Is the New Testament Accurate and Reliable? Archaeology?

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posted on Aug, 16 2005 @ 03:19 AM
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Is the New Testament Accurate and Reliable?

Existing Manuscripts

Many people wonder if today’s Bible matches that of the original.
o The fact is there are over 24,000 surviving ancient manuscripts. More than any other ancient work.
o When the text of these manuscripts are compared, they show a remarkable textual reliability.
o Forty of the Greek manuscripts date back before 300 AD, several date to the second century. One portion of the Gospel of John dates to circa 110 AD (as a point of reference, Jesus was crucified around 32 AD).

“At present, we have more than six thousand manuscript copies of the Greek New Testament or portions thereof. No other work of Greek literature can boast of such numbers… Furthermore, it must be said that the amount of time between the original composition and the next surviving manuscript is far less for the New Testament than for any other work in Greek literature.”
Philip W. Comfort, Bible Researcher

Internal Test

When researchers analyze historical documents, they use several criteria to determine accuracy. Below we walk through each criterion and evaluate how the Bible stands.

Historical Criteria


New Testament

Was the author in the position to know what they where writing about?


All of the New Testament was written by either those who witnessed the events first-hand or recorded direct eyewitness accounts.

Do the writings contain specific, often irrelevant material? Accurate first-hand accounts often contain specific details, to the point that they seem irrelevant.


The gospel accounts include massive amounts of details that do not add any relevance to the account. A few examples from the Resurrection account are below:
o John ran faster than Peter to the tomb.
o Peter entered the tomb first.
o The cloth covering Jesus was folded up and placed by itself.

Does the writing contain material that might cast a negative image on the writer or heroes of the story?


The New Testament contains several instances of information that casts a shadow on the apostles. A few examples are below.
o The Gospel of Mark is written on Peter’s eyewitness account yet tells us that Peter denied the Lord three times.
o Women were the first witnesses to Jesus’ resurrection. In that culture the testimony of women was not seen as reliable.
o Through-out the entire gospels the disciples are described as full of doubt.

Is the document reasonably self-consistent?


There are no contradictory accounts in the New Testament teachings.

Would the authors of the document have a motive for fabricating what they wrote?


The writers of the New Testament had no reason to fabricate what they wrote. In fact they had everything to lose (family, friends, even their lives).

Are there other sources that confirm material in the original work?


There are several historical documents which mention the existence of Jesus and his followers.

Archaeological Evidence

Archaeology has shown many of the events, places, and people of the New Testament are consistent with history.
o Many of the cities mentioned in the New Testament accounts have recently been found in archeological projects. These cities include the towns of Capernaum, Bethsaida, Chorazin, and Tiberias.
o Several sites described in the New Testament have been rediscovered recently. These include the Pool of Bethesda, the Pool of Siloam, and Jacob’s Well.
o Mentions of many of the individuals of the New Testament accounts have been found. These include Pontius Pilatus and King Herod.
o The New Testament account mentions a census taken that required all men to return to the city they were originally from. The record of these types of census was unproven until recently when a official government order from 104 AD was found describing the practice as law.

When Were They Written

The entire New Testament was written before 150 AD with many of the books completed much earlier.
o Experts date Mark as the earliest gospel at 68 AD
o Matthew is believed to be written between 70-85 AD
o Luke is usually placed in the 80-95 AD timeframe
o The rest of the New Testament is believed to have been written between 51-150 AD
o Some scholars believe that all of the gospels were written before 70 AD as Jesus prophesized the destruction of the Jewish Temple, which did occur in 70 AD. These scholars believe the gospels would have mentioned this fact if they were written after the destruction.

Witnesses

Most of the New Testament was written while first-hand witness to Jesus’ miracles and resurrection were still alive. If the events that are described in the gospels are not true those who knew better had the ability to speak out against their reliability.

“ After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.” 1 Corinthians 15:6


LINK


Now slam the site you liberal heathens, but as this one site states and I ahve seen it many times elsewhere, the New Testament is one of the most well documented ancient books that we DO have.


Archaeology and the New Testament


Now lets see some of the evidence,

There is an ongoing debate among scholars regarding the historical accuracy of the Bible. Some feel that the Bible is a fictitious work and should be read as a work of literary fiction. Others feel it is an accurate historical work divinely inspired by God. Archaeology has played a major role in determining the trustworthiness of the Bible. In a previous article, we discussed archaeological confirmations of the Old Testament. In this one, we will look at the archaeological discoveries that have confirmed the historical accuracy of the New Testament. There is a great deal of evidence outside of the Bible that confirms the account of Jesus as written in the Gospels.


1st, the most common one used,

Historical Confirmation of Jesus
The first evidence comes from the four Gospels which, themselves, are proven to be accurate.{1} Outside the biblical text are several witnesses as well. Jewish historian Josephus (37 A.D.–100 A.D.) recorded the history of the Jewish people in Palestine from 70 A.D. to 100 A.D. In his work Antiquities, he states:

Now there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the gentiles. He was the Christ and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him. For he appeared alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct to this day.{2}

Although he mentions Jesus in a sarcastic way, Josephus confirms the facts that Jesus did do many great miracles, drew a following, was crucified, and was proclaimed alive on the third day.


