When youth and adults alike venture out into the world today, they are beset with constant attacks. Many are unprepared when questioned about why they believe what they believe. Throughout the next 5 days I hope to prepare you to better defend your faith. Some use the acronyms MAPS or FACES when feeding people the information that will be an essential part of their defense. This week I am going to use neither. While I will pull certain parts from each, we will be covering the 5 subjects I believe Christians are most challenged about today. Tonight we will start off by looking at Manuscript Evidence.
First a definition is in order. Google tells us that a manuscript is, “a book, document, or piece of music written by hand rather than typed or printed.”
When we look up evidence, Google gives us this, “the available body of facts or information indicating whether a belief or proposition is true or valid.”
From that we can determine that Manuscript Evidence in the case of the Bible is a handwritten document that validates (or proves true) the authenticity of a book written more than 2,000 years ago. By far the most famous manuscripts of Scripture are the Dead Sea Scrolls. Found in caves along the shore of the Dead Sea in 1947, they have become an often pointed to reason for evidence that the Bible was in fact written 2,000+ years ago. This is important because the Bible boasts 2,500 prophecies, 2,000 of which have already been fulfilled, to the letter. If as some presume this is a mere book written in the last couple hundred years, then those prophecies would simply be someone studying events that had already taken place and recording them, already knowing the outcome, which would void many, if not all, of those 2,000 fulfilled ones.
Scientists performed carbon dating on the Dead Sea Scrolls and found them to in fact be over 2,000 years old. Depicted in the Scrolls are every book of the Old Testament besides Esther. In reality, the scientific community has given us an essential weapon to combat their idea that this is just a book. Let’s briefly take a look at several manuscripts that are important to other religions.
In the Islamic faith, their religious book is called the Qur’an. Take a guess how many manuscripts exist that verify this book… If you said anything but zero, you’re dead wrong. No manuscripts exist from the time period in which the purported events supposedly took place. In fact the most reliable sources come from 150-200 years after the events were supposed to have taken place! That alone largely discounts many of the claims in the book.
Another religion that is one of the major religions in our world is Mormonism. Thier holy book the Book Of Mormon was written in 1829 as the founder Joseph Smith spoke and three scribes wrote it down. Supposedly depicting another testament of Jesus, these are merely the words of a man, and nothing more. No other eyewitness accounts support what is claimed to have taken place in the Book Of Mormon.
That concludes part one of our five part series. I hope you received some valuable info throughout this. Since this is a series on defending your faith, and part of a good defense is firsthand knowledge, I encourage you to take nothing written above at my word. Do the research yourself. Be sure to check back tomorrow when we examine Archaeological Finds that support places and events depicted in Scripture.. As always, God bless.