March 05, 2009

Biblical Authority Unleashed--
Authenticity of the Old Testament

A continuation of yesterday's Biblical Authority Unleashed - Authenticity of the New Testament. Today we'll cover the authenticity of the Old Testament. This comes from The New Defender's Study Bible.

Biblical Authority Unleashed

Authenticity of the Old Testament

New Testament Attestation

  • Traditional authorship accepted by Christ (Luke 24:27; John 5:46–47; Matthew 24:15–21; etc.).
  • Included 320 direct quotations from the Old Testament, plus hundreds of allusions.
  • Confirmation in the New Testament of supernatural events recorded in the Old Testament (Matthew 19:4–5; Luke 17:26; John 6:32; Matthew 12:39–40; etc.).

Preservation of the Hebrew Text

  • Over 1,000 hand-copied manuscripts of the Masoretic Text available.
  • Meticulous study and compilation of all earlier texts by the Masoretes in AD 500.
  • Extremely careful copying and cross-checking by the Hebrew scribes.
  • Completion of writing and editing about the time of Ezra, with probably the first Old Testament canon developed at that time.
  • Careful preservation and transmission from still earlier times.

Indirect Confirmation of Old Testament Text

  • Other ancient versions (Septuagint, Vulgate, Syriac, Samaritan, etc.).
  • Dead Sea Scrolls (containing most or all of Old Testament).
  • Acceptance by Jews and early Christians.
  • Old Testament quotations in pre-Christian writings.
  • Archaeological confirmations.
    • High culture, writing skills, etc., long before Abraham.
    • Geographical and historical accuracy.
    • Superiority of biblical records to the ethnic myths.
  • Witness of Passover to Mosaic authorship.
  • Claims of writers; universal acceptance by Jews.

The biblical text as we have it is authentic, confirmed wherever it can be tested. Completely separate from the question of divine inspiration, the text has been accurately transmitted from the original writings. Furthermore, the most difficult part to believe in the Old Testament (the Creation and the Flood) is supported by all true science, and the most difficult to believe in the New Testament (the bodily resurrection of Christ) is confirmed by all sound history.

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