2nd, one I did not know of


Pliny the Younger, Emperor of Bythynia in northwestern Turkey, writing to Emperor Trajan in 112 A.D. writes:

They were in the habit of meeting on a certain fixed day before it was light, when they sang an anthem to Christ as God, and bound themselves by a solemn oath not to commit any wicked deed, but to abstain from all fraud, theft and adultery, never to break their word, or deny a trust when called upon to honor it; after which it was their custom to separate, and then meet again to partake of food, but ordinary and innocent kind.


And this one is even better,

One of the most important Romans historians is Tacitus. In 115 A.D. he recorded Nero's persecution of the Christians, in the process of which he wrote the following:

Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judea, . . . but even in Rome.{3}


And for dearest marg the doubter and scoffer, You ask it is importnt when the Bible is yet again proven right. Well it just shows that it can be trusted.

Accuracy of the Gospels

The accuracy of the Gospels has been supported by archaeology. The names of many of the Israelite cities, events, and people described in them have now been located. Here are a few examples.

The Gospels mention four neighboring and well-populated coastal cities along the Sea of Galilee: Capernaum, Bethsaida, Chorazin, and Tiberias. Jesus performed many miracles in the first three cities. Despite this testimony, these cities rejected Jesus and therefore were cursed by Him (Matt. 11:20-24; Luke 10:12-16). These cities eventually disappeared from history and their locations remained missing for centuries. Their demise fulfills the prophetic condemnation of Jesus.

Only recently has archaeology recovered their possible locations. Tell Hum is believed to be Capernaum. (A "tell" is a mound or elevated land that has arisen by repeated and long-term rebuilding of the same site. Layers of civilizations can be found at different strata). The locations of Bethsaida and Chorazin still remain unconfirmed, but the present site at a tell 1.5 miles north of the Galilean shoreline is believed to be Bethsaida, while Tell Khirbet Kerezah, 2.5 miles northwest of Capernaum, is thought to be Chorazin.


Another famous one, history seems to catch up with the Bible at times

Matthew 2 states that Jesus was born during the reign of Herod. Upon hearing that a king had been born, the frightened Herod ordered all children under the age of two to be killed. His slaughter of innocents is consistent with the historical facts that describe his character. Herod was suspicious of anyone whom he thought may take his throne. His list of victims included one of his ten wives, who was his favorite, three of his own sons, a high priest, an ex-king, and two of his sister's husbands. Thus, his brutality portrayed in Matthew is consistent with his description in ancient history.

And so we wondered was pilot even real? Did he wash his hands of this innocent murder? Did he even exist?

Well the Bible told us for 2000 years that he did, and science catches up, after the fact that it had already been said that it was fiction, well


Evidence for Pontius Pilate, the governor who presided over the trial of Jesus, was discovered in Caesarea Maritama. In 1961, an Italian archaeologist named Antonio Frova uncovered a fragment of a plaque that was used as a section of steps leading to the Caesarea Theater. The inscription, written in Latin, contained the phrase, "Pontius Pilatus, Prefect of Judea has dedicated to the people of Caesarea a temple in honor of Tiberius." This temple is dedicated to the Emperor Tiberius who reigned from 14–37 A.D. This fits well chronologically with the New Testament which records that Pilot ruled as procurator from 26–36 A.D. Tacitus, a Roman historian of the first century, also confirms the New Testament designation of Pilate. He writes, "Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus. . . ."




Dis the Romans even crucify?Then why to man that had done nothing wrong by Pilots own admission? Did it even happen?

Confirmation Regarding the Crucifixion
All four Gospels give details of the crucifixion of Christ. Their accurate portrayal of this Roman practice has been confirmed by archaeology. In 1968, a gravesite in the city of Jerusalem was uncovered containing thirty-five bodies. Each of the men had died a brutal death which historians believe was the result of their involvement in the Jewish revolt against Rome in 70 A.D.

The inscription identified one individual as Yohan Ben Ha'galgol. Studies of the bones performed by osteologists and doctors from the Hadassah Medical School determined the man was twenty-eight years old, stood five feet six inches, and had some slight facial defects due to a cleft right palate.

What intrigued archaeologists were the evidences that this man had been crucified in a manner resembling the crucifixion of Christ. A seven-inch nail had been driven through both feet, which were turned outward so the nail could be hammered inside the Achilles tendon.

Archaeologists also discovered that nails had been driven through his lower forearms. A victim of a crucifixion would have to raise and lower his body in order to breathe. To do this, he needed to push up on his pierced feet and pull up with his arms. Yohan's upper arms were smoothly worn, indicating this movement.

John records that in order to expedite the death of a prisoner, executioners broke the legs of the victim so that he could not lift himself up by pushing with his feet (19:31-33). Yohan's legs were found crushed by a blow, breaking them below the knee. The Dead Sea Scrolls tell that both Jews and Romans abhorred crucifixion due to its cruelty and humiliation. The scrolls also state it was a punishment reserved for slaves and any who challenged the ruling powers of Rome. This explains why Pilate chose crucifixion as the penalty for Jesus.



