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The Bible and Telephone
The Bible, the book of Christians and Jews, is the most powerful book in all time. It has brought tears to men's eyes. It has brought Kings down to their knees in reverence to the Lord. I am tempted to say that it has started wars, though that is incorrect. Which starts the forest fire? The match or the man holding the match? Same goes for the Bible, which is why it is so powerful. Another reason the Bible is so powerful is that the Lord our God is the divine author. He is the reason why we study the book. It is his Word and deserves our complete attention.
The Bible is divided into two parts: the Old Testament, which talks of the history and prophesies leading up to the birth of Christ; the New Testament, which talks of Jesus' life and how he saved us. These two parts if the Bible are consistent and are both inspired by God. Despite the clarity of these Testaments, many people doubt their accuracy. These same people compare it to a child's game called “Telephone”. Why do these people say such things? Because the Bible says we are sinful; because it says that God will judge us for our sins; because the Bible tells the Truth. These people do their best to prove the Bible inaccurate. They make assumptions and call that truth. They take anything they find similar to the history of the Bible, such as the game Telephone, and call it common sense. In this article, I will show you how absurd it is to say that the inspired word of God is a gigantic game of Telephone. I will also try to convince you that the Word of God is indeed the Truth.
The Old Testament books were written by kings, prophets, and leaders. About 800 years separated the first author (Moses) and the last author (Malachi), yet the books are completely consistent with each other. How can this be? The Lord spoke to them, and guided them to write His Word. David wrote of personal experiences, Moses wrote the beginning history of Jews and mankind, and wise King Solomon wrote of love. These books and others are the sacred books of the Jews (and Christians). The priests memorized each verse by heart, and diligently studied it their whole life.
The New Testament books were written by fishermen, tent-makers, tax- collectors, and even a doctor. Some of them were the disciples of Jesus, others became his disciples after he went back home to heaven. Christians savored the words of Christ. They memorized it with their hearts and minds. They went out and preached the Gospel, over and over again. Preachers and missionaries shouted the Word of God to people. Monks painstakingly copied the Gospel on parchment. If they made one mistake, those monks immediately destroyed that page. Throughout history, the Bible has been told from teacher to pupil, father to son, pastor to congregation. Jesus' message lived on through the devout.
A great example for the unchanged Word is the Dead Sea scrolls. They were discovered in caves near the shore of the Dead Sea by a man named Muhammad edh- Dhib and his cousin. These scrolls date back to about 250 B.C - 65A.D. These scrolls have parts and whole books of the old testament, with the exception of Esther. There are also other non-biblical books. After translating the scrolls, archeologists have found that the present day copy of the Bible matches the scrolls with minor spelling differences and punctuation. How some skeptics ignore these facts are beyond me. Some how, the Telephone idea is still tangible. I hope I can bash this idea once and for all.
In the simple game of telephone, a child whispers into the ear of another child a phrase he or she thought up. That child then turns around to the next child and whispers what he heard. It goes around in a circle ending back with the child who started the game. Then he says aloud what he heard and what he originally said. Through out the game, a child is only able to say the phrase once. How a person can say that the history of the Bible is a very large example of this game is absolutely ludicrous.
1) The Christians did not whisper the Gospel. They spoke out loud. It is hard to make out clearly what one is saying when one whispers! This is common sense! In telephone, a person whispers it so no one else can hear you.
2) Christians did not say the Word of God only once. They repeated to themselves, over and over what happened. Why would a Christian say it only once? Not only did they say it, they sang it! In telephone, a person said the phrase once to make it harder for the listener to know what he said.
3) Christians don't tell one person at a time the content of the Bible. They tell whole congregations, countries, as well as the individual person. In telephone, the person tells only one other person the phrase so it can change. That is the fun of the game.
If you changed the game Telephone to match the history of the Bible, you will find that each time, the phrase comes out unchanged, and unaltered. So, to say the reliability of the Bible is untrustworthy because (like that game Telephone) it changed over time, is one giant lie. The Bible is considered the most reliable book on ancient historical events. You can cross-reference the Bible with other sources. A good example is Flavius Josephus. A historian who lived in Jesus' time. Josephus mentioned Jesus twice. This is important because a lot of people don’t even believe that Jesus existed. A good website to visit on this matter is www.tektonics.org/jesusexists/josephus.html. Here they debate fairly on the authenticity of Josephus' writing.
I gave a few out the many reasons why the Bible is authentic, and how it is not like the game Telephone. When you read the Bible, keep in mind how hard people worked to keep God’s Word through out time. I believe that God’s hands were on those people, and on those books. The Bible isn’t just a book, it is a blessing.