The central theme of the Bible is the love of God. This love can be seen in that the angels, the very first created beings, were created with the capacity to experience the joy of God’s wonders. God said to Job, Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth! . . . . When the morning stars [angels] sang together, and all the sons of God [angels] shouted for joy (Job 38:4-7)? God’s love can be seen, as well, when He created Adam and Eve and entrusted them with a beautiful, perfect, pristine environment to enjoy (Genesis 1 and 2, especially 2:28-31). It can be seen in the fact that, though His children rebelled against Him (Genesis 2:16-17; 3:1-7) and, indeed, all have sinned (Romans 3:23), He sacrificed His own beloved Son to rescue them from the power and eternal penalty of sin, For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life (John 3:16). God’s love can be seen by His creation of the wonderful eternal abode into which He will escort all who love him (John 14:1-3; Revelation 21:1 - 22:5).
From the beginning of the Bible to the end we see the theme of God’s love develop and come to fruition for time and eternity. Is it reasonable to believe that forty or more men spread over a period of 1600 years and six countries on three continents could conceive, compose and compile a sixty-six book unit that is perfectly consistent in theme and seamless in the development of that theme from the first book to the last? Not at all! But it is reasonable to believe that there was One overarching Mind in charge of the entire project.
One would expect that, if the Bible were authored by God, it would contain no contradiction; and indeed that is the case. There may seem to be contradictions, but in every such case it is because the text is not properly understood - whether it be lack of understanding of the culture or because it is not studied in context or because of poor translation or some other reason; but there actually are no contradictions. Here are some examples of apparent, but not actual, contradictions:
Matthew 27:5 says, [Judas] went away and hanged himself. Acts 1:18 says, and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his intestines gushed out.
An apparent contradiction, but not an actual one. There are at least two possible explanations:
"Judas committed suicide [by hanging, NM] at the end of the first night of Passover, before the first day of Passover [the Jewish day begins and ends at sundown, NM] when the morning Passover sacrifice would be offered . . . . According to Jewish law, if there was a dead body in Jerusalem, then the city was to be considered defiled and the morning sacrifice could not be offered. However, Jewish law goes on to say that if the corpse is taken and cast into the Valley of Hinnom . . . then the city is cleansed and the Passover can be offered up. . . . When Judas hanged himself within the walls of Jerusalem, he caused the city to become defiled, thus preventing the morning sacrifice from proceeding. . . . Judas' body would have been taken and thrown over the wall into the Valley of Hinnom, thereby cleansing the city. The fall of Judas' body is what is being described in Acts 1:18."
The King James Version of Exodus 20:13 reads, Thou shalt not kill, but the very next chapter commands, And he who smiteth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death (21:15, KJV).
An apparent contradiction; but there are several Hebrew words that can be translated kill. The one used in 20:13 should have been translated, murder. In fact, most recent translations translate it that way: You shall not murder. So, under the Mosaic Law murder was forbidden, but capital punishment was commanded for one who struck a parent. No contradiction.
In 2 Corinthians 11:8, Paul wrote, I robbed other churches. In Philippians 4:9, he wrote, The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things. Did Paul exhort the Philippians to be church robbers? If he did, that would be contradictory to his exhortation to the Ephesians, Let him who steals steal no longer (Ephesians 4:28).
Let’s look at the statement in context: I robbed other churches, taking wages from them to serve you. No, he didn’t really rob other churches. He spoke figuratively because he received wages from other churches, enabling him to serve the Corinthians from whom he did not receive wages. No contradiction.
At times, the immediate context suffices to clarify a statement, as in this case. At other times, the broader context of a few paragraphs must be considered, or an entire book, or the entire Bible. In any case, considering a scripture in context will often resolve an apparent contradiction.
It is not reasonable to think that the sixty-six volumes of the Bible, so varied in authorship, time, place of composition, etc., would contain no contradiction - unless their composition was superintended by God.
At the very least, the minimum test that a book must pass to possibly be the Word of God is its consistency with proven natural facts. Any book that fails this test could not possibly be the Word of God inasmuch as any reasonable conception of God must include the premise that only truth proceeds from God’s lips. In fact, the Bible itself declares, It is impossible for God to lie (Hebrews 6:18). I think you’ll see from these amazing examples that the Bible passes this test far more than minimally!
"An astonishingly accurate document." Genesis 10, often referred to as the Table of Nations, delineates - in detail - the lines of descent of the earth’s first nations proceeding from Noah and his three sons. According to Unger’s Bible Handbook, Young’s Analytical Concordance (page 25) declares that Dr. William F. Albright, former director of the American School of Oriental Research in Jerusalem, called the Table of Nations “an astonishingly accurate document." (4) Its accuracy is truly astonishing in light of the fact that it was written by Noah’s son, Shem (Genesis 11:10), about 2300 B.C. and was included in the Pentateuch (the Five Books of Moses) about 1450-1400 B.C. No ancient fable here, but a reliable anthropological document.
Joshua's conquest of Jericho took place about 1400 B.C. According to Halley's Bible Handbook, (5) Dr. John Garstang, director of the British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem and of the Department of Antiquities of the Palestine Government, excavated the ruins of Jericho between 1929 and 1936. Let's see how the Book of Joshua (authored by Joshua about 1400-1370 B.C.) matches up with Dr. Garstang's findings.
The conquest of Jericho took place 3,400 years ago. The Bible describes it in detail with unfailing and absolute accuracy! A Hebrew myth? Not at all. Simply more evidence that the Bible was authored by God.
3. From Astronomy
According to Genesis 1, God created light on the first day and the sun, moon and stars on the fourth; but some astronomers and evolutionists have protested that this is an impossibility. If there were no sun or stars on the first day, then where would the light have come from?
Consider this article, The Light from the Sun, by Dr. Henry Morris, Ph.D., of the Institute of Creation Research:
"One of the traditional 'discrepancies' attributed by the skeptics to the Genesis account of creation is the fact that there was “light” (Hebrew or) on the first day of the creation week, whereas God did not create the “lights” (Hebrew ma-or) to rule the day and the night until the fourth day. However, it is interesting that modern evolutionary cosmologists find no problem in having light before the sun. According to their speculative reconstruction of cosmic history, light energy was produced in the imaginary “Big Bang” 15 billion years ago, whereas the sun “evolved” only five billion years ago. Thus, even in their attempts to destroy the divine revelation of Genesis, they inadvertently find it necessary to return to its concepts."
Morris, H. Ph.D., Institute of Creation Research (2015). The Light from the Sun. Retrieved from
There are many examples of the Bible's accuracy concerning scientific phenomena. Dr. John Morris of the Creation Research lnstitute lists thirty-nine of them from six areas of science. (6) Perhaps the most astounding example is the following:
2 Peter 3:10-13 declares,
"10. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. 11. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12. looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, on account of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! 13. But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells."
The literal sense of the passage is that there will be a literal burning of the present heavens and earth. Scripture refers to three heavens: the heaven where God dwells and the two naturally observable heavens, the starry heavens (outer space) and the atmospheric heavens, where the birds fly and the clouds hover. In a future study, I will show God's Heaven will not be destroyed. The passage refers solely to the starry and atmospheric heavens.
