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  • Website: Read the Church Fathers

    I'm very glad I came across this site. It is here (http://readthefathers.org/) where they proscribe readings from the writing of the first 700 years or so of Christianity. I think more people should read the church fathers, and this provides an excellent way of doing it.
    A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
    -R.A. Heinlein

  • #2
    Re: Website: Read the Church Fathers

    Originally posted by adampjr View Post
    I'm very glad I came across this site. It is here (http://readthefathers.org/) where they proscribe readings from the writing of the first 700 years or so of Christianity. I think more people should read the church fathers, and this provides an excellent way of doing it.
    Notice how nobody is responding?

    At this forum, there are those who equate the writings of the Early Church leaders as being in error. Those leaders - some of them who sat at the feet of John the Beloved - say things that contradict current church doctrine. That being the case, they are disregarded by modern Protestants. Somehow, the Early Church Fathers are considered to be "in error."
    Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.
    George Orwell

    www.r2ucv.com



    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Website: Read the Church Fathers

      Originally posted by adampjr View Post
      I'm very glad I came across this site. It is here (http://readthefathers.org/) where they proscribe readings from the writing of the first 700 years or so of Christianity. I think more people should read the church fathers, and this provides an excellent way of doing it.
      I read an article in "The Ex-Catholic Journal" that says "some of the writings attributed to the Church Fathers have been found to be forgeries, while others have been taken out of context. Doctrines such as the Immaculate Conception, the Assumption, the perpetual virginity of Mary, the papacy, purgatory and transubstantiation are alleged to be supported in these early writings." I hear Roman Catholics quote the Church Fathers a lot in an effort to support their doctrines. That is a red flag for me. The article went on to say that "most of the copies of copies of copies of the Church Fathers that we possess today were copied during the time that the Roman Catholic church controlled the flow of literature in Europe." That would explain a lot! We do not have any original copies of their writings, only copies of copies of copies which were copied and preserved by the Roman Catholic church. God promised to preserve His Word, found in the Bible, but not these early writings of the Church Fathers. We can fully trust in God's infallible Word, but not the fallible writings of men.
      Galatians 6:14 - But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Website: Read the Church Fathers

        Originally posted by mailmandan View Post
        I read an article in "The Ex-Catholic Journal" that says "some of the writings attributed to the Church Fathers have been found to be forgeries, while others have been taken out of context. Doctrines such as the Immaculate Conception, the Assumption, the perpetual virginity of Mary, the papacy, purgatory and transubstantiation are alleged to be supported in these early writings." I hear Roman Catholics quote the Church Fathers a lot in an effort to support their doctrines. That is a red flag for me. The article went on to say that "most of the copies of copies of copies of the Church Fathers that we possess today were copied during the time that the Roman Catholic church controlled the flow of literature in Europe." That would explain a lot! We do not have any original copies of their writings, only copies of copies of copies which were copied and preserved by the Roman Catholic church. God promised to preserve His Word, found in the Bible, but not these early writings of the Church Fathers. We can fully trust in God's infallible Word, but not the fallible writings of men.
        You realize that the Roman Catholic Church is not the only church that has such documents?

        If I understand your position, you don;t like the church fathers because sometimes the RCC cites them?
        A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
        -R.A. Heinlein

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Website: Read the Church Fathers

          I purchased the early church fathers. Educated protestant leaders refer to the church fathers quite regularly. The Roman Catholic Church doesn't have a monopoly on them.

          In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity. - Rupertus Meldenius

          Read your Bible and pray every single day. - Pastor Jon Courson

          If your grace ain't greasier than a bucket full of chitlin's and gravy, you might be a legalist - an internet friend.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Website: Read the Church Fathers

            Originally posted by TrustGzus View Post
            I purchased the early church fathers. Educated protestant leaders refer to the church fathers quite regularly. The Roman Catholic Church doesn't have a monopoly on them.
            Not to mention every chruch east of western Europe.
            A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
            -R.A. Heinlein

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Website: Read the Church Fathers

