Presentation on theme: "HOW DO WE KNOW THE BIBLE IS THE WORD OF GOD? By David A. Prentice, M.Ed., M.A.S.T."— Presentation transcript:
HOW DO WE KNOW THE BIBLE IS THE WORD OF GOD? By David A. Prentice, M.Ed., M.A.S.T.
1. Is there a God? 2. Could He communicate clearly if He wanted to? 3. Are there any books that claim to be a revelation from Him? 4. Is there a way to test any such books to see if they are beyond human capabilities? Impossible to know anything with 100% certainty Yes No WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? TEST THEM!!!
Christianity: An EXCLUSIVE faith. There are many religions in the world: Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Shintoism, Jainism, Daoism, and so on. Each claims to have the truth. There are many religions in the world: Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Shintoism, Jainism, Daoism, and so on. Each claims to have the truth. How do we Christians know that we are right and everybody else is wrong?
Do you know why you believe what you believe? Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God… (1 Jn. 4:1) Any belief that won’t stand up under questioning is not worth having anyway! Do you know why you believe what you believe? Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God… (1 Jn. 4:1) Any belief that won’t stand up under questioning is not worth having anyway!
ALLEGED CONTRADICTIONS AND MISTAKES ALLEGED CONTRADICTIONS AND MISTAKES Skeptics often claim that the Bible is full of contradictions and mistakes. Yet when pressed to give even a single example where the Bible has been proven false, they cannot. They keep trying, though! Some examples: They keep trying, though! Some examples:
ALLEGED CONTRADICTIONS CREATION ACCOUNT IN GENESIS 1: A Broad Overview. Plants had already been created, but now God placed the “plants of the field” (cultivated plants) in the Garden. CREATION ACCOUNT IN GENESIS 2: Focuses on the Creation of Humans. CREATION ACCOUNT IN GENESIS 2: Focuses on the Creation of Humans. Animals had already been created, but now God brought the “beasts of the field” (animals to be domesticated) to Adam in the Garden. Because Hebrew verb tenses are not as precise as English, we cannot use Genesis 2 to establish the exact order of creation of living things. We have to refer back to Genesis 1, where the sequence is clear. Day 1, light; Day 2, separation of waters; Day 3, dry land and vegetation; Day 4, lights placed in the heavens; Day 5, sea creatures and flying things; Day 6, land animals and humans.
The Hebrew word for “day” is (YOM). Depending on context, it can mean 1. A 24 hour day, 2. The daylight portion of a day, or 3. An indefinite period of time. Every time throughout the Old Testament that is used with a number (over 350 times outside Genesis Chapter 1) it always means a 24 hour day. This is the way it appears in the Creation account. You may not like it or you may think the Bible is wrong, but you have to admit that God intended to say that these were 24 hour days. HOW LONG ARE THE “Days” in Genesis?
DIFFICULTIES IN GENESIS 1 THE “DAY- AGE THEORY” In an attempt to compromise the Bible with evolutionary claims of an extremely old earth, some speculate that the “days” of Genesis must have been creative periods of millions of years. The sequence of events in Genesis 1 shows that this is incorrect. Day 3, plants created. Day 4, sun created. Day 5, insects created. How many million years can most plants live without sunlight? How many million years can they live without insects to pollinate them?
