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Section 2.. Reasons To Believe/
Index To A Remarkable Book Called The Bible

 

003white Index To Section 2 ...   Reasons To Believe           >       The Remarkable Book Called The Bible

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Thus Says the LORD: Stand at the crossroads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way lies; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.
(Jeremiah 6:16. Emphasis added)

This Book is either totally deceptive, totally deranged, or totally divine--there is no fourth option like 'a very good and insightful book'! (Glenn Miller Next Seat)

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The Bible has rightly been called the greatest story ever told, about the greatest person who has ever lived, who is making to men and women the greatest offer that has ever been made.

One Excuse for not reading the Bible is that flawed men wrote it. Funny how that logic doesn't apply to the Washington Post, The Enquirer, Doctor Phil or Deepak Chopra! [Read the Bible? What a Concept! Marsha West]

 We live in a world, which has several books that claim to be divinely inspired. However claims alone do not make this true. So what makes the Bible the only book we can accept as divinely inspired, above other sacred writings like the Qur’an, the Bhagavad-Gita, the writings of Confucius or the Book of Mormon? The Bible has no material qualities that might distinguish it from these … it does not glow in the dark, levitate or exhibit any physical qualities that might be seen as supernatural. How can we, as Christians, know beyond a shadow of doubt that the Bible is and always was the only Word of God? How is it possible to determine the validity and the authenticity of the claims made by these Scriptures.

SECTIONS ON THIS PAGE

Authorship, Uniqueness and Role
If you consider how and where the Bible was written, by whom, over what time period, and under what circumstances, you can only come to the conclusion that it is a literary miracle, impossible to account for by ordinary standards.

Inspiration
refers to the writers and the writings being controlled by God.

Criticism
Most Bible critics do not deserve the benefit of the doubt.. chances are they haven't done a fraction of the homework they
need to do to be reputable commentators.


Reliability

Overview
Is the Bible we have today what was originally written?

The Old Testament
Are there other sources, besides the document itself, to substantiate its accuracy, reliability and authenticity?

The New Testament
Evidence that the major works of the New Testament are eyewitness accounts written within two generations of the events
 

Archaeology and The Bible
While historical accuracy does not "prove" the Bible's spiritual authority, it does enhance its credibility

Science And The Bible
Compelling scientific evidence that the Bible is no ordinary book


 “Lost” Books of The Bible
The Canon, Gnostic Gospels and the DaVinci Code
The apocryphal books were sometimes highly regarded or cited for their antiquity or for their historical, moral, or literary value, but there is a huge difference between "valuable" and "divinely inspired". If we can't identify the content and extent of Scripture, then we can't properly distinguish any theological truth from error.  Who decided which books were inspired, and which weren’t? What most people do not realize is that past councils were not the one who decided which books were inspired, and which were not.


Also See
[Below]
Unhelpful Responses To Questions About The Bible
Credible Authority
In Conclusion

 

 

Authorship and Role
Authorship The Bible is unique inasmuch as it maintains consistency, harmony, and continuity from cover to cover. It has one message from Genesis to Revelation. Nothing outstanding about that you say… After all most books have one ‘theme’, story line or subject. True! But perhaps the Bible’s uniformity is more than a little curious considering that ...  (Includes Could You Write The Bible?).

The Christian’s Charter A brief but comprehensive description of Scripture.

The Miracle Of The Bible   The Bible is accepted as one of the greatest master pieces of the world's literature. The grandeur of the opening chapters of Genesis and of John's Gospel, the moving poetry of the Psalms, the fiery denunciations of the Hebrew prophets, the compelling records of the life and work of Jesus, and the apocalyptic mysteries of the Book of Revelation-all these serve together to set the Bible in a class of its own. It is quite unrivaled by any other work, in any language or from any age. But it is more than this: the Bible claims to be the written Word of God.

