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  1. #1
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    Post The Uniqueness of the Bible

    Before I get started, I must give credit to various apologists for a lot of the info, arguments, data presented here. They are including, but not limited to Geisler, McDowell (especially in the first posts), Hunt, Bruce, Rhodes and Slick.

    ---------------------------------------------
    Part I - The Uniqueness of the Bible

    It's a common belief that the Bible is just another "great works" of the ancient world, equal to that of Homer's Odyssey, Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet, etc... Some think it fairy tale, nothing more than a book of stories not unlike the myths of Greece, Norwegian tales, etc... Some think it is equal to other "holy books" such as the Koran or Hadith. However, I propose that the Bible is unlike ANY other book in the history of man. It stands alone, with none other able to compare to it. If for no other reason, than that of its uniqueness.

    Part I (A) : It is unique in its continuity

    1) Written over about a 1, 500-year span.

    2) Written by more than forty authors from every walk of life, including kings, military leaders, peasants, philosophers, fishermen, tax collectors, poets, musicians, statesmen, scholars, and shepherds, and more.

    3) Written in different places (wilderness, dungeon, hillside, palace, prison walls, while traveling, while in exile, etc...).

    4) Written at different times (times of war and sacrifice, times of peace and prosperity).

    5) Written during different moods (some writing from their heights of joy, others in their depths of sorry and despair, some during times of certainty and conviction, others during days of confusion and doubt).

    6) Written on 3 continents (Asia, Africa, Europe).

    7) Written in 3 languages - Hebrew (practically all of the OT, Aramaic (the "common language" of the Near East until the time of Alexander the Great (6th cent BC - 4th cent BC), and Greek (comprising almost all of the NT), which was at the time of Christ, as English is becoming in the modern world.

    8) Written in a wide variety of literary styles, including:
    • poetry
    • historical narrative
    • song
    • romance
    • didactic treatise
    • personal correspondence
    • memoirs
    • satire
    • biography
    • autobiography
    • law
    • prophecy
    • parable
    • allegory


    10) In spite of it's diversity, the Bible presents a single unfolding story: God's redemption of human beings. Geisler and Nix put it this way: "The 'Paradise Lost' of Genesis becomes the 'Paradise Regained' of Revelation. Whereas the gate to the tree of life is closed in Genesis, it is opened forevermore in Revelation."

    11) Finally, and most important, among all the people described in the Bible, the leading character throughout is the one, true, living God made known through Jesus Christ.

    Consider the OT: The Law provides the foundation for Christ, the historical books show the preparation for Christ, the poetical works aspire to Christ, and the prophecies display an expectation of Christ.

    In the NT: the Gospels record the manifestation of Christ, the Acts relate the propagation of Christ, the Epistles give the interpretation of Him, and in Revelation is found the consummation of all things in Christ.

    Therefore, although the Bible contains many books by many authors, it shows in its continuity that it is also one book. As F.f. Bruce observes, "Any part of the human body can only be properly explained in reference to the whole body. And any part of the Bible can only be properly explained in reference to the whole Bible." Each book is like a chapter in the one book we call the Bible.

    Contrast the books of the Bible with the compilation of Western classics called the Great Books of the Western World. The Great Books contain selections from more than 450 works by close to 100 authors spanning a period of about 2,500 years: Homer, Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus, Augustine, Aquines, Dante, Hobbes, Calvin, Shakespeare, Hume, Kant, Darwin, Tolstoy, to name but a handful. While these individuals are all part of the Western tradition of ideas, they often display an incredible diversity of views on just about every subject. And while their views share some commonalities, they also display numerous conflicting and contradictory positions and perspectives. In fact, they frequently go out of their way to critique and refute key ideas proposed by their predecessors.

    The uniqueness of the Bible does not prove that it is inspired. It does, however, challenge any person sincerely seeking truth to consider seriously its unique quality in terms of its continuity.
    Last edited by Apokalupsis; September 25th, 2006 at 11:18 AM. Reason: removed EZCO reference
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  2. #2
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    Part I (B) : Unique in its circulation

    It's not unusual to hear books making a bestseller list, selling a few hundred thousand copies. It's much rarer to come accross books that have sold more than a million copies, and rarer still to find books that have passed the ten-million mark in sales. It staggers the mind, then, to discover that the number of Bibles sold reaches into the billions. That's right...billions! More copies have been produced of its entirety as well as selected portions than any other book in history.