YEARS SINCE CREATION (Massoretic Text) ADAM years SETH yrs d ENOSH yrs d KENAN yrs d MAHALALEL yrs d JARED yrs d ENOCH, 365 yrs (walked with God) METHUSALEH yrs, d LAMECH yrs d NOAH yrs d Death of Adam 1656 THE FLOOD Death of Noah SHEM yrs d Arpachshad, d Shelah, d Eber, d Peleg, d Reu, d Serug, d Nahor-- 147, d Terah , d Abraham- 195, d Isaac , d Jacob- 149, d Earth divided Tower of Babel (between 1757 and 1996)
DIFFICULTIES IN GENESIS 1 THE “GAP THEORY” Jesus (the Creator) said of the devil, “He was a murderer from the beginning” (John 8:44). He did not become a murderer only in the last 1/10,000 of earth’s history as the Gap Theory says, but from the beginning. Death entered the world only after Adam sinned (Rom. 5:12, 1 Cor. 15:22). This was less than 7,000 years ago, not millions of years before. WHO WOULD KNOW FOR SURE? Well-meaning Christians try to accommodate the old-earth claims of evolutionists by saying God made an original creation which went on for millions of years under the supervision of Lucifer, but he finally rebelled and murdered every inhabitant of the earth. Thus, there must have been a “gap” between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2, when the earth “became” without form and void.
“But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female” (Mk. 10:6). He didn’t say “In the last 1/10,000 of earth’s history.” “For [in] those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be” (Mk. 13:19). Evolutionists say mass extinctions have wiped out over 99% of all the species that have ever lived. Wouldn’t that be the worst affliction? “... the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly [places] might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God...” (Eph. 3:10). God is showing His glory through the Church to the principalities and powers who rebelled against Him (Eph. 6:12). Did God have to wait through 4.5 billion years of evolution before He could accomplish His purposes through the Church? JESUSPAULJESUSPAUL JESUSPAULJESUSPAUL New Testament Clues for a Young Earth
All Scripture is inspired by God... but this Scripture was written with His own finger. For [in] six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them [is]... (Exod. 20:11)
The devil’s original name in Hebrew was “Helel” (Isa. 14:12) which has to do with brightness. The name “Lucifer” is the Latin equivalent and means “bearer of light.” “For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day” (Ex 20:11) WHEN DID LUCIFER BECOME THE DEVIL? “Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth… Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. (Ezek 28:12-15) WHEN WERE THE ANGELS CREATED? HAD LUCIFER SINNED BEFORE HE FIRST CAME TO EDEN? Lucifer sinned after he first came to Eden. This was after Adam and Eve were created, not millions of years before.
“When Moses writes that God created heaven and earth and whatever is in them in six days, then let this period continue to have been six days, and do not venture to devise any comment according to which six days were one day. “But, if you cannot understand how this could have been done in six days, then grant the Holy Spirit the honor of being more learned that you are.” “When Moses writes that God created heaven and earth and whatever is in them in six days, then let this period continue to have been six days, and do not venture to devise any comment according to which six days were one day. “But, if you cannot understand how this could have been done in six days, then grant the Holy Spirit the honor of being more learned that you are.” MARTIN LUTHER ON THE AGE OF THE EARTH
ALLEGED DIFFICULTIES IN GENESIS 1 WERE ANIMALS (such as dinosaurs) EATING EACH OTHER FOR MILLIONS OF YEARS BEFORE HUMANS CAME ALONG? AT LEAST UNTIL AFTER ADAM’S SIN, ALL THE ANIMALS WERE VEGETARIANS. AT LEAST UNTIL AFTER ADAM’S SIN, ALL THE ANIMALS WERE VEGETARIANS. And God said, Behold, I have given you [HUMANS] every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. (Gen 1:29-30)
ALLEGED DIFFICULTIES IN GENESIS 1 HOW COULD GOD MAKE A HUMAN BODY FROM THE DUST OF THE EARTH? HOW COULD GOD MAKE A HUMAN BODY FROM THE DUST OF THE EARTH? WHAT BETTER PLACE TO OBTAIN THE CHEMICAL ELEMENTS THAN THE DIRT? The human body is formed from elements found on the periodic table: hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, sulfur, phosphorus, calcium, iron, chlorine, and dozens more. These elements occur naturally in the dirt! Plants are at the bottom of the food chain. They extract elements from the soil. We take in those elements by eating the plants or the animals that ate the plants. In creating the first human body, God simply bypassed the plants.
