Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Has The Bible been corrupted?

I have a Muslim friend trying to claim that the bible has been changed or corrupted over time, I have asked him to provide proof of his claims, I have yet to see any....now I know that many people don't want to believe the truth that the bible has in fact been miraculasly preserved over these thousands of years...BUT those who actually have an open mind about this, and actually really read through the evidence, you can see for yourself that there is historical and archeological evidence prooving that the bible has been preserved....God is All-knowing, and All-powerful, and He has protected the bible.
so if you have an open heart about this, please read through the evidence, see for yourself what History prooves.

Question: "Has the Bible been corrupted, altered, edited, revised, or tampered with?"

The books of the Old Testament were written from approximately 1400 B.C. to 400 B.C. The books of the New Testament were written from approximately A.D. 40 to A.D. 90. So, anywhere between 3400 to 1900 years have passed since a book of the Bible was written. In this time, the original manuscripts have been lost. They very likely no longer exist. Also during this time, the books of the Bible have been copied again and again. Copies of copies of copies have been made. In view of this, can we still trust the Bible?

When God originally inspired men to write His Word, it was God-breathed and inerrant (2 Timothy 3:16-17John 17:17). The Bible nowhere applies this to copies of the original manuscripts. As meticulous as scribes were with the replication of the Scriptures, no one is perfect. As a result, minor differences arose in the various copies of the Scriptures. Of all of the thousands of Greek and Hebrew manuscripts that are in existence, no two were identical until the printing press was invented in the A.D. 1500s.

However, any unbiased document scholar will agree that the Bible has been remarkably well-preserved over the centuries. Copies of the Bible dating to the 14th century A.D. are nearly identical in content to copies from the 3rd century A.D. When the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered, scholars were shocked to see how similar they were to other ancient copies of the Old Testament, even though the Dead Sea Scrolls were hundreds of years older than anything previously discovered. Even many hardened skeptics and critics of the Bible admit that the Bible has been transmitted over the centuries far more accurately than any other ancient document.

There is absolutely no evidence that the Bible has been revised, edited, or tampered with in any systematic manner. The sheer volume of biblical manuscripts makes it simple to recognize any attempts to distort God’s Word. There is no major doctrine of the Bible that is put in doubt as a result of the minor differences that exist between manuscripts.

Again, the question, can we trust the Bible? Absolutely! God has preserved His Word despite the unintentional failings and intentional attacks of human beings. We can have utmost confidence that the Bible we have today is the same Bible that was originally written. The Bible is God’s Word, and we can trust it (2 Timothy 3:16Matthew 5:18).

Many skeptics believe that the Bible has been drastically changed over the centuries. In reality, the Bible has been translated into a number of different languages (first Latin, then English and other languages, see History of the Bible). However, the ancient manuscripts (written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek) have been reliably copied over the centuries - with very few alterations.

Old Testament

How do we know the Bible has been kept in tact for over 2,000 years of copying? Before the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, our earliest Hebrew copy of the Old Testament was the Masoretic text, dating around 800 A.D. The Dead Sea Scrolls date to the time of Jesus and were copied by the Qumran community, a Jewish sect living around the Dead Sea. We also have the Septuagint which is a Greek translation of the Old Testament dating in the second century B.C. When we compare these texts which have an 800-1000 years gap between them we are amazed that 95% of the texts are identical with only minor variations and a few discrepancies.

