Incredible Proof For Why You Should Have Faith In The Bible
WASHINGTON – These days, many Christians, especially college-age students, face having their faith in God and the Bible questioned if not downright assaulted.
Dr. Jonathan Morrow teaches Christian students how to defend their faith at the Impact 360 Institute in Pine Mountain, Georgia.
He knows how tough it is for Christians at secular institutions.
“Sometimes they’re going to have a professor that’s going to outright challenge why they believe what they believe and say, ‘Look, what you believe is actually a fairytale,'” Morrow said.
Check below this story for seven extra videos of lively conversation and teaching on why you can trust the Bible. Bible experts also explore how Christianity rests on a deep and substantial bedrock of fact.
But Morrow and two more of the world’s top biblical experts told CBN News there’s a good reason for believers to have faith in your faith.
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Dr. Darrell Bock teaches at the Dallas Theological Seminary and co-wrote Truth Matters.
“The faith is very, very defendable,” Bock said. “That’s why it’s lasted 2,000 years.”
He pointed to how even respected “non-believers” wrote about Jesus.
Really 400,000 Mistakes?
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Hi Kidcruze,Im sure Jack will be more than happy to answer your questions, but I wanted to give you some reassurance in the meantime. I used to have some of the same doubts, anxieties, and worries that you are having. Every time some non-believer would throw some question at me, I would panic because I didnt have an answer. I just want to encourage you with these two things to remember: Gods word is trustworthy. I have studied it, and the atheists claims against it, for a long time now and it has never been proven wrong. When someone says that science contradicts the Bible, one of two things is going on. Either their claim is wrong, or our understanding of the Bible needs adjustingthe Bible is not wrong. Secondly, even when we do not understand or do not know how to answer these atheists, we can trust in our loving Heavenly Father to see us through. Let me encourage you to rest in the knowledge that God is not surprised or threatened by unbelievers or their taunts. And we, as His children, should not be afraid of them either.I hope this helps. Like I said, Im sure Jack will give you some more encouragement. You have no need to fear those who reject God. Pray for them. God bless you.Yours in Christ,
Answering These Questions Requires That We Understand What The Bible Is
Its not a book that arrived in complete form at one point in history. Instead, the Bible was written over a period of some 1,500 years by a number of authors. Although it is viewed as one book, its actually a collection of many books.
It is called Gods Word even though God did not physically write it. Instead, God worked through everyday people, inspired by Him, to record what Christians accept as the Bible. The Old Testament is primarily a record of Gods dealings with His chosen people the Hebrews or Jews. The New Testament continues the record with first century accounts of the life and ministry of Jesus and the struggles faced by new Christians in a hostile culture.
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Is The Bible Inerrant
Jesus Christ Himself stated that Gods word is truth . In fact, the entirety of word is truth , because God cannot lie . The implication is that if Scripture contains errors originating from God, we can no longer trust the Bible as a basis for belief.
After all, if the Bible falsely claims to be true in its entirety, then why would any of its other claims be true? How could we believe the passages stating that God is an all-powerful Being who wants to give us eternal life if other sections of the Bible contain falsehoods? The only way we can trust the validity of the Bibles message is if Christs statement is true: that Scripture cannot be broken .
We believe that the original manuscripts of the Bible were completely inerrant, though some human errors have crept into the copies and translations available today. However, comparing the most carefully copied and preserved manuscripts allows us to come close to the inerrant original. And, as you will see, we believe all apparent contradictions can be resolved.
Importance Of The Subject
In the United States, the Bible is often hailed as a divinely inspired book. Television and radio carry religious programs praising the Bible as the holy and infallible word of God. Religious groups also distribute vast amounts of books, magazines, tapes, pamphlets, and other items. The materials promote the idea that, as televangelist Pat Robertson has said, The Bible . . . is a workable guidebook for politics, business, families and all the affairs of mankind.
The Bible is also extolled by many politicians. For instance, President Ronald Reagan signed into law an Act of Congress proclaiming 1983 to be the Year of the Bible. The law described the Bible as the Word of God and said there is a national need to study and apply its teachings.
Thousands of other religious and political leaders throughout the U.S. promote the Bible. In most communities, an opposing view is rarely, if ever, heard.
The massive and incessant promotion of the Bible significantly influences the beliefs of millions. A Gallup poll showed that over 30% of Americans believe that the Bible is the word of God and its teachings should be taken literally. Gallup identified an additional 25% of Americans who consider the Bible as inspired by God, but think some verses should be interpreted symbolically rather than literally.
