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Authority of the Bible

The following information illustrates the tremendous care that scholars and scribes took in preserving the Bible to this day.

Talmudists, Old Testament scribes and scholars, setup intricate legal requirements for copying.

  1. The scrolls had to be written on the skins of ceremonially clean animals.
  2. Every scroll had to contain a specific number of columns, each column a specific length and breadth. The scrolls were lined before they were written upon and any scroll with fewer than three words on a line was worthless.
  3. The color and formula of the ink was specified.
  4. No word or mark could be written from memory; the scribe had to look at each word before he wrote it.
  5. Between each letter was the space of a hair's breadth or thread.
  6. The copyist had to sit in full Jewish dress.
  7. He must first wash his entire body.
  8. He could not begin to write the name of God with a pen newly dipped in ink, and should a king address him while writing that name, he must take no notice of him.
  9. Any scrolls not produced according to these regulations were condemned to be buried or banished to the schools, to be used as reading primers.

Masoretes standardized the Hebrew text from 500 A.D. to 900 A.D. -produced the "Masoretic"Text- extremely reliable.

To ensure accuracy:

  1. They numbered every verse, word, and letter of every book.
  2. They calculated the middle letter of each book.  If the middle letter of the copy were not the same as the original, the copy was not authentic.  They calculated the middle letter of the entire Old Testament. They also recorded the number of particular letters in many verses.

When the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in 1947, they were compared to Masoretic text. E.C.  Of the 166 words in Isaiah 53, after one thousand years of copying, only 3 letters were in question, and they did not affect the meaning of the text.  

Authority of the Bible

Paul, in Galatians 1:6-8, condemns other "gospels": "I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel-- which is really no gospel at all.  Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.  But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned."