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
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