Validating the Biblical Christ

The Word became Jesus the Christ

 

The author of The DaVinci Code and the makers of the movie will never benefit from my patronage. Why? Simply this, once you have the TRUTH, you entertain NOTHING else. So why have I taken the time to even pen a response? Well, if per  chance even ONE person would read and get a positive outcome from all this. Almighty God is quite able to DEFEND and PROTECT his own, but nevertheless here is my 'two pence.'

According to Mr. Boyne's article The Davinci Code would impact negatively NOT ONLY on the Roman Catholics, but also on Protestants. He goes further to say that it will affect Adventists, "Armstrongites", and "Watchtowerism". As a 'man of cloth' Mr. Boyne has shown remarkable (others may say, predictable) lack of FAITH, as has MOST of the other clerics.

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 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. (1Co 12:4, 10) With the death of John, the last apostle, this reliable chain of divinely inspired men came to an end, and so with the Revelation, John's Gospel, and his epistles, the Bible canon closed.

The 66 canonical books of our Bible in their harmonious unity and balance testify to the one-ness and completeness of the Bible and recommend it to us as indeed Jehovah's Word of inspired truth, preserved until now against all its enemies. (1Pe1:25)

 

Bible

   Jehovah God's written Word to humankind. He used some 40 human secretaries over a period of 16 centuries to record it. Thus it is inspired by God. A large portion of the record is made up of actual pronouncements made by Jehovah and details as to the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. In these we find statements of God's requirements for servants and what he will do to bring his grand purpose for the earth to completion. To deepen our appreciation for these things, Jehovah also preserved in the Bible a record demonstrating what happens when individuals and nations listen to God and work in harmony with his purpose, as well as the outcome when they go their own way. By means of this reliable historical record Jehovah acquaints us with his dealings with humankind and thus with his own marvelous personality.  

 

Reasons for considering the Bible.

The Bible itself says it is from God, mankind's Creator.

2 Tim. 3:16, 17: "All scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for setting things straight, for discipling in righteousness, that the man of God may be fully competent, completely equipped for every good work."

Rev. 1:1 : "A revelation by Jesus Christ, which God gave him, to show his slaves the things that must shortly take place."

2 Sam. 23:1, 2: "The utterance of David the son of Jesse......... The spirit of Jehovah it was that spoke by me, and his word was upon my tongue."

Isa. 22: 15: "This is what the Sovereign Lord, Jehovah of armies, has said."  

The Bible, the whole or in part, has been translated into some 1,800 languages. Its circulation totals in the billions. Says The World Book Encyclopedia: "The Bible is the most widely read book in history. It is probably also the most influential. More copies have been distributed of the bible than any other book. It has also been translated more times into more languages than any other book."___(1984), Vol. 2, p. 219.

 

Contents scientifically sound on matters that human researchers discovered only at a later date.

 

Origin of the Universe: Gen. 1:1: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." In 1978, astronomer Robert Jastrow wrote: "Now we see how the astronomical evidence leads to a biblical view of the origin of the world. The details differ, but the essential elements in the astronomical and biblical accounts of Genesis are the same: the chain of events leading to man commenced suddenly and sharply at a definite moment in time, in a flash of light and energy."__ God and the Astronomers (New York, 1978), p. 14.

 

Isaiah 40:26: "Raise your eyes high up and see. Who has created these things? It is the One who is bringing forth the army of them even by number, all of whom he calls even by name. Due to the abundance of dynamic energy, he also being vigorous in power, not one [of them] is missing.

 

Shape of Planet Earth:

Isaiah 40:22: "There is One who is dwelling above the circle of the earth." In ancient times the general opinion was that the earth was flat. It was not until over 200 years after this Bible text had been written that a school of Greek philosophers reasoned that the earth likely was spherical, and in another 300 years a Greek astronomer calculated the approximate radius of the earth. But the idea of a spherical earth was not the general view even then. Only in the 20th century has it been possible for humans to travel by airplane, and later into outerspace and even to the moon, thus giving them a clear view of "the circle" of the earth's horizon.

Animal Life: Lev. 11:6: "The hare........is a chewer of the cud." Though this was long attacked by some critics, the rabbit's cud chewing was finally observed by Englishman William Cowper in the 18th century. The unusual way in which it is done was described in 1940 in Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, Vol. 110, Series A, pp. 159-163.

Its internal harmony is significant.

This is especially so in view of the fact that the books of the Bible were recorded by some forty men as diverse as king, prophet, herdsman, tax collector, and physician. They did the writing over a period of 1,610 years; so there was no opportunity for collusion. Yet their writings agree, even in the smallest detail. To appreciate the extent to which the various portions of the Bible are harmoniously interwined, you must read and study it personally.

How can we be sure the Bible has not been changed?

