Monday, November 25, 2013

Had a recent dicussion about The Bible _ although this is not a religious blog, my friends and I were wondering who wrote the Bible and is it actually factual I did some research and here is what I found out....

The history of the Bible starts with a phenomenal account of history! It's not one book like most people think -- It's an ancient collection of writings, comprised of 66 separate books, written over approximately 1,600 years, by at least 40 distinct authors. The Old Testament contains 39 books written from approximately 1500 to 400 BC, and the New Testament contains 27 books written from approximately 40 to 90 AD. The Jewish Bible (Tanakh) is the same as the Christian Old Testament, except for its book arrangement. The original Old Testament was written mainly in Hebrew, with some Aramaic, while the original New Testament was written in common Greek.

The history of the "Bible" begins with the Jewish Scriptures. The historical record of the Jews was written down on leather scrolls and tablets over centuries, and the authors included kings, shepherds, prophets and other leaders. The first five books are called the Law, which were written and/or edited primarily by Moses in the early 1400's BC. Thereafter, other scriptural texts were written and collected by the Jewish people during the next 1,000 years. About 450 BC, the Law and the other Jewish Scriptures were arranged by councils of rabbis (Jewish teachers), who then recognized the complete set as the inspired and sacred authority of God (Elohim). At some time during this period, the books of the Hebrew Bible were arranged by topic, including The Law (Torah), the Prophets (Nebiim), and the Writings (Ketubim). The first letters of these Hebrew words - T, N and K -- form the name of the Hebrew Bible - the Tanakh. 1

Beginning as early as 250 BC, the Hebrew Bible was translated into Greek by Jewish scholars in Alexandria, Egypt. This translation became known as the "Septuagint", meaning 70, and referring to the tradition that 70 (probably 72) men comprised the translation team. It was during this process that the order of the books was changed to the order we have in today's Bible: Historical (Genesis - Esther), poetic (Job - Song of Songs), and prophetic (Isaiah - Malachi). 2

Although the Jewish Scriptures were copied by hand, they were extremely accurate copy to copy. The Jews had a phenomenal system of scribes, who developed intricate and ritualistic methods for counting letters, words and paragraphs to insure that no copying errors were made. These scribes dedicated their entire lives to preserving the accuracy of the holy books. A single copy error would require the immediate destruction of the entire scroll. In fact, Jewish scribal tradition was maintained until the invention of the printing press in the mid-1400's AD. As far as manuscript accuracy, the recent discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls has confirmed the remarkable reliability of this scribal system over thousands of years 3 (I'll get back to the Dead Sea Scrolls later).

After approximately 400 years of scriptural silence, Jesus arrived on the scene in about 4 BC. Throughout his teaching, Jesus often quotes the Old Testament, declaring that he did not come to destroy the Jewish Scriptures, but to fulfill them. In the Book of Luke, Jesus proclaims to his disciples, "all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me." 4

Starting in about 40 AD, and continuing to about 90 AD, the eye-witnesses to the life of Jesus, including Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, James, Peter and Jude, wrote the Gospels, letters and books that became the Bible's New Testament. These authors quote from 31 books of the Old Testament, and widely circulate their material so that by about 150 AD, early Christians were referring to the entire set of writings as the "New Covenant." During the 200s AD, the original writings were translated from Greek into Latin, Coptic (Egypt) and Syriac (Syria), and widely disseminated as "inspired scripture" throughout the Roman Empire (and beyond). 5 In 397 AD, in an effort to protect the scriptures from various heresies and offshoot religious movements, the current 27 books of the New Testament were formally and finally confirmed and "canonized" in the Synod of Carthage. 6

The Bible is the number one best seller of all time. The Bible has also been studied more than any book in history by scientists, scholars, theologians/non theologians, historians and they all agree that the people and places mentioned in the Bible actually existed and exist today. Therefore it is not and should not be considered mythology. That is just not true. It is logical to say that those things that occurred historically in the Bible actually happened and that some of those things predicted also came to be (e.g. the Jews going back and settling in Israel).

I find it funny that some people question the existence of Jesus yet many witnessed his crucifixion and dare I say resurrection and wrote about it.

I know there is film footage but let’s say for a minute there was no film footage of JFK being assassinated. We know many people saw it happen, would we doubt that JFK was assassinated if they all wrote about it?

Nobody saw Osama Bin Laden get hunted down just a small few involved in the operation, yet most people believe it true? Knowing what you know now about the history of the Bible and the accuracy of its documentation over thousands of years can you still deny that some and/or most of it is true??

Ok so lastly, I myself believe in GOD and I believe in an afterlife...why? Because I have  my faith but I have also done my homework. Clearly when people say "religion is just faith based" that is not true. If you still think that then you have not read what I am have outlined for you which is a history of the modern day Bible which practically just as accurate as it was thousands of years ago.  We have accurately written documents written by numerous people who never met one and other yet their messages speak to the same things, the same people and the same places. Where is this inspiration from…God?  I think so.

People are looking for answers; the answers are right in front of you. It starts by picking up a Bible, but please pick up a study Bible. There is nothing worse than someone who takes the written word in the Bible literally...Most religious egg heads do that. I will get into the topic of literal and non literal meanings of scripture another time...I am tired of writing. I'll end my tirade with this quote directly from the Bible.

39You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, 40yet you refuse to come to me to have life.

Cheers....I am not on a mission to convert anyone. Just give more of a history of the Bible and if you got something from this well then this was worth it for me.

God BlessJ


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