* Posts by David Coram

4 posts • joined 28 Feb 2007

James Cameron finds grave of Jesus & Son

David Coram

Why I believe the Bible to be True and James Cameron to be False. (Installment #4)

Argument #4: The writings of the early church fathers contain massive quotations of the biblical texts.

The Church Fathers acted as sort of a preservation society with regard to Scriptures. They wrote letters, sermons, commentaries and journals in which they painstakingly copied passages of Scripture.

Many people argue that the Bible has been changed over the years by zealous monks trying to cover up inconsistencies. This type of behavior would be futile in light of the following:

1. There are over 5000 Greek manuscripts and any monk wishing to change the Bible would have to collect at least a majority of them.

2. This zealous monk would have to make sure that all the early translations were gathered and destroyed.

3. He would have to eliminate all the writings of the early church fathers and …..

4. He would have to spread his doctored documents throughout the world returning them to museums, monasteries, churches, and individual collections from which he stole them. If you can get in touch with this zealous monk, I want to hire him.

Needless to say the zealous-monk theory is ridiculous. There are layers of textual evidence that simply cannot be ignored. The biblical text was written early and copied often. Further it was translated into multiple languages and spread throughout the world. Those who read them, quoted and cited them so extensively that they virtually reproduced them again. All of this adds up to a mountain of evidence that can only be ignored by those who have a predilection to do so.

And last (but not least) Argument 5 (In my next post):

David Coram

Why I Believe the Bible is True and James Cameron is Wrong

Argument #3: The Bible was translated into other languages soon after being compiled.

As I mentioned in Argument #2 above, the Bible was quickly translated into many languages known to them at the time. This was in direct response to the command by Jesus (a la The Great Commission, Matthew 28:19-20) Jesus told his followers to go and make Disciples of TA ETHNE which literally means �every people group.� This was a monumental task to say the least, especially when you consider that with multiple people groups came multiple languages. Therefore if the gospel message was going to be spread abroad, it first had to be translated.. This translation process gives us one of the most compelling pieces of evidence for the authenticity and historicity of the Bible. Documents that were translated into other languages could be traced back to their source. Further, if the date of their translation is known, they can be used to establish the authenticity of earlier source documents.

Lets imagine I write a poem addressed to my wife Renee. Eventually the overwhelming beauty and depth of this poem is too much for Renee to keep to herself, so she shares it with her sister Michelle. Michelle is moved to tears. In fact Michelle is so moved that she makes a copy for herself and returns the original to Renee. Eventually, Michelle, overwhelmed by the beauty and passion of this poem, makes copies for all her friends. One of her friends, Melissa, happens to be an international flight attendant to frequently flies to Spain and Portugal. This flight attendant is seen crying on one of her flights prompting a passenger to ask, in broken English, �Why are you crying?� The passenger reads the poem and is utterly astonished by its magnificence. �I must write this in my language,� the passenger exclaims, fighting back the emotions.

Now we have an international, multilingual poem traveling all over the world. Eventually the poem is printed in twenty languages. An Historian finds the original letter fifty years from now. He discovers a Chinese version and traces it back to its origins. Ultimately his diligence pays off, and he finds one of the copies written down by Michelle, the second recipient. Through comparisons of her handwriting he is able to find several of the copies she has made.

Eventually, he is able to re-create the document in its original form and compare the translation for accuracy. He can also accurately date the source material, and by investigating Michelle�s life, he can find her sister, Renee, and me the author who douched the world with the depth, passion, and beauty of the original poem. (hey it could happen, OK?)

As you can see, translations have great historical benefits. As I mentioned in argument #2, One Syriac translation of part of the New Testament was possibly translated as early as the 3rd Century. This is a crucial point, if you are arguing for a late writing of the New Testament. Such late dating would be impossible when viewed in light of such an early translation.

To go back to our illustration, that would be like our researcher finding my poem fifty years after it had been written and arguing that it had only been written five years earlier, when there are translations of the original poem in other languages that are more than forty years old. That is exactly what people do when they attribute the writings of the New Testament to first-century ghost writers or fourth- and fifth-century monks � but I will get to that theory later.

On to Argument #4. (In my next post)

David Coram

You want proof?

