What do you say when your unsaved friend asks, “Why Should I Trust the Bible?

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What does the Bible claim about itself?

¡  All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

The Bible is not the only book that claims to come from God

¡  Book of Mormon

¡  Doctrine & Covenants

¡  Pearl of Great Price

¡  Koran

¡  Science & Health (Christian Science)

¡  Upanishads (Hindu)

¡  Tao Te Ching (Taoist)

¡  Sacred Writings of Buddhism

¡  Avesta (Zoroastrian)

¡  Sacred Writings of the Bahai

¡  The Kojiki and the Nihongi (Shintoist)

¡  Sacred Writings of Jainism (Jain)

The problem stated:

¡  Unless all of these books taught the same things, they can’t all be true

 

¡  Many of these books (not just the Bible) claim to be exclusively true

How do we discern truth? – LDS way

¡  And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. (Moroni 10:4 – The Book of Mormon)

 

¡  What about the other LDS splinter groups?

 

¡  All those other sincere groups that have prayed about or have strong feelings, experiences or verifications for their book?

 

¡   … and can we really trust ourselves that much?

 

What would you expect from a book that claimed to come from God?

  • What it says happened historically actually happened

 

  • No scientific errors

 

  • Logical and consistent in the worldview it creates

 

  • Absolute unity & agreement among its authors
  • It would have no need to change over time

 

  • It would be completely honest

 

  • It would demonstrate that its origin was from outside our realm of existence

 

¡    If the Bible doesn’t meet this criteria, it cannot be from God

 

¡    If the Bible does meet this criteria, it has to come from God

 

¡    Apply this test to other “holy books” and see what happens

 

How do we know something happened?

¡    Everything we know comes from one of two sources

 

¡    1st hand experiences (9/11; Kennedy Assassination; Gulf War; O.J. Simpson Trial)

 

¡    2nd hand experiences (at least everything that occurred before we were born)

 

¡    Eyewitness Testimony

 

¡    Testimony from multiple and outside sources (Josephus, Philo and other historians)

 

¡    Circumstancial Evidence

  • Archaelogy (Pontius Pilate, the Hittites, Nineveh)
  • Maps
  • Can’t be proven wrong (Sir William Ramsay, C.S. Lewis, Josh McDowell, Lee Strobel)

Let’s apply these things to the resurrection of Jesus:

¡    Who wrote about it? (Eyewitnesses)

 

¡    Jesus died (verified by a Roman spear)

 

¡    Jesus was buried (verified by Pharisees)

 

¡    Tomb was empty (verified by Pharisees)

 

¡    Over 500 separate eyewitnesses to risen Christ

 

¡    Historical testimony

The Bible and Science

¡  Question:  How would you respond if your child came home from school with a science textbook from 1970?

 

¡    “Moses was educated in all the learning of the Egyptians, and he was a man of power in words and deeds. (Acts 7:22)

 

¡    “To prevent the hair from turning gray, anoint it with the blood of a black calf which has been boiled in oil, with the fat of a rattlesnake.” – Papyrus Ebers, 1552 BC, Egypt

¡  1840’s – Viennese doctor, Ignaz Semmelweis implemented a new practice of washing after autopsies and before doing the pelvic exams of other patients. It was greeted with sharp ridicule even though the death toll dropped. His license was not renewed, the washings stopped and the death toll went back up.

¡  ‘The one who touches the corpse of any person shall be unclean for seven days. ‘That one shall purify himself from uncleanness with the water on the third day and on the seventh day, and then he will be clean; but if he does not purify himself on the third day and on the seventh day, he will not be clean. ‘Anyone who touches a corpse, the body of a man who has died, and does not purify himself, defiles the tabernacle of the LORD; and that person shall be cut off from Israel. Because the water for impurity was not sprinkled on him, he shall be unclean; his uncleanness is still on him. (Numbers 19:11-13)

¡    Einstein first proposed that time is a physical property that had a beginning in the same manner as mass and space with his Theory of Relativity in 1916

 

¡    For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time – to show us his grace through Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 1:9)

¡    In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)

 

¡    Evolution is contrary to the laws of entropy

 

¡    “Anthropic Principle”

¡  Matthew Fontaine Murray in 1855 read Isaiah 43:16 and Psalm 8:8, both which make reference to the “pathways in the seas.” He believed it to be literal and as a result spent most of his life mapping ocean currents for sailors to use. The result is the field of science we now know as oceanography.

