Is the Bible really all that accurate?
So, is the Bible really all that accurate? You've heard it before. Maybe it's by friends or a teacher… but, you've heard it: “Sure the Bible is a good book, but, it's got mistakes.” Well, take a look at the evidence and decide for yourself. With regards to the Old Testament, the Jewish copyists of the Hebrew Scriptures had to follow strict rules:
- Each copy had to be written in a certain number of columns of 30 letters width and with a certain number of lines to each column.
- Each copy had to be made from a certified original.
- Every letter was copied one at a time from the original. They could not even write one letter from memory.
- The distance between each letter was measured by a single hair or thread.
- Every letter on every page and book was counted against the original. The number of times each letter occured in the book was counted and compared against the original.
- If one of these rules (and many others) were broken, the entire copy was destroyed.
What about the New Testament you ask? There are two important factors involved in determining the reliability of a historical document: The number of manuscript copies still around and, the time between when it was first written and the oldest copy still in existence. Let's compare the New Testament with some other writings of olden days.
The New Testament was written over a time period of 60 years. We have over 24,000 copies and some of the copies we have are only 25 years removed from the originals! Caesar's work, The Gallic Wars, was written over a 56 year period. We have 10 copies, the closest to the original is 1,000 years removed. We have 643 copies of Homer's Iliad and there is a 500 year span between the original and oldest existing copy.
So you see, no other work comes close to the New Testament. So why do so many put down the Bible as being inaccurate and untrustworthy?
Copyright © 1997, Dawson McAllister Live!, All Rights Reserved—except as noted on attached “Usage and Copyright” page that grants ChristianAnswers.Net users generous rights for putting this page to work in their homes, personal witnessing, churches and schools.