Religion's Place in Nursing - page 7

I often read Billy Graham's column and thought today's was particulary pertinent to our profession. I'm just curious as to your own personal thoughts and feelings on the matter. (Please, no... Read More

  1. by   Jaaaman
    A (Not So) Brief Defense of Christianity
    Jimmy Williams

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    VII. The New Testament
    The Greek Manuscript Evidence
    There are more than 4,000 different ancient Greek manuscripts containing all or portions of the New Testament that have survived to our time. These are written on different materials.


    Papyrus and Parchment.


    During the early Christian era, the writing material most commonly used was papyrus. This highly durable reed from the Nile Valley was glued together much like plywood and then allowed to dry in the sun. In the twentieth century many remains of documents (both biblical and non-biblical) on papyrus have been discovered, especially in the dry, arid lands of North Africa and the Middle East.


    Another material used was parchment. This was made from the skin of sheep or goats, and was in wide use until the late Middle Ages when paper began to replace it. It was scarce and more expensive; hence, it was used almost exclusively for important documents.


    Examples


    Codex Vaticanus and Codex Siniaticus


    These are two excellent parchment copies of the entire New Testament which date from the 4th century (325-450 A.D.).


    Older Papyrii


    Earlier still, fragments and papyrus copies of portions of the New Testament date from 100 to 200 years (180-225 A.D.) before Vaticanus and Siniaticus. The outstanding ones are the Chester Beatty Papyrus (P45, P46, P47) and the Bodmer Papyrus II, XIV, XV (P46, P75).


    From these five manuscripts alone, we can construct all of Luke, John, Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, Hebrews, and portions of Matthew, Mark, Acts, and Revelation. Only the Pastoral Epistles Titus, 1 and 2 Timothy) and the General Epistles (James, 1 and 2 Peter, and 1, 2, and 3 John) and Philemon are excluded.


    Oldest Fragment.


    Perhaps the earliest piece of Scripture surviving is a fragment of a papyrus codex containing John 18:31-33, and 37. It is called the Rylands Papyrus (P52) and dates from 130 A.D., having been found in Egypt. The Rylands Papyrus has forced the critics to place the fourth gospel back into the first century, abandoning their earlier assertion that it could not have been written then by the Apostle John.


    This manuscript evidence creates a bridge of extant papyrus and parchment fragments and copies of the New Testament stretching back to almost the end of the first century.


    Versions (Translations)


    In addition to the actual Greek manuscripts, there are more than 1,000 copies and fragments of the New Testament in Syria, Coptic, Armenian, Gothic, and Ethiopic, as well as 8,000 copies of the Latin Vulgate, some of which date back almost to Jerome's original translation in 384-400 A.D.


    Church Fathers


    A further witness to the New Testament text is sourced in the thousands of quotations found throughout the writings of the Church Fathers (the early Christian clergy (100-450 A.D) who followed the Apostles and gave leadership to the fledgling church, beginning with Clement of Rome (96 A.D.).

    It has been observed that if all of the New Testament manuscripts and Versions mentioned above were to disappear overnight, it would still be possible to reconstruct the entire New Testament with quotes from the Church Fathers, with the exception of fifteen to twenty verses!