    As The Cambridge History of the Bible states, "No other book has known anything approaching this constant circulation." (Greensdale, CHB 479)

    Again, this doesn't prove that the Bible is the Word of God, but it does demonstrate that the Bible is unique.

    Part I (C) : Unique in its translation

    The numbers of translations of the Bible are every bit as impressive as its sales numbers. Most books are never translated into another language. Among the books that are, most are published in just 2 or 3 languages. Far few books see translation figures rise into the teens. According to the United Bible Societies, the Bible has been translated into more than 2,200 languages! Although this is only about 1/3 of the world's 6,500 known languages, these languages represent the primary languages represent the primary vehicle of communication for well over 90% of the world's population. Worldwide, no other book in history has been translated, retranslated, and paraphrased more than the Bible.

    Part I (D) : Unique in its survival

    Through Time:

    Although it was first written on perishable materials, and had to be copied and recopied for hundreds of years before the invention of the printing press, the Scriptures have never diminished in style or correctness, nor have they ever faced extinction. Compared with other ancient writings, the Bible has more manuscript evidence to support it than any 10 pieces of classical literature combined (more on this on the historical accuracy of the NT which is forthcoming).

    "It seems strange that the text of Shakespeare, which has been in existence for less than two hundred and eight years, should be far more uncertain and corrupt than that of the New Testament, now over eighteen centuries old, including nearly fiften of which it existed only in manuscript...With perhaps a dozen or twenty exceptions, the text of every verse in the New Testament may be said to be so far settled by general consent of scholards, that any dispute as to its reading must relate rather to the interpretation of the words than to any doubts respecting the words themselves. But in every one of Shakespeare's thirty-seven plays there are probably a hundred readings still in dispute, a large portion of which materially affects the meaning of the passages in which they occur." (Lea, GBW, 15; as quoted in the Greates Book in the World by Jean Lea)

    Through Persecution

    The Bible has withstood vicious attacks by its enemies. Many have tried to burn it, ban it, and outlaw it from the days of Roman emperors to present-day Communist-dominated countries.

    In A.D. 303, the Roman emperor Diocletian issued an edict to stop Christians from worshipping and to destroy their scriptures. He ordered the razing of churches to the ground, burning of the scriptures, proclamation that all who held high positions in the church would lose all civil rights, and those who professed their Christianity would be deprived of their liberty.

    The historic irony of this event, is that just 25 years later after Diocletian's edict, the Roman emperor Constantine issued an edict ordering that fifty copies of the Scriptures should be prepared at the governments expense. (Eusebius, EH, VII, 2, 259)

    The noted French infidel Voltaire, who died in 1778, declared that in 100 years after his death, Christianity would be swept from existence and passed into history.

    Only 50 years after his death, the Geneva Bible Society used Voltaire's press and house to produce stacks of Bibles.

    The Bible's enemies come and go, but the Bible remains. Jesus was right when he said "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away." (Mark 13:31)

    Through Criticism

    HL Hastings said it best: "Infidels for 1800 years have been refuting and overthrowing this book, and yet it stands today as solid as a rock. It's circulation incrases, and it si more loved and cherished and read today than ever bfore. Infidels, with all their assaults, make about as much impressoin on this book as a man with a tack hammer would on the Pyramids of Egypt. When the French monarch proposed the persecution of the Christians in his dominoin, and old statesmena and warrior said to him, "Sire, the Church of God is an anvil that has worn out many hammers." So the hammers of infidels have been pecking away at this book for ages, but the hammers are worn out, and the anvil still endures. If this book had not been the book of God, men would have destrowyed it long ago. Emperors and popes, kings and priests, princes and rulesers have all tried their hand at it; they die and the book still lives." (Lea, GBW, 17-18)

    Bernard Ramm adds: "No other book has been so chopped, knived, sifted, scrutinized, and vilified. What book on philisophy or religion or psychology or has been subject to such a mass attack as the Bible? with such venom and skepticism? with such thoroughness and erudition? upon every chaper, line and tenet?" (Ramm, PCE '53, 232-233).

    Biblical scholars once deferred to "the assured results of higher criticism." But the reults of the higher critics are no loonger as assured as we once believed.

