Q. Thank you so much for being a continued source of reference.
I was in a conversation today with a gnostic and asked him what his point of view was on scripture. After some discussion he tried to tell me that there are inaccuracies in scripture. One of the things he brought up was that the “cast the first stone” story from John 8 wasn’t in the original mms and was added by the Catholic church as part of a conspiracy later. I told him that I was aware that it wasn’t in the older copies of John, but was in the older copies of Luke (which is how I understand it) He didn’t seem to believe that. I then told him that 2 Timothy 3:16 says that scripture is God breathed and that God would not allow His word to be corrupted to which he just replied “yeah, but it was.” Can you offer any more ammunition other than just knowing that he’s clinging to his a prior mind set regardless of the evidence presented?
A. According to my research, the earliest and most reliable manuscripts don’t contain John 7:53 – 8:11. Some manuscripts place this event after Luke 20:38, but that’s not the point. The point is that the New Testament is provably one of the most thoroughly documented and validated ancient texts in existence. The only one for which better documentation exists is the Old Testament. And when it comes to essential matters like salvation, there is no confusion.
Your friend says he’s willing to risk his eternal destiny on his belief that the Bible is wrong based on some ambiguity over the origin of 12 verses, but I suggest there’s a bigger issue beneath the surface here. Because if he chooses to believe in the Bible and it turns out to be wrong, he’ll simply get the destiny that was always in store for him. But if he rejects the Bible and is wrong, he’ll regret it with every fiber of his being for all of eternity. I think that, like it is with most unbelievers, the real issue has to do with a fear that God will find them unworthy. The best way to avoid that is to cast doubt on His existence.
Remember, through out history everyone who has mounted a sincere effort to find out if God exists has found that He does. The evidence is overwhelming. Those who deny Him have to be deliderately ignorant, as Peter said. (2 Peter 3:5)