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Gods Glory In Creation
God intends for us to have a well-grounded conviction that he is the powerful, wise, merciful Creator and sustainer of the world by means of a sight of his glory.
Psalm 19:1 says, The heavens declare the glory of God. Notice! The heavens the sun and moon and stars and galaxies are not themselves the glory of God. We are not pantheists. The heavens are not God. And their glory is not the glory of God. They are telling pointing to the glory of God. Which means you must have eyes to see through the glory of nature to the glory of God. Many non-Christian scientists see glory in the universe. Charles Misner said that Einstein had seen much more majesty than the preachers had ever imagined, and it seemed to him that they were just not talking about the real thing. So we have Psalm 19:1 showing us that the sight of glory can give us a well-grounded confidence that this universe is of God.
Then even more importantly, Paul says in Romans 1:1921,
What can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
The Proof Of Textual Evidence
Both the Old and New Testaments are strongly supported by manuscript evidence . The famous Dead Sea Scrolls are one example of the Old Testament evidence. These documents came from the library of a settlement founded at Qumran before 150 B.C. and abandoned about 68 A.D. Some of the manuscript copies were made during that period, and some were written earlier and brought to the settlement. Ignoring spelling-oriented changes and similar small differences, the Dead Sea Scrolls match the Hebrew text behind todays Old Testament, in spite of the passage of over 2,000 years .
Over 20,000 known manuscripts document the New Testament text. This makes the New Testament the most reliable document of antiquity . These manuscripts vary in size from a part of a page to an entire Bible . The earliest New Testament manuscripts date from the second century AD These manuscript copies were written in different languages by people of different nationalities, cultures, and backgrounds. In spite of all those differences between them, the New Testament texts all agree.
Note: Those minor differences that do exist between the Old and New Testament manuscripts are interesting for academic reasons. They are the topic of a future in depth Clarifying Christianity page.
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I The Bibliographic Test
A. The Quantity of Manuscripts
In the case of the Old Testament, there are a small number of Hebrew manuscripts, because the Jewish scribes ceremonially buried imperfect and worn manuscripts. Many ancient manuscripts were also lost or destroyed during Israel’s turbulent history. Also, the Old Testament text was standardized by the Masoretic Jews by the sixth century A.D., and all manuscripts that deviated from the Masoretic Text were evidently eliminated. But the existing Hebrew manuscripts are supplemented by the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Septuagint , the Samaritan Pentateuch, and the Targums , as well as the Talmud .
The quantity of New Testament manuscripts is unparalleled in ancient literature. There are over 5,000 Greek manuscripts, about 8,000 Latin manuscripts, and another 1,000 manuscripts in other languages . In addition to this extraordinary number, there are tens of thousands of citations of New Testament passages by the early church fathers. In contrast, the typical number of existing manuscript copies for any of the works of the Greek and Latin authors, such as Plato, Aristotle, Caesar, or Tacitus, ranges from one to 20.
B. The Quality of Manuscripts
C. The Time Span of Manuscripts
To summarize the bibliographic test, the Old and New Testaments enjoy far greater manuscript attestation in terms of quantity, quality, and time span than any other ancient documents.
The Proof Of Historians
Secular history supports the Bible. For example, in The Antiquities of the Jews, book 18, chapter 3, paragraph 3 the famous historian Flavius Josephus writes:
Now, there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful worksa teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was Christ and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.
In 115 AD, P. Cornelius Tacitus wrote the following passage that refers to Jesus in book 15, chapter 44 of The Annals:
All information contained in Clarifying Christianity is a resource for questions dealing with Christian issues. It is not to be taken as Christian counseling. Seek a qualified Christian counselor for help with all such issues. If you choose to work with a Christian counselor, it is your responsibility to ask pertinent questions before you begin, to assure yourself of their qualities and abilities.
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Knowlege And The Bible
Sometimes Christians quote the Bible to prove the Bible. Most skeptics are rightly cautious of this approach.
Quoting the Bible to prove the Bible is viewed as being circular reasoning or illogical. After all, quoting the Bible to prove the Bible assumes the Bible is true, which is really the point of contention or discussion.
But if the Bible can be shown to be a reliable document, accurately recorded and transmitted through history, from God to us, then we can build a strong case that the Bible is indeed true.
