B. Beyond Doubt
Learning our ABCDE’s…huh?:) Important in order (or out of order) to learn/use words aka put meaningful sentences together…aka act with proficiency/wisdom…(my purple highlighted past readings excerpted) a necessary:
Professor Julio Trebolle Barrera, a member of the team of experts charged with studying and publishing the ancient manuscripts known as the Dead Sea Scrolls, says: “The transmission of the text of the Hebrew Bible is of extraordinary exactitude, without parallel in Greek and Latin classical literature.” Respected Bible scholar F. F. Bruce says: “The evidence for our New Testament writings is ever so much greater than the evidence for many writings of classical authors, the authenticity of which no one dreams of questioning.” He continues: “If the New Testament were a collection of secular writings, their authenticity would generally be regarded as beyond all doubt.”
The survival of the Bible is extraordinary, considering what happened to the writings of nations contemporary with the Israelites. The Phoenicians, for instance, were neighbors of the Israelites during the first millennium B.C.E. These sea traders spread their alphabetic writing system throughout the Mediterranean area. They also profited from an extensive papyrus trade with Egypt and the Greek world. Even so, the National Geographic magazine observes regarding the Phoenicians: “Their writings, mostly on fragile papyrus, disintegrated—so that we now know the Phoenicians mainly by the biased reports of their enemies. Although the Phoenicians themselves reportedly had a rich literature, it was totally lost in antiquity.”
What about the writings of the ancient Egyptians? The hieroglyphics they carved or painted on temple walls and elsewhere are well-known. The Egyptians are also famous for developing papyrus as a writing material. However, regarding Egyptian records written on papyrus, Egyptologist K. A. Kitchen says: “It has been estimated that some 99 percent of all papyri written from circa 3000 down to the advent of Greco-Roman times have perished completely.”
What about Roman records that were written on papyrus? Consider this example. According to the book Roman Military Records on Papyrus, Roman soldiers were apparently paid three times a year, and a record of the pay was made on papyrus pay vouchers. It is estimated that during the 300 years from Augustus (27 B.C.E.–14 C.E.) to Diocletian (284-305 C.E), there were 225,000,000 individual pay records. How many have survived? Only two have been found that are legible.
Why have so few ancient documents written on papyrus survived? Perishable materials, such as papyrus and another common writing material, leather, decay quickly in damp climates. The Anchor Bible Dictionary says: “Because of the climate, papyrus documents from this period [the first millennium B.C.E.] are likely to be preserved only if they are in a dry desert and in a cave or shelter.”
The original Bible books were evidently written on material as fragile as that used by the Phoenicians, Egyptians, and Romans. Why, then, did the material contained in the Bible survive to become the world’s most published book? Professor James L. Kugel provides one reason. He says that the original writings were copied “many, many times even within the biblical period itself.” [excerpted: The Bible a Remarkable Story of Survival w 09]
IF we feed/educate/indoctrinate/nourish/supply/train our (individual) minds/consciences only/solely with works of fiction/mind-food-fabrications, do works of fiction manifest/fabricate in our lives aka our words, our works of say senselessness/nonsense or fiction or as meaninglessness/ultimately useless pursuits?? Reminds of expression… “only as good as our word.” How “reliable” are my words?! In Other Words:)..aka “observable” actions…do my deeds truthfully back up my words??
Seriously speaking, IF i desire/want, my personal life-story to continue/play out long and my life not cut short/decay quickly…wouldn’t i do well to learn reliable survival-skills from a trust-worthy place/source of truth?
Reliability of the Bible Text. Appreciation of the reliability of the Bible is greatly enhanced when it is realized that, by comparison, there are only very few extant manuscripts of the works of classical secular writers and none of these are original, autograph manuscripts. Though they are only copies made centuries after the death of the authors, present-day scholars accept such late copies as sufficient evidence of the authenticity of the text.
Extant Hebrew manuscripts of the Scriptures were prepared with great care. Respecting the text of the Hebrew Scriptures, scholar W. H. Green observed: “It may be safely said that no other work of antiquity has been so accurately transmitted.” (Archaeology and Bible History, by J. P. Free, 1964, p. 5) The late Bible text scholar Sir Frederic Kenyon made this reassuring statement in the introduction to his seven volumes entitled The Chester Beatty Biblical Papyri: “The first and most important conclusion derived from the examination of them [the Papyri] is the satisfactory one that they confirm the essential soundness of the existing texts. No striking or fundamental variation is shown either in the Old or the New Testament. There are no important omissions or additions of passages, and no variations which affect vital facts or doctrines. The variations of text affect minor matters, such as the order of words or the precise words used. . . . But their essential importance is their confirmation, by evidence of an earlier date than was hitherto available, of the integrity of our existing texts. In this respect they are an acquisition of epoch-making value.”—London, 1933, Fasciculus I, p. 15.