              Originally posted by mailmandan View Post
              I read an article in "The Ex-Catholic Journal" that says "some of the writings attributed to the Church Fathers have been found to be forgeries, while others have been taken out of context. Doctrines such as the Immaculate Conception, the Assumption, the perpetual virginity of Mary, the papacy, purgatory and transubstantiation are alleged to be supported in these early writings." I hear Roman Catholics quote the Church Fathers a lot in an effort to support their doctrines. That is a red flag for me. The article went on to say that "most of the copies of copies of copies of the Church Fathers that we possess today were copied during the time that the Roman Catholic church controlled the flow of literature in Europe." That would explain a lot! We do not have any original copies of their writings, only copies of copies of copies which were copied and preserved by the Roman Catholic church. God promised to preserve His Word, found in the Bible, but not these early writings of the Church Fathers. We can fully trust in God's infallible Word, but not the fallible writings of men.
              Hey Dan,

              Just some thoughts . . .

              Some of the writings are forgeries. Modern productions today provide introductions to the books let you know which ones are forgeries.

              You mention some have been taken out of context. Well, the Bible is regularly taken out of context, but we don't avoid the Bible because of this. The best way to counter out of context use of the fathers is to quote them in context and challenge the abusers.

              As for only copies of copies . . . toss the Bible on the same logic. We have no original manuscript for any book of the Bible.

              The early church fathers are getting a bad rap from some people.

              In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity. - Rupertus Meldenius

              Read your Bible and pray every single day. - Pastor Jon Courson

              If your grace ain't greasier than a bucket full of chitlin's and gravy, you might be a legalist - an internet friend.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Website: Read the Church Fathers

                I've seen people quote the ECF's out of context concerning a particular doctrine here in Bible Chat. Best to read them for yourself so you'll know. It'll also cast light on a lot of false doctrine that has crept into the church since the rcc.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Website: Read the Church Fathers

                  Originally posted by adampjr View Post
                  You realize that the Roman Catholic Church is not the only church that has such documents?

                  If I understand your position, you don;t like the church fathers because sometimes the RCC cites them?
                  I don't personally dislike the church fathers. I just don't completely trust in their writings. These men were not infallible and their writings which we have are copies of copies of copies. I grew up in the Roman Catholic church and they continuously quoted the church fathers as if they must be right about everything, since they were alive closer to the time that Christ walked the earth. Doctrines such as the Immaculate Conception, the Assumption, the perpetual virginity of Mary, the papacy, purgatory, transubstantiation and baptismal regeneration are alleged to be supported in these early writings. They also use this logic to promote the RCC as being the one and only "true church" that has existed from the beginning along with these doctrines.

                  Here are some quotations from the church fathers that I agree with:

                  Clement of Rome: "We also, being called through God's will in Christ Jesus, are not justified through ourselves, neither through our own wisdom or understanding, or piety, or works which we have done in holiness or heart, but through faith" (Epistle to Corinthians).

                  Ignatius: "His cross, and his death, and his resurrection, and the faith which is through him, are my unpolluted muniments; and in these, through your prayers, I am willing to be justified (Epistle to Philadelphians). Note: "muniments" are title deeds, documents giving evidence of legal ownership of something.

                  Polycarp: "I know that through grace you are saved, not of works, but by the will of God, through Jesus Christ (Epistle of Philippians).

                  Justin Martyr: "No longer by the blood of goats and of sheep, or by the ashes of a heifer...are sins purged, but by faith, through the blood of Christ and his death, who died on this very account (Dialogue with Trypho). "God gave his own Son the ransom for us...for what, save his righteousness, could cover our sins. In whom was it possible that we, transgressors and ungodly as we were, could be justified, save in the Son of God alone? ...O unexpected benefit, that the transgression of many should be hidden in one righteous Person and that the righteousness of One should justify many transgressors" (Letter to Diognetus).

                  Ireneus: "Through the obedience of one man who first was born from the Virgin, many should be justified and receive salvation."

                  Cyprian: "If Abraham believed in God and it was imputed to him for righteousness, then each one, who believes in God and lives by faith, is found to be a righteous person."

                  Athanasius: "Not by these (i.e. human efforts) but by faith, a man is justified as was Abraham."

                  Basil: "This is the true and perfect glorying in God, when a man is not lifted up on account of his own righteousness, but has known himself to be wanting in true righteousness and to be justified by faith alone in Christ."

