The Modern Attack to Destroy the Bible.
"False Scholarship Exposed"
by Cooper P. Abrams, III
*All Rights Reserved.
It is starkly clear that today there is a concentrated effort to discredit the Bible as reliably being the word of God. The News Media, TV, film companies and book publishers are releasing a storm of outrageously false material attacking the credibility of the Bible. The Discovery Channel, History Channel, National Geographic, are continuously running documentaries all claiming to be scientific and factual examinations of the Bible. Each program is presented with an anti-God bias meant to destroy the authenticity of the Bible as being truth and the word of God. It is big business to slander God's word and reaping these media companies multiple millions of dollars in profit.
An example of this mounting attack was "The Da Vinci Code" which is a fictional book based on the blasphemy that Jesus Christ married Mary Magdalene and had children, has sold more than 40 million copies. That includes 12 million hard covers in the United States since it was released in March 2003.1 The Movie released in May 2006 was reported to be the second most successful film opening in history.2 It is amazing that a book with such a heretical plot would be so popular. Even more amazing is that many miss the important fact the book is a work of fiction! Yes, it is a fictional novel! Brown fails to tell his readers the basis of his fictional novel was the discredited heresies of the First and Second Century Gnostics. No Christian church or group has ever accepted these Gnostic "gospels" and being inspired or even historical. The Gnostics, who were heretics in the 1st Century AD, were soundly condemned by the Apostle Paul in the Epistle to the Galatians and all biblical Christians writers since. The Gnostics denied the that Jesus Christ was come in the flesh. They taught they had special secret knowledge that other believers did not have and to receive salvation you had to come to them. They condemned the writers of our New Testament and saw themselves as having a superior knowledge of God. The Gnostics were grossly immortal people believing that what they did in the flesh (sin and immortality) had no effect on their spiritual being and position with God. They were heretics then and they are heretics today.
There are gross errors in historical fact in Brown's book. Brown shows his ignorance and lack of skill as a researcher by stating the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in the 1950's. The fact is they were found in 1947. But if you are writing fiction what you write is fiction. Brown claims the Dead Sea Scrolls are the earliest Christian writings. The historic fact is the Dead Sea Scroll are all Jewish manuscripts of the Old Testament and do not contain ANY Christian material!
Mr. Brown says that Jesus did not claim to be God and that idea only came existence at the Nicene council in 325 AD. Brown clearly never read the New Testament Gospels in which Jesus repeatedly said He was God. He claimed the teachings of Jesus' death, burial and resurrection came from the pre-Christians sect who worshipped a god called Mithras. Even Mithraicism denies Brown's claims believing their god Mithras never died! 3 He ignored, seemingly intentionally, the writers of the New Testament and the early church fathers who all believed, and taught the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. 4
Brown uses the false Gnostic gospel, the Gospel of Philip, to support his claim that Jesus married Mary Magdalene. This "gospel" is an apocryphal book written in the 3rd Century long after Philip lived and has been totally discredited by every creditable scholar for centuries. Further this forgery that claims to be a gospel never states that Jesus married Mary Magdalene or anyone else. It falsely claims to record a special intimate relationship between Mary and Jesus.
The writer of the Da Vinci code shows his inaptness by claiming that Emperor Constantine changed the day Christians worship to Sunday. This is totally inaccurate as Christians met and worshipped from the beginnings of the church age on Sunday as Acts 20:7, 1 Corinthians 16:2 show.
Brown says the bishops that attended the Nicaea Council voted on whether Jesus was to be presented as God and the measure barely passed with a close vote. The fact is no vote of any kind was taken at Nicene. Those that were present were asked to sign the Nicene Creed and of over 300 men present only two did not sign the Creed. Brown's book is full of gross errors and if it were not for the popularity in modern times of defaming God no one would give it a second thought.
