Is the Bible historically accurate? (Part 19)

The Bible maintains several characteristics that prove it is from God. One of those is the fact that the Bible is accurate in every one of its details. The field of archaeology brings to light this amazing accuracy.

The Bible maintains several characteristics that prove it is from God. One of those is the fact that the Bible is accurate in every one of its details. The field of archaeology brings to light this amazing accuracy

From time to time you will read articles in the Arkansas press by  such writers as  John Brummett, Max Brantley and Gene Lyons that poke fun at those that actually believe the Bible is historically accurate when in fact the Bible is backed up by many archaeological facts. The Book of Mormon is blindly accepted even though archaeology has disproven many of the facts that are claimed by it. For instance, glass windows did not exist in North America when they said they did.

The Book of Mormon describes that the Jaredite people were familiar with the concept of “windows” near the time of the Biblical Tower of Babel (presumably circa 2000 BC.) and that they specifically avoided crafting windows for lighting in their covered seagoing vessels because the windows would be “dashed in pieces” during the ocean voyage.[91] However, the earliest known production of glass dates to 3500 BC in Egypt and Mesopotamia, in the form of opaque beads.[92] The earliest known production of transparent glass panes is much more recent, dating to the 11th century AD in Germany[93] which is many hundreds of years after the conclusion of the Book of Mormon record.

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Qumran Jar (Dead Sea Scrolls)
Qumran Jar (Dead Sea Scrolls)
Did the Dead Sea Scrolls actually contain Old Testament scrolls written hundreds of years before the time of Jesus?

This painting is of the Qumran Jar which contained the Scroll of Isaiah, one of the hundreds of scrolls discovered in caves around the area of Qumran, on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea in Israel. The most important fact is that there were copies of the Books of the Bible dating back a hundred years before Jesus was born. This means that hundreds of prophecies about Jesus were amazingly accurate. In fact the Old Testament Book that testifies most to the life and death of the Messiah is the Book of Isaiah, which an entire scroll was discovered.

The discovery began in 1948 and became known as the Dead Sea Scrolls. What is most significant about these scrolls is that they contain many of the Jewish documents known to Christians as the Old Testament. Before this discovery the oldest copies of Biblical documents of the Old Testament were from the Masoretic time, around the 9th century A.D., because the Jewish scribes took careful measures in copying documents, numbering them, and destroying the originals. The Dead Sea Scrolls date back to at least the 2nd century B.C. making them important in the study of Biblical Archaeology. This is especially important to Christians because it puts hundreds of Old Testament prophecies about Jesus, at least 2 centuries before the events took place.

Isaiah 53:5-7 “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.”

Matthew 21:42 – “Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? “

John 10:35 “the Scripture cannot be broken”

John 10:34 “Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law..”

2 Tim 3:16-17 “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

Dead Sea Scrolls Discovery Dates

Cave 1 – 1947
Cave 2 – 1952
Cave 3 – 1952
Cave 4 – 1952
Cave 5 – 1952
Cave 6 – 1952
Cave 7 – 1956
Cave 8 – 1956
Cave 9 – 1956
Cave 10 – 1956
Cave 11 – 1956

Dead Sea Scrolls Museum

The Shrine of the Book houses the Dead Sea Scrolls. It is a section of the Israel Museum in West Jerusalem. The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in 1947 and more caves were discovered until 1956, totaling 11 caves located around the Wadi Qumran area.

Manuscript Copies of the Old Testament Found

Psalms (39 Manuscripts Found)
Deuteronomy (33 Manuscripts Found)
1 Enoch (25 Manuscripts Found)
Genesis (24 Manuscripts Found)
Isaiah (22 Manuscripts Found)
Jubilees (21 Manuscripts Found)
Exodus (18 Manuscripts Found)
Leviticus (17 Manuscripts Found)
Numbers (11 Manuscripts Found)
Minor Prophets (10 Manuscripts Found)
Daniel (8 Manuscripts Found)
Jeremiah (6 Manuscripts Found)
Ezekiel (6 Manuscripts Found)
Job (6 Manuscripts Found)
1 & 2 Samuel (4 Manuscripts Found)

John 5:39 – Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.


Jewish Rabbinical Writings Chart

Midrash

Divisions – Halakah and Haggadah

Dates – 100 B.C. – 300 A.D.

