In my last article, “The Theory of Evolution”, I pointed out the falacies, distortions and downright lies of people teaching evolution. It is a known fact that evolution does not meet the criteria for science and that evolution is nothing more than a theory, and a very flawed theory at that.
I believe the basic reason why the theory of evolution is so very popular with the majority of people is that human beings do not want to serve Jesus Christ (God), but they want to serve (worship) themselves.
There can be no other reason for so many intelligent people choosing to ignore the logical facts based on science itself. Science proves evolution to be nothing more than a myth, based on the scientic formula for measuring the merit of a theory.
In this article, I want to lay the foundation for proving scientifically the credibility of the Bible (canon).
No other book has the incredible distinction of having been written by more than 40 authors covering over 1,500 years. The Bible was written from three different continents (Africa, Asia, and Europe) in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, yet the Bible has complete unity and continuity. This feature alone is impossible and cannot be explained by any explanation other than divinely inspired.
The Bible (Canon) is a book composed of 66 separate books that have the same supernatural spirit directing the various authors words. The authors represent such unique and varying backgrounds and walks of life: kings, peasants, poets, scholars, shepherds, military leaders, philosophers, a rabbi, tax collector and doctor, etc. The Bible is a prophetic book predicting the future of nations, cities, people, specific events, the birth, death and resurrection of the messiah Jesus Christ, as well as His second coming. It predicts droughts, famines, earthquakes, wars, death, the one world government, and future leader of the world climaxing with the battle of Armaggedon.
Let us look at some real evidence showing the authenticity of the Canon, which evolution cannot duplicate.
The following text is taken from S.F. Fleming’s book, Gate Breakers.
VI. WHAT MANUSCRIPT EVIDENCE IS THERE FOR THE NEW TESTAMENT?
A. There are more than:
5,300 Greek Manuscripts
10,000 Latin Vulgate
9,300 Other Early Versions
Total = 24,600 Manuscript copies of portions of the New Testament in existence.
B. A comparison to other manuscripts:
The “Iliad” by Homer has the second most manuscripts at only 643. The Iliad was written in 900 B.C., but the earliest complete copy we have of it is from the thirteenth century (0ver 2,000 years later). This seems sufficient for historians to call it accurate. The proof of the lives, existence, and acts of Caesar, Plato, Aristotle, Herodotus, Sophocles, Pythagoras, Homer, etc. are verified in several hundred books, and historians will readily confirm their authenticity. Yet, there are over 24,000 parts and complete New Testament manuscripts agreeing upon the characters and events of which they speak.
C. Recent Discoveries:
Up until a few years ago, it was said of the New Testament that “the earliest fragment dates about A.D. 120, with about 50 other fragments dating within 150 to 200 years from the time of composition. Two major manuscripts, Codex Vaticanus (A.D. 325) and Codex Sinaiticus (A.D. 350), a complete copy, date within 250 years of the time of composition.” However, today there are recent discoveries showing that portions of the Dead Sea Scrolls might actually be verses from the early Gospel manuscripts written just a few years after Christ ascended into heaven. Also, in 1991, another scroll was revealed and is called the Crucified Messiah Scroll. Grant R. Jeffrey points out some excellent things about this scroll in The Signature of God. He says, “This remarkable five-line scroll contained fascinating information about the death of the Messiah. It referred to the Prophet Isaiah and his Messianic prophecy (Chapter 53) that identified the Messiah as one who will suffer for the sins of his people. This scroll provides an amazing parallel to the New Testament revelation that the Messiah would first suffer death before He would ultimately return to rule the nations. Many scholars believed that the Jews during the first century of our era believed that,when he finally came, the Messiah would rule forever without dying. The exciting discovery of this scroll reveals that the Essene writer of this scroll understood the dual role of Messiah as Christians did. This scroll identified the Messiah as the ‘Shoot of Jesse’ (King David’s father) the ‘branch of David’, and declared that he was ‘pierced’ and ‘wounded’.
D. Early Church Fathers:
Further evidence of the New Testament’s authenticity has been gathered from the writings of the second and third century church fathers. After careful investigation it was determined that from their writings, the entire New Testament (except for eleven verses) could be collected together if no surviving manuscript existed. Speaker and author Josh McDowell adds to this: “The text of the Bible has been transmitted accurately. In fact, there is more evidence for the reliability of the text of the New Testament as an accurate reflection of what was initially written than there is for any ten pieces of classical literature put together.” Again, based on the evidence, the conviction comes that we have in our hands a text which does not differ in any substantial particular from the originals of the various books as they came from the hands of human writers. The great scholar F.J.A. Hort said that apart from insignificant variations of grammar or spelling, not more than one-thousandth part of the whole New Testament is affected by differences of reading.”
