Skeptics and critics claim that the Bible has been changed, revised, edited or tampered with. The books of the OT were written from about 1400 BC to 400 BC. And the books of the NT were written from about AD 40 to AD 90. During the centuries, scribes made repeated copies of these books. Yet, any objective scholar will admit that the Bible has been well preserved over the centuries. For copies of it from the 14th century AD are almost identical to the copies from the 3rd century AD.
When the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered, the world was amazed to see how similar they were to other ancient copies of the Old Testament, even though the Dead Sea Scrolls were hundreds of years older than anything previously discovered. After years of careful examination, it has been concluded that the Dead Sea Scrolls gave substantial confirmation that the Old Testament has been accurately kept.
The Hebrew Scholar Millar Burrows writes, “It is a matter of wonder that through something like one thousand years the text underwent so little alteration. As I said in my first article on the scroll, ‘Herein lies its chief importance, supporting the fidelity of the Masoretic tradition.'”Millar Burrows, The Dead Sea Scrolls (New York: Viking Press, 1955), 304.
One of the most respected Old Testament scholars, the late Gleason Archer, examined the two Isaiah scrolls found in Cave 1 and wrote, “Even though the two copies of Isaiah discovered in Qumran Cave 1 near the Dead Sea in 1947 were a thousand years earlier than the oldest dated manuscript previously known (A.D. 980), they proved to be word for word identical with our standard Hebrew Bible in more than 95 percent of the text. The five percent of variation consisted chiefly of obvious slips of the pen and variations in spelling.” Archer, 25.
The sheer volume of biblical manuscripts makes it simple to recognize any attempt to distort God’s Word. It was found that there is no major doctrine of the Bible that is put in doubt as a result of the inconsequential differences among the manuscripts. The Dead Sea Scrolls clearly revealed that the copyists and readers of the Hebrew Bible had a very great reverence for the word of God that they transmitted its text most accurately and faithfully.
Therefore, we can trust God’s Word for it is given by Him. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17; Matthew 5:18).
In His service,