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What doctrine do we follow? Are all bibles essentially the same? Some believe that regardless, all these books (Holy Bible, Koran, Book of Mormon, etc) point to the same deity. It’s the “we all worship the same god” syndrome. Should we expect this article would lie to rest all speculations? Tough questions and the last is answered in a humble but unequivocal NO. There are great reasons for that. We have to start somewhere though. Let’s put it in perspective.
Some like Fords. Fine vehicles. Good trucks. I’m a GMC or Chevy man. After the Bush and Obama buyouts, that makes me somewhat unpopular. It’s a family thing. My mother retired from the GMC truck plant in Flint, Michigan. She was the first woman line inspector at GM. My Grandmother was the founding treasurer for the United Auto Workers credit union. Deep roots. So…I’m loyal.
Which is better Ford, Chevy, GMC, Dodge? Which is better Christian, Jewish, Mormon, Catholic, Muslim, Buddhist? Is it simply a matter of preference? Is it history? Is it loyalty? What it really boils down to is the individual’s goal. Is the individual interested in a heavenly existence? Is a person willing to submit to total control of life with physical penalty? Does an individual seek balance between earning eternal life and god providing the location and guidance? The texts of these respective religions are like Ford, GMC, Chevy or Dodge manuals. You choose the text that fits what you want to believe. It’s great to live in a free country!
If I’m going to work on my GMC, I’m not going to pick up a Ford manual. Sure, some basics look the same, but one needs the right manual for the right vehicle to do the job right. Ford Power Stroke diesels are not like the Duramax even though they basically operate the same.
The problem is with the, “they’re all the same” attitude. Just like there are great differences between Ford, GMC and Dodge, there are great differences between Christian, Mormon, Catholic, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu and the others. We should note that GMC/Chevy, Ford/Mercury, Dodge/Plymouth and others are like spin-off religions (Protestant (Methodist/Lutheran/Church of Christ), Jewish (Orthodox/Modern Orthodox/Haredi), Muslim (Sunni/Shiite), etc). Although, within their own sect, they are close in many ways across the spectrum they are very different. They are all very different in their focus, engineering, purpose and ultimate teaching. Religions are not like vehicles at their base. They do not all operate from the same root systems and functions in those systems. Not all religions worship God (Atheism, Secularism and Humanism for example). Again, truth is not relative. We can choose to believe a certain fact or we might call it “truth.” That does not make that fact truth. Man does not make truth. He simply accepts or rejects it as part of life.
What is truth? The word is used over 200 times in the Christian Bible. Pilate asked Jesus that very question (John 18:38). Paul bantered with Festus about it in Acts 26. We addressed a fool’s game known as “relative truth” in “God and the UPS truck.” Before I knew Jesus as my personal savior, this word held me back. I was faced with accepting truth or rejecting it at 35 years old. I finally succumbed to the preponderance of the evidence. These last few paragraphs describe some of the most stunning discoveries in my journey to God’s truth. Admittedly they are my discoveries not yours. My prayer is that truth may seep into your heart through my feeble writing skills.
A little history. The Old Testament we use today in the Holy Christian bible is mostly translated from Masoretic texts (MT) dating 500-900 AD. These texts date before the Koran and the Book of Mormon. The Masoretic text we use is a copy of the Old Testament. The Scribes were very particular about the scriptures. They carefully maintained their scrolls. They constantly copied them to have fresh scrolls when one became tattered. They burned worn out scrolls.
Discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in Khirbet Qumran (1946-1956) was not only historic, it proved prophecy. The Qumran scroll dates push the existence of the Old Testament texts back another 1,000 years before 500 AD. We now knew the Old Testament existed in written form 500 years before Jesus birth in Nazareth (a verifiable fact in Roman history).
The most revealing thing about the discovery to this theologian was the accuracy of the texts. Isaiah and the Micah texts found in Qumran are particularly interesting. So meticulous were the scribes that the MT for Isaiah only differed 17 letters from Qumran. Ten letters were spelling differences (not words, just spelling). Four letters differed in stylistic changes. Three letters added a word for “light.” That amounts to 11 words in over 1,000 years of copying. Technically, only one word differed. Eleven words in more than 22,800. That is an accuracy rate of 1 in 6-10,000ths or a .06% error rate. Sections of Micah 5 are 100% accurate with no changes Micah 5:2 was exactly the same. This truly foretells of Jesus birth in Bethlehem 300 years before the event. Numerous passages in Isaiah tell of Jesus being an heir to the throne of David, born of a virgin, His name, His ministry, His rejection by the Jews and ultimately His crucifixion (Isaiah 9:1-2, 6-7, 7:14, 53:1-10). These prophetic passages actually came true, documented centuries after these texts existed.
We may want a Dodge, Ford or Chevy but if there is only one good verified manual, don’t we have to select the vehicle that fits that manual and not the other way around? God wants us to use our heart, mind and soul. He wants us thinking. Believe what you want, but it may be better to base your beliefs on some concrete proof, some truth. Qumran gave us unbiased independent proof about Jesus.