    Example: It was believed that the Pentateuch (first 5 books of the Bible) could not have been written by Moses, as the "assured results of higher criticism" had proven that writing was not in existence at the time of Moses, or if in existence, was used sparingly. Therefore, it was concluded that it had to be of later authorship. The minds of critics went to work, devising a theory that 4 writers, designated as J, E, P, and D had put the pentateuch togther. These critics formalated great structures of criticism.

    Then, some people had discovered the "black stele". It had wedge-shaped characters on it and contained the detailed laws of Hammurabi. Was it post Moses? Nope! It was pre-Mosaic. Not only that, but it preceded Moses' writings by at least 3 centuries! (Unger, UBD, 444). Amazingly, it antedated Moses, who is supposed to have been a primative man lacking an alphabet.

    The "assured results of higher criticism" concluded that there were no Hittites at the time of Abraham, as there were no records of their existence apart from the OT (Old Testament). They must be myth, therefore the Bible is false. Wrong again. Archaeological research has now uncovered evidence revealing more than 1,200 years of Hittite civilization.

    Nelso Glueck, one of the three greatest archealogists of our time says "In all of my archaelogical investigation I have never found one artifact of antiquity that contradicts any statement of the Word of God" (Radmacher, PC, 50)

    Robert D. Wilson, a man fluent in more than 45 languages and dialects, concluded after a lifetime of study in the OT: "I may add that the result of my forty-five years of study of the Bible has led me all the time to a firmer faith, that in the OT we have a true historical account of the history of the Israelite people."

    The Bible is unique in its ability to stand up to its critics. There is no book in all of literature like it. A person looking for truth would certainly consider a book that bears these qualifications.
    -=]Apokalupsis[=-
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  3. #3
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    Part I (E): Unique in its Teachings

    Prophecy - Just touching briefly upon this now, more details later

    The Bible is the only volume ever produced by man, or a group of men, in which is to be found a large body of prophecies relating to individual nations, to Israel, to all the peoples of the earth, to certain cities, and to the coming of One who was to be the Messiah. The ancient world had many different devices for determining the future, known as divination, but not in the entire gamut of Greek and latin literature, even though they use the words prophet and prophecy, can we find any real specific prophecy of a great historic event to come in the distant future, nor any prphecy of a Savior to arise in the human race.

    Mohammedanism cannot point to any prophecies of the coming of Mohammed uttered hundreds of years before his birth. Neither can the founders of any cult in this country rightly identify any ancient text specifically foretelling their appearance. (Smith, IB, 9-10)

    The Bible's standards on prophecy: According to Dueteronomy 18, a prophet was false if he made predictions that were never fulfilled OR if he made just one error. A prophet must be 100% accurate, not 90%, 75%, 50%, 10%...but 100%...NO MISTAKES whatsoever!

    No unconditional prophecy of the Bible about events to the present day has gone unfulfilled. Hundreds of predictions, some of them given hundreds of years in advance, have literally fulfilled. The time (Dan 9), city (Mic 5:2), and nature (Is. 7:14) of Christ's birth were fortold in the Ot, as were dozens of other things about His life, death and resurrection (see Is 53). Numerous other prophecies have been fulfilled, including the destruction of Edom (Obad 1), the curse on Babylon (Is 13), the destruction of Tyre (Eze. 26) and Ninevah (Nah. 1-3) and the return of Israel to the Lan (Is 11:11) (which of course, occured in 1948).

    Other books claim divine inspriation, such as the Koran, the Book of Mormon, and parts of the Hindu Veda. But none of those books contains predictive prophecy. As a result, fulfilled prophecy is a strong indication of the unique, divine authority of the Bible.

    History

    1st Samuel through 2 Chronicles details approximately 5 centuries of the history of Israel. The Cambridge Ancient History (vol. 1, p 222) stats: "The Israelites certainly manifest a genius for historical construction, and the OT embodies the oldest history writing extant."

    Hebrew national tradition excels all others in its clear picture of tribal and family origins. In Egypt, Babylonia, Assyria, Phoenicia, Greece and Rome, we look in vain for anything comparable. There is nothing like it in the tradition of the Germanic peoples. Neither India or China can produce anything simlar, since their earliest historical memories are literary deposits of distorted dynastic tradition, with no trace of the herdsman or peasant behind the demigod or king with whom their records begin. Neither in the oldest Indic historical writings, nor in the earliest Greek historians is there a hint of the fact that both Indo-Aryans and Hellenes were once nomands who immigrated into their later abodes from the north.

