How accurate is the Holy Bible?
The Bible was written from about 40 people through over a thousand years. These authors were men of God; they heard the voice of the Lord and fulfilled it just as he commanded. There are 66 books in this amazing work of narratives, poetry, history, prophecy and law in which the teachings relate to all of us, even today. It is Wisdom, and it is Truth. It is a non-fiction, and has been verified through various archeological discoveries. This is the book you and your children should live by. This is the Book that lives. Do you wonder how all of this fell together? Thousands of years, 40 different authors! Can a document that was copied so many times truly be accurate? Tradition of the Jewish church tells us that the Hebrew people were extremely careful and precise in copying the scripture. Scribes of the Old Testament were bound to a set of rules, to ensure they copied with absolute precision. They could only use clean animal skins, they could not write more than 60 lines and no less than 48 lines of scripture per page. The ink must be of a special recipe, and they must verbalize each word aloud while they wrote. The letters, words, and paragraphs had to be counted, and the document became invalid if two letters touched each other! John C. Trever conducted several interviews to find out how the scrolls were found in the Dead Sea. Muhammed Edh-Dhib, his cousin Jum‟a Muhammed, and a friend Khalil Musa were shepherding in the region of the Dead Sea (Evans, Craig. "Guide to the Dead Sea Scrolls"). They noticed some possible caves. In these caves they discovered scrolls from the book of Isaiah (John C. Trever. The Dead Sea Scrolls. Gorgias Press LLC). They brought the scrolls to several people to have them examined, and were eventually purchased by an antiques dealer. Member of the Syrian Orthodox church, George ish‟ya, heard about the scrolls (most likely news spread by the antiques dealer) and contacted St. Mark‟s Monastery hoping to get news about who these people were and where they found the scrolls. In 1948, two years after the discovery of the first
scrolls, the Bedouins who found them went with some archeologists back to the Dead Sea and found 11 more cave openings, and they discovered a total of 972 Old Testament manuscripts. The Dead Sea of Israel receives almost no rainfall, so it is ideal that these scrolls were of original condition. The Codex Aleppo was one of our oldest Aramaic Old Testament scrolls. It was believed to be written around 900 AD (Age estimate from the type of paper). The Dead Sea Scrolls were significantly older than the Codex Aleppo, and they must have been from before 0 AD because it was the Old Testament. The Codex Aleppo was compared to the Dead Sea Scrolls by Dr. John C. Trever, of the American Schools of Oriental Research, and they contained very similar verses. The only change in the Codex Aleppo was to improve the grammar; they contained the exact same message throughout the chapters. This proves that the Bible‟s words are honest, and they had not been changed in thousands of years of copying by hand. So, are the words true? Here is a story from 2 Kings of the Old Testament. Hezekiah the king of Judah was faithful to the Lord. His followers were like his sheep, faithfully following the Lord‟s words. The Holy city of Jerusalem lives inside of Judah. Judah neighbored another little country called Samaria, and one colossal country called Assyria, ruled by Sennacharib. (2 Kings 18:9) “Sennacharib king of Assyria marched against Samaria and laid siege to it.” A siege means to sit or wait, and when a country sieges you, your water or food supply is contaminated and your army falls weak. Ten years later, Judah was conquered by Assyria (2 kings 18:13). Then in (2 Kings 18:14) “So Hezekiah king of Judah sent this message to the king of Assyria „I have done wrong. Withdraw from me, and I will pay whatever you demand of me.‟ So, Hezekiah gave him all the silver that was found in the temple of the LORD and in the treasuries of the royal palace.” Sennacharib took the silver and gave Judah their freedom back,