And what of the time of death? Well the curtain ripped. What else?

Historian Thallus wrote in 52 A.D. Although none of his texts remain, his work is cited by Julius Africanus' work, Chronography. Quoting Thallus on the crucifixion of Christ, Africanus states, "On the whole world, there pressed a most fearful darkness, and the rocks were rent by an earthquake, and many places in Judea and other districts were thrown down."{4} Thallus calls this darkness, "as appears to me without reason, an eclipse of the sun."{5}




So can this Book be trusted? I would argue YES! And the evidence supports this.


Archaeology

The second source of external evidence comes from archaeology. Middle Eastern archaeological investigations have proven the Bible to be true and unerringly accurate in its historical descriptions. Nelson Glueck, a renowned Jewish archaeologist, states, "No archaeological discovery has ever controverted a biblical reference.''(2)

Dr. William Albright, who was not a friend of Christianity and was probably the foremost authority in Middle East archaeology in his time, said this about the Bible: "There can be no doubt that archaeology has confirmed the substantial historicity of the Old Testament."(3)

Here are a couple of examples of the historical accuracy of the Bible. A good example is found in Genesis 14. The Bible speaks of Abraham's victory over Chedorlaomer and five Mesopotamian kings. For years, the critics stated that these accounts were fictitious and many people discredited the Bible. In the 1960s, however, the Ebla tablets were discovered in northern Syria. The Ebla kingdom was a powerful kingdom in the twentieth century B.C. The Ebla tablets are records of its history. Thousands of tablets have been discovered. What is important is that many of these tablets make a reference to all five cities of the plain proving the Genesis 14 account to be accurate.(4)

Another example is the story of Jericho recorded in the book of Joshua. For years skeptics thought the story of the falling walls of Jericho was a myth. However, in the 1930s, Dr. John Garstang made a remarkable discovery. He states, "As to the main fact, then, there remains no doubt: the walls fell outwards so completely, the attackers would be able to clamber up and over the ruins of the city." This is remarkable because city walls fall inward, not outward.(5)

The March 5, 1990 issue of Time magazine featured an article called, "Score One For the Bible." In it, archaeologist Kathleen Kenyon claimed Jericho's walls had fallen suddenly. Many scholars feel this was caused by an earthquake which may also explain the damming of the Jordan. Additionally, grain was discovered, which shows the city was conquered quickly. This find adds credence to the biblical account. Further study by Brian Wood found the date of the fall of Jericho to match the Bible's date.(6)

Here are just two great examples of archaeology authenticating the historical reliability of the Bible. No book is as ancient, and at the same time, as convincingly accurate as the Bible.

Indestructibility and archaeology are two external evidences for the Bible.




LINK



But not to worry folks, I didnt even mention that the biggest of all is Prophecy, but that is a whole section in itself......but it is the one that I ahve studied the most!



Believe! For your Redemption draws neigh!


Its not hard to figure out, He has plainly told you and you will be held accountable for your actions, when you deny Him, He will deny you!

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
John 3:18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.
John 3:19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.
John 3:20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.
John 3:21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."




posted on Aug, 16 2005 @ 09:03 AM
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.
Let's suppose that everything reported in the Bible, miracles and all, are true accounts.

That still doesn't necessarily mean that either the ancient or modern interpretations of what it meant are true.

It could be that some power intended it all be true at the time but has since changed its mind.

It could also be that it was some kind of fraud to sucker people in by some kind of very technologically advanced beings, human or not.

It could be a kind of painful comedy of errors that unfolded where misinterpretation piled up on misinterpretation. A tragic black comedy.

Now we all know that tall tales grow with time especially if the teller has an axe to grind. So it is easy to believe that people exagerated a little, especially if they had a dream the night before that gave them a slightly different image of it.

When someone tries to sell me one of the watches they have up their sleeve as some kind of Rolex for $50.00 , I don't believe them.

When someone tells me They and they alone have the correct understanding/interpretation of all the biblical events and what they mean, as opposed to the 300 other current strains of interpretation all of which are mutually hostile, I don't believe them.
.



posted on Aug, 16 2005 @ 10:23 AM
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Nice assumptions slank, but they don't have much validity to base an argument on to prove that the Bible is fallible, which you compare it to historical and archelogigical evidance.

THe scientific method only allows assumptions to be made at the beginning, those assumptions can only be disproving or proven after further tests. SO by making those assumptions especailly with the MOUNTIANS of evidance, without bringing any proof you are doing nothing but wasting peoples time, and insulting the people who have allready worked so hard to provide valid evidance to prove and disprove thier case that so far, there is much evidance to prove the Bible is in fact a valid historical document



posted on Aug, 16 2005 @ 11:09 AM
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Originally posted by edsinger

o Forty of the Greek manuscripts date back before 300 AD, several date to the second century. One portion of the Gospel of John dates to circa 110 AD (as a point of reference, Jesus was crucified around 32 AD).


