|The Bible Today|
Author: A. Allison Lewis
Christians have always appealed for the truth of their claims to certain ancient writings, the most recent of which was written at the close of the first century AD by the Apostle John. The completed book, the Bible, has been under attack by unbelievers throughout the centuries. Yet the Bible stands secure long after its enemies lie buried and their ungodly attacks disproved.
Many attacks upon the Bible have been made on the basis that the people, places or events are not to be found in any other historical records, therefore they must be in error! This is utterly ridiculous, for the argument from silence is simply an argument from ignorance. To their dismay, the Liberals and Modernists are being more and more faced with the stubborn evidence from the spade of the archaeologist that these people, places and events really did exist. About archaeology and the Bible, Dr. R. K. Harrison of the University of Toronto (certainly not a Fundamentalist), in his Introduction to the Old Testament, 1969, on page 94 says,
the writer has yet to become acquainted with any single archaeological find which by itself or in conjunction with others specifically and categorically disproves the testimony of the Old Testament to itself in any single area of history or religion, or discredits its basic trust- worthiness in the manner in which liberal scholars have been endeavoring to do for many years.
The Hebrew and Greek texts which we have of the Bible are reliable. The manuscripts from the discoveries known as the Dead Sea Scrolls bearing on the Old Testament (according to K. A. Kitchen--a teacher and professional student of archaeology and oriental studies at the University of Liverpool) date
back virtually a thousand years in the history of the recopying of the Old Testament books. What is more, for the most part, they very substantially support the traditional consonantal text of the Hebrew Bible, demonstrating the very high level of reliability with which it has been copied during that thousand years [The Bible in its World, 1977, p. 129].
Concerning the New Testament Greek text, Sir Frederick Kenyon of the British Museum wrote over 40 years ago, that "both the authenticity and general integrity of the books of the New Testament may be regarded as finally established." Kitchen in commenting on Kenyons statement says, "The continuing discoveries and work of the intervening decades have not changed, merely enhanced, the truth of his judgment," [Kitchen, p. 132].
We believe that God, in His providence, has preserved the Bible so that the copies and translations that we have today are, for all practical purposes, the same as the original writings. We would add this warning though, that many poor copies and translations of the Bible have been produced. Beware of these. Some have a strong Liberal bias, such as the Revised Standard Version or Common Bible; some have strong cultic bias, such as the Jehovah Witness New World Translation; and some, like Taylors Living Bible are only loose paraphrases. We recommend the King James Version and especially the New American Standard Version as being the most accurate English translation available today.
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This Page Last Updated: 12/08/98 A. Allison Lewis email@example.com