"In the number of ancient MSS. [manuscripts] attesting a writing, and in the number of years that had elapsed between the original and the attesting MSS., the Bible enjoys a decided advantage over classical writings [those of Homer, Plato, and others].....Altogether classsical MSS. are but a handful compared with the Biblical. No ancient book is so well attested as the Bible."___ The Bible From the Beginning (New York, 1929), P. Marion Simms, pp. 74, 76.

A report published in 1971 shows that there are possibly 6,000 handwritten copies containing all or part of the Hebrew Scriptures [books of the so-called Old Testament]; the oldest dates back to the third century B.C.E.  Of the Christian Greek Scriptures [books of the so-called New Testament], there are some 5,000 in Greek, the oldest dating back to the beginning of the second century C.E. There are also many copies of early translations into other languages.

In the introduction to his seven volumes on The Chester Beatty Biblical Papyri, Sir Frederic Kenyon wrote: "The first and most important conclusion derived from the examination of them [the papyri] is the satisfactory one that they confirm the essential soundness of the existing texts. No striking or fundamental variation is shown either in the Old or the New Testament. There are no important omissions or additions of passages, and no variations which affect vital facts or doctrines. The variations of text affect minor matters, such as the order of words or the precise words used...... But their essential importance is their confirmation, by evidence of an earlier date than was hitherto available, of the integrity of our existing texts."__-(London, 1933), p. 15.   

It is true that some translations of the Bible adhere more closely to what is in the original languages than others do. Modern paraphrase Bibles have taken liberties that at times alter the original meaning. Some translators have allowed personal beliefs to colour their renderings. But these weaknesses can be identified by comparison of a variety of translations.  

 Secondly, we authenticate the role of Jesus Christ.

 Now this is the witness of John [the baptist] when the Jews sent forth priests and Levites from Jerusalem to him to ask him: "Who are you?" And he confessed and did not deny, but confessed: "I am not the Christ." And they asked him: "What, then? Are you Elijah?" And he said: "I am not." "Are you The Prophet?" And he answered: "No!" Therefore they said to him: "Who are you? that we may give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?" He said: "I am a voice of someone crying out in the wilderness, 'MAKE the way of Jehovah straight,' just as ISAIAH the prophet said." NOW THOSE SENT FORTH WERE FROM THE PHARISEES.  John 1:19-24.

Two things are NOTEWORTHY here; (1) the Pharisees indirectly asked the questions and if they were accurately INTERPRETING the Scriptures then they would have ACCEPTED Jesus Christ as the Messiah, (2) John the Baptist quoted from Isaiah 40:3, of all the prophets, Isaiah has the most references to the Messiah. 

 

He was hard pressed, and he was letting himself be afflicted; yet he would not open his mouth. He was being brought just like a sheep to the slaughtering, and like a ewe that before her shearers has become mute, he also would not open his mouth. Because of restraint and of judgement he was taken away, and who will concern himself even with [the details of] his generation? For he was severed from the land of the living ones. Because of the transgression of my people he had the stroke. And he will make his burial place even with the wicked ones, and with the rich class in his death, despite the fact that he had done no violence and there was no deception in his mouth. Isaiah 53:7-9. [New World Translation]. 

 

Hence when the men saw the signs he performed, they began to say: "This is for a certainty the prophet that was to come into the world." John 6:14.

Therefore some of the crowd that heard these words began saying: "This is for a certainty The Prophet." John 7:40

A prophet I shall raise up FOR THEM, FROM THE MIDST OF THEIR BROTHERS, like you; and I shall indeed put my words in his mouth, and he will certainly speak to them all that I shall command him. "However, the prophet WHO PRESUMES TO SPEAK IN MY NAME a word that I have not commanded him to speak or who speaks in the name of other gods, THAT PROPHET MUST DIE. Deuteronomy 18:18, 19.

.......because I have not spoken out of my own impulse, but the Father himself who sent me has given me a commandment as to what to tell and what to speak. John 12:49.

....and that he may send forth the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven, indeed, must hold within itself until the times of restoration of all things of which God spoke through the mouth 

of his holy prophets of old time. IN FACT, Moses said, 'Jehovah God will raise up for you from among your brothers a prophet like me. You must listen to him according to all the things he speaks to you. Acts 3:20-22.

