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The Bible and Us Bible Truth why it’s so important and why we can trust it Emmanuel Chesham Summer Bible School 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "The Bible and Us Bible Truth why it’s so important and why we can trust it Emmanuel Chesham Summer Bible School 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Bible and Us Bible Truth why it’s so important and why we can trust it Emmanuel Chesham Summer Bible School 2011

2 housekeeping thanks again for coming back! thanks for your questions –they’ve helped me improve the material –so did doing this with our Home Group –other information came from references on next page

3 for more information Brian H Edwards, Nothing But The Truth –revised since 1986 – now 3rd ed (2005) John McDowell, New Evidence That Demands A Verdict, (2010) –revised since 1972! Robert Dick Wilson, Is The Higher Criticism Scholarly? (1922) –eg see also references in the text

4 what this is about what we believe about the Bible –it’s true, and we need it –it’s the Word of God, written via human agents –in fact, pretty-much by eye-witnesses why we can be confident in the Bible –what we don’t believe: “it was made up later”, or “it was changed a lot afterwards anyway” –we’ve already seen: copyists, and manuscripts –OT truth: prophets, and Robert Dick Wilson –NT truth: Luke

5 what this isn’t about “truth” is a big subject! –truth of the resurrection of Christ –truth of the [other] miracles in the Bible –truth in the Bible vs truth in science we aren’t covering everything here –just the Bible itself we aim at “truth”, not “proof” –based on good historical evidence in line with your conscience and experience –not based on controlled experiments, or on deduction from axioms

6 what we believe about Bible truth

7 what we believe “The Bible, as originally given, is the inspired and infallible Word of God. It is the supreme authority in all matters of belief and behaviour.” –UCCF Doctrinal Basis, clause c most evangelical organizations have a similar statement –including the Church of England, Article VI

8 we need the Bible to know God (Calvin’s argument, Institutes, Book I) we need God’s own written word because –although God can be seen in creation, and in our consciences –that knowledge is lost or changed, due to ignorance, or to sin the Bible, the Spirit, and reason –we need the Spirit, to understand the Bible –we need the Bible, not just immediate revelation from God –the Bible commends itself to human reason

9 the Word of God 2 Tim 3.16, “all scripture is God-breathed” 2 Pet , “no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation... men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” 1 Pet , “the prophets searched... trying to find out the time... to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing...” Jn 10.35, “the scripture cannot be broken” –and Jesus’+apostles’ whole attitude

10 written by eye-witnesses (pretty-much) 2 Pet 1.16, “we did not follow clever- invented stories... we were eye-witnesses of his majesty” Acts , Paul, “What I am saying is true and reasonable. The king is familiar with these things... none of this has escaped his notice, because it was not done in a corner.” Lk 1, “... handed down... by eye-witnesses... I have carefully investigated...”

11 what’s at stake?

12 an alternative view (which we don’t believe) the OT was made up by the Jews in exile! –the Torah in ~ BC, to cement Jewish culture and national identity after catastrophe –Daniel, in ~ BC, to encourage and then to celebrate resistance to Antiochus the NT was made up after the fall of Jerusalem!! no miracles ever happened!!! God doesn’t exist, and doesn’t relate to people!!!!

13 pre- Conquest Conquest to Exile post- Exile life of Christ early Church creation patriarchs wanderings judges united k’dom divided k’dom exile return birth ministry death and res Pentecost mission Revelation Genesis Ex, Lev, Num, Deut Josh, Judg, Ruth 1-2 Sam, 1-2 Kings, 1-2 Chr Ezra, Nehemiah Esther Is, Jer Lam, Ezek, Dan Obadiah Hag, Zech, Mal Am, Hos, Joel, Jon, Mic, Nah, Hab, Zeph Gospels and Acts Revelation Rom, 1-2 Cor, Gal, Eph, Phil, Col, 1-2 Thess, 1-2 Tim, Titus, Phm, Heb, Jas, 1-2 Pet, 1-3 Jn, Jd historyprophets and letters so instead of this... Job Ps Prov Ecc Song wisdom

14 pre- Conquest Conquest to Exile post- Exile life of Christ early Church creation patriarchs wanderings judges united k’dom divided k’dom exile return birth ministry death and res Pentecost mission Revelation most of the Old Testament Gospels and Acts Revelation Rom, 1-2 Cor, Gal, Eph, Phil, Col, 1-2 Thess, 1-2 Tim, Titus, Phm, Heb, Jas, 1-2 Pet, 1-3 Jn, Jd history... we’d get this Daniel prophets and letterswisdom

