“The Word of God is quick (living) and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12. “…the Word of God which liveth and abideth forever.” 1Peter 1:23.
In his best-selling novel The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown claims there were over eighty gospels about Jesus but Emperor Constantine got rid of the ones that presented Jesus as a human being and left us with just the four that are in our Bibles today. First of all, be clear on this, the number 80 is false. There were old documents but definitely not 80 of them! That’s fiction. But the old documents that do exist, DO NOT present Jesus as a mere man – they fancifully describe a more mystical, magical and supernatural being than the Jesus of the Bible. So contrary to recent claims, the old documents do NOT present a merely human Jesus. And one other thing: history confirms that Emperor Constantine had absolutely NOTHING to do with the selection of books included in the Bible. Dan Brown should be embarrassed over his factual errors. Oh yes, one other thing. “Mr. Brown, the Dead Sea Scrolls were not found in the 1950’s – they were discovered in the 40’s and they did NOT contain any gospels or any references to Jesus.”
If you are being bombarded with questions about the Bible do a little research yourself. As for other religious books that claim to be divine in origin, what evidence to support the claim exists? The Bible you love and read every day has unique features that authenticate it as the true Word of God. Let’s be technical for a minute:
Today Christians read various translations of the Bible, some completed recently and others like the classic King James Version dating back to the 1600’s. Admittedly these translations are based on copies of manuscripts – not the original manuscripts. So are Christians vulnerable on this point?
1. The Bible has stronger manuscript support than any other work of classical literature including Homer, Plato, Aristotle, Caesar and Tacitus. Over 5600 Greek manuscripts of the New Testament are in existence today and they were copied within 100 years of the original with an amazing 99.5% textual consistency and accuracy. In contrast, other ancient classical works fully accepted by academics today were copied between 500 –1300 years after the original. The total supporting New Testament manuscript base is over 24,000, more than all major ancient works combined!
2. Both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible have human writers who were actual eye witnesses of the events they are writing about.
3. Secular, non-christian historians including Josephus (before A.D.100), the Roman Tacitus (around A.D. 120), the Roman Suetonius (A.D. 110) and the Roman governor Pliny the Younger (A.D. 110) confirm in their ancient writings the many events, places, people and customs that are mentioned in the New Testament of the Bible. Even skeptics who have studied history are amazed at the historical accuracy of the New Testament.
4. Archaeological finds over the last century affirm the reliability of the Bible. No archaeological discovery has ever contradicted anything in the Bible.
5. The Bible records predictions of events that could not be known or predicted by chance or by the accumulation of knowledge. Of striking relevance are the many prophecies regarding the coming of Jesus Christ into the world. Where He would be born (Micah 5:2); who He would die with (Isaiah 53:12); a graphic description written c.1000BC of how He would die including the piercing of His hands and feet (Psalm 22:16); that the soldiers would gamble for His clothing (Psalm 22:18); that His side would be pierced and none of His bones would be broken (Zechariah 12:10; Psalm 34:20). Jesus even predicted how He would die as well as His resurrection (John 2:19-22). Even the avowed skeptic is awed by these fulfilled prophecies. And I have cited only a few. There are actually more than 300 such prophesies regarding the Christ – a number that silences those who would claim the apparent fulfillment of prophecies is merely coincidental. There are too many to ignore.
6. Finally, the statistical probability of the development of such a book must be considered. Forty different writers, over 1600 years, in three different languages on three continents, wrote on hundreds of subjects. Few, if any of these writers ever had an opportunity to get together and to conspire to write a consistent, non-contradictory theme about a coming Saviour and the redemption of mankind. But such a theme is developed and woven throughout the entire Bible. Jesus Christ is the central theme of the Bible.
7. If you are a believer, you have personally experienced the power of the living Word of God. The Apostle Peter told us: we are “born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.” Christians can personally attest to the power of the Word of God in their lives.
Those who have read it the least, attack it the most. That’s called ignorance. Those who study the Scriptures the most, bow in reverence and recognize it as the Word of God. Dear child of God, turn to your Bible and allow the living Word of God to strike a chord in your heart today.