The Bible is made up of a collection of 66 books which have been translated numerous times. The big question is whether the translations we have today are true to the original manuscripts and if they have been tampered with during the 2000 or so years of the Christian church.
One would worry if there was only one manuscript which the bible was based on because there wouldn’t be any other copies or versions to check it against. The fact that there are literally thousands of manuscripts and copies of those manuscripts to cross reference against proves the authenticity of the message contained within them. If there are major inconsistencies within the narrative, one would be concerned as to which copy or section contains the true story but on the other hand if the narrative flows without contradiction then it is undeniable proof that the events actually happened the way it was written. Further proof to the authenticity of the narrative is backed up by archaeological findings, science and history.
How many manuscripts are we working with to piece the story together?
- We currently have 260,000 Hebrew manuscripts, 10,000 of which are biblical manuscripts.
- 200 biblical manuscripts were found amongst the Dead Sea scrolls – hidden from any church corruption which may have occurred during the 2000 year reign of the church.
- There are more than 5,600 ancient biblical manuscripts altogether from the Old Testament, several from different authors from different times who had never met yet the narrative still flowed perfectly.
- There have been more than 5,800 complete or fragmented Greek manuscripts of the New Testament which have been preserved in different parts of the world, and it has the most preserved manuscripts than any other historical work of literature.
- There are 9,300 manuscripts been found in a variety of ancient languages, as well as 10,000 manuscripts found in Latin. Some of the ancient languages are Slavic, Coptic, Armenian and Ethiopic.
- Upon further study, the book of Job seems to be the earliest book of the Bible, and is to be thought to be written before Genesis. The reason for this is because Job was from the 5th generation after Abram (Abraham) but mentions contemporaries of Abraham and other people from the bible even before Israel was a nation.
- We have a total of 20,000 sources to help us piece the above together.
Comparing the above to other ancient works we have such as:
- Caesar’s famous Gallic War (58-50 B.C.): 9-10 copies.
- Histories and Annals by Tacitus (55-120 A.D): 2 copies
- Livy’s Roman History (59 B.C. – 17 A.D.): 20 copies
- Pliny the Younger (A.D. 61 – 113): 7 copies
The books of the bible have far more evidence to prove that the authenticity of what is written within them is true and correct. All of the biblical manuscripts are consistent with each other even though they have been found scattered through the world and are accurate when compared to the works of the other Old Testament and New Testament authors. The accuracy of this proof cannot be denied.
There is currently no ancient work or book that has as large an amount of supporting documents than the bible has. The biblical manuscripts continue to be discovered, all in original Greek and all written very close to the authors’ timeline and copies of original works.
Who Wrote the Bible?
God speaks through people by His Spirit and the Bible was physically written by the hand of man but the contents are certainly supernatural in nature.
This is due to:
- The biblical accounts involving so many writers who never met, lived in different localities, spanning 5,000+ years yet a flowing narrative from start to finish.
- The prophecies within the carbon dated biblical manuscripts coming true thousands of years after the manuscripts were written.
- The hidden codes scattered within the bible – something which could only have been placed there by someone who is outside of time an not stuck in one generation.
418 times the Bible says “Thus says the Lord,” 1,000+ times it says “God said,” and “Jesus said” and many other accounts where God tells the many authors of the bible to “write down” these words. God is clearly documented to be telling someone to write down His words through His Holy Spirit.
The supernatural origins of the biblical manuscripts has been proven by the discovery of what can only be called “God’s watermarks of authenticity”.
(“It is the glory of God to conceal a think: but it is the honour of kings to search out a matter.” Proverbs 25:2
The hidden messages in the original Hebrew scriptures proving supernatural origins:
- Count in 49 letter intervals in Genesis and you will find the word spelled out: TORH
- Count in 49 letter intervals in Exodus and you will find the word spelled out: TORH
- Count in 7 letter intervals in Leviticus and you will find the word spelled out: YHWH
- Count in 49 letter intervals in Numbers and you will find the word spelled out: HROT
- Count in 49 letter intervals in Deuteronomy and you will find the word spelled out: HROT
In succession it looks like this:
TORH —> TORH —> YHWH <—- HROT <—- HROT : The Torah always points towards the name of God!
The name of God points towards the Messaiah Jesus Christ:
The name of God is YHWH and in it’s ancient paleo Hebrew letters it looks like this:
Read from right to left as the language is read the meaning comes to light:
- Yod: Arm and hand
- Hey: Behold, man with arms and hands raised
- Vav: Nail, peg, secure
- Hey: Behold, man with arms and hands raised
God the Father is pointing to Jesus Christ within His name by describing someone with raised hands telling us to look at the nail and look at His hands.
*Fun fact: All languages flow from Israel. People read from left to right on the West of Israel and they read from right to left from the east of Israel.
Moving away from the original scriptures and copies of the original scriptures in their native language can be tricky as when people through the years started to translate the biblical scriptures into other languages, admittedly some had their own agenda and bias – which one may expect.
We have found no modern translation to be absolutely perfect but with careful study of the bible using the Strong’s concordance you can strip the modern translation back to the original words in the manuscripts and see the options they had for words they could have used in that particular instance. You can gain understanding of where that word was used in other places in the bible and gain better understanding into the context. It is not the end of the road to find a translation error in the modern versions – we have full access to the original and can dig deeper to gain the real understanding of the text so throwing the entire bible out because of a modern translation error would be disingenuous to the text.
We have thousands of ancient manuscripts with which we can cross reference the narrative of the Bible and many more thousands of sources to help up piece it all together. Having thousands of copies is a good thing! any issues can be picked up much faster and easier with a large amount of scripture samples to refer to.
God wrote the Bible through man inspired by His Holy Spirit and He leaves his watermarks of supernatural authenticity woven between the scriptures for our piece of mind.
There certainly are some translation errors in the modern versions of the Bible, but we have the original manuscripts at our fingertips to check for ourselves. Throwing the entire bible out because of a modern translation error would be disingenuous to the text and if anyone is sceptical about reading translations of the bible, why not read the Septuagint – the translation Jesus Christ and the early Church read from. The Septuagint was actually the first translation of the Hebrew Bible translated in the 3rd century B.C. by Jewish scribes. They were descendants of those who were trained in Ezra’s Great Synagogue of Jerusalem. These scribes were experts in the scriptures and were fluent in Hebrew and Greek. Many New Testament apostles quoted the Septuagint in Greek when they were writing the Gospels and Epistles. If it was good enough for Jesus Christ and He did not make any major corrections except for explaining how to interpret the meaning behind the text then it is good enough for us.