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Can we trust the Bible (yes): How well has it stood the test of time?

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posted on Aug, 27 2021 @ 06:32 AM
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Many people have suggested that the Bible has been corrupted over time. Given that much of the text is thousands of years old, this is an understandable belief. However the fact is that the text has not changed in at least two thousand years. This is impressive considering it is has been translated through multiple languages.

The current English or other modern translation of the ancient texts are actually translated or transliterated from ancient Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek documents. These documents include the letters, books, and other documents still found in the Bible. In the past, there was suspicion that these documents may have become corrupted over time. Many people claim that various people intentionally corrupted the scriptures for personal gain or other reasons, while others claim that there were errors made in the copying of texts and the eventual transliterations into modern languages. These changes which were said to occur may be small changes or could be significant enough to jeopardize our salvation by changing the entire point of one or more books of the Bible.

Claims of changes in the scriptures were disproven by the discovery of an ancient set of documents known today as the Dead Sea Scrolls. These documents contain nearly all of the books of the Old Testament, with the exception of the book of Esther. While we may not have complete versions of all books, there are at least fragments to reference. Some books however still contain the full text and in some cases even multiple copies. The Dead Sea Scrolls were found in a series of caves in Qumran, Israel in 1947. These documents were dated to a few different time periods, some fit mostly in the Hasmonean period and others into the early Roman period. This ranges from around 150 B.C. to around 70 A.D. This is backed up by the styling of the writing and the dialects used as well as other documents and artifacts found at the site. The documents have also been carbon dated to the same general time period.

The shock is that about 95% of the Dead Sea Scrolls text matches the Masoretic texts, the texts written around 980 AD which our current Bible translations are based on. The remaining 5% are very minor differences which do not affect the main points of the text. For example the Isaiah Scroll which is dated to about 1700 years older than the Masoretic texts our Bible is based on. One chapter which has quite a few differences relative to the rest of the texts is Isaiah 53 a total of 166 Hebrew words, and only 17 letters are different. Within these differences there are ten spelling corrections or changes, four styling changes, and three letters making the Hebrew word for light was added to a sentence. This has absolutely no change in the meaning of the text. A document which is often cited as being the most different, or most corrupted as some say, is the book of Daniel. Upon further study, it was found that the scroll claiming to be the book of Daniel was actually not the original text but an ancient forgery of what was a very popular book even in ancient times. In fact, this particular scroll was later dated to the tenth century A.D. There were fragments of the book of Daniel dating back to the sixth to second century B.C. which was later found to support that the integrity of the currently known text. Excluding an obvious forgery, the Dead Sea Scrolls which are related to the Bible actually confirm the integrity of the Bible very well.
A seemingly odd fact to note is that while the Dead Sea Scrolls do contain many New Testament texts and some were created during and after the life of Jesus Christ, all documents mentioning the teachings of Jesus Christ are missing. This would seem to discredit Christianity until you realize that the Dead Sea Scrolls were created by a strict Jewish sect who would have had a strong resistance to Jesus Christ and his teachings. There however a number of both Christian and secular texts which serve as a historical record that Jesus Christ did in fact live as a real and literal person at the time the Bible claim. You could state that various books of the Bible were written decades apart by various people of different walks of life, showing many impressive changes in how people who encountered Jesus Christ choose to live.

One of the greatest conversions was that of a man named Saul who was known for persecuting and killing Christians, suddenly converting to Christianity and spreading the gospel after an encounter with Jesus Christ after his death and resurrection. There are claims of this type of event happening in modern times; however there is not enough evidence to support them. Jesus Christ also appeared to over 500 people in one session after being executed and resurrected, however this also found in one of the books which make up the Bible. Using the Bible to back up the Bible is not a logical way to convince anyone who does not believe the Bible, so secular or non-Christian texts would be a better option to provide as evidence of the life of Jesus Christ.

In a text titled Antiquities of the Jews, written by a Jewish leader by the name of Flavius Josephus, there is an indirect reference stating: “Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the Sanhedrin of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned”

Another reference in a text titled The Annals written by the Roman historian and senator named Cornelius Tacitus described how “Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christos, 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.”