It wouldn't matter if the complete New Testament dated to 32 CE.


Originally posted by edsinger
All of the New Testament was written by either those who witnessed the events first-hand or recorded direct eyewitness accounts.


, you're kidding right? If you can't even get this much correct, why should anyone bother reading the rest of your post?

Paul wrote most of the New Testament, and readily admits he was not an eyewitness to Jesus. The author of Acts (presumed to also be the author of Luke according to church tradition), also admits that the information was handed down to him.

Some gross geographical errors in the New Testament

- there was no city of Nazareth in the first century
- Mark 11:1-11 is just one of numerous geographical errors where Mark describes an impossible route from Jericho to Jerusalem via Bethphage and then Bethany

Reams have been written on the geographical, historical , and internal errors in the Bible. That isn't to say everything in it is innacurate, but the inaccuracies prove that it is not inerrant. Gross errors about Jesus (such as that he was from the nonexistent city of Nazareth) prove that the writers were not first hand witnesses, nor had they ever even spoken to first hand witnesses.

The development of historical detail over time proves Jesus is myth. Paul is the earliest writer and seems to know almost nothing about Jesus, yet he also claims he was the one chosen to reveal the mystery. This in itself is enough to realize that Paul was not talking about a flesh and blood Jesus, but rather, a spiritual being.



posted on Aug, 16 2005 @ 11:50 AM
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there is much evidance to prove the Bible is in fact a valid historical document


May I ask where I could find a listing of such? I'm speaking of validity.



posted on Aug, 16 2005 @ 01:16 PM
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Originally posted by edsinger

Is the New Testament Accurate and Reliable?


When It comes to the NT,

Again is all about faith, and how much you will trust what is given to you.

Finding Jesus in time and archology has been one of the most exausted endeviours of Christians all over the world.

And will for ever be one of the most debatable subjects that ususaly ends up with preaching.

Good luck with this thread Ed.




[edit on 16-8-2005 by marg6043]



posted on Aug, 16 2005 @ 05:18 PM
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Hey Eddie:

"BLESSED ARE THE INNOCENT, FOR THEY KNOW NOT THE MANUSCRIPT EVIDENCE"
---bumper Sticker recently spotted in San Francisco....!

The Qumran Caves 1-11 (sealed up in June AD 68 during the failed Jewish War against Rome) where most of the Dead Sea Scroll material was found unfortunately refutes your naive assumption that the "biblical manuscripts" are some kind of monolithic tradition.

These documents are a TIME CAPSULE which give moderns a glimpse into what state the text of the OT was during the lifetime of "Jesus" and the immediate years after his death, as carried on by his first followers....

At least FOUR CONTRADICTORY versions of the Old Testament, or Tanak (as well as 500 other non biblical scrolls like the "Scroll of the Book of the Testament of the 12 Patriarchs being the Sons of Israel", or the "Testament of Moses/Book of Jubilees", or the Wisdom of Jesus Ben Sirach etc.) were found side by side in contradictory versions:

l. A version of the "Sammaritan Pentateuch" (aka SamPent) of the first five books of the OT = The Torah (orig. BC 420) which shows a 19% difference (in content and text tradition) with the current authorised Masoretic Text of the Old Testament that Jews and Christians use today (which is based on a single pointed (i.e. vowells added) Hebrew copy from Leningrad, dated c. AD 980.)

2. Several copies of at least TWO Hebrew "Vorlage" versions (underlying text, dated c. BC 200) to the Greek Old Testment and Greek Apocryphal writings (known collectively as the LXX) which shows an average 24% difference in content when compared to the "authorised Masoretic Text" of the Old Testament that Jews and Christians use today--which includes the shorter version of the book of Jeremiah (by 13 chapters) and a version of Isaiah (the socalled Is-b) which differs from the Great Isaiah Scroll by more than 22% to name one small example

3. Several copies of a sort of rough proto-Masoretic text of the OT very similar to the one used today by Jews and Christians, but not exact, differing in wording by 13% when compared to the "authorised Masoretic text of the OT" and with marginalia comments etc. including additoinal "psalms of David" (e.g. Psalm 151).

4. Several Copies of "sacred books" that 1st century Jews and Christians considered "holy scripture" like I Henoch (see Jude chapter 1:17) and the "Assumption of Moses" which were quoted as such by "Jesus" and his "brothers" in the canonical New Testament...but were never voted in as such (e.g. the Wisdom of Solomon chapter 1, "sorrowful unto death is the man to whom his closest friend hath betrayed...", sound familiar?)

So much for the integrity of the modern OT: texts more than 1000 years older than the modern Masoretic text of the OT found among the Dead Sea Scrolls show at least a 24% difference over all in line by line comparisons, and even Origen's Greek Old Testament HEXAPLA fragments shows at least 6 versions of the Greek translation of the Old Testament when compared word for word...!

