10/21/12

A Brief History Of The Bible


This lesson is probably going to take, break, mold, and alter the way you view the English protestant Gospel. That is okay though, because every day we should be striving to find the truth of everything that we believe in. The bible was not written yesterday, it was started 4,000 years ago. If we don’t view the history of those who wrote it and to whom they wrote it too, then we will miss out on so much valuable information.

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. (2 tim 3:16-17)

Hold fast to this verse as we historically accredit, or discredit certain thoughts about the scriptures. The best way to be a Christian investigator is to know that scripture is God breathed.

Archeology:

“Archaeology has in many cases refuted the views of modern critics. More than 25,000 sites showing some connection with the Old Testament period have been located in Bible lands. Dr. Robert Dick Wilson, former professor of Semitic philology at Princeton Theological Seminary, said, "After forty-five years of scholarly research in Biblical textual studies and in language study. I have come now to the conviction that no man knows enough to assail the truthfulness of the Old Testament. Where there is sufficient documentary evidence to make an investigation, the statements of the Bible, in the original text, have stood the test." Furthermore, the noted Dr. J.O. Kinnaman said, "of the hundreds of thousands of artifacts found by other archaeologists, not one has ever been discovered that contradicts or denies one word, phrase, clause, or sentence of the bible, but always confirms and verifies the facts of the Biblical record." If one discards the Bible as being unreliable, then he must discard almost all literature of antiquity.” 


During your mission as a Christian you will run across someone who claims the bible is inaccurate due to history, science, or archeology errors. Do not think that turning the cheek implies allowing someone to disgrace the word of God.

[1] The discovery of the Ebla archive in northern Syria in the 1970s has shown the Biblical writings concerning the Patriarchs to be viable. Documents written on claytablets from around 2300 B.C. demonstrate that personal and place names in the Patriarchal accounts are genuine. The name “Canaan” was in use in Ebla, a name critics once said was not used at that time and was used incorrectly in the early chapters of the Bible. The word tehom (“the deep”) in Genesis 1:2 was said to be a late word demonstrating the late writing of the creation story. “Tehom” was part of the vocabulary at Ebla, in use some 800 years before Moses. Ancient customs reflected in the stories of the Patriarchs have also been found in clay tablets from Nuzi and Mari.


[2] The Dead Sea scrolls were discovered in two bouts. The first scrolls discovered were Isaiah A, Isaiah B, the Habakkuk Commentary, the Thanksgiving Scroll, the Community Rule (or the Manual of Discipline), the War Rule (or the War of Sons of Light Against the Sons of Darkness), and the Genesis Apocryphon, the last being in Aramaic. Exploration of the cave, which lay one kilometer north of Wadi Qumran, yielded at least seventy fragments, including bits of the original seven scrolls. The scrolls are dated by artifacts at around 400 B.C. The most interesting fact is that the scripture found aligned with the scripture we have today. All of the Old Testament that we are reading now was the same that was being read thousands of years ago.

When someone challenges the accuracy of the scripture remember that what is being said now was being said then.

Proof of Accuracy:

The bible is said to be inaccurate because we don’t have enough copies near the time of Christ to prove it is true. Aristotle’s book is accredited accurate and read by many without ridicule. He wrote it around 322 BCE, but our most current copy is from 1,100 CE which is a span of 1,400 years. Ignoring the time gap we also only have 49 copies from that time, yet as I said many consider it accurate. The New Testament was originally written around 90 CE and our oldest copy is from 130 CE, which is only a span of 30 years. More interesting is that we have roughly 24,000 copies from that era all saying the same thing. Unfortunately people still want to read their ancient literature and condemn the authenticity of Christianity.

When Were The Books Written?

Because of the reference to the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 CE (Mark 13:2), most scholars believe that Mark was written some time during the war between Rome and the Jews (66-74). Most early dates fall around 65 CE and most late dates fall around 75 CE. This was the first of the gospels formed. Most interesting was that Mark was the most illiterate of the Apostles and his original text contained many grammatical errors, this becomes important later. The rest of the gospels were written between 75 CE and 120 CE. The Epistles were written to the churches between 48 and 67 CE.

