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Bible as god's word

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  • 1. Why do Christians believe the bible to be the Word of God? 1
  • 2. The Spirit Himself bears witness withour spirit that we are children of God Romans 8:16 2
  • 3. This is the truth because it says it is the truth! 3
  • 4. But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us;for after He had said before, “This is thecovenant that I will make with them afterthose days, says the LORD: I will put Mylaws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them” Hebrews 10:15-16 4
  • 5. 5
  • 6. The New Testament• The Uniqueness of the Bible• Historic Reliability• How and Why Certain Books Were Included 6
  • 7. The New Testament• The Uniqueness of the Bible  Unique in its Continuity 7
  • 8. The New TestamentUnique in its ContinuityThe bible is the only book that was: Written over about a 1,500 year span (NT written over a 50 year span) Written by over 40 authors from every walk of life (NT has 10 authors) Written on 3 different continents – Asia, Africa and Europe Written in 3 different languages – Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek Written by authors who mostly did not know one another Written in vastly different places – everywhere from dungeons to palaces 8
  • 9. The New Testament• The Uniqueness of the Bible  Unique in its Continuity  Unique in its Circulation 9
  • 10. The New TestamentUnique in its CirculationThe bible is the only book in the world that has sold over a billion copiesThe lowest estimate is 2.5 billion, the upper estimates are over 6 billionThe next closest are “Quotations from Chairman Mao’”(The Little RedBook) and the “Qur’an” with about 800 million eachThe bible sells more copies than any other book every year 10
  • 11. The New Testament• The Uniqueness of the Bible  Unique in its Continuity  Unique in its Circulation  Unique in its Translation 11
  • 12. The New TestamentUnique in its Translation The bible has been translated into more languages than any other book So far, it has been translated into over 2,400 different languages This covers more than 90% of the people of the world The next two closest books are Pilgrim’s Progress and Pinocchio withabout 200 different languages The next two closest “non-fictional” books are the Book of Mormon andthe Qur’an with about 105 different languages 12
  • 13. The New Testament• The Uniqueness of the Bible  Unique in its Continuity  Unique in its Circulation  Unique in its Translation  Unique in its Survival 13
  • 14. The New TestamentUnique in its Survival Through the Passage of Time Through Persecutions - In 303 A.D., Roman Emperor Diocletian issuedan edict pronouncing the obliteration of Christianity"... an imperial letter was everywhere promulgated, ordering the razing ofchurches to the ground and the destruction by fire of the scriptures, andproclaiming that those who held high positions would lose all civil rights,while those in households, if they persisted in their profession ofChristianity, would be deprived of their liberty." Through Criticism 14
  • 15. “A thousand times over, the death knell of the Bible has been sounded, the funeral procession formed, theinscription cut on the tombstone, and committal read. But somehow the corpse never stays put. No other book has been so chopped, knifed, sifted, scrutinized, and vilified. Upon this “anvil” have been worn out innumerable “hammers” of opposition and criticism; yet the Biblestill stands. What is it about the Bible that has enabled it to withstand this test of time and opposition? 15
  • 16. Could it be that the answer lies in Peter’s quote from Isaiah 40:”All flesh is like grass, and all its glory like the flower ofgrass. The grass withers, and the flower falls off, but the word of the Lord abides forever (1 Peter 1:24-25) Bernard Ramm 16
  • 17. 17
  • 18. The New Testament• The Uniqueness of the Bible  Unique in its Continuity  Unique in its Circulation  Unique in its Translation  Unique in its Survival• Historic Reliability  The Bibliographical Test  The Internal Evidence Test  The External Evidence Test 18
  • 19. The New Testament• The Uniqueness of the Bible  Unique in its Continuity  Unique in its Circulation  Unique in its Translation  Unique in its Survival• Historic Reliability  The Bibliographical Test 19
  • 20. “On the basis of manuscript evidence alone, the works that made up the Christians’ NewTestament were the most frequently copied and widely circulated books of antiquity [ancient history]” F.E. Peters - Professor Emeritus of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies and History at New York University 20
  • 21. No. Of Author Book Date Written Earliest Copies Time Gap Copies Homer Iliad 800 B.C. c. 400 B.C. c. 400 yrs. 643 Herodotus History 480-425 B.C. c. A.D. 900 c. 1,350 yrs. 8Thucydides History 460-400 B.C. c. A.D. 900 c. 1,350 yrs. 8 Plato 400 B.C. c. A.D. 900 c. 1,300 yrs. 7Demosthenes 300 B.C. c. A.D. 1100 1,400 yrs. 200 Gallic Caesar 100-44 B.C. c. A.D. 900 c. 1,000 yrs. 10 Wars History 59 B.C.–A.D. 4th cent. (partial) mostly c. 400 yrs. 1 partial Livy of Rome 17 10th cent. c. 1,000 yrs. 19 copies Tacitus Annals A.D. 100 c. A.D. 1100 c. 1,000 yrs. 20 Pliny Natural A.D. 61-113 c. A.D. 850 c. 750 yrs. 7 Secundus History c. 114 (fragment) + 50 yrs. New c. 200 (books) 100 yrs. A.D. 50-100 5366 Testament c. 250 (most of the N.T.) 150 yrs. c. 325 (complete N.T.) 225 yrs.
