Why the Bible is True - Riverside Indonesian Fellowship

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Bible Study 2022
Why the Bible is True
People have said that they believe the Bible because it works for them. There are a lot of things in our country that works for certain people but that does not mean it is the right thing to do and that it is true. We cannot compare the Word of God with the word of men. The Bible is the only source for everything in our life because the Bible is the inerrant and infallible Word of God.

But people may ask you why you think that and I have responded with a quote, “I choose to believe the Bible because it is a reliable collection of historical documents written down by eyewitnesses during the lifetime of other eyewitnesses that reported supernatural events that took place in fulfillment of specific prophecies and claim their writings are divine in nature rather than human in origin.” (Voddie Baucham)

Every person should be able to believe the Bible for these 4 reasons: 1. It is a reliable collection of historical documents. 2. It was written by eyewitnesses during the lifetime of other eyewitnesses. 3. It describes supernatural events fulfilling specific prophecies. 4. It is divine in origin as opposed to human in nature. Let us walk through each of these so we can explain it properly.

This was described by Peter. Peter was a follower of Jesus, a loud mouth, bold and outspoken. He denied Jesus three times, but he was later forgiven by Jesus. Peter became a strong preacher and one of the writers of the New Testament. He ends up also being crucified because of his faith in Jesus. But he did not feel worthy to be crucified the same way as Jesus, so he was crucified upside down.

Let us study what Peter said which actually came through the Holy Spirit from God Himself. I am going to discuss those 4 reasons in three areas: external evidence, internal evidence and experiential evidence. 2 Peter 1:16-21, “For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty.”

“17 For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” 18 And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain. 19 And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place,”

“Until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; 20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” So let us look at no 1, it is a reliable collection of historical documents. This is external evidence of things that actually happened.

There are about 6,000 original manuscripts of the New Testament in the original language. If you add manuscripts in Latin and Greek there are a total of 24,000 copies. So how does that compare to the 2nd place manuscript of old? Something that is taught in schools, that we hold to be true, is Homer’s Iliad. Think of the Trojan War that you learned long time ago. You know there are only 643 original copies of that.

Do you remember the Dead Sea Scrolls that were found in 1947? They were dated their original verses from 200 years BC to 60 AD. Before they were found, the oldest documents we had were from 1000 AD, so this was a significant find for people that believed the Bible to be true. The most significant find there was the book of Isaiah, and they found it historically accurate.

For a thousand years, Isaiah 53 from the Dead Sea Scrolls was compared to the one we have now. There are in there 166 words in the original language, and of that there were 17 letters that were in question after a thousand years of hand copying. Ten letters were just spelling variations, 4 letters were minor stylistic changes, and 3 letters were the one word for light added in verse 11, where it did not change the meaning of the passage.

God preserved His writings over a thousand years. These are historically reliable documents. Just compare this to the book of Mormon which was written in 1830, and the Quran which was written in 680 AD. Let us look at no. 2, written by eyewitnesses during a lifetime of other eyewitnesses. 2 Peter 1:16 says, “We were eyewitnesses of His majesty for He received from God the Father honor and glory.”

Verse 18, “And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.” Corroborating eyewitness accounts are extremely important. In 1 Corinthians 15:5-6, Paul says, “and that Jesus was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. 6 After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep.”

When 1 Corinthians was being written there were at least 300 corroborating eyewitnesses still alive, who would attest to the life, the ministry and the resurrection of Jesus. And this was 20 years after His resurrection. This was the time before social media and smart phones, where the only proof is from eyewitnesses who saw and heard Jesus speaking and teaching and who were still alive.

This does not account for the women who were eyewitnesses, because during that time in that culture they were not counted. Who first witnessed the resurrection of Jesus at the tomb? Women. These were eyewitnesses during the life time of other eyewitnesses that proved this to be true. Proof no. 3 is that supernatural events fulfilled specific prophecies. Verse 19, “And so we have the prophetic word confirmed.”

Jesus fulfilled more than 300 Old Testament prophecies during His life, death, burial and resurrection. Now this is a mathematical impossibility of something like that happening. This is mind blowing. Let us look what the mathematical probability is for just eight prophecies to be fulfilled in a man’s life for comparison’s sake. It is 1 in 10 to the 17th power, it is the number 100,000,000,000,000,000.

That is the likelihood of fulfilling only eight prophecies. Just to give you an idea of what that means, I will give you an example. Assume you have that number of silver dollars and we are putting a black X on one of those silver dollars. Let us place all these silver dollars over the state of Texas, and it will fill the whole state of Texas two feet deep. Can you find the one silver dollar with a black X on it?

That is the likelihood of fulfilling 8 prophecies, yet Jesus fulfilled 300. Here are a couple of those prophecies. How about Jesus coming from the line of David? 2 Samuel 7:12-13, “When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish His kingdom. 13 He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of His kingdom forever.”

