The Bible’s Proof Part 1
The Bible is such an amazing book that only God could have written. A wise man once said “The Bibles not a book a man would write if he could or could write if he would.” The Bible is literally filled with help and we need a LOT of help. God didn’t leave us all alone with no direction. He probably should have but we have a good God and a merciful God. God is also a Holy Holy Holy God and unfortunately that’s not preached in most churches these days. Gods Word is sufficient for our every need and nothing else is needed, money back guarantee! It’s able to make the man of God perfect. That does not mean sinless perfection, the context is talking about “thoroughly furnished unto all good works. 2 Tim 3:16-17” Meaning fully equipped. In plainer words, nothing else is needed. I thank the Lord for this amazing Book. I thank the Lord that there is no fluff in this Book!
Everything in the Bible has importance whether it’s the plan of salvation or hair length or how you dress or whatever. Christ told us in (Matthew 28:20) to observe ALL things until His return. It’s amazing how so much of the Bible is set aside today and attacked even in Independent Baptist Churches. I remember when I got saved about three years ago I literally devoured the Word of God six to eight hours a day for a couple years. It was so exciting and solid. My life was a complete wreck and I knew once I surrendered that I needed to get to know God and to know His Son Jesus Christ. I don’t have the time I used to but I have not lost that passion for Gods Word and still find about two hours every day to study the Word of God. What an amazing Book this is!! Every since I got saved I have always had the attitude that I want to believe and obey the Bible, all of it. If the Bible would have said Jonah ate the whale I would have believed it because the Bible said so. The Bible is a self authenticating Book. It never tries to prove God’s existence. It starts out “in the beginning God created.” Because the evidence is literally everywhere unless a person willfully chooses to blind himself. But creation doesn’t show us the heart of God, the Bible reveals the mind of God.
MEMORY VERSES: Acts 1:3; 1 Corinthians 15:6; Hebrews 11:6
In the final analysis, a man must accept that the Bible is the Word of God by faith. See Hebrews 11:6.
At the same time, Bible faith is not a blind leap into the dark. It is confidence in the Record that God has given (Romans 10:17). The writers of the Bible explain to us that they were not delivering cunningly devised fables but an authoritative eyewitness record based on “many infallible proofs” (Acts 1:3; 2 Peter 1:16).
Following are a few of the objective, time-proven reasons why we can have complete confidence in the Bible:
Christ’s resurrection proves that the Bible is the Word of God.
Christ’s resurrection was witnessed by hundreds of people (1 Corinthians 15:5-7). Paul wrote this only 20-30 years after the resurrection, and many eyewitnesses were still alive. Were they all lying? On numerous occasions, the resurrected Christ was seen by many people at once, and on one occasion He was seen by more than 500 people. Those who saw Him talked with him, touched him, walked with him, and ate with him (Luke 24:36-43).
Before the resurrection, the apostles were hiding from the authorities (John 20:19). After they saw the resurrected Christ with their own eyes, they became bold and fearless and were willing to lay down their lives for the gospel.
Before Paul saw the resurrected Christ, he hated and persecuted Christians, but afterwards he loved them and willingly suffered the loss of money and prestige and life for Jesus’ sake. It took a powerful event to cause such changes. (David Cloud)
The testimony of Jesus Christ proves that the Bible is the Word of God.
Jesus claimed to be the Son of God, and His resurrection alone gives infallible witness to this claim. The evidence for Christ’s resurrection is irrefutable, as we have shown in this book. Consider just four of these evidences: First, there is the amazing candor of the Gospel accounts. When someone invents a religion, he glorifies its leaders, but the four Gospels paint the founders of Christianity as very weak (e.g., Peter denying Christ thrice; the disciples fleeing and hiding; Thomas and others doubting Christ even after He appears to them). Further, if men had made up the accounts of Christ’s resurrection in the Gospels, they would not have said that the women were the first to believe. In that day women had no authority in the eyes of society. The account of the women believing first is not something that would have been written unless it actually happened and unless the writers were committed wholeheartedly to recording the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. This striking candor is powerful evidence that the Gospels are true, unvarnished accounts. Second, the resurrection dramatically changed His disciples. Before Christ’s resurrection they were fearful and in hiding, whereas after they saw and touched Him they became bold and were willing to suffer and die for their faith. Third, the enemies of Christ have never produced His body; the tomb remains empty to this day. (David Cloud)
Josh McDowell observes: “Let’s take the more than 500 witnesses who saw Jesus alive after His death and burial, and place them in a courtroom. Do you realize that if each of those 500 people were to testify for only six minutes, including cross-examination, you would have an amazing 50 hours of firsthand testimony? Add to this the testimony of many other eyewitnesses and you would well have the largest and most lopsided trial in history” (“Evidence for the Resurrection”). As George Hanson rightly says, “The simple faith of the Christian who believes in the resurrection is nothing compared to the credulity of the skeptic who will accept the wildest and most improbable romances rather than admit the plain witness of historical certainties. The difficulties of belief may be great; the absurdities of unbelief are greater” (The Resurrection and the Life).
