The Uniqueness of The Bible
- The Bible is comprised of 66 separate books, and it was written over a period of at least 1,500 years by more than 40 authors who for the most part didn't know each other personally.
- The writers of the Bible came from different social and occupational backgrounds.
- The Bible was composed on three different continents (Asia, Africa and Europe) and in three languages (Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek).
- One common thread: How a sinful rebellious human race can be made right with a Holy and Perfect God, through the atoning work of Jesus Christ.
- The Bible's message of grace. Every other faith book tells you what you need to do to be accepted by God, the Bible says you can't do it, it was done for you.
If a book was truly from God, we would expect to see predictions of future events, with precisely 100% accuracy. The Bible contains many fulfilled prophecies and some yet to be fulfilled. If just one prophecy fails, the Bible cannot be from God.
Here is a passage from Scripture -
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
All who see me mock me; they make mouths at me; they wag their heads;
"He trusts in the LORD; let him deliver him;
let him rescue him, for he delights in him!"
For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me;
they have pierced my hands and feet-
I can count all my bones-they stare and gloat over me; they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.
What is this describing? If you said Jesus' crucifixion, you're right! But it was written 1000 years before Jesus was even born, and on top of that, crucifixion hadn't even been invented yet!
The early followers of Jesus had absolutely nothing to gain and everything to lose by claiming what they did. There is no reason to suppose that the writers of the New Testament would fabricate the events of the New Testament since they had nothing to gain. Not only was there nothing to gain, but there was everything to lose by claiming what they did about Jesus. Generally, the reliability of eyewitness testimony is strengthened if it can be shown that the witness has much to lose by telling the truth. For example, we can believe a child when he confesses to doing something wrong that would ultimately lead him into getting a spanking. If he admits to it and risks a spanking, then it is reasonable to believe that the child is telling the truth. In addition, if the eye witnesses' testimonies were false, others would have been able to contradict and stop the growth of Christianity.
In addition to the many writers of the New Testament who were eye witnesses, there were thousands of others-
- Feeding of over 5,000 people
- Feeding of over 4,000 people
- Those who saw Jesus enter Jerusalem
- Over 500 witnesses to the resurrected Christ
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ
The Truthfulness of the Bible
If a writing mentions something embarrassing about its author, it's probably true. Why would a writer make up a lie that would make him look bad? The Bible records people's behavior whether it was good or bad. There are numerous accounts that could have been conveniently omitted from Scripture.
Some example include:
- The disciples are constantly not understanding Jesus' teachings
- Peter was called Satan by Jesus
- Peter denied Christ three times
- The disciples were cowards
- The disciples hid when Jesus was arrested, and the women turned out to be the brave ones who went to the empty tomb first and were the first ones to spread the news Jesus had risen from the dead. (What men would start up a new religion and show how cowardly they acted in the face of fear?)
- The disciples were doubters. Even after a resurrected Jesus physically appears, some of them still weren't sure he had risen.
- The Bible doesn't shy away from recording sinful behavior from people like David and Peter. It records squabbles, hard sayings, rebukes amongst the church leaders, gory descriptions and many unpleasant details.
It's not a sugar coated message, but rather the truth. Truth is that which corresponds to reality. Reality, likewise, is often ugly and difficult.
The Endurance of the Bible
No other book has been dissected, critiqued, banned, burned and ridiculed the way the Bible has. No other book has motivated more people to attempt to discredit its validity. Yet the Bible stands and it's still here today, having sold more copies than any other book in history.
- The Hittites were once thought to be a biblical legend, until their capital and records were discovered in Turkey.
- It was once claimed there was no Assyrian king named Sargon as recorded in Isaiah 20:1, because this name was not known in any other record. Then, Sargon's palace was discovered in Iraq. The very event mentioned in Isaiah Chapter 20, his capture of Ashdod, was recorded in the palace walls.
- The Dead Sea Scrolls discovered in 1947 also verify the reliability of the OT manuscripts.
- The Dead Sea Scrolls were ancient documents that were hidden in a cave in Israel about 2000 years ago. The scrolls contained many OT books.