but Sennacharib knows that Jerusalem harbors Gold and Silver. So, he begins threatening them by doubting the Lord, and also threatening to siege them. (2 kings 18:19-23), and (2 kings 18:27) “Was it only to your master and you that my master sent me to say these things, who, like you [Hezekiah], will have to eat their own excrement and drink their own urine?” Sennacharib threatens them with a siege by saying they will have to live under great measures if they don‟t overthrow Hezekiah. Assyria was powerful, and he made Hezekiah know his strength by naming all of the other countries that had fallen from their sieges. The people of Judah had remained silent to Sennacharib‟s threats because they were faithful to the Lord and they trusted Hezekiah‟s word. Hezekiah prayed and told the Lord about all of these threats. To protect the Holy city of Jerusalem, Hezekiah ordered his men to carve a tunnel which would channel flowing water to keep the army alive. The tunnel is mentioned way later in the Bible in 2 Chronicles 32:2-4. “And when Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib was come, and that he was purposed to fight against Jerusalem, He took counsel with his princes and his mighty men to stop the waters of the fountains which were without the city: and they did help him.‟ [“Without the city” meaning underground, and the people of Judah helped him carve it.] „So there was gathered much people together, who stopped all the fountains, and the brook that ran through the midst of the land, saying, why should the kings of Assyria come, and find much water?” So, in this verse Hezekiah explains that when Sennacharib comes to finally attack, they will stop the water supply so that Sennacharib doesn‟t find their secret weapon. How do we know that this story is true, and that Hezekiah really did protect his people from the siege? In 1838 American biblical scholar Edward Robinson discovered Hezekiah‟s Tunnel. The tunnel was more spectacular than anyone could have imagined. Hezekiah‟s tunnel was dug through
solid rock at a length of 1,750 feet! The tunnel travels in an s-shape at a perfectly steady slope. The walls are always about as wide as a man‟s shoulders. An inscription was found near the middle of the tunnel. It commemorates the point when two teams, digging from each end, finally met in the middle. The inscription reads: “[...when] (the tunnel) was driven through. And this was the way in which it was cut through: While [...] (were) still [...] axe(s), each man toward his fellow, and while there were still three cubits to be cut through, [there was heard] the voice of a man calling to his fellows, for there was an overlap in the rock on the right [and on the left]. […] axe against axe; and the water flowed from the spring toward the reservoir for 1200 cubits….” Today, people can walk through this tunnel to observe its majesty (bibleplaces.com), but we know that water used to flow through it many years ago because near the end of your walk, you will be standing in a freezing cold pool of water! Cool, so this humungous, 1,750 foot tunnel, carved from solid rock, actually existed and it was mentioned in the Bible three times, (2 Kings 20:20, 2 Chronicles 32:2-4, 2 Chronicles 32:30). Why did he build it? The Lord ordered Hezekiah for it to be built because it was imperative for the temple of Jerusalem to be protected. Hezekiah knew the Lord, and he knew the seriousness of his Word. There is only one God, and Hezekiah knew he needed to protect the Lord‟s Holy city. (2 kings 19:35-36) “That night the angel of the LORD went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up the next morning—there were all the dead bodies! So Sennacherib king of Assyria broke camp and withdrew. He returned to Nineveh and stayed there.” Another amazing thing is that Nineveh was mentioned in the first book, Genesis, and now is mentioned again. An entire book was written on the discovery of Nineveh in the 1800‟s! Truly Fascinating. (1840: The Discovery of Nineveh). Hopefully you are still reading and you have not ignorantly passed this off as false, because this is where it starts to get good.