Three times the passage declares that the elements will be destroyed by burning with intense heat (to combine the instances). According to Strong's Concordance, two of the meanings of the Greek word translated destroyed in each of the three verses are "break up" and "dissolve."  In addition, both Strong's and Young's Concordances give two of the meanings of the word translated elements as "element[s]" and "rudiment[s]." ln other words, the most fundamental particles of the entire physical universe will be dissolved with intense heat.
Fisherman Peter never studied chemistry or nuclear physics; yet, in about 64 A.D., he wrote in the most apocalyptic of tones that the most fundamental of physical particles will one day be destroyed, dissolved with intense heat.
Dr. Morris writes,
"Possibly this will be a global atomic fission reaction or else simply a vast explosive disintegration involving transformation of the chemical energy of the elements into heat, light and sound energy. What remains after the global fiery disintegration will be other forms of energy so that, although God's principle of conservation still holds, the solid earth will seem to have fled away (Revelation 20:11)." (8)
This is consistent with Revelation 21:1, which takes place after the Millennium and the Great White Throne judgment (Revelation 20): Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.
Whether Peter's passage refers to a nuclear conflagration or the explosive transformation of all chemical energy into other forms of energy, he speaks of an explosion of a magnitude that would have been unthinkable in the early part of the twentieth century, let alone two thousand years ago. This Scripture was scoffed at early in the twentieth century for that very reason; but since then, mankind has beheld such spectacles as exploding stars through the use of telescopes, and nuclear holocausts - and the lips of scoffers have been sealed.
5. From Biology
ln Genesis 3, we read that the serpent tempted Adam and Eve to disobey God by eating the forbidden fruit, and thereby brought about the Fall of the human race. Because of this, God cursed the serpent, and one of the aspects of that curse was, You shall go upon your belly (verse 14). The implication of this is that the serpent had, until that time, either stood on legs or upright on its tail, like a kangaroo.
To many, the story is but a fairy tale or myth; but consider this article from the lsrael Today newspaper of August 8, 2008:
"Study on snake evolution upholds Bible account"
"An international team of scientists including a professor from lsrael's Technion Institute concluded in a recent study that snakes were once four-legged creatures. The findings, which were published in the scientific journal Nature, seemed to uphold the account in the biblical Book of Genesis where God curses the serpent for having played a role in deceiving mankind and sentences the creature to thereafter slither on its belly."
The study attributes the change to a slow evolutionary process, but indirectly acknowledges that the loss of limbs was not a positive change for snakes, contradicting the belief of evolutionists that evolutionary changes are always a step forward.
6. From Genetics. Genetic Entropy Points to a Young Creation and Humanity
Genetic entropy is the breakdown of the genome (the complete set of genes or genetic material present in a cell or organism) due to the accumulation of mutations from generation to generation. In an article entitled Genetic Entropy Points to a Young Creation, Ph.D. Jeffrey Tomkins of the Institute of Creation Research reports on data resulting from recent research: "Data that confirm a young creation are rapidly emerging from genetic studies performed by both creationist and secular scientists." *
How Long Could the Human Genome Have Existed?
"One of the most important finds in recent years came from modeling the accumulation of mutations (genetic code errors) in the human genome over time using computer simulations. Researchers found that this buildup of mutations can only reach a certain level before the genome completely deteriorates and humans go extinct. This process of degradation, called genetic entropy, fits perfectly with a recent creation of six to ten thousand years ago. . . ."
How Long Did It Take for Today's Diversity of Races to Develop?
"These new studies use demographic models of human populations over known historical time and geographical space. The resulting data showed a very recent, massive burst of human genetic diversification—mostly associated with genetic entropy. One author stated, 'The maximum likelihood time for accelerated growth was 5,115 years ago.' (5) This places the beginning of the period of genetic decline close to the Genesis Flood, when the earth began its repopulation through Noah’s family and humans rapidly diversified.
Decline in Human Life Expectancy
"Amazingly, this recent explosion of human genome variation, mostly associated with genetic entropy, also fits the same pattern of human life expectancy rapidly
declining after the Flood as recorded in the Bible. . . .
How Long Ago Was Animal Life Created?
"By comparing [mutation] rates [of mitochondrial DNA] in a few very different animals, Dr. Jeanson demonstrated that a creation of not more than 10,000 years ago is
confirmed by these genetic clocks.
Conclusions Affirm Scripture
"The results of these genetic studies fit perfectly with the predictions of a young-earth creation time frame but make no sense when millions of years are added to the mix—the clocks simply cannot have been ticking that long.
"In the case of humans, Adam and Eve were originally created with perfect, error-free genomes—no mutations present. Then sin entered the world, and the whole
creation became cursed. The human genome has essentially been on a downhill slide ever since. We are not gradually evolving better genomes. Instead, the recently measured degradation patterns and
rates clearly match the biblical model and time frame."
* Subtitles added by N. Manzon.
Dr. Tompkins then presents a curved line graph that shows an amazing correlation between "human genome variation, mostly associated with genetic entropy" and "the declining lifespans of Noah and his descendants" over the generations from the 950-year lifespan of Noah to today's average lifespan of seventy years. (9) Once again, science affirms the Bible.
The Bible's amazing accuracy in all scientific phenomena that it touches on must reasonably be recognized as the signature of God.
Not only is the Bible accurate in its scientific presuppositions and declarations, but it offers the most plausible explanation in those matters that are unproven or unprovable by direct observation. The most glaring example involves the most fundamental, central and critical of all scientific issues: the origin of the universe and natural life.
Dr. Henry Morris says, "It is axiomatic that there are only two possible basic models of the origins of the universe, of the earth, of animate life, of human life and of all the basic systems of the cosmos. These are, in simplest terms, evolution or creation." (10)
The two are mutually exclusive, and it must be one or the other as there is no other possibility. Some entertain the possibility that the universe existed from eternity past, but this is an impossibility. The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that all the energy in the universe is coming to a place of balance, or rest, as when a rolling ball slows down and comes to a state of rest, or when the heat from a glass of hot tea flows into a cold spoon placed in it. The heat transfers to the spoon until the tea and the spoon are the same temperature, indicating that the net flow of heat from one to the other has become zero. At this moment, however, energy still moves from location to location in the universe on macroscopic and microscopic scales. Stars still explode and electrons still revolve around the nuclei of atoms - but if the universe had existed from eternity past, energy flow would have ceased an eternity ago. Therefore, the universe could not possibly have existed from eternity past. lt had to have a beginning, and "there are only two possible basic models . . . . evolution or creation."
Nothing has done more since the mid-nineteenth century to destroy people's faith in the Bible than the so-called theory of evolution except, perhaps, the skepticism concerning the Bible itself that arose in some German seminaries in the middle of the nineteenth century. (Some German theologians declared that the Bible was not a divine book at all, but a mere fabrication of man.) Evolution, propounded by Charles Darwin in 1865 in regard to the origins of life, has been extrapolated to include the very origins of the universe itself. lt holds that, by means of continuing natural processes unguided by any divine Person, the universe simply popped into existence from the absolute vacuum of empty, endless space, and evolved into all of its present forms, inanimate and animate. These twin doctrines, born in Hell, have ruined the faith of hundreds of millions of people and of entire denominations and nations. Having robbed life of its Creator, they set the stage for the devaluation of life and the multiple holocausts that characterized the twentieth century even unto the murder of a million and a half unborn babies a year in the United States since 1973.