                  Ambrose: "Without the works of the law, to an ungodly man, that is to say, a Gentile, believing in Christ, his "faith is imputed for righteousness" as also it was to Abraham."

                  Origen: "Through faith, without the works of the law, the dying thief was justified, because...the Lord inquired not what he had previously wrought, nor yet waited for his performance of some work after he should have believe; but...he took him unto himself for a companion, justified through his confession alone."

                  Jerome: "When an ungodly man is converted, God justified him through faith alone, not on account of good works which he possessed not."

                  Chrysostom: "What then did God do? He made (says Paul) a righteous Person (Christ) to be a sinner, in order that he might make sinners righteous... it is the righteousness of God, when we are justified, not by works...but by grace, where all sin is made to vanish away."

                  Chrysostom: "Again, they said that he who adhered to Faith alone was cursed, but he shows that he who adhered to Faith alone, is blessed."

                  Augustine: "Grace is given to you, not wages paid to you...it is called grace because it is given gratuitously. By no precedent merits did you buy what you have received. The sinner therefore received this grace first, that his sins should be forgiven him...good works follow after a justified person; they do not go before in order that he may be justified...good works, following after justification, show what a man has received."

                  Augustine: "Now, having duly considered and weighed all these circumstances and testimonies, we conclude that a man is not justified by the precepts of a holy life, but by faith in Jesus Christ,--in a word, not by the law of works, but by the law of faith; not by the letter, but by the spirit; not by the merits of deeds, but by free grace."

                  Anselm: "Do you believe that you cannot be saved but by the death of Christ? Go, then, and ...put all your confidence in this death alone. If God shall say to you, "You are a sinner", say to him, "I place the death of our Lord Jesus Christ between me and my sin."

                  Bernard of Clairvaux: "Shall not all our righteousness turn out to be mere unrighteousness and deficiency? What, then, shall it be concerning our sins, when not even our righteousness can answer for itself? Wherefore...let us flee, with all humility to Mercy which alone can save our souls...whoever hungers and thirsts after righteousness, let him believe in thee, who "justified the ungodly"; and thus, being justified by faith alone, he shall have peace with God."

                  Galatians 6:14 - But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Website: Read the Church Fathers

                    Originally posted by TrustGzus View Post
                    Hey Dan,

                    Just some thoughts . . .

                    Some of the writings are forgeries. Modern productions today provide introductions to the books let you know which ones are forgeries.
                    Why am I not surprised?

                    You mention some have been taken out of context. Well, the Bible is regularly taken out of context, but we don't avoid the Bible because of this. The best way to counter out of context use of the fathers is to quote them in context and challenge the abusers.
                    Good point.

                    As for only copies of copies . . . toss the Bible on the same logic. We have no original manuscript for any book of the Bible.
                    Yet, but God has promised to preserve His word. The words of the Lord are pure words, Like silver tried in a furnace of earth, Purified seven times. You shall keep them, O Lord, You shall preserve them from this generation forever (Psalm 12:6-7). Jesus said, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away" (Mark 13:31). Even though we don't have the original manuscripts, by practicing the science of textual criticism - comparing all the available manuscripts with each other - we can come to an assurance regarding what the original document must have said.

                    Let us suppose we have five manuscript copies of an original document that no longer exists. Each of the manuscript copies are different. Our goal is to compare the manuscript copies and ascertain what the original must have said. Here are the five copies:

                    Manuscript #1: Jesus Christ is the Savior of the whole worl.

                    Manuscript #2: Christ Jesus is the Savior of the whole world.

                    Manuscript #3: Jesus Christ s the Savior of the whole world.

                    Manuscript #4: Jesus Christ is th Savior of the whle world.

                    Manuscript #5: Jesus Christ is the Savor of the whole wrld.

                    Could you, by comparing the manuscript copies, ascertain what the original document said with a high degree of certainty that you are correct? Of course you could.

                    This illustration may be extremely simplistic, but a great majority of the variants are solved by the above methodology.

                    By comparing the various manuscripts, all of which contain very minor differences like the above, it becomes clear what the original must have said.

                    Most of the manuscript variations concern matters of spelling, word order, tenses, and the like; no single doctrine is affected by them in any way.