Christ taught that the Bible is the infallible Word of God. He quoted from every part of the Old Testament as the Word of God. Some of the Old Testament people and events that Christ referred to are the creation (Mk. 13:19), Adam and Eve (Mt. 19:4-6; Mk. 10:6-7), Cain and Abel (Mt. 23:35; Lk. 11:50-51), Noah and the flood (Mt. 24:37-39), Abraham (Jn. 8:39-40), the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Lk. 17:28-29), Lot’s wife turning to salt (Lk. 17:32), Moses and the burning bush (Mk. 12:26), manna from Heaven (Jn. 6:31-32), the brazen serpent in the wilderness (Jn. 3:14-15), Jonah and the whale (Mt. 12:39-41; Lk. 11:29-32), Nineveh repenting at Jonah’s preaching (Lk. 11:32), Solomon and the queen of Sheba (Lk. 11:31). Christ often quoted from the book Isaiah and said the historical prophet Isaiah wrote it, not an unknown group of men as the critics claim. In John 12:38-41, Jesus quoted from both major sections of Isaiah and said both were written by the same prophet named Isaiah.
Of the authority of the Old Testament, Jesus said, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” (Mat. 5:17-18).
In this passage Jesus taught that the Old Testament is perfect even to the very letters.
He further said that “the scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35). He was saying that nothing written in the Scripture can be set aside or ignored. It is authoritative to every detail; it is a chain with no weak links.
On Christ’s authority alone we would trust the Bible and reject the skeptics.
The Bible’s unique construction proves that it is the Word of God.
The Bible was written by 40 different authors representing some 19 different occupations (shepherd, soldier, farmer, fisherman, tax collector, medical doctor, king, etc.) who lived during a
period of some 1,600 years. That is approximately 50 generations. The first 39 books of the Bible were written in the Hebrew language over a period of about 1,000 years. There was then a 400- year gap when no Scriptures were written. After that, the last 27 books of the Bible were written in the Greek language during a period covering roughly 50 years. The writers could not have collaborated, because they did not live at the same time. Yet the product is one book that fits together perfectly and contains no contradictions or errors. There is nothing else like this in all of man’s history. Some have claimed to have found mistakes in the Bible, but I have studied it for 37 years and each time I have considered a supposed error or contradiction, I have found that the Bible is true and the critic is wrong. (See our book Things Hard to Be Understood: A Handbook of Biblical Difficulties.) (David Cloud)
What about the manuscripts?
Question: It is my understanding that the Bible we have comes from a handful of ancient manuscripts that are copies of copies of copies of the originals that have long been lost. These originals, especially for the Old Testament, could have been several thousand years older than the oldest manuscripts. How do we know that what we have today is even close to the originals?
Response: Response: Bernard Ramm reminds us: “Jews preserved it [the Old Testament text] as no other manuscript has ever been preserved . . . they kept tabs on every letter. They had special classes of men within their culture whose sole duty was to preserve and transmit these documents with practically perfect fidelity—scribes, lawyers, Massoretes. Who ever counted the letters and syllables and words of Plato or Aristotle, Cicero or Seneca [as the Jews did for the Old Testament]?” No wonder, then, that the Isaiah scroll found among the Dead Sea Scrolls showed no significant variation in 1,000 years of copying. In contrast, as already noted, there are many questions concerning the text of Shakespeare, which is only about 400 years old.
Biblical scholar F. F. Bruce writes: “There is no body of ancient literature in the world which enjoys such a wealth of good textual attestation as the New Testament.” J. Harold Greenlee explains: “[T]he number of available manuscripts of the New Testament is overwhelmingly greater than those of any work of ancient literature . . . [and] the earliest extant manuscripts of the New Testament were written much closer to the date of the original writing. . . .” For the sake of comparison, here are some well-accepted, ancient secular works showing the author, the date written, the number of manuscripts surviving, and the number of years after the date written for the earliest manuscript:
In contrast, there are about 24,600 copies of New Testament manuscripts, some of which date back within a century of the originals and many others within about 300 to 400 years. Then why does one continually hear the false claim that the biblical manuscripts are not reliable? The fact that this lie persists in academic circles demonstrates the extreme prejudice against the Bible because of what it says. God’s Word convicts the conscience. How interesting that questions about the accuracy of the manuscripts are never raised for other ancient writings—unless they offer proof of the Bible’s validity. The Antiquities of the Jews, by Josephus, offers considerable verification of the New Testament and the life and death of Jesus, so it, too, comes under vicious attack.
