reply to post by Skyfloating
Do you think that it is not possible that the Bible or Jesus teachings were altered, manipulated, removed, added in any way?
Of course it was possible, but, I don't believe it so for a couple of reasons.
The culture and mindset of the people wouldn't allow for this to happen very easily. The cultural that Jesus lived in was an oral cultural.
Due to this, the people would've been very adept at memorization. Since Jesus was a beloved figure to many, they would've taken the time to hear,
and memorize, his teachings. Since Jesus was cherished by many, after he died, they would've retold his teachings and talked about him a lot. This
would solidify who Jesus was and what he taught. So, if someone were to have come around during that time and said something that contradicted what
the followers of Jesus knew was true, it would be easy to spot.
The followers of Jesus also would've preserved what they knew by passing it on to others. Since the culture was much better at playing "telephone"
than we are, there wouldn't have been any distortion.
I don't think there are distortions of Jesus in the New Testament based on the manuscripts that we have and their dates. The four Gospels
contain the teachings of Jesus. All of these Gospels were written before AD 100, or within 70 years of Jesus' death. Therefore, they're close to
when Jesus actually walked the Earth. Granted, we don't have the originals only copies. But, of the copies that we have of the Gospels, the oldest
complete date to the early second century (after AD 100). [There is one fragment of Matthew that some believe actually dates to AD 60, when Matthew
is believed to have been written!] That is amazingly good for works of antiquity.
Of the Gospels, we have manuscripts and fragments numbering into the thousands. Bart Ehrman once said, in regards to this fact, "The Gospels suffer
from an embarrassingly large pool of texts." There is very little variation between these texts, from the oldest, to the newest. The vast majority
of the variations stem from minor spelling errors/differences. There are only a handful of variations that need to be thought through. Of these
though, nothing really changes the message of Jesus. The two most famous are found in John and Mark. With John, the variation is the story of the
adulterous woman (John 7:53-8:11). In some manuscripts it's there, in others it's not, in others it's in a different place, and sometimes it's
found as a part of Luke (this is the rarest). With Mark, the ending (Mark 16:9-20) isn't in some of the oldest manuscripts. This doesn't really
change much though as what is in those verses is contained in the other three Gospels.
I don't believe the Gnostic Gospels were rejected due to an agenda mostly because they, except Thomas, hadn't been written yet.
because the teachings (especially Old and New Testament) contradict each other, dont seem to fit together.
When one takes the time to study the Bible as a whole, the Old and New Testaments mesh together rather well. There aren't any contradictions between
the two. One sees that when they understand that the Old and New Testaments are two different stages in God's unveiling of his plan for redemption