The Bible - A Living Document
1. Manuscript Evidence
The Bible as we know it initially existed as handwritten manuscripts. Historians analyze manuscripts to determine the authenticity of ancient documents. At present, there are more than 24,000 copies that comprise all or portions of the New Testament, relationship as far back as 50 AD. This is remarkable! Homer's Iliad, which is Ancient Greece's most famous and history's subsequent best-documented book, has only 643 surviving copies. (In actual fact, there are more disputed lines in 643 Iliad manuscripts than in all of the New Testament manuscripts.) Evaluate this with the truth that we do not have ANY manuscripts of any of William Shakespeare's 37 plays, which have been written less than four hundred years ago.
2. Historic Discoveries
Science proves time and again that the Bible is the inspired word of God. Consider three examples.:
Two thousand -5 hundred years ago, the prophet Isaiah speaks of the earth as being "spherical" at a time when everybody believed that it was flat (Isaiah forty:22). History dates the "discovery" of the spherical nature of the world across the 16th century.
Throughout the time of Job, it was believed a god named Atlas held the earth on his shoulders! Nobody believed the earth "hangeth upon nothing" (Job 26:7) Job is the oldest book within the Bible; it was written over 3500 years ago
Ecclesiastes 1:7 says "All of the rivers run into the ocean; yet the sea will not be full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again." The writer of Ecclesiastes knew about condensation and evaporation. We call it the water cycle. Galileo is credited for making this discovery in 1630! Ecclesiastes was composed in a thousand B.C.
There are a fantastic many prophecies made in the Bible that history records as having come to pass. Here we note just one with a number of elements fulfilled in literal detail. To this day the fulfillment of this prophecy is beyond any argument.
Ezekiel 26:1-6,12 says, ". . . the word of the LORD got here unto me, saying. . . Behold, I'm against thee, O Tyrus, and can cause many countries to return up against thee. . . And they shall destroy the partitions of Tyrus, and break down her towers: I will even scrape her dust from her, and make her like the highest of a rock. It shall be a place for the spreading of nets within the midst of the ocean: for I've spoken it, saith the Lord GOD. . . they shall break down thy walls, and destroy thy pleasant houses: and they shall lay thy stones and thy timber and thy dust in the midst of the water."
Tyre was the highly effective city in the ancient kingdom of Phoenicia. This prophecy was given around 586 B.C. Babylon, under the rule of Nebuchadnezzar, laid siege to the city for 13 years, literally breaking down the partitions and towers, as predicted in Ezekiel's words. Throughout that time, the citizens of Tyre escaped to an island just offshore, and started rebuilding the city. Babylon had no navy, so Tyre survived the drawn out battle. But in 333 B.C. (250 years later), military of Greece, led by Alexander the Great, laid the "stones, timber and dust" of the city on the mainland "within the midst of the water", to build a bridge to the island. Tyre was fully destroyed, by no means to recover. To this day, fishermen may be found "spreading their nets" there to dry, just because the prophecy said.
Woodrow Wilson once acknowledged that "When you may have read the Bible, you will know it is the Word of God, because you should have found it the key to your own heart, your own happiness, and your own duty." The more one studies scripture, the clearer one sees the truth, that the Bible is God's word, revealed to man.
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