Another recent supposed "discovery" that is used to discredit God's word is the Gospel of Judas. The supposed newly found "gospel" claims that Jesus entered a conspiracy with Judas to betray Him and Judas was actually a hero! But let's not let facts get in the way of selling a book and making money. The publishers fail to disclose that Irenaeus Bishop of Lyon, in A.D. 180, in his work, "Adversus Haereses" (Against Heresies) denounced the book as false and fictional. The text is written not in Koine Greek, as the New Testament was written, but in Coptic, which was an Egyptian modified Greek text, devised by Egyptians pagan priests. But like all the supposed "proofs" used to discredit the Bible the merchants in heresy never tell their readers the truth of the origin and character of their materials. We can be sure that in the future they will continue to promote their ungodly goods and to make lots of money.
Modern critics of the Bible in years past claimed that Moses could not have written the Old Testament because writing was not invented when he lived. To their great embarrassment, their theories were proven false by archaeology. Archaeologists unearthed clay tablets at many sites in middle east with cuneiform writing that predated Moses by a thousand years! You would have thought that would have dealt the fatal blown to their credibility as scholars, but it did not. Many still blindly and doggedly hold on to these discredited ideas.
Another embarrassing revelation to these so called scholars was the finding of the Dead Sea Scrolls. These "higher critics" proposed the Old Testament of the 19th Century could not be relied on as genuine because the oldest manuscripts did not date before 800 AD. Again the "scholars" were found with egg on their faces when among the Dead Sea Scrolls was found almost all the Old Testament and were date as far back as 200 B.C. What was amazing and shocking to the followers of the German higher critics was when the modern manuscripts were compared with the Dead Sea Scroll they were 98.8 % word for word! The 1.2 % of the text that differed was in the spelling of words and grammatical differences! This proved an important point. Here was proof positive that for a thousands years the Bible had been passed from generation to generation accurately. Amazingly, many people even to this hour still look to these discredited scholars as having something creditable to say about the authenticity of the Bible which is God's word.
Those that attack the New Testament never reveal to their audiences that there exists close to 6000 extant ancient manuscripts of the New Testament with which we can compare our modern Bible. Further there is another 4000 lectionaries written during the 1st to the 3rd Centuries with further authenticate that our modern New Testament has been correctly transmitted down through history. These so called Bible scholars, are liberals who make a living trying to discredit the Bible, fail to explain that most of the New Testament could be restored from these lectionaries alone. There has been extensive textual studies which compared manuscripts and these investigations show that there are only minor variances in the manuscripts and we definitively know the text of the Original Autographs which were penned by the men God chose to record His word. Yet, among the unbelieving liberals there is a deafening silence as to the overwhelming evidence that our Bible is truly God inspired word.
It is important when you hear someone make a statement about an important subject, to know who that person is, where they came from, their credentials, and what is their interest in making the statement. For example, if you wanted a truthful and unbias evaluation of the United States would you go to Moslem in Palestine? Would a Moslem who has been taught to hate Americans since birth be a creditable scholar on the United States? The answer is obviously no! He has an inherent built in presupposition that Americans are devils and this will idea will corrupt his reasoning. A good example was when a reporter was interviewing Iranian soldiers in a hospital who had been maimed for life in their war with Iraq. They were asked if they blamed Saddam Hussein, who started and directed the war. They replied, No! They blamed the Americans! When the reporter pointed out that it was not the Americans who had wounded them and warred against them, they still claimed it was America's fault! That conclusion defies all logic.
True scholarship examines everything in the light of all available evidence. It is not scholarly to represent a "hypotheses," (which any learned person knows is a unsupported assumption), as proven fact. A true scholar examines a hypotheses by the evidences of his investigations. If he finds facts that support his idea then the hypotheses becomes a "theory." If he does not find the evidence to support the theory, an honest and true scholar then rejects his idea and he starts with a new hypotheses. However, if he finds support for his idea then and only then does it becomes a "theory."