From the rediscovery of the Qumran caves in the winter of 1946 until 1991 when most of the Dead Sea Scroll corpus was released to non scholars (over Vatican protests) the Vatican, various Protestant leaders and many of the more "orthodox" Jewish groups worldwide did NOT want this information out to the average "bible believer" because it clearly showed:

l. There were more than one HEBREW VERSION of the "old testament" books that contradictred each other more than 20% of the time...without any one version predominant until AFTER the Jewish War of AD 66-72 when (in AD 90) Hillel II used his influence to force the Babylonian version of the OT (i.e. the proto-Masoretic text) on to Rabinnic Jews who survived the War..

Various fragments of Dead Sea scrolls found at other places around the caves (e.g. Nahal Hever) date from the 2nd Jewish revolt (which also failed) in AD 136-138 and are much more alligned with the present day Masoretic tradition, being post-Jamnia and post-Hillel II authorised copies...the other contradictory Palestinian versions still sealed up the Caves until 1946...

2. There was more than one "CANON" of the Tanak (i.e. more than one LIST of "old testament books" ) that the earliest Christians including its founding teachers regularly used as Holy Scripture (e.g. the Books of I Henoch, the Testament of the 12 and the Book of Jubilees etc.)

In other words, there was NO ONE SINGLE coherent ("inspired") version of the "Bible" from which to quote "inspired scripture" from, just a bunch of contradictory and highly fluid texts (i.e. until around AD 100 when the text became more firmly set in the MT, and the fluidity of the text began to dwindle for good and scribes began (by AD 400) to count the "middle letter" of a page to ensure accuracy in transcription.

Before AD 100, it was OPEN SEASON with the texts of the Jews, and the Sealed Caves of the Dead Sea Scrolls prove this....

As for the "New Testament" it was not until AD 460 that anyting like a coherent list of specific books became "canonically recognised" by most Christian Churches in the west, and even today, there are approx. 5546 Greek surviving copies of various parts of the New Testament in handwritten copies (dating from around AD 140 to around AD 1200) , NO TWO WHICH ARE EXACTLY ALIKE

(most of these HANDWRITTEN COPIES fall into about 23 or 24 distinct FAMILIES based on different readings and regional differences)...e.g. Codex Sinaiticus, Vaticanus, Alexandrinus, Bezae, Washingtoniensis (Freer Codex) and Ephraimi, all of which date from AFTER AD 300...and show an average of 21% variation between them if compared line by line by line....

If you do not know this basic textual information, you need to consult a basic introduction to the Dead Sea Scrolls (and perhaps take a paleo-Hebrew class) so you will be more conversant with the manuscript evidence available...

Then perhaps we can talk more intelligently about "scripture" and what it "really means..." because it really does help to be able to read something before you claim you can understand it...after all !!



posted on Aug, 16 2005 @ 07:43 PM
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Originally posted by spamandham


Originally posted by edsinger
All of the New Testament was written by either those who witnessed the events first-hand or recorded direct eyewitness accounts.


, you're kidding right? If you can't even get this much correct, why should anyone bother reading the rest of your post?

Paul wrote most of the New Testament, and readily admits he was not an eyewitness to Jesus. The author of Acts (presumed to also be the author of Luke according to church tradition), also admits that the information was handed down to him.


Readily admits he was not an eyewitness to Jesus? Huh? Ignorance is bliss.



Acts 9:1 Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord's disciples. He went to the high priest
Acts 9:2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem.
Acts 9:3 As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him.
Acts 9:4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?"
Acts 9:5 "Who are you, Lord?" Saul asked. "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting," he replied.

Well that means he has met the Christ in PERSON.

Now why should should anyone bother reading the rest of your post?



posted on Aug, 16 2005 @ 07:59 PM
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Originally posted by NEOAMADEUS

Then perhaps we can talk more intelligently about "scripture" and what it "really means..." because it really does help to be able to read something before you claim you can understand it...after all !!



Hey Amadeus,

We can all find something that support one view or another,

MISCONCEPTION: "THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS CONTRADICT THE BIBLE."

BACKGROUNDS: Written expression has been around for millennia. We have uncovered inscriptions in Babylonia dating back to the reign of King Sargon I (2350 BC). In Sumer, texts regarding religion, education, government, business and civil affairs have been uncovered which also date to the 3rd millennium BC. However, the movable-type printing press was not invented until 1450--some 3,800 years later! Hence, early publishing fell upon the exactness of "copyists" (people employed for the purpose of hand-copying original documents). In addition to what a particular copyist might mistakenly scribe, most of the media utilized (stone, clay, wood, leather and papyrus) was not very enduring. While fragments or portions of extant writings have survived, it is seldom (if ever) that we are blessed with an original work. This is true regarding the above texts, the Bible, or any of the world's great "literary classics" (Caesar's Gallic Wars, Herodotus' History or Homer's Iliad, et al.).