Why Isn’t The Evidence Clearer?  Why must we read a two-thousand-year-old book and study ancient history for proof of the existence of God? Are there any reasons for the evidence to appear obscure? [TOP OF PAGE]

 

Inspiration
How Can Anyone Be Certain of the Bible's Meaning?
God has communicated many things to us through the Bible. Some things are more difficult to understand, but he has gone out of his way to make his main message clear to us (John 20:31; 2 Timothy 3:16). He has done this in three ways... (Pending)

How Was the Bible Written? Inspiration does not mean simply that the writer felt enthusiastic, like Handel composing the Messiah. Nor does it mean that the writings are necessarily inspiring, like an uplifting poem. As a process, it refers to the writers and the writings being controlled by God. As a product, it refers to the writings only, as documents that are God’s message.

Inspiration of The Bible We are living in an age of great skepticism, agnosticism, and atheism. All that men may say about the Bible cannot prove nor disprove that it is inspired of God. And so we must turn to the Bible itself to see if it contains evidence sufficient to cause intelligent and informed men and women to believe its claim of inspiration.

God doesn't Give Autographs What I mean by that is that God doesn't allow us, or apparently hasn't in His sovereignty, to keep the autographs of the writings of the Bible.. However this is probably a good thing. [TOP OF PAGE]

 

Criticism
Academia’s Asinine Assault on the Bible Men who literally spent their lives poring over ancient Greek manuscripts of the New Testament, devoting their lives to meticulous, tedious analysis of the evidence, conversant with the original languages, without peer in their expertise and qualifications, have concluded that the Bible has been transmitted accurately. Then...

Calculated Contempt Why Bible critics do not deserve the benefit of the doubt.. chances are they haven't done a fraction of the homework they need to do to be a reputable commentator.

Did Adam Have a Navel? ... and Other Questions of Deep Theological Significance Questions such as these reveal skepticism and the desire to reduce the Bible God's Word to the level of absurdity. If it can be shown that the Bible consists mainly of ridiculous fallacies, then its claim to be the infallible guide to our lives is refuted. Most of the questions directed in this manner are merely parroted clichés that clearly show that the skeptic has done no serious thinking of his own. [TOP OF PAGE]

 

Reliability.. Overview
Is the Bible Today What Was Originally Written? The question, "Is the Bible today what was originally written?" involves two important questions: (1) Are the available manuscripts (mss.) of the Bible accurate representations of the original mss. of the respective books of the Bible (the autographs of Scripture)? This is an issue of textual transmission. (2) Are the available translations faithful renderings of the Bible in the original languages? This is an issue of translation.

Are Biblical Documents Reliable?.. Perhaps the most common reason which people advance for choosing to reject the Bible. It is generally believed that the original text MUST have been changed significantly since it was first written, and therefore, it is said, there is little point in paying much attention to a corrupted book.

Historical Evidence for the Bible (Overview) If the Bible is the inerrant and infallible word of God, as it claims (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21), we would expect there to be some evidence supporting these claims. After all, just because something claims to be the word of God does not make it true. We will examine the testimony of historical evidence to ask, Does the evidence support or deny the internal claims of the Bible?

The Dead Sea Scrolls The Old Testament that we use today is translated from what is called the Masoretic Text. The Masoretes were Jewish scholars who between A.D. 500 and 950 gave the Old Testament the form that we use today. Until the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in 1947, the oldest Hebrew text of the Old Testament was the Masoretic Aleppo Codex which dates to A.D. 935. With the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, we now had manuscripts that predated the Masoretic Text by about one thousand years. Additionally the scrolls were found to be almost identical with the Masoretic text. Hebrew Scholar Millar Burrows writes, “It is a matter of wonder that through something like one thousand years the text underwent so little alteration.

Why The Bible Cannot Be Legend The Bible claims that its accounts are not legend. If this claim is rejected, then one must find some way of explaining the existence of a body of literature which, although falsified, corresponds, down to its minutest details, to all that is known about the history with which it claims to be contemporaneous, and which, if it had not taken place, leaves unexplained the myriad of effects that have ostensibly occurred as a result of the events that it describes.