The Bible Is Unique And Unified
The Bible is unique among all the books in the world, and its message is unified throughout all 66 books. It was written by over 40 different writers, including shepherds, kings, priests, scholars, fishermen, and prophets, over a span of 1,500 years. However, the Bible remains unified in its message even though it displays a wide variety of genres and its authors wrote for a variety of purposes and exhibited a broad range of emotions.
The Most Urgent Question
Ever since I first got serious about the question of how we know the Bible is true, it has seemed to me that the most urgent question is not how to provide arguments that convince modern atheists , but rather, how it is that an uneducated Muslim villager in the bush of Nigeria, or a pre-literate tribesman in Papua New Guinea, can know that the message of the Bible is true so that, three weeks after hearing and believing it, he would have a justified, warranted courage to die for his conviction. He could die for the truth of the Scriptures, and not be a fool.
That, to me, is a far more urgent question than how to answer secular skeptics. Is there a way for uneducated, ordinary people around the world to have a well-founded confidence that the Bible is true?
We can have rock-solid confidence in the Bibles truthfulness because it radiates Gods unique and unmistakable glory.
One of the reasons this question began to be so relevant for me when I was about 22 years old, and wrestling with the issues of biblical certainty, is not that uneducated people are more precious than educated people, or more in need than educated people. Thats not true. The reason had to do with my own quest for confidence. When I was exposed to the best arguments for the reliability of the Bible, I was wonderfully encouraged and helped. They seemed right to me. They were compelling.
There Are Two Basic Approaches To This Question
There are two different approaches that are taken when it comes to arguing for the Bible being the Word of God. First, there are those who believe that the Scripture is self-authenticating. The Bible is true because it says it is true, and the Holy Spirit bears witness to this truth. No other argument is necessary.
A second approach believes that the claims of Scripture have sufficient evidence to back them up. Those who hold this view believe there is overwhelming evidence to convince anyone that the Bible is what it claims to bethe Word of God. People, therefore, need to check out the evidence not merely blindly believe the claims of Scripture.
We can summarize the two approaches as follows:
Approach 1: the Bible Is Self-Authenticating
To many people, the issue of the Bibles authority is something that should not be debated. The authority of the Bible must be believed because the Scripture says so. This is usually argued in the following ways:
1. The Bible Claims to Be Gods Word: No Other Testimony Is Necessary
There is something else. The problem with providing evidence for the Bible is that human beings are both sinful and finite. They must still evaluate any evidence offered for the truthfulness of the Christian faith. Again, it places some sort of human standard as the final authority. Evidence gathered from other sources may be useful, but it has nothing convincing to say about the truth of Christianity.
2. The Bible Should Be Able to Testify on Its Own Behalf
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Does The Bible Have Errors
Almost all theologians agree Scripture is in some measure Gods revelation to the human race. But to allow that it contains error implies God has mishandled inspiration and has allowed His people to be deceived for centuries until modern scholars disentangled the confusion.
Can we trust the New Testament as a reliable record of what actually happened, and do we possess what was actually written in the first century?
Theres Plenty Of Evidence For Much Of The Bible
But when it comes to other events of the Bible, its not true to say theres little evidence. There are tons of it… literally! I regularly run private tours of the British Museum in London on biblically related artefacts, and, once a year, I have the privilege of guiding around 35 adults on archaeological tours of Israel. Its very easy for people to see first-hand the overwhelming amount of evidence that confirms much of the Bible.
Particularly when it comes to the New Testament , in many cases theres far more evidence for these documents than there are for many other events of antiquity that we take for granted. Its simply not true, and frankly, quite ignorant, to say theres little historical proof for the stories about Jesus.
This is an extract from Seven Reasons to Consider Christianity by Ben Shaw. In this warm, honest book, Ben invites sceptical readers to think again. He outlines seven reasons why Christianity is worth consideringor reconsideringnot least because it offers some thought-provoking and rational answers to our deepest questions.
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What Does The Bible Claim
Although archaeology has verified many biblical accounts, the Bible does not claim to be a history book. The apostle Paul wrote that all Scripture is given by inspiration of God .
The Greek word theopneustos literally means God-breathed, indicating that all Scripture is literally the Word of God! Although God has used human beings to convey His words , those words still originate from Him.
The term Scripture includes what we call the Old Testamentwhich is what was available when Paul wrote 2 Timothy 3:16and also what we call the New Testamentwhich was assembled later and includes Pauls epistles and other books. In other words, the whole Bible is the Word of God.