Foundations 5 – The Bible Student notes
“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path”…..Psalm 119:105
What do you say when someone says that they don’t believe the Bible? Or that the Bible is full of errors & contradictions? Or that you can’t use the Bible to prove the Bible? Or what about the other writings that weren’t included in the Bible, the lost books of the Bible? Why weren’t they included? Were they really ‘lost’?
Regarding the lost books of the Bible…they weren’t lost. The Jews & early Christians knew about them. They didn’t include them because they were clearly inferior to the biblical books. We’ll talk about this later.
What about the person who says “Prove to me scientifically that God exists”. To be honest with you, I can’t. Not because the proof isn’t there but because the scientific method isn’t applicable to historical things. There are 2 kinds of proof.
1…the ________________ method…to use this method, you must be able to observe something, measure that observation, record the results and REPEAT the experiment many times. This method usually yields 100% proof of something. If it’s not observable, measurable, recordable & repeatable, you cannot use the scientific method of proof.
2…the ____________/________________ method…used on things that are ______________________, like crimes or historical events/persons. With this method, we can gather many evidences and prove beyond a reasonable doubt (but not beyond any doubt) that something existed. It’s where a preponderance of the evidence leads us to. We prove the unknown from the known.
Since Christianity, the Bible, the resurrection of Jesus, etc are historical events, we have to use the legal/historical method of proof. To prove Washington existed, I could go to writings that supposedly are from him, do they match up with what other contemporaries of his time say about him, do his events match up with events of that time era, are we talking about the same person named Washington, etc., etc. Based on a preponderance of the evidence, I can say that Washington existed.
(Also talk about creation/evolution. That to prove either one, we have to use the legal/historical method, not the scientific method.)
“Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds…”Deuteronomy 11:18
There are 4 tests that we use to prove the bible’s reliability. They are…
___________________ (historicity & validity)…how do we know it’s been translated correctly over the years? If we do this with Bibles from say 1600AD and compare it to one from 300AD, we find they are almost entirely identical. The only differences are in translations of certain words or word order (give examples). This can be said of no other historical document in existence.
__________________ test…is it correct for events of that time era? If the sermon on the mount never really happened, other people would have pointed this out in other historical documents of that time era…but they didn’t. Don’t you think that someone like the Jewish or Roman leaders (who wanted to disprove Jesus) would have pointed this out? For the resurrection, wouldn’t it have been easier to produce His body or to say you went to the wrong grave?
What about people who say there are errors or contradictions in the Bible? Ask them to point out one. Chances are they can’t. Even if there are seeming errors, a little research or study will prove them wrong. (talk about the Hittite nation example). Read Mt 3:1 John the Baptist & desert in Judea. Don’t you think if John didn’t exist or there wasn’t a desert in Judea that someone would have called them out on this?
________________ test…do other documents agree or disagree with the Bible. Luke is considered a 1st rate 1st century middle eastern historian.
__________________________ test….very accurate.
All this says is that the Bible is extremely accurate, but it doesn’t say it’s from God. Let’s look at ________________ _________________. Ezekiel comes up with a prophecy about the city of Tyre in modern day Lebanon. He says specific things are going to happen to Tyre, like a specific king will conquer Tyre, a fishing net will be spread over the city, etc. Peter Stoner, a prof at Pasadena City College in the 1950’s gave his statistics class the problem of figuring out the chances that this prophecy would happen by chance. They came up with one chance in 75 million.
If we take just 11 OT prophecies (and there are over _________ fulfilled prophecies in the Bible), the chance of them happening by chance is one chance in 1059 power. This is one followed by 59 zeros. This number is beyond comprehension. Scientists has defined something having a __________ chance of happening as one chance in 1053 power. 1059 power is one million times impossible and this is just 11 OT prophecies happening just the way the Bible said they would.
Let’s take a look at messianic prophecies (fulfilled prophecies about a coming Jewish Messiah).
There are over 300 fulfilled Messianic prophecies in the Bible. Prof Stoner took just 48 of them.
The chance of one person fulfilling just 48 of these Messianic prophecies by chance is one chance in 10157 power. Some scientists have estimated that there are 1080 particles in the known universe.
Now take 1077 number of these universes and mark one particle. What are the chances you could pick the right particle in all of these universes? And that’s just 48 of the over 300 messianic prophecies.
What happens when you take the _____________ fulfilled biblical prophecies?
In Isaiah 41:23 the prophet hurled out this challenge to the heathen gods: “Show the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods.” God has taken this challenge
and proved that His word, the Bible, is divinely inspired.
Reference: http://sciencespeaks.dstoner.net/, chapters 2 & 3.