The Claims of The Bible Concerning Itself Not only do all of the Scriptures carry with them the claim to be describing events that have really taken place, but the Biblical authors believed that whatever had previously been recorded in Scripture had actually happened. For example, the book of Joshua presupposes that the events recorded in the Pentateuch had actually occurred. The Bible consistently builds upon the historicity of previously recorded events and is intelligible only if these prior events real. [TOP OF PAGE]
 

The Old Testament

The Claims of The Old Testament During the course of the history of Israel, the authors of the Old Testament made constant references to the portions of the Hebrew Scriptures that had already been written. From these citations, it is easy to demonstrate that the Old Testament treats itself as "the written record of the words of God as they were given by God, and as they were recorded by men who were specially designated and commanded by God to this work.

The Veracity of the Old Testament: A Scientific Validation This almost universal inaccuracy and unreliability of the Greek and Arab historians with reference to the kings of Egypt, Assyria, and Babylon is in glaring contrast with the exactness and trustworthiness of the Hebrew Bible.

Old Testament & Messianic Prophecy There is one test that we can apply to all ‘sacred writings’.... The Test Of Prophecy - the foretelling of future events. Surely a book claiming to be God's Word will contain His statements about His purpose, and predictions for the future. If you compare the ‘divine’ books such as the Bhagavad-Gita and the Koran, you will find that they contain hardly any prophecies, and certainly none that are as specific as those of the Bible and which have been fulfilled to the letter. Biblical prophecies commonly give details of actual events to occur; Actual geographic locations; Actual people (sometimes named before they were born); Actual nations, all of which would be involved in certain world events. It is a simple matter to ascertain whether such prophecies have been fulfilled or not.

The Odds Approximately 2500 prophecies appear in the pages of the Bible, about 2000 of which already have been fulfilled to the letter — no errors. (The remaining 500 or so reach into the future and may be seen unfolding as days go by.) Since the probability for any one of these prophecies having been fulfilled by chance averages less than one in ten (figured very conservatively) and since the prophecies are for the most part independent of one another, the odds for all these prophecies having been fulfilled by chance without error is less than one in 102000 (that is 1 with 2000 zeros written after it)! [TOP OF PAGE]
 

The New Testament

The Reliability Of The Gospels The New Testament was written by men who were either eyewitnesses themselves, or who related from the eyewitnesses their personal accounts of the actual incidents and teachings of Christ. It is beyond doubt that the New Testament accounts of Christ were circulated within the lifetimes of those who witnessed his life. It is also a fact that these people (some friendly, others hostile to the gospel) would confirm or deny the accuracy of the accounts. The bitter opponents of Jesus and his disciples would have leapt at the opportunity to discredit the claims concerning his life, death and resurrection, if the writings being circulated were untrue.

When Were The Books of The New Testament Written? Evidence that the major works of the New Testament are eyewitness accounts written within two generations of the events

New Testament Conspiracy? Is it simpler to say that the New Testament writers conspired over many decades to write about actual places and people in such a way so as to convincingly deceive thousands of people into believing that Jesus was the Messiah, fulfilled Old Testament prophecy, healed the sick, cured diseases, claimed to be divine, raised Lazarus from the dead, was crucified by Romans after enduring the religious court of the Sanhedrin, was buried, and rose from the dead or that it simply all happened and they recorded it? 

Was the New Testament Influenced By Pagan Religions?   Many have encountered criticisms of Christianity based on claims that early Christianity and the New Testament borrowed important beliefs and practices from a number of pagan mystery religions. Since these claims undermine such central Christian doctrines as Christ's death and resurrection, the charges are serious. But the evidence for such claims, when it even exists, often lies in sources several centuries older than the New Testament. Moreover, the alleged parallels often result from liberal scholars uncritically describing pagan beliefs and practices in Christian language and then marveling at the striking parallels they think they've discovered.