    A Comparison


    The evidence for the early existence of the New Testament writings is clear. The wealth of materials for the New Testament becomes even more significant when we compare it with other ancient documents which have been accepted without question. Consider the following chart:
    Author and Work Author's Lifespan Date of Events Date of Writing* Earliest Extant MS** Lapse: Event to Writing Lapse: Event to MS
    Matthew,
    Gospel ca. 0-70? 4 BC - AD 30 50 - 65/75 ca. 200 <50 years <200 years
    Mark,
    Gospel ca. 15-90? 27 - 30 65/70 ca. 225 <50 years <200 years
    Luke,
    Gospel ca. 10-80? 5 BC - AD 30 60/75 ca. 200 <50 years <200 years
    John,
    Gospel ca. 10-100 27-30 90-110 ca. 130 <80 years <100 years
    Paul,
    Letters ca. 0-65 30 50-65 ca. 200 20-30 years <200 years
    Josephus,
    War ca. 37-100 200 BC - AD 70 ca. 80 ca. 950 10-300 years 900-1200 years
    Josephus,
    Antiquities ca. 37-100 200 BC - AD 65 ca. 95 ca. 1050 30-300 years 1000-1300 years
    Tacitus,
    Annals ca. 56-120 AD 14-68 100-120 ca. 850 30-100 years 800-850 years
    Seutonius,
    Lives ca. 69-130 50 BC - AD 95 ca. 120 ca. 850 25-170 years 750-900 years
    Pliny,
    Letters ca. 60-115 97-112 110-112 ca. 850 0-3 years 725-750 years
    Plutarch,
    Lives ca. 50-120 500 BC - AD 70 ca. 100 ca. 950 30-600 years 850-1500 years
    Herodotus,
    History ca. 485-425 BC 546-478 BC 430-425 BC ca. 900 50-125 years 1400-1450 years
    Thucydides,
    History ca. 460-400 BC 431-411 BC 410-400 BC ca. 900 0-30 years 1300-1350 years
    Xenophon,
    Anabasis ca. 430-355 BC 401-399 BC 385-375 BC ca. 1350 15-25 years 1750 years
    Polybius,
    History ca. 200-120 BC 220-168 BC ca. 150 BC ca. 950 20-70 years 1100-1150 years

    *Where a slash occurs, the first date is conservative, and the second is liberal.
    **New Testament manuscripts are fragmentary. Earliest complete manuscript is from ca. 350; lapse of event to complete manuscript is about 325 years.


    Conclusion


    In his book, The Bible and Archeology, Sir Frederic G. Kenyon, former director and principal librarian of the British Museum, stated about the New Testament, "The interval, then, between the dates of original composition and the earliest extant evidence becomes so small as to be in fact, negligible, and the last foundation for any doubt that the Scriptures have come down to us substantially as they were written has now been removed. Both the authenticity and the general integrity of the books of the New testament may be regarded as finally established."


    To be skeptical of the 27 documents in the New Testament, and to say they are unreliable is to allow all of classical antiquity to slip into obscurity, for no documents of the ancient period are as well attested bibliographically as these in the New Testament.


    B. F. Westcott and F. J. A. Hort, the creators of The New Testament in Original Greek, also commented: "If comparative trivialities such as changes of order, the insertion or omission of the article with proper names, and the like are set aside, the works in our opinion still subject to doubt can hardly mount to more than a thousandth part of the whole New Testament." In other words, the small changes and variations in manuscripts change no major doctrine: they do not affect Christianity in the least. The message is the same with or without the variations.


    We have the Word of God.
    Last edit by Jaaaman on Apr 13, '04
  2. by   psychomachia
    Quote from duckboy20
    You are right, nobody's opinion is invalid. I think things are just a little tense on here sometimes
    Psychomachia-Question: Could Jesus have existed?
    Have I ever suggested a man named Jesus did not exist?? My issue is with the concept of an unknowable being who "exists" in a state that we cannot comprehend, thus must be taken on faith alone. For myself, Jesus has little to do with that particular aspect of belief/non-belief. Or to make it simple enough, it doesn't matter whether he existed or not.



    Quote from duckboy20
    What about Pharoah? If he lived is it possible that Moses lived and the things about him could have been true?
    Your logic is a little flawed here. If "A" existed, then that does not automatically follow that "B" existed. And if Moses did live, so what?? Miracles and other supernatural events are everywhere in the Bible, but yet the same physical laws that exist here today were in place millions of years ago, so I do not believe that any of the miraculous events mentioned in the Bible actually occurred.

    Quote from duckboy20
    Is it possible there was ever a "great flood" on the earth and Noah had to build an ark?
    Flood yes, especially since they continue to occur today, but not on the "world-wide" scale of the one mentioned in the Bible. Ark? With two of each "kind" - no.

    Quote from duckboy20
    You even said you want a ticket on there. I know you were being sarcastic.
    Remember, sarcasm does not equal belief...just a little tip from your friendly neighborhood atheist...

