The Reliability of the Bible

The Reliability of the Bible

http://www.davincicode.org.sg Responding To The Challenges Of The DaVinci Code Rev. Dave Geisler Meekness and Truth Ministries www.meeknessandtruth. org 40 million copies sold, translated into 44 languages Introducing The Da Vinci Code Why has this novel caused so much controversy?

Jesus never claimed to be God. Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married and had a child. The New Testament was a product of man to achieve ones political agenda. Almost everything we have been taught about Jesus is a lie. Why be concerned with a novel? 1. First word: FACT

All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals in this novel are accurate (Dan Brown). 2. Many people are taking what he says as fact. Introduction to: The Da Vinci Code Story begins with a murder

in the Louvre. The Priory of Sion guards an ancient secret that could discredit biblical Christianity. The location and identity of the Holy Grail. Responding To the Challenges of the DaVinci Code! Dan Brown has given us a greate opportunity! Hes raised questions that each person must deal with in their own spiritual journey. Three ways Dan Brown has given us a great opportunity! Hes raised the issue of what is

true faith. Hes raised the issue of whether we can trust the Bible to give us a true picture of Jesus. Hes raised the issue of who Jesus really claimed to be and proved to be. Have you ever wondered why so many Christians are questioning their faith as it relates to The DaVinci Code? 1. Many Christians no longer understand what is involved in Biblical Faith!

A Misunderstanding of Faiths Relationship to Reason About one out of four (26%) born again Christians believe that it doesnt matter what faith you follow because they all teach the same lessons. Born Again Christians, 2000, George Barna, Barna Web-site A Misunderstanding Of What Is Involved In Biblical Faith Example: The DaVinci Code But you told me the New Testament is based on

fabrication. Langdon smiled. Sophie, every faith in the world is based on fabrication. That is the definition of faith acceptance of that which we imagine to be true, that which we cannot prove. Dan Brown, The DaVinci Code, p. 341 Christianity is Based on a Historical Event And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. I Corinthians 15:14 (NIV) * Our faith is only as valid as the object in which it is placed. Have you ever wondered why so many Christians are questioning

their faith as it relates to The DaVinci Code? 1. Many Christians no longer understand what is involved in Biblical Faith! 2. If you tell a story that is mostly conjuncture yet you hold it together with a thread of truth, many will have difficulty sorting out what is true and what is error. 3. Sometimes merely the sheer number of accusations may cause some to question whether Dan Brown may be on to something.

"I have here in my hand a list of 57 people that were known to the Secretary of State as being members of the Communist Party, and who, nevertheless, are still working and shaping the policy of the State Department. (9th, February 1950 See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_McCarthy On February 20, he claimed 81. When Soviet archives were opened, they only found five people on his list. Joseph McCarthy How should we respond to the DaVinci Code? 1. We should not be afraid of the truth.

Then You shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free. (Jn. 8:32 N.I.V.) 2. We should use the questions that Dan Brown raises to help us evaluate the strength of our beliefs. 3. We should use interest in Jesus life as an opportunity to plants seeds of the gospel (1 Cor. 3:6). Major Claim # 1 1. The Bible as we know it today, was collated by the Roman Emperor Constantine. More than Eighty gospels were considered for the New Testament, and yet only a relatively few were chosen for inclusion Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John among them.The Bible as we know it today, was

collated by the pagan Roman emperor Constantine the Great (D.C. p. 231)(who) omitted those gospels that spoke of Christs human traits and embellished those gospels that made Him godlike. The earlier gospels were outlawed, gathered up, and burned. (D.C. p. 234) Response: Fact Check Actually there are a little more than 50 Pseudepigraphal gospels Books rejected by virtually all) See General Introduction to the Bible by Geisler and Nix, p. 302 (listed on p. 309-311)

Yet many are known only by name and others by a few scattered citations in the church fathers. General Intro. p. 302 There were only twelve other gospels in circulation during this general time, and these clearly not inspired Scripture. (See Ron Rhodes, p. 13 Crash Goes The Da Vinci Code. http://www.ronrhodes.org/DaVinci.html for more details on this point) Major Claim # 1 Response:

There is no evidence that any of these gospels were written in the 1 st Century during the period that nearly all New Testament scholars say the New Testament was written. Irenaeus Bishop of Lyons (2nd century) - who sat under the teachings of Polycarp, who was a disciple of John the Apostle) said, Matthew published his Gospel among the Hebrews (i.e., Jews) in their own tongue, when Peter and Paul were preaching the gospel in Roman and founding the church there. (Irenaeus, Against Heresies, in The Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 1, eds. James Donaldson and Alexander Roberts (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1993), 3.1.1. Historians believe that Paul was in Rome between 60-64 A.D.

Major Claim # 1 Question: Are these gospels earlier then the four New Testament Gospels? Response: There is no evidence that any of these gospels were written in the 1st Century during the period that nearly all New Testament scholars say the New Testament was written. Most liberal as well as conservative biblical scholars accept that the whole New Testament was written in the first century. Major Claim # 1 1.

