Listen to today’s broadcast:
Last week we started looking at the two major objections that Muslims have to the Gospel. We looked at the first, which is the deity of Christ. This week I want to look at the second, which is the claim that the Bible has been corrupted. Muslims claim that the Jews corrupted the Old Testament and the Christians corrupted the New Testament. They claim that this is why Allah used Muhammad to give the last testament.
Most of the information I will be using comes from my course “Engaging Islam.” You can get the course book and the CD by calling 1-800-716-9272.
What I will be doing of these next few days is giving a defense for why the Bible is credible, why there is integrity, and prove that it has not been corrupted. I will start with the manuscript evidence.
Before I get into this I need to lay some groundwork. Religious critics have been attacking the Bible for centuries. There is now a new field which is called “textual criticism.” The techniques of this new field are used, not just to criticize the Bible, but it is used in other fields as well. It was, however, first developed to examine the Bible so the Bible has been under critical examination for many years.
Textual criticism treats every manuscript like a forensic investigator would treat a crime scene. Careful scrutiny and intensive cataloging of every manuscript has been done. Every variant in every manuscript has been cataloged. It is very comprehensive and it includes, not just the manuscripts from the biblical languages (Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic), but also translations in to foreign languages like Syriac and Latin. They have also examined early sermons of the “church fathers” to see what passages of the Bible they quoted.
Christians can have complete confidence in the integrity of the Bible. They can have confidence that it is not only inspired, but that it has been preserved for us today.
The Bible we have today that contains the written words of Moses, has the very same words that the Hebrews carried into the Promised Land. The very words that the first century Christians in the church at Jerusalem read, are the very same words that we read in our Bibles today. They are the very same words that are translated into our language. God has kept His promise to keep His Word from corruption (Psalm 12:6-7).
As we look into some of this evidence we will find that each time the Bible is examined it will always stand the test. The harsh examination by those who want to destroy the Bible’s authority has only strengthened its integrity.
We can have confidence that the Bible we have today is God’s inerrant revelation to mankind. The very words that He gave to His people many centuries ago are the same as those we hold in our hands today.
As we look at the manuscript evidence we must remember that we do not have the originals. The originals, the actual piece of paper that Paul put his pen to, do not exist today. They have been lost, most likely because the animal skins, the parchment, upon which they were written were worn out by use. Some may also have been burned or destroyed by invading armies.
God’s Word has been preserved through thousands of manuscripts that were copied from the originals through the centuries. The rules and methods of copying were very strict to assure that even one letter was not lost.
Nothing has been left to the memory of man, since that can fail very quickly and is hard to pass on to others. God gave the written Word to pass on to the next generation.
I am going to stop here and will continue tomorrow. We will first look into the Hebrew Scriptures and then move on to the Greek and Aramaic Scriptures of the New Testament.
Christian friend, you have God’s preserved, inerrant Word. Reverence it, read it, live it!
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