    Quote from duckboy20
    There is evidence that water once covered almost all areas of the earth if not the whole earth, some say the earth was warmer and the glaciers melted, I say maybe the earth did warm up, the glaciers melted, and there was a great flood.
    And there is evidence the earth is billions of years old, yet many Christians don't accept it because it contradicts their Bible. There is also evidence for evolution, but that too pushes god out of his position as CEO of the Universe.

    Quote from duckboy20
    Could Jesus be the man he said he is?
    The question should be, "could Jesus be the man the Christian religion says he is." Answer: Not with the evidence known today.

    Quote from duckboy20
    If not tell me exactly why.
    Oh, I don't know, how about that whole immaculate conception issue?? That one's a little hard to swallow...

    Quote from duckboy20
    I think there is a chance he was.
    Anything has a "chance" - but possible is not the same as probable.

    Quote from duckboy20
    You can very well say there is a chance he wasn't. It is all in what we choose to believe.
    Or not believe...
  3. by   angelicaparki
    I believe everyone has a right to an opinion and their opinion is valid to them. However for an opinion to be true, it has to be studied out, kind of what you said. I didn't say what I said to offend anyone, but neither do I refute what I said.

    Quote from caroladybelle
    Well, since Jesus is not around, it is kind of hard to pray with him. But it hardly invalidates our opinion.

    And trust me, as a Jew that comes from a mixed heritage, I HAVE heard all the so-called facts. Heck, I get beaten to death with them (as do many nonChristians in the USA) on a regular basis. If anything, we are more qualified to speak on him as we are not "biased" by being Christian.

    And I have tried to believe in Jesus for ages, but find that it does not "make sense" to me in the way that Judaism does.

    The OP entitled the thread "Religion and Nursing" not Christianity and nursing. The OP asks us to "try Jesus" and I have (along with several others that have posted), and I find Christianity lacking. And has written so for the poster to see. That does not limit us in being able to form a valid opinion on him and the Bible.

    And for you to say that we have no right to have an opinion...well that just demeans that Christianity that you espouse.

    And when have YOU honestly tried to be a ..pick several of the following (Muslim, Hindi, Wiccan, Buddhist, Bahai'd, Rastafarian, Shintoist, Jew, Zoarastian). How can you say that THEY are WRONG if you have not tried all of them? And voice absolutely no opinion of them, whatsoever.
  4. by   duckboy20
    Psychomachia-you say the world is billions of years old but again you are basing that off of carbon dating which is the basis of scientists saying it is that old. Just like I said in my last post Carbon dating has been shown not to work just as many times as it has shown to work. I was not saying that since Pharoah lived Moses had to live. But if I believe that Moses lived it takes just as much faith for me to believe that Pharoah lived. My point was not about miracles, just about the faith it takes to believe in a person.
    Oh, I don't know, how about that whole immaculate conception issue?? That one's a little hard to swallow...
    Again to Christians we believe God created man. So if he created man who says he cannot implant an egg inside a woman? If I did not believe in God then heck yeah that would sound weird to me too and I would no doubt not believe it. My point here is not to 'convert' you, just try and make you think a little more. You use faith every day. One of my favorite songs has a line, " you cannot see the wind, you see the effects of the wind, but you cannot see the wind". It takes faith to say that hmmmm that is wind. I feel it, I see it's effects, but I cannot see it at all. Right now I cannot see Jesus. I can see the effects of him throughout this world either by people who love him or hate him or deny he exists. I can also feel him in my life.
  5. by   Tweety
    Quote from sbic56
    Nobody's opinion is "invalid". You can disagree with mine, but you can't invalidate it. Sorry, that is just the way it is with opinions, no matter what one is talking about. I totally don't understand your religion/a-fib comparison. I don't see how you can compare facts with faith. I feel annoyed by christians only when they push their faith on me, perhaps much as you may feel right now because I do not believe as you do. I wouldn't say you feel "convicted" though. (Not sure what you meant by that comment, really.)
    Good response sbic.