                    We must also emphasize that the sheer volume of manuscripts we possess greatly narrows the margin of doubt regarding what the original biblical document said.

                    There are more than 24,000 partial and complete manuscript copies of the New Testament.
                    The Dead Sea Scrolls prove the accuracy of the transmission of the Bible.

                    In fact, in these scrolls discovered at Qumran in 1947, we have Old Testament manuscripts that date about a thousand years earlier (150 B.C.) than the other Old Testament manuscripts then in our possession (which dated to A.D. 900).

                    The significant thing is that when one compares the two sets of manuscripts, it is clear that they are essentially the same, with very few changes.

                    The fact that manuscripts separated by a thousand years are essentially the same indicates the incredible accuracy of the Old Testament's manuscript transmission.

                    A full copy of the Book of Isaiah was discovered at Qumran.

                    Even though the two copies of Isaiah discovered in Qumran Cave 1 near the Dead Sea in 1947 were a thousand years earlier than the oldest dated manuscript previously known (A.D. 980), they proved to be word for word identical with our standard Hebrew Bible in more than 95 percent of the text.

                    The 5 percent of variation consisted chiefly of obvious slips of the pen and variations in spelling."

                    From manuscript discoveries like the Dead Sea Scrolls, Christians have undeniable evidence that today's Old Testament Scripture, for all practical purposes, is exactly the same as it was when originally inspired by God and recorded in the Bible.

                    Combine this with the massive amount of manuscript evidence we have for the New Testament, and it is clear that the Christian Bible is a trustworthy and reliable book.


                    The early church fathers are getting a bad rap from some people.
                    My main argument is "they are not infallible," their writings are "not inspired." Everything they say must be tested in light of what God's Word says.
                    Galatians 6:14 - But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Website: Read the Church Fathers

                      Originally posted by mailmandan View Post
                      I don't personally dislike the church fathers. I just don't completely trust in their writings. These men were not infallible and their writings which we have are copies of copies of copies. I grew up in the Roman Catholic church and they continuously quoted the church fathers as if they must be right about everything, since they were alive closer to the time that Christ walked the earth. Doctrines such as the Immaculate Conception, the Assumption, the perpetual virginity of Mary, the papacy, purgatory, transubstantiation and baptismal regeneration are alleged to be supported in these early writings. They also use this logic to promote the RCC as being the one and only "true church" that has existed from the beginning along with these doctrines.

                      Here are some quotations from the church fathers that I agree with:

                      Clement of Rome: "We also, being called through God's will in Christ Jesus, are not justified through ourselves, neither through our own wisdom or understanding, or piety, or works which we have done in holiness or heart, but through faith" (Epistle to Corinthians).

                      Ignatius: "His cross, and his death, and his resurrection, and the faith which is through him, are my unpolluted muniments; and in these, through your prayers, I am willing to be justified (Epistle to Philadelphians). Note: "muniments" are title deeds, documents giving evidence of legal ownership of something.

                      Polycarp: "I know that through grace you are saved, not of works, but by the will of God, through Jesus Christ (Epistle of Philippians).

                      Justin Martyr: "No longer by the blood of goats and of sheep, or by the ashes of a heifer...are sins purged, but by faith, through the blood of Christ and his death, who died on this very account (Dialogue with Trypho). "God gave his own Son the ransom for us...for what, save his righteousness, could cover our sins. In whom was it possible that we, transgressors and ungodly as we were, could be justified, save in the Son of God alone? ...O unexpected benefit, that the transgression of many should be hidden in one righteous Person and that the righteousness of One should justify many transgressors" (Letter to Diognetus).

                      Ireneus: "Through the obedience of one man who first was born from the Virgin, many should be justified and receive salvation."

                      Cyprian: "If Abraham believed in God and it was imputed to him for righteousness, then each one, who believes in God and lives by faith, is found to be a righteous person."

                      Athanasius: "Not by these (i.e. human efforts) but by faith, a man is justified as was Abraham."

                      Basil: "This is the true and perfect glorying in God, when a man is not lifted up on account of his own righteousness, but has known himself to be wanting in true righteousness and to be justified by faith alone in Christ."

                      Ambrose: "Without the works of the law, to an ungodly man, that is to say, a Gentile, believing in Christ, his "faith is imputed for righteousness" as also it was to Abraham."

