Bible, Inpsired, Accurate, Enduring Forever.

The first step in obtaining the TRUTH is to authenticate the Holy Writings of Almighty God, which are collectively referred to as the Bible, consisting of 66 books. Points re accuracy of Bible texts There is solid evidence that the Bible, the inspired Word of God, has been accurately copied and transmitted down to us. The evidence consists of ancient manuscripts available today---perhaps 6,000 of the entire Hebrew scriptures or portions of it and some 5,000 of the Christian Scriptures in Greek. The original Bible writings were handwritten on perishable materials such as papyrus and vellum; none of the originals are known to exist today. Soon after the originals were written, manuscript copies began to be produced. The copyists exercised great care to transmit the text accurately; the Masoretes counted even the letters that they copied. To make the Scriptures available in other languages, Bible translation became necessary. There exist today manuscripts of such early versions as the Septuagint (a translation of the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek, from the third and second centuries B.C.E.) and Jerome's Vulgate (a translation of Hebrew and Greek texts into Latin, originally produced c. 400 C.E.) By a comparative study of hundreds of existing Bible manuscripts, scholars have prepared master texts. These printed editions of original-language texts suggest the best readings available while drawing attention to variations that may exist in certain manuscripts. Texts of the Hebrew Scriptures with comparative readings in footnotes have been prepared by such scholars as Ginsburg and Kittel. Included among the master texts of the Christian Greek Scriptures are those published by Westcott and Hort as well as by Nestle and Aland. Bible translators today generally use original-language master texts to produce modern translations. Dead Sea Scroll When compared with the Masoretic text of more than a thousand years later, the Dead Sea Scroll of Isaiah (dated toward the end of the second century B.C.E.) shows that only minor differences exist, mostly in spelling. Sinatic Manuscript A vellum codex from the fourth century C.E., contains all of the Christian Greek Scriptures and part of the Greek Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Scriptures. Canon Originally the reed (Heb., qa-neh') served as a rule or measuring device. (Ezekiel 40:3-8; 41:8; 42:16-19) The apostle Paul applied ka-non' to the "territory" measured out as his assignment, and again to the "rule of conduct" by which Christians were to measure how they acted. (2Co 10:13-16; Ga 6:16) The "Bible canon" came to denote the catolog of inspired books worthy of being used as a straightedge in measuring faith, doctrine, and conduct. The mere writing of a religious book, its preservation for hundreds of years, and its esteem by millions do not prove it is of divine origin or canonical. It must bear credentials of Divine Authorship demonstrating that it was inspired by God. The apostle Peter states: "Prophecy was at no time brought by man's will, but men spoke from God as they were borne along by holy spirit." (2Pe 1:21) An examination of the Bible canon shows that its contents measure up to this criterion in every respect. Jehovah himself set the precedent for having laws and commandments written down. After speaking to Moses in Mount Sinai, Jehovah "proceeded to give Moses two tablets of the Testimony, tablets of stone written on by God's finger." (Ex 31:18) Later we read, "And Je

Internal Harmony of Bible is Incredible. 2 comments

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True Truthseeker 6 years ago Author

(Ex 31:18) Later we read, "And Jehovah went on to say to Moses: 'Write down for yourself these words.'" (Ex 34:27) Jehovah, therefore, was the one who communicated with Moses and instructed him to write down and preserve the first books of the Bible canon. No council of men made them canonical; from their inception they had divine approval.

"As soon as Moses had finished writing the words of this law in a book, "he commanded the Levites, saying: "Taking this book of the law, you must place it at the side of the ark of the covenant of Jehovah your God, and it must serve as a witness there against you." (De 31:9, 24-26) It is noteworthy that Israel acknowledged this record of God's dealings and did not deny these facts. Since the contents of the books in many instances were a discredit to the nation generally, the people might well have been expected to reject them if possible, but this never seems to have been an issue.

Like Moses, the priestly class were used by God both to preserve these written commandments and to teach

them to the people. When the Ark was brought into Solomon's temple (1027 B.C.E.), nearly 500 years after Moses began writing the Pentateuch, the two stone tablets were still in the Ark (1Ki 8:9), and 385 years after that, when "the very book of the law" was found in the house of Jehovah during Josiah's 18th year (642 B.C.E.), the same high regard for it was shown. (2Ki 22:3, 8-20) Similarly there was "great rejoicing" when, after the return from Babylonian exile, Ezra read from the book of the Law during an eight-day assembly.----Ne 8:5-18.

Following Moses' death, the writings of Joshua, Samuel, Gad, and Nathan (Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 and 2 Samuel) were added. King David and Solomon also made contributions to the growing canon of Holy Writings. Then came the prophets from Jonah to Malachi, each contributing to the Bible canon, each endowed with miraculous prophetic ability from God, each in turn meeting the requirements of true prophets as outlined by Jehovah, namely, they spoke in the name of Jehovah, their prophecy came true, and they turned the people toward God. (De 13:1-3; 18:20-22) When Hananiah and Jeremiah were tested on the last two (both spoke in Jehovah's name), only the words of Jeremiah came to pass. Thus Jeremiah proved to be Jehovah's prophet.---- Jer 28:10-17.