  • 22. 22
  • 23. Pauline General Writer Gospels Acts Revelation Totals Epistles Epistles Justin 268 10 43 6 3 330 Martyr Irenaeus 1,038 194 499 23 65 1,819 Clement 1,107 44 1,127 207 11 2,406 (Alex.) Origen 9,231 349 7,778 399 165 17,992Tertullian 3,822 502 2,609 120 205 7,258Hippolytus 734 42 387 27 188 1,378 Eusebius 3,258 211 1,592 88 27 5,176 Grand 19,368 1,352 14,035 870 664 36,289 Totals
  • 24. “Suppose that the New Testament had beendestroyed, and every copy of it lost by the end of the third century, could it have been collected together again from the writings of the Fathers of the second and third centuries?” 24
  • 25. “Looks at those books. You remember the question about the New Testament and theFathers? That question roused my curiosity, and as I possessed all the existing works of the Fathers of the second and third centuries, Icommenced to search, and up to this time I have found the entire New Testament, except eleven verses.” Sir David Dalrymple 25
  • 26. The New Testament• The Uniqueness of the Bible  Unique in its Continuity  Unique in its Circulation  Unique in its Translation  Unique in its Survival• Historic Reliability  The Bibliographical Test  The Internal Evidence Test 26
  • 27. “Historical and literary scholarship continuesto follow Aristotle’s dictum that “the benefit of doubt is to be given to the document itself, notarrogated by the critic to himself.” This means thatone must listen to the claims of the documentunder analysis, and not assume fraud or error unless the author disqualifies himself bycontradictions or known factual inaccuracies.” John Warwick Montgomery 27
  • 28. “The deductions that may be validly drawn from ancient Egyptian, Sumerian, or Akkadian documents all harmonize with the biblical records; and no properly trained evangelical scholar has anything to fear from the hostile arguments and challenges of humanistic rationalists or detractors of any and every persuasion.” 28
  • 29. “There is a good and sufficient answer inScripture itself to refute every charge that hasbeen levelled against it. But this is only to be expected from the kind of book the Bibleasserts itself to be, the inscripturation of the infallible, inerrant Word of the Living God” Dr Gleason Archer 29
  • 30. 30
  • 31. Inasmuch as many have taken in hand to set in order a narrative of those things which have been fulfilled among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word delivered them to us, it seemed good to mealso, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write to you an orderly account, most excellent Theophilus Luke 1:1-3 31
  • 32. For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. 2 Peter 1:16 32
  • 33. That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands havehandled, concerning the Word of life— the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness,and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us— that whichwe have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His SonJesus Christ. And these things we write to you that your joy may be full. 1 John 1:3 33
  • 34. Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles,wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know Acts 2:22 34
  • 35. Now as he thus made his defence, Festus said witha loud voice, “Paul, you are beside yourself! Much learning is driving you mad!” But he said, “I amnot mad, most noble Festus, but speak the words oftruth and reason. For the king, before whom I also speak freely, knows these things; for I am convinced that none of these things escapes his attention, since this thing was not done in a corner.” Acts 26:24-26 35
  • 36. The New Testament• The Uniqueness of the Bible  Unique in its Continuity  Unique in its Circulation  Unique in its Translation  Unique in its Survival• Historic Reliability  The Bibliographical Test  The Internal Evidence Test  The External Evidence Test 36
  • 37. “Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nerofastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered theextreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thuschecked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judea, the first source of the evil, but even inRome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular.” Tacitus 37
  • 38. “The primary sources for the life of Christ are the four Gospels. However there are considerable reports from non-Christian sources that supplement and confirm the Gospel accounts. These come largely from Greek, Roman, Jewish, and Samaritan sourcesof the first century. In brief they inform us that: 38
