Some folks have been told by their leaders the Bible is not reliable, that its translation was done like the whispering game – passed from one language to another language to another language until the meaning was lost. These same folks have been told the Bible is therefore something they can’t, and should not trust. This is a myth, and in some cases, it is a deliberate lie told to undermine the faith of those who listen to such leaders.
The simple truth is, the Bible, for centuries has been translated from the original languages of Hebrew and Greek. And with each decade, new archaeological discoveries have provided more and more full manuscripts and fragments of manuscripts from which to do the work of translation. As a comparison, the translation team (54 Hebrew & Greek scholars) who worked on the King James Bible, had less than a dozen older manuscripts to work with at the time of their work in 1611. Today modern scholars have well over 24,000 manuscripts and fragments available to them for their translation work. And this number of manuscripts is growing every day as new discoveries are being made. Also, the age of these manuscripts being found are older and older than previous manuscripts in use – which would mean they were closer to the time of the original writing of the apostles. Some new manuscript fragments which have been unearthed recently, are being dated back to A.D. 96 (older than the Ryland’s papyri dated A.D. 125), which would place the writing at the time of the apostle John.
The nearest comparison of any ancient literature is Homer’s Iliad (900 B.C.) written in 400 B.C., making it 500 years after the life of the author – there are 643 copies and fragments available, and these are estimated to be 95% accurate. Homer’s writings are read and taught in universities all over the world without question.
Is the Bible available to you in a modern English translation reliable? Definitely! We have the ability to compare thousands of resources to ensure the translation work is done accurately and with tremendous attention to detail. We can be assured that what God intended for us to know about Him and the salvation offered to us through Jesus Christ, is definitely the message God originally handed to the apostles. There is no time to deal with the inaccuracies and contradictions of other religious works such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Bible, or the book of Mormon – which organizations are the chief accusers of the Bible. Nevertheless, look for the next post on the Bible’s accuracy and testimony for today.