The Bible as we know it today, was collated by the Roman Emperor Constantine. Question: Are these gospels earlier then the four New Testament Gospels? The Earliest of these is the Gospels of Thomas but most scholars date no sooner then the early second century. Major Claim # 1 Question: Are these gospels earlier then the four New Testament Gospels? Response:

Not even liberal theologians believe that The Gospel of Thomas was written by the biblical Thomas, and that The Gospel of Philip was written by the biblical Phillip. The Gnostic Gospels cannot really be called Gospels. Neither The Gospel of Truth nor The Gospel of Philip, as case examples, contain an orderly account of the birth, life, deeds, and resurrection of Christ. Ron Rhodes, Crash Goes The Da Vinci Code. p. 20 http://www.ronrhodes.org/ DaVinci.html Major Claim # 1 Was the Bible as we know it today, collated by the pagan Roman emperor Constantine? The O.T. cannon was already accepted

The Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament was created between 250 and 150 B.C. (See N. Geisler and W. Nix, General Introduction the Bible, p. 24) In A.D. 90 Jewish Scholars meet in Jamnia to affirm the 39 Old Testament books (None of the Apocrypha was accepted) Major Claim # 1 Was the Bible as we know it today, collated by the pagan Roman emperor Constantine? By 200 A.D. the majority of the New Testament Books

had already been accepted by Western Christendom. The list of 27 New Testament books was not officially accepted in the West until the council called The Synod of Hippo in A.D. 393. Major Claim # 1 Question: How did the books of the New Testament become one volume and why were certain books and letters left out? Jesus Determines Which Books To Accept As Part of Sacred Scripture

Jesus confirmed the Old Testament 1. Jesus defended himself from Satans attacks three times with the phrase, It is Written (referring to the Old Testament, Matt. 4:4ff). 2. Jesus said it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke of the letter of the Law to fail. (Luke 16:17) Jesus Promised the New Testament 1. Jesus promised the Holy Spirit would teach the apostles all things and lead them into all truth.

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you (Jn. 14:26). However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come (Jn. 16:13). The Holy Spirit will guide 2. Jesus promised the Apostles that the Holy Spirit would guide what they wrote. Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophets own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the

will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. 2 Peter 1:20-21 Note: The Greek word for carried along is used in Acts 27:15-17 to suggest that the ship was carried along by the wind. Jesus Promised the New Testament 3. The Apostles claimed to continue in Christs teaching, being directed by the Holy Spirit. 4. The qualification for being a member of the twelve apostles was that they must be an eyewitness of the ministry and resurrection of Christ (Acts 1:21-22) 5. The New Testament church itself is said to be built upon the foundation of the apostles and New Testament prophets. (Eph. 2:20; cf. 3:5). 6. The Apostles claimed the divine authority for their words (JN. 20:31; I JN. 1:1; 4:1, 5-6).

Jesus Promised the New Testament 7. Peter acknowledged all Pauls writings as scriptures (2 Peter 3:15-16). 8. Apostle Paul says in 1 Thes. 2:4 that "we" are entrusted with the gospel. 9. Apostle Paul quoted from the Gospel of Luke (Luke 10:7) and refers to it as scripture. (1 Tim. 5:18) 10. Luke claims to give an accurate account of what Jesus began to do and teach. (Luke 1:3-4) 11. Therefore only books and letters that were associated with an apostle or associate were considered acceptable into the New Testament Cannon. Question: But how do we know we have the correct books?

The Apostolic Fathers recognized these writing as coming from the Apostles Between 70 150 is the period called the Apostolic Fathers Some of the Apostolic Fathers knew some of the apostles Clement is understood to be a Disciple of Peter. Polycarp was known to be a disciple of John. The Apostolic Fathers specifically quoted from at least 17 books and letters in the New Testament. A.D. 125 Polycarp quotes Ephesians twice and refers to it as Sacred Scripture. We have lists of Authoritative Works that confirm some of the accepted writings A.D. 140 Marcion compiled a canon that included one Gospel (a

large portion of Luke that had been altered and 10 of Pauls letters. * He did not believe in the supernatural. A.D. 180 Muratorian Canon Fragment (23 books) A.D. 185 Irenaeus recognized 22 books and letters A.D. 200 Tertullian recognized 22 books and letters A.D. 225 Hippolytus recognized 22 books and letters A.D. 230 Origen recognized 24 books A.D. Eusebius lists 22 books List of Authoritative Works A.D. 367 Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria, lists the 27 books and letters of the N.T. we now have today. A.D. 380 Amphilocius of Iconium lists 22 books and letters A.D. 382 Synodin in Rome Pope Damascus lists 27 A.D. 397 3rd Council of Carthage, lists 27 books A.D. 1442 Council of Florence lists 27 books

A.D. Council of Trent lists 27 books Common agreements from all lists All lists accepted the 4 New Testament Gospels as the true Gospels (except Marcion) All accepted Pauls letters as authoritative Remember Dan Brown said these issues were decided in 325 at the Council of Nicaea. The Four New Testament Gospels Were Considered As Authoritative By the Early Church Justin Martyr (A.D. 150) 15 times referred to the Gospels as the memoirs of the Apostles.

(Justin, Dialogue with Trypho, chapters 100-107) ) He cites stories or quotes found in these four gospels. When referring to these memoirs he never cites a story that is found in the other N.T. gospels. Irenanus (A.D. 185) Gospel is quadriform (Four Forms) See Against Heresies 3.11 Even Those Considered Heretics Used The Four Gospels Ebionites used a shorten form of Matthew (2nd Cent) (They denied the Divinity and the virginal birth of Christ; they clung to the observance of the Jewish Law) Marcion used Luke (A.D. 140)

(They believed that the god of the Old Testament was not the true God , a secondary deity, a demiurgus, who was god, in a sense, but not the supreme God) Valentinus (Gnostic) used John (A.D. 110) Titian (Gnostic) combined Matthew, Mark, Luke, John into the Diatessaron. (A.D. 172) (This was the first attempt to combine the four into one continuous Gospel. Yet none of the other so called Gospels were included) H left out the parts that show Jesus' humanity. He did not add anything we do not have today, he only left out parts. He still quoted verbatim about 79% of the gospels. * Why didnt these Gnostics use other Gnostic Gospels?

