Don’t Ask Me That: Trust the Bible?

Not only do we get internal claims, but also external proof that the events actually happened—reality instead of mythology, closeness to the actual events rather than centuries later, but next we get to take on…

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 What Is? People will often say, “The Bible has been copied over and over again-it is like the game telephone that you probably played in school—What started off “Walking in a Winter Wonderland”—becomes “Waltzing in a White Bagel Bag.” Isn’t the Bible—over 2,000 plus years the very same thing?  We have the eyewitnesses like John who said in 1 John—“that which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this is what we proclaim—how does that information get to the next generation or down through the next 20 centuries. You’ve probably heard people make those types of arguments, there is no way I can trust that what happened back then is what I am reading today. If you’ve desired that type of certainty you aren’t alone.   The Bible actually gives us a clue to the link between 1st generations to 2nd generation. In the opening words of Luke’s gospel we see his purpose: Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled[a] among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught. That certainty is what a lot of people are looking for. When there is a quote in red—did Jesus really say—Love your enemies? Did Jesus really say “I’ve come to serve not to be served?” A Sunday-School teacher asked her class on the Sunday before Easter if they knew what happened on Easter and why it was so important. One little girl spoke up saying: “Easter is when the whole family gets together, and you eat turkey and sing about the pilgrims and all that.” “No, that’s not it,” said the teacher.”I know what Easter is,” a second student responded. “Easter is when you get a tree and decorate it and give gifts to everybody and sing lots of songs.””Nope, that’s not it either,” replied the teacher. Finally, a third student spoke up, “Easter is when Jesus was killed, and put in a tomb and left for three days.” “Ah, thank goodness somebody knows” the teacher thought to herself.  But then the student went on: “Then everybody gathers at the tomb and waits to see if Jesus comes out, and if he sees his shadow he has to go back inside and we have six more weeks of winter.”

Yet, we don’t have to worry about Scripture being changed. Scholars have found the writing of Herodotus—considered the Father of History–the earliest manuscript we have is from 1,300 years after the event and we have 8 manuscripts, for Caesar his earliest manuscript is 1,000 years after the events and we have 10 manuscripts, Homer’s the Iliad has the second most manuscripts in antiquity—643— but for the Bible—with events in the lifetime of the participants—has over 6,000 manuscripts, translated into different languages, found in different cultures, and out of 20,000 lines of text in the New Testament, 40 lines are in question—that is .2%, 99.8 percent accurate, with many of those 40 lines of variation being insignificant.

 

 

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