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1.  Bible Authenticity



From the first commandment given to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, to our present day, the Word of God has and is being challenged. Throughout history attacks upon the scriptures have been so aggressive as to attempt to eliminate it from the face of the earth. However, those who have endeavored to do so failed not realizing the power that exists to fulfill the words found in Isaiah 40:8 “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of our God stands forever.”  Since it is the very foundation of our spiritual direction, food, instruction, wisdom, knowledge, etc. etc., or as Paul states in 2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”, a deeper understanding of its unique and authentic characteristics will be sought throughout this outline. For as the Psalmist writes (138:2b) “………..for you have magnified Your Word above all Your name.”

Understanding Absolute Truth

Webster’s defines “absolute” as:
1. Free from restriction; unlimited; unconditional.
2. Complete or perfect.
3. Unadulterated; pure.
4. Positive; unquestionable.
5 Not dependent on or relative to anything else.

Webster’s defines “truth” as:
1. the state or character of being true.
2. That which is true.
3. Conformity to fact or reality.


The Word of God makes claims to being absolute truth. Psalms 33:4 states, “For the Word of the Lord is right, and all His work is done in truth.” Jesus states that our sanctification comes through truth. John 17:17 says, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your Word is truth.

Truth is not a matter of what is acceptable for the day. It does not stand on majority rule. It was established from the foundations of the earth. Psalms 119:160 “Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.” For it is a characteristic of our God. Hebrews 6:18 tells us, “ …it is impossible for God to lie…”


Moral Relativism
mor al;
Principles or standards with respect to right or wrong conduct
rel a tive; Not absolute

Morals are dependent upon a standard, an absolute. Who’s to say what is right or wrong? Where do we get that standard that absolute? The majority of a culture, or possibly the desire of a dictator? Many people believe that truth changes with different lifestyles, cultures, times, situations, and so on. However, we read in Psalms 119:142 that, “Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and Your law is truth.”

Moral relativism says there is no right or wrong. Its attitude states we can make our own rules and attempt to tolerate each other to obtain a peaceful culture. This is not an original thought. Judges 21:25 states, “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in their own eyes.”  Or as it is more commonly stated, “If it feels good, do it.”

Unfortunately this thought has permeated the church. It is sad to see how many Bible believing churches accept this attitude. It may not be openly stated. The actions often times speak louder than words. Martin Luther was infuriated by the actions of the Catholic Church. After attempts to live to manmade standards, he rested in the truth of God’s Word. He has left us with his thoughts summed up in one phrase “Sola Scriptura”, the Scriptures only. The bible has made us aware of the short comings of many would be followers of Christ. Paul says in 2 Timothy 4:3, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears…”
 

How do we authenticate the bible?

Authentic - genuine, trustworthy and reliable; uncorrupted; undisputed credibility; receive assurance
1.      Examine its claims
2.      Check the veracity of the claims
      a. The basics
            i. Is the message authoritative?
            ii. Is it accurately reported?
            iii. Is it accurately transmitted?

    
b. Extraordinary proof
            i. Is there extraordinary, or supernatural proof.

 

What does the bible claim of itself?

The Bible claims to be the inspired, inerrant, infallible and final revelation of God.

Inspired…
God breathed
2 Timothy 3:16 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”
In some way, which we cannot fully understand, God directed these men with the very words to write, yet He did not destroy the individuality, or style of the writers. God did not give a general outline or some basic ideas, then let the writers phrase them as they wished. The very words they wrote were givenby the Holy Spirit.” William Macdonald, Believer’s Bible Commentary, p. 2293

Jesus’ View
Mat 5:17, 18  “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.”

The jot is the smallest letter in the alphabet. A tittle is a marking to distinguish letters that look alike.

 
Prophetically Proven
2 Peter 1:20, 21 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God   spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

One third of the bible is prophetical and has never erred in any prophecy.

Inerrant….making no mistakes; preserved and protected
Psalms 100:5 For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

Inspiration Implies Inerrancy:
Inspiration is stripped of its meaning if there is no inerrancy.

How can we be sure it wasn’t changed along the way?
The Dead Sea Scrolls (Old Testament)

Bibliographical Test (New Testament)

The Bible is without error in its original autographs, accurately reporting all matters, which are written in the sixty six books of the old and New Testaments.

Two Types of Errors
Error in fact
Error in internal contradiction

Neither of these exist within the scripture.

 
Infallible…..
incapable of error; never wrong; dependable; reliable
Num 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

 Infallibility is a matter of reliability. Reliability has two issues:
Accuracy - Rev 21:5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

Authority - Rev 19:9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

Two Christian Camps
          Only infallible rule of faith and practice
          Only infallible when it speaks of faith and practice

 Jesus’ View
          “Thy Word is truth (John 17:17).”
          “The scripture cannot be broken (John 10:35).”