Certain Gospels Were Rejected By The Church Prior to Nicaea (325 A.D.) Origen (A.D. 185-254) wrote: I know a certain gospel which is called the Gospel according to Thomas and a Gospel according to Matthias, and many others have we readnever the less among all these we have approved solely what the church has recognized, which is that only the four gospels should be accepted. Cited from Darrell Bock's book Breaking The Da Vinci Code (p. 119) where he quotes from Origin's "first homily on Luke 1:1, according to the Latin translation of Jerome. How do we know the books we have are the correct ones? The four New Testament Gospels were written early and any factual

inaccuracies would have been spotted New Testament scholar Craig Blomberg points out, the standard dating accepted by liberal scholars sets Mark in the 70s, Matthew and Luke in the 80s, and John in the 90s. Blomberg, says these dates are well within the lifetimes of eyewitnesses of the life of Jesus, including hostile eyewitnesses who would have served as a corrective if false teachings about Jesus were going around. Craig Blomberg in Lee Strobel, The Case for Christ (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1998), 33. New Testament books were recognized early on! In I Tim. 5:18 the Apostle Paul cites an Old Testament reference and a New Testament reference and calls both of them Scripture. (Deut. 25:4 and Luke 10:7)

The Apostle Pauls writings were regarded as Scripture by Apostle Peter (2 Pet. 3:16). Every single New Testament book was referred to prior to 150 A.D., with the possible exception of Philemon and 3 John. (General Intro. 423-425) Irenaeus (170-202 A.D.) made about 1,800 quotations and references from the New Testament, (except possibly Philemon and 3 John) and his writings show the books in his New Testament were the same as ours today. Clement of Alexandria (wrote 193-217/220 A.D.) made about 2,400 quotations and references of every New Testament book except Philemon, James, 2 Peter, and possibly 3 John. Cyprian (200-258 A.D.) made about 1,030 quotations and references from the New Testament. His quotes include every

book except Philemon and 2 John, and possibly 3 John, which are the three shortest books in the New Testament. For the preceding, see General Introduction to the Bible p.425427 for more info. What do we do with Dan Browns claim (in the mouth of Teabing) that the Nag Hammadi texts are the earliest Christian records (245). Remember that every book in the NT is earlier. What are the Nag Hammadi text and when were they written?

What are the Nag Hammadi texts? Discovered at Nag Hammadi in Egypt in 1945. They were an important archaeological find. Yielded 52 Coptic works; only five however were called gospels. Gospel of: Truth, Thomas, Egyptians,

Philip, and Mary. A few of the texts are cited in The Da Vinci Code to prove that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene. Gospel of Mary (2nd C.) Gospel of Philip (3rd C.) When were the Nag Hammadi texts written?

The Nag Hammadi texts were written no earlier than A.D. 400. ( See Craig Blomberg, Where Do We Start Studying Jesus in Jesus Under Fire, p. 23) Many are Gnostic. The earliest fragments of the Gospel of Philip are dated by most scholars as no earlier than 180-200 AD. (See Philip Jenkins, Hidden Gospels (Oxford Press, 2002), p. 139. This means that the Nag Hammadi texts do not meet the criteria of being ancient or apostolic. Furthermore the Gospel of Philip is a

Gnostic text, and Gnostic thought would have no place in first century Palestinian Judaism. Who were the Gnostics? In a nutshell, Gnostics were people who believed that every Christian was a christ and therefore every Christian was divine. Jesus was thus christ and divine only in this sense, not in any unique sense.

The Gnostic Jesus was believed to not free us of our sins, but to free us from our ignorance because we dont realize who we really arewe are divine! Brown believes the Gnostics were the original disciples who came before those we now consider to be Jesus disciples, such as Peter, James, and John and etc. The Gospel of Thomas 114: Simon Peter said to them (the disciples), Let Mary leave us, for women are not worthy of Life. Jesus said, I myself shall lead her, in order to

make her male, so that she too may become a living spirit, resembling you males. For every woman who will make herself male will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. (cited in Darrell Bock, Breaking The Da Vinci Code, p. 75 Question: What Should We Conclude About The Other Books That Were Not Included? The Gospel of Thomas The Gospel of Peter Apocalypse of Peter The Gospel of Hebrews The Gospel of Barnabas The Gospel of Phillip The Gospel of Mary And many others

What Should We Conclude About The Other Books That Were Not Included? 1. These gospels were written neither by apostles, nor by companions of the apostles. All of these people were dead by the time these documents were written. 2. They were written in the second and third centuries and therefore did not exist when the gospels were written in the first century. The only book thought to exist prior to the middle of the 2nd century is the Gospel of Thomas.

The earliest fragments of the Gospel of Philip are dated by most scholars as no earlier than 180-200 AD. (See Philip Jenkins, Hidden Gospels (Oxford Press, 2002), p. 139. What Should We Conclude About The Other Books That Were Not Included? 3. Their teachings differ from the four gospels (Not Orthodox). They teach a different view of God, Christ, man, salvation, and what happens to a person after death. These gospels are not consistent with the original teachings of Jesus and His earliest followers. Simon Peter said the them: Let Mary go forth from among us, for women are not worthy of the life. Jesus

said: Behold, I shall lead her, that I may make her male, in order that she also may become a living spirit like you males. For every woman who makes herself male shall enter into the kingdom of heaven. The Gospel of Thomas, p.114 What Should We Conclude About The Other Books That Were Not Included? 4. Unlike the four canonical gospels, these gospels were never widely accepted or recognized as authentic and inspired by the early Christian church. 5. They were never read in Christian assemblies.

