Victory Christian Tabernacle Church
Tuesday Night Bible Study
July 13, 2021
Zoom Conference Call # 1 646 558 8656,
Meeting ID: 804 615 8216, Passcode: 812594
EVIDENCE THAT GOD EXIST”
Dr. James A. May, D. D., M.R.E., Th.M., – Facilitator
Lesson- 4 “Authenticity of the Bible”
2 Timothy 3:16 NLT
“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.”
Hebrews 4:12 NLT
“For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.”
There has been many skeptics and unbelievers who have attacked the bible citing that it is not historical accurate, scientifically accurate, false, and have gone as far to saying it is a mystical fable at best. Unfortunately, many have reached their conclusions about the Bible through second and third-hand sources rather than thorough firsthand investigation.
Moreover, in a fallen world where sin is tolerated and accepted by many, where selfishness, greed and the love of money and “thing”’ have become the focus of life. the Bible’s message of an all-powerful God who sits in judgment upon the affairs of men and to whom all will one day give an account to must be rejected in order to continue live by the way of the world, instead of the way, the truth, and the life. However, we can have absolute faith in the Bible’s trustworthiness.
THE POWER TO CHANGE LIVES
Before we go into the authenticity of the bible, let’s look at it’s power to change lives. Many of those who have set out to disprove its accuracy have become passionate believers of the bible. Furthermore, we have witnessed hardened criminals, atheist, and agnostics changed before our eyes because of its power. Moreover, we have witnessed and experienced the change in ourselves, and our lives based on the Word of God. Skeptics may argue about the authenticity of the bible, but no one can argue about your experiences and the changes in your life because of God’s Word, the bible.
THE MIRACLE OF ITS ORIGINATION
The bible is really a library of books…66 in all. These 66 books were written over a period of 1600 years. They were written by 40 different men, from 13 different countries, 3 different continents and yet it all comes together as a literary masterpiece, with one central theme, Jesus Christ. That’s a miracle with a divine Author overseeing the whole thing.Those 40 men came from a variety of backgrounds. Doctors, fishermen, shepherds,soldiers, kings, princes, some were rich, some were poor, educated and uneducated. If we were to pick 40 men randomly today, and let’s say they were all equal in social standing, education, and background, then put them all in a room together, the 40 of them probably couldn’t ALL agree on any one thing, much less everything! And yet, God’s Word stands without contradiction.
THE MIRACLE OF ITS PRESERVATION
No less amazing than the Bible’s origination, is its preservation. Psalm 119:89 NLT says, “Your eternal word, O Lord, stands firm in heaven.” One of the most amazing testimonies to Scripture’s truth is its preservation over thousands of years despite sometimes intense efforts to destroy it. No book has been the object of more attacks, more scorn than the Bible. No book has ever been despised and rejected like the Word of God. It’s been burned, ridiculed, outlawed, but amazingly, the more it is attacked, the more it multiplies!
The discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls in 1947 confirmed that we still have the same Old Testament as they did at Jesus’s day. The survival of thousands of New Testament manuscripts confirms that the New Testament writings were also providentially preserved. The question among textual scholars is not whether some words are missing, but which variant readings, in a few minor cases, are the correct ones.
Note: The Dead Sea Scrolls (also the Qumran Caves Scrolls) are ancient Jewish and Hebrew religious manuscripts that were found in the Qumran Caves in the Judaean Desert, near Ein Feshkha on the northern shore of the Dead Sea in the West Bank, by Bedouin teenagers who were tending their goats and sheep. Various scholars estimated that the texts were upwards of 2,000 years old. The Dead Sea Scrolls include fragments from every book of the Old Testament except for the Book of Esther.
Note: Voltaire, the great French Philosopher (1694-1778) once declared, “in 100 years the Bible will be a forgotten book, only to be found in museums.” 100 years later, Voltaire was dead, and his house was purchased by the Geneva Bible Society for the printing and distribution of Bibles!
When we have discussions regarding the authenticity of the bible, one of the easiest ways to remember authentication is by using the acronym of H.A.P. (Historical, Archaeological, Prophecies). 1 Peter 3:15 NLT says, “Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it.” In other words, be ready to explain and defend what you believe. Although God needs no authentication, when we authenticate the bible, we authenticate God.
The bible is not a history book, however, in all the years of criticism by the skeptics and enemies of the church, no one has ever been able to identify even one historical mistake anywhere in the Bible. Time and again its narratives have been shown to contain a remarkably accurate account of people, of places, and of events of bygone ages. No other book in the world can begin to compare with the Bible for the way it helps us both to understand the past and thereby largely to explain the present. That’s truly amazing, because if man wrote it, we would surely find historical errors after all these years, but there are none. How do you explain this? This book did not come to us simply from the hand of man, but from the hand of God.
