I thought that I might spend a little time today supporting the historical accuracy of the Bible in comparison to other well-respected ancient writings. Some criticize the Bible as not being accurate in its translations and therefore not to be revered more so than any other religious book.
However, I would like to suggest that with no thought to the miraculous construction of the Bible which we considered in the last posting, that the Bible is by far more reliable in it’s supporting manuscripts that any other ancient writing.
Below, I have listed what are perhaps the most well known ancient writings and the number of intact copies of those writings. Judge for yourself what is reliable and what is not.
Another fascinating fact that the New Testament has supporting its authenticity when compared to other ancient writings, is that we have copies in several different languages. What makes this interesting is that almost no other ancient writing was ever translated into another language in the early years of its existence. Christianity has always been a missionary faith with the desire for every nation to hear of Christ being central to the heart of Christianity. Even from Christianity’s earliest history the Bible has been copied into other languages so that people speaking those languages might be able to read the Bible. There are over 15,000 ancient copies of portions of the New Testament in languages other than those in which it was originally written and these support the original message of the New Testament.
In my next posting we will be looking at fulfilled Old Testament prophecy and how time proves the reliability of the Bible.
Let’s look at a little more scripture from the first chapter of the book of Mark.
9 At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” 12 At once the Spirit sent him out into the desert, 13 and he was in the desert forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him. 14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!” 16 As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 17 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” 18 At once they left their nets and followed him. 19 When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. 20 Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.
Can you answer these questions?
- What was the role of the Holy Spirit at Jesus’ water baptism? (Mark 1:10)
- What was God’s response to Jesus’ water baptism? (Mark 1:11)
- What did Jesus say a person should do to prepare for the kingdom of God? (Mark 1:15)
- What did Jesus tell Simon and Andrew he would make them? (Mark 1:17)
Keep at it! Everything great takes time!
Remember to post your questions and I will do my best to answer them all.