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’?
(Talk about the lost books of the Bible in 1950’s comics on the back page)
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 scientific 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 legal/historical method…used on things that are UNREPEATABLE, 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.
I can’t prove that love exists because I can’t observe, measure or repeat it. I can observe it’s effects
but I can’t see or weigh love. There are many things that we believe in completely but can’t prove
scientifically. I believe George Washington existed but I can’t prove it scientifically. I may use
some science in proving it but that’s not the scientific method.
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.)
Before we put our trust in the Bible, ask ourselves this question….is the Bible reliable? If it’s not
reliable, why trust my life with it. There are 4 tests we use to prove any historical document reliable:
the bibliographical, the internal, the external & the archaeological tests.
Bibliographical (historicity & validity)…how do we know it’s been translated correctly over the years. (talk about the psycho/linguistic experiment…so we compare the 1st with the last and see what differences there are). 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. (Read off of the list of historical documents…the Gallic wars, Herodotus’ history, etc, read off of this list). For the bibliographic test, the Bible comes out by far superior to all other historical documents. Check out the references below.
Internal 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? But they couldn’t do either as one of their own had Jesus buried in his own grave. There is nothing in 1st century literature that says the grave was anything but empty. The disciples appealed to common everyday events that everyone knew about.
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?
Check out the references below.
External test…do other documents agree or disagree with the Bible. Luke is considered a 1st rate 1st century middle eastern historian. Check out the references below.
Archaeological test….very accurate…Nelson Glueck, the late 20th century archaeologist, said that no archaeological discovery has ever disagreed with the bible. Check out the references below.
“(New) Evidence That Demands A Verdict” by Josh McDowell
“A General Introduction to the Bible” by Geisler & Nix
“Who Made God” by Zacharias & Geisler
“The Case For Christ” by Lee Strobel
All this says is that the Bible is extremely accurate, but it doesn’t say it’s from God. Let’s look at fulfilled prophecy. 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 2,000 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 ZERO 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 2,000 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.