VII. WHAT MANUSCRIPT EVIDENCE IS THERE FOR THE OLD TESTAMENT?
A. The Massoretic Period (A.D.500-900):
Before the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947, the oldest complete manuscript of the old testament was dated A.D. 900. Since the Old Testament was completed in about 400 B.C. this gave about a 1300 year gap. The manuscript from A.D. 900 is known as the “Massoretic Text” because it was the product of the Masorrites, a group of Jewish scribes that are respected for their skills of proof-reading and their highly developed system of safeguards against scribal errors. The Hebrew Massoretic Text was copied from a manuscript dating about A.D. 100. Since the A.D. 100 copy no longer existed, the question of accuracy was raised prior to the discovery of the dead sea scrolls. (Massora is the Hebrew word for “tradition”)
B. The Talmudist Period (A.D. 100-500):
The Talmudists were Jewish scribes that have been praised for their almost perfect accuracy of copying manuscripts to be passed on to future generations. While there are currently no known “complete” manuscripts of the Old Testament from this period, the fragments that exist from the O.T. as well as other products (copies of ancient Egyptian books, for example) show the most expert skill of the Talmudists for minor detail.
C. The Dead Sea Scrolls (150 B.C. - A.D. 70):
In 1947 a wandering Bedouin goat herdsman discovered caves in the side of the cliffs west of the Dead Sea. It has been called the greatest archeological discovery of the century. The caves were storage units for pots containing leather scrolls. The scrolls revealed a Jewish communal society called Qumran that existed from about 150 B.C. to A.D. 70. It was much like a monastery. They farmed the land, and they spent their time studying and copying the Hebrew Scriptures. When they realized that the Romans were going to invade their land, they put the scrolls in pots and hid them in the caves. There were approximately 40,000 inscribed fragments discovered. From these fragments more than 500 books have been reconstructed. Fragments of almost every book of the Old Testament were discovered.
The most outstanding find was the earliest manuscripts copy yet known of the complete book of Isaiah, dating approximately 125 B.C. The significance of this find to the authenticity of the Old Testament is dramatic. Before the discovery of the Dead Sea manuscripts, the Massoretic manuscript (A.D.900) was being criticized for authenticity and accuracy. However, the Dead Sea Scrolls— being 1,000 years earlier—proved the exactness with which the Talmudists and Massorites copied the Scriptures. The changes in a thousand years were minor and basically had to do with spelling (natural language progression) and conjunctions.
D. The Septuagint (c.300 B.C.):
Some Jewish scribes did not copy the Scripture into Hebrew but into Greek. Such are the scribes referred to as the LXX (70). These 70 Jewish scholars lived in Alexandria around 300 B.C. They translated the Hebrew Bible into the Greek language. The LXX appears to be a rather literal translation from prior manuscripts. This helps us know today that our Old Testaments are pretty good copies of the original translation. There exist also ancient Samaritan copies of the Pentateuch (first five books of the Old Testament) that stand as a witness to the characters and activities of the Old Testament. While there were some variations between the Hebrew, Greek, and Samaritan manuscripts, the differences were slight. Regarding these various texts, Paul Little tells us in Know Why You Believe: “Three main types of text existed in 200 B.C. The question for us is, What is the original version of the Old Testament, in the light of these three ‘families’ of texts to choose from? We can conclude with R. Laird Harris: ‘We can now be sure that copyists worked with great care and accuracy on the Old Testament, even back to 225 B.C. At that time there were two or three types of text available for copying. These types differed among themselves so little, however, that we can infer that still earlier copyists had also faithfully and carefully transmitted the Old Testament text. Indeed, it would be rash skepticism that would now deny that we have our Old Testament in a form very close to that used by Ezra when he taught the Law to those who had returned from the Babylonian captivity.’”
VIII. WHAT ARE THE THREE BASIC PARTS OF THE (JEWISH) HEBREW BIBLE?
A. The Law (Torah): Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.
B. The Prophets: Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the Twelve Minor Prophets from Hosea to Malachi. (Both books of Samuel and Kings).
C. The Writings: Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Esther, Ecclesiastes, Daniel, Ezra-Nehemiah, and Chronicles. (Both books of Chronicles).
IX. DOES THE NEW TESTAMENT BEAR WITNESS TO THE OLD TESTAMENT?
Yes! Here are some examples:
• Matthew 21:42 “Jesus said to them, ‘Have you never read in the Scriptures’
• Matthew 22:29 “Jesus answered... You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures”
• Matthew 26:54 “How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?”