Let us now pick the evolutionary fantasy to pieces and observe the logic of believing the Bible's creation account.
The so-called theory of evolution is no theory at all. There are two methods by which scientists discover facts. One is by strict observation, as is carried out by those who observe wildlife with a minimum of human interference. The other is termed the scientific method, which involves identifying an issue to be resolved, hypothesizing and experimenting. A hypothesis is a reasonably possible explanation for an observed phenomenon. Experiments are formulated and carried out to test a hypothesis. If the results of the experiments support the hypothesis, the hypothesis is elevated to the status of a theory. If further experimentation by other scientists supports the theory, the theory is elevated to the status of a fact.
How does evolution shape up in relation to these procedures and standards? Evolution has never been observed occurring naturally nor has any observation or experiment ever provided any evidence that it has ever occurred at any time. In fact, scientists have run computer simulations of original cosmic conditions and duplicated billions of years of random variations in the hope of proving evolution - and have embarrassingly admitted that all that such computer simulations have generated was CHAOS! (11) Nevertheless, the vast majority of the educational institutions in the world teach evolution as fact though it has never met the qualifications of a theory and should have been rejected even as a hypothesis many thousands of observations and experiments ago. It is most scientific to call it a fantasy.
In the last decades of the 20th century, it was said that a single human brain processes more information per given unit of time than all the computer systems in the world combined. However, at least as late as April 2018, that was no longer the case. Nevertheless, according to the article, Why Is the Human Brain So Efficient, by Liquin Luo, the human brain still outperformed artificial intelligence "in numerous real-world tasks. . . . let alone conceptualization and creativity."
In light of the fact that it took the cumulative efforts of the finest scientific minds until the middle of the twentieth century to invent the electronic calculator - let alone the computer! - do you think that a human could possibly have evolved by the random sloshing about of cosmic mud? But a human is far more than a brain! The human body is composed of over ten billion cells, each of which contains about forty-five internal organs called organelles that function together with greater complexity than a major city, and far more efficiently. The cells, in various specific combinations, compose the body’s tissues which, in turn, form all of the organs in each of the body’s systems: skeletal, muscular, nervous, endocrine, cardiovascular, lymphatic, respiratory, digestive, excretory, reproductive (half a system in males, the other half in females, each perfectly complementary to the other!), all of which work to sustain the whole and perpetuate the race. But a human is more than a body! He or she is alive and thinks and experiences emotions and searches for ultimate answers. The product of matter times movement times time? Unthinkable! The odds against it are infinitesimal beyond imagining.
According to Dr. Scott M. Huse, the chance development of a system composed of 200 integrated parts is 1 in a number written as 2 followed by 270 zeroes, which is 2 followed by 190 zeroes times greater than the number of electrons in the universe (1 followed by 80 zeroes)! The likelihood of just spelling the word “evolution,” containing a mere nine integrated parts (in this case, alphabet letters) by randomly selecting nine letters from the alphabet is one in 5,429,503,080,000. “And yet,” says Dr. Huse, “a 200 part system is ridiculously primitive compared with living systems." (12) Keep in mind that even bacteria qualify as living systems. How preposterous to think that a human could evolve by chance!
Dr. Morris writes,
"There is no evidence whatever that evolution is occurring today - that is, true vertical evolution, from some simpler kind to some more complex kind. No one has ever observed a star evolve from hydrogen, life evolve from chemicals, a higher species evolve from a lower species, a man from an ape, or anything else of this sort. Not only has no one ever observed true evolution in action, no one knows how evolution works, or even how it might work. . . . No one has ever seen it happen (despite thousands of experiments that have tried to produce it). . . .
"There is no evidence at all that evolution ever took place in the past. . . . All known vertical changes seem to go in the wrong direction. An average of at least one species has become extinct every day since records have been kept, but no new species have evolved during that time. Stars explode, comets and meteors disintegrate, the biosphere deteriorates, and everything eventually dies, so far as all historical observations go, but nothing has ever evolved into higher complexity.
"The story is one of extinction, not evolution. . . . No fossil has ever been found with half scales/half feathers, half legs/half wings, half-developed heart, half-developed eye, or any other such indicator. . . .
"If evolution were true, there should be millions of transitional types among these multiplied billions of fossils - in fact, everything should show transitional features: But they do not!
"In living organisms, true vertical changes go down, not up - mutations cause deterioration, individuals die, species become extinct. In fact, everything in the universe seems to be headed downhill toward ultimate cosmic death." (13)
Drs. Duane Gish and Richard Bliss write, "Life appears abruptly and in complex forms in the fossil record, and gaps appear systematically in the fossil record between various living kinds." (14)
When I was a boy, I was fascinated by portraits of my hunched-over, hairy "missing link" ancestors. I gaped with wonder as I noted family resemblances in Java Ape-Man, Neanderthal Man, Piltdown Man, Heidelberg Man, Nebraska Man, Peking Man and Cro-Magnon Man. But how disappointing! The skeletons or skeletal fragments from which these “men” were constructed all turned out to be either distinctly human or another completely distinct specie. Not a one was a missing link! Nebraska Man, who played the leading male role in the Scopes Trial of 1925 (which opened American public schools to the teaching of evolution), was eventually found to have been built up - very scientifically, I might add - from the tooth of an extinct pig! One Java Ape-Man was built up from the knee-bone of an extinct elephant! Missing link Lucy, accorded posthumous celebrity status after her discovery in Ethiopia in the 1970's, was probably just an ape. Nothing personal, Ma’am. That’s Byron Nelson’s conclusion based on computer analyses of the positional relationships between your bones. (15)
“‘The fossil record,’ says Douglas Dewar, a British naturalist and once an ardent evolutionist, 'cannot be regarded as other than a HOSTILE witness against evolution; the earliest known fossils of each class and order are not half-developed but have all the essential characteristics of their class and order." (16)
Consider this poignant confession after a lifetime of labor:
"As we look at the main group of fossil flora, we find there that at definite intervals they are all at once and quite suddenly there, in full bloom in all their manifold forms. Any change is entirely lacking. This all stands as crass a contradiction to the evolution theory as could possibly be imagined. . . . All my investigations have led to incredible contradictions . . . on account of which the theory of evolution ought to be entirely abandoned . . . it is a serious obstruction to biological research. My attempts to demonstrate evolution by experiments carried out for over 40 years have completely failed." (17)
One more consideration: Have you ever considered the concept of devolution, evolution in reverse? If, indeed, viruses can evolve into Einsteins, why, in all my years of formal and informal study - until I read the Israel Today article on snake "evolution" - have I never heard of even one scientist who believed that Einsteins can devolve into viruses?!! Apart from that article, have you ever heard or read of even one advocate of devolution in the sense of a complex specie changing into a less complex one? Given that all of nature is in a state of breakdown and decay (the Law of Entropy or the Second Law of Thermodynamics), is not devolution infinitely more likely than its heralded opposite? And yet, evolutionary evidence supposedly abounds everywhere!
Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci, painter, anatomist, civil engineer and inventor, was a religious skeptic all his life; but in his last days he exclaimed, “This earth, it’s all so perfect! It’s all so perfectly designed! It’s impossible that a single mind didn’t create it, that there’s no plan to it!” One of his last paintings was of a lady pointing upward to a cross. (18)
The evidence is in. Mindless, purposeless, random evolution did not create the complex systems and wonders of the universe. No, the patriarch of your bloodline was not a baboon, nor were you descended from a pond scum as my high school Biology teacher told me I was, or even something as sophisticated as a mutated fish. The first man, Adam, was not a grunting, brutish, troglodytic, knuckle-walking, flea-scratching ape-man. He was as human as you and I, only far outstripping us, no doubt, in physical fitness and intelligence because the human genome had only just begun its degenerative descent by means of cumulative genetic mutations after Adam's first sin. Genesis 2 and 3 show that he and Eve engaged in such uniquely human activities as conversing with God, naming the animals and tilling the ground. It is as the Bible says: In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1). Then the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being (Genesis 2:7).
On matters of science that are unobserved or unobservable, the Bible offers the most plausible explanation. Powerful evidence, indeed, that the Bible is the Word of God!
A bright light shone in the ancient Middle East. It was the Law that God gave to Israel through Moses. The light brightened dramatically with the life, atoning death and resurrection of Jesus and the teachings that flowed from his life and lips. This biblical light has been monolithic in its influence around the world for respect for human life in general, for spouses, women, parents, the elderly, children, the poor and strangers. It declares, You shall love your neighbor as yourself (Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 22:39) and even Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you (Matthew 5:44). It has upheld the beauty and blessing of marriage and the family and has condemned all that would threaten these most wonderful of human relationships.
Brian T. Collidge, opponent of the public display of the Ten Commandments, “concedes that the Commandments reflect universal teachings that are beneficial to a civil society." (19) Thomas Huxley, nineteenth century agnostic and outspoken defender of Darwin’s theory of evolution, argued for the reading of the Bible in the public schools with these words:
"By the study of what other book could children be so much humanized, and made to feel that each figure in that vast historical procession fills, like themselves, but a momentary space in the interval between two eternities, and earns the blessings and the curses of all times, according to its effort to do good and to hate evil, even as they are also earning their payment for their work?" (20)
Sherwood Wirt, former editor of Billy Graham’s Decision magazine, wrote of the changes effected throughout the Roman Empire after the conversion of Constantine to Christianity:
"Many permanent legal reforms were set in motion by Emperors Constantine (280?-337) and Justinian (483-565) that can be laid to the influence of Christianity. Licentious and cruel sports were checked; new legislation was ordered to protect the slave, the prisoner, the mutilated man, the outcast woman. Children were granted important legal rights. Infant exposure was abolished. Women were raised from a status of degradation to that of legal protection. Hospitals and orphanages were created to take care of foundlings. Personal feuds and private wars were put under restraint. . . . Branding of slaves was halted." (21)
The specific reforms of Constantine mentioned by Mr. Wirt were all in keeping with the teachings of Scripture. In those areas of life and thought in which Constantine properly applied the Bible’s teaching he wrought tremendous good, confirming the wholesomeness of the Bible's teachings and providing more evidence for its divine origin. On the other hand, in certain other matters, Constantine established policies and set precedents that contradicted the Bible’s teachings and wrought harm even to this day. One example is his official references to the Jews as "a nefarious sect" (22) and other such epithets spoken in conjunction with exhortations to ostracize them. Such actions by Constantine fueled the fire set by many before him for the incessant and virulent persecution of the Jews, and demonstrates the great evil that follows when biblical exhortations and examples are transgressed. This, too, in a roundabout way, provides evidence of the Bible's divine origin!
In the Middle Ages, it was the Bible that inspired Christians to establish hospitals and universities, the latter of which were established for the propagation of the gospel and Christian service. It is because God intended the Bible to be read and practiced by all people everywhere that believers have been motivated to promote literacy and education in the farthest reaches of the earth. It is the Bible that motivated Christians to fight for the abolition of slavery in England and the United States and, in our present day, some Muslim and other nations. Martin Luther King, leader in the fight for civil liberties in the 1950's and ‘60's, continually appealed to the God of the Bible as his source of direction and strength.
What magnitude of change can the Bible bring to a people? In 1876, Mary Slessor left Scotland to bring the Word of God to the interior of Nigeria, where lived four million cannibals.
"Witchcraft and drunkenness were rampant. The savages worshiped fetishes; they murdered twins; they turned the mother of twins out into the jungle to be devoured by beasts because they believed twins were brought about by a conjunction with a demon. Almost half of the population were slaves. When a man died, they would eat fifty slaves; twenty-five more would have their hands tied behind them and their heads would be whacked off. Unmarried women were chattel. They could be raped, tortured, or murdered at will. . . . Children were considered no better than animals, often simply left to die.
"Mary’s heart was touched by the plight of twins always left to die or ground to pieces in a pot. She would snatch them up and take them in. . . .
"One after another the chiefs of the various tribes yielded their lives to Christ. One after another the tremendously horrible customs plaguing these people for years were abolished; the murder of twins, infanticide, the slaughter of wives and slaves, the trial by poison and boiling oil, and all other terrible customs.
"Through her ministry, thousands from the Ibo tribe became Christians and abandoned their degrading ways." (23)
To what depth can a nation sink when the Bible’s influence is removed? In a Breakpoint radio byte, Chuck Colson quoted South African Anglican Bishop Desmond Tutu as saying, “Africa is bleeding.” In the same context Bishop Tutu said, “The awful truth is that in Africa there was far greater freedom in the colonial days than there is now.” Alluding to historian Paul Johnson’s authority on the subject, Colson went on to say,
"The colonial days were not perfect by any means. Yet the colonial powers were Christian in culture, if not in personal belief. And wherever the colonial powers went, around the globe, they brought with them basic principles derived from biblical faith: things like the rule of law, individual responsibility, political freedom, care for the weak, respect for learning."
He pointed out that Uganda, which had been “Christianized by Anglican and Catholic missionaries” was not long ago considered “the most delightful country in all of Africa,” but after it threw off colonial rule it fell victim to [Muslim] military dictator Idi Amin “who choked the rivers of Uganda with his victims.” He also spoke of Ethiopia, a Christian country from ancient times until its Christian leader, Haile Selassie, was assassinated in 1974. It then fell victim to a Marxist regime and has, since that time, been stricken with famine, civil war and wars with its neighbors. (24)
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story, wrote, in his Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States (1883),
"The promulgation of the great doctrines of religion, the being, the attributes, and providence of one Almighty God; the responsibility to him for all our actions, founded on moral freedom and accountability; a future state of rewards and punishments; the cultivation of all the personal, social, and benevolent virtues; these can never be a matter of indifference in any well ordered community. It is, indeed, difficult to conceive, how any civilized society can well exist without them." (25)
The world would be far more wicked than it is now were it not for the Bible. I’ve heard more than one well-traveled missionary say how much more respect there is for life and how much more livable life is in those countries in which the Bible’s influence is the strongest. Certainly, the immeasurable beneficial effect that the Bible has had on the nations of the world is powerful evidence of its divine origin.
