to investigating the Bible
must be no barriers to freedom of inquiry."
supernatural is the natural not yet understood."
line of reasoning will be our basis for arguing the authority the Bible;
an argument that begins with having reliable source manuscripts. But just
how reliable are those manuscripts? In other words, How
do we know if what we read in the Bible today is that which was actually
written long ago?
This is a very good
question; one which is complicated by language barriers, textual variations
among multiple copies of the same passages, and the existence of various
translations of the Bible. In order to answer this question, we need to
first investigate the integrity and authenticity of those early writings.
1.2 What is the scientific method of investigation?
Josh McDowell writes that there are two basic methods of investigation.
One, the scientific method, involves creating a controlled situation
where the subject can be repeated with data drawn and hypotheses made.
This method is valid for proving laws of physics and mechanical principles,
but it is largely incapable of determining the historicity of past events.
The scientific method,
as an example, can predict how long after conception a child will be born
by studying pregnancies and the variables involved. However, the scientific
method cannot repeat your particular birth to prove to me, or to anyone
else, that it was truly you who were born.
1.3 What is the legal method of investigation?
If your birth cannot
be experimentally reproduced to scientifically prove it's really you standing
before me, or before a passport officer or county clerk, then just how do
they go about determining your age and who you are?
In each of these latter
cases, the legal method of investigation is employed. The legal method
of analysis acquires knowledge of the past based upon written or oral testimony,
and then determines its historical accuracy.
The legally acceptable
proof of our existence in the above cases could be a birth certificate or
driver's license. Similarly, once we authenticate the integrity and veracity
of Scripture, it too then becomes a legitimate source of information about
the past. The next page begins this investigation.
NEXT: What is inspiration?
Introduction to Veracity
Introduction to Divinity
Introduction to Authority