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 Historians analyze manuscripts to determine the genuineity of historical documents. Right now, 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 Historic Greece's most well-known and history's next finest-documented book, has only 643 surviving copies. (The truth is, there are more disputed lines in 643 Iliad manuscripts than in all of the New Testament manuscripts.) Evaluate this with the fact that we do not have ANY manuscripts of any of William Shakespeare's 37 plays, which were written less than four hundred years ago.
2. Historic Discoveries
Science proves again and again that the Bible is the inspired word of God. Consider three examples.:
Two thousand -five 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 sixteenth century.
During 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 in the Bible; it was written over 3500 years ago
Ecclesiastes 1:7 says "All of the rivers run into the sea; but the sea just isn't 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 one thousand B.C.
There are an amazing many prophecies made within the Bible that history records as having come to pass. Right here we note just one with a number of points fulfilled in literal detail. To this day the success of this prophecy is beyond any argument.
Ezekiel 26:1-6,12 says, ". . . the word of the LORD came unto me, saying. . . Behold, I am towards thee, O Tyrus, and will cause many nations to return up against thee. . . They usually shall destroy the partitions of Tyrus, and break down her towers: I will also scrape her mud from her, and make her like the top of a rock. It shall be a spot for the spreading of nets within the midst of the ocean: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD. . . they shall break down thy partitions, and destroy thy pleasant houses: they usually shall lay thy stones and thy timber and thy mud within 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 thirteen 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 began rebuilding the city. Babylon had no navy, so Tyre survived the drawn out battle. However 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 "in the midst of the water", to build a bridge to the island. Tyre was utterly destroyed, by no means to recover. To this day, fishermen could be found "spreading their nets" there to dry, just as the prophecy said.
Woodrow Wilson once said that "When you've gotten read the Bible, you will know it is the Word of God, because you'll have discovered 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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