Concerning the Christian Greek Scriptures, Sir Frederic Kenyon stated: “The interval then between the dates of original composition and the earliest extant evidence becomes so small as to be in fact negligible, and the last foundation for any doubt that the Scriptures have come down to us substantially as they were written has now been removed. Both the authenticity and the general integrity of the books of the New Testament may be regarded as finally established.”—The Bible and Archæology, 1940, pp. 288, 289. [excerpted readings: Manuscripts of the Bible, Insight, Vol. 2]
Reasons to Check it Out aka Worthy of Scholarly Attention aka Study the Bible aka Make it Daily PRIORITY Reading…IF some of us feel we have benefitted in some way (trivial or otherwise) by “fictional” works…how MUCH MORE so would/could we benefit (Monumentally) by Bible reading?! Of course, us humans aren’t so willing to do anything without any self-interest or self-benefit, eh?!;) Many of us have the attitude (about any seemingly disciplined, time-consuming endeavor) what’s in it for me?!;)…a little or A LOT, “limited” results or limitless/immeasurable ones? 🙂
The Bible is not an unrelated assortment or collection of heterogeneous fragments from Jewish and Christian literature. Rather, it is an organizational book, highly unified and interconnected in its various segments, which indeed reflect the systematic orderliness of the Creator-Author himself. God’s dealings with Israel in giving them a comprehensive law code as well as regulations governing matters even down to small details of camp life—things that were later mirrored in the Davidic kingdom as well as in the congregational arrangement among first-century Christians—reflect and magnify this organizational aspect of the Bible.
Contents. In contents this Book of Books reveals the past, explains the present, and foretells the future. These are matters that only He who knows the end from the beginning could author. (Isa 46:10) Starting at the beginning by telling of the creation of heaven and earth, the Bible next gives a sweeping account of the events that prepared the earth for man’s habitation. Then the truly scientific explanation of the origin of man is revealed—how life comes only from a Life-Giver—facts that only the Creator now in the role of Author could explain. (Ge 1:26-28; 2:7) With the account of why men die, the overriding theme that permeates the whole Bible was introduced. This theme, the vindication of Jehovah’s sovereignty and the ultimate fulfillment of his purpose for the earth, by means of his Kingdom under Christ, the promised Seed, was wrapped up in the first prophecy concerning ‘the seed of the woman.’ (Ge 3:15) More than 2,000 years passed before this promise of a “seed” was again mentioned, God telling Abraham: “By means of your seed all nations of the earth will certainly bless themselves.” (Ge 22:18) Over 800 years later, renewed assurance was given to Abraham’s descendant King David, and with the passing of more time Jehovah’s prophets kept this flame of hope burning brightly. (2Sa 7:12, 16; Isa 9:6, 7) More than 1,000 years after David and 4,000 years after the original prophecy in Eden, the Promised Seed himself appeared, Jesus Christ, the legal heir to “the throne of David his father.” (Lu 1:31-33; Ga 3:16) Bruised in death by the earthly seed of the “serpent,” this “Son of the Most High” provided the ransom purchase price for the life rights lost to Adam’s offspring, thus providing the only means whereby mankind can get everlasting life. He was then raised on high, there to await the appointed time to hurl “the original serpent, the one called Devil and Satan,” down to the earth, finally to be destroyed forever. Thus the magnificent theme announced in Genesis and developed and enlarged upon throughout the balance of the Bible is, in the closing chapters of Revelation, brought to a glorious climax as Jehovah’s grand purpose by means of his Kingdom is made apparent.—Re 11:15; 12:1-12, 17; 19:11-16; 20:1-3, 7-10; 21:1-5; 22:3-5.[excerpted readings: Bible
Worthwhile reading is a positive-coping, self-helping/thriving-timely-tool…:) Plus, i personally have no (warranted) trust issues whatsoever with the Bible Books…all 66: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon (Canticles), Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Jude, Revelation…(unlike some other books; too many to enumerate).
READING worthwhile material is a beneficial pursuit. French political philosopher Montesquieu (Charles-Louis de Secondat) wrote: “For me, study has always been the sovereign remedy for the weariness of life. No distress has ever come upon me that an hour’s reading has not dispelled.” To a supreme degree, this is true of Bible reading. Said the inspired psalmist: “The law of Jehovah is perfect, bringing back the soul. The reminder of Jehovah is trustworthy, making the inexperienced one wise. The orders from Jehovah are upright, causing the heart to rejoice.”—Psalm 19:7, 8. [excerpted Bible Reading Profitable & Pleasurable–w 00]
HAPPY READING READER TRUSTWORTHY BOOKS!:)
3/12/18 @ 8:51 p.m.
p.s. a brief acknowledgement that this 1 post does not adequately develop “in detail” the canonicity of “each” individual Bible book per se…foder for another post perhaps; when i get/make time. As always, i encourage You to do Your own research on the reliability of any of Your particular readings secular or other.