 

His ABILITY TO PERFORM POWERFUL WORKS and to DISCERN matters in a way BEYOND the ordinary caused others to recognize him as a prophet (Luke 7:14-16; John 4:16-19; compare 2 Kings 6:12). More than all others he was one in God's "intimate group." (Jeremiah 23:18; John 1:18; 5:36; 8:42). He regularly quoted earlier prophets as testifying to his divine commission and office. ( Matthew 12:39, 40; 21:42; Luke 4:18-21; 7:27; 24:25-27, 44; John 15:25)

 He foretold the manner of his own betrayal and death, that as a prophet he would die at Jerusalem, "the killer of the prophets," that his disciples would abandon him, that Peter would deny him three times, that he would be resurrected on the third day- many of these prophecies being based on earlier prophecies in the Hebrew Scriptures. (Luke 13:33, 34; Matthew 20:17-19; 26:20-25, 31-34) Beyond this, he foretold the DESTRUCTION of JERUSALEM and ITS TEMPLE. (Luke 19:41-44; 21:5-24 also Matthew 24 and Mark 13) The precise fulfillment of all of these within the life of those hearing him gave SOLID BASIS FOR FAITH AND CONVICTION AS TO the fulfillment of his prophecies relating to his presence. Compare Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 21.

The angel Gabriel tells Daniel: "There are seventy weeks that have been determined upon your holy city, in order to terminate the transgression, and to finish off sin, and to make atonement for error, and to bring in righteousness for times indefinite, and to imprint a seal upon vision and prophet, and to anoint the Holy of Holies. And you should know and have the insight that from the going forth of the word to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem until MESSIAH the Leader, there will be seven weeks, also sixty-two weeks. She will return and be actually rebuilt, with a public square and moat, but in the straits of the times." --- Daniel 9:24, 25. 

"Messiah the Leader" would appear at a specific time, this would occur within "seventy weeks." Since Gabriel does not mention days, these are not weeks of seven days each, which would amount to 490 days-- a mere year and a third. The foretold rebuilding of Jerusalem "with a public square and moat" took much longer than that.

THE WEEKS ARE WEEKS OF YEARS. That each week is seven years long is suggested by a number of modern translations. Example, "seventy weeks of years" is a rendering indicated by a footnote on Daniel 9:24 in Tanakh- The Holy Scriptures, published by The Jewish Publication Society.  See also; translations by Moffatt and Rotherham etc.

According to the angel's words, the "seventy weeks" would be divided into three periods: (1) "seven weeks," (2) "sixty-two weeks," and (3) one week. That would be 49 years, 434 years, and 7 years-- totaling 490 years. [ The Revised English Bible reads: "Seventy times seven years are marked out for your people and your holy city." ]

So, following their exile and suffering in Babylon for 70 years, the Jews would experience special favour from God for 490 years, or 70 years x 7. THE STARTING POINT would be "the going forth of the word to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem." WHEN would this be?

 

In the 20th year of Persian king Artaxerxes. Nehemiah 1:1-3; 2:1-3.

The account involving Nehemiah continues: "In turn the king said to me: 'What is this that you are seeking to secure?' At once I prayed to the God of the heavens. After that I said to the king: 'If to the king it does seem good, and if your servant seems good before you, that you would send me to Judah, to the city of the burial places of my forefathers, that I may rebuild it.'

Nehemiah 2:4-8 shows that the king gave letters authorizing Nehemiah's mission of rebuilding Jerusalem.The actual "going forth of the word to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem" occurred when Nehemiah arrived in Jerusalem and began his work of restoration. Artaxerxes' 20th year = 455 B.C.E.  

"Messiah The Leader " Appears

How many years elapsed before Jerusalem was actually rebuilt? Well, the restoration of the city was to be accomplished "in the straits of the times" because of difficulties among the Jews themselves and opposition from the Samaritans and others. The work was evidently completed to the extent necessary by about 406 B.C.E. -within the "seven weeks," or 49 years. (Daniel 9:25) A period of 62 weeks, or [62 x 7] 434 years, would follow. AFTER THAT TIME PERIOD, the long-promised Messiah [Seed] would appear. COUNTING 483 YEARS [49 PLUS 434] FROM 455 B.C.E. BRINGS US TO 29 C.E. What happened at that time? The Gospel writer Luke tells us: "IN THE FIFTEENTH YEAR of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was district ruler of Galilee...... God's declaration came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness. So he came into all the country around the Jordan, preaching baptism in symbol of repentance for forgiveness of sins." At that TIME "THE PEOPLE WERE IN EXPECTATION" of the Messiah. Luke 3:1-3, 15.

John was NOT the promised Messiah. But concerning what he witnessed at the baptism of Jesus of Nazareth, in the fall of 29 C.E., John said: "I viewed the spirit coming down as a dove out of heaven, and it remained upon him. Even I did not know him, but the very One who sent me to baptize in water said to me, 'Whoever it is upon whom you see the spirit coming down and remaining, this is the one that baptizes in holy spirit.' AND I HAVE SEEN IT, AND I HAVE BORNE WITNESS THAT this one is the Son of God." John 1:32-34. AT HIS BAPTISM, Jesus became the Anointed One-the Messiah, or Christ.

 

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BL Tween 5 years ago

Excellent! You are right, science proves the Bible is true. If the Bible is true, then the one who wrote it, “directed through men“, is Real! And HE IS!

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