The next step in finding the truth is to examine the theory in light of a more detailed and exhaustive study. The theory is tested and retested by proven demonstrable facts. If the theory can be proved, demonstrated and reproduced by others then it moves on to being accepted as a "law." A law is a proven, repeatable, and demonstrable truth.
Liberal, so called Bible "scholars," have for decades presented what is called the "Documentary Theory" as proving the Bible is not inspired or reliable. The "Documentary Hypotheses" has supposedly cast a long shadow over the authenticity of the Bible. Even among the proponents of the liberal idea of higher criticism it is still called a "hypotheses." It has never gotten out of the first stage of scientific examination because even after over one hundred and fifty years they cannot produce any credible evidence for their ideas! The whole volume of their criticism is based on speculation. It is kept alive by rehashing the same old worn out ideas or trying some new slant such as Yale Professor Harold Bloom who is promoting the idea there was only one writer of the Old Testament who was a woman! 5
One point that should interest anyone who gives any serious credence to the matter of higher criticism is that most of the debate is within its own ranks. Those who know better, the true scholars, just ignore them. There is much disputing among themselves as individuals try to work their ideas to the forefront. It is a shame that on occasion it spills over into the public view and confuses many people who are not aware of what they are being exposed to.
The higher critic's only "claim to fame" is that they have make bold statements purporting that the Bible is not reliable. If they had not made these rash statements about the Bible, no one would have never heard of them. Those who believe, preach and teach the Bible as being the inspired word of God are rarely if ever heard of. This reminds me of the fairy tale of the vain king who was paraded down the streets of his kingdom naked because some deceitful tailor convinced him his clothes were so beautiful they were invisible. Yet, the vain king, though he could not see the clothes, in his vain mind accepted the tailor's claims. On the word of the tailor the king walked naked in the streets and the crowds all clapped, going along with the scam because they were afraid of the king. Then one small boy who was not intimidated by the majesty and power of the king, exclaimed, "The king has no clothes on!" The liberals are like the king. They are walking around vainly naked basking in pride of their ridiculous ideas.
Modern archaeology and science has over and over again proven the Bible accurate on any subject it addresses and still the foolish critics refuse to accept the preponderance of the evidence. Even when someone clearly sees through their deception and cries, "They have no grounds for their statements," they just continue on down the street like nothing happened naked as a Jay bird! The greatest crime of all is that they and the members of their "mutual admiration society" suppose themselves to be scholars, and many gullible and uninformed people believe their nonsense!
There are a few passages in Scripture that have been hard to explain. However, that does not mean we cannot properly interpret them. We must remember the Bible was written over a period of fifteen hundred years. During that time cultures, languages and societies changed. Would you not expect there would be things that we in this day would find difficult to understand because we are far removed from the time it was written? What was normal and common twenty five hundred years ago is not normal and common now. In reverse clearly ancient peoples would find it difficult to understand many modern things also. But because we find it difficult to understand something from the past in no way means that a recorded event did not take place! The problem is not in recording the statement or record, but in our understanding of the matter. When it was written it was fully understood!
Suppose that this paper I am writing is preserved for five hundred years. Some statements I make today, people in a later time would find confusing. Is it reasonable to say then that I did not write this paper or declare this paper uncreditable because someone at a future time does not understand it? The fact is I am writing it. That is the truth of the matter.
One of the supposed evidences of the higher critics is that in some Books of the Bible they notice a change in writing style occurred and assume that this proves the Book was written by one or several writers. This paper you are reading has parts in it that were written in 1987. It was revised in 1990, 1995, and 2006. I have continued my study of the Bible and theology during these past years. I have learned things I did not previously know. I hope too, my writing ability has improved to some degree and on examination you will probably be able to detect the difference. (I hope so anyway!) But again, I am the writer past and present and the article correctly bears my name. Using several different styles of forming words does not change the fact, it is still me! The higher critics do not even consider it possible that one man could write with several styles. The reason they will not accept this possibility is that it is too simple an explanation! And they have other reasons too.
