DOES THE BIBLE really really EXIST?

by Terry 87 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Terry

    The BIBLE did not exist in Jesus' day nor in the lifespan of his apostles.

    People didn't walk around with one (Bible) tucked under their arm.

    Christians didn't carry one (Bible) door to door for preaching and teaching.

    The closest thing to THE BIBLE was the SEPTUIGINT Greek translation of Hebrew scriptures which not one person in a 10,000 had ever seen!

    Creation of the Septuagint (wikipedia article) the third century BCE [ 6 ] . According to the record in the Talmud,

    'King Ptolemy once gathered 72 Elders. He placed them in 72 chambers, each of them in a separate one, without revealing to them why they were summoned. He entered each one's room and said: 'Write for me the Torah of Moshe, your teacher.' God put it in the heart of each one to translate identically as all the others did' [ 7 ]

    Further books were translated over the next two centuries. It is not altogether clear which was translated when, or where; some may even have been translated twice, into different versions, and then revised. [ 8 ] The quality and style of the different translators also varied considerably from book to book, from the literal to paraphrasing to interpretative. According to one assessment "the Pentateuch is reasonably well translated, but the rest of the books, especially the poetical books, are often very poorly done and even contain sheer absurdities". [ 9 ]

    As the work of translation progressed gradually, and new books were added to the collection, the compass of the Greek Bible came to be somewhat indefinite. The Pentateuch always maintained its pre-eminence as the basis of the canon; but the prophetic collection (out of which the Nevi'im were selected) changed its aspect by having various hagiographa incorporated into it. Some of the newer works, those called anagignoskomena in Greek, are not included in the Jewish canon. Among these books are Maccabees and the Wisdom of Ben Sira. Also, the Septuagint version of some works, like Daniel and Esther, are longer than those in the Masoretic Text. [ 10 ] Some of the later books (Wisdom of Solomon, 2 Maccabees, and others) apparently were composed in Greek. [ 11 ]

    The authority of the larger group of "writings", out of which the ketuvim were selected, had not yet been determined, although some sort of selective process must have been employed because the Septuagint did not include other well-known Jewish documents such as Enoch or Jubilees or other writings that are now part of the Pseudepigrapha. It is not known what principles were used to determine the contents of the Septuagint beyond the "Law and the Prophets", a phrase used several times in the New Testament.

    Okay, so what?

    Christianity pretends there is such a thing as a true Bible. There is not.

    Christian apologists such as Josh Mcdowell and Norman Geisler assert that by literary standards, the New Testament is a reliable witness to the original text. [ 3 ] [ 4 ] [ 5 ] Textual scholar Bart Ehrman disagrees: "It is true, of course, that the New Testament is abundantly attested in the manuscripts produced through the ages, but most of these manuscripts are many centuries removed from the originals, and none of them perfectly accurate. They all contain mistakes - altogether many thousands of mistakes. It is not an easy task to reconstruct the original words of the New Testament...Whether or not any of these ancient authors said anything that was true is another question, one we cannot answer simply by appealing to the number of surviving manuscripts that preserve their writings..." [ 6 ]

    Bruce Metzger wrote: "Lest, however, the wrong impression be conveyed from the statistics given above regarding the total number of Greek manuscripts of the New Testament, it should be pointed out that most of the papyri are relatively fragmentary and that only about fifty manuscripts (of which the Codex Sinaiticus is the only Uncial manuscript) contain the entire New Testament." [ 7 ]

    Our contemporary ideas of what a Bible is are anachronisms. We are projecting backward through time a fallacy of imagination. This fallacy is known and concealed by all denominations. They pretend there is no such problem at all.

    So what?

    So this:

    All the Christian teachings were oral. That's right: oral. Somebody said this and somebody else said that.

    There were hundreds and hundreds of VERSIONS of who said what floating around.


    1.There are no original copies of THE BIBLE anywhere in existence. Why? Why not?

    2.There are no existing copies of originals anywhere in the world. Why? Why not?

    3.What we quote from, argue over and dispute about stems from the flimsiest of all hearsay reports many times over.

    Why treat each word as though WE KNOW those words were actually spoken by the very sources attributed?

    CHRISTIANITY is not on a firm, mathematical basis of sound, provable substance both tangible and irrefutable.

    Right after the time of Jesus there were so many at-odds versions of who he was and what he said it is ----IMPOSSIBLE---to know anything at all for certain.

    We can't intelligently take any of this as though it is provable, arguable or even valid.

    It is shaky, flimsy, tenuous and mostly loud assertion passed off as infallible.

    Come on, people!

    Don't get sucked in.

    If God did not see fit to PRESERVE (and He didn't!) the original manuscripts (when that should have been the most valuable of all possessions on Earth to the true Church) we must admit it was not worth preserving.

    There is no "there" there.

