What we really need, after all, is not to defend the Bible but to understand it. -Millar Burrows Sumair Mirza2/18/2013 1
How can I trust How do I know that what the Bible it is from God? says?Why do Christians What does all this follow it? mean to you?
• 1600 years old• 40 authors• Three languages: Hebrew, Aramaic (e.g. Daniel 2-7, portions of Ezra, Jeremiah 10:10, etc.), Greek• 70% of NT are letters• OT: Prophets, fire, clouds, glory of light in the temple – Hebrew scriptures = Masorectic Text (MT) – Greek translation = Septuagint (Lxx)• NT: Incarnate – Written in Greek + used Lxx because writing to Greek speaking audience God seems to yell louder as the Bible progresses
• Exegesis (Good): Draw meaning out of text• Eisegesis (Bad): Read one’s ideas into the text• GODISNOWHERE (example of what scribes had to manage with) – GOD IS NOW HERE = Meaning #1 = state God exists theism – GOD IS NOWHERE = Meaning #2 = state God does not exist atheism – Scribes had to decipher no spaces (continuo scripto) • Oldest NT manuscripts
• Nehemiah 8:8: even prophets show interest in correct biblical understanding• John 6:30-33: Jesus corrects wrong scriptural understanding• Galatians 3:16: Paul careful interpreter (seed = one person = Jesus Christ)
• Scriptures were tailored to audience as any good presenter would do…• In New Guinea the pig is sacred and liver is the centre of emotions• Imagine… – Behold Jesus comes, the piglet of God….?! – My son Shechem has his liver set on your daughter. Please give her to him as his wife….?!
Basic outline of argument for theBible 1. God exists 2. NT is historically reliable 3. Miracles are possible 4. Miracles confirm Jesus’ claim to be God 5. Whatever God teaches is true 6. Jesus (= God) taught that the Bible is the Word of God by confirming the OT and promising the NT. 7. Therefore, the Bible is the Word of God.
What Jesus taught about the OT 1. Authority – Matt. 22:43 2. Reliability – Matt. 26:54 3. Finality – Matt. 4:4, 7, 10 4. Sufficiency – Luke 16:31 5. Indestructibility – Matt 5:17-18 6. Unity – Luke 24:27, 44 7. Clarity – Luke 24:27 8. Historicity – Matt. 12:40 9. Facticity (scientifically) – Matt 19:2-5 10.Inerrancy – Matt. 22:29; John 3:12, 17:17 11.Infallibility – John 10:35
Neo-evangelical EvangelicalTrue in whole, but not all parts True in whole, and in all partsTrue spiritually, but not always historically True spiritually and historicallyTrue morally, but not always scientifically True morally and scientificallyTrue in intention, but not in all affirmations True in intention and all affirmationsBible is infallible, but not inerrant Bible is infallible and inerrantBible is God’s instrument of revelation Bible is intrinsically a revelationBible is God’s record of revelation Bible is God’s revelationGod speaks through the words of the Bible God speaks in the words of the BibleHuman language is inadequate to Human language is adequate but notcommunicate God exhaustiveMuch of higher criticism may be accepted None of higher criticism is acceptedFaith is opposed to reason Faith is not opposed to reason
Argument ResponseScience is right about science and Jesus states “I told you earthly thingsBible is right about spiritual matters and you do not believe, how shall you believe if I tell you heavenly things?” (John 3:12)Criticism around certain passages Jesus clearly affirms these passages: Creation (Luke 11:51), Adam and Eve (Matt. 19:4-5), Noah and the Flood (Matt. 24:37-39), Sodom and Gomorrah (Luke 10:12), Jonah and the great fish (Matt. 12:39-41), Moses wrote Law (Mark 7:10; John 7:19)Not all of the Bible is the Word of God God said = Scripture said & Bible said = God said (Gen. 12:3 – Gal. 3:8, Ex. 9:6 – Rom. 9:17, Isa. 55:3 – Acts 13:34, etc.)What about books that were left out? No category of books initially accepted and later thrown out. 2 groups of books some say should be included (Apocrypha, Gnostic)
• Accepted as scripture by Augustine and Syrian church in 4th century (later added by Catholic church)• Jews never accepted as Scriptures• Curious timing, 1546 (council of Trent) was added because of “Christian usage” and 29 years after Protestant reformation• No book in group claims to be inspired, and some deny it (1 Maccabees 9:27)
• Written in 2nd and 3rd century with names of apostles even though they didn’t write them (e.g. Acts of John, Gospel of Peter)• Books taught 2 early heresies: (1) Jesus was only a spirit that looked like a man and (2) His resurrection was a return to spiritual form• Heretical groups created them• No early church fathers accepted these and writings are not consistent with rest of Scriptures
• Evangelicals do not try to prove that the Bible has no mistakes so that they can be sure the Bible is the Word of God.• Christians hold the Bible to the Word of God (and inerrant) because they are convinced that Jesus believed it and taught it
Logic flow; The Word of God... Incarnate Inspired Hidden in God from eternity Eternal thoughts of God (John 1:1) (Ps. 119:89, Eph. 3:9) Conceived by Holy Spirit Inspired by Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35) (2 Tim. 3:16, 2 Peter 1:21) Born a common man Written in common language (Phil. 2:7) (1 Cor. 2:4-10) Perfect; sinless Perfect; inerrant (John 8:46, Heb. 4:15) (John 17:17, Ps. 19:8) Bore witness to Scriptures Bore witness to Christ (Matt. 5:17-18) (Luke 24:27) Reveals the Father Reveals the Son (John 1:18, Heb. 1:1-2) (John 5:39) God can produce both a Person and a Book that are without error.