WHY WOULD GOD START WITH A MALE AND NOT A FEMALE? (Gen. 2:23) Males have both X and Y chromosomes, but women have only X. It would be theoretically possible to clone a female from a male by using two copies of the X chromosome, but it would not be possible to clone a male from a female because no Y chromosome would be available. COMMON SOURCES OF CONFUSION IN GENESIS COMMON SOURCES OF CONFUSION IN GENESIS DO MEN HAVE ONE LESS RIB THAN WOMEN? NO! Suppose God had taken one of Adam’s fingers. Would all his male descendants be born missing a finger, while the females would have all their fingers? Of course not. Adam had surgery while he slept (Gen. 2:21), but his DNA was unaffected. Why the rib? It’s the only bone that will grow back!
ALLEGED DIFFICULTIES IN GENESIS 3 HOW COULD A SNAKE TALK? Who said she wasn’t ? However, she would not have known anything was wrong, because she did not yet understand the meaning of “wrong.” WHY WASN’T EVE SURPRISED WHEN A SNAKE TALKED TO HER? WHY WASN’T EVE SURPRISED WHEN A SNAKE TALKED TO HER? Under normal circumstances, it is physically impossible – just as it is impossible for someone to rise from the dead. However, these were not normal circumstances. Lucifer miraculously occupied the body of a serpent and made it talk – just as the demons occupied the bodies of pigs in Mt. 8:30 – 32. Likewise, God miraculously allowed a donkey to speak in Num. 22:28 – 31. If you believe in a God of miracles, then a snake could talk too.
Scientifically Confirmed Statements in the Bible The Y chromosome is present only in males, so we can’t tell anything about females’ descent from Adam. However, the Y chromosome of all human males tested so far show that all of us came from one man (nicknamed “Y chromosome Adam”). ADAM WAS THE FATHER OF ALL HUMANS HOW DID MOSES KNOW?
HAS THE GARDEN OF EDEN BEEN LOCATED? Genesis 2 (written by Moses long after Noah’s Flood) de- scribes the loca- tion of the Gar- den of Eden, It says that Eden was where four rivers came to a head: Hiddekel (Tigris), Euphrates, Pison, and Gihon. The TIgris and Euphrates are easy to find, in modern-day Iraq. using land- marks that would have been famil- iar to post- Flood readers.
HOW ABOUT THE OTHER TWO RIVERS? Landsat photos re- veal that the Wadi Batin and Wadi Rimah used to be much larger, and joined with Tigris and Euphrates. The dry river bed winds through what was once known as the land of Havilah, so this seems to be the Pison. (Pison and Gihon emphasized for clarity) The Karun River is rela- tively insigni- ficant because of damming, but satellite photos reveal that it used to be much larger. It goes through the area once occupied by the Kash- shites. This fits the Hebrew description of the Gihon.
WHY DID GOD REJECT CAIN’S SACRIFICE BUT ACCEPT ABEL’S? ALLEGED DIFFICULTIES IN GENESIS 4 Some commentaries say that God rejected Cain’s sacrifice but accepted Abel’s because Cain offered crops while Abel offered animals. However, we find in the book of Leviticus that God established regula- tions for offering crops such as grain and the like. They must have been acceptable. “And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect.” (Gen. 4:3-5) Cain brought his sacrifice “in process of time” – that is, at the end of the harvest when he was sure of having enough to spare. Abel, on the other hand, brought the “firstlings,” trusting that God would give him more later. The problem was with Cain’s attitude, not his offering.
WHERE DID CAIN GET HIS WIFE? If all humans came from Adam and Eve, how could there have been any women for Cain to marry? ALLEGED DIFFICULTIES IN GENESIS 4 Cain got his wife the same place any man does: from the pool of available women. Even though the Bible only names three of Adam and Eve’s sons (Cain, Abel, and Seth), it also says that they had other sons and daughters (Gen. 5:4). Jewish tradition says they had 39 children. Cain had to marry either a sister or niece. This was allowed all the way until the time of Moses and the Law. Even Abraham was married to his half-sister. The reason it has become dangerous to marry a close relative is because of the mutations that have accumulated in the human gene pool. At the beginning, there would have been ZERO mutations.