The Old Testament was written between 1500-400 BC. The oldest existing fragment dates back to 700-500 BC. Before the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered, the most reliable OT manuscript dated back to AD 935. The New Testament was written between AD 50-100, with its oldest existing fragments and manuscripts dating back to the 1st century. There exists some 24,000 copies of the New Testament. No "literary classic" (known to man) maintains the textual reliability of the Holy Bible (i.e., # of copies, shortest time span between "when written" and "earliest copy," etc.). If we are to rely on any historical text, we should rely on the Bible. For more information on this subject, see Josh McDowell, Evidence That Demands A Verdict, Vol. 1 (San Bernardino, CA: Here's Life Publishers, 1990), pp. 42-43.

LINK



I can post many that support that which I claim to be truth, just as you claim yours to be,

"It may be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a Biblical reference. Scores of archaeological findings have been made which confirm in clear outline or exact detail historical statements in the Bible. And, by the same token, proper evaluation of Biblical description has often led to amazing discoveries."
Dr. Nelson Glueck, The Renowned Jewish Archeologist.

"Archaeology has confirmed countless passages which have been rejected by critics as unhistorical or contradictory to known facts......Yet archaeological discoveries have shown that these critical charges.....are wrong and that the Bible is trustworthy in the very statements which have been set aside as untrustworthy.....We do not know of any cases where the Bible has been proved wrong."
Dr. Joseph P. Free

"In every instance where the findings of archaeology pertain to the Biblical record, the archaeological evidence confirms, sometimes in detailed fashion, the historical accuracy of Scripture. In those instances where the archaeological findings seem to be at variance with the Bible, the discrepancy lies with the archaeological evidence, i.e., improper interpretation, lack of evidence, etc. -- not with the Bible."
Dr. Bryant C. Wood

"Through the wealth of data uncovered by historical and archaeological research, we are able to measure the Bible's historical accuracy. In every case where its claims can thus be tested, the Bible proves to be accurate and reliable."
Dr. Jack Cottrell


The Scriptures declare that when mankind refuses to acknowledge God's truth, the very stones will cry out. We can see the evidence of this all around us because, while the critics have attacked the Bible and denied the historicity of its civilizations and people, the shovel of the archaeologist has consistently overturned their claims. Amazingly enough, many archaeologists entered that field for the purpose of disproving the Bible, and yet an impressive number of them were finally forced to conclude that the Bible was, indeed, a most astonishing book. Some have even become Christians and used their work to support the Biblical data they once sought to invalidate. It is important to understand that this evidence has confirmed what many experienced apologists have long held: that because of their anti-supernatural presuppositions or in many cases biases, these skeptics have made the facts fit their assumptions! If we can finally force them to look at the evidence without bias, many of the skeptics we deal with will finally have to do as these archaeologists have done--bow to the miraculous power and historical consistency of the Word of God.


Does Archaeology Support The Bible?




So who is right?



Manuscript Evidence for the Old Testament

The Dead Sea Scrolls prove the accuracy of the transmission of the Bible.

In fact, in these scrolls discovered at Qumran in 1947, we have Old Testament manuscripts that date about a thousand years earlier (150 B.C.) than the other Old Testament manuscripts then in our possession (which dated to A.D. 900).

The significant thing is that when one compares the two sets of manuscripts, it is clear that they are essentially the same, with very few changes.

The fact that manuscripts separated by a thousand years are essentially the same indicates the incredible accuracy of the Old Testament's manuscript transmission.

A full copy of the Book of Isaiah was discovered at Qumran.

Even though the two copies of Isaiah discovered in Qumran Cave 1 near the Dead Sea in 1947 were a thousand years earlier than the oldest dated manuscript previously known (A.D. 980), they proved to be word for word identical with our standard Hebrew Bible in more than 95 percent of the text.

The 5 percent of variation consisted chiefly of obvious slips of the pen and variations in spelling."

From manuscript discoveries like the Dead Sea Scrolls, Christians have undeniable evidence that today's Old Testament Scripture, for all practical purposes, is exactly the same as it was when originally inspired by God and recorded in the Bible.

Combine this with the massive amount of manuscript evidence we have for the New Testament, and it is clear that the Christian Bible is a trustworthy and reliable book.

The Dead Sea Scrolls prove that the copyists of biblical manuscripts took great care in going about their work.

These copyists knew they were duplicating God's Word, so they went to incredible lengths to prevent error from creeping into their work.

The scribes carefully counted every line, word, syllable, and letter to ensure accuracy.

Manuscript Evidence for the Old Testament



So who is right? Whom do you believe? Your professor?



posted on Aug, 16 2005 @ 08:16 PM
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Take Paul/Saul and his writings out of the NT.

Else you say to God, "But Paul says....."
And God replies, "Then let Paul save you."

Is that anywhere but church that we use the words of one person (Paul) to teach the ways of another (Jesus), in the belief of a third (God)?



posted on Aug, 16 2005 @ 08:58 PM
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Originally posted by garyo1954
Take Paul/Saul and his writings out of the NT.

Else you say to God, "But Paul says....."
And God replies, "Then let Paul save you."

Is that anywhere but church that we use the words of one person (Paul) to teach the ways of another (Jesus), in the belief of a third (God)?





Well then take Daniel and Isiah out also.....its called a messenger, spoken through the Holy Spirit...


Luke 12:11 "When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say,
Luke 12:12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say."