An absurd claim is that Christ did not exist and that the gospels were actually written a couple hundred years after they claim to have been. Current archeological, historical, and secular articles infer that Christ was real and was a “problem” for the rest of the world.

[3] A controversy in the Talmud, the written down oral torah and stories surrounding it, is said to describe Jesus by the Jews. There is a story and an insulting reference in the Talmud about Jesus and Mary. This is a non Christian text officially written around 200 CE. Because Jesus and Mary are specifically called out by the writings of a rabbi at the time, we can concur that Jesus was a real person and problem for the Pharisees of the time.

Formation of the Bible:

[4] The Christian bible (gospels) was formed at the council of Nicaea (325 CE.) There is a sea of controversy around the validity of the council. Don’t fall for the bold half supported statements that it was all a hoax if they come your way. Some conspiracy theorists claim that Christianity was actually invented at Nicaea. The Truth is that Constantine held a council of many bishops who he wanted to decide which books written were inspired. Once the gospels were formed Constantine made Christianity the national religion and it exploded.

Is Anything in the Bible Not Original?

There are 3 parts of the bible that scholars confirm are not original. If this is as great a shock to you as me then I can help you through this process. 1 John 5:7-8 is not an original excerpt in the bible and was added during the KJV translation (1611) to help Christians relate to the concept of the Trinity. If you look at any bible with a read along portion, you will see that an author has added incite to help you relate the scripture to certain things.

The women taken in adultery (John 7:53-8:11) was added in early on. The theory behind this is that the story had been passed down among Christians for years as either a parable or a true event. A scribe eventually added it to the gospel.

Finally Mark 16:16-20 was added as an attempt to help the church accept the writings of Apostle Paul. Paul was blessed by God with many things. However many churches did not trust Paul due to his past life of Christian persecution.

When I first heard of this I immediately had a knot in my stomach. The possible thought that my faith was placed in a book that could have had anything added to it disturbed me. Remember 2 Timothy 3:16-17, the bible is inspired and holds true. None of the added verses affect the theology of Christianity; Christ still died for your sins and rose again. However, we cannot say that all of this has been without damage to our faith. Certain sects of Christianity use mark 16:6-20 as a reason to handle snakes. When they get bit and die many question the validity of their preacher. What saddens me the most is that many intelligent people are saying this scripture was added for a specific reason, and yet some will split from their denomination because they want to follow this?

Errors in the Bible:

It has been claimed that there are over 5000 errors or contradictions in the bible. Many non believers will claim these are all detrimental to the Christian faith. However, scholars say that 98.5% of these errors can be accredited to grammatical alterations and corrections. Think of how mark was a poor writer and practically illiterate, his errors were fixed in translations leading to “errors.” This is comparable to finding differences in KJV and NSB, they say the same thing but are written different. The other 1.5% can be seen in the situations like Mark 16.

People will lie:

[5]People will lie about texts in the bible. People will try and tell you about the secret gospel of mark, or the gospel of Jude. Recently an ancient text was “revealed” suggesting that Christ was married. The controversial part is that a portion of the translation says, “Jesus said to them, My wife…” Several key details necessary are that the text was considered fake. It comes from Egypt which holds Coptic Christianity. Coptic Christians believe that Christ was married and have it written in their book. News like this appears at least once a year, we must stand true to the Gospel or lose it all together.

The bible is the Holy and inspired word of God and we can see that God has allowed it to be passed down. Having faith in this is key, and knowing that the Bible is more accurate than anyone wants to admit is uplifting. Follow the facts.

2 comments:

  1. Why did you use CE instead of AD?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When i was using my sources they used CE. I just used the same.

      Delete

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BS, MS - exercise Physiology
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Published Thesis
The impact of three different forms of warm up on performance

Graduate from Midwestern State University, founder of Endunamoo Barbell Club, and Endunamoo Strength and Conditioning. Working to help athletes physically reach their goals and achieve scholarships while spiritually pouring into as many people as possible on all platforms.