Final Revelation….the last words God ever wrote to man.
 Heb 1:1,2 “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;”

 Revelation is….
John 1:1-5
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.”

No Progressive revelation
Proverbs 30:6
Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.”

Galatians 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”

You can’t add anything to eternity
Revelation 22:18-19
For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”
 

Accurate in Every Way

The bible is historically, scientifically, medically, archaeologically and geographically accurate. If these things aren’t accurate then we are no different than any other religion.

You cannot have inspiration without reliability, and you cannot have reliability without accuracy. So if the bible makes statements that are not accurate then one could begin to make a rational claim that the bible is not the word of God.

The following items are not going to prove the existence of God, or the miraculous events contained therein. They simply demonstrate reliability and accuracy, as you would expect from a work that is truly inspired by the almighty, all powerful God.


Historically Accurate
When reporting and recording an event, the more names you give, the greater chance of error… if indeed you were making it up. The bible does not play it safe by giving only a few names. It goes out on a limb by stating thousands of names, hundreds of cities, dozens of countries, all over thousands of years. There is plenty of room for mistakes if this was indeed fiction.

Luke 19:40 And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.

Psa 85:11
Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven.

The bible gives us an accurate chronological framework into which events can be placed with confidence.


Medically Accurate
Circumcision - Genesis 17:9-12. We know that vitamin K and the protein prothrombin, both clotting agents, rise to the highest levels in a child’s life on the eighth day after birth (110%), then drops thereafter. Clotting is vital to healing; it prevents blood loss and infection.


Scientifically Accurate
The bible is not a scientific textbook, but where it speaks about scientific matters, it does so with perfect accuracy.

The 1st Law of Thermodynamics - Genesis 1:1; Ps 33: 6, 9. This is the Law of Conservation of Energy, which simply states that matter and energy can neither be created or destroyed (Heb. 1:3, Col. 1:17.) Scientists have no answer, whatsoever, on the origin of matter. In fact, this scientific law ends the Big Bang Theory before it starts. Einstein and Hawking both knew this and it deeply bothered them.


Archaeologically Accurate
“No archaeological discovery has ever been made that contradicts or controverts historical statements in scripture.” Nelson Glueck, world renowned archaeologist.

Pontius Pilate stone found in 1961 at Caesarea - Luke 3:1

Inscription: “Pontius Pilate, Prefect (chief magistrate) of Judea, has presented the Tiberium to the Caesareans.” It was used as a stepping stone in the amphitheater.


Geographically Accurate
The works of Exonephes, Herodotus and other ancient works are filled with inaccuracies. They didn’t have modern equipment, but we don’t hold them accountable for it. However, the bible is held to a higher scrutiny.


Mt. Sinai - Exodus 19:20 Abundant and stunning evidence for the Exodus route
Everything found
Water from rock, markers, sacrificial alter, etc.
Video: The Newly Found Location of the Real Mt. Sinai (800) 977-2177

 

Proof of Prophecy

2 Pet 1:20, 21Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”


What is prophecy?
Prophecy has two distinct yet overlapping functions:
          1.      Forth-telling
          2.      Foretelling


What is the significance of prophecy? Why is it so important?
Prophecy is simply God authenticating His word. It is how we can know for sure that this is the word of God

There’s no better way to prove inspiration. Its details are fulfilled in a way that it is not possible for anybody to predict these things, except God Himself. God knew other books and sources would claim to be the word of God, so He put things in His word to clearly distinguish it from bogus religious and philosophical works.


Don’t other religious books have prophecy?

Isaiah 41:21-24 “…show us what will happen;”
Isaiah 44:7-8 He challenges them again
Isaiah 45:21 …and again
Isaiah 48:3-5 Stiff-necked people require extra-ordinary proof


How did the Jews authenticate prophecy?
There is only one way that the Jews determined if a self-proclaimed prophet was indeed God’s spokesman. Deuteronomy 18:21-22 100% success rate…Not almost, but every time.

There was accountability ….. Deuteronomy 18:20; Leviticus 20:27


Let’s look at 8 Messianic prophecies that a natural man could not manipulate.

            Prophecy                                              Fulfillment

            Micah 5:2                                             Matt. 2:1

            Zech. 9:9                                              Luke 19:35-37

            Zech. 11:12                                          Matt. 26:15

            Zech. 11:13                                          Matt. 27:5-7

            Zech. 13:6                                            John 20:25

            Isa.  53:7                                              Matt. 27:12-14

            Isa.  53:9                                              Matt. 27:57-60

            Ps.   22:16                                            Luke 23:33

 

Probability of one man fulfilling just eight of the three hundred Messianic prophecies is:
1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000

Jesus fulfilled over 300 prophecies!!!!!

 

Questions to Consider

1.      Do you believe the bible is the written, inerrant, infallible word of God?
2.      Why is this issue so important to settle in our hearts?
3.      How does Paul’s admonition to Timothy (2 Tim. 2:15) apply to us?


2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.