So Many Copies

First page of New Testament, William Tyndale's Bible 1537

First page of New Testament, William Tyndale's Bible 1537

They began writing the Bible about 1400 years before Christ.  They finished writing about 60 years after Christ.  And when I say “they” I mean the forty-some servants of God who wrote the words we find contained in the Bible.   So the last portion of Scripture to be written down was shortly before 100 A.D.

We began talking about this stuff in the post “What Am I Describing?”  See the link at the bottom of the page.

Add to the facts in that post of October 22, 2009 that there are almost 30,000 manuscript copies of various portions of the Bible, things get really interesting.

From the smallest and oldest New Testament fragment known as p52 containing John 18:37-38 (http://www.kchanson.com/ancdocs/greek/johnpap.html) to the Great Isaiah scroll with the Dead Sea scrolls which almost complete (http://www.allaboutarchaeology.org/great-isaiah-scroll-faq.htm).  Over 20,000 of these manuscripts are the New Testament.

That’s incredible.  Thousands of copies more than any other book of antiquity (To see the comparisons check with Josh McDowell’s, Evidence that Demands a Verdict).

What’s that mean?

There is more evidence, more proof for the veracity, authenticity, integrity, and accuracy of the Bible.  The Bible we can buy at Wal-Mart, any book store, and every Christian book store is the English reading copy of the Bible that was written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek.

That means that we at least have a trustworthy record of what is claimed to be God’s Word – and it is.

https://blogthechurch.wordpress.com/2009/10/22/what-am-i-describing/

More to come.

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What am I Describing?

about_bibles_coverdale

From the Coverdale Bible 1535

  • Written over a 1500 year period
  • On three continents
  • By at least 40 different authors
  • Begins with the creation of the world and ends with the second coming of Christ
  • The first book printed on the printing press
  • The best selling book in history and still selling 2-4 million copies a year
  • The most influential book in history

What am I describing?

It’s the Bible!

These are just the beginnings of verifying that the Bible is God’s Word.

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Currently Reading . . .

As well as a couple from my last reading list:

  • pagan christianityand, Pagan Christainity, by Frank Viola & George Barna (2002, 2008),  www.barna.org

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Leap of Faith or Factual Truth

Indiana Jones is always good for adventure.  At a critical point in the movie, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, the scene in the clip above, Indy must make a critical decision.  He actually has to take a leap of faith.  There is no real evidence that what happens will happen until he takes that step into the air.  His Father’s journal has information, it talks about a step of faith, but what is there to support it?  Legend.  Pushed to save his father’s life (he was shot in the gut by the bad guy), he steps out taking a leap of faith.

Many people believe that Christianity is a mindless religion.  Check your brains at the door.  You won’t need them to believe superstition.  The reality is, it is exactly the opposite.  Christianity, the Bible, the Life of Jesus and the evidence for God have a super support system.  The evidence at times is overwhelming.  For example, there are nearly 30,000 hand-written copies of the Scriptures which comprise the Bible.  All before the printing press.  Carefully, meticulously, and almost without any error (the differences of spelling or the use of definite articles) they were copied for centuries by hand.  No other writing in antiquity even approaches more than 100 manuscript copies.

To trust the Bible, to believe Jesus and to believe in God is not a leap of faith, but solid foundation of evidence for the truth.  With a leap of faith you take tremendous risk.  what if you’re wrong?  What do you risk?  You risk everything.  You risk missing what is true and the positive consequences of abundant life (John 10:10) and eternal life (1 John 5:11, 13 & 20).  That’s huge.

Some great books showing the evidence we’re talking about:

Stay tuned as we investigate the proof that is solid, sure and not a leap into the unknown.

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Is There More Than Believing Jesus is the Son of God?

Apostles  37

The beginning of this discussion is this link: https://blogthechurch.wordpress.com/2009/10/16/i-believe-what-do-i-believe/

The implications and understanding of Jesus being the Son of God is huge.  The basic truth is “Emmanuel, God with us.”  I like that.  It’s a whole lot more than the idea that anyone is with us.  When someone we love dies, they’re always with us in our memories and emotions, but God is with us in Jesus.  He came to earth, born to a virgin, a miracle of God, and lived and breathed, ate and drank, experienced emotions and everything that we humans have (Hebrews from beginning to end).  God and man in one person.

But the reason God is with us, that he came to earth was to atone (equal to pay for) our sins.  To wash us clean from the sins that we are unable to do anything about on our own.  Transcendental Mediation can’t take care of them, psychological assessments and treatments only mask an eternal problem.  But Jesus came to die for sins.  Yours mine and everyone’s

So, he went to the cross as a sacrifice for our sins.  All the apostles preached Jesus’ crucifixion.  Read every message that Peter and any other apostle preached, read Paul’s life history and Jesus being crucified for our sins is the crux of their message.  The preaching of Jesus being crucified includes his raising from the dead.

You know there are three critical things that are argued about in the church and even the world wonders about.  One is communion, another is baptism and the other is the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  They are all related.  So if the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus isn’t true, nothing else matters.  Read 1 Corinthians 15 and see if it isn’t important.  Read Acts 2 and realize it is the most important thing in the world, ever.  If history from the beginning of time to the end of time was depicted as a line (history is linear), the crucial point would be AD 29 (some claim AD 30 and some AD 33 but that time period) would be the pivotal point for that line.

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 3:16.

That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved, Romans 10:9-10.

A key element to believing in Jesus as the Son of God is believing God raised him from the dead.

If Jesus is not raised from the dead, we’re in big trouble.  Your faith is invalid.  You are lost in your sins without any hope http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Corinthians%2015:12-20&version=NIV .

But he has raised from the dead.  In his life, there is life for you.  Life that is different from the sinful ways that destroy body, emotions, relationships and the spirit.

Next time, before we go to repentance, we’ll examine the evidence that Jesus is alive, again.

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