It is impossible, of course, for nations to be changed without individual lives being changed. Living conditions for the Ibo could not have changed were it not for the radically changed lives of many individual Ibo.
The message of the Bible has changed lives wherever it has gone. John Newton (1725-1807) earned his living as a sailor, and then captain, of British slave ships. During a storm, he cried out to God for protection. His survival marked the beginning of his conversion. Several years later, because of his Christian convictions, he abandoned the slave trade and eventually became pastor to William Wilberforce who led the fight in the British Parliament against the slave trade. Newton wrote a hymn that contained the following words:
"Amazing grace! How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see!"
Chuck Colson, whose underhanded activities as President Nixon’s “hatchet man” landed him in jail, was subsequently touched by the Bible’s message of salvation through Jesus Christ. He now spends his life ministering to all aspects of prisoners’ needs and speaking out against injustices and atrocities and destructive philosophies and policies of governments and societies.
The power of the Bible’s message to convert lives from evil to good is further evidence that the Bible is the Word of God.
One would think that if the Bible were authored by God it would be a superlative literary work, and indeed it is. The Bible contains at least eight different literary forms: historical narratives, biographies, letters, sermons, proverbs, drama, poetry, psalms. Its stories have become ingrained in Western thinking: the Creation, the Garden of Eden, Noah’s Ark, the Tower of Babel, the Exodus, the Giving of the Law at Sinai, David and Goliath, Jonah and the “Whale,” the Christmas and Easter stories, the Sermon on the Mount, the Feeding of the Five Thousand. The 23rd Psalm is universally acclaimed for its lyrical, pastoral beauty; the Beatitudes for its gentle, poetic cadences. Yearning for adventure on the high seas? The gripping account of the shipwreck in Acts 27 has been touted as the most realistic rendering of a shipwreck in all literature. Dying for apocalyptic drama? Read the Revelation; then find, if you can, a more captivating or intriguing tour de force.
Where can you find a more intriguing plot? God, in the presence of the holy angels, creates a magnificent universe, forms man of the dust of the ground and breathes into his nostrils the breath of life. The man sins, the earth and the universe become cursed and the human race becomes separated from God. God, who justifiably could have wiped out the human race, sets in motion a rescue plan that involves the virgin birth of His Son, His Son’s living a sinless life, dying for the sins of the world, being resurrected, setting all things in the spiritual and material universe in order and presenting to His Father a perfected universe crowned by the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but . . . holy and blameless (Ephesians 5:27) which, with the saved of all ages, will live in the presence of the holy angels and the Triune God forever. Search all literature and let me know if you find a more original and thrilling and wonderful plot at the end of which the reader is lifted to join in such a gleeful chorus of never-ending Hallelujahs!
No other book comes close to the Bible in literary quality! It is the kind of masterpiece that one would expect from the Master Creator of the endless wonders of the universe, Himself.
If God were to write a book, one would expect that its theme would be so lofty and its artistry so consummate that it would inspire copious amounts of the world’s most wonderful works of art. The Bible has done just that.
The great cathedrals of Europe lift their spires in expressions of heavenly adoration and aspiration. The Last Supper of Da Vinci; the great paintings of Michelangelo on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome, and his great sculptures - the Pieta (the body of the deceased Jesus draped across His mother’s lap), the Moses, the David - all were inspired by the Bible. The inspiration for the Praying Hands so often seen on wall plaques and greeting cards and in magazine articles, came to Albrecht Durer (1471-1528) as he beheld a friend in prayer. The Messiah, by George Frederic Handel (1685-1759), perhaps the most wonderful of all musical compositions, was written in less than twenty-five days during which Handel felt he was under the inspiration of God. The manuscripts of Johann Sebastian Bach (1686-1750) contain inscriptions which reveal the source of his inspiration: “S.D.G.,” Soli Deo Gloria: “Solely to the Glory of God;” “J.J.,” Jesu Juban: “Help me, Jesus;” “I.N.J.,” In Nomine Jesu: “In the Name of Jesus.” According to Dr. James Kennedy, “[Bach] told his pupils that unless they committed their talents to the Lord Jesus Christ, they would never be great musicians, for music, according to Bach, was an act of worship." (26) The Pilgrim’s Progress is among the world’s great literary masterpieces. Written by John Bunyan during his imprisonment for his faith, it contains wonderful allegories of the Christian walk and of the pitfalls of which Christians must beware. Next to the Bible, more copies of The Pilgrim’s Progress have been printed than any other book. Among the most inspiring of Hollywood productions are stories taken from, or inspired by, the Bible: The Ten Commandments, Ben-Hur, Chariots of Fire.
What other book, or any other medium of communication for that matter, has inspired so many wonderful works of art? None. None come even close. This constitutes even more evidence that the writing of the books of the Bible was initiated and divinely controlled by the God of the Bible, the Creator of the endless natural wonders of the universe, which themselves inspire breathtaking works of art.
If God wrote the Bible for the enlightenment of all people for all time, one would think that He would preserve it - and preserve it He did. As far as we know, He did not preserve the original autographs. (If He did, He has not yet revealed where they may be found.) Nevertheless, many times more early manuscripts of the Scriptures have been preserved than the manuscripts of any other ancient document.
1.The Preservation of the Books
a. The Preservation of the Old Testament Books
As early as Genesis 2:4, we see the phrase, These are the generations of . . . . (KJV, ASV) (Hebrew. eleh toledoth). According to Dr. Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum, eleh toledoth (or zeh sepher toledoth, this is the book of the generations of in Genesis 5:1 and perhaps other places) "marks the beginning of a family document" (The Book of Genesis, an exposition by Dr. Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum). These phrases, known as the toledoth, are found in Genesis 2:4; 5:1; 6:9; 10:1; 11:10,27; 25:19; 36:1,9; 37:2.
Parallels with similar terminology in ancient Babylonian tablets affirm that the Bible's toledoth are the signatures of the original writers (27). Each of the patriarchs introduced and named in Scripture by the toledoth were the authors of the sections that followed. Before their decease, they committed their writings to their descendants for historical documentation.
In Genesis 5:1, we read, zeh sepher toledoth Adam, indicating that Adam began writing at that point, and continued through 6:8, at which point Noah picks up the narrative in 6:9 (eleh toledoth Noach). These tablets eventually came into the possession of Moses, who included them in the book we call Genesis.
In all the toledoth except Genesis 2:4, where eleh toledoth hashamayim veha'aretz is translated, This is the history of the heavens and the earth, the name of a specific patriarch is appended.
Despite its history of loss due to Israel’s disobedience to God, God preserved His Scriptures intact and repeatedly returned them to His people. (For examples, see 1 Samuel 6:21-27:1 and 2 Kings 22:8.) As late as the fifth century B.C. we read, in Nehemiah 8:8, that Ezra and his assistants read from the book, from the law of God . . . . Dr. Morris writes, the book of the law of Moses (Joshua 8:31; 23:6; 2 kings 14:6; Nehemiah 8:1) undoubtedly included all the Pentateuch, and possibly is used here generically for all the Scriptures which had been received by this time. Ezra is generally believed to be largely responsible for organizing the canon of the Old Testament Scriptures. (28)
So, we see that the Law of Moses, which contained even the writings of Adam, was intact and in the possession of God’s people in 444 B.C. By the time of Ezra or thereabouts, the entire Old Testament had been written and compiled.