HOW COULD ALL THE ANIMALS FIT ON THE ARK? HOW COULD ALL THE ANIMALS FIT ON THE ARK? Only land-dwelling animals went on board. Since not many land animals are large, the average size of the animals on the Ark would probably be smaller than sheep. The Ark was the largest boat ever built until the 1800s. Based on the Biblical dimensions, it had a carrying capacity of about 522 railroad boxcars. It would take only about 10,000 pairs of sheep-sized animals to account for every known type of animal on the earth. This would only fill the Ark to about 1/3 of its carrying capacity! This would only fill the Ark to about 1/3 of its carrying capacity!
If God Created Dinosaurs During the Creation Week, Why Didn’t Noah Take Them on the Ark? If God Created Dinosaurs During the Creation Week, Why Didn’t Noah Take Them on the Ark? Even the largest dinosaurs hatched from eggs not much bigger than a football. It would have taken them many years to grow to enormous sizes. Even we humans with our limited intelligence would know that it would be unwise to take full grown dinosaurs on the Ark! God would have brought young ones. The bone structure of dinosaurs shows us that they were reptiles. Since all known reptiles do better in warm climates than cold, we can logically conclude that post-flood dinosaurs would only have thrived in warm climates. Almost all dragon legends from around the world are from areas with warm climates. The country with the greatest number of dragon legends (China) is also the country with the greatest number of dinosaur fossils. As recently as the last ten years, there have been reports of dinosaur- like creatures in remote areas of Africa. A few dinosaurs may have made it through the Flood on the Ark.
Could Dinosaurs or Other Large Reptiles be Mentioned in the Bible? Could Dinosaurs or Other Large Reptiles be Mentioned in the Bible? 15 Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee; he eateth grass as an ox. 16 Lo now, his strength is in his loins, and his force is in the navel of his belly. 17 He moveth his tail like a cedar: the sinews of his stones are wrapped together. 18 His bones are as strong pieces of brass; his bones are like bars of iron. 19 He is the chief of the ways of God: he that made him can make his sword to approach unto him. 20 Surely the mountains bring him forth food, where all the beasts of the field play. 21 He lieth under the shady trees, in the covert of the reed, and fens. 22 The shady trees cover him with their shadow; the willows of the brook compass him about. 23 Behold, he drinketh up a river, and hasteth not: he trusteth that he can draw up Jordan into his mouth. 24 He taketh it with his eyes: his nose pierceth through snares. Job 40:15-24 (KJV)
HAVE HUMANS EVER SEEN LIVING DINOSAURS? Mosaic floor at Zippori in North Israel – ca. 300 A.D. Somebody saw something! Compare this to an artist’s conception of Zuniceratops (courtesy of Wikimedia user Arthur Weasley). The main difference is the head frill – which seems to have grown later, as the animal matured. Compare this to an artist’s conception of Zuniceratops (courtesy of Wikimedia user Arthur Weasley). The main difference is the head frill – which seems to have grown later, as the animal matured.
DOES THE BIBLE REALLY MENTION UNICORNS? The King James Old Testament uses the word “unicorn” (Hebrew re’ēm) nine times. This was not a horse with wings and a horn! Monoclonius, a Cretaceous dinosaur Other translations render the word as “wild ox.” When the Hebrew text was translated into the Greek Septuagint, the translators chose the Greek word “monocera,” meaning “one horn.” It was simply a one- horned creature, perhaps a rhinoceros. Or perhaps it was something like this! Other translations render the word as “wild ox.” When the Hebrew text was translated into the Greek Septuagint, the translators chose the Greek word “monocera,” meaning “one horn.” It was simply a one- horned creature, perhaps a rhinoceros. Or perhaps it was something like this!
