Is the Bible Corrupted? (What to Make of Transmission Errors)

HAS JESUS BEEN JESUS MISQUOTED?

Early church librarian, Pamphilus of Caesarea, in the mid-200s, would make copies of Scripture and “correct the manuscripts of the Bible.” Even back then, there was a godly reverence for correctly copying Scripture.

In spite of that, many documents have come to us “corrupted,” or changed in one way or another.

In fact, it is said, there are more discrepancies in the copies of the New Testament than there are words in the New Testament (quote from White Horse Inn episode below). What should we make of that?

Does this mean the Bible is actually inaccurate? Does this mean the Bible is fallible and unreliable? How do we know that what we read is actually the historical truth?

In this day and age, many opponents of Christianity attack the New Testament, attempting to collapse the great foundation on which Christianity rests. They have a point. << READ ON >>

Sarabi Dog of Alexander: Mystery and Fact

What is the connection between Alexander, the Persian Mastiff (Sarabi dog), and the Turkish Kangal? Where did the dog come from? Which breed was Alexander’s dog?

This article explores this mystery in depth.


The Sarabi dog is featured in the novel TRUNK OF SCROLLS: A FAMILY ADVENTURE. Those who love either the Persian Mastiff or the Turkish Kangal will appreciate the key role this dog plays in the story. (Get your copy today to find out!)


PERITAS

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-5iIoEcICBPU/Tefbd67F6ZI/AAAAAAAAATU/qLJ9s-EqBb0/s1600/Alexander%2Bsarcophagus%2Bdog%2Bdetail.jpgPeritas was a much-loved dog of Alexander the Great (356 BC-321 BC).  Apparently there were two dogs of Alexander named Peritas. One he raised himself Plutarch writes, “he also, we are told, built another city, and called it after the name of a favorite dog, Peritas, which he had brought up himself.”  This dog might have been a greyhound type.

But another breed seems to…read more

Healthy For Life: News Report

My high school daughters produced this amazing video for their Nutrition Class. I hope you enjoy it, and learn some healthy-living facts along the way. With much appreciation to Dr. David Perlmutter, whose work was a significant part of their research.

1290 Days

ancient-1246447_1920What would you do if you knew you only had 7 years left to live?
What would you do if you knew the world had only 7 years left?

I am not Chicken Little. I shy away from any kind of “end times” prophecy like I would the Tar Baby.

A few months ago, and again the other day I was reading in Daniel, and was floored by something.

Many shall purify themselves and make themselves white and be refined, but the wicked shall act wickedly. And none of the wicked shall understand, but those who are wise shall understand. And from the time that the regular burnt offering is taken away and the abomination that makes desolate is set up, there shall be 1,290 days.Blessed is he who waits and arrives at the 1,335 days. But go your way till the end. And you shall rest and shall stand in your allotted place at the end of the days.”

Daniel 12:10-12

A note in my New Geneva Study Bible says, “the significance of these time frames is obscure,” since it is not connected to the earlier “three and a half years” prophecies. This got me thinking.

I have been to the Temple Mount, and have seen the Muslim shrine standing where Solomon’s temple used to be. IMHO, that is an abomination. I did a very little history research about this and found out something that rocked my world.

RESEARCH RESULTS

Date of Destruction of Temple of Solomon (where Ezekiel says the Spirit left.) 597* /587 BC

1290 years–>

Date of Building of the Dome of the Rock on Temple Mount, between AD 688 and 691

1335 years from Dome of the Rock–>

AD 2023-2026

597 BC–>1290 years –> 688-691 AD–> 1335 years –> AD 2023-2026

WHAT THIS MEANS

All of this says to me one thing–NOT that the world is ending in seven to eleven years. It asks me,

What would you do differently if you knew the world would end in seven years?

  • Would you more earnestly do and check-off things on your “Bucket List”?
  • Would you cross of unimportant things on that Bucket list?
  • Would you reconsider your life, and even your lifestyle, and make significant changes?
  • Would you stop playing that video game?
  • Would you spend more time with your family?
  • Would you spend more free time visiting with non-Christian friends and family?
  • Would you be busier storing up heavenly treasures?
  • Would your priorities and decisions be different?
  • Would you be more patient?
  • Would you be more faithful?
  • Would you be more generous with your wealth and outward estate?
  • Would you number your days?
  • Are you doing what you would want to do in your last seven years of life?
  • Are you doing what you would want to do during the last seven years of life on earth?