In about 335 B.C., Alexander of Macedon gained control over Syria and Israel. Upon his death in 323, four of his generals divided his vast empire among themselves. Syria and Israel fell under the rule of the Seleucids. In 167 B.C., Seleucid king Antiochus Epiphanes invaded Jerusalem with the purpose of crushing all vestiges of the worship of Yahweh. Among his measures were the forbidding of the reading of the Law and the ordering of all scrolls of the Law to be confiscated and burned. Compliance was mandatory upon pain of death - but God did not allow His Scriptures to be destroyed. He raised up the Maccabees, a Hebrew family, to lead a revolt against Antiochus. In 164 B.C., against overwhelming odds, the ragtag Jewish army defeated two of Epiphanes’ armies and drove them out of Jerusalem, for which Jews celebrate Hanukah. Not a bad holiday for Christians to celebrate also: God’s Book remained intact!
b. The Preservation of the New Testament Books and the Entire Bible
No ancient classic has nearly as much manuscript representation as does the New Testament. According to the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, ten or fifteen ancient manuscripts of a classic are generally considered a good representation, but “The manuscripts of whole or parts of the New Testament are reckoned by thousands, the oldest fragment going back to ca. A.D. 150, and several papyri dating from about 200." (29)
No book in history has come under attack like the Bible, yet God has preserved His Book for all who would read it.
- In 303 A.D., Roman Emperor Diocletian demanded that all sacred books be burned, and declared, “The Christian religion is destroyed and the worship of the gods restored.” However, it was Diocletian’s attack on the Bible that led to the compilation of the twenty-seven books of the New Testament. (30)
- To turn the tables even more, Emperor Constantine became a professing Christian. Subsequently, in his Edict of Toleration (313 A.D.), Constantine granted freedom of religion throughout his vast Roman Empire. He favored and supported Christians and Christian works in many ways, including the exhorting (in 325 A.D.) of all his subjects to become Christians - and the ordering of the production of fifty Bibles for the churches of Constantinople. (31)
- In the eighteenth century, French philosopher Voltaire declared, “Fifty years from now the world will hear no more about the Bible.” Exactly fifty years later, the Geneva Bible Society bought the very press that Voltaire used to publish such statements, and used it for the printing of Bibles.
- In the twentieth century, Richard Wurmbrand was imprisoned for fourteen years for preaching and teaching the Word of God. Today, the organization that he founded, Voice of the Martyrs, uses one of the Rumanian prisons in which he was incarcerated under the Ceausescu regime as a warehouse for the Bibles and related literature that they print and distribute.
- The Soviet Union, the world’s only officially atheistic empire in all of history, collapsed in 1989 from internal decay. Subsequently, its master nation, Russia, opened its floodgates to the influx of millions of Bibles and thousands of Bible teachers.
- Communist China ruthlessly suppresses its vast number of unregistered (and therefore uncontrolled by the government) churches; but the more the underground church is persecuted the more it explodes in numbers; and millions of Bibles, contraband if not printed and distributed by the government, are printed inside and outside of China, distributed within China and treasured above all possessions by millions of Chinese.
Much persecution has accompanied the translation, production and distribution of the Bible in many of the world’s languages, including English, the language in which most of the Bibles of the world are now translated. Virulent attacks against the Bible have been launched in full force in Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist countries. All have failed! God has been guarding His Word. No one will ever bring it down!
2. The Preservation of the Accuracy of the Books
God, who took such care to preserve His Bible throughout history, took care to preserve the accuracy of its contents.
a. The Preservation of the Accuracy of the Old Testament
Until the middle of the twentieth century, the oldest known copy of the Old Testament was the Masoretic Text.
"This monumental work was begun around the 6th century AD and completed in the 10th century by scholars [known as Masoretes] at Talmudic academies in Babylonia and Palestine, in an effort to reproduce, as far as possible, the original text of the Hebrew Old Testament. Their intention was not to interpret the meaning of the Scriptures but to transmit to future generations the authentic Word of God. To this end they gathered manuscripts and whatever oral traditions were available to them. . . . The rigorous care given the Masoretic text in its preparation is credited for the remarkable consistency found in Old Testament Hebrew texts since that time. The Masoretic work enjoyed an absolute monopoly for 600 years, and experts have been astonished at the fidelity of the earliest printed version [late 15th century] to the earliest surviving codices [late 9th century]. The Masoretic text is universally accepted as the authentic Hebrew Bible." (32)
From about 500 A.D. until the present, the standard Hebrew text of the Old Testament has been perfectly preserved; but after 1947, the faithfulness of the Masoretic Text to much earlier Old Testament texts was put to the test. In 1947, about five hundred scrolls dating from about 125 B.C. to 100 A.D. were found in a cave near the Dead Sea. Of these, about 175 were biblical, containing several copies of many of the books of the Old Testament and sections or fragments of others. All Old Testament books were represented except the Book of Esther.
These Dead Sea Scrolls were written, on the average, a thousand years nearer the time of the original autographs than the final Masoretic Text. Naturally, scholars expect older texts to reflect the original autographs more faithfully than later texts. Among the Dead Sea scrolls was a scroll of Isaiah from 125 B.C., 1125 years nearer the original than the final Masoretic Isaiah. Astoundingly, a comparison of the Dead Sea and Masoretic Isaiahs revealed virtually no difference between the two. In speaking of the biblical Dead Sea Scrolls and the Masoretic Text overall, Dr. Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum writes, “Where there is a variation, there is absolutely no change of meaning. For example, one scroll may say, ‘he went to Jerusalem.’ The other scroll may say, ‘he went unto Jerusalem.’ . . . so the text has remained intact." (33)
It is reasonable to conclude that, if God preserved the integrity of the Old Testament for the last two thousand years, He preserved it from the time of the original autographs.
b. The Preservation of the Accuracy of the New Testament
As concerns the New Testament, over 20,000 hand-copied manuscripts of the Greek text are in existence. (34) According to Dr. Fruchtenbaum, “by virtue of these many Greek texts it is possible to determine what the original Greek New Testament was." (35)
You have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and abiding word of God. For, "All flesh is as grass, and all of its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls off, but the word of our God abides forever (Isaiah 40:6,8)." And this is the word which was preached to you.
~ 1 Peter 1:23-25 ~
Peter addressed this letter to Jewish believers (1 Peter 1:1, 2:12) to whom the Word of God and the Word of the Lord referred not only to specific messages that God spoke or revealed to individual prophets, but to the entire body of Hebrew Scripture.
God promised through Peter that His Bible, whether written on tablets of clay or stone or parchment or paper or digital media or in the glorified memories of the saints in the eternal ages, will always be preserved forever!