Additionally, the Tractate Sanhedrin actually recounts the execution of Jesus Christ for the crimes of sorcery and blasphemy, stating: “Jesus was hanged on Passover Eve. Forty days previously the herald had cried, ‘He is being led out for stoning, because he has practiced sorcery and led Israel astray and enticed them into apostasy. Whosoever has anything to say in his defense, let him come and declare it?’ As nothing was brought forward in his defense, he was hanged on Passover Eve.” An interesting note is that in the writings of Phlegon, most famously in the Olympiad, there is a mention of full darkness at the moment Jesus Christ was executed. Many other secular writers also confirm what many simply call a solar eclipse, as it must have seemed with the sun going dark around the sixth hour of the Jewish day, which is around noon.
In conclusion there is overwhelming evidence that the text of the Word of God has not been changed over the many years of recopying and translation. There is plenty of historical and scientific data supporting this fact. Of course there were a few forgeries which have been found to have contradictory text just as are fabricated for use by cults today, however these are in no way related to the true Biblical texts we have today. God has preserved his word through trustworthy and skilled scribes and translators over the years. There is also plenty of evidence that Jesus Christ really did exist, and according to many differently worded accounts performed miracles.
edit on 27.8.2021 by GolgothaBridge because: Character limit



posted on Aug, 27 2021 @ 06:54 AM
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a reply to: GolgothaBridge
Ah, you've come across the 7500 character limit. 7413, if Word is doing the counting. That includes spaces

It may be worth pointing out, as part of this exercise, that the texts of the Bible are far older than any translations into modern languages, making it absurd to imagine that the government of King James or any other government were in a position to edit them in ther own interest. Any changes would be obvious, and could be detected just by comparing the translations with other translations and older texts.

Somebody on ATS ten years ago tried to tell me that what he called "the King James Bible" had been written by Constantine, who died more than a thousand years before that translation came into existence. That's the problem with the internet. Conspiracy theories about history are being put together by people who don't understand how history works.



edit on 27-8-2021 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 27 2021 @ 07:57 AM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

Thank you. The rest is supposed to be

"You can be assured that the text you are reading today in English as you study your Bible is not simply the result of a copy error but in fact the true Word of God."



posted on Aug, 27 2021 @ 07:58 AM
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a reply to: GolgothaBridge
We have many ancient writings going back many thousands of years. In many cases, we can be reasonably certain these texts are accurate because we either have the original, or we have others for comparison, as well as witnesses.

By your logic, this means Gilgamesh was indeed half man, half god and performed many super human feats......but probably not.

Just because we have mostly unadulterated manuscripts does not mean what is written in them is anywhere near factual.
Christianity has never been about facts. Christ himself made that clear, as did the God of the old testament. You either have faith or you don't. If you don't, the bible makes clear your facts won't save you, only faith will.
edit on 8/27/2021 by Klassified because: Corrections



posted on Aug, 27 2021 @ 08:02 AM
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a reply to: Klassified

Actually I've read that story and believe he was a Nephilim, half human and half heavenly being which was worshiped in Sumeria. Call that a "lower case g" god and, yeah.



posted on Aug, 27 2021 @ 09:41 AM
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In terms of the Holy Bible, and the ridiculous debate as to whether scripture is reliable, I've always found it laughable. The Bible, itself, states that all scripture is inspired by the Spirit, but calling this a lie is not the laughable hook.

We have the Creator of the entire vast universe and all life, that can do all things, that has ordered us to seek the truth in that scripture. Obviously, you can't hold anybody accountable for truth, if scripture were mixed with lies, but glaring is that, people who try to criticize scripture, are saying the Creator of said vast universe and all life is powerless to write a reliable book and see to its preservation. Like hell, I find that concept stupid as all hell. Almighty God can't write, as if, a User's Manual and proof it, see it through publication?

To anybody of faith, the argument over scripture integrity is idiotic, clearly only what people who have no real faith or trust in God would do. I, for one, have studied scripture all my life and have found nothing but harmony and integrity. If you haven't, maybe you better examine your faith, pronto, how it could be the Holy Spirit is failing you, as well as how you can try and make God a liar. John 16:13, Matthew 4:4, John 17:17.


edit on 27-8-2021 by Scrutinizing because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 27 2021 @ 10:08 AM
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originally posted by: Scrutinizing
We have the Creator of the entire vast universe and all life, that can do all things, that has ordered us to seek the truth in that scripture. Obviously, you can't hold anybody accountable for truth, if scripture were mixed with lies, but glaring is that, people who try to criticize scripture, are saying the Creator of said vast universe and all life is powerless to write a reliable book and see to its preservation. Like hell, I find that concept stupid as all hell. Almighty God can't write, as if, a User's Manual and proof it, see it through publication?