    Gen 10 is what is known as the "Table of Nations". It stands absolutely alone in ancient literature without a remote parallel even among the Greeks. It remains an astonishing accurate document.

    Character

    "The Bible is not such a book a man would write if he could, or could write if he would." - Lewis Chafer

    The Bible deals very frankly with the sinds of its characters, even when those sins reflect badly on God's chosen people, leaders and biblical writeers themselves. For example:
    • The sins of the people are denounced (Deut. 9:24)
    • King David's adultery with Bathsheba and his subsequent attempted cover-up is revealed (2 Sam. 11-12)
    • The Gospel Evangelists paint their own faults and those of the apostles (Matt. 8:10-26; 26:31-56; Marck 6:52; 8:18; Luke 8:24, 25; 9:40-45; John 10:6, 16:32)
    • The disorder within the church is exposed (1 Cor. 1:11, 15:12; 2 Cor 2:4)


    The Bible as a book focuses on reality, not fantasy. It presents the good and bad, the right and wrong, the best and worst, the hope and desparie, the joy and pain of life. And so it should, for its ultimate author is God, and "there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whome we must give account" (Heb. 4:13).

    Part 1 (F): Unique in its Influence on Literature

    If every Bible in any considerable city were destroyed, the Book could be restored in all its essential parts from the quotations on the shelves of the city public library. There are works, covering almost all the great literary writers, devoted especially to showing how much the Bible has influenced them.

    No other document in the possession of mankind offers so much to the reader--ethical and religious instruction, superb poetry, a social program and legal code, an interpretation of history, and all the joys, sorrows, and hopes which well up in men and which Israel's prophets and leaders expressed with matchless force and passion.

    Western literature has been more influenced by the Bible than any other book. No other book in all human history has in turn inspired the writing of so many books as the Bible.

    Historian Phillip Schaff : "This Jesus of Nazerath, without money and arms, conqured more millions than Alexander, Caesar, Mohammed, and Napoleon; without science and learning, He shed more light on things human and divine than all philosophers and scholars combined; without the eloquence of schools, he spoke such words of life as were never spoken before or since, and produced effects which lie beyoned the reach of orator or poet; without writing a single line, He set more pens in motion, and furnished themes for more sermons, orations, discussions, learned ovolumes, works of art, and songs of praise than the whole army of great ment of ancient and modern times."

    Part I [G] : Unique in its Influence on Civilization

    The influence of the Bible and its teaching in the Western world is clear for all who study history. Civilizatoin has been influenced more by the Judeo-Christian Scriptures than by any other book or series of books in the world. Indeed, no great moral or religious work in the world exceeds the depth of morality in the principle of Christian love, and none has a more lofty spiritual concept than the biblical view of God. The Bible presents the highest ideals known to men, ideals that have molded civilization.

    "Two thousand years...the centuries themselves are measured from the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. At the end of this year, calendars in India and China, like those in Europe, America, and the Middle east, will register the dawn of the third millenium." (Newsweek Magazine, March 29, 1999, p. 52)

    A Reasonable Conclusion


    The evidence presented above does not prove that the Bible is the Word of God. But it clearly indicates that it is uniquely superior to any and all other books.

    If you are an intellignet person, you will read the one book that has drawn more attention than any other, if you are searching for the truth. The Bible certainly qualifies as this one book.

    As Theodore Roosevelt once observed: "A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education."

    This thread is NOW open for business. But as stated above in the first post...it is important to keep on track. Only discuss that which has already been posted, which at this time...deals only with the uniqueness of the Bible compared to any other literature at any time in history.

    Next Section = How We Got the Bible
    -=]Apokalupsis[=-
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  4. #4
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    Part II How We Got the Bible

    Many people have questions about the background of the Bible, its divisions and the material used in the Bible. We'll address those questions in this section. Most of it will be facts for those who are curious...but some is important as it will be used later to show the historicity and reliability of the Bible that we have today in other sections.

    I. Materials: Writing Material

    Papyrus

    Among the writing materials available in biblical times, the most common was papyrus, which was made from the papyrus plant. This reed grew in the shallow lakes and rivers of Egypt and Syria.

    The oldest papyrus fragment known dates back to 2400 BC. The earliest manuscripts were written on papyrus, and it was difficult for any to surivive except in dry areas such as the sands of Egypt or in caves such as the Qumran caves, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were disovered.

    Papyrus enjoyed popular use until about the third century A.D.