Amazingly, despite attempts to destroy them, all sixty-six books of the Bible have been preserved, and their faithfulness to the original writings has been confirmed to a far greater degree than has any other book of antiquity. Sir Isaac Newton said, “There are more sure marks of authenticity in the Bible than in any profane history." (36)
It’s as if the Bible enjoys supernatural protection. Yes, the preservation of the sixty-six books and of their accuracy is even further evidence that the writing of the Bible was inspired - initiated and superintended - by God.
The preservation of Jewish national identity is powerful evidence of the Bible’s divine authorship. Consider this assessment by David Egner of The Radio Bible Class:
"By all reckoning, the Jews should have died out long ago. Their survival as a distinct people is a miracle of history. . . . You cannot talk to a Babylonian today, nor a Hittite. You will not meet a Moabite or a Phoenician on the street. But you can converse with a Jew. By every measuring stick of history there should not be even one identifiable Jew alive today. For 4,000 years they have endured unbelievable hardships: exile from their land more than 60 per cent of the time; organized efforts to destroy them; the crumbling of the civilizations in which they sought refuge; the sophisticated brutality of the 20th century. Yet the Jews are alive and flourishing. They survive every effort to destroy them." (37)
How is it that they survive every effort to destroy them? Let’s look to the latter half of the New Covenant:
Thus says the LORD, who gives the sun for light by day, and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar; the LORD of hosts is His name: If this fixed order departs from before me, declares the LORD, then the offspring of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me forever. Thus says the LORD, If the heavens above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out below, then I will also cast off all the offspring of Israel for all that they have done, declares the LORD.
~ Jeremiah 31:35-37 ~
For I, the LORD, do not change; therefore you, o sons of Jacob, are not consumed (Malachi 3:6).
These Scriptures, written in 597 B.C. and 397 B.C., respectively, purport that God declared that He would preserve Jewish national identity for as long as there are sun, moon and stars and until the universe is fully measured and the foundations of the earth fully searched out. Despite the repeated fury of Satan and the nations to destroy the Jews, there are still 13,000,000 of them alive and identifiable today, 2400 and 2600 years after these passages were written.
Were these purported declarations by God the hallucinations of heat struck Hebrew holy men - or were they the Words of God? Look to history - and decide.
Perhaps the most amazing phenomenon in the Bible is its containment of hundreds of detailed prophesies that have come to fulfillment - in detail; prophecies as broad as the blueprint of history and as focused as the details of Messiah’s life and crucifixion; prophecies of the destruction of specific nations, of the endurance of others, of the scattering and gathering of Israel and of political and military alliances in the distant future.
1. The Blueprint of History
In about 601 B.C., an amazing dream was given to Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, and its interpretation to his Hebrew advisor, Daniel (Daniel 2:1-45). The dream and its interpretation revealed the succession of the world empires central to Bible and world history and prophecy: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome, the split of Rome into eastern and western divisions, and an empire consisting of ten kingdoms which will, in turn, be crushed and replaced by a kingdom which the God of heaven will set up . . . which will never be destroyed (v. 44). The first five of these elements have already come to pass in world history!
2. The Fate of Nations
- Around 850 B.C., Obadiah prophesied the destruction of the then mighty Edomite nation (southeast of the Dead Sea), saying, There will be no survivor of the house of Esau (Obadiah 1:18). Between 450 and 400 B.C., God declared through the prophet Malachi, I have made [Esau’s] mountains a desolation (Malachi 1:1-3). Today there are no known surviving Edomites.
- In about 625 B.C., God declared through Zephaniah, O Canaan, land of the Philistines; . . . I will destroy you, so that there will be no inhabitant (Zephaniah 2:5). Today the Philistines are gone without a trace.
- In Deuteronomy 28, written about 1400 B.C., Moses declared that if Israel will not obey the LORD, The LORD will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other end of the earth (v. 64). In 135 A.D., Israel was crushed by Rome and scattered to the four corners of the earth.
- About 600 B.C., God declared,
“As I live,” declares the Lord GOD, “surely with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm and with wrath poured out, I shall be king over you. I will bring you from the peoples and gather you from the lands where you are scattered.”
~ Ezekiel 20:33-34 ~
735 years before Israel’s most profound scattering (by the Romans, in 135 A.D.) God declared that He would gather her. Has this prophecy of the gathering of Israel yet been fulfilled? Yes. Its milestone was the year 1948, when Israel became a modern nation.
2,540 years after Ezekiel’s prophecy, 1800 years after being scattered from their homeland and immediately following Satan’s greatest effort to annihilate them (1939-1945), God gathers them! Compound the odds against this gathering of Jews to their national homeland with the odds against Jewish survival, as described above; then consider whether these Biblical declarations were the creative inventions of men - or revelations of future history declared by God.
3. Political and Military Alliances Far Off in the Distant Future
4. They have said, "Come, and let us wipe them out as a nation, That the name of Israel be remembered no more." 5. For they have conspired together with one mind; Against You they make a covenant: 6. The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, Moab and the Hagrites; 7. Gebal and Ammon and Amalek, Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre; 8. Assyria also has joined with them; They have become a help to the children of Lot.
~ Psalm 83:4-8 ~
Dr. Fruchtenbaum writes,
"Edom is in southern Jordan; Ishmael was the father of one segment of the Arab world; Moab is in central Jordan; the Hagarenes were from Egypt. . . . Gebal is up in Lebanon; Ammon is in northern Jordan; Amalek was in the Sinai Peninsula; Philistia is in the Gaza Strip; Tyre is up in Lebanon. . . . Assyria comprises all of what is today Iraq and quite a bit of Syria. [Lot was the father of Ammon and Moab.]
"The only time in history that all these nations listed in these verses combined themselves together against Israel has been only since 1948. This was never true in ancient history. Only since 1948 the surrounding Arab states which comprises these names have bound themselves together against Israel. This has been especially true since the Six Day War  when one Arab leader after another clearly stated that the only way of gaining peace in the Middle East is for the total annihilation of Israel as a nation." (38)
Psalm 83 was written about three thousand years ago. What are the odds that the psalmist Asaph could have guessed that the above nations - all ten of them - would covenant against Israel? Some skeptics argue that what the Bible purports to be prophesies were written after the fact. What are the odds that some clever people stuck these verses in Psalm 83 since 1948?
4. Messiah’s Life, Crucifixion and Resurrection
According to Dr. Norman Geisler,
"There are at least forty-eight prophecies in the Old Testament about Messiah. These include where he would be born (Mic. 5:2), how he would die (Isa. 53), when he would die (Dan. 9), that he would rise from the dead (Psa. 16), etc. The odds that 48 of these prophecies were fulfilled in one man are about 1/10157. That’s right, a 1 with 157 zeroes after it." (39)
Winkey Pratney, research chemist turned Christian speaker, attempts to give us an idea of how infinitesimal these odds are:
"We’ll take a very small object, let’s say an electron. (Electrons are so small that if you lined them up, it would take 2 ½ quadrillion of them to equal one inch.) Now let’s go back to our figure of 10157. If you tried to put this many electrons into a big pile, it would be 10,000,000,000 times larger than the universe as we know it - which scientists calculate to be 6,000,000,000 light-years across. [A light-year is the distance that light travels in one year, moving at the speed of 186,000 miles per second.] Now, take just one electron out and color it red. Stir it back into this pile for a hundred thousand years with all the others. Then blindfold a man and send him in to pick it out - first time! Impossible? These would be the same odds that one man would live and die according to only 48 of the prophecies about the Messiah, if it were only an accident." (40)
The Bible, alone among books, contains hundreds of detailed prophesies that have already been fulfilled in every detail. Who, but God, could possibly author such a book?