It did the same for Paul ..................



posted on Aug, 16 2005 @ 09:30 PM
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The “Old Testament” found in bibles today is not the same translations of the old Jewish Hebrew accounts and texts.

They were translated from the “ Masoretic Hebrew texts” from the 8th to 10th century AD.

When the bible came around in the 15th the ancients original Hebrew texts were already lost, not only the text but most of the meaning of the ancient language that was used.

Nobody today can claim that they know the ancient Hebrew language or the right pronunciation.

The ancient texts was originally compound of an alphabet that had only 22 letters and no vowels.

During 8th and 10th AD the Masorites decided to add vowel signs to the original Hebrew alphabet.

From those translations is what we now call the first “original translation” of the Hebrew texts.

Now taking this in consideration you can pretty much imagine how much the old lost Hebrews accounts and old texts were change when it comes to the meaning of the words or sentences.

How much has the ancient texts has been tampered with? When it comes to meaning of words not longer spoken?

You make your own decision.

In faith the believer takes what is presented to them and in faith the believer trust others to guide their faith.

Yes we may never learn the truth about what really the ancient lost texts of the Hebrews accounts of the historical blood line of the David to the Jewish nation and their understanding with their God will ever be.

But in western civilization that same Jewish God is worshiped alone with the Jewish epic of creation.

Now the difference is that the Christ was added after Christianity branched from the Jewish believes to have its own object of worshiping and separate themselves from Jewish tradition.

www.ancient-hebrew.org...

Even to this day scholars are still trying to "imagine" what really the old texts language real meaning of words are.

Ed anybody can preach from the bible but how much are you willing to acept the other facts about history that not always go hand in hand with the bible?

If preaching is what you want to do then this thread belong in BTS.





[edit on 16-8-2005 by marg6043]



posted on Aug, 16 2005 @ 09:45 PM
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Originally posted by edsinger

Acts 9:1 Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord's disciples. He went to the high priest
Acts 9:2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem.
Acts 9:3 As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him.
Acts 9:4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?"
Acts 9:5 "Who are you, Lord?" Saul asked. "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting," he replied.

Well that means he has met the Christ in PERSON.

Now why should should anyone bother reading the rest of your post?




Are you serious? Saul used to persecute X-stians, he was on a mission to destroy all x-trians, which is why he was on his way to damascus. The Jesus he saw was not during Jesus "lifetime", it was a vision after Jesus' death.

At this time Saul, originally one of the strongest persecutors of the early Jewish Christians, had a blinding vision of Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus, and became a Christian. Adopting the name Paul, he became the greatest evangelist of the early Christian church.

christianity.about.com...

Not to be mean but this is basic theological knowledge even aired on prime time discovery channel. With all due respect, perhaps you should learn a bit more about your religion before you try to argue it. Just a suggestion though.

Not trying to say one way or another whether or not Christ existed, just saying paul is not a good example. Stick with the Josephus, and tacitus accounts if you want to argue the Historicity of Christ.
{edit extra point}

[edit on 16-8-2005 by phoenixhasrisin]



posted on Aug, 16 2005 @ 09:56 PM
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Yeah no kidding, what Saul SAW and HEARD was JESUS FIRSTHAND.......you can dismiss it, but blinded by his 'vision' doesn't hold water with me. He sure as heck thought he was visited by Jesus, so much that he did one of the largest 180's in history. Don't claim that I don't know the meaning of my own religion you just failed to see what I wrote.


You said,

"Paul wrote most of the New Testament, and readily admits he was not an eyewitness to Jesus. The author of Acts (presumed to also be the author of Luke according to church tradition), also admits that the information was handed down to him."


And by that of course he did not meet Christ in person before his Crucification and that he persecuted the Christians like no other, but he DID meet him later, however you wish to see what was wrote.

When it says

"Acts 9:5 "Who are you, Lord?" Saul asked. "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting," he replied. "


So who was Saul talking to?









Marg, believe what you want, but by your methods of acceptance NOTHING that you have claimed can be proven either!.

You said there was no historical history of Christ outside the Bible, since you didn't read, I will repeat it for you,


One of the most important Romans historians is Tacitus. In 115 A.D. he recorded Nero's persecution of the Christians, in the process of which he wrote the following:

Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judea, . . . but even in Rome.{3}



so much for your theory of 325 AD then...........



[edit on 16-8-2005 by edsinger]



posted on Aug, 16 2005 @ 10:37 PM
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Originally posted by edsinger
Yeah no kidding, what Saul SAW and HEARD was JESUS FIRSTHAND.......you can dismiss it, but blinded by his 'vision' doesn't hold water with me. He sure as heck thought he was visited by Jesus, so much that he did one of the largest 180's in history. Don't claim that I don't know the meaning of my own religion you just failed to see what I wrote.


I am not saying you need to know the "meaning"of your religion, for X'rist' sake it isn't that hard to understand, I will however stand by my statement that you need to better familiarize yourself with it, meaning; you should learn a few of the historical facts, that's all.