    Parchment

    Parchment is the name given to "prepared skins of sheep, goats, antelope and other animals." These skins were "shaved" and "scraped" in order to produce a more durable writing material.

    Vellum

    Vellum was the name given to calf skin. Vellum was often dyed purple. Some of the manuscrips we have today are purple vellum. The writing on dyed vellum was usually gold or silver.

    The oldest leather scrolls date from around 1500 B.C.

    Other Writing Materials

    Ostraca: This unglazed pottery was popular with the common people. It has been found in abundance in Egypt and Palestine.

    Stones: Archaelogists have found common stones inscribed with an iron pen.

    Clay tabletsEngraved with a sharp instrument and then dried to create a permanent record, these tablets provided the cheapest and one of the most durable kinds of writing material.

    Wax tablets: A metal stylus was used on a piece of flat wood covered with wax.

    I. Materials: Writing Instruments

    Chisel: An iron instrument used to engrave stones.

    Metal Stylus: a three-sided instrument with a leveled head, the stylus was used to make incursions into clay and wax tablets.

    Pen: A pointed reed was fashioned from rushes about 6-16 inches long, the end being cut to a flat chisel-shape to enable thick and thin strokes to be made with the broad or narrow sides. The reed-pen was in use from the early 1st millenium in Mesopotamia. The pen was used on vellum, parchment, and papyrus.

    Ink: The ink in the ancient world was usually a compound of charcoal, gum and water.

    II. Forms of Ancient Books

    Rolls or scrolls: were made by gluing sheets of papyrus together and then winding the resulting long strips around a stick. The size of a scroll was limited by the difficulty in using it. Writing was usually (but not always) limited to one side of the scroll. While some scrolls have been known to be '144 long, the average scroll was only about '20-'35 long.

    Codex or Book Form: In order to make reading easier and less bulky, the papyrus sheets were assempbled in leaf form and written on both sides. The spread of Christianity was the prime reason for the development of the codex-book form.

    III. Types of Writing

    Uncial Writing

    Literary works were written in a more formal style of handwriting, called uncials. This "book-hand" was characterized by more deliberate and carefully executed letters, each one separate from the others, somewhat like our capital letters.

    The two oldest and most signifcant uncial manuscripts are Codex Vaticanus (about A.D. 325-350) and Codex Sinaiticus (about A.D. 340).

    Minuscule Writing

    This writing was a script of smaller letters in a running hand [connected]...created for the production of books around the beginning of the 9th century.

    Spaces and Vowels

    The Greek manuscripts were written without any breaks between words, while the Hebrew text was written without vowels until these were added by the Massoretes between the fifth and tenth centuries A.D.

    Both practices seem odd and confusing to most modern readers. But to the ancients, for whom Greek or Hebrew was their native tongue, these practices were normal and clearly understood. The Jews did not need vowels written out. As they learned their language they became familiar with how to pronounce and interpret it.

    Likewise, Greek-speaking peoples had no trouble reading their language without breaks between words. In that language, it is the rule, with very few exceptions, that native Greek words can only end in a vowel (or a dipthong) or in one of three consonants, v, p, and s. Furthermore, it was customary in antiquity to read aloud, even when one was alone. Thus, despite the absence of spaces between wrods, by pronouncing to oneself what was read, syllable-by-syllable, one soon became used to reading in this manner.
    -=]Apokalupsis[=-
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  5. #5
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    IV. Who decided what to include in the Bible?

    The question concerning how it was decided which books would become part of the Bible is the question of canonicity. A discerning person would want to know why some books were included in the canon while others were excluded.

    Meaning of the word Canon

    The word canon comes from the root word reed (English word cane, Hebrew form ganeh, and Greek form kanon). The reed was used as a measuring rod, and came to mean "standard".

    The third-century church father Origen used the word "canon" to denote what we call the "rule of faith", the standard by which we are to measure and evaluate. Later, the term meant a "list" or "index". As applied to Scripture, canon means "an officially accepted list of books".

    It is important to note that the church did not create the canon; it did not determine which books would be called Scripture, the inspired Word of God. Intead, the church recognized, or discovered, which books had been inspired from their inception.

    ie...a book is not the Word of God because it is accepted by the people of God. Rather, it was accepted by the people of God because it is the Word of God. That is, God gives the book its divine authority, not the people of God. They merely recognize the divine authority which God gives to it. See below for the tests of canonicity.