• Matthew 26:56 “But all this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets...”
• Luke 24:25-27,32 [Jesus talking to the two men on the road to Emmaus]
• John 5:39 “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life”
• John 7:38 “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart...”
• John 10:35 “And the Scripture cannot be broken”
• Acts 17:2 “Then Paul...reasoned with them from the Scriptures”
• Acts 17:2 “And searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things”
• Acts 18:28 “Refuted the Jews publicly, showing from the Scriptures that Jesus is”
• Romans 1:2 “Which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures”
• Romans 4:3 “for what does the Scripture say? Abraham believed God,”
• I Corinthians 15:3 “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures”
• 2 Peter 3:16 [Peter showing the equality of Paul’s epistles to the O.T. Scriptures]
Other Examples: Romans 9:17, Galatians 3:8, 3:22, 4:30; I Timothy 5:18
X. DID JESUS BEAR WITNESS TO THE OLD TESTAMENT?
Yes! Here are some examples:
A. In Luke 24:44 Jesus is talking to His disciples after His resurrection. He tells them “all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.”
1. The Law of Moses = The Torah or Pentateuch (First five books of O.T.)
2. The Prophets = All those mentioned under section VIII B.
3. The Psalms = “The Writings” mentioned under section VIII C. It was common practice among Hebrews to refer to an entire section of Scripture by saying the first book of that section.
B. In Matthew 23:35 and Luke 11:51 Jesus convicts the actions of a hard hearted and rebellious people by accusing them of killing the prophets. He says, “from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah.” With these two examples Jesus gives witness to the fullness of the Old Testament Abel was the first martyr (Genesis 4:8) and Zechariah was the last (2 Chronicles 24:21). The Hebrew Bible or canon was arranged differently than our Old Testament Protestant canon. The Hebrew canon was arranged as displayed in Section VIII A-C. Genesis was the first book and Chronicles the last. So Jesus literally shows the authenticity from the first book to the last of the Hebrew Bible. (Note: The Apocrypha mentioned later was not included in the Hebrew Bible)
XI. WHICH PEOPLE CHOSE THE OLD TESTAMENT CANON?
Definition of canon -- the word canon comes from a root meaning “reed.” It signifies a standard or measuring rod. In regard to the Bible, it means those books which have been officially accepted as inspired by God.
A. The Hebrew Old Testament was completed c. 400 B.C. It contained the Torah, the Prophets, and the Writings (Section VIII). It contained 24 books. They are the same as our Bible’s 39 books except for a couple of things:
1) They did not divide Samuel, Kings, or Chronicles into two books.
2) The order of the books differed.
B. It was the Hebrews themselves that determined what would be included in the canon of their Holy Scriptures. The books were received as authoritative because they were recognized by God’s people as being “inspired” by God through his prophets. The first five books (Gen - Deut) were either written by Moses, those under his authority, or collected by him. There was no question about the books by the prophets. Throughout the prophets’ books are the words, “This is what the Lord says” or “The word of the Lord came to me.” False prophets did not last long and their words were not regarded by the generations as inspired. The poetical books, historical books, and other “Writings” were also accepted as canon because of their obvious authority of truth. These were the original canon of the Jewish people. Even the Septuagint written about 300 B.C. in Greek by seventy Jewish scholars only included the books that we have in our Old Testament Protestant Bibles. However, other books called the Apocrypha were later added to the Septuagint. The inclusion of the Apocrypha has been debated throughout the ages. By the time Jesus came to earth, the Hebrew Bible (excluding the Apocrypha) was referred to as “the Scriptures.” Fleming, S. F. (1998). Gate Breakers: Answering cults and world religions with prayer, love and witnessing.
I hope everyone can see the preponderance of evidence convincing the truth seeker of the reality of the canon and the folly of evolution. I will continue “The Credibility of the Canon” in my next article.
May God richly bless you,
Dr. Jonathan Hansen
I hope that you are enjoying receiving these “Warning” articles! We are truly living in an age described in the Bible as “a great falling away from truth.” According to the George Barna Research Group, only 28% of mainline church leaders have a Biblical world view and amongst their congregations only 2% of their members live with a biblical world view. No wonder we are living in an age where the church does not seem to know right from wrong, righteousness versus sin. No wonder we are living in an age in America where we are debating same-sex marriage. Never before in The United States would we have had to even argue over such an insane subject. Please support this ministry with your love offering so we can continue to get these “Warning” articles out to you. Also, pass them on to your friends and help me build an army of believers that will help me “Sound the Alarm.”
Blessings, Dr. Jonathan Hansen
© 2004 World Ministries International