ALLEGED DIFFICULTIES IN GENESIS 19 “Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground. But his [Lot’s] wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.” (Gen 19:24-26) How could a human body (LOT’S WIFE) turn into salt? The Hebrew word translated “salt” is melah. It does not mean table salt (sodium chloride). Rather, it simply indicates “powder.” If a human body were to be instantly dessicated (all the water removed), what would be left behind? A pile of powder!
ALLEGED DIFFICULTIES IN GENESIS 30 The physical features of animals are determined by DNA, not by what their parents see during mating. Jacob was unaware of this fact, so he acted in ignorance. However, God had already determined to bless him (Gen. 28) and did so despite Jacob’s error. Jacob prospered not because of his mistaken understanding of breeding, but because of miraculous intervention by God. Does Gen. 30: 37 – 41 contain a mistake in biology? And Jacob took him rods of green poplar, and of the hazel and chesnut tree; and pilled white strakes in them, and made the white appear which was in the rods. And he set the rods which he had pilled before the flocks in the gutters in the watering troughs when the flocks came to drink, that they should conceive when they came to drink. And the flocks conceived before the rods, and brought forth cattle ringstraked, speckled, and spotted… And it came to pass, whensoever the stronger cattle did conceive, that Jacob laid the rods before the eyes of the cattle in the gutters, that they might conceive among the rods.
ALLEGED DIFFICULTIES Exod. 2:14 And he said, Who made thee a prince and a judge over us? intendest thou to kill me, as thou killedst the Egyptian? And Moses feared, and said, Surely this thing is known. 15 Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to slay Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh... Heb. 11:27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible. What’s the answer? Moses left Egypt twice! The first time (Exodus 2) he left on his own and was afraid, but the second time (Heb. 11) he was leaving at God’s instructions and had no fear. WAS MOSES AFRAID WHEN HE LEFT EGYPT?
ALLEGED DIFFICULTIES Context: Exodus 20 is a word-for-word reading of what was written on the tablets. Deuteronomy 5 is a record of Moses preaching 40 years later. He was NOT reading word-for-word. Luke goes from Adam to Abraham; Matthew starts there. Luke lists 15 individuals from Abraham to David; Matthew deliberately omits one. Luke gives Jesus’ biological ancestry (Mary’s lineage) through David’s son Nathan. Matthew gives Jesus’ royal ancestry through his legal father Joseph. Well known to the Christian church from the beginning. DIFFERENT WORDING in the TEN COMMANDMENTS in Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5. DIFFERENT GENEALOGIES in Matthew 1 and Luke 3.
HARD-TO-BELIEVE BIBLE STORIES: The Walls of Jericho fell down flat! (Josh. 6) Confirmed by Non-Biblical Sources! Parting of the Red Sea (Exodus 14:21) Joshua’s Long Day (Josh. 10:12-13)
Scientifically Accurate Statements in the Bible The Earth hung on nothing (Job 26:7) Spherical Shape of the Earth (Isaiah 40:22) Motion of the Sun across the galaxy (Ps. 19:6) Rotation of the Earth (Job 38:14) The Hydrologic Cycle (Eccl. 1:6-7, Amos 5:8) Ezekiel 4:9 Bread HOW DID THE WRITERS KNOW?
THE VALUE OF PI 2 Chronicles 4:2 says the basin in the tem- ple was 10 cubits across and 30 cubits around. Skeptics say this is a mistake, because the circumference would be 31.4 cubits. Outer diameter 10 cubits (180 inches) Three verses later we find that the basin was a handbreadth thick, or about 4 inches all around. A handbreadth thickness (4 inches) all around A handbreadth thickness (4 inches) all around Outer cir- cumference 31.4 cubits (565 inches) Outer cir- cumference 31.4 cubits (565 inches) An 18 inch cubit would give an inner diame- ter of about 172 inches (9.56 cubits) and an inner circumference of about 540 inches, or cubits. Inner dia- meter 9.56 cubits (172 inches) Inner dia- meter 9.56 cubits (172 inches) Inner cir- cumference cubits (540 inches) This is pure stupidity. Is that close enough to 30 for you? Is that close enough to 30 for you?