    Tests for Inclusion in the Canon

    From the writings of biblical and church history we can discern at least five principles that guided the recognition and collection of the true divinely inspired books.
    1. Was the book written by a prophet of God? If it was written by a spokesman for God, then it was the Word of God.
    2. Was the writer confirmed by acts of God? Frequently, miracles separated the true prophets from the false ones.
    3. Did the message tell the truth about God? God cannot contradict himself, nor can He utter what is false. Hence, no book with false claims can be the Word of God (this will come into play when we discuss prophecy. For these reasons, the church fathers maintainted the policy "if in doubt, throw it out."
    4. Does it come with the power of God? If the message of a book did not effect its stated goal, if it did not have the power to change a life, then God was apparently not behind its message.
    5. Was it accepted by the people of God? The people in the best position to know the book's prophetic credentials were those who knew the prophet who wrote it. Hence, despite all later debate about the canonicity of some books, the definitive evidence is that which attests to its original acceptance by the contemporary believers (those who knew the prophet/author). Onc instance is when the apostle Peter acknowledges Pauls' writings as Scripture on par with the OT Scripture. (2 Pet. 3:16).


    V. The New Testament Canonical Books

    Reasons for their Collection
    1. They were prophetic: The initial reason for collecting and preserving the inspired books was that they were prophetic. That is, since they were written by an apostle or prophet of God, they must be valuable, and if valuable, they should be preserved.
    2. The Needs of the Early Church: The churches needed to know which books should be read, revered, and applied to their varied and often precarious situations in a generally hostile social and religious environment. They had many problems to address, and they needed assurance regarding which books would serve as their source of authority.
    3. The Rise of Heretics: As eary as A.D. 140, the heretic Marcion developed his own incomplete canon and began to propagate it. The church needed to counter his influence by collecting all the books of NT Scripture.
    4. The Circulation of Spurious Writings: Many Eastern churches used books in services that were definately counterfeit. This called for a decision concerning the canon.
    5. Missions: Christianity had spread rapidly to other countries, and there was the need to translate the Bible into those other languages. As early as the first half of the 2nd century the Bible was translated into Syriac and Old Latin.
    6. Persecution: The edict of Diocletian (A.D. 303) called for the desctruction of the sacred books of the Christians. Who would die for a book that was perhaps religious, but not sacred? Christians needed to know which books were truly sacred.


    The Canon Recognized

    Athanasius of Alexandria

    Athanasius (A.D. 367) gave us our earliest list of NT books that is exactly like our present NT. He provided this list in a festal letter to the churches.

    Jerome and Augustine

    Shortly after Athanasius circulated his list, Jerome and Augustine followed suit, defining the NT canon of 27 books.

    Polycarp and His Contemporaries

    Polycarp (A.D. 115), Clement of Alexandria (about A.D. 200), and other early church fathers refer to the OT and NT books with the phrase "as it is said in these scriptures."

    Others

    Justin Martyr (A.D. 100-165), Irenaeus (A.D. 180), Ignatius (A.D. 50-115), and others including the early Church Councils all refer to the NT books as being canonical in their various apologies, letters, and writings.

    Since this time there has been no seroius questioning of the 27 accepted books of the NT by Roman Catholics, Protestants, or the Eastern Orthodox Church.

    *note*

    Due to the nature of this particular section being primarily informational, and most likely less controversial, I will refrain from furthering this section unless requested, as I wish to move on to section 3, Is the New Testament Historically Reliable?. Section three will be the "good stuff" where I imagine many will want to discuss or debate. I felt the need to have sections I and II to start this thread as a reference point and for an understanding of what the Bible truly is and how we got it.

    For those who are still interested in Section 2 and want more information, I can add further detail upon request. But again, I prefer to move foward with this thread and will end Section II at this time, adding only to it as addendum if requested.

    Lastly, it should be noted, that none of what is written proves that the Bible is divine in authorship. We aren't there...yet. The purpose of the above is to lay a foundation. It merely proves the uniqueness of the Bible, and shows how the Bible was created...nothing more is claimed up to this point.

    I would also prefer to have only discussions that pertain what is already written. It serves no purpose to discuss Y, when we are still discussing A, B, C, E, F and G, which will support Y when we get to it. Let's not "skip ahead".