                      Origen: "Through faith, without the works of the law, the dying thief was justified, because...the Lord inquired not what he had previously wrought, nor yet waited for his performance of some work after he should have believe; but...he took him unto himself for a companion, justified through his confession alone."

                      Jerome: "When an ungodly man is converted, God justified him through faith alone, not on account of good works which he possessed not."

                      Chrysostom: "What then did God do? He made (says Paul) a righteous Person (Christ) to be a sinner, in order that he might make sinners righteous... it is the righteousness of God, when we are justified, not by works...but by grace, where all sin is made to vanish away."

                      Chrysostom: "Again, they said that he who adhered to Faith alone was cursed, but he shows that he who adhered to Faith alone, is blessed."

                      Augustine: "Grace is given to you, not wages paid to you...it is called grace because it is given gratuitously. By no precedent merits did you buy what you have received. The sinner therefore received this grace first, that his sins should be forgiven him...good works follow after a justified person; they do not go before in order that he may be justified...good works, following after justification, show what a man has received."

                      Augustine: "Now, having duly considered and weighed all these circumstances and testimonies, we conclude that a man is not justified by the precepts of a holy life, but by faith in Jesus Christ,--in a word, not by the law of works, but by the law of faith; not by the letter, but by the spirit; not by the merits of deeds, but by free grace."

                      Anselm: "Do you believe that you cannot be saved but by the death of Christ? Go, then, and ...put all your confidence in this death alone. If God shall say to you, "You are a sinner", say to him, "I place the death of our Lord Jesus Christ between me and my sin."

                      Bernard of Clairvaux: "Shall not all our righteousness turn out to be mere unrighteousness and deficiency? What, then, shall it be concerning our sins, when not even our righteousness can answer for itself? Wherefore...let us flee, with all humility to Mercy which alone can save our souls...whoever hungers and thirsts after righteousness, let him believe in thee, who "justified the ungodly"; and thus, being justified by faith alone, he shall have peace with God."

                      "Alleged" to be supported? So you don't know?

                      Stick to the Early Church fathers from the time of the crucifixion until the first two hundred years are passed. Read them and see what you think.
                      Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.
                      George Orwell

                      www.r2ucv.com



                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Website: Read the Church Fathers

                        Yea. Also, notice that the site is not called "Read the Fathers and they are Infallible." Just read the fathers. The opinions of influential early Christians are worth understanding the history and development of our faith.

                        Church history, contrary to what some churches appear to believe, did not begin in the 1500s.
                        A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
                        -R.A. Heinlein

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Website: Read the Church Fathers

                          The preachers and teachers we listen to today's are generally accepted to be correct. People want to deny the understanding of the "very early" church fathers because of what they wrote. Was it because they are wrong or because our teachers today are wrong? We owe it to God to find out.
                          Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.
                          George Orwell

                          www.r2ucv.com



                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Website: Read the Church Fathers

                            The big difference Boo is that today's audience is for the most part educated and able to interpret scripture on their own as opposed to the times of the church Fathers, who for the most part spoke to an uneducated audience and seldom were they questioned about what they said. Their words were taken as gospel truth (even infallable) because the lay had no means to verify what they were saying



                            Originally posted by Boo View Post
                            The preachers and teachers we listen to today's are generally accepted to be correct. People want to deny the understanding of the "very early" church fathers because of what they wrote. Was it because they are wrong or because our teachers today are wrong? We owe it to God to find out.
                            Amazzin

                            Obedience to God is more than a soldier obeying his commander. It is our grateful response to the Lover of our souls.

                            CHURCH: Where worship is enjoyed, not endured - Grace is preached, not legalism - And Christ is exalted, not religion!



