The Reliability of Bible Essay
Human beings are social beings who live together and set some mechanisms of governing their interactions; according to Versluis, 2008, religion is an aspect of human social life which provides for virtues and vises among a particular society. Religion is defined as an institutional system of belief, symbols, value, and practices that followers to the religion should adhere to; the concept of religion brings forth the need for a central source of power, guidance, reference, and direction.
In the Christian religion, the bible is used as the source document where Christians should refer to and follow the teachings of in the book. The bible has sixty six books which Christians belief they were written with the inspiration of God (God is the Supreme Being worshiped by the religion).
The bible was written over two thousand years ago however the Christians believe it is still applicable in modern changed lifestyle; the age gap between current generation and the time the bible was written creates the question of how reliable the bible is in modern Christian lives.
Other than the difference, there are a number of stories, parables, historical analysis, and teachings that are written in context of older generations mostly the Jews. Depending with once understanding and believes about the bible, there have been numerous questions that seek to challenge the level at which modern generation can rely with the bible; this is so despite the book having been existence and bestselling book since its publishing 1
A number of people in the world today approach historical books with some sense of uncritical and have trust with what they see or read to be accurate and authoritative; despite the notion, when historical material becomes the moral guidance, then people seems to be uncomfortable with the material.
The bible has fallen in the trap of some of the world historical books that have been criticized and faces feign intellectual objections, claiming alleged contradictions in its teachings; this creates the question of how reliable the bible is. This paper discusses the reliability of the bible in modern lifestyle; it will discuss some of the contradictions that some scholars and laymen people have brought up about the holy book.
The reliability of the bible
It is evident that some scholars, locals, illiterates and literates do not trust the bible and some of its translations that have been made to the historical book; other people, either believers, non believers, and other religions have considered the bible as a mere derivate of Babylonian and Assyrian believes/way of life and law codes; some people are of the opinion that the reliability of the bible can be challenged by its contradictions that exists; for example phrases like “Cleanliness is next to godliness”, is challenging in meaning and context.
To test the reliability of the bible, this paper will focus or discuss three main lines of evidence that will illustrate the reliability of the bible and send some light on areas that the bible seems to mislead:
The bibliographic test
Under this title the paper will be concerned on the transmission of the bible texts in the old testament to the new covenant; it will evaluate how the book moves from original autographs to the modern contemporary society despite the prevailing differences in economic standings; under the bibliographic test the main context will be on quality, quantity, and time span of the material2.
- The quality of the manuscript
When reading the Old Testament, one notes of small number of Hebrew manuscripts as the Jewish had the tradition of burying inappropriate and unwanted manuscripts; most of the materials were also lost or destroyed during turbulent Israel’s history; it was in the sixth century, the manuscripts of the old testaments where standardized by the masoretic Jews and the Hebrew manuprists was supplemented by the Dead Deas Scrolls commonly refered to as Targums.
When referring to the New Testament, there are over 5000 Greek manuscripts, 1000 of other languages lije Syriac and about 8000 latin manuscripts; other than the materials the bible has thousand of citations/references copies in works of early latin authors like Plato 3
According to the Bible, Almighty God is the most powerful creature that is responsible for creating the earth and heaven; the earth is where we life but one day if we maintain the faith and act according to the will of God, we will rejoice in heaven with him. The principle of having an eternal life with the Supreme Being works to the good of uploading high moral standings and virtues within the communities. In the bible, it is considered prestigious that people will live with God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.
The bible recognizes the works of early prophets in their works of developing the religion; it brings forth the struggles they had in the efforts of instilling handwork as a virtue among communities.
They specifically recognize the work of Abraham, Mosses, Isaac, and Jesus; these people where portrayed as men of high moral standings, handworkers’ and people of high integrity, when the bible brings such issues, it aims at improving people’s virtues. The appealing stories presented in the bible are applicable in modern lifestyle where people are expected to have high moral standing and be handworkers4’.
Quantity of manuscript
The Bible teachings influences human beings and the observance of the world by the believers Man has also to adjust himself to align him with the teachings of the bible. The teachings are bidding at all the times and the punishment of those who do the opposite is left as the work of the super national being. Some regard religion as immorality of the soul especially the earthiest. Earthiest are people who don’t belief in the existence of religion. Under the frameworks of quantity, there are some facts that can show that the bible can be relied upon, they include:
- The Bible is a Unique Book
The bible has been written by over forty people of different lifestyles ranging from immerse poverty to very wealthy people the people ranged from kings and paupers, statesmen and fishermen, poets and physicians who used to live in more than one continent.
- The Bible is unique in its survival
The period that the book has stayed and still has some relevance in modern life is an indication and test of time; the material can be relied to offer numerous explanations and seems to understand situations well.
Christian’s belief recognizes the existence of a super national force or power that have control over men and the activities that man do. The super natural may take any form of three supreme beings that is Holy Spirit, Jesus and God. In bible the phrase “by the power of the Holy Spirit” is recognition of the existence of a supreme power which has control over humanity.
Respect to the Supreme Being is highly adhered to and there is always a set mode through which the community or individual communicates with the supreme power. In the teachings of the bible, there are some aspects or doings that are considered sinful and anyone who contravenes them is believed that he will get punishment in an appropriate method according to the discretion of the supreme power.
Christianity recognizes the works of early prophets in their works of developing the religion. They specifically recognize the work of Abraham, Mosses, Isaac and Jesus. The power of God is seen an incomparable. He is seen as one who the early prophets served and the today’s people have no alternative than to follow his teaching, the early prophets were seen as the ones who were to ensure that the religion and respect is accorded to God. He is invisible but omnipresent.