6. They were not included in the list of accepted books and letters. 7. They are not the subject of commentaries. 8. Some were specifically rejected by the church from being in the New Testament Canon. What Should We Conclude About The Other Books That Were Not Included? 9. Even the non-canonical gospels cited by Brown, when examined very carefully, are seen NOT to

support his theories. 10. Nowhere do these gospels actually teach that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene; that he fathered a child by her; that Jesus intended Mary to lead the church after his death. Why arent these books in the Bible? This naturally raises questions about the nature of the New Testament canon. What is the canon? The cannon is the list of those writings which were acknowledged by the church as documents of the

divine revelation. F.F. Bruce What sort of criteria did the early church fathers apply as helpful aids in recognizing those writings which were truly inspired by God? Principles for Discovering Canonicity Canonicity is determined by God and discovered by man Criteria: 1. Is the book authoritative - does it claim to be of God? 2.

Is it prophetic- was it written by a servant of God? (2 Pet. 1:20-21; Heb. 1:1) 3. Is it authentic-does it tell the truth about God, man, etc.? (Acts 17:11) 4. Is the book dynamic-does it possess the life-transforming power of God? (Heb. 4:12; 2 Tim. 3:16-17) 5. Is this book received or accepted by the people of God for whom it was originally written - is it recognized as being from God? Principles taken from Norman Geisler, From God to Us, p.67-71

Principles for Discovering Canonicity Canonicity is determined by God and discovered by man (Principles taken from Norman Geisler, From God to Us, p.67-71) Criteria: 1. Is the book authoritative - does it claim to be of God? Does it say Thus says the Lord Unless they were convinced of Divine authorship, the book was rejected Principles for Discovering Canonicity

Canonicity is determined by God and discovered by man Criteria: 2. Is it prophetic- was it written by a servant of God? (2 Pet. 1:20-21; Heb. 1:1) Inspired books came only through Spirit-moved men known as prophets Paul argued in Galatians that his book should be accepted because he was in fact an apostle not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father. (Gal. 1:1)

2 Peter was questioned because it was written in a different style than 1 Peter until it was accepted that he dictated his letter to someone else who recorded what he said. All 2 Peter was claimed to have been written by Simon Peter (2 Pet. 1:1) Principles for Discovering Canonicity Canonicity is determined by God and discovered by man Criteria: 3. Is it authentic-does it tell the truth about God, man, etc.? (Acts 17:11)

The Apostle Paul considered the Bereans more nobel because they searched the Scripture to see whether what Paul taught them was consistent with Gods revelation in the Old Testament. (Acts 17:11) The letter of James was questioned because it seemed to contradict Pauls teaching on justification by faith not by works. Others questions Jude because of its citation of an Pseudepigraphal book which was rejected by virtually all (Vv. 9, 14) Principles for Discovering Canonicity 4. Is the book dynamic-does it possess the lifetransforming power of God? (Heb. 4:12; 2 Tim.

3:16-17) 5. Is this book received or accepted by the people of God for whom it was originally written - is it recognized as being from God? Since communication and transportation was what it was in ancient times, sometime it too much time and effort on the part of the later church fathers to determine this. Why Certain Books Were Questioned Hebrews Doubted because the author was unknown (but it did have Apostolic authority).

James Doubted for apparent contradiction with Pauls teaching that salvation was by faith alone apart from works. 2 Peter - Doubted because style of writing was different than 1 Peter. 2 and 3 John - Doubted because the author is called elder not apostle. (Yet Peter was also called an elder and an apostle (1 Pet. 5:1). Jude Doubted because it referred to two non-canonical books (The book

of Enoch and the Assumption of Moses). The Book of Revelation Doubted for its teaching on a thousand year reign of Christ and apocalyptic literature. Question: Why did the church need to recognize certain writings as authentically inspired and others as spurious? Because they believed that the writings of the prophets and apostles were truly the Word of God. Therefore only those recognized as such should be preserved.

The rise in Heretic writings led early Christians to clearly define what had been recognized as inspired. Therefore there was a need for agreed upon cannon or list of authentically inspired books. The persecution of Emperor Diocletian in his edict in A.D. 303 (The edict of Diocletian) called for the destruction of the sacred books of scripture by Christians. As a result, Christians needed to know what were the books that were truly inspired by God to know that were worth suffering persecution for. Summary # 1 No evidence that these other gospels were written prior to the middle of the second century except for the Gospel of Thomas that is dated no earlier than the early second century.

Yet virtually all scholars believe that all four New Testament Gospels were written in the first century. The four gospels and Pauls letters were recognized as authoritative since the middle of the second century: 150 years prior to the council of Nicaea. The debate over other disputed books was not solved at the council of Nicaea. It wasnt till A.D. 367 when Athanasius, Father of modern orthodoxy, listed the 27 books and letters of the N.T. that this issue was mostly

resolved. Yet it was not officially accepted in the West until The Synod of Hippo in A.D. 393. Major Claim # 2 2. The Bible has evolved through countless translations additions and revisions. Response: Multiple checks and balances have occurred to insure this did not occur. Are the N.T. documents based on Fabrications? 2 Pet. 1:16 says, For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we make known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His Majesty.