The Bible is the most quoted book in the world, thousands of times more so than any secular work. That is not only true today but has always been the case. Consequently, one can reproduce the entire New Testament and much of the Old Testament by quotations contained in personal letters and epistles written within a century after Christ commissioned His disciples to preach the gospel.
As for the validity of the Old Testament manuscripts and their reliability, consider the following from Princeton’s Robert D. Wilson in his book Scientific Investigation of the Old Testament. Fluent in over 40 Semitic languages, he was one of the greatest language experts and scholars of all time. Professor Wilson writes:
“For forty-five years continuously . . . I have devoted myself to the one great study of the Old Testament, in all its languages, in all its archaeology, in all its translations.
‘[T]he critics of the Bible who go to it in order to find fault . . . claim to themselves all knowledge and all virtue and all love of truth. One of their favorite phrases is, “All scholars agree.” When a man [says that] . . . I wish to know who the scholars are and why they agree. Where do they get their evidence. . . ? I defy any man to make an attack upon the Old Testament on the ground of evidence that I cannot investigate. . . .
‘After I learned the necessary languages I set about the investigation of every consonant in the Hebrew Old Testament. There are about a million and a quarter of these; and it took me many years to achieve my task. I had to observe the variations of the text . . . in the manuscripts, or in the notes of the Massoretes . . . or in the various versions, or in the parallel passages, or in the conjectural emendations of critics; and then I had to classify the results . . . to reduce the Old Testament criticism to an absolutely objective science; something which is based on evidence, and not on opinion. . . .
‘The result of those 45 years’ study which I have given to the text has been this: I can affirm that there is not a page of the Old Testament concerning which we need have any doubt. . . .
‘[For example, to illustrate its accuracy]: There are 29 ancient kings whose names are mentioned not only in the Bible but also on monuments of their own time. . . . There are 195 consonants in these 29 proper names. Yet we find that in the documents of the Hebrew Old Testament there are only two or three out of the entire 195 about which there can be any question of their being written in exactly the same way as they were inscribed on their own monuments [which archaeologists have to date discovered]. Some of these go back 4,000 years and are so written that every letter is clear and correct. . . .
‘Compare this accuracy with . . . the greatest scholar of his age, the librarian at Alexandria in 200 BC. He compiled a catalogue of the kings of Egypt, 38 in all. Of the entire number only 3 or 4 are recognizable. He also made a list of the kings of Assyria; in only one case can we tell who is meant; and that one is not spelt correctly. Or take Ptolemy, who drew up a register of 18 kings of Babylon. Not one of them is properly spelt; you could not make them out at all if you did not know from other sources to what he is referring.
‘If anyone talks about the Bible, ask him about the kings mentioned in it. There are 29 kings referred to, and ten different countries among these 29; all of which are included in the Bible and on monuments. Every one of these is given his right name in the Bible, his right country, and placed in correct chronological order. Think what that means. . . !
‘While the study of the religious systems of the ancient peoples has shown that there was amongst them a groping after God, nowhere is it to be seen that they reached any clear apprehension of the One True God, the Creator, Preserver, Judge, Saviour and Sanctifier of His people. Their religions were of an outward kind; the Old Testament religion is essentially one of the mind and heart; a religion of love, joy, faith, hope, and salvation through the grace of God. How can we account for this?
‘The prophets of Israel declared that their teaching came from God. The modern critical school is antagonistic to this claim. They say that the prophets gave utterance to the ideas of their own time, and that they were limited by their environment. But if this is so how does it come about that neither from the oracles of Thebes and Memphis, nor from Delphi and Rome, nor from Babylon, nor from the deserts of Media, but from the sheep-folds and humble homes of Israel, yea, from the captive by the river of an alien land, came forth those great messages of hope and salvation?’”
— An excerpt from In Defense of the Faith (pp. 75-79) by Dave Hunt
Of course none of this should surprise the Bible believer because the Lord promised He would preserve His Word forever… God says in Psalm 12:6-7 – The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. 7 Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.
The confidence and sincerity of the Bible’s authors prove that it is the Word of God.