For one of these days, there WILL only be seven years left on earth.

END OF LIFE/ END OF THE WORLD RESOLUTIONS

Jonathan Edwards made a couple resolutions related to this:

19. Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if I expected it would not be above an hour, before I should hear the last trump.

and

17. Resolved, that I will live so as I shall wish I had done when I come to die.

and

50. Resolved, I will act so as I think I shall judge would have been best, and most prudent, when I come into the future world.

Jesus said that no one knows the day or the hour:

“From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven,nor the Son, but the Father only. For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left. Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

Matthew 24:32-44

WHAT*S WITH THE NUMBERS?

So the book of Daniel gives us numbers, and we should use them. After all, why would they be in the Bible if they were useless? Even Daniel himself saw that Jeremiah promised that Cyrus would send them back to Jerusalem 70 years after the exile.

In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, by descent a Mede, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans— in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, perceived in the books the number of years that, according to the word of the Lord to Jeremiah the prophet, must pass before the end of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years.

Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes. I prayed to the Lord my God and made confession…  

Daniel 9:2-4

appletree

DOGMATISM vs SELF-EXAMINATION

But we cannot be dogmatic about dates and times because of Christ’s warnings (see above). Ultimately, the purpose of the dates is to stir us up. Like Daniel, it should draw us to prayer and confession and self-examination.  Scripture expects us to be wise and consider these two questions:

Action Point:
  1. Are you living life in such a way that you would not regret how you spent TODAY if the Lord returns in 2023?
  2. How do you feel about the return of Christ? When “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming soon.'” Do you answer “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!”? (Rev 22:20)
  3. We would love to read your answers in the comments below…



Notes

*1-The typical date given for the destruction of the temple is 587 BC, Babylonian documents themselves appear to date Nebuchadnezzar’s seige to 597 BC. Jeremiah states three exiles 597 “the seventh year,” 586 “the eighteenth year” and a smaller third exile after that. (See Missing Years). No one knows exactly the date for the actual destruction when the “regular burnt offering is taken away.” There was no year 0. There have been various calendar systems since ancient times. Lunar, solar, Julian, Gregorian. It is possible these changes relate to the ten missing years as well. Because of these things, the dates actually still are cloaked in mystery. Additionally, my claim that the Dome of the Rock is an abomination of desolation is just a claim. Is it “the Abomination of Desolation”? Is it one of many that will come? *2-http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/the-resolutions-of-jonathan-edwards

3 Crucial Principles for Student Online Research

1.  All students and parents should have a content filter/accountability system. 

Our family’s favorite is Covenant Eyes which allows for age-appropriate content filtering. The program also saves a searchable record of all internet activity. We all get pulled astray. It’s a fact of nature, and accountability is a strong method to counter our nature.  Covenant Eyes will not allow the internet to open without logging in, and after it logs in it records all sites and pictures viewed. Each child can have their unique login information and filtering options.

(I’m so confident about Covenant Eyes, I’ve asked to sponsor them on my website. So, although I may get a kickback if you join through these links, I only tell you about it because I believe it is essential for every family to use).


 

2. All students should be taught about online predators and dangers.

My children were required to become “certified to use the internet” by going through NetSmartKids web materials, which have materials for younger as well as older children.

Alternately Carnegie Cyber Academy can be helpful.

DVD options  The Safe Side: Internet Safety


 

3. All students should know how to recognize credibility of a website.

History research requires credible sources, so fan-sites and armchair historian sites are not as valuable and most often have no unique primary sources for you. When you do a Search online,

“Look Before You Click”:

*Site address reflects academic credibility

It should have a short web address. It should probably end with .org instead of .com, though that is not always an indicator. Free sites are always suspect.

*Site name often reflects academic credibility

*It should have a site name that is specific to history. Museum sites. Academic sites.  Reading the blurb that shows up on the search page can show you the type of site you will be visiting.

* Lots of random ads undermines academic credibility

If you see a site with a lot of ads for random products, not related to history, you should suspect the site, and move on to another site. Website owners whose main purpose is revenue will sell space on their page that filters information according to YOUR previous search history, showing your personalized ads. This reveals that the purpose of the website is to sell, not to inform, thereby undermining academic credibility.

