When it comes to the Bible, there is a loud roar from mockers and scoffers today with statements such as: “It’s an ancient book filled with myths,” “It’s been proven time and time again to be false,”  “The Bible has changed so many times over the centuries that’s not reliable,” and “The Bible is full of errors and contradictions.” These comments have been presented in many classrooms, on YouTube videos, and all over social media. 

As a result, many people, including church attenders, have come to the conclusion that the Bible is just another book; a book with no power or divine influence. If you have ever been confronted with these types of strong negative statements about the Bible from a friend, teacher, or professor, I would encourage you to calmly ask the following questions:

  • How did you come to your conclusions? 
  • What evidence do you have to prove your conclusions?

Many people have come to their conclusions about the Bible based upon what they’ve heard others say. I’ve run into people with strong, negative views about the Bible only to find out they have never actually read the Bible at all. Sadly, many believers have walked away from their faith because they didn’t have any answers or were not prepared to offer evidence in defense of the Bible. 

The Apostle Paul writes the following in the context of accusations coming towards Christians:

“Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened. But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope that you have. But to do this with gentleness and respect.” 1 Peter 3:15 (emphasis added)

When comments about the validity of the Bible come your way, Peter would not encourage you to respond with, “Well, I just believe the Bible is the Word of God.”  While this is a true statement, it is not an answer nor a reason for the hope that you have. If they respond by saying they don’t believe it’s the Word of God, you’re dead in the water. Why? Because you are NOT PREPARED to share with a friend, co-worker, or family member and it’s not a REASON you believe the Bible is true. Reason is based on logic, research, data, and evidence. For me, I do not have a blind faith. I have a reasoned faith that is based upon evidence, research, data, historical documents, and reason itself.

I believe the Bible is unique over any other book because of its supernatural qualities.

One would expect a pastor to say such a thing. But here is someone who is not a follower of Christ who describes himself as an “atheistic agnostic.” Dr. Bart Ehrman has multiple PHDs in New Testament Studies and Early Church History. Dr. Ehrman says, “Whether you are a believer – fundamentalist, evangelical, moderate, liberal, or whether you are a nonbeliever – the Bible is the most significant book in the history of civilization.” 

To help prepare you for giving a reasoned response, I’m gonna build a reasoned case, in reverse order, why the Bible is unique over any other book because of its supernatural qualities:

#7. Its Divine Origin

1 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”  

Skeptics may not believe this but this is the Bible’s claim: The Bible was God breathed. Meaning, its original manuscripts were inspired by God Himself. This claim is unique and one of a kind. 

#6. Its Divine Theme

The Bible has 66 individual books or letters, was written over the course of 1500 years, and was written in three languages by 40 different authors. These four aspects of the composite of the Bible are unique and one of a kind compared to any other book in history. Each writer was different in personality, occupation, intelligence, and giftedness. Some were kings, prophets, shepherds, tax collectors and fishermen. But here’s the one divine theme – God’s redemptive story for mankind.  Sin separated mankind from God and God set out to restore, redeem, and reconcile mankind to Himself. God made a way for man to come back into a relationship with God. 

#5. Its Divine Protection

There is no other book in history that has been burned, banned, shamed, and shunned like the Bible. It has been outlawed throughout history and people have died for having copies of it. Even having a few pages of the Bible have sent people into prison or death. This is unique and one of a kind. Satan hates God’s word and has attacked it non-stop.

The Bible stands completely alone when it comes under the historical and artifacts critiques that ancient literature gets critiqued by. The Bible stands alone in the authentication process of ancient documents. The Bible has some of the oldest copies, manuscripts, and artifacts. It also has the most number of copies of ancient literature, by far. 

The greatest archaeological find in human history happened in 1947 when the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in the barren desert near the Dead Sea. Before this find, the book of Isaiah was laughed and scoffed at. So called experts said the book of Isaiah surely was written after the time of Christ because of how accurate it was. Therefore, it must have been written after the fact. Hebrew scholars, however, have been saying for centuries that the book of Isaiah was written 700 years before Jesus came. The examination of Dead Sea Scrolls, which included many complete scrolls of the book of Isaiah, were discovered to be dated at least 300 years prior to Jesus, if not longer. 

These scrolls were found in the perfect location, with the perfect climate to preserve copies of the Hebrew Bible. They were protected until the perfect time with the right technology to reveal their longevity. No other book in history has had the unique preservation over the course of centuries that the Bible has had. 

1947 Dead Sea Scroll

#4. Its Divine Reliability

Critics have written books, articles, and posts about so many “factual discrepancies” found in the Bible. They claim that the Bible cannot be God’s Word with so many errors and conflicting statements. Taking a closer look, the critics’ claims fall short. Here are a few examples:

  • 1 Corinthians 15:4-5 says, “… that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the scriptures and that he appeared to Cephas and then to the Twelve.”  John 20:24 says, “Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came.” 

Critics claim everybody knows Judas died after betraying Jesus therefore the disciples went from 12 to 11. How can the Bible be God’s Word and make this kind of mistake? 

Answer: Ancient literature, as well as modern literature, uses figures of speech. My church is filled with Seattle Seahawks fans whose fan base is referred to as the “12.” Trust me, there are more than twelve Hawk fans in my church. The number is being used as a name. The BIG 10 Conference is one of the most well known college conferences in the country. Non college sports fans might not know that there are not 10 universities in the BIG 10. There are now 14 with 4 more joining next year. The number is used as a name. 