    Next Section: The Reliability of the New Testament
    Last edited by Apokalupsis; January 7th, 2004 at 01:47 PM.
    -=]Apokalupsis[=-
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  6. #6
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    Note: A discussion followed about the Apocrypha and it's inclusion vs exclusion as scripture. The thread was split to allow for a more fluid discussion. It can be found here: The Apocrypha - Biblical or not?

    The discussion in this thread may continue re: Is the Bible trustworthy or not. But IMO, that discussion would be primarily focusing around 2 incomplete yet upcoming posts re: NT and OT Reliability.
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    Note: A discussion started about eternal punishment. The thread was split to allow for a more fluid discussion. It can be found here: Eternal Punishment.

    The discussion in this thread may continue re: Is the Bible trustworthy or not. But IMO, that discussion would be primarily focusing around 2 incomplete yet upcoming posts re: NT and OT Reliability.
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    Re: Case for the Bible

    Thread cleaned up from the spam, trolling and confusion.

    To summarize what this thread is: It is the defense of the Bible, plain and simple. The ONLY defense offered thus far (as evident to anyone who reads the op), is that it is unique, there is no other book like it, nor has there ever been any book as unique as the Bible. This alone does not prove the Bible's validity, historicity, divine inspiration, etc... It isn't intended to prove that. Thus far, it is merely setting the stage, laying that foundation.

    The only counter-argument that could legtimitely be made in this thread, would be along the lines of the Bible's uniqueness, or the lack thereof. Please respond ONLY to what is already posted in this thread.

    Also, there is no eta for when this thread's other points/arguments for the Bible will be posted. For now, it is merely covering the topic of the uniqueness of the Bible, nothing more.
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    Re: Case for the Bible

    its good to see that you have finally clarified what exactly your post is about. on that note, i do agree that the bible is unique from any other book. but so is the koran, isnt it? if it is uniqueness that sets the bible apart from any other book, it is uniqueness that sets any other book apart from the bible.
    "What's so wrong about mentioning how attractive she is? That said, i don't think "Begin East Euro Fap" is an appropriate way to say shes attractive."

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    Re: Case for the Bible

    In the context of this thread I think it may be necessary to define "uniqueness."

    This is a subjective concept and hence the problem.

    Considering the context of the OP I think it would be a fair to define the "uniqueness" as being the continuity of the text despite the time span and number of authors.

    Also, Apok you contrast the Bible to the Great Books of the Western World. A far better contrast would be perhaps the Bible to something such as Vedic texts.
    I typically cite original research papers and reviews that are available only to a personal or institutional subscriptional. If you wish a PDF copy of the papers I cite, send me a request.

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    Re: Case for the Bible

    Quote Originally Posted by pikatore View Post
    its good to see that you have finally clarified what exactly your post is about. on that note, i do agree that the bible is unique from any other book. but so is the koran, isnt it? if it is uniqueness that sets the bible apart from any other book, it is uniqueness that sets any other book apart from the bible.
    The quality of "uniqueness" is not comparable. If you believe it to be so, then you are welcome to provide a counter-argument outlining the significant unique qualities of the Koran...then we can compare them to the Bible and see which holds more water.

    The below text has been automerged with this post.

    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737 View Post
    Also, Apok you contrast the Bible to the Great Books of the Western World. A far better contrast would be perhaps the Bible to something such as Vedic texts.
    Why?
    Last edited by Apokalupsis; September 19th, 2006 at 10:40 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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    Re: Case for the Bible

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    The quality of "uniqueness" is not comparable. If you believe it to be so, then you are welcome to provide a counter-argument outlining the significant unique qualities of the Koran...then we can compare them to the Bible and see which holds more water.
    that has set a few alarm bells off in my head. firstly, by saying the quality of uniqueness is not comparable, and then asking me to get the koran and compare it's unique qualities to the bible, kind of contradicts yourself. Are you asking me to bring out the koran, list the unique qualities, and match the points up against yours in some kind of numbers game? how do you propose i set up my counter-argument to this?
    "What's so wrong about mentioning how attractive she is? That said, i don't think "Begin East Euro Fap" is an appropriate way to say shes attractive."

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    Re: Case for the Bible

    Quote Originally Posted by Apok
    Why?
    The text you reference is a complimation of works whose for the sole reason that they are western literature and have had an influence. Should we be surprised that they have none of the qualities of the Bible.

