The Authority and Authenticity of the Bible

Is the Bible authentic?  It is a foundational question. In many cases it precedes the ability to let yourself understand the truths of the Bible even though some have accepted in on blind faith.

But how can you take the following scriptures at face value?

John 10:35 If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken),

If it is of God you would expect this to be the case.

2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,
2 Timothy 3:17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

So it would stand to reason if you could find a verse that is not true, then it must not be inspired by God

The Possibility for Contradictions?

[Project Management Proof]

1. How many men were used to write the Bible? Over how many years were the books of the Bible written?

The Bible consists of:

  • 66 books
  • 40+ different authors (Some were farmers, fishermen, tent-makers, physicians, shepherds prophets, judges, kings, etc)
  • 1500 year time span to write
  • 21 countries on three different continents
  • Political, cultural, economic, and ecological climate varied greatly

Yet with all of this, the Bible is in perfect harmony from beginning to end – because it was written by men who were inspired by God.

Scientifically Accurate

When was the Bible written? Has scientific knowledge increased in the last century and proven false earlier theories and concepts? Find out when the following scriptures were written and when scientists came to the same conclusion.

Stars in the Sky

Genesis 22:17 blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies.

[Kind of equating the sand and stars]

How many stars do you think the average person can see?

The average person can see stars that are as dim as 6 to 6.5 magnitude. There are over 8,000 stars in that range visible from earth.

The fact remains that we cannot even see all of these at one time due to the daylight or our geographical location.

So, if you have good eyesight and there is minimal light pollution you can see approximately 2,000 stars at one time.

Yet now we know due to technology that the numbers may be as high as 1024 which is approximately the number of grains of sand. Still neither number is humanly confirmable now and definitely not millennia ago when the Bible was written.

Jeremiah 33:22 As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, nor the sand of the sea measured, so will I multiply the descendants of David My servant and the Levites who minister to Me.’ ”

The Earth is Round

Isaiah 40:22 It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.

Isaiah written 740 – 680 BC
Man discovers 15th Century

The Water Cycle

Job 36:27-28; Ecclesiastes 1:6-7; 11:3; Amos 9:6

Warm and Cold Ocean Currents

Psalm 8:8 The birds of the air, And the fish of the sea That pass through the paths of the seas.

The Earth is Held in Place by an Invisible Force

Job 26:7 He stretches out the north over empty space; He hangs the earth on nothing.

Job written 2000-1660 BC
Man proves 1650 AD

Human Blood is the Same Among all Races and Nations

Acts 17:26 And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings,

Quarantining Patients with Contagious Disease is a Vital Practice

Leviticus 13:46 He shall be unclean. All the days he has the sore he shall be unclean. He is unclean, and he shall dwell alone; his dwelling shall be outside the camp.

Doctors washing hands was accepted scientifically in the 19th century

WIKI: Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis[Note 1] (July 1, 1818 – August 13, 1865) (born Ignác Fülöp Semmelweis) was a Hungarian physician of German extraction[1][2] now known as an early pioneer of antiseptic procedures. Described as the “savior of mothers”, Semmelweis discovered that the incidence of puerperal fever could be drastically cut by the use of hand disinfection in obstetrical clinics. Puerperal fever was common in mid-19th-century hospitals and often fatal, with mortality at 10%–35%. Semmelweis proposed the practice of washing with chlorinated lime solutions in 1847 while working in Vienna General Hospital‘s First Obstetrical Clinic, where doctors’ wards had three times the mortality of midwives’ wards.[3] He published a book of his findings in Etiology, Concept and Prophylaxis of Childbed Fever.

Despite various publications of results where hand-washing reduced mortality to below 1%, Semmelweis’s observations conflicted with the established scientific and medical opinions of the time and his ideas were rejected by the medical community

Sanitary Disposal of Human Waste

Deuteronomy 23:12-13

 

Do biblical statements conflict with known facts of science? No!

Not the end all be all to science. But through inspiration/revelation there were certain insights given that have found to be true now that “we are so much smarter”

How do you explain that these Bible writers were able to record accurate scientific knowledge centuries before man discovered the facts for himself.

