Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Is The Bible a Reliable Document?

Unfortunately there are people who have been led to believe that the Bible is an unreliable document. The truth is, however, that of all ancient literature the New Testament is the most well-authenticated document, with an overwhelming amount of evidence supporting its reliability.  There are more New Testament manuscripts, copied with greater accuracy, at earlier dates than from any secular classic from secular classic from antiquity such as Herodotus, Plato, or Aristotle.

Some charge that there are grievous errors in the Bible.  Actually, Bible scholars who have examined the thousands of manuscript copies discovered 150,000 "textual variants."  These variants are slight, involving a missing letter in a word.  For example, note the variants in the following:  Youha*ejus#wonamilliondol^ars.  My guess is that you would not have any problem making out this message in spite of the variants.  In more than 99 percent of the cases of textual variants in the New Testament , the original text can be reconstructed to a practical certainty.

In October 2003, Odyssey Marine Exploration recovered a ship's bell off the coast of Georgia.  They believe it is from the ship called the TENNESSEE, which sank back in 1865 with a cargo of up to $180 million in gold.  They aren't absolutely certain this is the TENNESSEE because the bell's inscription is partially obscured.  Only the letters "SSEE"are visible.  The rest of the inscription won't be legible until it's cleaned.

With $180 million at stake, do you think they will allow this fragment of a word to hinder their search?  O, by the way, after the bell was cleaned it was determined that it was indeed from the TENNESSEE.

Pastor Van

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