BUT If the ads are directly related to the material presented–specifically recommended books on the topic, articles to download, materials that will help you–you may consider purchasing them and supporting the site’s owner whose primary purpose is to inform.

*Avoiding blogs and forums enables the finding of credible sources

Not very many people make it their intention to connect students to primary source information on history.  Because of this, blogs should be avoided.  Forums are opinion-driven sites, and very rarely will you be using your time wisely when you spend time skimming forums.

7 Sources for Primary Document Research

Research Guidewriting_fresco

Instead of looking for primary source documents with a random Google Search, start with actual history sites!

What to do:

Let’s say you have the prompt:  “What were the three most significant causes of the Fall of Rome

1. Plan your search.

Before finding primary documents, you need to know WHAT you are looking for. Review a history book to get a general idea of the kind of answer you seek. Make a list of at least 10 keywords you are looking for. Narrow down what exactly you are looking for. Are you looking for a journal, a letter, a picture, a speech, a statistic?

Berkeley has a helpful list that can help you “Know Before You Search.”

Plan: I read in my textbook that the borders were weak. Barbarians came. I read about the moving of the Capital to Constantinople.I read about problems with the emperors, and about nationalism, something about Theodosius.  

“Fall of Rome,” “barbarians,” “Constantinople,” “Theodosius,” “Roman borders,”  “Roman emperors,” “Roman nationalism,” and “Theodosius” are my search terms.

I am hoping to find  a letter that a Roman who lived then wrote describing the problems they were having.

2. Narrow Down, then Search

Click on the most relevant link below. Narrow down from category to subcategory. Use the search feature to type in your pre-planned search terms.

Hint: you can do a search on any website, even if they do not have a search feature, by using the following method.

In the address bar, copy the website up until the subfolder you are interested in.  (Make sure the subfolder does not end with .htm or .html, because that will merely search on the page, not for all related documents.)

Write—  site:http://(website address)/  space (search term).
For example:          site:http://spartacus-educational.com/ barbarians

3. Document Where You Found Your Material

Stay Organized! Scrivener is a good method for organizing research, since in one project there are different areas to file various types of information–chapters or pictures or research links.

Don’t forget to copy the source link BEFORE copying the vital information.  Always copy the link first, paste it on your sources page. (You can format it later, but get that link saved!)

The worst thing a researcher can do is to spend hours finding something, but then not be able to track it down again later, so he is not able to use that evidence.  Back up where you found that vital piece of information.1170824_79172868

The Links

Ancient and Medieval History

I) Global History and Geography: Reading and Documents (Alternately available from Classical Historian). This book is a very nice introduction to the value of primary documents. There are questions at the end of each excerpt, enabling students to consider the source critically. Though it is not an internet source, it provides a necessary and “bite-size” transition to the study of primary source documents.

US History, Uniquely

II) Library of Congress American Memory Timeline in particular is the holder of primary documents from United States history.

World History, including US History

III)  Spartacus Educational exists for the purpose of connecting young readers to primary source information. This site index sorts history by topic or by time period.

IV) Primary Sources by Century—USC LibGuides (many login required, but some are free access)

V) Library Guides at Bowling Green  Early American History, 18th Century, 19th Century, 20th Century, 21st Century

VI) JSTOR.COM There are a lot of historical documents here. You can sign up for a free account and have access to three documents at a time. While these are not all directly primary documents, they quote primary documents and can be a valuable source of books to look for. Often Jstor leads you to Google Books.

VII) Online Books a) Google Books  I have found quotations of otherwise unavailable research in topical studies available in the searchable academic books available through Google Books. Some pages are not-viewable, but often those missing pages can be found if the books has an b) Look Inside feature on Amazon. Sometimes the books are available secondhand at a very reasonable price. c) Gutenberg.org has many digital copies of documents available for free online viewing or download. If the document is in the public domain, it may be found there

These are starting places. The key is to have a direction, key words, a plan.  If you do not prepare yourself before you begin, you will get lost in a swamp and turn up nothing substantial, having wasted your time. Know what you want and see what treasures you find!

 

Here are some other Links to look into

Berkeley’s Library Links

National Archives

How to Use Youtube for Primary Source Info