I John 1:3 says, What we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, that you also may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. Challenges to the Christians Faith in the DaVinci Code p. 234 According to Browns character, Leigh Teabing, Constantine commissioned and financed

a new Bible, which omitted those gospels that spoke of Christs human traits and embellished those gospels that made him godlike. Major Claim # 2 2. The Bible has evolved through countless translations additions and revisions. Response: Is this true? How do we know that the Bible is Reliable? 1. How do you know the Bible has been accurately translated from

the original? 2. Couldnt they have accurately recorded a bunch of lies? 3. How do we know that the Bible is not just a myth that developed over time? Bibliographical Test It examines the textual transmission by which documents reach us. 1. The number of copies

2. The time interval between the original and the existing copies 3. The degree of accuracy of the copies Bibliographical Test It examines the textual transmission by which documents reach us. 1. The number of copies The New Testament has more Copies!

Book (X) Copies Gallic Wars 1000 yrs 10 c. 1300 yrs 7 Annals

c. 1000 yrs 20 Natural History c. 750 yrs 7 Thucydidies History c. 1300 yrs 8

Herodotus History c. 1350 yrs 8 Iliad c. 400 yrs 643 Author Caesar Plato Tacitus

Pliny Homer New Testament 50 yrs 100 yrs 150 yrs 225 yrs 5,686 The Number of Copies There are: 5,686 hand written Greek N.T. manuscripts

10,000 Latin Vulgate 9300 Old Latin, Slavic, Arabic, Anglo Saxon, etc. Other Languages A total of 24,970 [i] manuscript copies of portions of the New Testament exist today [i] McDowell, The New Evidence That Demands A Verdict P. 34 Bibliographical Test It examines the textual transmission by which documents reach us. 2. The time interval between the original and the existing copies

The Amount of Time Autograph (No longer extant) Earliest Manuscript Copy Modern version X Question: is it better for X to be longer or shorter?

The Amount of Time Answer: the SHORTER the time difference (X) between the earliest manuscript copy (EMC) and the original copies (I.e. autographs) the less likely for the earliest manuscript copy to have undergone additions and therefore less scribal error. Autograph = 60 AD EMC = 135 AD X = 75 years! Modern version

The Time Test Author Caesar Book Written Earliest Copy (X) Gallic Wars 100 44 BC 400 BC

c. 900 AD 1000 yrs c. 900 AD c. 1300 yrs c. 1000 yrs c. 750 yrs c. 1300 yrs c. 1350 yrs c. 400 yrs

25-50 yrs 100 yrs 150 yrs 225 yrs Plato Tacitus Annals 100 AD c. 1100 AD Pliny Natural

History History 61 133 AD 460 400 BC 480 425 BC 800 BC c. 850 AD Thucydidi es Herodotu s Homer

New Testamen t History Iliad 50 100 AD c. 900 BC c. 900 AD c. 400 BC c. 114 fragments c. 200 books c. 250 most of NT

c. 325 completeNT The Time Interval The N.T. has earlier manuscripts closer to the time of original composition. For example: John Ryland fragment (117-138 A.D.) - one generation Bodmer Papyrus (150-200 A.D. ) - whole books Chester Beatty Papyri (250 A.D.) - most of the N.T.

Codex Vaticanus (325-350 A.D.) - nearly all the Bible John Rylands fragment John 18:31-33 - A.D. 117-138 One generation from original It was carbon-14 dated what some say is 110-150 A.D. It contains a few verses of the Gospel of John, John 18:31-33 and

a second piece, John 18:37-38. Since it was found in Egypt, which is some distance from the traditional composition in Asia Minor, we can confirm that the gospel of John was written before the end of the first century. Codex Sinaiticus, 340 AD Contains half of the Old Testament books and all the N.T. except a few verses such as Mark 16:9-20 and Jn. 7:53-8:11. Codex Vaticanus Contains almost the entire Bible old and new A.D. 325-350

It includes most of the LXX version of the Old Testament and most of the New Testament in Greek. Missing are I Tim. through Philemon, Heb. 9:14 to the end of the N.T. and the General Epistles. Degree of Accuracy Even with 25 thousand NT manuscripts, they are so close that we are virtually certain of 97% - 98% of the New Testament. Almost are 1 and 2 word variants for spelling, adding the, etc. None of these affect doctrine. For details: www.Bible Query.org Degree of Accuracy

If Comparative trivialities such as changes of order, the insertion or omission of the the article with proper names, and the like are set aside, the words in our opinion still subject to doubt can hardly amount to more than a thousandth part of the New Testament. B.F. Westcott and F.J.A. Hort, The New Testament in the Original Greek, Vol. 1, p.2 Degree of Accuracy A. T. Robertson suggests that the real concern of textual criticism is of a thousandth part of the entire text. A. T. Robertons, An Introduction to the Textual Criticism of the New Testament, 1925, p. 22 Something To Consider!

If Christians corrupted the New Testament writing why would they leave in so many embarrassing incidences in the New Testament that would leave the leaders in such a bad light? Multiple times there was no understanding in what Jesus taught (Mark 9:23, Luke 18:34, John 12:16). Peter denied Christ three times. They are rebuked Peter was called Satan by Jesus Himself (Mark 8:33), and Paul rebuked Peter for being incorrect on doctrinal issues (Galatians 2:11). They were doubters some even doubted after seeing the resurrected Christ (Mathew 28:17). Why would they have women finding Jesus tomb empty?

