To The Daily Sun,
In response to James Veverka's letter of Feb. 6, Jim says, "The Bible is historical fiction." Look I'm quite a fan of historical novels. There are some pretty good reads in that genre, but the Bible is not that. Jim may be too dull of understanding to know the difference but I'm not. I will try to make it clear as to why I say this. Not because I'm such a great debater, but because I have a love of the truth, and have a confidence in my God. I'm confident that I can investigate a thing and God's truth will be shown. Jim cannot abide the truth. He must be satisfied in stating disjointed trivial facts from history, disseminating misinformation and quoting like-minded "scholars" for supposed authority, hoping the reader cannot see the big picture of history. You see Jim is running away from God and this is the best that he can do on the run.
He calls the Gospel accounts stories "colored by decades of hand-me-down stories, embellishments, exaggerations and alterations." He takes particular exception to what he says is a lack of primary sources for the existence of Jesus. Now if he was complaining that Jesus didn't write anything, it would be a lame complaint, because he trained his disciples for 3 1/2 years to, among other things, do that very thing. If he is saying that Gospels were written by others than the early church fathers held them to be written by, or who the internal evidence indicates, he would have a hard time showing this. The Gospel of Matthew was unanimously held by early church fathers to be written by the apostle Matthew. The Gospel of John we know by internal evidence was written by the Apostle John. Mark a disciple of Jesus, though not an apostle, apparently wrote his Gospel according Peter's preaching. And Luke wrote as an investigative reporter. All of this was overseen by God himself. These were not hand-me-down stories or embellishments, but eye witness accounts and careful reporting. These are men who gave their lives for the truth of the Gospel, for they knew what they had seen and handled.
The New Testament writers seemed to know that what they were writing was Scripture and wrote with the care that only writers of scripture exhibit; likewise those who transcribed them did so with care, even to those who translate them today, as can be seen by comparing the various translations. In view of such careful scholarship, the game of telephone analogy alluded to by Mr. Veverka falls away as a ruse used by unbelievers in hopes of discrediting the Word of God in the eyes of their readers. Old testament Scriptures were transcribed with equal care letter for letter jot for jot.
As to the use of Anno Domini, In the year of our Lord: Jim tries to explain Marie Ludwick's point away by dazzling us with what turns out to be the use of historical trivia, with little understanding of what went on or its importance. The long and the short of it is that a sixth century a Scythian monk named Dionysius Exiguus working on creating a table with which to calculate on which Sunday Easter should fall; did not want to use what was the current reference for the beginning of their era, the beginning of Emperor Diocletian reign 284 AD by our calender, which was in use for dating events at this time, for Diocletian was notorious for persecuting Christians. So he made a rough calculation as to the date of Jesus conception and used it as a reference in the calculation of his table. Understand that a large portion of the learned class of this era were Christian scribes. Saint Bede, also a monk, an English monk, used Dionysius' reference, Anno Domini, in dating events in his history of the church in England. Alcuin, also a Christian scholar and a pupil of a disciple of Bede, came to have sway in Charlemagne's court where he taught Charlemagne and his sons.
Charlemagne and his sons came to popularize the usage of Anno Domino dating throughout the Holy Roman Empire. Charlemagne lived in the 8th and 9th centuries. It is important to note that Europe was a backwater at this time. It was not the major player on the world stage that it was to become. It took some time for the rest of Europe to adopt Anno Domini dating and even longer for the rest of the world to accept this reference point, but whatever you call it AD or CE the date that world marks the beginning of this era from is, by design, the Nativity of Christ. If Jesus is not who He says He is, this is a wonder indeed.
I would like to mention a word about Jim's critique of the Old Testament. As this letter is already long, I will do so briefly. Such was the reputation of the God of Israel in the ancient world, that when Pompey entered Jerusalem he entered the temple with great expectation. He was disappointed for all he found was a scroll, for because of Judah's sin the glory of God no longer dwelled in their temple. Yet the reputation of the God of Israel in the ancient world, if they were wise, should give critics pause.
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