Was the New Testament Influenced By Pagan Philosophy?   Did the Christianity of the first century A.D. borrow any of its essential beliefs[1] from the pagan philosophical systems of that time? Was first century Christianity -- the Christianity reflected in the pages of the New Testament -- a syncretistic religion (i.e., a religion which fuses elements of differing belief systems) [TOP OF PAGE]

 

Archaeology and The Bible
Archaeology and The Bible It has been well said "conformity or agreement with other known historical or scientific facts is often the decisive test of evidence”. While historical accuracy does not "prove" the Bible's spiritual authority, it does enhance its credibility in non-historic areas. So what other sources substantiate the Bible’s accuracy and reliability?

 

Science And The Bible
003white Scientific Facts In The Bible   Before you laugh at stupid Christians, ask yourself if there is any proof that the claims of the Bible are true. Compelling scientific evidence that the Bible is no ordinary book.

Hasn’t Science Shown The Bible Is in Error? Does modern-day science prove the Bible is false? Many today seem to think so. But an even a more pertinent question is, "CAN science prove the Bible is false?" A study of the history and nature of science is needed to answer these questions.

Do All Scientists Support Darwinism? "All major scientists support evolution." This is the Darwinist’s response of choice to anyone who dares question the notion that matter, time, and chance – not God – have brought all things into existence. Too many Christians, when confronted with the argument that real scientists support Darwin’s conclusions, throw in the towel for lack of knowledge. [TOP OF PAGE]

 

What is The Canon of Scripture?
Apocrypha, Gnostic Gospels and Lost Books What is the Canon of Scripture is a very important question as the basis of Christianity is found in the authority of Scripture. If we can't identify what is Scripture, then we can't properly distinguish any theological truth from error. Section includes the ‘lost’ books of the Bible (a view that DOESN’T MAKE ANY SENSE) The Apocrypha, The Gnostic Gospels including the gospel of Thomas and the latest sensation... The Gospel of Judas (Although much excitement has been generated by these discoveries, not a little misunderstanding has been mixed with the enthusiasm.). Also Constantine and the Council of Nicea.

The DaVinci Code Dan Brown opens his novel with the words “FACT” in bold, capital letters and this statement: “All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals in this novel are accurate”. In terms of documents and rituals, and even artwork and architecture, The DaVinci Code contains few “facts” and what few it does contain require serious qualification. (Section) [TOP OF PAGE]

 

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Also See

Reading and Understanding The Bible Section includes An Overview of the Old and New Testament, Guides To Reading The Bible, How The Bible Came to Us, A Brief History Of The Bible, A Sermon on Each Book of The Bible, Commentaries etc. Section Includes

What Are We Looking For In The Bible? To preach the Bible as "the handbook for life," or as the answer to every question, rather than as the revelation of Christ, is to turn the Bible into an entirely different book. This is how the Pharisees approached Scripture

Biblical Interpretation...12 Golden Rules What basic and common sense rules should we apply to reading Scripture?

Bible Controversies Several Articles dealing with Bible Codes, The King James Version, and modern paraphrases like The Living Bible, The Message and Good News Bible.

Is The Qur’an The Word Of God?   Consider the claim of the Qur’an described by its admirers as “a literary masterpiece of surpassing excellence”, and is unquestioningly accepted by Muslims to be the infallible Word of God as revealed to Mohammed by the angel Gabriel over 1,300 years ago... But is it? (Article includes ‘Was Muhammad foretold by the Bible?’, ‘Did Muhammad perform miracles?’ and ‘Did the Qur’an have predictive prophecy’?) [TOP OF PAGE]

 

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Unhelpful Responses To Questions About The Bible

    "The Bible must be reliable because it claims to be God's Word." This is circular reasoning: the conclusion is stated as a premise. Also, what about other scriptures which make the same claim, but which contradict the truth-claims of the Bible?

    "The Bible's claims about Jesus are true in spite of the fact that it is full of errors in other matters." If the Bible doesn't speak reliably in the areas in which it can be tested, why should we believe it in the areas in which it can't be tested?

