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Was The Bible Written By God or by Man? Was The Bible Written By God or by Man?
by Jack Wellman
2010-06-12 08:33:14
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bible_400Was the Bible written by man or by God Himself? If by man, then it could contain prejudices and errors. If by God, then we would expect it to be perfect. According to the Bible, there are 418 times that the Bible uses the term “Thus says the Lord” and another 48 (that I could count) that says “God said”. If you add up all of the “Jesus said” and the other accounts of God telling the 40 authors in 66 books that God told them to “write down” these words, then the Bible contains over 1,000 times that the Lord was actually speaking to cause the words to be written down. And there is a serious warning that these authors knew in the last verse of the Bible that if any human adds to or takes away from this Word of God, even a single letter or stroke, as he says in Revelation 22:19 that He “…shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city (heaven or the new Jerusalem)”. This warning is repeated in Deuteronomy 4:2. It never mentions that men’s words were ever written down.
 
One such practice was that each of these seventy scribes had the other sixty-nine scribes check their writings for error. Each of these seventy scribes reviewed the others writings as well as having the other sixty-nine check their own. Their methods resulted in such an accurate reproduction of scripture that only one error for every fifteen hundred words occurred and these errors were so slight that they never affected the content. This leaves absolutely no room for private interpretation or mistranslation that would affect the context. By modern standards, the accuracy rate is superior to Microsoft’s Spelling and Grammar Check (no, it is not perfect since it came by humans). Under these strict guidelines and conditions, no one can dispute that the translation differences has any effect on the message of the Bible or its general context.
 
For the Old Testament, any translation or copying differences were inconsequential. Of the thousands of manuscripts, and pieces of manuscripts, the only discrepancies that existed were vowel related (spelling difference), leaving out one consonant or rearranging certain names or words.1 One such example had “Jesus Christ“, while the other version had it “Christ Jesus”. Historically speaking, the number seventy was especially symbolic to the Jew. Moses appointed seventy elders, and there were the seventy scribes whose sole purpose in life was to copy the original manuscript so close as to be identical. This tradition continued throughout Israel’s history.
 
New Testament manuscripts have been preserved by the thousands. No other ancient works or events in human history have today what the Bible contains in documented and recorded histories. There are over 5,700 complete or fragmented Greek manuscripts, 10,000 Latin manuscripts and 9,300 manuscripts in various other ancient languages including Syriac, Slavic, Gothic, Ethiopic, Coptic, and even Armenian. The dates of these manuscripts range from the 2nd century up to the invention of the printing press in the 15th century. And every year 2 or 3 New Testament manuscripts handwritten in the original Greek format are discovered. The latest large find was in 2008, when 47 new manuscripts were discovered in Albania and at least 17 of them unknown to Western scholars.2
The amount of manuscript evidence is overwhelming:
 
Over 24,000 New Testament manuscripts, 5,000 of which date from the first century, which to Historians is a primary source from eye witnesses.
 
Over 5,600 Dead Sea Scrolls with different authors from the Old Testament, all agreeing textually with each other (about .01% which includes vowel’s differentiation, consonant blends, etc. but never affecting the text or the context).
Forty authors in 3 different languages, covering 1,500 years, with 2 billion in publication since 1455. The Bible has always been the world’s best seller.
 
From secular human history, we have some 7 remaining manuscripts of one of the earliest philosophers, Plato, from around 300 B.C. But the most recent copy of these compositions came 900 years after they were written!
 
Aristotle has 49 copies of his writings and the copy that is closest to the time of his living also came 900 years after he had written them.
 
Over 24,000 New Testament manuscripts, 5,000 of which date from the first century, which to Historians is a primary source from eye witnesses.
 
Over 5,600 Dead Sea Scrolls with different authors from the Old Testament, all agreeing textually with each other (about .01% which includes vowel’s differentiation, consonant blends, etc. but never affecting the text or the context).
 
Forty authors in 3 different languages, covering 1,500 years, with 2 billion in publication since 1455. The Bible has always been the world’s best seller.
 
From secular human history, we have some 7 remaining manuscripts of one of the earliest philosophers, Plato, from around 300 B.C. But the most recent copy of these compositions came 900 years after they were written!
 
Aristotle has 49 copies of his writings and the copy that is closest to the time of his living also came 900 years after he had written them.
 
Hard evidence verifies the dating of Matthew’s Gospel as far back as A.D. 60. Some of these same scholars argue that Mark wrote the first Gospel, this discovery would push the composition of Mark to within 20 years, at most, of the events his Gospel describes. Taken together, the synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) and Luke’s second volume, Acts, would give us a record of the events of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection indisputably written within the lifetimes of those who were eyewitnesses.
 
In the Book of Revelation, Chapter One, verse One it says "The Revelation of JESUS CHRIST, which God gave unto him (John), to show unto his servants (Christians) things which must shortly come to pass; and send and signified it by His angel unto His servant John" [my italics]. It is not the Revelation of St. John, but it is authentically the Revelation of Jesus Christ (as it said) and not of human origin.
 
I have a BA in History and when I began comparing the Bible with other human works, it is abundantly clear that, compared to all human historical documents, Biblical manuscripts reigns supreme by far. The greatest problem is a good one to have…that there is so much evidence to introduce in just this one article as exhibit‘s A, that the case of the Bible being true would be impossible to contain in one article. The conclusion is that since over 1,300 prophecies have been fulfilled already, and exactly as they were written years before, sometimes even before particular cities even existed! There is no room for doubt that the Word of God, the Bible, contains the authentic words from God Himself and there are not manmade.
 

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_manuscript#cite_note-1
2.http://www.christiantoday.com/article/nt.scholar.on.discovery.of.giant.trove.of.bible.manuscripts/18204.htm
 
First published on: http://jobshopesolutions.com/ and http://associatedcontent.com/jackwellman http://www.everydaychristian.com/blogs

  
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Seth2010-06-12 22:32:36

I agree, if it was written by humans, how could it have survived to this day?


Ken2010-07-24 11:22:17
The article cites Dead Sea scrolls Old Testament textual disagreement at .01%. What about New Testament manuscript disagreement? It is closer to 30%. 95% of these disagreements are inconsequential, but 5% of them seem to be of significant consequence, including John 7:53-8:11, Mark 16:9-20, and 1 John 5:8. And others of debatable consequence (Hebrews 8:8, Luke 2:33, etc.).

Not trying to pick a fight. I am a pastor myself. Just hoping to inspire some honest discussion about the facts. The Bible certainly was written by men, copied by men, and at times altered by men. It is not useful or necessary to claim that it wasn't.


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