Learning some of the history of Christianity in the early centuries was startling and eye opening for me.
In my investigation, it became clear that I should be asking myself about the history and reliability of the Bible. I began to look at not only the message of the Bible, but also ask myself:
“What is the Bible?”
Most Christians will answer that, “the Bible is the Word of God.”
Naturally, I needed to justify my faith in this scripture being “the Word of God.”
To show that the Bible is the “Word of God”, it is necessary to show that the words of God were dictated to man to be penned by human hands and that the book known today as the Bible is a conglomeration of these words of God.
I found that many Christians, including me, believed that the Bible is the “Word of God” because it has been traditionally accepted as such. So I had to ask, “When did that tradition begin?”
The Bible itself says, “but test everything; hold fast what is good.” (I Thess. 5:21)
Jesus himself warns against following the man-made rather than the God-given when he quotes from the prophet Isaiah, “(God says:) In vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrine the precepts of men.” (Mathew 15:9)
I begin by examining the men whose hands penned these “Words of God.” In many cases, authorship of the books of the Bible is not definitively known. I am especially referring to all the books of the Old Testament and some of the books of the New Testament including the Gospels, Hebrews, the letters of John, and Revelations.
When authorship is unknown or doubtful, it becomes impossible to judge the integrity of either author or book as being of divine revelation. Most scholars believe that all of the Old Testament had to be rewritten after King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon conquered and burnt down Jerusalem.
Secondly, when reading the Bible, one encounters many errors and contradictions. [For some examples see verses: John 1:29 and Mathew 11:3; Mathew 21:2-7 and Mark 11:2-7; Mathew 27:28 and Mark 15:17; Mathew 27:55, Luke 23:49 and John 19:25; Mark 15:32 and Luke 23:39-43; Acts 9:7 and Acts 22:9; Mathew 10:2-5 and Luke 6:13-16; John 20:9 and Luke 24:6-7; Mark 2:25-26 and I Sam 21: 1-6; John 3:13 and II Kings 2:11-12 and Heb 11:5; John 5:31 and John 8:14; Mathew 27:5 and Acts 1:18; Mathew 1:2-16 and Luke 3:23-38; II Sam 24:1 and I Chron. 21:1; I Kings 7:26 and II Chron. 4:5, for 100% plagiarism see II Kings 19 and Isaiah 37.]
Can the “Words” of God contain error? Certainly not! A true revelation from God is free from all error. Errors can only indicate manipulations made by man.
In the Bible one also finds God’s prophets degraded by acts of idolatry, incest, murder, adultery, etc. (II Samuel 11:2-27, Isaiah 20:2-3, Genesis 19:30-38, I Kings 11, Judges 16:1, Genesis 32:25-30, Ezekiel 4.)
Is it possible that God chose such weak individuals for such holy missions? Is it not more likely that God chose men of outstanding character to deliver His messages?
Thirdly, since many Christians claim that their faith is based on the supposed words of Jesus himself (peace be upon him), it is important to note that the synoptic Gospels were not written by eyewitnesses to the events they describe, They portray “a second generation view of Jesus Christ” (Christian Bible commentary). There also exists no record of Jesus’ sayings in their original language, the language Jesus spoke.
Fourthly, about the New Testament Epistles, I had to wonder, what makes one man’s biography of another man or one pastor’s letters to his congregations the “Words of God”? One might answer that they wrote being filled with inspiration from the Holy Spirit, but we read in the New Testament that many of the apostles were filled with the Holy Spirit and then preached.
Does that also make all of the words they preached “Words of God”? When a pastor today is filled with the Holy Spirit and writes letters to his congregation, should his letters also be considered the “Word of God”?
The more I learned about the Bible, the more I knew that I could not rely on it to be the unadulterated Word of God. Yet, Islam itself indirectly claimed that what has been changed in the Bible is less than what has not been changed.
The Quran discredits the “People of the Book”, the Jews and Christians for not following their scriptures and for changing the meanings of their scriptures.
It became reasonable and appropriate to ask if Muslim scripture was any better. I examined the Holy Quran just as I examined the Bible.