The Truth of the Bible

THE BIBLICAL BASIS FOR SEEKING AND GIVING PROOF:

1 Thessalonians 5:21 Test everything. Hold on to the good.  (Another translation says "Examine everything carefully.")

1 Peter 3:15 [NKJV] But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you ...

Jude 3 Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. ("Contend" means to present information and reasoning in support of an assertion.)

MAJOR  CHRISTIAN  DOCTRINES


"Why should I believe the Bible is true?"

Think about your local city, county, province, or state government, or any of the major national governments, e.g., United States, Britain, France.  Over even as little as a ten-year period, do you see a consistency of vision, of plan, of purpose?  Or, instead, do you see repeated changes in goals and priorities?  And that is only over ten years!

Now consider the Bible:  It was written over a period of one and a half thousand years on three continents (Europe, Africa, and Asia), in three languages (Hebrew, classical Koine Greek, Aramaic), by about forty authors including non-Christian Jews (Old Testament), Jewish Christians (e.g., Paul) and Gentile Christians (e.g., probably Luke), most of whom did not know each other or know of each others' writings, including a political leader (Moses), fisherman (Peter), herdsman (Amos), military general (Joshua), prime minister (Daniel), physician (Luke), king (Solomon, David), rabbi and tent maker (Paul).  Yet still there is a consistent set of goals and purposes: to unite men with God forever.

(See McDowell, Josh. Evidence that Demands a Verdict (Vol I). San Bernardino CA: Here's Life Publishers, 1979)

Also see Christian Doctrine at http://www.carm.org/chrdoc1.htm


"Why should I believe the New Testament?  After all, New Testament stories were passed down for centuries before they were written down."

The last major books of the Bible, the Gospel of John and Revelation, were written down before 100 A.D.!  A portion of the Gospel of John, the John Ryland Papyrus, was discovered by Ryland in the tomb of someone buried in Egypt around 120 A.D.  It would have taken about 25-30 years for copies to spread from Patmos and Asia Minor to Egypt.   Contrary to common belief, the books of the New Testament are not ordered chronologically.  All of Paul's letters were written before any of the Gospels.  (Paul was executed around 64-68 A.D.  Mark may have been written before this.)

Luke investigated everything himself.

Luke states right up front: Luke 1:1-4 [1] Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, [2] just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. [3] Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, [4] so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.

Peter, an eyewitness, wrote about what he himself saw and heard.

2 Peter 1:16-18 [16] We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. [17] For he received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." [18] We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.


"Why should I believe Jesus died and came back from the dead?"

Per Paul, an eyewitness, and former skeptic, Jesus appeared to over 500 people after He was resurrected.

  • Peter (1 Corinthians 15:5)
  • The Apostles, except Thomas  (1 Corinthians 15:5, Acts)
  • Jesus' brother James (1 Corinthians 15:7)
  • His brothers: James, Joseph, Simon, and Jude (Acts)
  • Mary, His mother (Acts)
  • Thomas the Apostle
  • A crowd of 500 (1 Corinthians 15:6)
  • Paul (1 Corinthians 15:8, Acts 9:5)

1 Corinthians 15:3-9  [3] For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according [i.e., in accordance with] to the Scriptures, [4] that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, [5] and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. [6] After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. [7] Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, [8] and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born. [9] For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.


ADDITIONAL  REFERENCES
Tomb for Sale -- Only Used 3 Days
www.GodOnThe.Net/evidence/for_sale.htm
A Lawyer Examines the Swoon Theory
www.GodOnThe.Net/evidence/swoon.htm
The Death of Jesus - Mayo Clinic Study
(PDF)
A Physician Analyzes the Crucifixion
http://the-crucifixion.org/physician.html
Forensic Pathology Report on Jesus
www.GodOnThe.Net/evidence/forensic.htm


"Why should I believe the Bible is inspired by God?"

This is an argument developed by Charles Wesley, co-founder of Methodism:

The Bible was inspired by one of five sources:

  • God
  • good men
  • good angels
  • evil men
  • evil angels (demons and/or Satan -- the Devil)

The Bible could not have been inspired by either good men or good angels.  The Bible says repeatedly "Thus says the Lord . . . ."  If this is true, then God is the one who inspired the writers. If it is false, then the one who inspired the writers is lying. By definition, good men and good angels wouldn't lie.

The Bible could not have been inspired by evil men or evil angels.  The Bible lays out a strict moral code that condemns sin and condemns sinners to eternal punishment.  Evil men and evil angels wouldn't inspire a book that condemns them and their  actions, beliefs, and way of life.

Hmm, now who do we have left? . . .


"Does prophecy prove the Bible is true?"

The God of the Bible specifically says that He foretells the future as proof:

  1. That He exists
  2. That He controls human history
  3. That words allegedly inspired by Him actually are inspired by Him

Isaiah 44:6-8 [6] "This is what the LORD says Israel's King and Redeemer, the LORD Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God. [7] Who then is like me? Let him proclaim it. Let him declare and lay out before me what has happened since I established my ancient people, and what is yet to come yes, let him foretell what will come.  [8] Do not tremble, do not be afraid.   Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago? You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me? No, there is no other Rock; I know not one."
 

