Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Bible's Proof

The individual must accept that the Bible is the Word of God by faith, for “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).

At the same time, Bible faith is not a blind leap into the dark. It is confidence in the Record that God has given, for “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). The writers of the Bible explain to us that they were not delivering cunningly devised fables but a divinely-inspired record based on “many infallible proofs” (Acts 1:3; 2 Peter 1:16).

Following are some of the objective, time-proven reasons why we can have complete confidence in the Bible:

1. The testimony of Jesus Christ proves that the Bible is the Word of God.

Jesus claimed to be the Son of God, and His resurrection alone gives infallible witness to this claim. The evidence for Christ’s resurrection is irrefutable, as we have shown in this book. Consider just four of these evidences:

First, there is the amazing candor of the Gospel accounts. When someone invents a religion, he glorifies its leaders, but the four Gospels paint the founders of Christianity as very weak (e.g., Peter denying Christ thrice; the disciples fleeing and hiding; Thomas and others doubting Christ even after He appears to them). Further, if men had made up the accounts of Christ’s resurrection in the Gospels, they would not have said that the women were the first to believe. In that day women had no authority in the eyes of society. The account of the women believing first is not something that would have been written unless it actually happened and unless the writers were committed wholeheartedly to recording the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. This striking candor is powerful evidence that the Gospels are true, unvarnished accounts.

Second, the resurrected Christ was seen by hundreds of eye witnesses, most of whom were still alive with Paul interviewed them a couple of decades later and wrote about it in the first epistle to the Corinthians (1 Cor. 15:1-8).

Third, the resurrection dramatically changed His disciples. Before Christ’s resurrection they were fearful and in hiding, whereas after they saw and touched Him they became bold and were willing to suffer and die for their faith.

Fourth, the enemies of Christ have never produced His body; the tomb remains empty to this day. As George Hanson rightly says, “The simple faith of the Christian who believes in the resurrection is nothing compared to the credulity of the skeptic who will accept the wildest and most improbable romances rather than admit the plain witness of historical certainties. The difficulties of belief may be great; the absurdities of unbelief are greater” (The Resurrection and the Life).

Christ taught that the Bible is the infallible Word of God. He quoted from every part of the Old Testament as the Word of God. Some of the Old Testament people and events that Christ referred to are the creation (Mk. 13:19), Adam and Eve (Mt. 19:4-6; Mk. 10:6-7), Cain and Abel (Mt. 23:35; Lk. 11:50-51), Noah and the flood (Mt. 24:37-39), Abraham (Jn. 8:39-40), the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Lk. 17:28-29), Lot’s wife turning to salt (Lk. 17:32), Moses and the burning bush (Mk. 12:26), manna from Heaven (Jn. 6:31-32), the brazen serpent in the wilderness (Jn. 3:14-15), Jonah and the whale (Mt. 12:39-41; Lk. 11:29-32), Nineveh repenting at Jonah’s preaching (Lk. 11:32), Solomon and the queen of Sheba (Lk. 11:31).

Christ often quoted from the book Isaiah and said the historical prophet Isaiah wrote it, not an unknown group of men as the critics claim. In John 12:38-41, Jesus quoted from both major sections of Isaiah and said both were written by the same prophet named Isaiah.

Of the authority of the Old Testament, Jesus said,

“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” (Mat. 5:17-18).

In this passage Jesus taught that the Old Testament is perfect even to the very letters.

He further said that “the scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35). He was saying that nothing written in the Scripture can be set aside or ignored. It is authoritative to every detail; it is a chain with no weak links.

On Christ’s authority alone we would trust the Bible and reject the skeptics.

2. The Bible’s unique construction proves that it is the Word of God.

The Bible was written by at least 40 different authors representing some 19 different occupations (shepherd, soldier, farmer, fisherman, tax collector, medical doctor, king, etc.) who lived during a period covering some 1,600 years. That is approximately 50 generations. The first 39 books of the Bible were written in the Hebrew language over a period of about 1,000 years. There was then a 400-year gap when no Scriptures were written. After that, the last 27 books of the Bible were written in the Greek language during a period covering roughly 50 years. The writers of the Old Testament could not have collaborated with one another and the writers of the New Testament could not have collaborated with those of the Old Testament

Yet the product is one book that fits together perfectly, has one all-encompassing message, and contains no contradictions or errors. There is nothing else remotely like this in all of man’s history. The one message of the Bible from beginning to end is the eternal plan of God in Jesus Christ. The earliest books of the Bible teach the same doctrine about God, creation, man, sin, life, death, salvation, and judgment as the last books of the Bible. The genealogy of Jesus Christ appears in the first book and can be traced throughout the rest of the Bible.

Some have claimed to have found mistakes in the Bible, but I have studied it for 38 years and each time I have examined a supposed error or contradiction, I have found that the Bible is true and the critic is wrong. (See our book Things Hard to Be Understood: A Handbook of Biblical Difficulties.)

3. The confidence and sincerity of the Bible’s authors prove that it is the Word of God.

The Bible testifies that “holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:21), and an examination of the lives of the Bible’s writers proves this testimony. These were holy, serious men. They came from all walks of life. They were men of good reputation and sound mind. They were not enriched by the prophecies they gave. Far from it; some were impoverished and many were viciously persecuted and killed for the testimony they held. Moses, the author of the first five books of the Bible, chose to live a life of terrific hardship in the service of God as opposed to the millionaire’s life he could have lived as the adopted son of Pharaoh. Many Bible writers made similar choices. Their motivation certainly was not covetousness and worldly advantage. These were not perfect men, but they were holy men. They all claimed that God had put His hand upon them to speak His Word. The lives they lived, and the testimonies they held, and the deaths they died gave evidence that they were telling the truth.

4. Fulfilled prophecy proves the Bible is the Word of God.

The Bible contains a vast amount of prophecy, much of which has been fulfilled. The Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecies by J. Barton Payne lists 1817 specific prophecies, 1239 in the Old Testament and 578 in the New. The predictions are precise and detailed, and the fulfillment is exact.

Isaiah says that fulfilled prophecy is evidence of divine inspiration, and this should be obvious since only God knows the future (Isaiah 41:21-23).

The God of Israel challenges the idols to prove their divinity by foretelling the future. No pagan religious book has ever done this. The so-called prophecies of Nostradamus, for example, are so vague that they could mean almost anything. The same is typically true for astrological forecasts. Bible prophecy, on the other hand, is clear and precise, and its prophecies have never failed. 

used by permission:

This is a three part message. We all know some who have come to false conclusions about God's Holy Word. This teaching is the perfect answer to skeptics. Please forward.

Go to part 2: Bible Proof 2

 God Bless you my friends, Bob

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