Could the Bible be Faked?

Chris

Administrator
Staff member
Could the Bible be Faked?
By Jack Kinsella

An OL member emailed me to ask what I thought was a question whose answer was complex enough and interesting enough to merit its own column.

She writes that she has no personal doubts that the Bible is the Word of God. “What,” she then asks, “do you say to an agnostic or young Christian…(who argue) that the latter writers simply read what the former writers said about the coming of Messiah and just made the prophecies “fit”?”

The problem, she continued, was that, “Somehow, saying “just have faith” doesn’t suffice, and that’s the only answer I’ve ever gotten.”

As I see it, the biggest problem lies in keeping an agnostic’s attention long enough to explain the answer. It’s a long and complicated one, because there are actually several questions contained inside that question that have to be answered first.

The first question goes to the human authorship of the Bible and its subsequent preservation. It is a matter of undeniable, irrefutable archeological fact that the Book of Isaiah, including its multiple Messianic prophecies, was written at least 100 years before Christ.

In point of fact, the Book of Isaiah is universally dated by Jewish records as existing five hundred years before Christ, but the copy found in Qumron buried among the Dead Sea Scrolls is positively dated to 100 BC.

So even using the date of the oldest existing manuscript, the prophecies of Isaiah preceded the events they predicted by more than a century.

Isaiah predicted the Messiah would be “despised and rejected of men”. Isaiah said He would be “wounded for our transgressions” and “bruised for our iniquities”. The NIV translates Isaiah 53:4-6 “Surely He took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows…and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”

Isaiah notes that He was “cut off from the land of the living” for “the transgression of My people”.

That these are independently verifiable historical facts is indisputable. Roman custom was to crucify the condemned under a banner proclaiming the crime for which they were being punished.

Josephus and the Jewish Talmud confirm His execution under the banner “King of the Jews”. Pilate ordered that proclamation because Pilate found Him guilty of no other offense.

Jesus could not have engineered His own Death or arranged the crime for which He was convicted. It was so unique one had to be invented.

The Gospel of John records that Caiaphas, another verifiable historical figure, making his case to send Jesus to Pilate for execution, argued that, “it was expedient that one man should die for the people.” (John 18:14)

And the Gospels were first circulated within living memory of the event. If they weren’t generally accepted as an accurate reflection of what the citizens of Jerusalem had personally eyewitnessed, the Gospels would never have achieved the level of respect accorded them.

I often use by way of analogy, a new history book that claimed John Kennedy wasn’t shot in Dealy Plaza in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963, that it never really happened. There are two many living eyewitnesses to the actual event for the book to survive its first printing.

Isaiah said He was assigned a grave with the wicked, but with the rich His death.

Jesus could not have arranged to be crucified between two thieves and He was already dead when Joseph of Aramithea petitioned Pilate for His body, which was later placed in a rich man’s tomb.

And if it WERE possible to do so, why would He? That is a worthy question. If He were not Who He said He was, what would be the point? Wise man and prophet? Liar and Lunatic? Or the Son of Israel’s God, crucified as “King of the Jews” as Israel’s King? Which logically fits the known facts?

The Book of Isaiah could not have been tampered with without attracting the attention of the Jews. And we have irrefutable evidence Isaiah’s prophecies are unchanged since the Isaiah Scroll found buried at Qumran was in circulation since 100 BC.

The Gospels could not logically have been tampered with after they were first circulated on the streets of Jerusalem, beginning around 45 AD with the Book of Mark. They reflected events of less than fifteen years before that took place in what was a small and very close-knit community of Jews.

If they didn’t reflect the facts as the eyewitnesses remembered them, there would be some record of their dispute, given that Jews boasted one of the most literate and carefully documented societies of antiquity.

And if they do accurately reflect the events they record, then it is more than significant that there is no record of any serious contemporary dispute of the accounts of the dead being raised, sight being restored to the blind, paralytics being healed. etc.

The accuracy of the Gospel is as much a matter of logic as it is one of faith.

Is it even remotely logical to believe that the Gospels could have been altered in any significant way without attracting the notice of the early Church? To alter them after they entered the public record, considering the eyewitness factor already discussed, would be impossible.

And once they entered the public record, history shows they were so universally accepted as truth that Christians chose the lion’s den rather than to deny their contents.

The Gospels were in circulation by about 45 AD. The first documented persecution of the Christians was during reign of Nero. (37-68) So many of those who refused to deny Jesus were eyewitnesses to the events recorded by the Gospels.

The Roman historian Tacitus recorded in Book 15, Chapter 44 of his Annals of the History of Rome,

“Nero falsely charged with the guilt, and punished Christians, who were hated for their enormities. Christus, the founder of the name, was put to death by Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judea in the reign of Tiberius: but the pernicious superstition, repressed for a time broke out again, not only through Judea, where the mischief originated.”

If the Gospels were well-entrenched enough to inspire martyrdom within living memory of Jesus, then any subsequent alteration to make them “fit” would not escape notice.

Then, we have the record of the Acts of the Apostles. Once again, we are relying as much on logic here as we are on faith to seek the answer to our questions from what is more or less undisputed historical fact.

