Re: [NTLK] How do you use your Newton?

From: Jon Glass <>
Date: Sun Aug 17 2008 - 15:38:10 EDT

On Sun, Aug 17, 2008 at 7:41 PM, Doug Denby <> wrote:
> Impossible. There are no original Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek texts. They
> are all copies of, copies of, copies of, ... original texts. And much
> of the provenance is suspect. And that is before translation.

By your standard. there are no writings by Homer, Cicero, or any of
the ancients. There are only a tiny handful of _copies_ of their texts
extant today. There are thousands upon thousands of copies of the NT,
for instance, both in tiny fragments of partial verses, passages, up
to entire New Testaments, dating back to merely decades after the last
book (Revelation) was written. Of those fragments, it is possible to
reconstruct enormous portions of the New Testament. Furthermore, there
are copies of translations, also dating to the earliest centuries
after the writing of those New Testament books. All together, all
these copies range from across the Mediterranean from Alexandria,
Egypt, through Palestine, Asia Minor to Rome. Put succinctly, there is
far more evidence that the New Testament we read to day is identical
to what was written--and the bulk of this evidence was gathered and
documented by skeptics--cynics, who reject any kind of inspiration of
Scriptures, and who, in fact, were attempting to disprove Scripture.
Perversely enough, none of this evidence is sufficient to convince
them, despite this evidence. (example, Schweitzer's "In Search of the
Historical Jesus" Today, the Jesus Seminar continues in his footsteps,
and their efforts would be humorous were they not so pathetic. They
must ignore all the evidence gathered by scholars, and instead, resort
to pure speculation.

The case of the OT is different, but the results are the same. The
evidences as to the reliability of things we know give us nothing to
cause doubt as to its authenticity. (For instance, knowledge of place
names, people, geography which either was lost or changed between the
time the events took place, and later times, which would negate the
ability to "make things ups" centuries later) Such evidence, together
with our knowledge of how Jewish scribes scrupulously copied the
copies through the centuries post-exile until the middle ages
precludes any real change from that date forward (and the Dead Sea
scrolls are a massive surprise in this regard for the skeptics,
despite some widely-published reports contrary-wise).

In other words, if one wishes to be a skeptic, one has that freedom,
but the evidence is not on your side. I'll just add one more point.
People still repeat the same, tired arguments that "disprove" this or
that point, but they've been answered long ago, and are hardly worth
answering any more. And worse, using web pages, such as was quoted to
also attempt to disprove or discredit the Bible--well, that's like
stealing candy from a baby, or the school bully picking on children
much younger than him. Sure, you can do it, but you ruin your
respectability--wrestle with pigs, you both get muddy, and the pig
enjoys it... Not worth it.

And that's all I'm going to say on this subject.

 -Jon Glass
Krakow, Poland
"I don't believe in philosophies. I believe in fundamentals." --Jack Nicklaus
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Received on Sun Aug 17 15:38:11 2008

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