Out of all the 25,000 archaeological finds relating to the people, places, and events in the Bible, how many do you suppose have been found that disprove a detail of the biblical record? You’d expect that some would disprove something, right? How many have? None! In fact, every discovery just continues to prove the Bible is true, great proof for the accuracy and trustworthiness of the Bible. If we can believe the historical and archaeological evidence for the Bible, we have great support to believe the spiritual accuracy of the book!
Many scholars today question the validity of Biblical accounts, supposedly based on the findings of archeology. When the “discrepancies” are examined in detail, however it is found that the problems lie with the archeology (i.e., misinterpretation of evidence, lack of evidence, or poor scholarship) and not with the Bible.
The Bible records the fact that Moses wrote the first 5 books of the Bible (Exodus 17:14, 24:4–7; Numbers 33:1–2; Deuteronomy 31:9–22, Luke 24:44), and Jesus verified that in the New Testament. For many years, unbelieving historians laughed at the thought that Moses wrote the Pentateuch. ‘That’s impossible’, they said, for there was no written language when Moses lived! In 1887, a peasant woman, digging for fertilizer among the Amarna ruins, came upon a quantity of small baked clay tablets bearing handwriting inscriptions, known as the “Amarna Tablets.” Archaeologists continued their work and thousands of such tablets have been found among the ruins of ancient Sumerian, Assyrian, and Babylonian cities, where cuneiform was the normal means of written communication believed to be dated centuries before Moses was even born.
In the late 1800’s, early 1900’s, Sir William Ramsey was a well-known archaeologist and historian. He was professor of humanities at Aberdeen University. He was considered to be the world’s most imminent scholar on Asia-Minor, and its geography and history. He read the book of Acts and said, “the book of Acts is a highly imaginative and carefully colored account of primitive Christianity” (in essence, “of my knowledge of history, I have no respect for Luke as a historian”).
Then he went to the middle east for the express purpose of proving the Bible wrong in its history. He came home and wrote the book, “Luke, the beloved physician” in which he proclaimed Dr. Luke to be one of the world’s foremost historians. Here’s a quote from Sir William Ramsey…this was after looking carefully at the evidence. “I take the view that Luke’s history is unsurpassed in its trustworthiness. You may press the words of Luke in a degree beyond any other historian, and they will stand the keenest scrutiny, and the harshest treatment.”
Fulfilled prophecy is strong evidence that God is the author of the Bible, because when you look at the mathematical odds of prophecy being fulfilled, you quickly see a design, a purpose, and a guiding hand behind the Bible. The chance that any man might have lived down to the present time and fulfilled all eight prophecies is1 in 1017." That would be 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000. That would be like filling the entire state of Texas ankle deep with quarters, marking one quarter and having someone places that quarter somewhere in the state. Then you pick out that quarter on the first pick.
Here’s a good question to ask the skeptic. “What is the only book in the world that contains hundreds of very detailed prophecies?” The correct answer of course is the Bible. Research and find out how many other “religions” have fulfilled prophecies in their manuscripts. There are no fulfilled prophecies in the Qur'an, the Hindu Vedas, the Bhagavad-Gita, the sayings of Buddha and Confucius, or in the Book of Mormon.
If there were a book that contained prophecies that did not come true, what would you say about the book and its author? They would be false, right? And what would be the value of such a book? Worthless—throw it in the trash. From the Old Testament alone some 2,000 specific prophecies have been fulfilled already. And of the 333 prophecies specifically predicting the Messiah, all of those concerning his first coming have been fulfilled, and those remaining have to do with His second coming.
As the Bible was written, 25 percent of it was predicting future events. Every single prophecy has been fulfilled except for the few remaining ones that deal with the future return of Jesus Christ. There is no way anyone can predict the future with 100 percent accuracy. Who is the only one who can do this? The answer is God. Fulfilled prophecy is not only proof for the veracity of the Bible, it is also proof for the existence of God. The only reasonable explanation is that the Bible is a supernatural book written under the supernatural direction of God Himself.
Although God needs no authentication, when we authenticate the bible, we authenticate God. The authenticity of the bible can be demonstrated by historical, archaeological, and fulfilled prophecies (H.A.P.). Although it is not a history book, it is historically accurate. There are over 25,000 archaeological findings that do not dispute the bible. The discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls in 1947 confirmed that we still have the same Old Testament as they did at Jesus’s day.
Fulfilled prophecies is strong evidence that God is the author of the Bible. There are over 2,000 fulfilled prophecies in the bible and over 300 that were fulfilled regarding Jesus Christ. The bible is credible evidence that God exist!