    It's hard for me to respond to Angelica without violating the TOS against a personal attack. But Angelica, I read your post and it makes no sense to me, so your post is invalid to me.

    However, I will say that I have studied the Bible and read it many times. Attended many a Bible study with instructors, went to a Christian church for over 10 years, and can honestly say I've had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

    Today, however, I've come to a different understanding of the universe. You don't know the thought process that those of us who don't think as you have gone through to come to our belief system.
    Last edit by Tweety on Apr 14, '04
  6. by   Tweety
    Quote from duckboy20
    My point here is not to 'convert' you, just try and make you think a little more.
    It's quite obvious to me by now that psychomachia has put quite a bit of thought into this and doesn't need much more thought provoking here. LOL

    I have enjoyed this thread, obviously both sides are unbending in their beliefs, but the conversation has been quite interesting. Carry on.
  7. by   Spidey's mom
    There are so many of these threads related to religion that I'm confused. Which one is this? :spin: Plus I only got 3 hours of sleep last night, had a very wild day (you wouldn't believe it) and now I can't fall asleep. So here I sit . . . .

    There have been very interesting posts . . . . and for the most part quite civil.

    Thanks.

    steph
  8. by   caroladybelle
    What is rather telling and irrational about Christianity, is what has systematiclly been excluded from the current Bible, because it does not obey common preconceptions of Christians.

    How many times do you meet Christians that have never read the Apocrypha (?sp), the Gnostic gospels, the Pseudepigraphia (?sp), the Infancy Testament of James and of Thomas, books of Enoch (revelation visions and the origin of fallen angels), or or the Book of Jubilees (little Genesis)? All of these books come from similar origins as the books in the current accepted Bible and most of them back the other biblical stories with a great deal of credence. Yet they have been barred from biblical inclusion, for some arbitrary reason.

    The Fall of the Angels is repeatedly referenced in the Bible. Yet one of the most complete explanations/historys of this event is in the books of Enoch and not listed in contemporary Bible at all.

    Of course in the case of the Infancy Testament of Thomas, it is for obvious reasons. Church leaders did not like the portrayal of the young Jesus as a a mischievous child/boy, not always so saintly as many would like him to appear. So rather than include a portrayal of a less than perfect Jesus, theywould rather leave the Bible highly incomplete, with very little information about his childhood. Though obviously, that is a major omission for someone as Jesus is considered in Christianity.

    Therefore the "Word of G-d" in most churches is an incomplete story.

    As an interesting aside, most Jewish scholars do study these writings though for historical import and not for spiritual reasons. Yet, most Christians do not know that they exist.
    Last edit by caroladybelle on Apr 14, '04 : Reason: spelling
  9. by   Jaaaman
    Professor Dr. Albert Einstein. 1879-1955

    IN 1950 Professor Einstein said: "The idea that I am an atheist is a great mistake. Whoever comes to this conclusion from my scientific systems has not understood them. I believe in a personal God, and I can say with good conscience that I have never believed in an atheistic attitude. Even in my student days I considered the theories of Darwin, Huxley and Haekel as hopelessly old-fashioned. Development goes on, not only in techniques, but also in science. Of the majority of physicists it can be said that they agree that religion and science are not inimical to each other." In an interview with a journalist he said: "As a child I received instruction in the Bible as well as the Talmud. I am a Jew, but the shining image of the Nazarene has had an overwhelming influence on me." Asked if he accepted the historical existence of Christ, he answered: "Without doubt no one can read the gospels without feeling the real presence of Jesus. The heartbeat of His personality is heard in every Word."