We know that the Twelve were eyewitnesses to the events recorded by the Gospels from their own written testimony.

“For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His Majesty.” (2nd Peter 1:16)

Did Peter write the Gospel that bears his name? The people to whom he was writing believed he did — and they were in the best position to know.

His epistles were accepted as Divinely-inspired doctrine by the early Church, many of whom were ALSO eyewitnesses to “His Majesty”.

Ancient records confirm that Peter was crucified for preaching the Gospel. Roman custom demanded he be allowed to recant. It is logical to assume, since he was crucified, that the Bible’s account of his refusal is an accurate record.

It was Peter that specifically noted that “prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2nd Peter 1:21)

If Peter didn’t believe it was true, it is illogical to believe he would have allowed himself to be crucified for a lie.

Then there are the rest of the Apostles. All met similarly gory deaths. None of the accounts are historically disputed. All had the opportunity to renounce Christ, all chose grisly deaths.

(Only John escaped death by martyrdom. He was banished to Patmos — after John survived an attempt by Nero to martyr him by boiling him alive.)

Logically, then, we have the undeniably prophetic passage in Isaiah, fulfilled in the life of Christ through a series of humanly uncontrollable events that led to His historically verifiable torture and execution to consider.

Then, we have the eyewitness factor and that the eyewitness accounts recorded in the Gospel were accepted within living memory of the events described.

That it was believed as absolute truth is testified to by the rivers of blood shed by Christians as early as the reign of Nero.

Finally, we have the eyewitness testimony of the Apostles, who were alive at the time the Gospels they published made them the undisputed leaders of the early Church.

For the Messianic prophecies to be the result of a later conspiracy to ‘fix’ them, given the known facts, is both a logical and historical impossibility.

It is illogical to conclude that the early Church, its persecution and the reams of historical evidence attesting to its faithfulness in the face of grisly death, was founded upon an easily-disprovable lie concerning events that occurred within living memory.

And it is illogical to assume they could have been subsequently altered without those who were willing to die for the truths contained therein noticing the changes.

There is a principle of logic dubbed “Occam’s Razor”, named for the philosopher, Sir William of Occam, who first published it. It states that; given a variety of explanations, the one that most closely fits the known facts is logically the most likely to be true.

Both logic and deductive reasoning demand the conclusion that the Gospel accounts MUST be true. Any other reading of history would be illogical.

https://www.raptureforums.com/jack-kinsella/could-the-bible-be-faked/
 

Jaybird

Well-Known Member
1CO1:18-25:

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written:
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”
Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know Him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.
Jews demand signs and Greeks search for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.
 

caleb357

Active Member
When they say "The bible is full of contradictions" I always say, show me where. Most never do. They are just repeating what they hear other people say. I asked someone one time, How can you expect people to believe you when you can't back up what you say? This opens up an opportunity to back what I know compared to what they don't know. It helps to communicate in a friendly and loving way. After all, we are to reflect our savior and convey to them how we all reach a point in our lives to be honest with ourselves and recognize that we all need a savior. Many don't want to hear it and wish they never would have brought it up. But it helps by not just proving that they are wrong and arguing back like the world does. Don't give them the world but give them a reason to want to know more. The fruit of the Spirit is what reflects the truth back to them. A kind soft answer turns away wrath. They can see the truth in your character and are watching you. Perhaps looking for contradictions in your behavior. There is a song I heard that stated, "You may be the only bible another man ever reads". Even if they just walk away, they may still think about your meeting at another time. Perhaps your Christ like character. Perhaps something you said in a friendly way as if they were somebody to you. The Holy Spirit can draw a heart in by a simple memory of a simple meeting down the road. I'm not a bible scholar but sometimes what I do know in truth can be enough. Testimony helps. Sometimes a simple word or two is enough to plant a seed that somebody else down the road can water. Its the Holy Spirit.
 

Batman

Well-Known Member
If the Bible was faked and our King of Kings and Lord of Lords is described as "The Word", we are lost without hope........we is EVERYONE.
 

Jaybird

Well-Known Member
To the worldly, unsaved person the Bible makes no sense because they are without the Spirit. Before I was saved it really didn't make much sense to me either. Fulfilled prophecy is the key to understanding the veracity of the Scriptures.

1 CO 2:10-16

But God has revealed it to us by the Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of man except his own spirit within him? So too, no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. We have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. And this is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom, but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.
The natural man does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God. For they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man judges all things, but he himself is not subject to anyone’s judgment. “For who has known the mind of the Lord, so as to instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
 

ItIsFinished!

Blood bought child of the King of kings.
To the worldly, unsaved person the Bible makes no sense because they are without the Spirit. Before I was saved it really didn't make much sense to me either. Fulfilled prophecy is the key to understanding the veracity of the Scriptures.1

1 CO 2:10-16

But God has revealed it to us by the Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of man except his own spirit within him? So too, no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. We have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. And this is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom, but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.
The natural man does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God. For they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man judges all things, but he himself is not subject to anyone’s judgment. “For who has known the mind of the Lord, so as to instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
:thumbup
Those verses will straight preach.
 
Back
Top