You said,

"Paul wrote most of the New Testament, and readily admits he was not an eyewitness to Jesus. The author of Acts (presumed to also be the author of Luke according to church tradition), also admits that the information was handed down to him."
And by that of course he did not meet Christ in person before his Crucification and that he persecuted the Christians like no other, but he DID meet him later, however you wish to see what was wrote.
When it says
"Acts 9:5 "Who are you, Lord?" Saul asked. "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting," he replied. "
So who was Saul talking to?


I do not believe "I"said that but, I will address it though. So you do admit it was after X'rist's death then, and you can admit it was a "vision" (whatever that is) ? Now, here I must ask you what makes sauls vision any different from the millions we have had over the millinnia? What makes his so special?

When you say one has been a witness I take it to mean that person has WITNESSED something, meaning:
To be present at or have personal knowledge of.
To take note of; observe
dictionary.reference.com...

You know the old definition of WITNESS? I mean if you want to start including visions then we got quite a few to incorporate I would say.



One of the most important Romans historians is Tacitus. In 115 A.D. he recorded Nero's persecution of the Christians, in the process of which he wrote the following:

Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judea, . . . but even in Rome.{3}


Another sidenote -In hindsight I suggest you stick with tacitus and the other rare references to x'rist, because in all honesty, FYI-most consider the Josephus passage to be a forgery. To be honest it is a hard case selling the historicity of Jesus, as most understand him today.



posted on Aug, 16 2005 @ 10:45 PM
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Ed, ed, ed, look at what you are giving as your prof beside the quoting from the bible itself.



One of the most important Romans historians is Tacitus. In 115 A.D.


What you have here is a very nice recount of what already was in the believes of the christan. 115 A.D. is 115 years later, you know very well that this so call Important historian is redacting from stories told before he was even born.

Yes the Christians and jews were bar for entering Jerusalem due the jewish revolt when the romans conquered the city, that is a historical fact nobody will argue with it.

Let’s look at Josephus, this part is taken from another thread I posted in. At least Josephus was more contemporaneous with the time of “Christ”

Josephus, was a renowned Jewish historian, native of Judea, born in 37 A.D. and lived in the time of the Apostles, he was also for a time Governor of Galilee, the same province that the Christ lived and did his teachings.

He traveled the region one generation after the Christ performed his miracles.

He resided in Cana, the city in which the Christ it is said that his first miracle was done.

He wrote about all the most important events of the times in relation to the Jews but he doesn't say anything about any of the miracles of the bible.

Now the twist with Josephus, He wrote his most important work The Antiquities of the Jews a comprehensive work depicting their history until his own time.

Now Alas the "Modern Versions" of his work has this passage,



"Now, there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was (the) Christ, and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him, and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day. Book XVIII, Chap.iii,sec.3


Now, Christians has been mentioning this passage for hundreds of years as a testimonial, of Jesus existence.

The issue is that the language of this passage doesn't match Josephus writings, words like, "If it be lawful to call him a man" and "He was the Christ" also "He appeared to them alive again as prophets had foretold"

Does not fit in Josephus style of writing because Josephus was a Jew, a devote believer of the Jewish faith and Jewish law.

Taken in consideration that the passage appeared 360 years after his death it makes many scholars that take the time to "research history" raised their concerns as the legitimacy of such passage.

Also taken into consideration that his work is an exhausted compilation of 20 books, devoted to "Robbers, obscure leaders, and even included forty chapters to the life of a king” Is hard to swallow that the greatest man in Christianity Jesus all it got was a mere passage in his most celebrated works.


Occurs believers will tell that you have to take what the Church tells you in faith.

I prefer research.





[edit on 16-8-2005 by marg6043]



posted on Aug, 16 2005 @ 10:57 PM
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1 Cor 15:4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
1 Cor 15:5 and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve.
1 Cor 15:6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.
1 Cor 15:7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles,
1 Cor 15:8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.
1 Cor 15:9 For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.


emphasis mine of course....



posted on Aug, 16 2005 @ 11:00 PM
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Oh, ed are you now practicing to become a preacher, I guess ATS is a great place to get those bible quotes on line for a quit reasurrance that is all true because the bible tell you so.

Still I think this thread belong in BTS.



posted on Aug, 16 2005 @ 11:04 PM
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Originally posted by marg6043
Ed, ed, ed, look at what you are giving as your prof beside the quoting from the bible itself.



One of the most important Romans historians is Tacitus. In 115 A.D.


What you have here is a very nice recount of what already was in the believes of the christan. 115 A.D. is 115 years later, you know very well that this so call Important historian is redacting from stories told before he was even born.



Oh I get it then, I need a photograph.......you said there was no historical record of the Christ outside the Bible, I showed you differently and now you claim something entirely different. Roman historians were known for promoting Christianity around this time for sure.







posted on Aug, 16 2005 @ 11:07 PM
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He, he, Ed, no matter what you do or said I still can not get through you, but you know what? I can not get mad at you either.


I think that in all your preaching and hard core believes you are still a nice good harted man, even if your political views are also the wrong ones.


Have a great night.
marg.





 
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