RABBITS AND BATS Leviticus 11:6 forbids the Israelites to eat rabbits, because they “chew the cud.” Skeptics say that they do not -- that only animals like cows and goats have multiple stomachs and are thus able to chew their cud. This is an attempt to apply modern terminology to words written thousands of years ago. The Bible does not define “cud,” but we should note that rabbits often eat their own pellets, chewing them and sending them through their digestive system a second time. The net effect, both to the viewer and to the rabbit’s digestive system, is the same as chewing cud. Leviticus 11:13-19 lists several types of “fowls” the Israelites were forbidden to eat. The last item on the list is bats. Scoffers say that Moses must not have known the difference between bats and birds. The problem is in translation, not the Hebrew text. The word translated “fowls” in the King James Version means simply “flying things.” Yes, bats are flying things.
IS THE SKY “STRONG”? Job 37:18 Hast thou with him spread out the sky, which is strong, and as a molten looking glass? Job 37:18 Hast thou with him spread out the sky, which is strong, and as a molten looking glass? Elihu was the speaker, not God. Even if he was wrong, the Bible is not incorrect when it records men’s mistakes. If there is any sense in which this verse could be true, then it cannot be dogmatically stated to be false. Could it be true? The sky is “strong” enough to burn up almost every object falling from space before it can hit the earth. “Strong” is a poor translation. The Hebrew word chazak can also convey the sense of “great in extent.” The sky IS great in extent. One of the characteristics of a molten looking glass is that it is thin. Compared to the size of the earth, the atmosphere is extremely thin. In at least this sense, the sky IS like a mol- ten looking glass!
ALLEGED DIFFICULTIES IS THE CHARACTER OF GOD DIFFERENT IN THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS? Some see the Old Testament portrayal of God as harsh and vengeful, while they see Him in the New Testament as loving and kind. SAME GOD, DIFFERENT EMPHASIS. True, the Old Testament focuses mainly on Law with less emphasis on grace. However, in the Old Testament God is shown as resisting those who resist Him (e.g., Korah, Dathan, and Abiram) and being merciful to those who call out to Him for mercy. (e.g., David after his sin with Bathsheba). The New Testament focuses mainly on Grace with less emphasis on Law. However, in the New Testament God is still shown as resisting those who resist Him (e.g., Ananias and Sapphira; all those who take the mark of the beast in Rev. 14) and being merciful to all those who call out to Him for mercy (the saved).
ALLEGED NEW TESTAMENT DIFFICULTIES Matthew 4:1-4 and Luke 4:1-4 both say Satan first tempted Jesus to turn stones into bread. Luke then says the devil took Him to a high mountain and then says He was taken to the Temple, whereas Matthew lists the two events in the opposite sequence. THE TEMPTATION OF CHRIST. There is no discrepancy. While the words Matthew used (tote and palin) seem to indicate a time sequence, Luke uses the simple conjunctions kai and de (“and”), which do not indicate a specific order. Similarly, one might say “I planted roses and lilies and carnations,” but this does not necessarily indicate the order of planting. Luke simply tells us what happened without telling us the sequence.
ALLEGED DIFFICULTIES WHEN DID JESUS CLEANSE THE TEMPLE? Matthew 21: and Mark 11: record Jesus driving the merchants and moneychangers out of the Temple, about a week before the end of His life. John 2: 13 – 17 records Jesus driving the merchants and moneychangers out of the Temple near the beginning of His ministry, about three years earlier. WHICH IS CORRECT? BOTH! Jesus cleansed the temple near the beginning of His ministry, but the system of corruption set in again and He had to do it again near the end.
