, David, Isaiah and others.
So if Scripture can be manipulated and mistranslated, what is Jesus trying to say in the above statement?
He is trying to communicate that Scripture stands above and aloof from the activities within the physical world - activities of materialism, greed and so on. Jesus is speaking of pure, unmanipulated Scripture: It is beyond the physical world. Scripture is spiritual because it originates with the Supreme Being and is derived through loving relationships that exist between the Supreme Being and His loving servants and representatives.
As such, they may be manipulated and mistranslated, but the original Scripture - the original instructions - are not eliminated.
Let's use an example.
Let's say that a President of the U.S. makes a speech and a newspaper reports on the speech in such a way that it twists the speech's meaning. The article in the newspaper may misrepresent the speech of the president for political purposes. Or maybe they just didn't get it right. Did the newspaper change what the President said in the speech? No. The President's speech is separate from the newspaper article. The President said what he said. And the only way the newspaper article could truly reflect and represent the President's speech is if the newspaper simply quoted the speech verbatim.
In the same way, anyone can manipulate Scripture by mistranslation or twisting things around to fit their agenda. But this doesn't change the original Scripture - based upon the words and activities of God and God's representatives. They still said what they said and did what they did.
In other words, the words on a page do not make it Scripture. It is the original activities and instructions that are Scripture. The words on the page are an attempt to describe those activities and instructions. If the words on the page have been manipulated and do not describe the original activities and instructions purely - if they have been manipulated or misconstrued - then those words cannot be accepted as Scripture.
Has God lost control of the Scriptures?
This doesn't mean that God has lost control of the Scriptures either. In fact, God allows these manipulations and mistranslations to exist in order to provide those who seek that: Those who don't want to resume their real relationship with God and assume their position as His servant.
If someone wants to see God as an angry God and see Jesus only as a means for their purification then God will guide that person to those manipulated and mistranslated texts that allow those interpretations. The real Scriptures - those that describe the loving Personality of God and real relationship between Jesus and God - will remain hidden from such a person.
Thus what Jesus is speaking of the is potency of pure Scripture. The potency of God's instructions, made through His representatives or directly and recorded into Scripture.
Because ultimately, in order to understand Scripture, God must be guiding one from within. One cannot understand Scripture without God's guidance from within - and without His representative. If one is tuned to God's guidance, he or she may even be able to see through the manipulations and mistranslations from some Scripture and gain their potency. But again, this potency is coming from the Supreme Being, not from some words on a page.
And that potency - that power of the Supreme Being to reach out to us and guide someone who is sincere from within and without in the form of Scripture - can never be interrupted by anyone or anything.
Because quite simply, the Supreme Being is not only loving and merciful and beautiful: He is awesome.
*Here is the translation of this verse from the Gospels of Jesus:
"For it would be easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke of the Scripture to fail." (Luke 16:17)