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The Bible - Part 2

17 April 2012, 08:03

What further proof is there that highlights the Bible to be such a fascinating book in our modern times? It is its authenticity and its ability to survive against all odds? What exactly is authenticity in layman's term?
A certain online dictionary defines authenticity as "the truthfulness of origins, attributions, commitments, sincerity, devotion, and intentions...the quality of being genuine of undisputed origin or authorship; accurate in representation of the facts; trustworthy; reliable; an authentic account". 
Does the Bible fit such a description? Is it the "word of God" as some people claims it to be or is it merely a book concocted by humans to drive you insane? Many of today's christian religions believe the Bible to be a presentation of the evidence for the truth about the Christian Faith and more.

These people also tell of a twofold composition:

1.Human writers ,and

2.Divine inspiration and producer/director. Does the accuracy of the Bible requires a response? Sure it does. And from critics galore no doubt especially on news forums.
Sir Frederic Kenyon,a British paleographer, biblical and classical scholar,once wrote:"Both the authenticity and the general integrity of the books of [the Bible] may be regarded as finally established...It cannot be too strongly asserted that in substance the text of the Bible is certain. . . . This can be said of no other ancient book in the world,except the Bible."

1.The Bible longevity...

There is no original manuscripts and text of the Bible available today. All that remains are just handwritten copies of the entire Bible and in some cases certain portions of it. Remarkably some of these are very,very old. Still,scholar W. H. Green,said concerning the Old Testament: "It may be safely said that no other work of antiquity has been so accurately transmitted."

The Bible has become mankind’s best-known book,to the obviously irritation of some people.Infact concerted effort were made in bygone times and in modern times to completely wipe out the Bible from our world. It all failed.

For example in 303 AD,Roman Emperor Diocletian,one of many such madmen, ordered that his soldiers smash down the doors of a church and burn any and all the copies of the Bible that they can lay their hands on. Diocletian thought he could eliminate Christianity by destroying their sacred writings. Following on with this crazy act of his, he then decreed the next day that throughout the Roman Empire, all copies of the Bible should be publicly burned. Amazingly copies of the Bible in that empire's era survived until today by it being reproduced shortly after his decree.

Most notably are large sections of two copies of the Bible in Greek that were made just after Diocletian’s persecution,that survives even until today. One these are in Rome,Italy and the other one is in the British Library in London, England.

How about that! Its as the Bible itself says:"...the grass withers and the flowers fall,but the word of the Lord endures forever"(1Peter 1:24-25).
2.The Moabite Stone...
What is the Moabite stone and what is its relevance to the Bible's accuracy? In short, the Moabite stone is a 3,000 years old monolith or piece of rock that was discovered in 1868 about 20 miles east of the Dead Sea.It was erected by King Mesha of Moab(840BC) to his god Chemosh.The stone celebrates Mesha’s breaking up of Israel’s domination over Moab that lasted for about 40 years. These events are spoken of in detail in the Bible at 2 Kings chapter 3.Places that Mesha captured were Medeba, Ataroth, Nebo, and Jahaz.All these places are mentioned by him on his Moabite Stone as well as in the Bible. In 1873 the Moabite Stone was restored,with its plaster casts of the missing text being added to it and then put on exhibition in the Louvre museum in Paris, where it has remained until today. Thus this stone verifies the accuracy of the Bible.
3.Denarius Coin With Tiberius’ Inscription...
At Mark 12:15-17,opposers of the man Jesus tried to trap him by asking about the matter of paying head tax to Caesar. The record reads: "Detecting their hypocrisy, Jesus says:"Why do you put me to the test? Bring me a denarius to look at...They brought one. And he then said to them: ‘Whose image and inscription is this?’ They said to him: ‘Caesar’s.’ Jesus then said: ‘Pay back Caesar’s things to Caesar, but God’s things to God.’ And they began to marvel at him."
What's so fascinating about all this is that archaeologists have found artefacts in support of a silver denarius coin bearing the head of Tiberius Caesar that was put in circulation about 15 AD. This is consistent with Tiberius’ period of rule as emperor, which began in 14 AD. Again the Bible's accuracy of accounts and events supersedes it all.

4.The Dead Sea Scrolls...

The Dead Sea was dubbed the greatest archaeological discovery of the 20th century. Professor Julio Trebolle Barrera,an expert who studied and published the ancient manuscripts known as the Dead Sea Scrolls,wrote:"The transmission of the text of the Hebrew Bible[Old Testament] is of extraordinary exactitude, without parallel in Greek and Latin classical literature."

Well respected Bible scholar F. F. Bruce said on this:"The evidence for our New Testament writings is ever so much greater than the evidence for many writings of classical authors, the authenticity of which no one dreams of questioning."

The Dead Sea Scrolls are dated to the second and first centuries BC.So far,more than 200 Biblical manuscripts had been found at the Qumran Caves,were the dead sea scrolls were discovered. Bible books of Psalms had 36 copies found,the book of Deuteronomy had 29 copies, and the book of Isaiah had 21 copies.

The dead sea scrolls highlights the fact that Bible has never gone through fundamental changes,different versions of text yes with each having its own variations as you can imagine,but that's all there is too it. Spelling and different wording here and there in the Masoretic Text was found, but that is blamed largely on the translator of the script at the time than anything else. The Qumran Sect of followers was just one of many forms of Judaism in the time of Jesus,and that is reflected in the way the dead sea scrolls were copied.

The World’s Religions  wrote: "All Christians accept the Bible as authoritative, both in guiding their actions and in forming their beliefs."

Despite the opinion of the many on this forum,The New Encyclopædia Britannica calls the Bible "probably the most influential collection of books in human history."

References: › Catholic Encyclopaedia › Authenticity › Textual Criticism. sea.

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