Introduction and Purpose
Does God intend for us to read His Words and accept them at face value? Or does He build in proofs that His Word is His Word? How could we possibly know that the Bible is inspired, that It is correct, and that It is complete? This study takes us there, guiding us into the knowledge that our faith does not have to be blind.
Dr. Gary Crossland has put together the video below, and it happens to fit the purpose of introducing our study about the accuracy of the Bible.
Analyze the two paintings (below). Look for the details.
What's in a Name?
Jamestowne was named after the same King James who "authorized" the King James Version of the Bible. The video here (right) is a humorous presentation of the naming of new colony. The influence of a king in everyday life and in religion is an interesting topic to consider when studying the origins of our English Bible.
Jamestowne History, Archaeology, and Christianity in the New World
That is not, however, intended to say that this was the original religious center of the first successful American colony. Realizing that the colony was established in 1607 and this standing structure was built some time between 1660 and 1690, how might you think the colony felt about Christianity?
Actually, just to the right of the church tower, with a closer proximity to the James River, is the site of the first church structure, built in 1608. Incidentally, this was the location of the wedding between John Rolfe and Pocahontas.
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In fact, the Christian religion (the English, or Anglican, church) was well known and promoted around the area much earlier than the construction of the church tower. One of the men buried in the Chancel was Robert Hunt, listed as a "reverend" and known to be the first Anglican minister to Jamestown. Another, Captain Gabriel Archer, must have also been a devout adherent to the faith as he was buried with a reliquary (See video, below), a silver box containing human bone fragments and a small container of liquid (thought to be oil, holy water, or the blood of a saint).
Outside of Jametowne Fort, a short way up today's modern road, is a location known as Glebe Land (above) - 100 acres of land along the river set aside for the use of the church and minister. Why do you suppose that land was reserved for this purpose?
If your answer has something to do with spreading the faith to the Indians in the area, you're on the right track. This was Indian hunting ground, and if there was any chance of getting the Indians to live peaceably with the white settlers, perhaps Christianity would be key.
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It would be difficult to keep the many Indians, the working laboring class, and the gentry all in line through lean and desperate times. In fact, the famous (or infamous) Captain John Smith, governor of Virginia (1608), is known to have locked up food supplies and required men of every class to work to earn it or else starve. The political slogan, "He who does not worke shall not eate," was taken was 2 Thessalonians 3:10 (which would also make for a great refrigerator magnet in any household containing a preteen boy).
One point to be made is, Christianity was important to our nation, even 169 years before our independence from Britain.
Enter, the Christian Bible
Many will not accept anything else in worship or study. They often cite that it is the only "authorized" version, but I wonder if they really understand who authorized it and for what purpose. Let's discuss this in person.
Begin with the Familiar
Until the next lesson, which will include information from Lightfoot's book, here are some questions to consider to establish our personal levels of understanding for this subject. Perhaps you don't know all of the answers to these questions. In fact, unless you are a scholar specializing in the subject of Biblical origins and manuscripts, you may not have accurate answers to very many of these questions at all. That's all right. In fact, that's why we enter this study.
Is the Bible accurate and dependable?
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Should faith alone be enough to drive you to drive you to your knees? Is "blind" faith a stronger kind of faith? If so, then why did God provide so much evidence?