Historical Discoveries Confirm But Do Not Deny Historical Accuracy Of The Bible
I’ve already summed it all up in my title above. When I’m not on my iPad I might just respond to all of the no voters because they all have problems with their reasons for voting “No”.One example would be that the flood is not stated to have occurred in 2349 B.C. Furthermore, there is no incompatibility between the biblical account and an “Old Earth” view of creation. In fact, there are some good reasons to assume that the biblical account of creation is highly figurative.
Literal Translations Of The Bible
Based on Functional Equivalence or Literal here are the 5 most accurate translations of the Bible:
1. New American Standard Bible
The NASB holds the title of Most Accurate Translation due toits strict adherence to Literal translation methods. It wasoriginally published in 1963 and was revised in 1995.
Another thing that makes it so accurate is the NASBs use of the text from the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum critical text.
The Dead Sea Scrolls are among the oldest of Old Testament texts. They are regarded by scholars as among the best original texts.
The NASB is not too easy to read, due to the strict adherence to literalism. The translators wanted to stick to the structure of the source language as closely as possible.
This gives the NASB the title for most accurate English translation at the expense of readability and comprehension.
There are quite a few people who love reading such an accurate translation, so the NASB has a strong following.
But there are other translations that are easier to read than the NASB. .
2. English Standard Version
The ESV is a revision of the Revised Standard Version .It is also very close to the NASB. It was originally published in 2001.
A new edition was published in 2009 including thedeuterocanonical or apocryphal- books. This makes it suitable for reading forCatholic believers.
It is written in very modern English, yet readers still find that it reminds them of the KJV and RSV.
3. New English Translation
Historical Reliability In The Old Testament
What do we mean by the reliability of the Old Testament? How reliable is it, and for what? For instance, what about the historicity of the Old Testament? Did the historical events to which the Hebrew Bible refers happen in real space-time history? If so, did they happen in the way the Old Testament describes them? Jesus and the apostolic writers of the New Testament consistently taught or assumed the historical reliability of the Old Testament. This includes everything from Gods creation of the world to the patriarchs, to Moses, to the conquest and occupation of the land, to the period of the kings and prophets, and to the Babylonian exile and restoration, and points along the way . Jesus and the writers of the New Testament used all of it to teach the church about history as His-story and the theological significance of that story for the life of the believer.
Different Views of Old Testament Historical Reliability
External Support for Old Testament Historical Reliability
Misplaced Skepticism about Old Testament Historical Reliability
Continued Persecution After The First Century
Gods Word survived despite intense efforts to destroy it. For instance, in 175 BC the king of Syria, Antiochus Epiphanes, ordered the Jews, on pain of death, to destroy their Scriptures and worship the Greek gods. But Judas Maccabaeus saved the books and led a revolt that won independence for the Jewish nation. Today, Jews celebrate this event during every Hanukkah .
Another example includes the Roman emperor Diocletians order to have Christianity outlawed, its leaders killed, and their Bibles burned. As a sign of Gods providence, the next emperor, Constantine, legalized Christianity and paid for fifty new hand-written copies of the Bible .
The Bible was not only preserved but translated into over two thousand languages in both the ancient and modern eras . Many of the earliest surviving manuscripts include translations, such as Syriac versions, showing Gods Word was spreading from the very beginning, and the words of its message have been preserved in many languages.
Is The Old Testament Historically Accurate
The Amazing Historical Accuracy of the Bible Question 6
Although the Old Testament was written from two thousand four hundred to three thousand four hundred years ago, the history that it records matches with known facts. The evidence is that the Old Testament is an historically accurate document in its main details. We can make the following observations:
Recommended Reading: What Does The Bible Say About Loneliness In Marriage
Accurate Bible Translations Compared
Each approach has its strengths and weaknesses.
Bible scholars have to study the original languages for a long period of time in order to develop a high proficiency in the original language.
And these same scholars must be top experts in the target language as well.
Anybody who has learned a foreign language knows there are certain idioms in each language.
These idioms do not always translate accurately from a source language to the target language, so translators must be very careful to make sure the meaning is accurately transmitted.
And the translators do a very good job of it. We can tell, because after hundreds of years of Bible translating, all the major translations are in agreement about the major meanings they are conveying in English.
They differ very slightly in the exact expression of the meanings and the translators take great care to make sure the core meanings are conserved.
This makes the translations very useful in side-by-side comparisons.
