The books I received are: iWitness Biblical Archaeology, New Testament iWitness, and Old Testament iWitness. Each of these 6"x 9" books is between 60 and 64 pages long. This may seem short, but they pack quite a bit of faith-strengthening information in those pages. The reading level for these books is ages 11 and up, though they can be shared with younger children as well.
There are so many people today who try to say that the Bible is a book of lies, the events in the Bible never happened, the New Testament was written hundreds of years after the events were supposed to take place and other similar misguided beliefs. I mean, I know someone who actually thought King James wrote the King James Version of the Bible and thought that other "versions" were actually different Bible's and not just different translations. There are some really weird beliefs out there about the Bible and it is imperative for us to know the truth, to know we can trust the Word of God and that is can stand up to scrutiny. Yes, we are supposed to believe the Bible on faith, but we are also told to study the word, to know it and keep it in our hearts, and to have an answer for those who ask.
So, what exactly will you find in these iWitness books?
iWitness Biblical Archaeology provides a look into the evidence that is out there related to biblical history. It is a look at the artifacts and sites that have been discovered pointing toward the events in the Bible being true.
Topics being examined from the time before Christ are: The Flood, Looking for Noah's Ark, Egyptian Chronology, The Exodus, Inscriptions regarding the House of David, YHWH, and Israel, Sennacherib's Seige [sic] of Jerusalem, Old Testament History, Dead Sea Scrolls, and Oldest Old Testament Copies. The book then looks at archaeological evidence surrounding Jesus. The topics are: Oldest New Testament Copies, Hadrian and Constantine, Jesus' Judges, Jesus' World, New Testament Locations, New Testament Inscriptions, and The Burial Shroud of Jesus?.
As you can see in the sample pages below, pictures of artifacts and sites are shown along with what time period they belong to, where they were found, when they were discovered and where they are kept. By studying these artifacts, scholars have been able to find proof outside of the Bible for people and events that have been held in doubt of having even existed. For example, the inscription on Nabonidus Cylinder mentions Belshazzar, who "until this discovery was known only from the book of Daniel."
The topics explored in this book are: Manuscripts, Copying, Canon Criteria, Tanakh, Canon Formation, Septuagint, Torah, Prophets, Documentary Hypothesis, Covenants and Near East Treaties, Nevi'im, Major Prophets, Minor Prophets, Ketuvi'im, The Scrolls, Wisdom Books, History Books, Intertestemental Period, Apocrypha, Vulgate, Apocrypha Acceptance, Apocrypha Canonization, Dead Sea Scrolls, Archaeology, New Testament, and Timeline.
I enjoyed learning about the diligence the scribes took in copying the manuscripts, knowing that this is the Word of God and needed to be handled with the utmost care. I also found the information about the translation of the books into Greek intriguing. As you can see below, at the time of Alexander the Great, when the Septuagint was translated, the books of the Old Testament were divided into the books we know to this day. It's not that books were added, instead, the books that used to be combined were separated.
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