Monday, May 15, 2017

Where Is The Original Bible?

  • Introduction:
          -Critics of Christianity commonly lay the charge that we have no grounds for saying that the Bible as we possess it today is reliable because we do not have the original autographs available to our hands. In other words, we do not have the original biblical documents. While this point is certainly a valid concern, most biblical scholars do not believe that the lack of access to the original biblical manuscripts is problematic. While it is true that we cannot possess absolute certainty behind every sentence structure that has been recorded into the biblical records, we can indeed have a great degree of certainty behind the reliability of the Bibles that we study.
  • Why We Can Trust The Bible:
          -We do not need the original Bible because we possess thousands of reliable manuscripts that agree on all of the essential articles of the Christian religion. No possible translation errors found in the ancient biblical manuscripts alter Christian doctrines or the historical accuracy of the Bible. In other words, any errors in translation are very minor in nature. They range from minor spelling errors, minor errors in grammar, to differences in sentence structure. Most of these manuscript errors can be corrected through the the comparison of different manuscripts which stand in agreement with each other. In reality, there is incredible consensus among the thousands of biblical manuscripts available to reputable scholars. The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Greek Septuagint canon are a few examples of Jewish efforts to preserve the Old Testament canon. They give great testimony to the great accuracy of the Old Testament documents. There are literally thousands of Greek manuscripts which stand in almost complete agreement on the accuracy of the New Testament canon. In fact, some of the biblical manuscripts which form the basis of the Bible translations sold in stores can be dated as early as 130 AD. No ancient writings have as much accurate manuscript support as the Bible. In conclusion, the fact that we do not have the original Bible poses no problem for Christianity because we have several manuscripts that all agree on the truthfulness of events recorded in biblical texts.
  • Plausible Reasons For God Not Allowing Us To Touch The Original Biblical Manuscripts:
          -We have the inherent tendency to turn physical objects into idols. If Christians had access to the original Bible, then they would most probably end up idolizing it because it was written by men who were directly inspired by God. In other words, people would become more focused on the aspect of God preserving His words, rather than getting saved and preaching the gospel to bring lost souls to the Lord Jesus Christ. People would only be adoring the words of God, rather than the actual Person who deserves the adoration  because He is the One who is responsible for the existence of everything today, including the Bible. People would be worshiping the wrong entity. Such people would be in a state of bibliolatry.
          -We cannot prove that the original Bible was destroyed. It is also possible for God to have taken it into heaven for the sake of protection. If God decided to keep the first Bible, then He probably did so to preserve its purity. He does not want mankind to corrupt His message, but rather to preserve, abide by, and teach it. This is not problematic because we have several biblical manuscripts which agree on all the issues recorded in the Bible. Many are practically in mint condition. Furthermore, it is better to have several manuscripts than it is to have only one perfect copy of the Bible. It is better to have many reliable manuscripts because it is more difficult to corrupt many of them than it is to corrupt an individual copy. If a heretic produces a corrupt manuscript or attempts to corrupt an already existing biblical manuscript, then we can deem that person as heretical because we can judge them by the many other reliable manuscripts in existence. In this scenario, having more than one reliable copy of biblical manuscripts can make discernment easier. It is therefore best that we do not have access to the original copy of the Bible.

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