  • Another factual discrepancy used against the Bible is that Judas didn’t die twice. Matthew 27:5 says Judas went out and hung himself. Then Acts 1:8 says Judas fell headlong and his body spilled out on the ground. Critics have said the Bible clearly gets it wrong and these are contradictory statements. Wrong. It’s called supplementation which means new information that doesn’t bring contradiction.

Answer: Judas did hang himself. That’s a factual statement. Luke, the author of Acts, talked to other eyewitnesses and heard Judas fell and all of his insides came on the outside. The tree branch could have easily broken. The rope itself could have broken. Both can be true. The Acts account gives new information  that is not a contradiction.

The Bible has very detailed accounts in describing people, places, and titles. For centuries there were a lot of details in the Bible that couldn’t be found. So skeptics have said, “There’s no nation called the Hittites!” Then archaeology uncovers ruins and find Hittite remains. For centuries, there was no proof that Pontius Pilot ever existed. The scoffers roared. About 20 years ago, a big piece of 1st Century limestone was flipped over, and there was Pontius Pilot’s name and title for all to see. There are hundreds of examples that archaeology discovers that continue to lend credence to the reliability of the Bible. 

Dr. Nelson Glueck, an expert in ancient literature, in commenting on the reliability of the many translations of the 24,000 ancient manuscript copies of the New Testament, says, “There is more evidence for the reliability of the text of the New Testament than there is for any ten pieces of literature put together. It is in better textual shape than the 37 plays of William Shakespeare which were written a mere 300 years ago, after the invention of the printing press.”

# 3. Its Divine Prophecies 

For sake of time, I’m only going to give a few examples that display the uniqueness of the supernatural qualities of the Bible. God was so specific in the book of Ezekiel when He was upset at the city of Tyre, located on the coast of Lebanon, due to their arrogance and wickedness.  Here are some specific prophecies that God told Ezekiel to write down:

  • “I am against you Tyre and I will bring many nations against you… I will scrape away her rubble and make her a bear rock.” Ezekiel 26:4
  • “I will make you a bear rock and you will become a place to spread fishnets.” Ezekiel 26:14

In 592 BC this prophecy was given. Six years later, Babylon invades and is destroying the mainland capital of Tyre. However, about 1/2 mile into the Mediterranean Sea there was a small island city that also served as the city capital. Tyre’s city leaders went out to the island city as a way of mocking Babylon. They had an underwater way of hindering ships to get out there so Babylon left.

In 333 BC, Alexander the Great came through the area and was wiping out everyone. When he came to Tyre, the city leaders once again did what their forefathers did before them. They went out to the island capital and taunted Alexander the Great. In great anger, Alexander the Great completely destroyed the mainland city and stripped it down to the bare rock. He then took all the rubble and all of the stones from the buildings and made a land bridge out to the island city and completely destroyed that island capital of Tyre.

Today you can still see the land bridge that Alexander built. If you would travel to the ancient city of Tyre today and head out to the island capital, you would see scores of fishing nets drying out on the bare rocks. God’s specific prophecies came true. 

There are hundreds of specific Messianic prophecies that were fulfilled by Jesus. Here are just a few:

  • Birthplace of the Messiah – Bethlehem (Micah 5:2)
  • Price of betrayal – 30 pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12-13
  • Manner of burial – assigned grave with the rich (Isaiah 59:3)
  • 12 Messianic crucifixion prophecies (Psalm 22)

#2. Its Divine Power 

The Bible has transformed many lives when encountering the scriptures. Drunkards have become sober, violent people have become soft and self-controlled, angry and hurt people have become healed, and lost people have become found. There have been many harsh skeptics of God and the Bible who have become outspoken believers in Jesus Christ after reading and studying scripture. 

Dr. Rosalind Picard is a brilliant professor at MIT who had grown up an atheist all of her life. Her view of Christians was one of disdain who needed a crutch to cope with life. She also viewed Christianity and the Bible as being anti-intellectual. When her Christian friends challenged her to read the Bible she realized that she had, in fact, never read it. One day, she opened the book of Proverbs. Dr. Picard was amazed at how much wisdom was in there. Impressed, she continued reading. Over the years, she had heard about Jesus but had never read about him for herself so she started reading the gospels in the New Testament. Again, she was amazed and now intrigued more than ever. As a result, Dr. Picard became an avid believer and follower of Jesus who has changed her life. 

I wrote a previous post on this blog about my mother meeting a former Islamic terrorist who is now a gospel missionary in an Arabic country. When she asked him what triggered the drastic change in his life, he said it was when he read the words of Jesus, “Love your enemies.” All he ever knew was to kill your enemies. The power of the words of Christ in the New Testament radically changed his life, his family, and his purpose in life. 

#1. Its Divine Endorsement 

I believe the Bible is the Word of God because of the endorsement of Jesus. Jesus affirmed the Old Testament. He affirmed creation. He affirmed the flood. He affirmed the prophets and their prophecies. Also, Jesus predicted and fulfilled things in the New Testament. He prophesied about the coming destruction of the Temple, and it happened in 70 AD. He prophesied about the church starting, and the church started. Most importantly, Jesus predicted that he would be arrested, killed, buried, and in three days he would rise again. And it all happened.  

I have a very simple philosophy, anyone who promises that they will die and rise from the dead and pulls it off, I buy everything they say!

 

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