Can You Trust The Bible? (Part 6) - Bible Verses and Quotes

Sermons & Study MaterialCan You Trust The Bible? (Part 6)

Can You Trust The Bible? (Part 6)

Historical Accuracy

Another example of the historical accuracy of the Bible and the trustworthiness of the Bible’s authors is the Hittites. According to the Old Testament, they were as powerful as the nation of Judah. Critics claimed such a powerful people-group can’t disappear from Earth without archæological evidence. Then, in the 19th century, archæological discoveries proved the Hittites in the Old Testament existed and were a powerful group. [24]

There are dozens more similar examples, for which I have provided links in the footnotes. [25]

However, I would like to briefly address two of the most common objections I have heard about the Bible regarding its scientific accuracy:

Scientific Accuracy—Critical Claim #1: The Bible Claims The Sun Orbits The Earth

The Bible uses mostly observational and descriptive language. If someone today said he traveled “to the ends of the earth”, would you assume he thinks the earth is flat? The person means he traveled to a far away place.

Similarly, if someone in the Bible described the sun’s movement in relation to Earth, it doesn’t mean the Bible said the sun orbits Earth any more than you when you say, “What a beautiful sunset.” We don’t say, “What a nice earth’s rotation around the sun. From our perspective, it appears the sun is moving relative to us, so that’s how we express it. We aren’t making a scientific assertion that the sun orbits Earth.

Scientific Accuracy—Critical Claim #2: The Bible Claims The Earth Is Flat

Many have often commented to me that the Bible is “anti-science” since the Church persecuted Galileo because it didn’t want to believe Earth is round. Here are four facts about that:

  1. Galileo’s ideas were nothing new. Copernicus had essentially said the same thing over 100 years earlier and nothing had happened to him. Copernicus also had a doctorate in Canon law;
  2. The church allowed Galileo to publish his book promoting heliocentrism. The problem was a less than intelligent character in his book, named Simpleton, who resembled the Pope closely. This is what ultimately triggered Galileo’s demise; [26]
  3. We must distinguish between the Church and the Bible. The Church can allege anything, and has often made claims and acted against the Bible like the Crusades, Inquisition, etc. Just because Church does something doesn’t mean the Bible approves. The Reformation started around this same time, when the reformers had enough of the Church’s abuses and wanted to return the faith to the right track.
  4. The Bible supports a spherical earth that “floats” in space. These Bible verses were written over 2,000 years before Galileo and Copernicus when civilization in general thought the earth was flat:

1.Job 26:7, He stretches out the north over the void and hangs the earth on nothing.

2.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 like a tent to dwell in.

For a more thorough treatise on Bible and the science touching radiometric dating, evolution, dinosaurs, and more, you may refer to lesson #6. [27]

The weight of evidence supports the trustworthiness of both the Old Testament and New Testament writers.

How Do We Know The Bible Contains The “Right” Books?

The Bible text we have today is the same as always. It was also written so close to the events when a multitude of eyewitnesses were alive that it’s not reasonable to claim it’s a collection of legends and lies. Furthermore, the content of the Bible is so self-defeating—women as witnesses; jealous, fearful liars as the movement’s leaders; an offensive, weak, lame God that was crucified by humans—the most plausible explanation is the written accounts were not fabricated. It would have been ridiculous, and Christianity would have not attracted many followers.

But, one final objection remains: What if the Bible doesn’t have the right books? What if it includes books that shouldn’t be there, and those books are teaching us incorrectly? What if there are books missing that contain crucial information about God? These are important questions that deal with something called the Canon.

[Discussion: Do you know Canon means?]

Canon refers to books that are inspired by God and therefore belong to the Bible. The term canon comes from the Greek word ‘Kanon’, which means measuring line. In a spiritual sense, it can be said the books of the Bible, the Canon, became a measure of all truth—whether spiritual ideas, concepts, or the teachings of the Church. The apparent difficulty with defining the Canon is the Bible doesn’t directly list the books that belong to it.

Thus, the crucial question is: Who decided what books should be included in the Bible and when did this happen? How can we ensure accidental or deliberate “mistakes” weren’t made?

[Discussion: Can we ascertain the Bible has the right books in it?]

Although the books of the Bible were first officialized by the Jews and later by Christians, it would be wrong to say that they were ultimately behind it. Rather, they discovered these books had been divinely appointed for the Bible. In short, the books of the Bible have divine authority within themselves and imposed themselves upon the Church. Like a child identifies its mother, the Church identified the books that must be included in the Bible. This is called the self-authenticating model of Scripture.

Self-Authenticating Model Of Scripture

According to the self-authenticating model, each book in the Bible has three different characteristics:

  1. Meant by God to be in the Bible;
  2. Produced by a prophet (Old Testament), or Apostle or their associate (New Testament);
  3. Accepted by God’s people at large as they recognize his voice in the book;

Furthermore, each of these three characteristics confirms the others:

  • If a book was meant by God to be in the Bible and it was produced by a prophet, apostle, or an associate, it was naturally accepted by God’s people at large as they recognized God’s voice in the book;
  • If a book was accepted by God’s people at large as they recognized God’s voice in the book and meant by God to be in the Bible, it was naturally produced by a prophet, apostle, or an associate;
  • If a book was produced by a prophet and accepted by God’s people at large, it was naturally meant by God to be in the Bible;

Therefore, if a book being examined has two of the three attributes, it means it also has the third one. The self-authenticating model of scripture is both self-supporting and self-correcting—complicated, yet simple.

For example, a person may think we’ll find another letter of Apostle Paul to the churches which should be included in the Bible, but this is incorrect as that book was not meant by God to be in the Bible. Paul wrote more letters than in the Bible. However, since God allowed those letters to be lost, it means they were not meant to be in the Bible. The all-powerful God wasn’t sitting in heaving, watching some unknown letter of Paul get destroyed, thinking: “Oh man, I really would have wanted to have that letter to be included in the Bible, but now it won’t be. I guess my people will just have to make do with an imperfect Bible!”

Someone else might think that the Gospel of Mary was meant by God to be in the Bible. However, the self-authenticating model of Scripture will correct this erroneous belief as well. The Gospel of Mary was not written by an apostle nor was it accepted by the God’s people at large, so it was not meant by God to be in the Bible.

Let’s look at how all of this worked in practice, starting with the New Testament.

Stay tuned for part 6.

Sources:

24 https://www.jstor.org/stable/23343597?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents; http://museopics.com/Ancient-World-Wonders-History-Antiquities/MuseoPics-Ancient-Anatolian-Civilisations/Ancient%20Hittites/2-Hittite-History/Hittite%20History%20%20-%20Finding%20Hattusa.html

25 https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/a-brief-sample-of-old-testament-archaeological-corroboration/;https://www.equip.org/article/biblical-archaeology-factual-evidence-to-support-the-historicity-of-the-bible/

26  https://www.britannica.com/biography/Galileo-Galilei

27  http://www.reformedpreacher.com/sermons/does-science-support-christianity-bible/



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