“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
Remember playing Chinese whispers when you were a kid? The whisper may start as “is the cat well?” and end up as “does the rat smell?” Could not the bible, reproduced by hand over the centuries, become progressively inaccurate?
The Old Testament
The Old Testament scribes took great care that no mistakes were made in copying. For example, the number of letters per page was counted by a second scribe, and compared with the copy. If one line had nine words, the copy must have those nine words on one line. A third scribe would then check that the word in the middle of the page was the same.
In the 1940s and 1950s, a collection of thousands of scrolls or fragments of scrolls was discovered near the Dead Sea. They contained copies of manuscripts of the Hebrew Old Testament that was about a thousand years earlier than the earliest copies in existence. When comparing the older copies with those already in existence, a noted Bible scholar said, “It has been …estimated that there are …variations in hardly more than a 1000th part, of the text.” Hence, we may safely say that the Old Testament is at least 99.9% accurate when compared with the originals.
The New Testament
The time between the life of Jesus and the New Testament writings is short compared to those of the accounts of other great figures of the times. Nine or ten early authors write of Jesus, most of them independently of each other. Further, there are today more than five thousand early manuscript copies of part or whole of the New Testament in Greek. We may then be confident that the New Testament we have today is virtually identical with the original writings that compose it.
Does it Matter?
The scriptures are not the product of human imagination: they come from God. And they point out how to be saved from condemnation. 2 Timothy 3, 15b-16 says… you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed….
Are you willing to open your mind to understanding how to get right with God? There is not better place to start than to read the bible. John’s gospel (in the New Testament) is a good place to start.
For unless we are rescued from our sins, we face the judgement of God. The good news is that if a person trusts in Christ to forgive them, he offers a fresh start. For more info, go to….