Isaiah 40:8 says, “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.” Have you ever wondered how to defend the Bible and help others see that there is no book like the Bible? Here are four historical markers to encourage you in that process:
Qumran I In 1947, 1100 historical manuscripts were found in a cave near the village of Qumran located near the Dead Sea. All of the Old Testament books, with the exception of Esther, were found among these manuscripts. Specifically, the complete Isaiah Scroll (dated 1000 BC) was found among these manuscripts and was found to have only 17 different letters (not words, just letters) compared the Isaiah manuscript from 1000 AD. This was powerful proof that “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.”
The University of Manchester Library I in 1934, Collin Roberts stumbled across a tiny piece of papyrus parchment with John 18:31-33 written on the front and John 18:37-38 written on the back. After further investigation, Roberts found that this fragment of parchment dated back to 125 AD, making it the oldest New Testament fragment we have to date. This means that the gospel of John was written and spread much earlier than Biblical historians previously thought. Further proof that, ““The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.”
The Bookshelf I If you go to any bookshelf with historical texts, you can be confident that the New Testament has earlier copies, smaller time gaps between copies, and a larger number of copies than any other book written.
The Masoretes I In 600 AD, you could find a room full of men who had given their lives to one task — the careful transmission of the text of the word of God. These men exercised extreme care to ensure accuracy in the transmission of the word of God. We can have confidence that we have been given a gift in the Word of God and that it is worth building our lives on!
Talk about It
• What did you learn today about prophecy and the reliability of the Word of God?
• How does the reliability of scripture further solidify your confidence in the Gospel?
• Is there someone in your life that needs to hear about the reliability of the Bible? How can you start praying for the Lord to open doors for those conversations to take place?