Writers – Tannaim

Content – The Halakah was the legal commentary on the Torah and the Haggadah were the homiletics (preaching and sermons) about the entire Old Testament text.

Notes – The Halakah was the legal portion of the Gemara, derived from the Old Testament. The Haggadah was interested with non-legal issues (history, folklore, parables, scientific knowledge like medicine and astronomy) that was not necessarily apparent in the Mishnah.

Tosefta

Dates – 100 A.D. – 300 A.D.

Writers – Tannaim (“repeaters” or teachers of the Oral Law before the completion of the Mishnah. They date back as far as Ezra and to Hillel, Akiba and Meir to Judah Hansi.

Content – The teaching that is not found in the Mishnah. (Tosefta means “supplement”).

Palestinian Talmud

Divisions – Gemara (literally the “completion” of the Talmud)

Dates – 200 A.D.

Writers – Amoraim (sages who worked hard in Judaism once Mishnah was complete.

Content – Commentary on the Mishnah.

Babylonian Talmud

Divisions – Mishnah and the Gemara

Dates – 200 A.D. – 500 A.D.

Writers – Tannaim and Amoraim

Content – Mishnah – Legal commentary on the Mishnah. Gemara – Commentary on the Mishnah.

Notes – The Mishnah was divided into six sections.

See The Tractates of the Mishnah

The Jewish High Priests from 200 B.C to the Reign of Herod the Great

1. Simon II the Just, 220-190 B.C.
2. Onias III, 190-174 B.C.
3. Jason/Jeshua,175-172 B.C.
4. Menelaus, 172-162 B.C.
5. Alcimus, 162-156 B.C.
6. Jonathan, 153-142 B.C.
7. Simon, 142-135 B.C.
8. John Hyrcanus I, 134-104 B.C.
9. Aristobulus I, 104-103 B.C.
10. Alexander Jannaeus, 103-76 B.C.
11. Hyrcanus II, 76-67 B.C.
12. Aristobulus II, 67-63 B.C.
13. Hyrcanus II, 63-40 B.C.
14. Antigonus, 40-37 B.C.

The Jewish High Priests from Herod the Great to the Destruction of Jerusalem

15. Ananel, 37-36 B.C. (Appointed by Herod the Great)
16. Aristobulus III, 35 B.C.
17. Jesus, son of Phiabi, ? -22 B.C.
18. Simon, son of Boethus, 22-5 B.C.
19. Matthias, son of Theophilus, 5-4 B.C.
20. Joseph, son of Elam, 5 B.C.
21. Joezer, son of Boethus, 4 B.C.
22. Eleazar, son of Boethus, 4-1 B.C. – (Appointed by Herod Archelaus)
23. Jesus, son of Sie, 1 – 6 A.D.
24. Annas, 6-15 A.D. (Appointed by Quirinius)
25. Ishmael, son of Phiabi I, 15-16 A.D. (Appointed by Valerius Gratus)
26. Eleazar, son of Annas, 16-17 A.D.
27. Simon, son of Kamithos, 17-18 A.D.
28. Joseph Caiaphas, 18-37 AD.
29. Jonathan, son of Annas, 37 A.D. (Appointed by Vitellius)
30. Theophilus, son of Annas, 37-41 A.D.
31. Simon Kantheras, son of Boethus, 41-43 A.D. (Appointed by Herod Agrippa I)
32. Matthias, son of Annas, 43-44 A.D.
33. Elionaius, son of Kantheras, 44-45 A.D.
34. Joseph, son of Kami, 45-47 A.D. (Appointed by Herod of Chalcis)
35. Ananias, son of Nebedaius, 47-55 A.D.
36. Ishmael, son of Phiabi III, 55-61 A.D. (Appointed by Herod Agrippa II)
37. Joseph Qabi, son of Simon, 61-62 A.D.
38. Ananus, son of Ananus, 62 A.D.
39. Jesus, son of Damnaius, 62-65 A.D.
40. Joshua, son of Gamal iel, 63-65 A.D.
41. Matthias, son of Theophilus, 65-67 A.D.
42. Phinnias, son of Samuel, 67-70 A.D. (Appointed by The People)

Some dates cannot be known for certain.

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I read this today and I wanted to pass it along. It is my family’s practice to read chapter of Proverbs per day. We always read the chapter that corresponds to the day of the month. For instance, if it is May 8th then we will read chapter 8. One of the verses that caught my attention in today’s reading were 10 and 11: Choose my instruction instead of silver…nothing you can desire can compare with her.” That about sums it up. There is nothing we can desire that comes close to God’s wisdom. I have told my kids, “If I offer 1 million dollars every morning to get up at 6am and study the Book of Proverbs for an hour would you do it?” They all responded, “Yes!_  However, according to these verses it is more valuable to you if you get God’s wisdom than worldly riches.  Below is a portion from Steven Camp’s blog concerning the principles you can get from Proverbs. 

THURSDAY, JUNE 04, 2009

WORK HARD AND DON’T BE LAZY
…20 practical principles from Proverbs – by Dr. S. Lance Quinn

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I saw this wonderful article recommended on the Grace To You twitter just yesterday. It is written by a long time friend of mine, Dr. S. Lance Quinn. Lance is the senior pastor of the Bible Church of Little Rock. He is a gifted Bible expositor, teacher, and pastor of God’s people.

He displays uncommon wisdom and insight in the following post by extracting twenty biblical principles from the book of Proverbs encouraging us all to a life of productive God glorifying work in all the things of living and how to avoid the pull and tug of laziness. It ministered greatly to my own heart and trust it will to you as well.

1. Remember, working hard is first a mindset (and so is laziness).

2. Working hard and staying on task is a matter of self-control.

3. Get up early. Try to stand up right when the alarm clock goes off.

4. Do hard jobs first and easier jobs second; then you can have fun.

5. Love what you do as a vocation, regardless of what it is. Ask God to grant His blessing and favor in your work (cf. the account of Joseph in Genesis 39).

6. Don’t try to make money by deceit or fraud. If you do, God will punish you, sooner or later.

7. Be honest with your employer about how much you work. If you’re lazily collecting a paycheck, that’s stealing.

8. Don’t work so much, however, that you need to re-introduce yourself to your family. Strive for a healthy balance between your work and your family life.

9. If you travel too much (according to your wife’s/family’s honest, loving assessment), seek to curb your travel, if possible. Perhaps another position would provide greater harmony in your home.

10. If your wife is regularly wondering how the bills are going to be paid, and you’re not taking initiative to lead, confess your failure in leadership and take control of your family finances.

11. Treat your work (house cleaning, school work, or whatever it is) as though you will reap a harvest from your labors.

12. Don’t work only in order to receive. Rather, find satisfaction in simply doing good work for God and men.

13. Lazy people often assume that others owe them a handout (whether they’ve worked hard or not). Don’t fall into an entitlement mentality.

14. When you are asked to serve in some way, don’t attempt to take the path of least resistance (because of laziness).

15. Consider how much more would be accomplished for the kingdom of Christ if you worked as hard in ministry as you do for a paycheck.

16. Consider how your employer would evaluate you if his assessment were based on your work ethic in ministry. (Would you be fired?)

17. If you are a lazy person, or if you tend toward laziness in certain areas of your life, confess your sin to God. Whether at home, at work, or in ministry, admit to God that you haven’t been working as hard as you should (He knows already); and ask Him to cleanse you from sin.

18. Abandoning laziness and growing in diligence means you must be controlled by the Holy Spirit. Here are some practical steps you can take:

a. Ask the Spirit to make you a hard worker for God.
b. Read, re-read, and even memorize the proverbs that pertain to both laziness and work.
c. Trust God to overcome any bad habits you’ve developed regarding work and diligence.
d. When you are tempted to be lazy, seek the Spirit’s help in prayer and remind yourself what the Word of God teaches.

19. Show how the Proverbs on diligence and laziness are important by reading them to your family and then applying the biblical principles. Discuss with your family how you can hold one another accountable to be diligent workers for God and men.

20. Ask God to give you opportunities to become a hard worker, and then look for Him to answer in every realm of your life (home, work, school, ministry, etc.).

A person on the third floor of a Japanese airport photographs damage and debris.

I grew up listening to sermons by Adrian Rogers who was the longtime pastor of Bellevue Church in Memphis.
Adrian Rogers sermon “No other way to heaven except through Jesus” based on Romans chapter one (part 2).
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