Books that were questioned... Book Rationale Hebrews Author unknown. James Conflict with Paul’s faith alone 2 Peter Style variance from 1 Peter (1 Peter 5:12) 2 and 3 John Author (Peter) is called “elder” Jude Refers to Book of Enoch and Assumption of Moses Revelation Teaches thousand year reign for Christ (taught by a cult)
• Third-Party Verification - a plethora of external sources and facts outside the Bible corroborate what is found in the Bible.• Historical Reliability - The Bibles message is a sharp contrast to the pagan fertility religions and philosophies of the ancient world as revealed through history.• Fulfilled Prophecy - Events demonstrate that the Biblical prophets accurately predicted events hundreds of years before they occurred.• Archaeological Evidence - Archaeological evidence demonstrates the historical and cultural accuracy of the Bible.
• The Sumerian King List, lists kings who reigned for long periods of time.• Then a great flood came. Following the flood, Sumerian kings ruled for much shorter periods of time.• Men had long life spans before the flood and shorter life spans after the flood.
• Sumerian tablets record the confusion of language as we have in the Biblical account of the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9).• There was a golden age when all mankind spoke the same language.• Babylonians had a similar account in which the gods destroyed a temple tower and "scattered them abroad and made strange their speech.”
1. Campaign into Israel by Pharaoh Shishak (1 Kings 14:25-26), recorded on the walls of the Temple of Amun in Thebes, Egypt.2. Revolt of Moab against Israel (2 Kings 1:1; 3:4-27), recorded on the Mesha Inscription.3. Fall of Samaria (2 Kings 17:3-6, 24; 18:9-11) to Sargon II, king of Assyria, as recorded on his palace walls.4. Defeat of Ashdod by Sargon II (Isaiah 20:1), as recorded on his palace walls.5. Campaign of the Assyrian king Sennacherib against Judah (2 Kings 18:13-16), as recorded on the Taylor Prism.6. Siege of Lachish by Sennacherib (2 Kings 18:14, 17), as recorded on the Lachish reliefs.7. Assassination of Sennacherib by his own sons (2 Kings 19:37), as recorded in the annals of his son Esarhaddon.8. Fall of Nineveh as predicted by the prophets Nahum and Zephaniah (2:13-15), recorded on the Tablet of Nabopolasar.
9. Fall of Jerusalem to Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon (2 Kings 24:10- 14), as recorded in the Babylonian Chronicles.10. Captivity of Jehoiachin, king of Judah, in Babylon (2 Kings 24:15-16), as recorded on the Babylonian Ration Records.11. Fall of Babylon to the Medes and Persians (Daniel 5:30-31), as recorded on the Cyrus Cylinder.12. Freeing of captives in Babylon by Cyrus the Great (Ezra 1:1-4; 6:3-4), as recorded on the Cyrus Cylinder.13. The existence of Jesus Christ as recorded by Josephus, Suetonius, Thallus, Pliny the Younger, the Talmud, and Lucian.14. Forcing Jews to leave Rome during the reign of Claudius (A.D. 41-54) (Acts 18:2), as recorded by Suetonius.
• Jews buried flawed and worn-out copies• Only have a few OT manuscripts• All manuscripts agreed to a great extent even with Septuagint, Dead Sea Scrolls, writings in Qumran caves.• Nothing was to be written by memory• Any copy with one mistake was destroyed• 95% word-for-word identical
• 5,600+ manuscripts available• Most textual difficulties are slight (e.g. Word order)• Some say 200,000 “errors” in Bible but only 10,000 variants• < 40 places where original is not 100% known• Have 100% of NT and are certain about 99.5%
* Source: Evidence that demands a verdict, Josh McDowell
• The name "Canaan" was in use in Ebla, a name critics once said was not used at that time and was used incorrectly in the early chapters of the Bible.• The word "tehom" ("the deep") in Genesis 1:2 was said to be a late word demonstrating the late writing of the creation story. "Tehom" was part of the vocabulary at Ebla, in use some 800 years before Moses.