Look at Matthew 1:1, the genealogy of Christ comes through that line of David. How about the virgin mother Mary? Isaiah 7:14 says, “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” Luke 1:35, “And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.”

How about born in Bethlehem? Micah 5:2, “But you, Bethlehem Ephrata, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me, the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.” Jesus was born in Bethlehem. All of these prophecies prove no. 4, the bible is divine in origin as opposed to human in nature.

Look at verse 20-21, “knowing this first that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” So let us look at how the Bible was written, there were 40 authors used by God, over a period of 1500 years, in three different languages, on three different continents.

Yet the Bible is one cohesive book that is without fault. It was written by poets, by shepherds, by kings, preachers, and people from all walks of life that normally would not agree on anything. Let us compare something, the Quran, the Moslem holy book, it was written over a period of 23 years by one author, and people in the faith themselves say it is full of discrepancies.

The books in the New Testament were written mostly in the second century. The questions of which books are included in the N.T. are this: 1. Was the book written by a prophet of God? 2. Was the writer authenticated by miracles to confirm his message? 3. Does the book tell the truth about God, with no falsehood or contradiction? 4. Does the book evidence a divine capacity to transform lives?

5. Was the book accepted as God’s Word by the people to whom it was first delivered? There are other books that are written, but those books did not meet this criteria. For instance the Apocrypha are 7 books that the Roman Catholics include in their bible that are not inspired by God. In 1546 the Roman Catholics included the Apocrypha and the unwritten traditions as the word of God.

The bible is one book with two Testaments that are interrelated. We cannot even interpret the book of Hebrews without first reading Leviticus. It is amazing how everything is connected. The Holy Spirit inspired all writers during these 1500 years to write God’s Word. This is all about God honoring His Son, Jesus Christ with a myriad of believers as the bride for Him in heaven forever.

So how can we be sure the Bible is the correct source of information? There are parts of it that are certainly very hard to accept. Answer: Well, that’s a pretty typical contemporary approach. And it comes down to people saying, “If God is loving, then why doesn’t He do something about all that’s wrong in the world? How can God allow all this evil?” Larry King asks this: “How can God be loving and all-powerful?

If He’s loving and all-powerful, He would fix what’s wrong, because His love and power would fix things. So God is either not loving or not powerful. In other words, “He may be loving, but He can’t do anything about it.” Or, “He may be powerful, but He doesn’t love enough to change what exists.” But we know from Scripture that God is both all-loving, sovereign and all-powerful.

The reason we ask those questions is because we think God ought to view the world the way we do. What we think is fair, while disease, death, disaster and trouble are unfair. The reality of what is really fair, is that all of those things are the fruit of sin. Sometimes people look at the Old Testament and say, “What kind of God kills people? What kind of God opens the ground and swallows people up?

What kind of a God drowns the whole world in a flood? How can you say God is loving if He does that?” But that is not the question. The question is, “Why did God let people live until their sin was so monumental He had to eliminate it and start again?” The question is not, “Why does trouble come?” The question is, “Why does God overrule trouble and actually bless people?”

Why does the sun shine on the just and the unjust? Why do people who don’t know God, who reject God, who are under condemnation enjoy life, fall in love, have children and see the beauty of the world? The issue is simply this: we don’t understand the sinfulness of sin. Humanity doesn’t recognize the sinfulness of sin. So what they think is unfair is really justice acting and justice operating.

The question is not, “Why is there so much trouble in the world?” The answer to that is clearly sin. The real question is, “How does God so graciously overlook all of that sin and redeem those who come to Him?” So the problem with an unbeliever’s worldview is that he thinks the trouble is unfair; but it isn’t. It’s the just the working of sin. “Whatever a person sows, they reap.”

So there is in the very fabric of human life, this principle of evil that produces evil results on a personal level, on a national level and on a global level. You will not understand this unless you understand sin and the sinfulness of sin and that the entire human race is fallen, and always has been, and always will be, until the Lord renews everything. So we are living in the midst of all the consequences of the power of sin.

So the question is not, “Why is there all this trouble?” The question is, “How loving is God to offer us an escape from all of it?” “Why does God let any unbeliever even live? Every sinner is a blasphemer, condemned, and hating God. Why does God graciously let that unbeliever live and survive and enjoy many of the blessings we call common grace and patiently wait for them to come to Him to know Him?”

The Bible is written today in over 2000 different languages and it is the bestselling book in the world every year. Because I believe in the Bible, I believe in the God of the Bible. I believe that God send His Son Jesus to die for you and me. I believe that He was born in a manger, led a perfect sinless life, only to die on a cross, buried and resurrected after 3 days, corroborated by eyewitnesses.

If I ask Him to forgive me for my sins, that He would be faithful to forgive me so that I will have a right relationship with Him in eternity. Believing this has deeper implications then we can possibly imagine. Not what we see on TV, not what works for you, because there are going to be days where you think this is not working for you. No one is going to get what you think you deserve, God knows better, Amen?

© 2017 Ferdy Gunawan

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