Why it makes sense to trust the Bible -

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Why it makes Sense to Trust the Bible : 

Why it makes Sense to Trust the Bible 5. The Bible Message Itself Is it consistent and Believable?

Imagine… : 

Imagine… You have discovered a very old book It is in writing that you cannot read, so you get it translated It is about things you have never heard of What will you do with it?

Your Investigation looks at… : 

Your Investigation looks at… Does it sound real? Does it contradict itself or is it consistent? Are there secrets that it explains? Is there wisdom and advice that can be used? Is it relevant for me? (Should I be bothered with it?)

The Evidence of Harmony : 

The Evidence of Harmony Unlike all other “holy” writings, the Bible was not written by a single person. There were about 40 authors Written over 1500 years In 3 languages What is the result? - Confusion? This would be expected from 40 different authors of so many different backgrounds, and writing about so many different controversial subjects (death, sin, the future, the past, politics, religion, etc). Consider the above using the following analogy on the next slides -

First Author – 5th Century England : 

First Author – 5th Century England Imagine the first author was.. A Local Leader 80-120 year old When Roman influence still strong in country. He had a Roman upbringing, and then became a local leader He wrote chapter about how to serve religion, the future and morality

His Successor : 

His Successor Another young leader, but this time a military warrior. He wrote the next chapter. This taught about service to God, worship and the new national identity He lived in the dark ages

Much Later, a Leader from the 7th Century Wrote : 

Much Later, a Leader from the 7th Century Wrote This was when the Roman influence in decline. There had been the conversion of England to a new faith There was a different national organisation No contact or relation with previous writers, yet added two more chapters

Then, a 9th Century King and Son (also a King) Wrote Extensively : 

Then, a 9th Century King and Son (also a King) Wrote Extensively The first King was a battle weary rags-to-riches story He wrote extensively on many deep subjects including in songs The second King was born into greatness and became the greatest King ever. He wrote extensively about the meaning of life, the future and wisdom on all aspects of life. Much in poetry

Then a Farmer of the 9th Century : 

Then a Farmer of the 9th Century A Peasant farmer with no connection to kings court or any previous author Then follows the Norman conquest. 1066 and all that Culture changes again He wrote a chapter, never having spoken to the others.

In 14th Century Three Separate Men Wrote Chapters : 

In 14th Century Three Separate Men Wrote Chapters A priest in the UK, a priest in Germany and a member of the royal family in Italy. There were great geographic distances between them and a language barrier.

20th Century Explosion of Writing : 

20th Century Explosion of Writing Then 450 Years later. The Industrial revolution and the reformation had taken place. The Population now spoke a different language. The writers were an Inland revenue officer, a brilliant university professor, doctor, fishermen and others Detailed teaching about all aspects of life, death, morality and the future The Last book in dramatic symbols that noone understood. Then the Book was finished

What Have You Got? : 

What Have You Got? A confusion of Ideas?

The Variety of Authors is like that found in the Writing of the Bible : 

The Variety of Authors is like that found in the Writing of the Bible 5th Century Roman Leader 5th Century Military Successor 7th Century Religious Leader 9th Century King 9th Century King’s son 9th Century Peasant Farmer 14th Century UK Priest 14th Century Priest in Germany 14th Century Royal Courtier in Italy 20th Century Fisherman 20th Century Foreign Doctor 20th Century Brilliant Graduate Moses – best Egyptian education Joshua – Hebrew commander Samuel – High priest David – shepherd turned king Solomon – inherited kingship Amos – farmer Jeremiah - in Israel Ezekiel - in Chaldea Daniel – in Babylon John - fisherman Luke – Gentile doctor Paul – religious zealot

The Bible : 

The Bible In every detail there is consistency. Although written by 40 authors, in 3 languages, over 1500 years, there is harmony! It is as if there was a single person responsible! Consider the controversial subjects it has spoken about, and the harmony it achieves. Take the resurrection on the next slide -

Example 1: Resurrection of the Dead : 

Example 1: Resurrection of the Dead There is much confusion even today There was confusion in the first Century - Sadducees, Thessalonians, Corinthians, Hymaneus and Philetus, etc. Yet there is no confusion in the Bible: Genesis 50:25 Joseph’s bones were moved due to his hope Job 19:26 “And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God.” This can only happen by the resurrection Psalm 16:9-11 “..you will not abandon me in the grave..” Daniel 12:2 “Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake; some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.” Gospels – resurrection of Jesus, and the raising of the dead Acts, Paul’s writings, Revelation. It is all consistent.