Women were not considered reliable witnesses and their testimony of events carried no weight in a court of law. Including women as the first witnesses to the resurrected Christ would only have hurt their case if they were trying to pass off a lie. Summarizing the Implications! Within the first few centuries of Christianity, there were thousands of copies of the Bible dispersed over a large part of the world. To successfully revise or make a change in the Bible, all these copies would have to be meticulously gathered (assuming people around the world would be willing to surrender them, an impossible-tobelieve scenario), and then the changes made. Ron Rhodes, Crash Goes the Da Vinci Code.

p. 12 Summary # 2 The amount of copies, the time interval between the original and the first copy, and the degree of accuracy of the documents, the external documents that confirm the details of the New Testament, all these combine to show that the New Testament we have today is a near perfect representation of what was originally written. Only 5% of the New Testament has ever been questioned and with Textual Criticism we can be certain that 97 to 98% is accurate.

No part in question has an impact on any major doctrine or practice. See The Reliability of the Bible, www.meeknessandtruth.org and www.inerrancy.org for more details. (Keith Elliot and Ian Moir in Manuscripts and the Text of the New Testament page 8 says "Most modern textual critics can agree on the bulk of the text (some 95 per cent of it, perhaps). It is the remaining 5 per cent or so where disputes occur and differing conclusions may be found.) Claim # 3 The doctrine that Jesus is the Son of God was invented and approved at the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD. (D.C. p. 233) Speaking of the council of Nicaea in 325 A.D. My dear, Teabing declared, until that moment in history, Jesus was viewed by his followers as a mortal propheta great an powerful man, but a man nonetheless. A mortal. Not the Son of God? (said Sophie)

Right Teabing said. Jesus establishment as the Son of God was officially proposed and voted on by the council of Nicaea. Hold on. Youre saying Jesus divinity was the result of a vote? A relatively close vote at that, Teabing added Claim # 3 (continue) Teabing says, Because Constantine upgrades Jesus status four centuries after Jesus death, thousands of documents already existed chronicling His (Jesus) life as a mortal man. To rewrite the history books, Constantine knew he would need a bold stoke. From this sprang the most profound moment in Christian history. (D.C. p. 234) Claim # 3 Questions:

Did Christians only view Jesus as just a great man? Was the vote a close one? Fact Check Nearly every scholars holds that the Gospels and Pauls letters were written in the 1st cent. If these Gospels and letters refer to Jesus as the divine Son of God, then we know Christians thought of him this way more than 225 years prior to Nicaea. The earliest reference to Jesus as Son of God is by Paul in Romans 1:3-4

Fact Check Jesus was born from the seed of David according to the flesh, was declared the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead; Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 1:3-4 By at least A.D. 60 we know that Jesus was being thought of as the Son of God. Yet scholars recognize that these verses are an earlier oral tradition which Paul included in his letter. This means that the belief that Jesus is the Son of

God had to be even earlier than A.D. 60 Jesus Asserted He was God By: Jesus said I and the father (we) are one (Jn. 10:30 N.I.V.) He who has seen me has seen the father. (Jn. 14:9 N.I.V.) For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form. (Colossians 2:9 N.I.V.)

For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. (Colossians 1:16 N.I.V.). Further Clarification of # 3 The doctrine that Jesus is the Son of God was invented and approved at the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD. (D.C. p. 233 This is a half-truth. The Council of Nicaea did seriously consider alternating views of Jesus. The choice was not between human versus God but as

eternal versus created. The most important theological belief refined at the Council of Nicaea was in response to the heretical views of Arius and his followers who maintained that Jesus was not divine by nature, but was created in ages past by God. Summary of # 3 DaVinci Code: The Doctrine that Jesus is the Son of God was invented and approved at the Council of Nicaea in A.D. 325 (p. 233) Fact Check: Jesus himself asserted He was God in a number of ways. Within 30 years of Jesus crucifixion Paul and even earlier traditions were presenting Jesus as the divine

Son of God. Summary of # 3 (continue) Response: Constantine was a key figure and his rule was a turning point in Christian history. The Nicene Creed was an important affirmation. The Nicene Creed merely expressed in more technical terms what Christians had believed for many years. The Council of Nicaea did not debate over whether Jesus was divine or mortal but whether he was coeternal with God the Father? Summary of # 3 DaVinci Code: It was a rather close vote? Response: In actuality only two out of 318 bishops at the Council did not sign the resulting creedal statement affirming the

full deity of Christ and condemning any view of Him that was less! Yet there were only 28 that were clearly Arians from the outset. See Roger Olsen, The Story of Theology, p. 153. Major Claim # 4 Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene & it was covered up. Supposed Proof From The DaVinci Code that Jesus was married, p. 245 -246 These are photocopies of the Nag Hammadi and Dead Sea scrolls, which I mentioned earlier, Teabing said. The earliest Christian records. Troubling, they do not match up with the gospels in the Bible. Flipping toward the middle of the book, Teabing pointed to a passage. The Gospel of Philip is always a good place to start.

Sophie read the passage: And the companion of the Savior is Mary Magdalene. Christ loved her more than all the disciples and used to kiss her often on her mouth. The rest of the disciples were offended by it and expressed disapproval. They said to him, Why do you love her more than all of us? (246). The DaVinci Code, p. 245 -246 The words surprised Sophie, and yet they hardly seemed conclusive. It says nothing of marriage. Au contraire. Teabing smiled, pointing to the first line. Ask any Aramaic scholar will tell you, the word companion, in those days, literally meant spouse. Langdon (A Harvard University professor) concurred with a nod. Sophie read the first line again. And the companion of the Savior is Mary Magdalene.