Historically Accurate

People

WIKI: Amy-Jill Levine has summarized the situation by stating that “there is a consensus of sorts on the basic outline of Jesus’ life” in that most scholars agree that Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, and over a period of one to three years debated Jewish authorities on the subject of God, gathered followers, and was crucified by Roman prefect Pontius Pilate who officiated 26-36 AD.[13] There is much in dispute as to his previous life, childhood, family and place of residence.

Scholars attribute varying levels of certainty to other episodes. E.P. Sanders and Craig A. Evans independently state that there are two other incidents in the life of Jesus that can be considered historical: that Jesus called disciples, and that he caused a controversy at the Temple.[43] This extended view assumes that there are eight elements about Jesus and his followers that can be viewed as historical facts—four episodes in the life of Jesus and four about him and his followers, namely:[6][43]

  • Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. He called disciples. He had a controversy at the Temple. Jesus was crucified by the Romans near Jerusalem.[6][43]
  • Jesus was a Galilean. His activities were confined to Galilee and Judea. After his death his disciples continued. Some of his disciples were persecuted.[6][43]

Two archaeological finds, the Tel Dan Stele and the Mesha Stele, have direct bearing on the question of the existence of a historical David. The first of these is an Aramean victory stele (inscribed stone) discovered in 1993 at Tel Dan and dated c. 850–835 BC: it contains the phrase ביתדוד (bytdwd), which has been interpreted as “House of David”.[20] The Mesha Stele from Moab, dating from approximately the same period, may also contain the name David in line 12, where the interpretation is uncertain, and in line 31, where one destroyed letter must be supplied.[21]

Places

The Story of Jericho

“The first scientific investigation of the site of Jericho was carried out by Charles Warren in 1868, but amounted to no more than a site-survey (Warren’s prime interest was in establishing the modern equivalents of Biblical locales). In 1907-09 and again in 1911 digging was carried out by two German archaeologists, Carl Watzingerand Ernest Sellin. Watzinger and Sellin believed that they would be able to validate the Biblical story of Jericho’s destruction by Joshua and the Israelites, but concluded instead that the city was unoccupied at the generally-accepted time of Joshua, ca. 1400 BC.”

“These results were tested in 1930-36 by John Garstang, at the suggestion of William F. Albright, the doyen of Palestinian archaeology at the time. Garstang discovered the remains of a network of collapsed walls which he dated to about 1400 BC, the time he believed the Israelites were on their conquest, that had apparently fallen in a dramatic fashion as opposed to being ruined by abandonment or decay from natural forces. Garstang’s work thus reversed the conclusions of the earlier diggings.”

Many places have been found that support what the Bible has said for many years.

Archaeology has successfully confirmed the biblical record

Prophetically Accurate

“When “The People’s Almanac” researched the predictions of 25 top psychics, 92 percent of the predictions had proved wrong. The other 8 percent were questionable and could be explained by chance or general knowledge of circumstances. In other experiments with the world’s foremost psychics, their rate of accuracy has been shown to hover around 11 percent, which might not be a bad average except for the fact that people making random guesses about the future score at the same percentile. This doesn’t disprove all future telling, but it certainly explains why psychics aren’t winning the lottery.”

Here is the basis of true prophecy:

2 Peter 1:21 …for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

God is powerful enough to make His prophecies come true!

Prophecies Concerning Christ

We are talking about prophecies written 700 years or more before the Jesus came

Not after, not right before so that you could take an educated guess

The odds of Jesus Christ fulfilling all the prophecies about Himself

Stoner used 48 prophecies and arrived at the extremely conservative estimate that the probability of 48 prophecies being fulfilled in one person is the incredible number 10^157.

Most agree to 300+ prophecies and Edersheim has counted 456

According to Emile Borel, once one goes past one chance in 10^50, the probabilities are so small that it is impossible to think that they will ever occur (Ankerberg et. al., op. Cit., 21).

