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                          "GIVE ME THE BIBLE"

                        Why I Believe The Bible

INTRODUCTION

1. In our previous study, we offered reasons to read the Bible...
   a. Its unique nature:  Continuity - Distribution - Survival -
      Teaching - Influence
   b. Sufficient reasons for anyone searching for truth to read the
      Bible

2. But what reasons are there to believe the Bible...?
   a. Our study will offer several reasons to take it seriously
   b. The examples will be few, but illustrative
   c. Links are provided to assist in further study

[I can think of at least five reasons to believe the Bible, i.e.,
evidences of inspiration, starting with its...]

I. SCIENTIFIC FOREKNOWLEDGE

   A. EXPLAINED...
      1. In the Bible there are statements related to astronomy,
         cosmology, medicine, meteorology, oceanography, etc.
      2. Mentioned thousands of years prior to scientific discovery of
         these truths
      3. Discovered in modern times with the aid of scientific
         instruments
      4. The writers of the Bible could have known these facts only
         through divine inspiration
      5. Such evidence of inspiration confirms the Bible's claim to be
         from God the Creator

   B. EXAMPLES...
      1. Stars too great in number to count - Gen 15:5; Jer 33:22
      2. The roundness of the earth - Isa 40:22
      3. The suspension of the earth in space - Job 26:7
      4. The currents in the seas - Ps 8:8
      5. The springs in the seas - Job 38:16
      6. All nations of one blood - Ac 17:26
      -- More examples can be found by searching here

[Perhaps even stronger evidence for the divine inspiration of the Bible
are the many...]

II. FULFILLED PROPHECIES

   A. EXPLAINED...
      1. Prophecies in the OT foretold events in detail beyond the scope
         of human speculation
      2. How did the writers do it?  They attributed it to God!
      3. God declared such evidence was proof of His existence and
         superiority over men and all heathen gods - Isa 41:21-24;
         42:8-9; 46:8-11

   B. EXAMPLES...
      1. Prophecies concerning nations
         a. The fall of Babylon, written two hundred years before it
            occurred - Isa 13:17-22
         b. The fall of Egypt, that it would be destroyed more by civil
            war - Isa 19:1-4
         c. The fall of Nineveh, with its utter desolation - Zep 2:13-15
         d. The fall of Tyre, with its becoming a place for the
            spreading of nests - Eze 26:1-5
         e. The destruction of Jerusalem, fulfilled in 70 A.D. - Mt 24,
            Mk 13, Lk 21
      2. Prophecies concerning Christ
         a. Alluded to by Jesus - cf. Lk 24:44-45
         b. It has been stated there are 332 prophecies fulfilled in
            Christ - Henry Liddon
      -- More examples can be found by searching here

[The Bible's trustworthiness is often confirmed in ways that can be
checked, especially in the area of...]

III. ARCHAELOGICAL CONFIRMATION

   A. EXPLAINED...
      1. The Bible purports to be a book of history, describing real
         people, nations, events
      2. Discoveries by archaeologists confirm the historical accuracy
         of the Bible

   B. EXAMPLES...
      1. Cities in Abraham's time (Ur, Haran)
      2. Ancient empires once doubted (Hittites)
      3. Cities in ancient Israel (Jericho, Shechem, Dan, etc.)
      4. The house of David and Solomon's temple
      5. The census at the time of Jesus' birth
      6. Lysanias, tetrarch of Abilene
      7. The Pavement (Gabbatha) in the court of the tower of Antonia
      8. The politarchs in Thessalonica
      -- More examples can be found by searching here

[The Bible's trustworthiness is often questioned because we do not have
the original manuscripts.  But we have good reasons to believe that we
have reliable copies, thanks to the science of...]

IV. MANUSCRIPT ATTESTATION

   A. EXPLAINED...
      1. A bibliographical test is applied to all ancient documents,
         such as:
         a. Julius Caesar's Gallic War       c. Annals of Tacitus
         b. Histories of Tacitus             d. The New Testament
      2. The purpose - to establish the likelihood that copies are:
         a. Faithful representatives of the original manuscripts
         b. Free from changes, errors, or collusion by copyists
      3. Questions raised in the bibliographical test include:
         a. How many copies of the document in question are available?
         b. Where were the copies found?
         c. What time has passed between the original and earliest
            copies?
         d. What variances exist between the copies?

