Posts Tagged ‘god’

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

 

Advertisements

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

 

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

Last week we read that five historic manuscripts were copied over and over by scribes.  The earliest textual evi-
dence we have are 500 to 1500 years after the actual events.

Let’s compare this to the earliest biblical textual evidence that has been discovered, the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Before we do that, what are the Dead Sea Scrolls?  In 1947, Bedonin teenagers were tending their goats and
sheep near the ancient settlement of Qumran located at the Northwest shore of the Dead Sea (lowest place on
earth).  They found a collection of large clay jars that contained the scrolls.  About 85% to 90% of the scrolls
were written on parchment made of processed animal skins known as vellum.  Most were goats and gazelle skins.

The Scrolls include fragments from every book in the Old Testament except Esther.  Some fragments
describe the first three days of creation from Genesis.  Some fragments describe the Ten Commandments.  The
book of Psalms is one of the best preserved biblical scrolls that contain 48 Psalms.

It is widely believed the Dead Sea Scrolls were written by the Essenes, a religious community of Jews.
The Essenes flourished for several hundred years from about 300BC to 70AD, possibly fleeing when the
Romans seized Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple.  The Essenes devoted their lives to writing and preserving
sacred text.

Next week we will compare the five historic manuscripts against the Dead Sea Scrolls.  How long after the original
events were the Dead Sea Scrolls written.

Thank you so much for studying.  God bless.

Jeff

So far we have read that most of the books of the bible were written by the Prophets and Apostles.  They actually
lived through the events that were written.  But many have correctly determined that there are no original
manuscripts from the time of the events.  Are we sure they are accurate?

The same thing can be said about many of our secular history manuscripts.  Let’s review:

Iliad by Homer was about the Trojan War in the 13 century BC.  There are no original manuscripts.  They were
copied over and over by scribes until the earliest textual evidence is from about 750BC, some 500 years
later.

Caesar’s Gallic Wars was written around 58-49 BC.  There are no original manuscripts.  They were copied over
and over by scribes until the earliest textual evidence is from 900 years later.

Aristotle’s Poetics was written in the 4th century BC.  There are no original manuscripts.  They were copied over
and over by scribes until the earliest textual evidence is from 1400 years later.

Histories by Herodotus was about the Greco-Persian Wars.  The wars lasted from 499 BC to 449 BC.  There are
no original manuscripts.  They were copied over and over by scribes until the earliest textual evidence is from
900 AD, some 1350 years later.

Tacitus Annals was about the history of the Roman Empire from the reign of Tiberious to Nero, 14 AD to 68 AD.
There are no original manuscripts.  They were copied over and over by scribes until the earliest textual evi-
dense is from 1515, some 1500 years later.

Next week we will compare the earliest textual evidence of the bible to the above historic manuscripts.

Thank you so much for studying.  God bless.

Jeff

 

 

Let’s answer the following questions?  Why are we here?  What is the meaning of life?

Jesus answered this question when the Pharisees (religious leaders of the day) asked him, what is the greatest
commandment?

Jesus summed up the entire bible (Old Testament and New Testament) with his answer.  The greatest command-
ment is “To love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your mind and with all your soul.

This is why we are here!  This is the meaning of life!  This is why we were created!  To love the Lord
our God!

When we love the Lord and pray to the Lord and he answers with his wisdom, this is the relationship that God
wants from us (his creation) and has wanted from people since the beginning of time.

I think it’s important to remember that God is a Spirit that is omnipresent and this Spirit is invisible to the
human eye.

Remember John 4:24  God is Spirit and his worshipers must worship him in the Spirit and in truth.

Next week we will start “Bible Accuracy.”

Thank you so much for reading.  God bless.

Jeff