What Bible Translation Should I Avoid
Honorable Mention: Two translations that most Christians know to avoid but should still be mentioned are the New World Translation , which was commissioned by the Jehovah’s Witness cult and the Reader’s Digest Bible, which cuts out about 55% of the Old Testament and another 25% of the New Testament (including …
Recommended Reading: What Does The Bible Say About Killing In Self Defense
Comparison Of Existing Manuscript Quantities
Homer: ~2,000New Testament: 6,000+ in Greek 2
Quality of Manuscripts
Because of the great reverence the Jewish scribes held toward the Scriptures, they exercised extreme care in making new copies of the Hebrew Bible. The entire scribal process was specified in meticulous detail to minimize the possibility of even the slightest error. The number of letters, words, and lines were counted, and the middle letters of the Pentateuch and the Old Testament were determined. If a single mistake was discovered, the entire manuscript would be destroyed.
As a result of this extreme care, the quality of the manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible surpasses all other ancient manuscripts. The 1947 discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls provided a significant check on this, because these Hebrew scrolls predate the earliest Masoretic Old Testament manuscripts by about 1,000 years. But in spite of this time span, the number of variant readings between the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Masoretic Text is quite small, and most of these are variations in spelling and style.
Apart from some fragments, the earliest Masoretic manuscript of the Old Testament is dated at AD 895. This is due to the systematic destruction of worn manuscripts by the Masoretic scribes. However, the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls dating from 200 BC to AD 68 drastically reduced the time span from the writing of the Old Testament books to our earliest copies of them.
Who Wrote The Bible
Until the 17th century, received opinion had it that the first five books of the Bible Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy were the work of one author: Moses. That theory has since been seriously challenged.
Scholars now believe that the stories that would become the Bible were disseminated by word of mouth across the centuries, in the form of oral tales and poetry perhaps as a means of forging a collective identity among the tribes of Israel. Eventually, these stories were collated and written down. The question is by whom, and when?
A clue may lie in a limestone boulder discovered embedded in a stone wall in the town of Tel Zayit, 35 miles southwest of Jerusalem, in 2005. The boulder, now known as the Zayit Stone, contains what many historians believe to be the earliest full Hebrew alphabet ever discovered, dating to around 1000 BC. What was found was not a random scratching of two or three letters, it was the full alphabet, Kyle McCarter of Johns Hopkins University in Maryland has said of the stone. Everything about it says this is the ancestor of the Hebrew script.
Ask the expert: John Barton
John Barton is a former professor of holy scriptures at the University of Oxford and the author of A History of the Bible: The Books and Its Faiths.
Q:Just how reliable is the Old Testament as an historical document?
Q:How much does archaeology support the historicity of the Old Testament?
Also Check: Omer Bible
Historicity Of The Bible
The historicity of the Bible is the question of the Bible‘s relationship to historycovering not just the Bible’s acceptability as history but also the ability to understand the literary forms of biblical narrative. One can extend biblical historicity to the evaluation of whether or not the Christian New Testament is an accurate record of the historical Jesus and of the Apostolic Age. This tends to vary depending upon the opinion of the scholar.
When studying the books of the Bible, scholars examine the historical context of passages, the importance ascribed to events by the , and the contrast between the descriptions of these events and other historical evidence.
According to theologian Thomas L. Thompson, a representative of the Copenhagen School, the archaeological record lends sparse and indirect evidence for the Old Testament‘s narratives as history. Others, like archeologist William G. Dever, feel that Biblical archaeology has both confirmed and challenged the Old Testament stories. While Dever has criticized the Copenhagen school for its radicalism, he is far from being a biblical literalist, and thinks that the purpose of Biblical archaeology is not to simply support or discredit the Biblical narrative, but to be a field of study in its own right.
The Old Testament: Various Schools Of Authors
To explain the Bibles contradictions, repetitions and general idiosyncrasies, most scholars today agree that the stories and laws it contains were communicated orally, through prose and poetry, over centuries. Starting around the 7th century B.C., different groups, or schools, of authors wrote them down at different times, before they were at some point combined into the single, multi-layered work we know today.
Of the three major blocks of source material that scholars agree comprise the Bibles first five books, the first was believed to have been written by a group of priests, or priestly authors, whose work scholars designate as P. A second block of source material is known as Dfor Deuteronomist, meaning the author of the vast majority of the book of Deuteronomy. The two of them are not really related to each other in any significant way, Baden explains, except that they’re both giving laws and telling a story of Israel’s early history.
