Sunday, November 17, 2013

P2 - A 12 point critique of History Channel's "Bible Secrets Revealed"

Jude 3-4 "Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.4 For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ."

Today's post will continue what we began yesterday in our 12 point critique of the first episode of a current series on the History Channel called "Bible Secrets Revealed".  For those who may want to view a more detailed and fuller version of the material presented in this post, I invite you once again to view my other blog:
In that blog site I deal more specifically with issues related to the Biblical languages, the text of scripture, theology and church history. In this blogsite (Growing Christian Resources) we cover the practical, doctrinal and supernatural aspects of the Christian walk is it pertains to the study and application of God's Word. Below contains the remaining six points of this twelve point critique, therefore I will begin today's post at point #7 so as to continue where we left off yesterday.  May the body of Christ find either this post (or the other more fuller and detailed post) to be useful in defending and proclaiming the truth of God's Word.

7. Addressing the claim that Jesus usage of the title "Son of Man" has no significant meaning or significance
The History Channel's slate of "experts" claim that Jesus' use of the title "Son of Man" has no point to the meaning of the passage and thus renders its meaning incoherent.  What they fail to realize are a couple of things.  First of all the title "Son of Man" is the most utilized title used by Jesus to describe Himself (some 83 times). Second, the title is used of Daniel's pre-incarnate vision of the "Son of Man" in Daniel 7:13.  Clearly when Jesus uses this title, it is His way of asserting His Deity and Lordship as creator over the Sabbath.

8. Addressing the claim that the material of the Bible was sifted around by early Christians
In the copying of the New Testament the History Channel program claims that the early "book like" documents called "codices" could had lost some leaves in the process of their use by early Christians.  With that likelihood, the History Channel claim we may have missing pages or sections in the New Testament manuscripts and translations. The problem with this claim is that they failed to mention that the early scribes used papyrus scrolls in the first two centuries following the days of Apostles before Codices became popular.  In a scroll you cannot lose pages and when we compare those early papyrus manuscripts with the later codices, we don't find missing sections or pages as alleged by the documentary.

9. Addressing the issue of the ending of Mark's Gospel
The shorter and longer ending of Mark's Gospel is certainly a difficult issue to explain without getting overly technical.  However a few basic considerations can help explain and thus defeat the accusations made by the documentary that we cannot trust the Gospel of Mark.  First of all if one takes Mark's Gospel to be the first written Gospel (as alleged by the show), the longer versus shorter ending issue becomes a very big deal.  However if we take the older and historically substantiated view of Matthew being the first written Gospel, the issue becomes manageable and explainable.  Secondly, the words in Mark 16:9-20 are Jesus' words, and when compared to other parts of other Gospels, match His teachings and words.

10. Addressing the claim that John 7:53-8:11 was inserted by the church and other conspiracies of the church trying suppress the truth
The show claims this section of John's Gospel was a conspiracy insertion made by the KJV translators using texts that contained the passage.  Without a doubt the textual details of the account of the woman caught in adultery is difficult to explain without getting overly technical, however its issues are similar to Mark's ending in that we are dealing with the words of Jesus.  Thankfully John 7:53-8:11 is found in manuscripts far older than the manuscripts available to the KJV translators thus dismissing the "conspiracy" theory proposed by the documentary. Also too, the inclusion of John 7:53-8:11 in no-way destroys the context or flow of John's Gospel.

11. Addressing the claim that various Christian groups today with different interpretations of the Bible prove the Bible to be untrustworthy and corrupted
Just because different Christian groups exist today does not mean the Bible is unreliable.  This particular argument tries to show the Bible to be untrue because of the behaviors of certain groups who in times past may very well has misapplied and taken the Bible out of context.  Such an argument is what we call a "red-herring", meaning that irrelevant information is used to throw the audience off to try to cast doubt on the opposing argument.  The bad behaviors of certain Christian groups have no connection to bad texts, only bad theology and miss-application of the inerrant scriptures.

12. Addressing the notion that Constantine and a group of scholars composed the New Testament at the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D
This argument has been used for years to try to discredit the New Testament.  For one thing the Council of Nicaea was convened to deal with heresies about Jesus and had nothing to do with the forming together of the New Testament.  Secondly, though Constantine may had been questionable in his political and theological policies, he had nothing to do in the forming of the Canon of scripture.  Thirdly, the New Testament Canon was virtually agreed upon by the entire Christian world by at least two centuries prior to Constantine. It truly is shocking that a group of "experts" who work in the fields of religion, church history and New Testament textual criticism would put forth this argument.  The argument is nothing new and was made popularized by Dan Brown's novel "The Davinci Code" several years ago.  Thankfully we have the entire textual history of the New Testament manuscripts to disprove the claims made by the History Channel's so-called experts.  

Concluding thought: If the reader would like a more thorough and technical version of these final six-points of critique, please see my post today at we have witnessed in today's points as well as yesterday's, there is nothing to fear when it comes to the inspiration, reliability and accuracy of the Bible in the Old and New Testaments.

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