Thursday, June 25, 2009

June 26, 2009

"But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness...." II Timothy 3:14-16
Anyone who has written a book will testify to how difficult that is. Mark Twain said, "There are some books that refuse to be written. They stand their ground year after year and will not be persuaded. It isn't because the book is not there and worth being written -- it is only because the right form of the story does not present itself. There is only one right form for a story and if you fail to find that form the story will not tell itself."
Not many have written better than Mark Twain, so when he testifies to how hard it is to write a book, people listen.
Can you imagine a book written by over forty different writers each being true to his style and having that book end up with a central common theme? That would be an amazing coincidence. Or would it?
Another one of the solid pieces of evidence for the truthfulness of the Bible is that fact that it was written my multiple authors over a long period of time and yet focusing on one clear central theme. Consider this evidence:
Five, The Structure of the Bible
The remarkable structure of the Bible should also be stressed. Although it is a collection of 66 books, written by 40 or more different men over a period of 2,000 years, it is clearly one Book, with perfect unity and consistency throughout.

The individual writers, at the time of writing, had no idea that their message was eventually to be incorporated into such a Book, but each nevertheless fits perfectly into place and serves its own unique purpose as a component of the whole. Anyone who diligently studies the Bible will continually find remarkable structural and mathematical patterns woven throughout its fabric, with an intricacy and symmetry incapable of explanation by chance or collusion.

The one consistent theme of the Bible, developing in grandeur from Genesis to Revelation, is God's great work in the creation and redemption of all things, through His only Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Bible was written in different places: Moses in the wilderness. Jeremiah in a dungeon. Daniel on a hillside and in a palace. Paul inside prison walls. John in exile on the barren Isle of Patmos. The authors wrote during different moods. Some from the heights of joy and others from the depths of sorrow and despair. They wrote it on three continents, Asia, Africa and Europe in 3 languages, Hebrew, the language of Canaan, Aramaic, the common language of the near East until Alexander the Great and Greek, the international language at the time of Christ.
The subject matter includes 100's of controversial topics, yet the biblical authors spoke with harmony and continuity from Genesis to Revelation. There is one unfolding story, God's salvation of man. F.F. Bruce "The writings belong to a greats variety of literary types. They include history, law (civil, criminal, ethical, ritual, sanitary), religious poetry, lyric poetry, parable and allegory, biography, personal correspondence, memoirs and diaries..... For all that there is unity which binds the whole together.
How do forty different writers writing over 16 centuries in a variety of places compile a book that focuses like a laser beam on the story of redemption of a sinful human race by a merciful and loving God? Maybe their thoughts weren't their thoughts. Perhaps the ideas, and the thoughts were planted in their spirits by the Holy Spirit?
"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness......"
That would would make God's Word - well...... God's word!

June 25, 2009

"Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away." Mark 13:31
How about some more evidence of the veracity of the Bible? So far we have given three examples and today I will offer a fourth, the amazing survival of the Bible despite continual relentless vicious attacks aimed against it.
Four, The Miraculous Survival of Scripture
French humanist, Voltaire, (1700) boastfully proclaimed, "one hundred years from now the world will hear no more of the Bible." Yet, in the year of his boast, the British museum purchased a manuscript of the Greek New Testament for $500,000 while the first edition of Voltaire's new book sold for eight cents a copy! Furthermore, fifty years after the death of Voltaire, Bibles were being printed by the Geneva Bible Society in the very house where Voltaire lived and on his own printing press!

Late 7th Century B.C.--King Johioakim of Judah threw the scoll of Jeremiah's prophecy into the fire; however, God simply had his prophet write the same words again with additional material (Jeremiah 36:21-32).

William Tyndale (1500), after the invention of the printing press, put the Bible in his common language. Priests and bishops burned thousands of copies of his translation as a "burnt offering most pleasing to the Almighty God". He too was burned at the stake. His last words were, "Lord, open the King of England's eyes!" Less than three years after that, King Henry VIII authorized the publication of the Great Bible. This version was a combination of the Tyndale Bible and that of Miles Coverdale. A copy was chained to every pulpit in England so that everyone could read it.
Mid-20th century--A patient in an American hospital in Turkey was given a Bible. When dismissed from the hospital, he took the Bible back to his hometown in Turkey and proudly showed it to his friends. A muslim teacher* snatched it from him, tore out its pages and threw them into the street. The young man was afriad to pick them up. A passing grocer, however, did and took them and used them for wrapping paper. Before long, they were scattered all over the town. His costumers read the pages and returned to him for more. In a few days the entire Bible was distributed to interested readers. When a Bible salesman came to town, he was surprised to find a hundred people eager to purchase the Word of God!
Doesn't it seem that Someone wants the Word to survive? Could it be the same Someone Who declared, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away."
Doesn't it also seem evident that someone else doesn't want it to survive? Could that be the powers of darkness, those enemies of God who fear the Truth and want to keep us ignorant?
Guess who is winning!?
God, the Holy Spirit, has inspired the Word. God, the Son, became the Word. God, the Father, has miraculously preserved the Word.
So, what will you do with it?