I could talk about the immense reverence the ancient Hebrew scribes had for their Bible(the Old Testament).
I could speak about their stringent standards for the parchment(animal skins) and the ink used on the manuscripts, even the personal hygiene of the copyists.
I could go on and on about their meticulous methods of copying the text, how every word, one by one, had to be spoken or sung out loud, how every word had to be checked against the original before you could move on to the next word, how every letter had to be clearly identifiable and could not touch another letter to aid those that would copy their copy in the future.
I could tell you about the ridiculous, no, fanatical methods of checking the copied texts, how every letter of every word on every line of every column on every page was counted and compared to the original. How each and every parchment page had to be checked separately by three different rabbis and if one error was found the page had to be redone. How even after the pages were sewn into a scroll they had to be checked again, and if one or two pages contained errors those pages could be redone but if three pages contained errors–the entire scroll was deemed unfit for use.
I could say how the Dead Sea Scrolls discovered between 1947 and 1956 but dated between the third century BC and the first century AD clearly prove that the Bible’s message has not been changed over the millennia.
I could tell of the insane amount(over 24,000) of New Testament manuscripts that are in existence today, ranging from fragments to entire manuscripts, some of them dating to the 2nd century AD.
Would any of that help you believe the Bible were true though? If you believed my sources were 100% accurate, would that authenticate the Bible for you? Even if you conceded that the Bible was largely the same as it was two thousand years ago, it still would not tell you if it was God’s word that these scribes had meticulously copied for us.
So how is it that Christians believe the Bible is God’s word?
It’s simple; we read it. The words of the Bible themselves prove their authenticity, just like you would expect if God himself were writing them. They speak to our lives as if they were written today, specifically for each one of us, as if the words are alive. The more we read it, the more proof we have. Every word we read drives away doubt.
It is very much like how we see proof of God’s existence everywhere we look. We see proof of God’s pen on every page, in every word.
The skeptics miss the most obvious argument for the Bible’s authenticity. If God wrote it, he can keep it pure. That is the greatest argument for the Bible’s message not being changed over thousands of years, but it is not something the skeptics can understand. The Bible cannot be God’s word if there is no God.
Many of these skeptics are extremely smart people and their logic is often sound but they are not working with all the facts. In fact they are lacking the most relevant fact in the universe. They are limited, hamstrung. It’s like trying to come up with the sum of two numbers when you only have one.
One cannot believe the Bible is God’s word without first believing there is a Creator God. If you believe that much though, a gigantic universe of new possibilities opens up to logic. What possible limitations could there be to a God who could create a universe like ours? If a God can create all we see, including all life, would it be hard for that God to lead the hearts of thirty-nine men to write down his word for us to study and learn from, and pass down from generation to generation? Obviously not! All things would be possible for a God that powerful.
This isn’t rocket science either. If the Bible is true, that means there is a God who created everything. If that God exists, then it is undeniably possible that he wrote the Bible through all those men. It all hinges on whether there is a God or not. If you still wonder about that, I would direct you to my last two posts.
Stay tuned. Keep pushin’ on. A.J.