Outside of creation, God didn’t do much on His own, He has always used fallible, broken and simple humanity to carry out His will. Be it Abraham, Moses, the many prophets, Jesus had disciples and now uses His church, fallible, broken and seemingly at the moment lost

Why should the bible be perfect when written by fallible mankind


And no, not saying it’s untrustworthy, just don’t think it’s perfect and worth worship like most protestants do these days

edit on 27-8-2021 by Raggedyman because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 27 2021 @ 10:13 AM
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a reply to: Scrutinizing
I'm convinced that even believers need to be honest enough to recognise that there are imperfections in the Bible (otherwise we're increasingly forced into the position of defending the indefensible).

The answer which I've evolved is the concept of the "joint project". That is, the Biblical God is working together with man in all things, including the development of the Bible, and the imperfections come from the human contribution.



posted on Aug, 27 2021 @ 10:21 AM
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I distinctly remember replying to this topic yesterday, curiously my comments appear to have magically vanished. Have the mods adopted a censorship approach?

On topic:

The analects of Confucius are a more dependable source of moral and social etiquette. The best? No, but more dependable than Hebrew doctrine. It is after all where the "golden rule" originated.



posted on Aug, 27 2021 @ 10:41 AM
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a reply to: GolgothaBridge

As long as the phrase "Love one another as I have loved you" gets thtough, then I think the Bible can be trusted to mend broken hearts, raise revolutions, and put fear in the minds of wicked people.



posted on Aug, 27 2021 @ 10:48 AM
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a reply to: TzarChasm
Nothing's gone wrong. You replied to another thread with the same six opening words in the title.
I've got this forum on MyATS, so it's more obvious there.



edit on 27-8-2021 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 27 2021 @ 03:30 PM
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a reply to: GolgothaBridge
Do you believe everything in the bible as literal? It has been a few years since I read it, but I still have my bible given to me by our pastor when I was a child. One of the things that I wondered about and I am trying to remember here, a flaming sword hanging over the garden of Eden... Is my memory accurate? Do you take that as literal if I am right? Because swords would not have been invented at that point.

Thanks for any input on that.



posted on Aug, 27 2021 @ 04:24 PM
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a reply to: FunshineCD

Actually, outside generally accepted scripture the book of Enoch shows a fallen angel teaching humans (at a later date from the garden of Eden) how to make swords amongst other concepts and tools.


1 Enoch 8 (full chapter)
1. Moreover Azazyel taught men to make swords, knives, shields, breastplates, the fabrication of mirrors, and the workmanship of bracelets and ornaments, the use of paint, the beautifying of the eyebrows, the use of stones of every valuable and select kind, and of all sorts of dyes, so that the world became altered.
2. Impiety increased; fornication multiplied; and they transgressed and corrupted all their ways.
3. Amazarak taught all the sorcerers, and dividers of roots:
4. Armers taught the solution of sorcery;
5. Barkayal taught the observers of the stars;
6. Akibeel taught signs;
7. Tamiel taught astronomy;
8. And Asaradel taught the motion of the moon.
9. And men, being destroyed, cried out; and their voice reached to heaven.



posted on Aug, 28 2021 @ 04:59 AM
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a reply to: FunshineCD

No, the bible is not all literal
There is poetry, history, letters and laws, not forgetting prophecy
It would have been hard for many prophets to describe what they were seeing so maybe fantasy
I have met christians who have said the bible is 100% literal but, fantasy

Yes, it is written, angels guard Eden
“Therefore the LORD God expelled the man from the Garden of Eden so he would work the ground from which he had been taken. After he had expelled the man, the LORD God placed winged angels at the eastern end of the Garden of Eden, along with a fiery whirling sword, to prevent access to the tree of life.” –Genesis 3: 23-24
Maybe swords were invented



posted on Sep, 15 2021 @ 09:57 AM
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I've been a Christian for 20 years and read the Bible through and through under the assumption that it is the inerrant word of God as all other Christians tell me.

And I still kept on seeing contradictions and outright errors and I kept on being directed to "scholars" who have no clue either. They did gave me some "safe and convincing enough answers".

It raises the dilemma on "having foundation on shaky ground". It doesn't make any sense. And Christians themselves bring none to the table to prove that God changed their lives in any meaningful way. They say one thing but live like God isn't real and remain hateful and prejudiced of others.




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