    Stop and ask yourself how any denomination can claim to be true. True to what?

  • Fatfreek

    Good logic, Terry.

    And, hey, drop in every now and then. We've missed you and your insight.


  • cofty

    Interesting too that god apparently went to all the bother of inspiring the 66 books but then forgot to look after it.

    Take Mark's gospel as an example, it was the first to be written. Christians see the resurrection of Jesus as the most important moment in the story and yet Mark has almost nothing to say about it.

    When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus' body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, "Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?" But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. "Don't be alarmed," he said. "You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, 'He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.' " Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid. Mark 16:1-8

    And that's it! "They said nothing", Peter and the other disciples needed to know about meeting Jesus in Galilee but the women never told them; what happened? Remember there was no other gospels at this time, this was the only book in town. Did he ever appear to anybody? Did they go to Galilee? Did he ascend to heaven? By Mark's account you would never know. The ending is so obviously lacking that somebody made one up. Verses 9-20 are not original and clearly written by a different author who waffles on about handling snakes.

    The most likely explanation is that the last page got lost. The gospels were written in a codex form like a book rather than a scroll. Copies were rare and it would appear the final page or part of the final page of the autograph just got lost.

    Good job preserving the most vital verses of the first gospel god!

  • donny

    And then you have to look at all of the riff-raff that went on when trying to determnine which books would be a part of this "word of God."


  • zoiks

    Good stuff. Thanks!

  • Open mind
    Open mind

    I was going to post that Terry.

    Nice to see you 'round these parts again.

    Hope you can stay a while.


  • thetrueone

    The Bible = holy scripted embellished hearsay from primitive ancients, that makes money today.

  • Terry

    A popular pastime today among many people is Conspiracy Theories.

    Yet, the greatest one of all is THE BIBLE.

    By that I mean this. The people with the power to enforce Scriptural sanctions against this and that maintain the illusion because it grants THEM the power.

    If nobody really knew exactly what was what.....who could pretend to be in a position to condemn you or control you??

    You see?

    Seminary Students come in to the bookstore where I work all the time. I work in the Religion/Philosophy section. I talk to them. I ask questions. (I'm not really allowed to argue and I don't want to anyway.)

    I ask them innocent (?) questions about "original manuscripts" and errancy/inerrancy. Very revealing.

    All pastors, preachers and future religionists come to a crossroads where they suddenly discover (!) there is no such thing as an ORIGINAL manuscript by which to compare translations for accuracy. At that moment in their lives the most important test of intellectual honesty happens.

    How each person goes forward defines their integrity. Will they willingly admit everything they have heard and believed rests on hear-say which was not carefully preserved? Can they conscientiously act as though it is all true anyway? Can they view others whom they've always been taught were wrong as evil?

    Important decision, indeed.

    The apologists use one of two methods to make this crisis of proof seem a mere bit of fluff unworthy of consideration.


    2.Asserting a non-provable

    They ridicule the notion God would not have carefully guided the preservation of the Bible and they assert the power of the Holy Spirit in maintaining truth throughout history.

    Look at what the BIBLE (for all practical purposes) actually was for one thousand five hundred years. Until the time of Martin Luther, THE BIBLE was about 73 books! Luther simply discarded any that did not agree with his own point of view and PRESTO! Today's BIBLE has only 66 books (unless you are Catholic).

    Further, for most of that time period few people could even read a BIBLE if it sat in front of them!

    No, it is well worth facing the astonishing fact that the largest conspiracy (in terms of impact on people's lives) in recent history is the conspiracy to represent THE BIBLE as something it cannot be: the inerrant word of the Supreme Being.

    The sects, factions, divisions, churches and denominations of so-called Christianity have never agreed with each other for a really good reason.

    Can you guess what it is? THE BIBLE has been the result of arguments, disagreements, proof-texts changed to suit challenges and doctrines over time.

    Just as a Dictionary changes to reflect usage among those using language (not a fixed canon of absolute definitions) so too, the BIBLE has organically mutated and morphed to suit ideology and clerical assertions.

    If the Church were peopled with the best and most sainted of humanity it is hard to imagine how so many atrocities in the name of God (and His Word) could have occured.

    No, the BIBLE is a conspiracy to rule people from cradle to grave. It contains slowly evolving arguments designed to make one group wrong and prove others right. It has justified wars, torture, crusades, guilt-trips, king-making, holacausts and small-minded delusions of grandeur.

    Why ever do we argue over the "meaning" or interpretation of any scripture? Isn't that conceding to an unprovable basis?

  • Balsam

    Every person proclaiming the bible being the word of God needs to know this, but few do. Thanks for posting it again.

  • awildflower

    A popular pastime today among many people is Conspiracy Theories.

    Yet, the greatest one of all is THE BIBLE.

    Good info! I think we live in a world of paradox that's why the one above would make sense to me!

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