Often they state as fact the existence of earlier documents on which the present Books of the Bible was based. For example they state the present form of the Synoptic Gospels were based on earlier documents and call it the "Documentary Hypothesis." (Note it is not even called a theory, but "hypotheses" which means it is a guess with no evidence) They suppose there existed writers who penned these supposed manuscripts and they name them "J" or "Q" (or some other letter). It is a fact, a pure fact, there is no evidence that these supposed writers or these supposed document ever existed. Not one copy or part of a copy has been found. Nor has any reference to them been found in the writings of those who lived during the times these fictitious documents were suppose to have been written. There is not even the thinnest thread of evidence for these supposed ghost writers. The idea came from the unbelieving and dishonest modern liberal "scholars" to support their false ideas. Yet, if you read the textbooks and papers of most modern liberals, the existence of these earlier documents are presented as real and as fact! It does not take a college education to figure out that when a expert in a field presents something as fact he should at least have some creditable evidence for his conclusion. And if he represents a guess or unsupported assumption as a proven fact, he is no scholar and is shown to be a liar.
There is much support for the biblical criticism because, sad to say, most of mankind is utterly hostile towards God and will not honestly accept the evidence no matter how strong it is. The Bible which is God's Word condemns sin and all wrong doing. That rubs the world wrong because man enjoys his sinful pleasures and does not want to give them up. 6 That is what got this whole mess started in the first place. A good example is J.S. Sember, called the father of German rationalism, which denied the inspiration of Scripture and everything supernatural. His writings were the foundation on which modern liberalism was based. Sember's father was a minister who preached the Bible. Yet, Sember rejected his own father's preaching and example of living a godly and holy life. He renounced God's claims on his life and then set out to prove God's Word in error and null and void. In his warped way of thinking, to destroy the Bible was to destroy his need to obey God. What a foolish thing to do. What does a man gain by lying to himself and denying he was created and is responsible to his Creator.
Carnal man will not accept a God who will not let him enjoy his wrongdoing. It is not a matter of whether God is true and it never has been! Truth stands on its own. It is not truth because someone presents it as truth. Truth is truth because it is true! You can tell a lie for 10,000 years and have everyone believe it, but the fact remains a lie is a lie. A lie is not true. It is does not make any difference if no one ever accepts the truth. It is not true because someone says it is.
At the heart of all false religion is this problem. Man wants to have things his way and will believe a lie if it suits his purpose. God says to "seek and you shall find." The world who rejects truth says, "invent your own god and be satisfied." In other words man has a bent towards making God into what he wants God to be.(See Romans 1:18-23) This is what the Bible calls idolatry and it is no wonder that God warned against it in the First Commandment. God said have no other god! The higher critics have made a religion of their disbelief and they worship their own made up version of what is true and what is not.
There is coming a day when all truth will be proclaimed and exonerated. Our Creator and God, Almighty God, the King of Kings shall return. What a wonderful day that will be for the believer, who by faith accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior! The reality of salvation will be experienced by the believing few. The heartache of seeing the Lord, denied, slandered, and degraded will be over. False religions, cults and false churches will be utterly destroyed as will their centuries of lies. The vicious evil of Satan will be ended and he with his demons will be bound. Truth will be known and accepted by all.
But regretfully, for the unbelievers, His appearing will be to judge and His offer of grace they so callously rejected will no longer be offered to them. They made and died with their eternal choice, which was to reject their Creator.
The tragedy of all this was stated by the Lord Jesus, "And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil." (John 3:19)
Man's only hope is to believe and accept the truth. "That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." (John 3:15-18)
"For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." (2 Peter 1:21)
"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
1 MSNBC article, "Judge rejects claims the "Da Vinci" suit", Associated Press, April 7, 2006, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12202180/.
3 Breaking The Code: Why The Da Vinci Code Really Is Fiction, Written, compiled, and edited by Larry A. Blythe (from www.tektonics.org), http://www.ses.edu/cults/notes/Blythe_DaVinci%20Codes.pdf