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.
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.
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