  • 39. 1) Jesus was from Nazareth2) He lived a wise and virtuous life3) He was crucified in Palestine under Pontius Pilate during the reign of Tiberius Caesar at Passover time, being considered the Jewish King4) He was believed by his disciples to be raised from the dead three days later5) His enemies acknowledged that he performed unusual feats they called ‘sorcery’6) His small band of disciples multiplied rapidly, spreading even as far as Rome7) His disciples denied polytheism, lived moral lives, and worshiped Christ as Divine 39
  • 40. This picture confirms the view of Christpresented in the New Testament Gospels.“ Dr Norman Geisler 40
  • 41. 41
  • 42. The New Testament• The Uniqueness of the Bible  Unique in its Continuity  Unique in its Circulation  Unique in its Translation  Unique in its Survival• Historic Reliability  The Bibliographical Test  The Internal Evidence Test  The External Evidence Test• How and Why Certain Books Were Included  Canon 42
  • 43. Canon means “an officially accepted list of books” 43
  • 44. “A book is not the Word of God because it was accepted by the people of God. Rather it wasaccepted by the people of God because it is the Word of God. That is, God gives the book its divine authority, not the people of God. They merely recognize the divine authority which God gives to it.”Geisler / Nix – General Introduction to the Bible 44
  • 45.  Was the writing an accurate account of the events? For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty – 2 Peter 1:16 Did the writing contradict the current scriptures? Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so – Acts 17:10-11 Was the person who wrote it an apostle or a very close associate of one? e.g. Mark was the interpreter of Peter; Luke was a “fellow laborer” of Paul Did the writing witness with their spirits and hearts that it was the trueWord of God? The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God – Romans 8:16 Was the writing accepted by the vast majority of Christians? 45
  • 46. These things I have spoken to you while beingpresent with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit,whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. John 14:25-26 46
  • 47. I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, theSpirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He willtell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. John 16:12-14 47
  • 48. and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul,according to the wisdom given to him, has writtento you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures. 2 Peter 3:15-16 48
  • 49. For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer is worthy of his wages. 1 Timothy 5:18You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain. Deuteronomy 25:4And remain in the same house, eating and drinkingsuch things as they give, for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Luke 10:7 49
  • 50. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God [God- breathed], 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 50
  • 51. 51
  • 52. Again it is not tedious to speak of the books of theNew Testament. These are, the four Gospels, according to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Afterwards, the Acts of the Apostles and Epistles, seven, namely, of James, one; of Peter, two; of John, three; after these, one of Jude. In addition, there are fourteen Epistles of Paul, written in this order. The first, to the Romans; then two to the Corinthians; after these, to the Galatians; next, to the Ephesians; then to the Philippians; then to the Colossians; after these, two tothe Thessalonians, and that to the Hebrews; and again, two to Timothy; one to Titus; and lastly, that to Philemon. And besides, the Revelation of John. Athanasius of Alexandria in A.D. 367 52
  • 53. Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that allthings must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. Luke 24:44-45 53
  • 54. The New Testament• The Uniqueness of the Bible  Unique in its Continuity  Unique in its Circulation  Unique in its Translation  Unique in its Survival• Historic Reliability  The Bibliographical Test  The Internal Evidence Test  The External Evidence Test• How and Why Certain Books Were Included  Canon  The God Factor 54
  • 55. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. Matthew 24:35 Mark 13:31 Luke 21:33 55