New Testament

There are tens of thousands of manuscripts from the New Testament, in part or in whole, dating from the second century A.D. to the late fifteenth century, when the printing press was invented. These manuscripts have been found in Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Turkey, Greece, and Italy, making collusion unlikely. The oldest manuscript, the John Rylands manuscript, has been dated to 125 A.D. and was found in Egypt, some distance from where the New Testament was originally composed in Asia Minor. Many early Christian papyri, discovered in 1935, have been dated to 150 A.D., and include the four gospels. The Papyrus Bodmer II, discovered in 1956, has been dated to 200 A.D., and contains 14 chapters and portions of the last seven chapters of the gospel of John. The Chester Beatty biblical papyri, discovered in 1931, has been dated to 200-250 A.D. and contains the Gospels, Acts, Paul's Epistles, and Revelation. The number of manuscripts is extensive compared to other ancient historical writings, such as Caesar's "Gallic Wars" (10 Greek manuscripts, the earliest 950 years after the original), the "Annals" of Tacitus (2 manuscripts, the earliest 950 years after the original), Livy (20 manuscripts, the earliest 350 years after the original), and Plato (7 manuscripts).
Manuscript Evidence for Ancient Writings
AuthorWrittenEarliest CopyTime Span# Mss.
Caesar100-44 B.C.900 A.D.1,000 yrs10
Plato427-347 B.C.900 A.D.1,200 yrs7
Thucydides460-400 B.C.900 A.D.1,300 yrs8
Tacitus100 A.D.1100 A.D.1,000 yrs20
Suetonius75-160 A.D.950 A.D.800 yrs8
Homer (Iliad)900 B.C.400 B.C.500 yrs643
New Testament40-100 A.D.125 A.D.25-50 yrs24,000
Thousands of early Christian writings and lexionaries (first and second century) cite verses from the New Testament. In fact, it is nearly possible to put together the entire New Testament just from early Christian writings. For example, the Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians (dated 95 A.D.) cites verses from the Gospels, Acts, Romans, 1 Corinthians, Ephesians, Titus, Hebrews, and 1 Peter. The letters of Ignatius (dated 115 A.D.) were written to several churches in Asia Minor and cites verses from Matthew, John, Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus. These letters indicate that the entire New Testament was written in the first century A.D. In addition, there is internal evidence for a first century date for the writing of the New Testament. The book of Acts ends abruptly with Paul in prison, awaiting trial (Acts 28:30-31 (1)). It is likely that Luke wrote Acts during this time, before Paul finally appeared before Nero. This would be about 62-63 A.D., meaning that Acts and Luke were written within thirty years of ministry and death of Jesus. Another internal evidence is that there is no mention of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. Although Matthew, Mark and Luke record Jesus' prophecy that the temple and city would be destroyed within that generation (Matthew 24:1-2(2),Mark 13:1-2 (3)Luke 21:5-9,20-24,32(4)), no New Testament book refers to this event as having happened. If they had been written after 70 A.D., it is likely that letters written after 70 A.D. would have mentioned the fulfillment of Jesus' prophecy. As stated by Nelson Glueck, former president of the Jewish Theological Seminary in the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, and renowned Jewish archaeologist, "In my opinion, every book of the New Testament was written between the forties and eighties of the first century A.D."

Conclusion Top of page

With all of the massive manuscript evidence you would think there would be massive discrepancies - just the opposite is true. New Testament manuscripts agree in 99.5% (5) of the text (compared to only 95% for the Iliad). Most of the discrepancies are in spelling and word order. A few words have been changed or added. There are two passages that are disputed but no discrepancy is of any doctrinal significance (i.e., none would alter basic Christian doctrine). Most Bibles include the options as footnotes when there are discrepancies. How could there be such accuracy over a period of 1,400 years of copying? Two reasons: The scribes that did the copying had meticulous methods for checking their copies for errors. 2) The Holy Spirit made sure we would have an accurate copy of God's word so we would not be deceived. The Mormons, theological liberals as well as other cults and false religions such as Islam that claim the Bible has been tampered with are completely proven false by the extensive, historical manuscript evidence.

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I myself was shocked that the bible had the most ancient manuscripts found....but as you can see from the EVIDENCE the bible today and the ancient manuscripts agree 99.5%!!! that is amazing....that prooves just how awesome God is....

anyway if you'd like to know more post a comment or email me at thelightministries7@hotmail.com

Blessings be on you

~Into The Light~

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