                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Website: Read the Church Fathers

                              Originally posted by mailmandan View Post
                              [FONT=Arial][SIZE=2]
                              Yet, but God has promised to preserve His word. The words of the Lord are pure words, Like silver tried in a furnace of earth, Purified seven times. You shall keep them, O Lord, You shall preserve them from this generation forever (Psalm 12:6-7). Jesus said, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away" (Mark 13:31). Even though we don't have the original manuscripts, by practicing the science of textual criticism - comparing all the available manuscripts with each other - we can come to an assurance regarding what the original document must have said.
                              Dan, I don't think those verses support the point you are attempting to make. In fact, I know for sure Psalm 12:6-7 isn't because the preservation is of the people in verse 5, not the words in verse 6. Go to any modern translation and you'll see this clearly. You quoted the KJV or something very similar which is a poor translation of the Hebrew.
                              Originally posted by mailmandan View Post
                              [FONT=Arial][SIZE=2]
                              Let us suppose we have five manuscript copies of an original document that no longer exists. Each of the manuscript copies are different. Our goal is to compare the manuscript copies and ascertain what the original must have said. Here are the five copies:

                              Manuscript #1: Jesus Christ is the Savior of the whole worl.

                              Manuscript #2: Christ Jesus is the Savior of the whole world.

                              Manuscript #3: Jesus Christ s the Savior of the whole world.

                              Manuscript #4: Jesus Christ is th Savior of the whle world.

                              Manuscript #5: Jesus Christ is the Savor of the whole wrld.
                              Looks like a page out of Reasoning From the Scriptures with the Mormons by Ron Rhodes. I agree with this overall point, but your response here is going on a tangent that misses the point of what I said. I say I agree with this overall because not all variants are as easy as this example from Ron.
                              Originally posted by mailmandan View Post

                              Could you, by comparing the manuscript copies, ascertain what the original document said with a high degree of certainty that you are correct? Of course you could.

                              This illustration may be extremely simplistic, but a great majority of the variants are solved by the above methodology.

                              By comparing the various manuscripts, all of which contain very minor differences like the above, it becomes clear what the original must have said.

                              Most of the manuscript variations concern matters of spelling, word order, tenses, and the like; no single doctrine is affected by them in any way.

                              We must also emphasize that the sheer volume of manuscripts we possess greatly narrows the margin of doubt regarding what the original biblical document said.

                              There are more than 24,000 partial and complete manuscript copies of the New Testament.
                              The Dead Sea Scrolls prove the accuracy of the transmission of the Bible.

                              In fact, in these scrolls discovered at Qumran in 1947, we have Old Testament manuscripts that date about a thousand years earlier (150 B.C.) than the other Old Testament manuscripts then in our possession (which dated to A.D. 900).

                              The significant thing is that when one compares the two sets of manuscripts, it is clear that they are essentially the same, with very few changes.

                              The fact that manuscripts separated by a thousand years are essentially the same indicates the incredible accuracy of the Old Testament's manuscript transmission.

                              A full copy of the Book of Isaiah was discovered at Qumran.

                              Even though the two copies of Isaiah discovered in Qumran Cave 1 near the Dead Sea in 1947 were a thousand years earlier than the oldest dated manuscript previously known (A.D. 980), they proved to be word for word identical with our standard Hebrew Bible in more than 95 percent of the text.

                              The 5 percent of variation consisted chiefly of obvious slips of the pen and variations in spelling."

                              From manuscript discoveries like the Dead Sea Scrolls, Christians have undeniable evidence that today's Old Testament Scripture, for all practical purposes, is exactly the same as it was when originally inspired by God and recorded in the Bible.

                              Combine this with the massive amount of manuscript evidence we have for the New Testament, and it is clear that the Christian Bible is a trustworthy and reliable book.




                              My main argument is "they are not infallible," their writings are "not inspired." Everything they say must be tested in light of what God's Word says.
                              I agree with all of this. But all of this is off the mark of what I was saying. Yes, the Bible's transmission is extremely reliable - more so than any book. But just because the church fathers don't have the extent of manuscript evidence that the New Testament has doesn't mean that the article you referred to which says the church father manuscripts are copies of copies way after the fact forces us to conclude we can't trust the reliability of the manuscripts of the fathers. We don't toss all of ancient history because of the Bible's extremely detailed transmission and the fact that the rest of ancient history doesn't have that kind of transmission.

                              Grace & peace to you,

                              Joe

                              In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity. - Rupertus Meldenius

                              Read your Bible and pray every single day. - Pastor Jon Courson

                              If your grace ain't greasier than a bucket full of chitlin's and gravy, you might be a legalist - an internet friend.

                              Comment

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