On the first day of class, we were asked if we knew where the books of the Bible came from. I had a general idea on how to answer my professor, but felt uncertain about my response. It was at that moment that I was inspired to research the history of scriptures. I suddenly had a desire to discover verifiable facts so that I would be better prepared to give a logical and convincing defense for the book that I so cherished.
My research began by examining the authenticity of the ancient Bible manuscripts. I always believed the books were inspired by a divine authority, and not simply important church documents. My professor, however, insisted that man chose the books of the Bible over a period of time, because they helped the greatest amount of people with their faith.
When I was researching this issue, I discovered that the Catholic and Orthodox Bible have 46 books in the Old Testament, versus the 39 books in the Protestant Bible. This left me wondering why the churches could not come to an agreement on the books that belong to the Biblical canon. Suspicious of all the material that was being presented to me by my professor, I decided to look at the actual manuscripts that were used in the translation of the Bible.
I learned that one of the most important findings came between 1947 and 1956 in Qumran, Israel, when the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. Theses scrolls were very important, because they allowed us to read manuscripts about a thousand years older than the Masoretic text, on which the Old Testament is based. I learned that some claim that these scrolls are a hoax, created... [continues]
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