This means that the misfortunes in the life’s of the Christians is as a result of the action of the supreme power. On the other hand, there is a book called the bible that governs the religion. If a believer does not comply with the requirement of the bible then the God’s power is supposed to punish the individual 5
The Time manuscript
Christianity, whose teachings are advocated in the bible, influences human life and the observance of the world by the believers Man has also to adjust himself to align him with the requirements of the religion and not the religion to adjust in a way that suits everybody. Each religion has either written or unwritten laws that govern the religion.
They are bidding at all the times and the punishment of those who do the opposite is left as the work of the super national being. Some regard religion as immorality of the soul especially the earthiest. Earthiest are people who don’t belief in the existence of religion. In sociology the word religion is used to means a wide range of activities.
Religion is thus an institutional system of belief, symbols, values and practice that provide men solutions to their questions that the mere world that man can explain can’t give. On the other hand it always gives a solution to what man always seem not to have an answer.
A common characteristic found among all religion is that they present a complex of emotional feelings and attitudes towards mysteries in life. Thus religion comprises of systems of attitude, beliefs and symbols which are based on the assumption that certain kind of social elements are sacred and supreme. There is also a structure of activities governed or influenced by this system.
The religion of Christianity assumes that when someone has been saved, then he has been delivered from sins and oppression of different kinds. The deliverance is in the form of liberty they enjoy after the delivery in the form of salvation. The perception of the religion is that the issues and milestones that can be attained with salvation goes further than “admission to heaven” but it includes having a virtuous life on earth as one prepares good relationship with God6
The most important aspects brought about by the topic is how people should respect each other and how the respect can build a community that is well interlinked and cares for each other. The topic seem to suggest that evil prevail in the community because people have little or minimal regard for each other; there is no mutual respect and people seem to be selfish and act as individuals.
One of the most interesting aspects brought about by the topic is the role played by religion as an ethical principle; the chapter shows that people can live in harmony and liberate each other from social, economic, and political. Christians are supposed to think about each other and how they can solve problems of other people in the community.
When reading the chapter, one gets the feeling that dignity in the world can be restored by people respecting and having value for each other; despite the differences in the community, Christianity always offers the people a chance to solve their differences and assist each other improve their living conditions, socially and economically.
The role of the church has been brought about in the chapter; the church should have frameworks that ensure its people live well amongst each other. The following are the questions that came into the picture:
- How will the religion ensure that the virtues have been adhered to?
- Who should set the standards of the religion?
Are the deviant people expelled from the religion?
Though Christianity is a highly personal issue, it has a social impact to the entire society. It is a very powerful tool in the society and performs a lot of important social functions in the society (Brümmer 101). It is through religion that suffering can be justified to be good and necessary; this was portrayed by Frederick Douglass, an American Slave deliberator when he accused the Americans of using Christianity particularly the bible as the mode of oppression.
When reading the bible there are some verses that seem to support that when someone is suffering then he is more likely to go to heaven. In Matthew 19:24, English Standard Version states “Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God,7” the statement seems to strengthen that being poor Is a virtue in the Christian religion.
When following the bible there can be some justification that someone needs not to be rich as when he get rich he is likely to be detached from his creator. When such notion as created is employed in modern life, then people are likely not to work hard nor accumulate wealth, this is not right. The bible generally gives an accepted mode of living and doing some functions, it is seen as an effective way that bring people together for a social good. It also emphasizes on the importance of each and every societal member8
Different people practice different forms of religion. Christianity is one of the oldest and most practiced religions in the world. The bible recognizes God as the Supreme Being who has super powers to influence mankind in all aspects. It believes that all glory and power belong to God and thus he should be worshiped alone. The religion believes in the son of God, Jesus Christ and believes that the world is ruled through Holy Spirit.
Brümmer Vincent. 2006. Brümmer on meaning and the Christian faith: collected writings of Vincent Brümmer. New Jersey: Ashgate publishing.
Mackintosh, Helen.2003. Christian Experience of Forgiveness.New York: Kessinger publishing.
Tinder, Glenn.2001. The Fabric of Hope: An Essay Issue 6 of Emory University Studies in Law and Religion. New York: Eerdmans publishing.
Trombley, Frank.2001. Hellenic religion and Christianization. New Jersey: Brill.
Versluis Arthur. 1993. American transcendentalism and Asian religions. London: Oxford university press
1 Tinder, Glenn.2001. The Fabric of Hope: An Essay Issue 6 of Emory University Studies in Law and Religion. New York: Eerdmans publishing.
2 Versluis Arthur. 1993. American transcendentalism and Asian religions. London: Oxford university press
3 Tinder, Glenn.2001. The Fabric of Hope: An Essay Issue 6 of Emory University Studies in Law and Religion. New York: Eerdmans publishing.
4 Versluis Arthur. 1993. American transcendentalism and Asian religions. London: Oxford university press
5 Trombley, Frank.2001. Hellenic religion and Christianization. New Jersey: Brill.
6 Mackintosh, Helen.2003. Christian Experience of Forgiveness. New York: Kessinger publishing.
7 Versluis Arthur. 1993. American transcendentalism and Asian religions. London: Oxford university press
8 Brümmer Vincent. 2006. Brümmer on meaning and the Christian faith: collected writings of Vincent Brümmer. New Jersey: Ashgate publishing
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