Fact Check What about the statement: Christ loved her more than all the disciples and used to kiss her often on the mouth. Actually this portion of the manuscript is damaged. We dont actually know where Christ kissed Mary. Fact Check: The actual text quoted has many gaps (due to being damaged) that Brown filled in with an obvious agenda

And the companion of the () Mary Magdalene. () her more than () the disciples () Kiss her () on her (head? hand? Cheek? Mouth?). (Gospel of Philip 63:32-36 * It could be referring to a kiss on the lips, but it could be referring to a holy kiss like Peter refers to in 1 Pet. 5:14 when he says greet one another with a holy kiss. The Gospel of Philip It is possible that the kiss is symbolic. For it is by a kiss that the perfect conceive and give birth. For this

reason we also kiss one another (Philip). Jesus said, He who will drink from my mouth will become like me (Thomas, 108). Fact Check Response: This statement is not valid Although it does mean spouse in Aramaic, the Nag Hammadi manuscripts were not written in Aramaic.They were written in Coptic and Egyptian language and they imported the use of a Greek term koinonos. companion This term can mean wife in a spiritual sense, but its not the common Greek term for wife. The word for wife or spouse is gyne. Koinonos is most often used in the NT of a partner, Joint owner, colleague, accomplice, companion. (2 Cor. 8:23; 1 Pet. 5:1) Luke uses this term to describe James and John as Peters business partners (Luke

5:10). Contrary to Teabings claim, the statement that Mary was Jesus companion does not at all prove that she was His wife Major Claim # 4 Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene & it was covered up. Response: Although it was typical for Jewish men to marry, some of those who didnt to better serve God were highly regarded (Example: John the Baptist). Jesus talks about eunuchs for the kingdom (Matthew 19:10-12) and appears to model it after Himself.

The Essenes were known for their emphasis on celibacy (Josephus, Antiquities 18.1.5.21; Jewish War 2.8.2.121122; Philo, Hypothetica 11.14-18). Major Claim # 4 Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene & it was covered up. Response: There is no indication in the New Testament or early Christian writing that Jesus was ever married. The New Testament does mentioned his mother, father, brothers and sisters. Yet Jesus being married or having a wife was never mentioned.

Jesus was always portrayed as being single Other Evidence To Consider Mary is not tied to any male anywhere when she is named in Scripture. Jesus shows no special concern for Mary Magdalene at the cross. Other disciples were married, but Jesus is not named especially when it would have helped reinforce the point that Paul was making (1 Corinthians 9:3-6).

This is my defense to those who sit in judgment on me. Dont we have the right to food and drink? Dont we have the right to take a believing wife along with us, as do the other apostles and the Lords brothers and Cephas? Or is it only I and Barnabas who must work for a living? Other Evidence To Consider Notice what the text does not say Dont we have the right to take a believing wife along with us, as do the other apostles and the Lords brothers and Cephas, (and even Christ himself?) Who was Mary Magdalene?

Mary was from the town of Magdala. Mary traveled with Jesus (entourage). Mary was at the cross, at the burial, and at the resurrection. Mary was delivered by Jesus from the seven demons that possessed her (Luke 8:2) Mary was not a prostitute: Confused with prostitute (Luke 7:36-50) who washed the feet of Jesus. Jesus & Other Women

Unlike other Jewish leaders, Jesus did have some close relationships with other women. Several women (Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Susanna) helped support (financially) Jesus and the disciples. (LK. 8:3) Who were the Priory of Sion? Dan Brown says,The Prior of Siona European secret society founded in 1099is a real organization. In 1975 Pariss Bibliotheque Nationale

discovered parchments known as Les Dossiers Secrets, identifying numerous members of the Priory of Sion, including Sir Isaac Newton, Botticelli, Victor Hugo, and Leonardo da Vinci. (1st page, DVC) Who were the Priory of Sion? According to Dan Browns DaVinci Code the Priory of Sion were guardians of an ancient secret -the location and identity of the Holy Grail. According to Brown the holy grail is not the cup of Christ but the womb of Mary Magdalene, which held the sacred bloodline of Christ. It is claimed to have been founded in

Jerusalem in 1099 by a French King. According to Brown the organization is watching over the descendents of Jesus and Mary and waiting for the perfect time to reveal its secrets to the world. Yet because of its constant threat from the Roman Catholic Church, the organization has supposedly hidden its secret messages in literature, paintings, and even architecture so that only certain people can decipher the hidden meanings. Facts: Who were the Priory of Sion?

According to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia the Prior of Sion was founded in 1956 in France as a organization by Pierre Plantard that provided information for low-cost housing. In the 60s Plantard published forged documents at the Bibliotheque nationale de France in Paris in order to fabricate the belief that he was of the blood line of the French Kings and directly related to the bloodline of Christ. Yet in 1993 Plantard had to admit under oath in court that he had fabricated everything concerning the Priory of Sion. He was ordered to cease and desist all activities related to the promotion of the Prior of Sion. He died on Feb. 3rd, 2000 in Paris in obscurity.

An associate of Plantard also conceded that Plantard made the whole story up. This has been documented thoroughly by a several French books in the 90s and in a BBC Documentary in 1996. (See James Garlow and Peter Jones, Cracking DaVincis Code (Colorado Springs, CO: Cook Communications, 2004), p. 112. for more details) What about Leonardos painting of the last supper? What does a painting painted almost 1500 years after Christ have anything to do with determining whether the New Testament is a reliable record of what Jesus said and did?