The Bible claims it is the Word of God, stands alone in its uniqueness, is consistent in its central theme and continuous in its development over a period of 1600 years, contains no contradiction, does not contradict the proven facts of science, offers the most plausible explanations in matters of science that are unobserved or unobservable, has profoundly influenced the world for good, has profoundly changed individual lives for the good, is a literary masterpiece in a class of its own, has inspired many of the world’s greatest works of art, has been preserved physically and in accuracy since its first words were written, has promised the preservation of the Jew and has declared hundreds of prophecies that have been fulfilled in detail.
In consideration of all this evidence, how can one still doubt the divine authorship of the Scriptures? We confidently board jet planes with infinitely smaller odds that they will land safely than the odds in favor of the Bible’s having been authored by God. Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer, founder of Dallas Theological Seminary and author of an eight volume standard work in systematic theology, said, “The Bible is not a book that a man could write if he would, nor is the Bible a book man would write if he could." (41) William E. Gladstone said, “I have known ninety-five of the world’s great men in my time, and of these eighty-seven were followers of the Bible. The Bible is stamped with a Specialty of Origin, and an immeasurable distance separates it from all competitors." (42)
It is reasonable to conclude with absolute certainty that the Bible was written by men under the perfect superintendence of God.
If you are convinced that the Bible is the Word of God, then at least three important ramifications
The chief message of the Bible is one of ultimate hope for all that the human heart could possibly long for. It is a message which, when embraced, brings the forgiveness of sins, an eternal infusion of new life from God that fills us with joy and transforms our attitudes and actions to be more godly ones, and the assurance of a most wonderful and blessed eternity in the presence of God forever. This is the message: that God loved us so much that he sent His Son, Yeshua HaMashiach (Hebrew for Jesus the Messiah or Christ), to die in our place for our sins so that He might forgive us of our sins and, as He raised His Son from the dead, raise us from the death of sin’s power and guilt to live a new life in His embrace forever.
Do you believe? Please pause and answer! If you do, then you, too, have already risen from the death of your old life into new, blessed life in Him. Thank Him. He deserves your praise forever.
Since the God of the Bible is a loving God, it behooves us to change our thinking and ways to conform to His. It should surprise no one that God’s values and priorities differ from the values and priorities of those who don’t know Him. Even among the nations of the world values and priorities differ tremendously. Which values are to be embraced: the values of one’s own culture? Those of another? What makes one set of values superior to another? Nothing - were it not for the fact that there is an absolute standard: the values and priorities held eternally by God and found in His holy Book! These are the values that the believer - indeed, everyone on the planet - ought to embrace. Embrace them to bless and be blessed.
May God bless you forever in His Word,
4. Unger, Dr. Merrill F., Unger’s Bible Handbook, The Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, 1966, p. 52.
5. Halley, Henry H., Halley's Bible Handbook, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1959, pp.160-161.
6. Morris, Dr. Henry M., op.cit., pp. 1523-1525.
7. The New Strong's Exhaustive Concordance to the Bible. 1996.
8. Morris, Dr. Henry M., op.cit., p. 1407.
9. Tomkins, Ph.D./Institute of Creation Research,J.P. (2015). Genetic Entropy Points to a Young Creation. Retrieved from http://www.icr.org/article/8374/
10. Morris, Dr. Henry M., op. cit., p.1496.
11. Pratney, Winkey, "Creation or Evolution? Part II - The Historical Record," Pretty Good Printing, Last Days Ministries, Lindale, TX., 1984, p. 4.
12. Huse, Dr. Scott M., The Collapse of Evolution, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1983, p. 67-68.
13. Morris, Dr. Henry M., op. cit., pp. 1496-1497.
14. Gish, Dr. Duane T., and Bliss, Dr. Richard B., Impact, Nos. 95-96 - "Summary of Scientific Evidence for Creation," Institute for Creation Research, El Cajon, California, 1981, p. iii.
15. Huse, Dr. Scott M., The Collapse of Evolution, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1983, pp. 96-103; and Nelson, Byron, After its Kind, Bethany House, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1967, pp. 126-138.
16. Why We Believe in Creation, p. 312, quoted by Pratney, Winkey in "Creation or Evolution? Part III - The Fossil Record," Pretty Good Printing, Last Days Ministries, Lindale, TX., 1984 p. 1.
17. Nilsson, Dr. Herbert, University of Lund, Sweden, quoted by Pratney, Winkey, Ibid., p.1.
18. "The Life of Leonardo da Vinci, Part V." Questar Video, Inc., Chicago, Illinois 60611.
19. Moore, Roy S. “Putting God Back in the Public Square.” Imprimis Magazine, Hillsdale College, Hillsdale, Michigan 49242, September (?) 1999.
20. Ibid. (?)
21. Wirt, Sherwood, The Social Conscience of the Evangelical, quoted in Kennedy, D. James, What if Jesus Had Never Been Born, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, Tennessee, 1994, p. 13.
22 Egner, David C., Those Irrepressible Jews!, Radio Bible Class, Grand Rapids, Michigan 1983, p. 50.
23. Kennedy, D. James, op. cit., pp. 168.
24. "Breakpoint" with Chuck Colson, December 29, 1995.
25. Moore, Roy S. op. cit.
26. Kennedy, D. James, op. cit., p. 186.
27. Morris, Dr. Henry M., op. cit., , p. 9.
28. Morris, Dr. Henry M., op. cit., p. 546.
29. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, 1973, v. 1, p. 492.
30. Enns, Dr. Paul P. The Moody Handbook of Theology, Moody Press, Chicago, Illinois, 1989, p.171.
31. Halley, Henry H., op. cit., pp. 759-760.
32. Encyclopedia Britannica CD, 1999, “Masoretic Text.”
33. Fruchtenbaum, Dr. Arnold G., Radio Manuscript 30: The Nature of the Bible, Ariel Ministries, Tustin, California, 1983, p. 5.
34. Morris, Dr. Henry M., op. cit., p. 1989.
35. Fruchtenbaum, Dr. Arnold G., op. cit., p. 5.
36. Halley, Henry H., op. cit., p. 19.
37. Egner, David C. op. cit., back cover.
38. Fruchtenbaum, Dr. Arnold G., Radio Manuscript 8: Arab States in Prophesy, Ariel Ministries, Tustin, California, 1983, pp. 7-8.
39. Geisler, Norman L. and Brooks, Ronald M., Come, Let us Reason, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1990, p. 145.
40. Pratney, Winkey, "The Holy Bible - Wholly True," Pretty Good Printing, Last Days Ministries, Lindale, TX., 1985.
41. Chafer, Dr. Louis, quoted by Fruchtenbaum, Dr. Arnold G., Radio Manuscript 30: The Nature of the Bible, Ariel Ministries, Tustin, California, 1983, p. 8.
42. Halley, Henry H., op. cit., p. 18.