1. Find the copyright date on your Bible, and read it to the group. How does the
fact that it was written nearly 2000 years before your copyright date make the
study of Bibliology necessary for a Christian?
A: My New King James Version Bible is copyrighted 1982. The fact that this is one translation 2000 years after the originals makes Bibliology important because one argument non-Christians have is the truth and validity of the Bible. They ask questions such as “How do you know you have the right books in the Bible?” This is just one of many legitimate questions they may have, and if we are to give educated and correct answers, we need to understand those questions and the answers ourselves.
2. How does knowing that there are over 300,000 textual variants in the NT
alone disturb you?
A: That seems like a huge number, but when it is looked at in perspective, with the variety and different copies we have, we can be sure that the Bible we have is the correct one. Given the variants, they are all very minor and in no way affect the major theological questions we have. We can be sure that any book or letters from ancient times will have variants in them, but what is important is that we have an educated answer and explanation for those variants.
3. Have everyone but one person in your group take ten minutes to handwrite
this paragraph, making at least one intentional error without telling the others
of your error.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the
Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came
into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being
that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of
Once complete, bring all the manuscripts together, and have the
person who did not create a manuscript attempt to reconstruct the
original. Remember, while this is a passage that you may be familiar
with, this is not a translation that you are likely to be familiar with.
How close did you come to reconstructing the original?
A: Would love to do this, but I need a group…
4. Knowing that this is about the same situation that text critics find themselves
in (around one or two variants per verse), how does this exercise give you
more confidence in the science of text criticism? Explain.
A: Although I haven’t done the exercise, I would say that the science of text criticism is valuable in that it is done for all ancient writings, not just biblical texts. That means that even atheists that do text criticisms will admit that what is in the Bible is indeed what the originals said. Therefore, debating whether or not we have the correct writings and the correct versions is no longer an issue for those that are educated.
5. Review the comparison chart of the New Testament with other ancient
manuscripts. How does the evidence show how serious God is about
protecting His Word? Would you call it miraculous? Explain.
A: To find the gap as large as it is between biblical texts and other ancient writings, I find it breath-taking that our Bible is accurate, and that God has kept his Word and it continues to be passed down the ages. To look at the time when the books were written, and that they continue to speak to us today is truly a miracle. God clearly wanted His people (Jew and gentile), to hear his Word.
6. In light of the fact that God is serious about protecting His Word for us, how
serious should we be about searching it to find Him? Are you?
A: We should be diligent in our search for God, and what His message is to us. If His Word has been preserved as it has for us, we would be irresponsible if we were to not study it and look for God in it. For myself, I am becoming more and more passionate about reading and studying the Bible, looking for understanding. I read many books with regards to Bible study. I have always been an avid reader, but I have found in the last year and a half, if the book is not the Bible, or at least Bible related, I have no time for it. I believe this to be the Holy Spirit working in me, for I cannot remember a time ever that I have put this much time into anything as hard as I have this. I have no intention of slowing down.
7. How has this lesson most challenged your thinking?
A: As with all topics in this class thus far, this is all new information for me and I’m finding it difficult to remember even the big details.