15 why we can be confident in Bible truth

16 why we can be confident textual evidence –see Bible History internal evidence –prophecy the testimony of Robert Dick Wilson –on the Old Testament and the ancient world the testimony of Luke –on the New Testament and the Roman world

17 prophecy of Christ –hundreds of prophecies in OT –Ps 22: crucifixion, described 1000BC –Isaiah: extant MSS from 125BC of the exile and return of the Greek and Roman empires –Daniel 2, Babylon  Persia  Greece  Rome –Daniel 11, Greek rule over Judah see Olyott, Dare to Stand Alone, for [loads of] detail

18 Robert Dick Wilson, Prof Semitic Philology, Princeton –ie, a “word geek” “life statement”, age 25: –15 years studying languages –15 years studying OT and literature –15 years disseminating findings result: –45 languages – all OT to 600AD –monumental evidence re OT dating and truth accessibly summarized in a 1922 paper

19 Wilson on kings’ names Wilson studied names and titles of kings –eg in Genesis 14, and in Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Damascus, Tyre, Moab found that OT mirrors palace records OT spelling mirrors original spelling –24 kings, 120 consonants in names –OT gets it exactly right Assyrian histories get Egyptian wrong! Arabic histories get Persia and Greece wrong! Greeks get Egypt, Assyria and Babylonia wrong!

20 Wilson on style and time Wilson studied non-Hebrew words in the OT you can tell by doing this, some information about when it was written –the more you know about the languages, and the bigger the documents you have available, the more you can tell –Wilson noted this phenomenon in other ancient languages as well as Hebrew –you can even do this in English!...

21 “loot” came into English in 1780s from India no “loot” in AV! –just German/Latin

22 pre- Conquest Conquest to Exile post- Exile creation patriarchs wanderings judges united k’dom divided k’dom exile return Genesis Ex, Lev, Num, Deut Josh, Judg, Ruth 1-2 Sam, 1-2 Kings, 1-2 Chr Ezra, Nehemiah Esther Is, Jer Lam, Ezek, Dan Obadiah Hag, Zech, Mal Am, Hos, Joel, Jon, Mic, Nah, Hab, Zeph Job Ps Prov Ecc Song findings re borrowed words some Babylonian in Gen 1-2 some Egyptian in accountx of Joseph Indian, Assyrian and Hittite in Solomon Assyrian and Babylonian from Kings on Persian from Daniel on Aramaic: half Ezra, half Daniel, words from exile onv no non-Hebrew borrowings in Exodus – 2 Sam, or in Job – Song no Greek in entire OT except the names of two musical instruments in Daniel

23 Robert Dick Wilson: conclusion historical evidence: reliable in content at whatever point it could be verified against other documents manuscript evidence: copying of the names of kings demonstrated amazing original accuracy, amazing copying linguistic evidence: documents could only have originated at the time and place they say (or imply) that they originate breadth of evidence: utterly unrivalled

24 Luke the Evangelist wrote Luke and Acts –both dedicated to Theophilus gospel: not an eyewitness –but an extremely diligent historian Acts: an eyewitness of much of it –“we” passages in Paul’s journeys – , , (at least)

25 Luke on titles Cyprus, proconsul, Acts 13.7 Philippi –Roman colony, –stratagoi, “magistrates”, Thessalonica, politarchs, “city officials”, 17.6 Ephesus, asiarchs, “officials of the province”, Malta, protos, “chief official”, 28.7 Politarch Inscription in the British Museum List of the city rulers in Thessalonica, 2nd century

26 Luke on Quirinius “the first census which took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria” independent evidence: Quirinius was –military governor, 10-8BC –governor, 6AD censuses were an Egyptian custom adopted by the Romans, done about every 14 years he probably ran both the 6BC census during which Jesus was born, and a ~8AD one

27 “Luke the doctor” (Col 4.14) Luke is specific on medical details eg on fasting –Luke 4.2, “he ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry” –this is exactly what happens! here as elsewhere Luke gives more details than Matthew and Mark –4.38, high fever, 6.6, right hand,... also in Acts, eg Elymas’ blindness, 13.11

28 Luke: conclusion Luke’s gospel: he was diligent Acts: he was there he is more detailed on geography, politics and medicine than any other NT writer on every testable point, he’s proved right

29 conclusion

30 the Bible itself is thoroughly reliable –there’s no proof here –but there is evidence-based truth –what we can verify, stands the test historical links to language, politics and geography manuscripts and translations –so we can trust what we can’t verify in fact our experience and conscience confirms it let’s uphold it confidently –in church life, in home life, in outreach let’s rejoice in the God who gave it


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