Recommended Reading: How Many Fear Not In The Bible
Genesis Is Historically True
The most controversial book of the Bible is Genesis, especially the first eleven chapters. Those chapters speak of the creation of the universe, the fall of man into sin, the world-wide flood of Noah, and the language-altering event at Babel. There is much evidence that these events are historically accurate. More…
Attitudes Toward The Historical Accuracy Of The Bible: Are We Different
From Strata in the March/April 2015 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review
In the September/October 2014 BAR, we reported on the results of a recent Gallup poll in which more than a thousand American adults were asked to indicate which of three statements best represented their view of the Bibles historical accuracy. These were the statements:
1. The Bible is the actual word of God and is to be taken literally, word for word.
2. The Bible is the inspired word of God, but not everything in it should be taken literally.
3. The Bible is an ancient book of fables, legends, history and moral precepts recorded by man.
This naturally led us to wonder how BAR readers compare with the Gallup poll reflecting the American population as a whole. Were our readers proportionally different from Americans generally? Were they more heavily literalists, believing that the Bible represented the Word of God? Or did a greater percentage of them regard the Bible as an ancient book of fables, legends and history? Did BAR attract more people with one attitude toward the Bible than another? Were BAR readers more like Americans generally, or did they differ significantly?
In any event, the BAR readership is much like the population as a whole in its attitudes toward the historicity of the Bible. Both in the Gallup poll and the BAR poll approximately as many believe the Bible is the literal true word of God as believe it is a book of history and legends.
Recommended Reading: Refugees Bible Verses
Biblical Data Is Historically Testable
Historical evidence routinely includes ancient literature, business records, and government documents, analyzed in conjunction with linguistics, geography, and archaeological analysis of physical objects , using forensic science techniques.
After many millions of man-hours of research and evidence analysis, archaeology has repeatedly confirmed the reliability of the Bible. The Bible has been proven geographically and re-proven historically accurate, in the most exacting detail, by external evidences. More…
Summary Question 2 Is It Important That The Bible Is Historically Accurate
The idea of the Bible being historically accurate is important for the following reason: The Scripture itself makes the claim that God has intervened in history. Many of these events have been recorded for us in Scripture.
The people were urged to remember what God had done for them in the past. They were to call to mind actual historical events that took place to remember Gods power and faithfulness. Also the central truth of the Christian faiththat God became a humanhappened in history.
The historical accuracy of these claims demonstrates the truth of the Christian faith and its superiority over other religions that have no such verifiable evidence. This makes the historical accuracy of Scripture something that is of vital importance.
Recommended Reading: What The Bible Says About Tattoos
How Did The Books Of The Bible Become Books Of The Bible
You cannot discuss the historical accuracy of the New Testament without debating the books chosen vs. books that were excluded.
A council was named in the early church to compile the New Testament. This was the council at Nicea who met in 325 AD. They did not decide what should be in the New Testament on a whim. They used a criteria or canon. A canon means a rule or standard.
There were five criteria as to whether or not a book or letter was included:
Jesus chose the apostles. All of the New Testament books except for five were either written by an apostle or were approved by an apostle. The five others still easily fit the criteria. Mark wrote under the direction of Peter and Luke under the direction of Paul. James wrote as Jesus brother, and Jude was the half-brother of James therefore Jude wrote under the direct authority of James. The author of the final book in question, Hebrews, is unknown. But it is clear that it was written under Pauls authority.
It could not contradict the rest of the gospel. Each of the books in the New Testament correlate with one another and with the books in the Old Testament as well.
The book of Thomas, which was not included in the New Testament, was full of strange and bizarre stories that could not be collaborated by any eye-witnesses.
Does This Mean That Mistakes In Copying Were Never Made
Thousands of ancient Bible manuscripts have been found. Some of these contain a number of differences, indicating that mistakes were made in copying. Most of these differences are minor and do not change the meaning of the text. However, a few significant differences have been discovered, some of which appear to be deliberate attempts made long ago to alter the Bibles message. Consider two examples:
At 1 John 5:7, some older Bible translations contain the following words: in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. However, reliable manuscripts confirm that these words were not in the original text. They were added later. * Thus, reliable modern Bible translations have excluded them.
Gods personal name appears thousands of times in ancient manuscripts of the Bible. Yet, numerous Bible translations have replaced it with titles such as Lord or God.
Don’t Miss: What Does The Bible Say About Mental Abuse
Documentary Evidence Outside Of The New Testament Is Limited
The most detailed record of the life and death of Jesus comes from the four Gospels and other New Testament writings. These are all Christian and are obviously and understandably biased in what they report, and have to be evaluated very critically indeed to establish any historically reliable information, Ehrman says. But their central claims about Jesus as a historical figurea Jew, with followers, executed on orders of the Roman governor of Judea, Pontius Pilate, during the reign of the Emperor Tiberiusare borne out by later sources with a completely different set of biases.
Within a few decades of his lifetime, Jesus was mentioned by Jewish and Roman historians in passages that corroborate portions of the New Testament that describe the life and death of Jesus.