    "The Bible is God's Word because it makes me feel close to God, it helps my life, etc." This is something, but it can't be adequate by itself, because similar reports and conclusions are drawn about scriptures which contradict the Bible”. (Does It Matter If the Bible Is Historically Accurate? By Gary DeLashmutt) [TOP OF PAGE]
     


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Credible Authority
As said by pastor Greg K
oukl in Testing Religious Truth Claims

    “The first way we know something is by authority. Frankly, most of the things we think we know we don't know because we've discovered them ourselves, but rather because someone we trust told us they were so.

    If I wanted to know something about radiology, for example, I'd ask a radiologist whose credentials I trusted. Even if I consulted books on radiology, it would have amounted to the same thing: taking the word of someone who was an expert in the field. I wouldn't start from square one to rediscover radiology all on my own. I'd fall back on the books or the counsel of others who know better, and would probably be justified in believing what they had to say.

    It's interesting how people will sometimes balk at the notion at trusting an authority like the Bible, when virtually everything they think they know, they've gotten from some authority or another.

    Think about everything you know about the past before your own lifetime. Think about everything you know about things that are too small for you to examine yourself--the microscopic world, for example--or too big, too distant for you to examine, like distant stars. Think about every place you think you have accurate information about that you've never personally visited. Think about everything you think you know about disciplines in which you didn't personally do the primary research.

    This probably amounts to about 99.9 percent of all of the things we think we know. We don't know them through testing of our own, but through the testimony of others we think we have reason to trust. So, rather than being odd that we would take certain things on authority, it's actually the foundational way we know things. We trust the words of other people who are reliable. The reliability and credibility of the authority is the key issue.

    This teaches us an important lesson. It's very natural for us to function on the principle that if the authority is credible, then we're justified in believing the information he gives us”. [http://www.str.org/articles/testing-religious-truth-claims#.U9OhmNLn8Vs][TOP OF PAGE]
     

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In Conclusion..
Is the Bible The Word of God? Those who take the question seriously, gather the available evidence, and examine the difficulties, will discover that the accumulated evidence falls very heavily on the side of the reliability and credibility of the Bible... There is more than enough compelling reason to embrace the Bible for what it claims to be... God's Word.

However, it is one thing to intellectually accept that the evidence that the Bible is accurate, reliable and inspired - And quite another to believe it enough to respond to the demands of it’s message. Intellectual assent will get us precisely nowhere. Virtually all the problems of the world spring from hatred, greed, or lust in the human heart. And God is going to do something about it. Anyone who takes a good, hard and honest look at themselves will realize they are part of the problem. Which means a holy God still has His arrow of justice firmly pointed at you.

Whether or not your church preaches it, whether or not you know very much about it, whether or not you choose to bury your head in the sand and pretend that God cannot possibly render judgment on this planet, the wrath of God is real, and when He unleashes it on this planet, it will be, by far, the darkest period in human history. And... it is very near at hand.

Over and over again, the Bible emphasizes the point that God is good to those who trust and follow Him, and terrible to those who do not. Both Testaments emphasize the reality and terror of God's wrath. From cover to cover, the Bible has shown that He is also a God of great wrath who will bring a final and terrible judgment down on sinners and evildoers. The unleashing of His wrath will also bring an end to this world, as we know it. After this terrible period, God will descend to earth to establish His kingdom.

The message of the Bible is, initially, unbelievably good... we can all live in a perfect world here on earth, in bodies that will neither age nor deteriorate. In fact, the heart of Jesus' preaching was the good news that the kingdom of God was on its way, and that we could be part of it. 

It then throws a spanner in the works by saying that sinful people cannot get there.

After which it hits rock bottom when it tells us that no matter how well we live, we cannot live up to the God's standard of holiness, since we are all sinners who are under the death penalty... God's decreed punishment for any sin. And I have to repeat something I said earlier... If God forgives sin and injustice without any form of punishment whatsoever, He would neither be a holy, nor a just God.

However, not only is our God a God of justice, but He is also a God of great kindness and mercy, seen by the fact that He sent His own Son to pay the price of our sin... to be put to death in our place.

So, I suggest you start reading The Wrath of God, followed by the articles on sin, repentance and salvation on THIS page.

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