The Unity of the Bible

¡  66 books by 40 authors

 

¡  Different time periods (2500 BC to 100 AD)

 

¡  Different locations (Egypt, Israel, Babylon, Persia, Rome, etc…)

 

¡  Different backgrounds (priests, shepherds, fishermen, tax collectors, court officials, etc…)

 

¡  Different genres (history, poetry, music, letters, prophecy, gospel, etc…)

¡  You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; (John 5:39)

 

¡  Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures. (Luke 24:27)

 

¡  The New Testament is in the Old Testament concealed.

 

¡  The Old Testament is in the New Testament revealed.

The Bible speaks on all of these subjects with complete agreement:

¡  History

¡  Genealogy

¡  Ethnology

¡  Law

¡  Ethics

¡  Prophecy

¡  Poetry

¡  Eloquence

 

 

… Not one contradiction can be found!

¡              Sit 5 people down in the room and ask them their views on abortion, euthanasia, death penalty, war and the meaning of life and see how much agreement you get

There is even unity in the way words are used in the Bible:

¡  Every #, place name, color, metal, metaphor and type is there by design

 

¡  The Bronze Serpent

  • Snake = sin; Satan
  • Bronze + fire = judgment

What about all the contradictions?

¡  Webster defines a contradiction as “two statements which make propositions that are related in such a way that it is impossible for both to be true or both to be false.”

¡  Is it impossible for the propositions to both be true?

 

¡  Is it impossible for the propositions in question to both be false?

 

¡  Is the original language misunderstood? Does it allow latitude?

 

¡  Are there other possible explanations for the alleged inconsistency?

 

How does the Bible compare with other ancient manuscripts?

¡  How many of Shakespeare’s original plays do you think are still in existence?

 

¡  Imagine yourself in a world with:

 

¡  No email

 

¡  No printing press

¡  Fragile materials

¡  Poor storage

¡  Weather

¡  Time

¡  Intentional destruction

¡  Fear of copying

¡  Persecution

¡  1700’s – Voltaire made the claim that within 100 years, Christianity and the Bible would disappear and his writings would be ever more popular

 

¡  How many of you have heard of Voltaire?

 

¡  How many of you own a Bible?

How many copies are there?

¡  New Testament – 24,000+ copies

 

¡  Homer’s Iliad – 643 copies

 

¡  Gallic wars (Julius Caesar) – 10 copies

What is the earliest manuscript related to the events?

¡  New Testament – within 25 years of the event

 

¡  Homer’s Iliad – 500 years after written

 

¡  Gallic wars (Julius Caesar) – 1000 years after written

 

¡  Herodotus (father of history) – 1300 years after written

What is the accuracy?

¡  New Testament – 99.5 % accuracy

 

¡  Homer’s Iliad – 95 % accuracy

What if the New Testament disappeared?

¡  Sir David Dalrymple discovered that in the writings of the church fathers from 100-300 AD, the entire New Testament is quoted except for 11 verses

 

 

¡  Question: Do you trust anything you read?

 

¡  If you don’t trust the Bible, you don’t have a reason to trust anything

Prophecy:

¡  “Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’; (Isaiah 46:9-10)

¡  You may say in your heart, ‘How will we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?‘ “When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him. (Deuteronomy 18:21-22)

¡   The odds of one person randomly fulfilling:

 

¡   8 prophecies = 1 chance in 10 w/ 17 zeros

(fill the state of Texas 2 ft. deep with silver dollars. Mark one and send a blindfolded man to randomly find it)

 

¡   16 prophecies = 1 chance in 10 w/ 45 zeros

(Create ball of silver dollars with a radius 30 times the distance from the earth to the sun)

 

¡   48 prophecies = 1 chance in 10 w/ 157 zeros

(Create ball w/ every atom in the galaxy for each atom in the universe. Do this every second for 16 billion years. Do all of this 100 million times.)

 To see an article I’ve posted on the Prophecies of the Messiah fufilled by Jesus, click here.