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"The excessive skepticism shown toward the Bible has been progressively discredited. Discovery after discovery has established the accuracy of numerous details."
»  Chapter Introduction
»  Shaking Modern Discoveries
»  Non-biblical Sources
»  A Brief History of the New Testament

Chapter 6:
Unparalleled Historicity
Is the text of the Bible a reliable historical document?

Chapter Introduction

It is often believed that the text of today’s Bible could not possibly be authentic — many of the words and sentences must have been tampered with, or altered over time. After all, the events described date back thousands of years — plenty of time for error to creep in. Indeed, if the children’s game of “broken telephone” teaches anything, it is surely that the original story will become corrupted after being passed from one person to the next. Especially would this be the case if many generations of people were involved.

Amazingly, this has not been the case for the Bible’s Old Testament. In 1947, young Arab shepherds, searching for a stray goat in the Judean Desert, entered a long-untouched cave in the ruins of Qumran and accidentally fumbled across several jars filled with ancient biblical scrolls. This discovery yielded seven scrolls and began a search that lasted nearly a decade, eventually producing thousands of scroll fragments from 11 caves. Historical, paleographic, and linguistic evidence, as well as carbon-14 dating, established that the scrolls dated from approximately 3 B.C. to A.D. 68.[1] Originating at the time when Jesus lived, they are older than any other surviving biblical manuscripts by almost one thousand years. These scrolls were first displayed in the United States at the Library of Congress in 1949, but are housed today in the Shrine of the Book in Jerusalem.[2]

Along with several other writings, all 39 books of the Bible’s Old Testament were represented in the Dead Sea Scroll collection (with the exception of the Book of Esther). With few negligible variations, these ancient scrolls proved to be “practically identical” in content to today’s version of the Old Testament,[3] demonstrating that even over a 2,000-year period, the biblical text has managed to remain free from corruption.


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