The Literary Apologetics of the Bible
Beyond the spiritual and historical proofs that defend the truth of the Bible, scholars also use secular literary methods. Some defend the Bible as an accurate historical text, while others disprove anti-biblical theories.
Day One: Textual Criticism
Simply stated, textual criticism is a method used to determine what the original manuscripts of the Bible said. The original manuscripts of the Bible are either lost, hidden, or no longer in existence...
Day Two: The Textus Receptus
The Textus Receptus (Latin for "Received Text") is a Greek New Testament that provided the textual base for the vernacular translations of the Reformation Period. It was a printed text, not a hand-copied manuscript, created in the 15th century...
Day Three: The Majority Text
The Majority Text, also known as the Byzantine and Ecclesiastical Text, is a method of determining the original reading of a Scripture by discovering what reading occurs in a majority of the manuscripts...
Day Four: The Critical Text
The Critical Text is a Greek text of the New Testament that draws from a group of ancient Greek manuscripts and their variants in an attempt to preserve the most accurate wording possible...
Day Five: The Masoretic Text
The Hebrew text of the Old Testament is called the Masoretic Text because in its present form it is based upon the Masora — the Hebrew, textual tradition of the Jewish scholars known as the Masoretes (or Masorites)...
Day Six: The Muratorian Canon
The Muratorian Canon (also called the Muratorian Fragment) is an ancient list of New Testament books — the oldest such list we have found. The original document, which was probably written in Greek, is dated to about AD 180...
Day Seven: Form Criticism
Form criticism is a field of biblical studies that sees the Bible as a collection of traditional stories and sayings (or "units"), which were circulated orally and eventually strung together and preserved in writing...
Day Eight: Source Criticism
Source criticism is a specialized field of biblical studies that seeks to determine the sources used to develop the final form of the biblical text...
Day Nine: The JEDP Theory
In brief, the JEDP theory states that the first five books of the Bible, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, were not written entirely by Moses, who died in the 1400's B.C., but also by different authors/compliers after Moses...
Day Ten: The Q Gospel
The gospel of "Q" gets its title from the German word quelle which means "source." The whole idea of a Q gospel is based on the concept that the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) are so similar that they must have copied from each other and/or another source...
Day Eleven: The Synoptic Problem
When the first three Gospels — Matthew, Mark, and Luke — are compared, it is unmistakable that the accounts are very similar to one another in content and expression. As a result, Matthew, Mark, and Luke are referred to as the "Synoptic Gospels"...
Day Twelve: The Documentary Hypothesis
The documentary hypothesis is essentially an attempt to take the supernatural out of the Pentateuch and to deny its Mosaic authorship...
Day Thirteen: Redaction Criticism & Higher Criticism
Redaction criticism and higher criticism are just a few of many forms of biblical criticism. Their intent is to investigate the Scriptures and make judgments concerning their authorship, historicity, and date of writing...
Day Fourteen: Verbal Plenary Preservation
"Verbal Plenary Preservation" is an argument from textual criticism, which is the study of ancient copies of original manuscripts in order to determine the author's intended meaning...
Day Fifteen: The Aramaic Primacy
The term Aramaic Primacy is used, informally, to refer to the claim that the New Testament was originally written not in Koine Greek but in a dialect of Aramaic. This theory is more commonly referred to as "Peshitta Primacy"...
Day Sixteen: Myths and Legends
There are many stories in the Bible that have remarkable similarities with stories from other religions, legends, and myths. For the purposes of this article, we will examine two of the more prominent examples...
Image Credit: gichristof; "The Gospel according to Luke in ancient Greek (14th century copy)."; Creative Commons
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