In November of 1990, construction workers were landscaping in Israel‟s peace forest, and they accidently uncovered a tomb of 12 ossuaries. Ossuaries are similar to caskets; they are small limestone boxes which only carry bones. A family member would lay the body out on a bench, and a year later come back and store the bones in the ossuary. The construction workers contacted an Israeli antiques manager, Zvi Greenhut. He and the “Israel Antiquities Authority Unit” (CNN Wire Staff) identified them as ancient ossuaries. The only ossuary in the tomb that was thoroughly observed had ornate designs covered in patterns of intricate circles and flowers. This was the only ossuary which had any design; it would seem to point to an important person. The contents of the ossuary are studied and found to contain the remains of several people. There are multiple members of the same family in this ossuary. The bones were identified as two babies, an adolescent child, a teenage boy, an adult woman, and a man estimated to be about 60 years of age (The Caiaphas Ossuary 1st Century CE, University of Minnesota). On the side and on the back of the ossuary are inscriptions in Aramaic dramatically increasing the importance of this archeological find. Compared to the intricate designs carefully crafted on the face of the ossuary, these inscriptions appeared to be chiseled in, perhaps by a family member. It was not part of the original design. In Aramaic the inscription on the side reads, “Yehosef bar Qafa” and on the back another one, which says “Yehosef bar Qayafa” (which translates in English to Joseph Son of Caiaphas). So, who is this guy? The New Testament describes Caiaphas as one of the primary individuals involved in the crucifixion of Jesus Christ! Matthew, Mark, Luke and John each identify Caiaphas as the high priest that oversaw the arrest and trial of Jesus. He would be second in power, right next to the Roman Governor, Pontius Pilate. (Matthew 26:3) “Then the chief priests and the elders of the people were gathered together in the court of the high priest, named Caiaphas.” (These priests were jealous of Jesus; if you have read the story you would
understand that they were sinful priests.) The Bible does not give Caiaphas‟ first name. That is what brings it so much attention. A man investigating sources outside of the Bible discovers Caiaphas‟ name. (Jewish Antiquities 18:95). “Joseph who was called Caiaphas of the high priesthood…” also, in (Jewish Antiquities 18:35) it states, “Caiaphas was the Jewish high priest from 18 to 36 AD” Greenhut determined that this find can only mean that the 60 year old man found in the ossuary is one of the three men involved in the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. This is an extremely promising find because Joseph son of Caiaphas was carved on the box in two places, he was mentioned in the bible by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, and in Jewish antiquities as the same person. There are multiple family members, and the box has an important looking design. So we know now that the Word of God is honestly preserved. The Word of God is fulfilled (tunnel of Hezekiah) and that most important person of the Bible is proven to have existed. Did Jesus really do what he did? Matthew and John wrote the first and last books of the Gospel, and were documented as 2 of the 12 disciples of Jesus Christ. Mark and Luke wrote the other two books, and they were not eyewitnesses. A common conception of people is that you cannot trust the gospels because it was passed on through several people, similar to the game telephone. (Luke 1:1-4) “Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.” Luke points out in this chapter that he really did interview eye witnesses, and this is the work of a honest historian. The church demanded that only Jesus‟ Disciples could be interviewed for the Gospel, (Gospel is books of Matthew Mark Luke and John). The telephone analogy is poor
because the first disciples who passed on information about Jesus were deeply concerned to get this Sacred information correct. This deep seriousness is proven when we compared the Dead Sea Scrolls to the Codex Aleppo in the first paragraph. These disciples were very close followers of the Christian faith, therefore they could not lie, or even sin at all. For “The LORD replied to Moses, "Whoever has sinned against me I will blot out of my book.” (Exodus 32:33) These books were written because Jesus is the most important person to have ever lived. These things that Jesus said actually mattered. Jesus even admitted several times that he truly was the Son of God, and that is amazing because it is a sin to call yourself God, because that is lying. Only God could say he is God. Jesus was a literary artist with his teachings. He took pieces of prophecy, ideas, wisdom, literature and law. He summed it all up and created parables! He only spoke in parables! Jesus did not rehearse these moral lessons; He would witness an event and create a parable out of it on the spot. These parables took people by surprise, and they feared the authority of Jesus. Usually, when a Jewish Rabbi is teaching, he must teach in the name of somebody else. This means you have to memorize what the other Rabbi said in order to teach it truthfully. However, Jesus came with his own law and spoke in the Name of God. Therefore, Jesus did not learn what he knew from another Rabbi. Speaking in the name of the LORD is an extraordinary claim. There were few other people that spoke in the Name of the Lord such as the authors of the Bible, including Isaiah. Isaiah 9:4 (Old Testament) "For a child will be born to us, a Son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace." In fact, Isaiah also mentioned in his prophecy that Jesus would be punished for our sins. “He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities, the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has
