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Authenticity of the Scriptures

  1. Modernists and fundamentalists
    1. Modernists - miracles imply totally false.  Assume false until proven true.
    2. Fundamentalists - literal infallibility, literal interpretation, believe first then interpret
    3. Both extremes are "special case" logic
    4. The orthodox approach - I believe what the Bible says about the Bible.
      1. Authenticity - the pedigree of the manuscript
      2. Inspiration - a conclusion derived from it.
      3. Therefore, apologetics speaks to the first and theology to the second.
  2. The evidence for a good original
    1. The myth of a late New Testament - and why it's dying.
      1. The church invented stories to back up changing doctrine(19th cent.)
      2. Why the early translators relied on the Greek (continued civilization)
      3. The model for the myth
        1. The "It must have been" theory of higher criticism
        2. Is it hard to distinguish myth from fact?
          1. George Washington crossing the Delaware
          1. George Washington cutting down the cherry tree
      4. The real history of the New Testament
    2. Manuscript evidence
      1. Manuscript families (Alexandrian, Caesarean, Western, and Byzantine)
      2. Physical manuscript evidence
        1. Paleography
          1. The "Brother Potato Peeler" text
          2. The Jesus Fragment
        2. Carbon dating
        3. Example:  Declaration of Independence
      3. Outside evidence
        1. Quotations by the enemies of Christianity
        2. Quotations by the church fathers  (Iraneus)
        3. Early translations
        4. Internal evidence
  3. The Xerox Problem
    1. How copies were made and checked
    2. Our ability to trace errors, exclusions and inclusions
    3. Squabbles over textus receptus and other manuscript collections.
  4. Translation
    1. King James - playboy and genius of religious politics
      1. Everybody helps translate
      2. No footnotes! 
        1. Compare Schofield Reference Bible
        2. The notes are now the selling point for modern translations
      3. The impact of the KJV
    2. Modern translations
      1. NIV - most common, easy to read
      2. NASV - heir of the KJV, more scholarly, more accurate
      3. Paraphrases like The Living Bible
  5. Interpreting the Bible with non-believers
    1. Our "sincerely held beliefs" may hinder non-believers.
    2. Bible to be "rightly divided."
    3. "Thousands of mistakes" implies that you know the correct version.


Book of the week:  Evidence That Demands a Verdict (Vol. 1), McDowell


Web sites of interest


http://scriptorium.lib.duke.edu/papyrus/  (Duke's collection of papyri)


http://www.earlham.edu/~seidti/iam/interp_mss.html  (Earlham's site on textual criticism)



Exhibits used as handouts:


Declaration of Independence - the reliability of "old" documents.

Declaration of Independence - ideal

Actual view of the Declaration of Independence in the National Archives

Declaration of Independence - actual


Typical papyrus document - click to enlarge

Typical papyrus document 


The "genealogy" chart of the English Bible

Geneaology chart of the English Bible 

(copyright W. W. Kirkbride Publishers.   Used by permission).

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