Harmony about the Resurrection : 

Harmony about the Resurrection Frank Morison - Who Moved the Stone? “The Book that refused to be written..” He wrote against the gospel records of the resurrection and ended up believing. Gilbert West and Lord Lyttleton set to prove that Christ did not rise and that Paul was not converted. They came to believe the record as factual, which they wrote in Observations on the History and Evidences of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ in 1747. Ignatius (ca 70-115AD) said to have been thrown to the lions for his faith. On his way to martyrdom wrote.. “He really, and not just in appearance, was crucified, and died. He also rose again in three days…” Resurrection affirmed by Clement of Rome in the Epistle to the Corinthians in AD95. The resurrection occurs in all the earliest creeds and is never debated. Confucius’ tomb - occupied, Buddha’s tomb – occupied, Mohammed’s tomb – occupied, Jesus’ tomb – empty!

Example 2 : Giants : 

Example 2 : Giants JJ Blunt, Professor of Divinity, Cambridge Wrote a book on how the Bible was consistent called Undesigned Coincidences. One example was the giants, the sons of Anak. He was impressed by how seemingly minor details in completely separate records all gave a consistent message. Consider the following which all fits together: Numbers 13:33 “We saw giants, the sons of Anak…we were in our own sight as grasshoppers” Joshua 11:21,22 “And Joshua ..cut off the Anakim…There was none of the Anakim left…only in Gaza, in Gath and in Ashdod did some remain.” 1 Samuel 17:4 “There went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span (about 9 feet).”

There is Bible Harmony despite: - Variety of Authors, Complexity of Content, Volume of Material and Controversial Subject Matter : 

There is Bible Harmony despite: - Variety of Authors, Complexity of Content, Volume of Material and Controversial Subject Matter This cannot just be coincidence. There is so much complexity on so many different levels. It must be evidence of a single great mind behind the library of books

The Ring of Truth : 

The Ring of Truth Does it sound right? Does it feel right? Does it make sense?

What did the writers get out of it? : 

What did the writers get out of it? Jeremiah – persecuted by king, put in prison, thrown in slime pit. Wanted to stop, but was moved by the spirit to keep going. Finally dragged into Egypt against his wishes. Jonah – thrown into sea, out as whale vomit. Had to go to a city he didn’t want to help. Moody because they were spared, his shelter destroyed and wanted death. Hosea – Had to marry a prostitute, have children by her and then have her back after she had run off with others. Ezekiel – lie on side 430 days, not allowed to mourn for dead wife. Paul – a long catalogue of beatings, shipwrecks, death threats, imprisonments, ended life in prison.

Compare this to The Introduction to the Authorised Version : 

Compare this to The Introduction to the Authorised Version “Great and manifold were the blessings, most dread Sovereign, which Almighty God, the Father of all mercies, bestowed upon us the people of England, when first He sent your Majesty’s Royal Person to rule and reign over us…..” Two whole pages!

The Way it was Written : 

The Way it was Written No exaggeration “He also made the stars” (Genesis 1:16) “Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him” (Genesis 4:8) “And when he had said this he breathed his last” (Luke 23:46) “The Lord was grieved that he had made man n the earth, his heart was filled with pain” (Genesis 6:6) “Jesus wept” (John 11:35) No judgemental description “Do not judge or you too will be judged” (Matthew 7:1) “He rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm” (Matthew 8:26) “Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7) “Our Father…” Lord’s prayer

Can you spot the difference? : 

Can you spot the difference? Gospel of Nicodemus (not in Bible) “And Jesus going in, and the standard-bearers holding their standards, the tops of the standards were bent down and adored Jesus. And the Jews seeing the bearing of the standards, how they bent down and adored Jesus, cried out vehemently against the standard bearers..” A whole page of this… Gospel of Matthew “And when they had bound Him they led Him away, and delivered Him to Pontius Pilate the governor.” There is a dignified reality about the Bible writing.

