Posts Tagged ‘christianity’

Some final comments about bible accuracy.

The Holy Spirit was and still is important to spread the gospel correctly.

Hebrews 2:3  This salvation which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him.
God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit.

There are 66 books in the bible, written over thousands of years.  All of them are consistent with each other.

The New Testament has 27 books.  All of them speak of the ministry of Jesus.  All of them are consistent with each
other.

Thank you so much for studying.  God bless.

Jeff

 

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This week I’d like to make several points concerning bible accuracy.

First, if every book of the bible told each story exactly the same, word for word, the writers would be
accused of collusion.  They would be accused of working together and orchestrating their testimony.  Their credi-
bility would be gone.

It is natural and authentic to have slightly different perspectives, but the core of their witness should be consistent.

Secondly, the scriptures are written with Anthropomorphism.  Anotherwords, they’re written in a way
that gives God human characteristics.  

For example, Exodus 15:8  By the blast of your nostrils the water piled up.  The surging waters stood firm like a wall.

God doesn’t have a nose.  He is a spiritual being.  It is written this way so that humans can relate and understand.

Lastly, God is so superior to man, that the bible is written in God Baby Talk.  Again, it written this way so
that humans can relate and understand.

Thank you so much for studying.  God bless.

Jeff

As we have read, there are no original manuscripts of the bible.  For example, there are no original manuscripts
that were written by Moses, Job, Mathew, Paul, etc.  The manuscripts in existence are copies that were produced
by scribes.

A biblical manuscript is any handwritten copy or fragment of a portion of the bible text.  A manuscript can’t be
mechanically printed or reproduced in some automated way.

The New Testament has been preserved by more manuscripts than any other work.  There are over
25,000 manuscripts of the New Testament.  There are over 5800 complete or fragmented Greek manuscripts
(original language), 10,000 Latin manuscripts and 9300 manuscripts in various ancient languages including Syriac,
Slavic, Gothic, Ethiopic, Coptic and American.

Surprisingly, the variations in these manuscripts are minor and actually help us figure out the original
meaning.

For example:

Manuscript #1:  In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

Manuscript #2:  In the beginning, God created the earth and the heavens.

Manuscript #3:  At the beginning, God made the heavens and the earth.

Manuscript #4:  In the beginning, God created the sky and the earth.  (As we have read in Heaven 4, heaven is
above the clouds.  The sky refers to the heavens).

Manuscript #5:  In the beginning, Jesus created the heavens and the earth.  (As we read in Trinity 2-6, Jesus, the
Father and the Holy Spirit are all considered God).

Thank you so much for studying.  God bless.

Jeff

 

The following two versus describe the same event but slightly different.  This appears to be a contradiction.

Mathew 20:29-34  As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him.  Two blind men
were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, “Lord, Son of David, have
mercy on us!”

The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, …

Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes.  Immediately they received their sight and followed him.

Mark 10:46-52  Then they came to Jericho.  As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving
the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus, was sitting by the roadside begging.  When he heard that it was Jesus of
Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet …

Go, said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.”  Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the
road.

As we read, Mathew mentions two blind men but Mark mentions one blind man.  This appears to be a
contadiction but it’s not.  Mark is just describing one of the two men that became prominent.  There
was two men but he is just describing one of them.

As we read, Mathew tells us that Jesus touched their eyes and they were healed.  Mark tells us that
Jesus healed them because of their faith.  Both details are correct.  The blind men had faith and Jesus
healed them by touching their eyes.  Each author is just giving different details.

A final detail is that Mathew does not mention the names of the blind men.  Mark mentions the name of one blind
man, Bartimaeus.

There is no contradiction between Mathews account and Marks account, just different details.

Thank you so much for studying.  God bless.

Jeff

 

 

Last week we read that the Apostles didn’t write their letters until many years after the death of Jesus.  How do we
know their memories were correct?  How do we know their letters were correct?

Answer:  The Apostles didn’t keep the stories to themselves.  They verbally passed on the ministry of Jesus.
During the first century, story telling was taken very seriously.  It is how important ideas were passed down from
generation to generation.  It was how history was told.

Story telling wasn’t like whispering from one person to another and the story changing over time.  So serious was
story telling that the people listening would speak up and say, “Hey, that’s not correct!”  It was a community
event and the entire community held the speaker accountable.  It was about sacred holy tradition. 

Here are two versus of Peter and John explaining that they testified about Jesus.

2 Peter 1:16  We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of
our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 John 1:2  The life appeared;  we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life,
which was with the Father and has appeared to us.

Thank you so much for studying.  God bless.

Jeff

In Bible Accuracy 1 through 6 we read who were the authors of the bible, but many of these authors didn’t
write their letters until years after the events.  For example,

Mathew was written about 50AD, when the church was still largely Jewish, approximately 18 years after the
death of Jesus.

Luke was written about 59 AD to 63 AD, approximately 30 years after the death of Jesus.

John was written about 85 AD, more than 50 years after the death of Jesus.

1 Corinthians was written about 95 AD, approximately 62 years after the death of Jesus.

1 Timothy was written about 63 AD to 65 AD, more than 30 years after the death of Jesus.

Hebrews was written about 70 AD, approximately 37 years after the death of Jesus.

If the Apostles didn’t write their letters until 18 years to 62 years after the death of Jesus, how do we
know their memory was accurate?  How do we know the original scriptures were accurate?

We will answer this question next week.

Thank you so much for studying.  God bless.

Jeff

 

About 600 to 1000 years after the Dead Sea Scrolls were the Masoretic Text.  The Masoretes were a
group of Jewish scribes from 600 AD to 1000 AD.  They meticulously assembled and codified the traditional
Hebrew Bible or Old Testament.

The Old Testament was written in Hebrew, a language which originally did not use vowels.  To preserve the
writings, the Masoretes added vowels and diacritical marks above the vowels for correct pronoun-
ciation.  This version of the Hebrew Old Testament is known as the Masoretic Text.

The meticulous care in which the Masoretes edited the text was described by FF Bruce, a well respected biblical
scholar:

          The Masoretes wrote with the greatest imaginable reverence, and devised a complicated system of safe-
          guards against scribal slips.

          One group of scribes, known as the Masoretes, set its standard much higher than all other scribes.  The
          Masoretes counted every single letter, word, and verse of the Old Testament to preserve its accuracy.

Scholars have compared the text of Isaiah from the Dead Sea Scrolls with the text of Isaiah pre-
served by the Masoretes.  What they discovered was that- even with 600 to 1000 years difference in
text- the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Masoretic Text agreed word for word 95% of the time.  The re-
maining differences were from minor spelling variations.  Other scrolls like 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, and Deuteronomy
do not differ in any way that effects any crucial Jewish or Christian belief.

This shows the care in which the scribes had worked to maintain scriptural accuracy.

Thank you so much for studying.  God bless.

Jeff