• Many thought Solomons wealth was greatly exaggerated. Recovered records show that wealth in antiquity was concentrated and Solomons prosperity was entirely feasible.• Claimed there was no Assyrian king named Sargon (Isaiah 20:1). Then, Sargons palace was discovered in Khorsabad, Iraq. The very event, his capture of Ashdod, was recorded on the palace walls.
• The OT foretells His place of birth as Bethlehem — Numbers 24:17, 19, Micah 5:2• His lineage from Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and David — Gen: 12:3, 21:12, 2 Samuel 7:13• His forerunner, John the Baptist — Isaiah 40:3, Malachi 3:1• His vicarious suffering and death — Isaiah 53• His crucifixion, before crucifixion was a mode of execution — Psalm 22:16, Zechariah 12:10• His execution with common criminals — Isaiah 53:9, 12• His divinity — Isaiah 9:6, Jeremiah 23:6, Micah 5:2
1. He will be betrayed by a friend (Psalm 41:9; Matthew 26:49)2. The price of his betrayal will be thirty pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12; Matthew 26:15)3. His betrayal money will be cast to the floor of my temple (Zechariah 11:13; Matthew 27:5)4. His betrayal money will be used to buy the potter’s field (Zechariah 11:13; Matthew 27:7)5. He will be forsaken and deserted by his disciples (Zechariah 13:7; Mark 14:50)6. He will be accused by false witnesses (Psalm 35:11; Matthew 26:59-60)7. He will be silent before his accusers (Isaiah 53:7; Matthew 27:12)8. He will be wounded and bruised (Isaiah 53:5; Matthew 27:26)9. He will be hated without a cause (Psalm 69:4; John 15:25)10. He will be struck and spit on (Isaiah 50:6; Matthew 26:67)11. He will be mocked, ridiculed, and rejected (Isaiah 53:3; Matthew 27:27-31; and John 7:5, 48)
12. He will collapse from weakness (Psalm 109:24-25; Luke 23:26)13. He will be taunted with specific words (Psalm 22:6-8; Matthew 27:39-43)14. People will shake their heads at him (Psalm 109:25; Matthew 27:39)15. People will stare at him (Psalm 22:17; Luke 23:35)16. He will be executed among “sinners” (Isaiah 53:12; Matthew 27:38)17. His hands and feet will be pierced (Psalm 22:16; Luke 23:33)18. He will pray for his persecutors (Isaiah 53:12; Luke 23:34)19. His friends and family will stand afar off and watch (Psalm 38:11; Luke 23:49)20. His garments will be divided and won by the casting of lots (Psalm 22:18; John 19:23-24)21. He will thirst (Psalm 69:21; John 19:28)22. He will be given gall and vinegar (Psalm 69:21; Matthew 27:34)23. He will commit himself to God (Psalm 31:5; Luke 23:46)
24. His bones will be left unbroken (Psalm 34:20; John 19:33)25. His heart will rupture (Psalm 22:14; John 19:34)26. His side will be pierced (Zechariah 12:10; John 19:34)27. Darkness will come over the land at midday (Amos 8:9; Matthew 27:45)28. He will be buried in a rich man’s tomb (Isaiah 53:9; Matthew 27:57-60)29. He will die 483 years after the declaration of Artaxerxes to rebuild the temple in 444 B.C. (Daniel 9:24)
• Jesus fulfilled 60 Old Testament prophecies made 400 years before his birth• 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000 = the probability of just 8 prophecies being fulfilled in one person supported by work from Peter Stoner validated by the American Scientific Affiliation
Remember…To doubt God is the firststep to muffle God’s voice To criticize God is the first step to gag God’s voice
How can I trust How do I know that what the Bible it is from God? says?Why do Christians What does all this follow it? mean to you?
Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart;• How to read the Bible for all it’s worth• How to read the Bible Book by BookWilliam Klein, Bloomberg;• Introduction to Biblical InterpretationD.A. Carson;• Exegetical fallaciesNorman Geisler;• When critics ask: Popular Handbook of Bible Difficulties• When skeptics ask: A Handbook on Christian EvidencesJr., Gleason L. Archer;• New International Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties
“For the time will comewhen men will not put upwith sound doctrine.Instead, to suit their owndesires, they will gatheraround them a greatnumber of teachers to saywhat their itching ears wantto hear.” - Paul (2 Timothy 4:3)