   B. EXAMPLES...
      1. How many copies of the NT manuscripts are available?
         a. Over 4,000 Greek manuscripts; 13,000 copies of portions
         b. Compare with other ancient writings:  Caesar's Gallic Wars
            (10), Annals of Tacitus (2), Livy (20), Plato (7), Sophocles
            (100)
      2. Where the copies of NT manuscripts found?
         a. In various places:  Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Turkey, Greece,
            Italy
         b. Such diverse locations make collusion very difficult
      3. What time has passed between the original and earliest copies
         of the NT?
         a. Several papyri fragments of the NT have been dated to within
            50-100 years
         b. Complete NT Greek manuscripts were copied within 300-400
            years
         c. Compare the time span with other classical histories:
            1) Histories of Thucydides - 1300 years
            2) Histories of Herodotus - 1350 years
            3) Caesar's Gallic War - 950 years
            4) Roman History of Livy - 350 years (and it is a fragment)
            5) Histories of Tacitus - 750 years
            6) Annals of Tacitus - 950 years (and there are just two
               manuscripts)
      4. What variances exist between the copies of the NT?
         a. Only 1/2 of one percent is in question (compared to 5
            percent for the Iliad)
         b. Even so:  "No fundamental doctrine of the Christian faith
            rests on a disputed reading...It cannot be too strongly
            asserted that in substance the text of the Bible is certain:
            especially is this the case with the New Testament." - Sir
            Frederick Kenyon, authority in the field of New Testament
            textual criticism
      5. The NT has the strongest manuscript attestation of any ancient
         document!
         a. "The evidence for our New Testament writings is ever so much
            greater than the evidence for many writings of classical
            authors, the authenticity of which no one dreams of
            questioning.  And if the New Testament were a collection of
            secular writings, their authenticity would generally be as
            beyond all doubt." - F. F. Bruce
         b. "After trying to shatter the historicity and validity of the
            Scripture, I came to the conclusion that they are
            historically trustworthy. If one discards the Bible as being
            unreliable, then he must discard almost all literature of
            antiquity." - Josh McDowell
         c. "One problem I constantly face is the desire on the part of
            many to apply one standard or test to secular literature and
            other to the Bible.  One needs to apply the same test,
            whether the literature under investigation is secular or
            religious." - ibid.
         d. "Having done this, I believe one can hold the Scriptures in
            his hand and say, 'The Bible is trustworthy, and h
            istorically reliable.'" - ibid.
      -- More on this can be found by searching here

[Finally, there is a more subjective reason to believe the Bible, based
on...]

V. PERSONAL EXPERIENCE

   A. EXPLAINED...
      1. Those who read, believe, and obey the Bible will receive
         evidence of its inspiration
      2. As Jesus stated:  "If anyone wills to do His will, he shall
         know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or
         whether I speak on My own authority." - Jn 7:17
      3. In other words, "He shall have evidence, in the very attempt to
         do the will of God, of the truth of the doctrine." - Albert
         Barnes
      4. "He who in his heart says, 'Thy will be done, give me light and
         I will walk in it,' will find that Christ is just the teacher
         demanded by his soul, and that the gospel meets his soul's
         want. Jesus will so meet the wants of his soul that he will be
         satisfied and will know the doctrine, that it comes from him
         who made the soul." - B. W. Johnson
      3. As stated in a familiar proverb:  "The proof of the pudding is
         in the eating"

   B. EXAMPLES...
      1. The Bible has transformed the lives of millions of people
         a. It has motivated them to become missionaries, even martyrs
         b. It has spurred them to care for the sick, the poor, the
            hungry, even enemies
         c. It has made them better spouses, parents, friends,
            neighbors, workers
      2. For one willing to obey the Bible from the heart, there is:
         a. Peace to calm the troubled heart - Jn 14:27; 16:33; Php 4:7
         b. Joy to lift our spirits - Jn 15:11; 1Pe 1:8
         c. Love which casts out fear - 1Jn 4:18; Jn 15:9; Ep 3:19
         d. Hope for facing the future - Jn 11:25; Re 14:13
      3. As a believer more than 50 years, I have found the Bible to be:
         a. A source of guidance, wisdom, and peace with God and man
         b. Worthy of my lifelong trust and obedience

CONCLUSION

1. The reasons I believe the Bible are both objective and subjective...
   a. The objective evidence includes its scientific foreknowledge,
      fulfilled prophecies, archaeological confirmation, and manuscript
      attestation
   b. The subjective evidence is seen in its impact on our lives and the
      world in which we live

2. I hope this brief survey of reasons to believe the Bible will
   encourage you...
   a. To read the Bible
   b. To believe the Bible

Again, follow the links above to search for more information on
evidences related to this subject.  In our next study, I wish to share
reasons as to "Why I Love The Bible"...
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