Spotting the Difference. Part 2 : 

Spotting the Difference. Part 2 Babylonian Creation “Berosus, a Babylonian priest, said that the god Belus came out and cut the woman Omoraka asunder, and of one half of her he formed the earth and of the other half of her the heavens. Later Belus commanded one of the gods to take off his head and to mix the blood of the earth, and with this mixture to make men and animals” Genesis Creation (in Bible) “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

Compare The Bible with what is said about the Apocrypha (from Unger’s Bible Dictionary) : 

Compare The Bible with what is said about the Apocrypha (from Unger’s Bible Dictionary) “They abound in historical and geographical inaccuracies and anachronisms.” “They teach doctrines which are false and foster practices which are at variance with inspired Scripture.” “They resort to literary types and display an artificiality of subject matter and styling out of keeping with inspired Scripture.” “They lack the distinctive elements which give genuine Scripture their divine character, such as prophetic power and poetic and religious feeling.”

Comments regarding the Apocrypha : 

Comments regarding the Apocrypha “Philo..(20BC-AD40), quoted the Old Testament prolifically and even recognised the threefold division, but he never quoted from the Apocrypha as inspired. “Josephus (AD30-100), .. Explicitly excludes the Apocrypha, numbering the books of the Old Testament as 22. Neither does he quote these books as Scripture. “Jesus and the New Testament writers never once quote the Apocrypha although there are hundreds of quotes and refer to almost all of the canonical books of the Old Testament. “No canon or council of the Christian church for the first four centuries recognised the Apocrypha as inspired. 6 other reasons by Geisler and Nix It is clear to all what is Scriptural and what is not.

It should not have made the best seller lists, because of … : 

It should not have made the best seller lists, because of … Chronicles – lists of names Matthew 1, Nehemiah – list of names Exodus to Deuteronomy – list of boring laws, animal sacrifices and “temple” Joshua – pages of geographical descriptions Song of Songs – hard to understand Jeremiah and Ezekiel – long condemnations of practically everyone Revelation – hard Miracles – would make it hard for some to swallow, such as Jonah, flood, etc Sin – why emphasis the failures of your readership Many Prophecies – condemns all nations Punishments - Sodom and Gomorrah, flood,.. Symbology – hard to understand

It records the Failure of its Heroes : 

It records the Failure of its Heroes Abraham/Sarah and children Isaac’s favouritism Jacob’s deception 12 sons plot against Joseph Moses and rock Saul – first king failed David/Bathsheba Solomon’s wives All kings Closest disciples – argued over who was greatest repeatedly, deserted Jesus when arrested, denied Jesus 3x, didn’t believe in the resurrection. Arguments between Paul/Barnabas, Paul/Peter Drunkenness and incest at Corinth Foolish Galatians The notable exception is Jesus, but rejected by all when he lived

Slide 29: 

“The Bible is not such a book a man would write if he could, or could write if he would.” Henry Rodgers

It mentions concepts not found elsewhere.These could not easily be invented - : 

It mentions concepts not found elsewhere.These could not easily be invented - Sin Forgiveness Mortality of man/death Rejection of the son of God Failings of the heroes Kingdom on earth Origin of Life and Nations

The Bible records Social Customs – In all cases these are accurately recorded : 

The Bible records Social Customs – In all cases these are accurately recorded Cleanliness in Law of Moses Details of marriage – wedding in OT or NT Religions describes – idols and gods Slavery (even prices were accurate for time given – see next slide) Deportation and warfare International trade – Tyre Agriculture and livestock

Slide 32: 

Slave prices through the ages

The Social Advice provided in the Bible is actually wise guidance on these subjects: : 

The Social Advice provided in the Bible is actually wise guidance on these subjects: Morality – eg 10 commandments (basis for West) Finance – Owe no man anything Marriage – Faithfulness/commitment Community responsibilities – safety, sin, etc Judging the guilty, punishment and forgiveness Care for the foreigners, poor, widows and orphans – better than today The Family unit

Conclusion : 

Conclusion Unique harmony – evidence of a single, all-knowing author It’s content is wise and sounds right. It makes sense. It talks about things that cannot be learned anywhere else. These also make sense. All the evidence points to the fact that the Bible is factual and true. Common sense says we should take the Bible to be what it says – the message of God Himself.

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