Is the Bible accurate?
Updated: Nov 19, 2018
If you've ever read the comments section of a Christian YouTube video, you're bound to find someone talking about how the Bible has been translated a thousand times and we have no idea what it actually says. The very moment someone brings up this argument, the lunch bell rings. Lunch time. This argument has been chewed up and spit out a million times, and if a person holds this view, they simply aren't aware of the facts (which we lovingly inform them of).
If the Bible is one thing, it is accurate to the original text. There is no other ancient text that is as accurate to the original text as your Bible. There isn't even a close second!
Scholars use something called textual criticism in order to check the accuracy of a text. This is when you take all the manuscripts (early copies) that you have and compare them to each other. This is done in order to find variants in the text. For example, say we have 4 manuscripts of the Bible. One came from Israel, one came from China, another from Egypt, and the last one came from Northern New Jersey (how you doin). If the manuscripts from Israel, China, and Egypt say, "for God so loved the world" but the manuscript from NJ says "for God so loved the Yankees", we can conclude that the word Yankees was added in down the line. So, the more the manuscripts, the better you can criticize a text.
Here is a chart that I find useful in understanding just how accurate the Bible is compared to other ancient texts.
Let me do a little explaining so you can fully understand the chart.
We have 7 early manuscripts of Plato's writings. The time between when Plato was alive (the 400's BC) and the time of the earliest manuscript's date (around 800 AD) is 1200 years. This is important because so many variants can happen between when it was written and when that "first" copy that we have was written.
The New Testament was written between 50-100 AD. Our earliest manuscripts are dated around 130 AD. That means it is likely that eyewitnesses and children of the authors, etc, were still around. The gap between the originals and the earliest manuscripts is extremely minuscule. On top of that, we have so many manuscripts it's not even funny. 5600 as compared to the second ranked ancient text which has 643.
I am aware that the "99.5%" may actually be troubling to many Christians. I will not get into that .5% on this post, because it is worthy of its own, but you can be sure that the controversial .5% does not affect any kind of major doctrine or belief. Also, don't jump to the conclusion that I am saying there are errors in God's word. There are no errors in the words that were originally given to the writers of the Bible. Errors are made by fallible humans attempting to translate God's words to their own language.
Be confident Dingers! Your Bible is accurate!
Ding on Dingerz