Isaiah 48:2-5 [3] I foretold the former things long ago, my mouth announced them and I made them known; then suddenly I acted, and they came to pass. [4] For I knew how stubborn you were; the sinews of your neck were iron, your forehead was bronze. [5] Therefore I told you these things long ago; before they happened I announced them to you so that you could not say, `My idols did them; my wooden image and metal god ordained them.'
 

Some examples:

Here are some quick examples of prophesy.  Many books give dozens more.  Estimates are that about twenty-five percent of the Bible, 8250 verses were prophetic when written.

     Psalm 22 David's prophecy about the Messiah's Crucifixion

Compare Psalm 22 to the Crucifixion scenes in the Synoptic Gospels (i.e., Matthew, Mark, and Luke).  A thousand years beforehand David described the crucifixion of the Messiah a non-standard crucifixion!  Normally, the Romans would break the victim's legs after several hours, to hasten death:

John 19:31-34 [31] Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jews did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. [32] The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. [33] But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. [34] Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus' side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.

As David said at Psalm 22:16-17 [16] . . . a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet. [17] I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me.
 

     Ezekiel Chapters 5 and 11 The Rebirth of Israel

In Ezekiel 5:5 et seq. ("and following"), written about 580 B.C., God said that in the  future He would punish the Israelites for worshiping false gods, punish them and their descendants worse than He ever had or would punish anyone else, including scattering them throughout the world. In verse 11:17 et seq.  He said that in the last days He would bring back the Jews from all nations. In Chapter 37, known as the vision of the Valley of Dry Bones, He shows Israel being brought back to life.  This happened May 14, 1948 when Israel became an independent nation TWO AND A HALF THOUSAND years after God told us!

Of course, by then it was old news God told it to Moses THREE AND A HALF THOUSAND YEARS AGO:

Deuteronomy 30:1-3 [1] When all these blessings and curses I have set before you come upon you and you take them to heart wherever the LORD your God disperses you among the nations, [2] and when you and your children return to the LORD your God and obey him with all your heart and with all your soul according to everything I command you today, [3] then the LORD your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where he scattered you.

Ezekiel also contains many prophecies against various city-states, e.g., Edom, Tyre, Sidon.  Each of these was unique and each was fulfilled as stated.  (See McDowell, ibid., Chap. 11, Sec. 2A)

Also see Hagee, John. Beginning of the End. Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1996

Also see The Gospel of Jesus Christ


"What about The Book of Mormon?  Is it also inspired by God?"

Mormonism claims to be the only true Christian religion but in fact is not Christian at all.  The Book of Mormon is actually a conglomeration of excerpts plaigerized from an unpublished novel (i.e., fiction) by Solomon Spaulding and portions of the King James Version of the Bible, including KJV typographical errors later corrected by the KJV editors.
 

"What about the Koran (also spelled Qu'ran), the religious book of Islam?  Is that inspired by God?"

Islam claims that the Koran is the word of God, given through the angel Gabriel, but the Koran directly contradicts some of the most fundamental teachings of the Bible. They can't both be true. Among other things, the Koran denies the deity of Jesus Christ, denies that He was crucified and denies that He came back from the dead.


"Isn't this really all just a matter of personal interpretation?"

Christians claim that God exists, the God of the Bible is the only real God, He will eternally reward those who follow Him and eternally punish those who reject Him.

However, Christianity and some other religions such as Mormonism and Islam do not limit their claims to "spiritual" matters that cannot be examined in the "real" world.  These religions claim that actual events occurred with actual people at specific times and specific places.  This takes them out of the realm of "personal interpretation" and puts them in the realm of investigation.  If someone claimed to be a prophet, did his prophecies come true?  If a text is claimed to be "from God" does it make statements that contradict known historical facts?

If Christianity is unique, we should be able to show facts and evidence to support Christians' claims and show  facts and evidence that other religions are not true.


"Aren't people entitled to believe whatever they want?"

Unlike some religions, we don't claim to be infallible!  If you can show us where the Bible says there is no penalty for rejecting the Father and Jesus and the Holy Spirit and believing in some other god(s) instead, we're certainly willing to consider that claim.

Until then . . ., the Bible says:

John 3:16-18 [16] For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. [17] For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. [18] Whoever believes in him [Jesus] is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.


 IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE IN JESUS, KEEP IN MIND: 
 
IF YOU SIMPLY REFUSE TO BELIEVE IN GRAVITY,

YOU CAN JUMP OFF A  50-STORY BUILDING

AND EVERYTHING WILL BE FINE . . .
 

FOR  AWHILE . . .


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(c) 1999 by Christian Chapel CME Church
Dallas, Texas USA
Bible quotes from New International Version