    In contrast the Vedas are religous texts spanning hundreds of years. Furthermore though, they are not some random assemblage but represent the religious though of Hinduism throughout this time period. So the Vedas have been written along a more or less common theme where as Great Books of the Western World has not.
    I typically cite original research papers and reviews that are available only to a personal or institutional subscriptional. If you wish a PDF copy of the papers I cite, send me a request.

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    Re: Case for the Bible

    Quote Originally Posted by pikatore View Post
    that has set a few alarm bells off in my head. firstly, by saying the quality of uniqueness is not comparable, and then asking me to get the koran and compare it's unique qualities to the bible, kind of contradicts yourself.
    Wrong. Simple English context. It means that the Bible stands alone in the quality of "uniqueness"...that is, there is nothing like the Bible. If there are books that also share the same unique qualities of the Bible, then the Bible...is not unique...nor are the books being compared to it. You disagree...and suggest that other books are comparable in their quality of uniqueness. I have challenged you to do so by showing the uniqueness of a book that you believe is qualified, or as unique as the Bible is. I contend, that no book even comes close.

    Are you asking me to bring out the koran, list the unique qualities, and match the points up against yours in some kind of numbers game? how do you propose i set up my counter-argument to this?
    That's one way to do it. It was you who said it could be done. Very well, let's see it done. Obviously, if by comparing the 2 we find relevant similarities showing that the quality of uniqueness is comparable (similar), then you have refuted the claim that the Bible, is as unique as it is said to be.

    The below text has been automerged with this post.

    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737 View Post
    The text you reference is a complimation of works whose for the sole reason that they are western literature and have had an influence. Should we be surprised that they have none of the qualities of the Bible.

    In contrast the Vedas are religous texts spanning hundreds of years. Furthermore though, they are not some random assemblage but represent the religious though of Hinduism throughout this time period. So the Vedas have been written along a more or less common theme where as Great Books of the Western World has not.
    This would be relevant if it [uniform message] were the ONLY reason that the Bible was unique. I've offered 7 reasons why it is so unique.
    Last edited by Apokalupsis; September 19th, 2006 at 08:27 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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    Re: Case for the Bible

    Quote Originally Posted by GoldPhoenix
    disagrees: Apok, we've seen this **** before. That was over two years ago, and we're still waiting to see what that ground work layed.
    This is rather absurd. A neg rep for not finishing a thread? A thread that took hours to start and will require many more hours to get the the next point?

    This is beneath you GP (or at least it should be). I don't have the time to devote that much time to a thread atm. This is why this thread as of thus far, is purely a case for the Bible's uniqueness and the op and subsequent threads have explicitely detailed this fact. That you want to see that which another member cannot deliver due to time constraints, is not justification for negging other members.
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    Re: Case for the Bible

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    That's one way to do it. It was you who said it could be done. Very well, let's see it done. Obviously, if by comparing the 2 we find relevant similarities showing that the quality of uniqueness is comparable (similar), then you have refuted the claim that the Bible, is as unique as it is said to be.
    I never said uniqueness was a comparable quality. Uniqueness is uniqueness. Even my excretions have thier own unique form. You can't say 'the Bible is very unique, more unique than other books', and try to just say as much about it as possible. What about the constitution of American law? The dictionary? Your fictional masterpiece? Every other book presents millions of letters and words arranged in thier own unique way, to send a unique message.
    "What's so wrong about mentioning how attractive she is? That said, i don't think "Begin East Euro Fap" is an appropriate way to say shes attractive."

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    Re: Case for the Bible

    All dictionaries have the relevant similarities in common, as do encyclopedias, as do novels, etc...

    The primary points of uniqueness that makes the Bible stand out, are listed in the op. Are there any works of literature that can compare to these points of uniqueness?

    Is the Bible just another old book or compilation of books? Or is it something much, much more?
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    Re: Case for the Bible

    So...can we debate you on this or not?

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    Re: Case for the Bible

    Quote Originally Posted by Turtleflipper View Post
    So...can we debate you on this or not?
    Based on prior experience, I am going to have to say not debateable. A better use of time would be filling out TPS reports and planning the plan, and finding more flair to add to our suspenders.
    Only what can happen does happen. ~Watchmen
    When the Standard is defined you will know how right or wrong you are.

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    Re: Case for the Bible

    Quote Originally Posted by Turtleflipper View Post
    So...can we debate you on this or not?
    On the UNIQUENESS of the Bible? Of course.
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