“How do you know the Bible is true?”
2 Timothy 3:16
2 Peter 1:21
Most people who ask this question are anti-supernatural:
so you might start with the natural supports (academic, historical, anthropological, etc)
once you expose them to a few of these kinds of answers you can turn to the supernatural supports
Three Test of Authenticity*
The Bibliographical Test – an examination of the textual transmission by which ancient documents reach us from the past
In other words, since we don’t have the original manuscripts, the bibliographical test answers the questions like:
– How reliable are the copies we have?
– How many manuscripts have survived?
– How consistent are they?
– What is the time interval between the original and the existing copies?
The Internal Evidence Test – reveals and confirms individual authors of individual books claiming to be eyewitnesses or to have carefully investigated the truth:
there is documentation of 84 historical details confirmed in the book of Acts, written by Luke to Theophilus
Gospel of Luke also demonstrates this concept – Luke 1:1-4
2 Peter 1:16-17
The Disciples could not afford to risk inaccuracies; they would never get away with it – there were those just waiting to catch them in a lie (They said we witnessed it and you know too)
The External Evidence Test – reveals and confirms the early gospel authors because even non-Christian historians tell us the same things:
Josephus, the Talmud, Tacitus, and Pliny the Younger confirm that Jesus did exist and was a Jewish teacher
Historic documentation tell us that many people believed that He performed healings and exorcisms
Non-Christian sources tell us He was crucified under Pontius Pilate in the reign of Tiberius
All kinds of people from the cities and country-side worshiped Him as God by the beginning of the second century
– 2 Timothy 3:16
– 2 Peter 1:21
“inspiration” = “theopneustos” ; that is “God Breathed” which has to do with what God breathes out rather than into what God breathes.
The point is that when Paul insists that all Scripture has been breathed out by God, he is saying that its ultimate origin is God. God is the source of these writings. *
What about the “dictation theory”? = the idea that the authors of scripture merely took dictation from God, just as a secretary writes down word for word letter as it is verbally dictated.
We don’t know exactly how God supervised the recording of his word, but we do know that though it reflects:
– the personalities
– the vocabularies
– the concerns of the human writers
the writers were not writing under their own power, but under God’s supervision.
A book is not the Word of God because it is accepted by the people of God. Rather, it is accepted by the people of God because it is the Word of God.*
There is much more information available
You must make the information your own
Make a decision to learn more by reading more
We will be studying the question “Where is God in the midst of a major disaster?”
Read and meditate:
Genesis Chps 1-3
If you think of other passages that apply to this question bring them with you to class.
Consider that a major disaster can be natural, national, or personal.
Why would God not intervene directly in any disaster?
*You can find a copy of this handout on my website – http://robinwadeministries.com
Josh McDowell and Dave Sterrett, “Is the Bible True….Really?”
R. C. Sproul (2014). Everyone’s a theologian: An introduction to systematic theology
The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts, www.csntm.org