Other Prophecies

Compare the following prophecies with history:

a. Kingdom of Edom and its capitol, Petra — Isaiah 34; Jeremiah 49; Ezekiel 25,35

b. Cities of Ashkelon and Gaza — Jeremiah 47; Amos 1; Zephaniah 2; Zechariah 9

c. City of Samaria — Hosea 13; Micah 1

Cyrus, Ruler of Persia

“The first example is that of Cyrus the Persian, the first ruler of the Persian Empire, who lived in the sixth century B.C. The stories of Cyrus’ birth and youth as recorded in the histories of the time are so remarkable that they seem almost like children’s stories. Herodotus, the Greek historian of the fifth century B.C., recounts one of these stories, here summarized.”

“Astyages, the son of Cyaxeres, king of the Medes, had a daughter, Mandane. He became fearful because he dreamed that this daughter would bear a child who would rule in his place, not only his kingdom but all of Asia. He wanted to prevent this at all cost.

“When Mandane had her first child, a son, Astyages instructed one of his trusted servants, Harpagus, to have the child killed. Harpagus, not wanting to do such a horrible thing, entrusted the terrible responsibility to Mitradates, a herdsman. Mitradates, on finding that his own child had just been stillborn, took and reared Mandane’s son as his own. When the boy was about 10 years old his true identity became known.

“His grandfather, Astyages the king, now accepted him and in due time this boy, Cyrus, ascended the throne in about 558 B.C. By about 549 B.C. Cyrus had become king over all Media, and by about 548 B.C. he ruled all Persia. He conquered Babylon in 539 B.C. and the Persian Empire succeeded the Babylonian Empire.

“This story would not be so remarkable by itself, but predictions about Cyrus are included in Bible prophecy. You will find these precise and specific predictions in the last verses of Isaiah 44 and the first part of Isaiah 45.”

Isaiah 44:28 Who says of Cyrus, ‘He is My shepherd, And he shall perform all My pleasure, Saying to Jerusalem, “You shall be built,” And to the temple, “Your foundation shall be laid.” ‘

Isaiah 45:1 “Thus says the LORD to His anointed, To Cyrus, whose right hand I have held— To subdue nations before him And loose the armor of kings, To open before him the double doors, So that the gates will not be shut:
Isaiah 45:2 ‘I will go before you And make the crooked places straight; I will break in pieces the gates of bronze And cut the bars of iron.
Isaiah 45:3 I will give you the treasures of darkness And hidden riches of secret places, That you may know that I, the LORD, Who call you by your name, Am the God of Israel.

Who remembers when Isaiah was written?

Isaiah gave this prophecy almost two centuries before Cyrus made his proclamation about rebuilding God’s temple in Jerusalem!

Not only did God name Cyrus long before he was born, He saw to it that Satan did not succeed in having him put to death by his grandfather! He also saw that Cyrus issued the proclamation to rebuild the temple, as God had prophesied that he would! But there is more.

The Two Leaved Gates

“Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut” (Isa. 45:1).

“Isaiah prophesied that God would make it possible for Cyrus to conquer the many kingdoms that ultimately made up his empire. Also, the “two leaved gates” would not be shut or locked. This refers to the remarkable way in which Cyrus was able to capture the city (and consequently the empire) of Babylon.”

“The large city of Babylon, with its massive high walls, appeared impregnable from the outside. When Cyrus’ armies encamped around the city, the Babylonians only laughed! They could survive a siege of years.

“Unbeknownst to the, Babylonians, however, Cyrus’ men were able to divert most of the Euphrates River, which normally flowed through massive gates into the city. Cyrus also had gotten a spy into the city, who on the appropriate night had the inner gates along the river unlocked. With the lowered river level, the army was able to invade the city by way of the river route and through these gates, taking the Babylonians by complete surprise. Part of the remarkable fulfillment of the prophecy about the “two leaved gates” is described in Daniel 5, the rest in various secular histories.”

Ezra 1:1 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying,
Ezra 1:2 Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: All the kingdoms of the earth the LORD God of heaven has given me. And He has commanded me to build Him a house at Jerusalem which is in Judah.

Experience – A way of life that works

1 Thessalonians 5:21 Test all things; hold fast what is good.

How can we “test” the Bible?

If the Bible is truly the word of God, then applying it in our life should prove advantageous and constructive. (Proverbs 2:6; Psalm 19:6-11; Psalm 119:1, 93, 98-100, 105, 129-130, 138, 165)

What have you experienced as a result of obedience to God’s commands as recorded in the Bible?