Friday, January 8, 2010

Is the Bible an Accurate Text?

Sir Frederic G. Kenyon, in The Story of the Bible, notes that
"For all the works of classical antiquity we have to depend on manuscripts written long after their original composition. The author who is the best case in this respect is Virgil, yet the earliest manuscript of Virgil that we now possess was written some 350 years after his death. For all other classical writers, the interval between the date of the author and the earliest extant manuscript of his works is much greater. For Livy it is about 500 years, for Horace 900, for most of Plato 1,300, for Euripides 1,600."
Yet no one seriously disputes that we have accurate copies of the works of these writers. However, in the case of the New Testament we have parts of manuscripts dating from the first and early second centuries, only a few decades after the works were penned.

Not only are the biblical manuscripts that we have older than those for classical authors, we have, in sheer numbers, far more manuscripts from which to work. Some are whole books of the Bible, others fragments of just a few words, but there are literally thousands of manuscripts in Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Coptic, Syriac, and other languages. This means that we can be sure we have an authentic text, and we can work from it with confidence.

The authority of the Bible rests on the authority of the Catholic Church. Either the Catholic Church had the authority to do this or they didn’t. We can see through history and reason that they did have this authority. Therefore, I believe the Bible is the Inspired Word of God.
So the only rational reason we can believe that the Bible is the Inspired Word of God is essentially because the Catholic Church has revealed that to us by their authority given to it by Christ. And if we trust the Catholic Church to determine its canon, perhaps we should also trust it to interpret it for us. After all, that’s why God gave us a Church with the authority to do such things.
“I would not believe in the Gospels were it not for the authority of the Catholic Church” St. Augustine
. . . . more about this @ Fallible Blogma, an absolutely wonderful resource on the internet!

The content in blue is quoted in full from Catholic Answers  in the article entitled, "Proving Inspiration"
The last paragraph is quoted from, Why Should We Believe in the Bible @ Fallible Blogma. 
The link provided for more information about St Augustine leads back to Villanova University

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES: Links of interest for more Augustinian detail:
arrowBullet.jpg (4876 bytes) History of the Order
arrowBullet.jpg (4876 bytes) Augustine Rule
arrowBullet.jpg (4876 bytes) Saints of the Order 
     arrowBullet.jpg (4876 bytes)St. Augustine
     arrowBullet.jpg (4876 bytes)St. Clare of Montefalco
     arrowBullet.jpg (4876 bytes)St. John of Sahagun
     arrowBullet.jpg (4876 bytes)St. John Stone
     arrowBullet.jpg (4876 bytes)St. Nicholas
     arrowBullet.jpg (4876 bytes)St. Rita of Cascia
     arrowBullet.jpg (4876 bytes)St. Thomas of Villanova
arrowBullet.jpg (4876 bytes) Famous Augustinians
     arrowBullet.jpg (4876 bytes) Luis deLeon
     arrowBullet.jpg (4876 bytes) Martin Luther
     arrowBullet.jpg (4876 bytes) Gregor Mendel
     arrowBullet.jpg (4876 bytes) Andres Urdaneta

Note: Why Should We Believe in the Bible is scheduled to be re-posted (in full) for reference @ A Catholic Notebook in the near future.

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