    {The Capital Voice, 200 Laurel Street, Culpeper, Va. 22 70 1}
    Last edit by Jaaaman on Apr 14, '04
  10. by   sbic56
    Quote from angelicaparki
    I believe everyone has a right to an opinion and their opinion is valid to them. However for an opinion to be true, it has to be studied out, kind of what you said. I didn't say what I said to offend anyone, but neither do I refute what I said.
    The problem is, you wish your truth was everyone elses, as well. Others who are atheist, jewish or the multitude of other possibilites have "studied out" our stances very well. I am not about to say you are wrong in what you believe, I only ask the same courtesy and respect for my own views.
  11. by   Jaaaman
    How many times do you meet Christians that have never read the Apochrypha (?sp), the Gnostic gospels, the Pseudogephygria (?sp), the Infancy Testament of James and of Thomas, books of Enoch (revelation visions and the origin of fallen angels), or or the Book of Jubilees (little Genesis)? All of these books come from similar origins as the books in the current accepted Bible and most of them back the other biblical stories with a great deal of credence. Yet they have been barred from biblical inclusion, for some arbitrary reason.
    While it can perhaps be said that the apocryphal books (both those within and outside of the expanded Catholic list) are of interest for historical examination and comparative study, it must be understood with no uncertainty that they are not inspired, God-breathed scripture. These books are of no value for the purpose of building, defending, OR polemicising about doctrine. The reasons for rejecting the Apocrypha as canonical are legion. Historically, they have no basis for acceptance by God's chosen people. Traditionally, they have been accepted only by few within the Church, and these were more often than not heretics with other serious flaws in their theology. Most importantly, however, they are doctrinally incompatible with the true canon of Scripture, and are therefore exposed as being counterfeit scripture.
  12. by   sbic56
    Quote from 3rdShiftGuy
    Good response sbic.

    It's hard for me to respond to Angelica without violating the TOS against a personal attack. But Angelica, I read your post and it makes no sense to me, so your post is invalid to me.

    However, I will say that I have studied the Bible and read it many times. Attended many a Bible study with instructors, went to a Christian church for over 10 years, and can honestly say I've had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

    Today, however, I've come to a different understanding of the universe. You don't know the thought process that those of us who don't think as you have gone through to come to our belief system.
    Thanks, Tweety. I can't be too angry with angelica's post, as she just sounds so confused about the whole thing. Reminds me of an incident that my son went through back in the 5th grade when his teacher, of all people, told him his opinion was wrong. Imagine that. We are forever learning, even teachers. Hopefully angelica will gleen a little piece of new knowledge from the posters on this thread who called her on her mistaken definition of what an opinion is.
  13. by   caroladybelle
    Quote from Jaaaman
    While it can perhaps be said that the apocryphal books (both those within and outside of the expanded Catholic list) are of interest for historical examination and comparative study, it must be understood with no uncertainty that they are not inspired, God-breathed scripture. These books are of no value for the purpose of building, defending, OR polemicising about doctrine. The reasons for rejecting the Apocrypha as canonical are legion. Historically, they have no basis for acceptance by God's chosen people. Traditionally, they have been accepted only by few within the Church, and these were more often than not heretics with other serious flaws in their theology. Most importantly, however, they are doctrinally incompatible with the true canon of Scripture, and are therefore exposed as being counterfeit scripture.
    That is interesting as many scholars of the Bible consider them highly important, and as valid as the currently incomplete canon that you consider the Bible. Many of them completely validate biblical statements.

    What exactly makes them NOT G-d breathed scripture? They are of comparable authenticity, age and documentation as that which makes up the Bible.

    And as Jews (G-d's chosen people) have indeed studied Jubilees, the Apocrypha, and the Books of Enoch, maybe you need to study your "chosen people" a little more. As the story of Hanukkah comes from Apocrypha, how can you consider that "invalid" to G-d's chosen people? Almost every good Jew that I know has read those stories, if nothing else, as part of a Midrash, and they are well accepted.

    What makes them biblically "incompatible" and "counterfeit"? The fact that the child Jesus was not the little perfect child that Christians like to imagine. The fact that Man fell due to his own transgression, and less blame is placed on woman. That Joseph applied the ancient test of adultery to Mary and she passed as nonadulterous...he didn't just trust her word that she was a virgin.

    There are a number of reasons why the Pseudepigraphia is not accepted to CHRISTIANS and very few have to do with heresy and accuracy of the "G-d breathed word". They have more to do with preserving a image than anything spiritual.

close