hotrodhell

Biblical Myths

In Apologetics, Chrisitian, Christ, Christian, Christianity, Prayer, Satan, Saved, Sin, Sunday School, Trinity on February 28, 2010 at 9:44 pm

Dear doubter,

In your most recent letter the editor, you made much about the lack of any historical basis for the truths of the Bible. You implied the world would be better off if we “Christians” would not take the Bible so literal and that it can’t be the Word of God I quote “hard truth.”

My response to your criticism begins with the veracity of the scripture. We have excellent reason to believe the Bible is the Word of God. Just how accurate is the Bible when it comes to history? To begin the Bible is a collection of 66 books written over 1500 years by some 40 authors, spanning 3 continents, written in 3 languages, which addresses hundreds of controversial subjects and presents a single unfolding story. God’s redemption of man! It is by far the most challenged writing of antiquity, surviving grueling standards of testing and yet it has proven its reliability again and again. To stay brief I will review a few myths that archeology and history uncovered that sustained the reliability of the Bible. 

  1. If we compare the Gospels with other ancient manuscripts, how does it stand up in comparison?
Work When

Written

Earliest

Copy

Time Span No. of Copies
Homer 900 BC 400 BC 500 years 643
Caesar’s Gallic War 100-44 BC 800 AD 900 years 10
Plato’s Tetralogies 427-347 BC 900 AD 1200 years 7
Gospel’s 40-100 AD 125 AD 25 years 24000

 

“To be skeptical of the resultant text of the New Testament is to allow all of classical antiquities to slip into obscurity, for no documents of the ancient period are as well attested bibliographically as the New Testament.”

John Warwick Montgomery -is a scholarly maverick who has 11 earned degrees in multiple disciplines: philosophylibrarianshiptheology, and law. His degrees include: the A.B. with distinction in Philosophy (Cornell UniversityPhi Beta Kappa), B.L.S. and M.A. (University of California, Berkeley), B.D. and S.T.M. (Wittenberg UniversitySpringfield, Ohio), LL.B. (La Salle Extension University), M. Phil. in Law (University of Essex, England), Ph.D. (University of Chicago), Th.D Doctorat d’Universite (University of Strasbourg), LLM and LLD in canon law (Cardiff University).

There are many others at this level of education and creditability who will attest to the same statement or similar statements of authenticity.

  1. The Great Isaiah text versus the Masoretic Isaiah text: We have here two identical books from the Old Testament that are separated by 1000 years in publication. The first question that has to be answered “How different are they?” The great Isaiah text was found in 1947 as part of the Dead Sea scrolls and other major writings from 68 AD. The Masoretic test was relied upon by Jewish and Christian scholars for centuries and date from the 9th century AD. So how do they match up? The accuracy is astonishing for an ancient manuscript and is word for word identical with our standard Hebrew Bible in 95% of the text. The 5% of variation consists in minor variations of spelling.

 

  1. Let’s visit one miracle from the New Testament the darkness described in the Gospels at the time of Jesus crucifixion. We refer to a statement from Julius Africanus writing in 221 AD who gives a skeptical explanation of the darkness that happened at Jesus’ death, denying the theological significance of the darkness at Jesus’ crucifixion but giving external corroboration that the darkness was a historical fact.

 

For the lack of space I will refer to these basic examples of the “hard truth” of the scriptures. I have several questions for “Dear doubter”. Are you absolutely sure miracles did not occur as described in the Bible? The answer would have you claiming absolute knowledge for all time eternity. Have you read the reactions of those who witnessed the miracles? Their reactions to the supernatural were uniquely human they were frightened. Who witnessed the miracles what type of people are they? As we read the scriptures we see they were ordinary fisherman down to earth types. The miracles are presented in context as realistic. How would you describe 911 from your perspective?

The real point seems to be “truth” and how can we know it? May I suggest you examine Christianity first? Of all the major world religions it has a basis that can be tested. To quote Craig Hazen “one can bring evidence to bear on it to determine if it’s likely true or false.”

The evidence supports the truth of the Bible as far the world being a better place if it were not taken seriously has a major flaw as proved by recent history. When we look at the 20th century and how philosophers like Friedrich Nietzsche, John Paul Sartre claimed God is Dead while attacking the Bible.  How the world was made better with their thinking is seen in the actions of Hitler, Stalin, and others like them who have killed more people than all the previous 19 centuries put together! I would have to disagree the world would be better off without the Bible. A wise man said never judge a theology based on its abuse but on its truth claims.

In closing I want to take  just a minute to introduce the Jesus of the Bible. He claimed to be God in the flesh living on this earth as one of His creatures. God gave us His law to live by and we disobeyed it. Let’s examine just a few quickly:

Do not lie- have you ever told a lie even a white lie or a small deception? The law says we have broken it and we are liars. The judgment for lying:  (Rev 21:8 HCSB)  But the cowards, unbelievers, vile, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars–their share will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

Do not covet- have you ever wanted something so bad you have and would put yourself at finical risk to have it at any means? The law says we have broken it and we are coveters. (Jas 4:2-4 HCSB)  You desire and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and don’t receive because you ask wrongly, so that you may spend it on your desires for pleasure. Adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? So whoever wants to be the world’s friend becomes God’s enemy.

Do not steal- have you ever taken anything that wasn’t yours no matter how small? The law says we have broken it and we are thieves. (1Co 6:9-10 HCSB)  Do you not know that the unjust will not inherit God’s kingdom? Do not be deceived: no sexually immoral people, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexuals, thieves, greedy people, drunkards, revilers, or swindlers will inherit God’s kingdom.

We’ve only covered 3 of the 10 commandments and the pattern is already in place break the commands of God no matter how small and the judgment of God is in place to penalize you. Hell is a real place that real sinners go to when they die.

Mat 10:28 AMP) And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; but rather be afraid of Him who can destroy both soul and body in hell (Gehenna).

(Mat 13:41-43 HCSB)  The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather from His kingdom everything that causes sin and those guilty of lawlessness. They will throw them into the blazing furnace where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in their Father’s kingdom. Anyone who has ears should listen!

Food for thought and consideration:

(Mar 8:36-38 HCSB)  For what does it benefit a man to gain the whole world yet lose his life?

What can a man give in exchange for his life? For whoever is ashamed of Me and of My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”

(Act 3:19 HCSB)  Therefore repent and turn back, that your sins may be wiped out so that seasons of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,

You see the only way we can “Do unto to others as we want them to do unto us” is to know the author of love.

Christian.

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