turned to his own way; and the lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” That is an amazing quote. Jesus Christ is prophesied in the Old Testament! Thousands of years before Jesus was born! However, people are still skeptical because Jesus was accounted for performing miracles. Is there evidence for his miracles? Well, there were people who followed Jesus, and at the same time there were people who opposed Him. The people who opposed him actually admitted that he did in fact perform miracles, but that these miracles were from the Devil. (Luke 11:14-16.) Don‟t you think that someone who opposed Jesus would say that he did not perform miracles? These people opposed him and they still admitted! Jesus was crucified; it was documented in all four books, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. It is a fact. But the question is, did Jesus rise again? (Matthew 27:63) “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while He was still alive He said, „After three days I will rise again.‟” Jesus‟ great uncle (Mary‟s brother), Joseph of Armithea is the one who begged that the Roman governor, Pilate, to give the body of Jesus, so that he may give Jesus an honorable burial. (The Narrative of Joseph of Armithaea) Joseph of Armithea was also a non believer of Jesus, and he was completely a non believer up until the time of Jesus‟ Crucifixion. This fact that Jesus was placed in a tomb created by Joseph of Armithea is a remarkable statement. The fact that it was not a faithful follower who was decided to give Jesus an honorable burial, but a man who actually opposed Jesus, is an awkward and embarrassing fact for the early church. Do you think that the Church would have changed the story, so it would seem that one of the disciples gave Jesus the Honorable burial, instead of Joseph? Yet, this statement is still faithfully preserved in the Bible. We can knowledgeable assume that he was buried, but the original question is, did he rise again? (John 20:1) After the Sabbath, three days after the crucifixion, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary (Jesus‟ Birth Mother) went to look at the tomb. They
brought spices to the tomb of Jesus, and they discovered that His tomb was empty. Wait, didn‟t Jesus exorcise seven demons out of this prostitute? A woman, who was once a prostitute, discovered the tomb? You have to understand something of the status of women in the Palestinian Jewish society. In that society women were second class citizens. If one were to make up this story, then why on earth would you include the primary witness of Jesus‟ empty tomb to be a woman, previously documented as a demon infested prostitute? If you were a Jewish person, who lived in that time, and you heard this story, you would not believe because she is a woman. This alone is another embarrassing fact preserved faithfully by the church; yet, this also was honestly preserved as a Fact documented four different times by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The Christian disciples stuck to their story, even if it did appear to be a hoax, it was not. So, did Jesus appear to people after He resurrected? Read the following entry slowly. This is a piece letter written by a man named Paul, written to the Church of Corinth. "He was raised on the third day. He appeared to Peter, then to the twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time. Then he appeared to James. Then last of all he appeared to me.” An interesting thing about Paul was that he used to be called Sol of Tarsus, and he actually persecuted or killed Christians. He too was a non believer, and his skepticism changed only after Jesus‟ resurrected body came to him. This is one of the accounts of a non believer documenting a miracle of Jesus. Sol of tarsus, or, Paul, was a non believer until he saw Jesus resurrected. He writes a letter to the Church of Corinth claiming that he did see Jesus resurrected. Look at it this way. The letter was definitely written, it still exists. If the letter were to be a lie, the only possible outcome is that he did not actually see Jesus. If he had not seen Jesus resurrected body, then he would still be a non-believer who kills Christians. The only thing that would have changed his skepticism is if Jesus was a “forever kind of person”. (The Case for
Christ) So, if it were to be a lie, then why would a non believer write a letter claiming to have seen Jesus? A Non believer would not write a letter, he would not try to promote Christianity at all! He killed Christians! This is proof because we know that this man named Paul was the same man who was Persecutor of Christians. He really did write the letter, and he really did see Him. If he really did not see him, he would be killing Christians. Besides, who would have the guts to lie to a church? Do you understand? The Bible is the word of God, and these people Heard Gods Word and documented it. These people would do anything for God; even carve a 1,750 foot tunnel out of pure rock. There were more biblical discoveries then I mentioned. Jesus Christ did exist, He did perform miracles, He was crucified, He did rise again, and He did show himself to the people. It is provided with hard evidence, and proof. Similar to Luke and Mark, This proof was carefully investigated and reviewed. I made sure that there would be no skeptical answers or questions to any of the following evidence. This evidence still does not literally prove the existence of God, it only points in the exact direction. It is extremely close evidence. This is my testimony; Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Amen. Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.