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Posts tagged “Homer’s Iliad

The Reliability of the Bible – Part 1

The Bible is not true because it works for us, it works for us because it is true!

It’s (the Bible) a reliable collection of historical documents written down by eye witnesses during the lifetime of other eyewitnesses. They report to us supernatural events that took place, fulfillment of specific prophecies and claim to be Divine instead of human in origin.

People say that the Bible has been changed or is just not reliable. That’s good and all, but, there is just one problem (Actually there are many, but we’ll focus on just this one). Let’s look at just the New Testament. How did these zealous monks locate some 6,000 manuscripts (or pieces of manuscripts), change them all the exact same way, not allowed their ink work to show, then get them back where they stole them from before anybody saw them? 6000 manuscripts, no big deal, right? Most manuscripts were written within 40 to 150 years after Christ. During the lifetime of eye-witnesses! Interestingly, this manuscript evidence far surpasses the manuscript reliability of other ancient writings that we trust as authentic every day. Look at these comparisons: Julius Caesar’s The Gallic Wars (10 manuscripts remain, with the earliest one dating to 1,000 years after the original autograph); Pliny the Younger’s Natural History (7 manuscripts; 750 years elapsed); Thucydides’ History (8 manuscripts; 1,300 years elapsed); Herodotus’ History (8 manuscripts; 1,350 years elapsed); Plato (7 manuscripts; 1,300 years); and Tacitus’ Annals (20 manuscripts; 1,000 years). Homer’s Iliad, the most renowned book of ancient Greece, is the second best-preserved literary work of all antiquity, with 643 copies of manuscript support discovered to date. In those copies, there are 764 disputed lines of text, as compared to 40 lines in all the New Testament manuscripts. In fact, many people are unaware that there are no surviving manuscripts of any of William Shakespeare’s 37 plays (written in the 1600’s), and scholars have been forced to fill some gaps in his works. This pales in textual comparison with the over 5,600 copies and fragments of the New Testament in the original Greek that, together, assure us that nothing has been lost. In fact, all of the New Testament except eleven minor verses can be reconstructed outside the Bible from the writings of the early church leaders in the second and third centuries AD.