Documentary Review: Fragments of Truth

I had planned on
seeing the new documentary Patterns of Evidence: The Moses Controversy
on opening night and writing a review for today's article, but the projector in
the theater wasn't working, so my plans have changed. The Moses Controversy is scheduled to be shown again on
Saturday, March 16th, and Tuesday, March 19th, so hopefully I'll be able to
write a review for next weekend, but by then it will be to late to see it in
the theater.

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Do Any Original Masoretic Texts Still Exist?

This is the last article in a short series that started with the question Who were the Masoretes? and then followed up with Why is the Masoretic Text Important?. This list contains some of the oldest Masoretic Texts and copies which still exist. All of these are more than 1,000 years, and some of them have been in almost continuous use since they were written.

  • Damascus Pentateuch
    • Date:...
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Why is the Masoretic Text Important?

My last post, Who were the Masoretes?, described the
work of the Masoretes. Now I want to focus on why their work is important to
Biblical scholarship.

The great, indeed all-important, question which now meets us is this—Does this Hebrew text, which we call Masoretic, and which we have shown to descend from a text drawn up about AD 100, faithfully represent the Hebrew text...

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Who were the Masoretes?

Genesis 1:1 in English Standard Version, Dead Sea Scrolls, Leningrad Code and Modern Hebrew.

The Masoretes were
Jewish scribes and scholars who made it their life's work to accurately copy
the Hebrew Bible. They worked approximately from the A.D. 600's to A.D. 950,
primarily in the areas of Jerusalem, Tiberius and Babylonia. The name Masoretes
comes from the Hebrew word masorah,
which means "tradition" or "to hand down".

During the first century A.D. Rome ruled over Israel. In A.D. 66, the first...

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Book Review: Evidence That Demands a Verdict, by Josh McDowell and Sean McDowell

I recently finished reading the book Evidence That Demands a Verdict: Life-Changing Truth
for a Skeptical World
by Josh McDowell and Sean McDowell. I've known of
the book for years, and had someone recommend it to me years ago, but kept
putting off reading it. Now that I'm writing a blog, I need to research the
questions I have. This seemed like a good time to read a classic book on
Christian Apologetics.

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How do I Rejoice, Pray and Give Thanks at All Times?

Rejoice always, pray
without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God
in Christ Jesus for you. (1
Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV)

These verses aren't
easy to follow. It's easy to think "The
apostle Paul didn't know what I would be going through when he wrote
that!"
No, he didn't, but God knew what you'd be going through...

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Were Jesus’ Followers Uneducated?

Bart Ehrman, an atheist scholar, argues: "Jesus’s disciples were lower-class, illiterate peasants from remote rural areas of Galilee, where very few people could read, let alone write, and let alone create full-scale compositions." Some skeptics expand on the argument: Because Jesus' followers were lower-class, illiterate peasants, no educated person would believe the claims of Jesus, and therefore Christianity isn't true.

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What are the Hezekiah and Isaiah Bullae?

In archaeology, a bulla (plural bullae)
is a clay seal used when documents or goods were transferred from one person to
another. The sender would put a small piece of wet clay over where the item
would be opened, then press in a signet to seal the item and ensure it's
authenticity. An unbroken seal would let the recipient know the item wasn't
tampered with. A more modern equivalent would be a wax seal on a formal letter
or invitation.

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What Types of Questions will be on this Blog? Part 2

If you haven't read What Types of Questions will be on this Blog? Part 1, you may want to start there. I had intended to list some of the topics I want to research in that post, but the post started getting a bit too long, so I decided to split it into two parts. Actually, since I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to write one post a week, splitting the long post into two shorter ones seemed like a good idea; now I have one less to write. 

The list of questions I've written...

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