Mary Magdalene is claimed to be in Leonardo Da Vincis painting The Last Supper (244). V-shape is the symbol for the Holy Grail. How should we respond to the DaVinci Code? 1. We should not be afraid of the truth. 2. We should use the questions that Dan Brown raises to help us evaluate the strength of our beliefs. How should we respond to the DaVinci Code? 1. We should not be afraid of the truth.

2. We should use the questions that Dan Brown raises to help us evaluate the strength of our beliefs. 3. We should use interest in Jesus life as an opportunity to plants seeds of the gospel (1 Cor. 3:6) Responding To the Challenges of the DaVinci Code! People will ask us: What do you think about the DaVinci Code book or movie? Strategic Response 1. I think it raises some very important issues that each person must decide in their spiritual journey.

Important Issues Dan Brown raises! He raises the issue of what is true faith, of whether we can trust the Bible to give us a true picture of Jesus, and whether Jesus really claimed to be and proved to be God. Other Problems that His Theory Creates Yet at the same time his theory has actually raised a bunch of other problems. Follow-up Question: Did you know that many Christians were persecuted for their beliefs for the first 300 years of the church?

Do you think it is possible that the early Christians could have been willing to die for beliefs they knew were untrue? Other Problems that His Theory Creates Follow-up Question: If Dan Brown is right, how could Christians have wiped away any traces of the real Jesus from both religious and secular literature ? Could this even be possible? Consider these facts:

We have over 36,289 quotations from early Church Fathers concerning the New Testament. Writer Justin Martyr Irenaeus Clement (Alex) Origen Tertullian Hippolytus Eusebius Grand Totals Gospels Acts Pauline General Revelation Totals 268 10 43 6

3 330 1,038 194 499 23 65 1,819 1,107 44 1,127 207 11 2,406 9,231 349 7,778 399

165 17,992 3,822 502 2,609 120 205 7,258 734 42 387 27 188 1,378 3,258 211 1,592 88

27 5,176 19,368 1,352 14,035 870 664 36,289 How could all these citations be tampered with? Could this even be possible? Consider these facts from Secular Writings : Lucian of Samosata, (also called Lucian the Greek) was a second century satirist, wrote about Christ, The Christians, you know worship a man to this daythe distinguished personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that accountYou see, these misguided

creatures start with the general conviction that they are immortal for all time, which explains the contempt of death and voluntary self-devotion which are so common among them; and then it was impressed on them by their original lawgiver that they are all brothers, from the moment that they are converted, and deny the gods of Greece, and worship that crucified sage, and live after his laws. (The Passing Peregrinus 11-13 as cited in Josh McDowell, The New Evidence that Demands a Verdict, p. 121. Could this even be possible? Consider these facts from Secular Writings : Pliny the Younger was a governor of Bithynia who killed many Christians for their faith. He wrote Emperor Trajan in 112 A.D. saying, they affirmed, however, that the whole of their guilt, or their

error, was, that they were in the habit of meeting on a certain fixed day before it was light, when they sang in alternate verse a hymn to Christ as to a god, Epistles 10.96. Extra-Biblical Secular Sources Writer

Cornellius Tacitus Lucian Flavius Josephus Suetonius Date 112 Subject Death of Jesus at the hands of Pilate 2nd cent. 66 The new cult of Christianity Life/Death of Jesus

120 Pliny Thallus 112 52 Philegon Mara BarSerapion 1st cent. 73 Christ-The reason for Jews expulsion from Rome Christians bound not to sin - Jesus

Histories-Darkness at Christs death (eclipse) Darkness=Eclipse Calamities brought by deaths. Socrates, Pythagorus, and Jesus Story of Jesus from secular writers Jesus lived during the time of Tiberius Caesar. He lived a virtuous life. He was a wonder worker. He had a brother named James. He claimed to be the Messiah. He was crucified under Pontius Pilate. An eclipse and an earthquake occurred when he died. He was crucified on the eve of the Jewish Passover. His disciples believed that he rose from the dead. His disciples were willing to die for their belief. Christianity spread rapidly as far as Rome. His disciples denied the Roman gods and worshiped Jesus as God. Taken from Dr. Norman Geislers PowerPoint lecture Twelve Points that Prove

Christianity is True (Order the CD at www.normgeisler.com) Other Problems that His Theory Creates Follow-up Question: There are two pillars of Christianity that are not even questioned by Dan Brown in his book. They are: That God exists and that Jesus really did die on the cross. Furthermore it is a well established fact of history that Jesus tomb is empty. Can you think of any way of explaining the fact of the empty tomb and yet believe that Jesus was in fact just a man as Brown claimed in his book? (See DVC p. 233) Other Problems that His Theory Creates Follow-up Question: Do you think it is possible that Jesus Christ could be something more than what the book portrayed him to be?

Other Problems that His Theory Creates Follow-up Question: One of the key questions that Dan Brown does not address is that whether Jesus died willingly or not. If Jesus did not claim to be the Son of God, why do you think Jesus did not speak up before Pontius Pilate put him to death? Can I share with you why he did this and why it makes a difference? Taking the initiative 1. What do you think about the DaVinci Code? 2. Why do you think speculation about how Jesus lived stirs so much passion? Implications

If the bible actually gives us an accurate picture of Jesus. If Jesus really demonstrated that He was God What difference should this make in our life? If Christianity is not the greatest story ever sold but the greater (true) story ever told then I should Responding To The Challenges Of The DaVinci Code Rev. Dave Geisler Meekness and Truth

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