Question of the Week: How do you respond to the accusation that Christians tampered with the Old Testament in order to fit prophecies of Jesus into Jewish scriptures?
Whenever an accusation is made, the burden of proof is on the person who makes the claim. In internet circles, it is often presented the other way around. If Christians can be accused of anything, it is our responsibility to provide evidence that their claim is wrong. That isn’t how conversation and debate work. The best and only way to respond to an accusation, usually made without evidence, is to ask where and when these corruptions took place. Once we establish that the person making the accusation doesn’t have any evidence to support their claim, you then have the opportunity to respond with evidence to the contrary.
What evidence do we have that the Christians didn’t tamper with Old Testament texts? The answer is the Dead Sea Scrolls. We have physical copies of the Old Testament over 200 years before the time of Jesus and the authors of the New Testament. The physical copies we have available are both in fragments and whole copies, the most significant of which is a full copy of the book of Isaiah. Every single prophecy that modern Jews would reject as referring to Jesus, and that internet skeptics would claim were inserted later by Christians are in those copies the exact same place we find them in our Bibles today. On top of these, we have fragments of every single book in the Old Testament that we find in the Christian Bibles today with the exception of Esther. And given the fact that Jews still celebrate Purim honoring the lives of Esther and Mordecai, they wouldn’t take the side of the skeptics on this. You can’t insert books, verses, and statements into scripture if they were already there centuries before you existed. Unless the skeptic wants to argue that Christians invented a time machine and altered these texts centuries before the time of Christ, this claim is worth less than the air it took to claim it. There is not only no evidence to support it, but direct and publicly available evidence against it.
A Reason For Hope is a ministry of Calvary Christian Fellowship of Tucson
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