The Bible testifies that “holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:21), and an examination of the lives of the Bible’s writers proves this testimony. These were holy, serious men. They came from all walks of life. They were men of good reputation and sound mind. They were not enriched by the prophecies they gave. Far from it; some were impoverished and many were viciously persecuted and killed for the testimony they held. Moses, the author of the first five books of the Bible, chose to live a life of terrific hardship in the service of God as opposed to the millionaire’s life he could have lived as the adopted son of Pharaoh. The world would have told Moses “are you crazy? Thats stupid Moses” Many Bible writers made similar choices. Their motivation certainly was not covetousness and worldly advantage. These were not perfect men, but they were holy men. They all claimed that God had put His hand upon them to speak His Word. The lives they lived, and the testimonies they held, and the deaths they died gave mighty evidence that they were telling the truth.
Fulfilled prophecy proves the Bible is the Word of God.
The Bible contains a vast amount of prophecy, much of which has been fulfilled. The Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecies by J. Barton Payne lists 1817 specific prophecies, 1239 in the Old Testament and 578 in the New. The predictions are precise and detailed, and the fulfillment is exact. The Bible prophets use prophecy to prove that their message is from the true God (Isaiah 42:8-9; 46:9-10).
Prophecies Pertaining to Jesus Christ
Jesus’ entire life was written down in the Old Testament part of the Bible before He was born. There are 191 Messianic prophecies. These described His birthplace (Micah 5:2), virgin birth (Isaiah 7:14), sinless life (Isaiah 53:9), miracles (Isa. 35:5), wonderful speech (Isaiah 50:4), rejection by the Jewish nation (Isaiah 53:2), crucifixion (Psalm 22:16), burial in a rich man’s tomb (Isaiah 53:9), resurrection (Psalm 16), and many other things. We know that these prophecies were written before Christ was born, because copies of the Old Testament books were found in the Dead Sea caves dating to 100 and more years B.C.
Prophecies about Israel
The continued existence of Israel is one of history’s most amazing stories, and it was prophesied in Scripture in great detail.
Israel’s history was prophesied by Moses and recorded in the book of Deuteronomy about 4,000 years ago. God warned that if Israel broke His law she would be “plucked from off the land” and scattered “among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other” (Deuteronomy 28:63-64). There the Jews would “find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest: but the Lord shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind: And thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life” (Deuteronomy 28:65-66).
This is an accurate description of Israel’s history from the first century until now. Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 A.D. by the Roman armies under the General Titus and in 135 A.D. Jerusalem was plowed under on the order of Emperor Hadrian in response to the Jewish rebellion led by
Bar Kochbar. The Jewish people were scattered to the ends of the earth and found no rest. They were hated by the Muslims and persecuted by the Greek Orthodox and the Roman Catholic Churches for a thousand years. Hitler’s regime tried to destroy them. Giving preference to the Arabs, England tried to keep them from returning to their land after World War II. They are the object of hatred until this very day. Most of the world is opposed to Israel and the reporting in secular publications about the Middle East crisis is typically slanted against her.
All of this was foretold in Bible prophecy, but the prophecy also said that Israel would be brought back into her land and that she would remain a nation even after all of this, and that is exactly what happened in 1948. Never before in the history of the world has a nation of people been scattered throughout the world and persecuted for 2,000 years and then come back together as a nation with their ancient language intact. This is a divine miracle.
Bible prophecy describes the restoration of Israel in two parts. First, she would return to the land in a position of unbelief. Then she would be converted. The amazing prophecy in Ezekiel 37 describes Israel’s restoration in these two stages. She is described as dry bones that are resurrected in verses 4-6. Verses 11-14 say that this vision pertains to the restoration of Israel to her land and to her repentance toward God. First the bones are given sinews and flesh, but there is no life, and next God breathes upon the dead bones and they live (Ezek. 37:4-6).
The first part of the prophecy has been fulfilled. Israel has been back in her land as a nation since 1948, but she is there in unbelief and spiritual death. She continues to reject her Messiah. She has no temple and sacrifice and no true Scriptural worship. But she is back in the land just as the Bible prophesied. In 1800 there were only six thousand Jews in Palestine, but by 2000 there were over five million (John Ecob, Amillennialism Weighed and Found Wanting, p. 44-45).
During the Great Tribulation, God will grant repentance unto Israel and will breathe spiritual life into her and she will live.
The continued existence of Israel is a fulfillment of Bible prophecy. It is a very great miracle and an irrefutable evidence of the divine inspiration of the Bible. (David Cloud One Year Discipleship Course Bibles Proof 1)