Just as Jehovah inspired men to write, it logically follows that he would direct and watch over the collecting and preserving of these inspired writings in order that mankind would have an enduring canonical straightedge for true worship. According to Jewish tradition, Ezra had a hand in this work after the exiled Jews were resettled in Judah. He was certainly qualified for the work, being one of the inspired Bible writers, a priest, and also "a skilled copyist in the law of Moses." (Ezr 7:1-11) Only the books of Nehemiah and Malachi remained to be added. The canon of the Hebrew Scripture, therefore, was well fixed by the end of the fifth century B.C.E., containing the same writings that we have today.

Christian Greek Scriptures

The writing as well as the collecting of the 27 books comprising the canon of the Christian Greek Scriptures was similar to that of the Hebrew Scriptures. Christ "gave gifts in men," yes, "he gave some as apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelizers, some as shepherds and teachers." (Eph 4:8, 11-13) With God's holy spirit on them they set forth sound doctrine for the Christian congregation and, "by way of a reminder," repeated many things already written in the Scriptures.---- 2Pe 1:12, 13; 3:1; Ro 15:15.

Outside the Scriptures themselves there is evidence that, as early as 90-100 C.E., at least ten of Paul's letters were collected together. It is certain that at an early date Christians were gathering together the inspired Christian writings.

We read that "near the close of the 1st century, Clement bishop of Rome was acquainted with Paul's letter to the church at Corinth. After him, the letters of both Ignatius bishop of Antioch and Polycarp bishop of Smyrna attest the dissemination of the Pauline letters by the second decade of the 2nd century." (The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, edited by G.W. Bromiley, 1979, Vol. 1, p. 603) These were all early writers ---Clement of Rome (30?-100? C.E.), Polycarp (69?-155? C.E.), and Ignatius of Antioch (late 1st and early 2nd centuries C.E.)--- who wove in quotations and extracts from various books of the Christian Greek Scriptures, showing their acquaintance with such canonical writings.

Justin Martyr (died c. 165 C.E.) in his "Dialogue With Trypho, a Jew" (XLIX), used the expression "it is written" when quoting from Matthew, in the same way the Gospels themselves do when referring to the Hebrew Scriptures. The same is also true in an earlier anonymous work, "The Epistle of Barnabas" (IV). Justin Martyr in "The First Apology" (LXVI, LXVII) calls the "memoirs of the apostles" "Gospels."---- The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 1, pp. 220, 139, 185, 186.

Theophilus of Antioch (2nd century C.E.) declared: "Concerning the righteousness which the law enjoined, confirmatory utterances are found both with the prophets and in the Gospels, because they all spoke inspired by one Spirit of God." Theophilus then uses such expressions as 'says the Gospel' (quoting Mt 5:28, 32, 44, 46; 6:3) and "the divine word gives us instructions" ( quoting 1Ti 2;2 and Ro 13:7,8). -----The Ante-Nicene Fathers, 1962, Vol. II, pp. 114, 115, 'Theophilus to Autolycus" (XII, XIII).

By the end of the second century there was no question but that the canon of the Christian Greek Scriptures was closed, and we find such ones as Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, and Tertullian recognizing the writings comprising the Christian Scriptures as carrying authority equal to that of the Hebrew Scriptures.

Dispute

The canonicity of certain individual books of the Christian Greek Scriptures has been disputed by some, but the arguments against them are very weak. For critics to reject, for example, the book of Hebrews simply because it does not bear Paul's name and because it differs slightly in style from his other letters is shallow reasoning. B.F. Westcott observed that "the canonical authority of the Epistle is independent of its Pauline authorship." (The Epistle to the Hebrews, 1892, p. lxxi) Objection on the grounds of unnamed writership is far outweighed by the presence of Hebrews in the Chester Beatty Papyrus No. 2 (P46) {dated within 150 years of Paul's death}, which contains it along with eight other letters of Paul.

Sometimes the canonicity of small books such as James, Jude, Second and Third John, and Second Peter is questioned on the grounds that these books are quoted very little by early writers. However, they make up all together only one thirty-sixth of the Christian Greek Scriptures and were therefore less likely to be referred to. In this connection it may be observed that Second Peter is quoted by Irenaeus as bearing the same evidence of canonicity as the rest of the Greek Scriptures. The same is true of Second John. (The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 1, pp. 551, 557, 341, 443, "Irenaeus Against Heresies") Revelation, also rejected by some, was attested to by many early commentators, including Papias, Justin Martyr, Melito, and Irenaeus.

The real test of canonicity, however, is not how many times or by what nonapostolic writer a certain book has been quoted. The contents of the book itself must give evidence that it is a product of holy spirit. Consequently, it cannot contain superstitions or demonism, nor can it encourage creature worship. It must be in total harmony and complete unity with the rest of the Bible, thus supporting the authorship of Jehovah God. Each book must conform to the divine "pattern of healthful words" and be in harmony with the teachings and activities of Christ Jesus. (2Ti 1:13: 1Co 4:17) The apostles clearly had divine accreditation and they spoke in attestation of such other writers as Luke and James, the half brother of Jesus. By holy spirit the apostles had "discernment of inspired utterances" as to whether such were of God or not.


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Michael Adams1959 6 years ago from Wherever God leads us.

Great job! I like this a lot. Look forward to more of your hubs.

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