I want to discuss the PROOF of the authenticity of the Bible as compared to other writings. If you want to read more on this subject I refer you to THE EVER LOVING TRUTH by Dr. Voddie Baucham, Jr.

Here goes: Why Believe the Bible?

The question is not whether men wrote any book, but whether the information contained in that book is accurate and reliable. The reason we believe the Pythagorean theorem is that it works! The reason we believe a history book is that is is consistent with evidence and corroborated by other accountsl In fact, we often believe history books without such evidence. No one questions the validity of the information basedupon the fact that it is contained in a book written by a man or woman. Nor should we question the content of the Bible. The question should be "Do we have reliable historical information?" The answer is a resounding, "Yes!"

Pleawse stay with me. Five main arguments support the historicity of the Bible.

Argument 1: The Bible comes from varied, yet consistent sources.

Argument 2: There is an abundance of early copies lf the biblical texts.

Argument 3: The Bible was translated into other languages verysoon after being compiled.

Argument 4: The writing of the early church fathers contain massive quotations of the biblical texts.

Argument 5: The Bible is corroborated by overwhelming archeological evidence.

If you are still interested (this could go long) Keep reading.

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Argument 1:The Bible comes from varied, yet consistent sources.

The Bible was written in three different languages, Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic. I speak English and I know a little Spanish (I grew up in FLorida...what can I say.) I also know just enough German and Korean to get into trouble (I did spend, after all 31 years in the Army.)

But enough about me.

One thing I do know is that it is difficult at best to think about simple concepts in two different languages. Imagine finding consistent, coherent thought flowing through a document that came from three language sources.

Furthermore, The Bible was witten on three separate continents: Asia, Africa, and Europe but the message is the same throughout. No in our modern age of technology (this is an IT site is it not?)l that would not be such an incredible feat but in a day and age when the best means of info tranfer took place by foot messenger this fact alone only increases the chances of the info contained within to not be congruent. Add another factor and the improbablity factor goes Waaaaaaaah up. The Bible was written by over forty different authors, most of whom never knew each other. They were from different cultures, different times, and different backgrounds. Moses was royalty, Josua was a military general, David was first a shephered and them a King. Amos was a fig farmer, Peter was a fisherman, Matthew a tax collector. What an awkward collaboration!

But there is more. The Bible was written over a peeriod of approximately 1600 years. This is the most interesting fact and the one that could have the greatest effect against corroboration. Yet in spite of all these things shows amazing continuity and corroboration. More so than congress can do in mutible sessions. This collections of books friom three continents, written in three languages over the course of 1600 years by more than forty authors has one central theme and purpose: The creation, the fall, and the redemption of humanity for the Glory of God...WOW!

But there is more...I will post this so you can begin ruminating over it.

David Coram

Why I believe the Bible to be True and James Cameron to be false

Argument two: There is an abundance of early copies of the biblical texts.

Over 5000 Greek manuscripts contain all or part of the New Testament of the Bible. The earliest copies we currently have can be dated as early as the first half of the second century (earlier than AD 150) The dating of the documents is often discouraging to believers who are not familiar with ancient documents. In fact, some skeptics argue that documents written decades after the events which they record offer little compelling evidence -- that is until they compare the New Testament documents to other writing from antiquity.

For example: Julius Caesar's GALLIC WARS stands virtually unchallenged in regard to its authenticity and historicity In spite of the fact that we have only approximately 10 manuscripts of these writings the earliest of which is dated 900 years after Julius Caesars death.

Here's another, Aristotles POETICS is another classic. There are 5 portions of this document available today the earliest of which was written 1400 years after the life of Aristotle. Again this document is rarely challenged.

Now let's compare them to the New Testament Documents:

I stated that there were over 5000 Greek manuscripts or portions of manuscripts available today the earliest written around AD 150. In addition there are many many translations of these manuscripts in Latin, Syriac, and Coptic dated very early, perhaps as early as the third century. This is a crucial point considering that many people argue for a very late writing of the New Testament. Such late dating is impossible when viewed in light of such early translations.

So why are the manuscripts of secular (of which there are so few) written much later than those of the Bible HARDLY EVER disputed, but we are so quick to discount the writing of the Bible because they were written SOOOOOOO late after the events? Are we just a little biased?

But on to Argument Three (In my next post).

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