In this current climate this generation here in the English side of the world I find that social Biblical knowledge has become something of the
underground, people in general do not speak about it, we even make laws to deny it, we ban people from even mentioning it and even crosses are said to
offend. There has been so much uncovered archeology of Bible History discovered it does not even make news, they do not even mention it, it will
mention though the dinosaurs and so called ape men but it won't mention Bible history. People today prefer to hear of another Jesus than the original
intended, I guess it takes a lot of weight off people's shoulders when they do. But the Bible has been painted as myth many times and even other
religions try and say that to convert you as long as it is another version of Christ, take the guilt away I guess. If you fee like an inbetweener I
hope this helps.
Bible Truth - Why is this Book any Different than the Others?
Is there such a thing as "Bible Truth?" Why should we trust this "holy book" any more than any other spiritual, religious or philosophical
treatise? How can we be sure that the Bible we read today is the same collection of 66 books that were originally written in ancient times?
Bible Truth - The Reliability of the Ancient Manuscripts
Bible truth? Let's take a look! The Bible is unquestionably the world's all-time bestseller with an estimated 2 billion copies in print. The Bible
was completed in its entirety nearly 2,000 years ago and stands today as the best-preserved literary work of all antiquity, with over 24,000 ancient
New Testament manuscripts discovered so far (compare this with the second best-preserved literary work of all antiquity, Homer's Iliad, with only 643
preserved manuscripts discovered thus far). The printing press wasn't invented until the 1450's, but we have hand-written copies of the Old
Testament dating back to the 200's BC. Remarkably, these ancient manuscripts are nearly identical to the Bible we read today.
As far as the New Testament, the Bodmer Papyrus II contains most of the Gospel of John and dates from around 150-200 AD. The Chester Beatty Papyri
contains major portions of the New Testament and dates back to about 200 AD. The Codex Vaticanus, the oldest complete New Testament manuscript we've
discovered so far, dates from 325-350 AD. The apostle John, who lived with Jesus and learned from Jesus, penned five New Testament books and died in
100 AD. We have fragments of John's Gospel that date from 110-130 AD, within 30 years of his death. When compared to other ancient works such as
Plato, Homer or Tacitus, that short time period between the original and the most recent copy is dramatic!
Clement of Rome was martyred in 100 AD. In his writings, he quoted from Matthew, Mark, Luke, Acts, 1 Corinthians, 1 Peter, Hebrews, and Titus.
Clement's quotes totally correspond with the Bible we read today. In fact, even if we lost all of the 5,300 early Greek manuscripts, all of the
10,000 Latin vulgates, and all of the 9,300 other ancient manuscripts, we would be able to reconstruct all but 11 verses of the New Testament from the
writings of the early Church leaders who quoted from them extensively. We have over 36,000 preserved quotes from the New Testament. In a nutshell, the
Bible stands today as the best-preserved literary work of all antiquity, and it's overall reliability is without question!
Bible Truth - The Passion of the Ancient Writers
When it comes to Bible truth, many critics argue that the early Church deliberately corrupted the Bible's text for its own agenda. As for this
argument, ask yourself one question: would a group of men who were willing to suffer terrible persecution and die horrible deaths in defense of the
Scriptures be guilty of corrupting those very same Scriptures? That's lunacy! If they corrupted the Scriptures, or knowingly allowed them to be
corrupted, that would mean they knowingly suffered and died for a lie! No one suffers and dies for a lie! For example, the September 11th suicide
hijackers may have sincerely believed in what they died for, but they weren't in a position to know whether or not what they believed was true; they
put their faith in traditions passed down to them over many generations. They didn't knowingly die for a lie; they died for a lie in ignorance.
In contrast, the New Testament's martyrs either saw what they claimed to see or they didn't; plain and simple. Either they interacted with the
resurrected Christ or they didn't. They certainly knew whether or not their testimony was true! Nevertheless, these men clung to their testimonies,
even to their brutal deaths at the hands of their persecutors, and despite being given every chance to recant, knowing full well whether their
testimony was true of false. Why would so many men knowingly die for a lie? They had nothing to gain for lying and obviously everything to lose
What is the oldest Bible version?
"What is the oldest Bible version?" becomes a logical question today if you're trying to purchase a Bible. The choices of Bibles confronting
today's reader are overwhelming. So what exactly distinguishes one version from another? Primarily, the difference lies in the language in which the
text was written.
The Bible in one form or another can be found in scores of languages, including ancient languages. In fact, the Bible was originally written and
preserved in two ancient texts. The Old Testament was written in Hebrew, and the New Testament written entirely in Greek. The oldest printed
translation of the Bible into the English language dates back nearly five hundred years, when in 1524 William Tyndale first printed the New Testament.
So, what is the oldest Bible version? Centuries before Tyndale's English translation of the Bible, two versions existed in Latin. The Latin Vulgate
is a translation into 'common' (vulgar, thereby vulgate) Latin completed by Jerome in 383 CE. Jerome did the translation himself directly from the
Hebrew, and today it is commonly known as The Vulgate.
However, there is a much older Latin version of the Bible, used for centuries by Christendom. This version, called The Old Latin Vulgate (or Itala),
is known to have been in existence by AD 157. Church father Turtullian, in his own writings dated around 200 C.E, cited various Latin quotations
directly from The Old Latin Vulgate. This "original" vulgate (Latin) version continued to be used for nearly a millennium, until Latin basically
ceased being a common language.
What is the oldest known copy of the Bible?
The oldest known copy of the Bible (complete Bible) in the world is the Codex Sinaiticus, dating from the 3rd or 4th century A.D. The Codex, while not
only translating Hebrew and Greek manuscripts into all Greek, documents the dramatic shift of preserving texts in a bound book form rather than the
tradition of writing on scrolls. There is speculation this book was written in Egypt.
When the Emperor Constantine of the Eastern Empire (Greece) adopted Christianity, he commissioned the compilation of Greek versions of the principal
Jewish and Christian scriptures. Although history records 50 manuscripts were written under the guidance of Eusebius, we're not totally sure this is
one of those copies.
Gospel of John
John also wrote a big chunk of the New Testament, including the Gospel of John, letters, and the Book of Revelation, so that's where I went next...
Again, I wasn't focusing on the "theological stuff" yet -- I just wanted to test the "historical" elements first... In the Gospel of John, Jesus
heals a man at the Pool of Bethesda. John describes the pool as having five porticoes. 1 Until recently, this site was a point of scholarly
skepticism. Then, 40 feet underground, archaeologists discovered a pool with five porticoes, and a surrounding area that perfectly matches John's
description. 2 Later in the text, John describes the Pool of Siloam, 3 another site of contention for hundreds of years. Well, archaeologists
discovered this pool in 1897. Further in John's Gospel, John describes Pontius Pilate speaking to Jesus from the judgment seat in a place called
"the Pavement" ("Gabbatha" in Hebrew). For hundreds of years, scholars used this "myth" to reject John's record of Jesus and the trial by
Pilate, because there was no historical record of a court called Gabbatha or "The Pavement" in Jerusalem. However, famous archaeologist William
Albright revealed that this place was in fact the court of the Tower of Antonia, which was destroyed by the Romans in 66-70 AD. It was left buried
when Jerusalem was rebuilt in the time of Hadrian, but it was recently uncovered during excavations there.
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.
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.
There are over 39 extra-biblical sources that attest to over one hundred facts regarding the life and teachings of Jesus.
[edit on 21-1-2010 by The time lord]