Your Christian Cowboy Resource
By Jesse Horton/Cowboys of the Cross
For almost 2,000 years now, the authority of the Bible has been relatively unquestioned. The content has been accepted as true and reliable, even by those who did not follow Christ. However, during the past 200 years or so there has been shift, due in part to the formation of the scientific method, criticism from “higher-
1. Integrity of Transmission – How can a copy of a copy of a copy over thousands of years be the same as the original?
a. The Bible has sold billions of copies all around in the world in different languages and different versions and translations and is the best-
Until the Dead Sea scrolls were found (1947-
b. Another tool we use to determine the authenticity of a document is a copy’s proximity to the original manuscript; the longer the span of time between the origination of the document and the first copies, the lower the degree of authenticity. Also, a high number of copies (not to be confused with translations) of the original manuscript increases the authenticity value.
Plato’s writings originated in 300 BC. The first copies came about in 900 AD (1,200 years later) and there are only 7 copies.
Aristotle’s writings originated in 300 BC. The first copies came about in 1100 AD (1,400 years later) and there are only a few copies in existence.
Homer’s writings originated in 900 BC. The first copies came about in 400 BC (500 years later), but there are several copies in existence.
No one refutes the authenticity of the documents of these men, but the New Testament which originated from 30 AD – 100 AD and has copies dating as early as 125 AD (only 25 years later) is often refuted, even though we have 24,643 agreeing copies of these manuscripts. Trust in the authenticity of the writings of Plato, Aristotle & Homer, but not in the New Testament manuscripts is the height of illogical reasoning.
2. Archeology – Is the Bible historically accurate, or are the stories made up or embellished?
a. Prior to the late 19th century, one of the arguments against the historicity of the Bible was the record of the Hittite civilization in Moses’ writings, though there was no other literary or archeological evidence of any such group of people. But during this time more than 10,000 clay tablets were discovered that recorded over 1,200 years of Hittite civilization.
b. The ten commandments Moses recorded were said to be linguistically too far ahead of its time to have been written by Moses. That is until the discovery of a literary work called The Black Stele, which pre-
c. Solomon’s splendor has long been sought after by archeologists. Liberals insisted that if Solomon’s wealth was described literally and accurately in the Bible there would be abundant evidence of such things. Archeologists silenced critics by finding thousands of horse stalls in Megiddo where Solomon’s stables were.
d. Luke is credited as the historian of the gospel writers (the facts ma’am…just the facts). Sir William Ramsey was a British archeologist who set out to discount Luke’s gospel. Ramsey spent 14 years in Israel trying to derail Luke’s historical account only to say in the end that Luke’s gospel is “unsurpassed in its trustworthiness.”
There are over 25,000 sites, people, and places that are recorded and verified by archeology in the Old Testament alone. Dr. Nelson Glueck, an authority on Israeli archeology says, “No archeological discovery has ever controverted a biblical reference. Scores of archeological findings have been made which confirm in clear outline or in exact detail historical statements.”
3. Continuity in spite of origin – The Bible’s unity of concept, continuity of topic and structure, and brutal honesty indicate divine authorship.
a. There are 40 different contributors in the canonized Christian Bible with varying social, economic, and educational backgrounds that had varying occupations up to king and prophet over a span of 1,500 years; yet, the central theme is Jesus Christ.
b. The heroes of the Christian faith are not your typical squeaky-
b.i. Moses was a murder and had a stutter.
b.ii. Joseph was a bragger.
b.iii. David was an adulterer and a murderer.
b.iv. Solomon partook in every self-
b.v. Paul was a believer in works-
The Bible has been meticulously and accurately copied since the first documents were written, is archeologically and historically accurate, and is so coherent and unified in subject matter despite being authored by 40 very different people – insisting that there must be a single, supernatural author. I want you to understand the Bible is accurate and authentic despite its age, and despite the objection of liberal scholars it withstands scrutiny.
This has been a discussion of the physical and literary authenticity of the Bible. In part 2 we will discuss its spiritual authenticity. It’s not just a historically accurate document, it’s also a document given to us by the God of the universe to teach us how to know him and spend eternity with him.
The research noted in this analysis is largely the initial work of pastor Chip Ingram of Venture Christian Church in Los Gatos, California. I have merely verified his research and rearranged it in an order I feel is more conducive to the thought process.
Why we believe the Bible is trustworthy