WAS THE SERMON GIVEN ON THE MOUNT OR ON A PLAIN? WAS THE SERMON GIVEN ON THE MOUNT OR ON A PLAIN? In Matthew 5 - 7, Jesus gives the “Sermon on the Mount.” It contains many beloved passages including the Beatitudes and the “Lord’s Prayer.” In Luke 6, Jesus stands on a plain to give a sermon. Some parts are similar, but others are different. WHICH IS CORRECT? Do you really think Jesus preached only one sermon in over three years of ministry? These are two separate sermons! ALLEGED DIFFICULTIES
Matthew mentions 2 demoniacs. Mark and Luke’s choice to focus on only one of them doesn’t mean the other wasn’t there! If you meet the President and the Chief Justice, it is not an error to tell someone “I met the President” and someone else “I met the chief Justice.” The region was Gadara; the closest village was Gerasa. It was both the country of the Gadarenes and the Gerasenes. THE GADARENE DEMONIAC(S). THE ANGEL(S) IN THE TOMB. Matthew and Mark mention 2 angels, while Luke and John focus on only one of them. It doesn’t mean the other wasn’t there. ALLEGED DIFFICULTIES
Matthew 20:29-34 records that Jesus healed two blind men as he was leaving Jericho. Mark 10:46-52 only mentions one blind man (Bartimaeus). Luke 18:35 – 43 mentions two blind men but says the incident happened as Jesus was coming near to Jericho. BLIND BARTIMAEUS WHICH ACCOUNT IS CORRECT? There were two men. It is not at all incorrect for Mark to focus on only one of them. There were two Jerichos! The Old Testament Jericho was a small village consisting mostly of ruins. About two miles away Herod had built a new Jericho. Matthew and Mark use the Old Testament boundary, while Luke uses the Herodian. ALLEGED DIFFICULTIES
IF JESUS ATE THE PASSOVER, HOW COULD HE HAVE DIED AT THE SAME TIME AS THE PASSOVER LAMBS? Mt. 26, Mk. 14, and Lk. 22 say that His disciples prepared the passover on the day the lambs were killed, then they ate it the same night. He was crucified the next day. The confusion is because of Jn. 19:14, which says that He was crucified on “the preparation of the passover.” It was the preparation OF, not FOR, the passover. Just as our Saturday was known to the Jewish people as the Sabbath, every Friday was known as the Preparation (paraskeue). The crucifixion was on the paraskeue during Passover week. John 18:28 says that the Jewish leaders did not go into Pilate’s judgment hall because they did not want to be defiled and thus unable to eat the Passover. But if they had been defiled during the daytime, Lev. 11 says that they could have washed before dark to become clean again before the evening meal. Lk. 22:1 tells us that the whole 8-day Feast of Unleavened Bread was sometimes called the Passover. “Eating the passover” included all meals during that time. Since there was no way to remove defilement before the evening, they were concerned about being unclean for a daytime meal. The Bible never said that He did! THE PROBLEM IS WITH TRADITION, NOT SCRIPTURE.
ALLEGED DIFFICULTIES “THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS” vs. “ON THE THIRD DAY” 1. If Jesus was crucified on Friday (the day of preparation, Greek paraskeue) and rose on Sunday (the first day of the week), how could this be considered “three days and three nights”? 2. Does this contradict his resurrection “on the third day”? The Jewish day went from sunset to sunset. Any part of this time was considered part of a “day and night.” Since Jesus was crucified on Friday several hours before sunset, He died during part of the first “day and night” which had actually begun Thursday at sunset. He continued in the tomb from sunset Friday until sunset Saturday – the second “day and night.” He continued in the tomb from sunset Saturday until daybreak Sunday – about twelve hours, but still part of a third “day and night.” By Roman reckoning, this was clearly “on the third day.”
ALLEGED DIFFICULTIES POST- RESURRECTION APPEARANCES – Early morning 1. Matthew, Mark, and John all say Mary Magdalene came to the tomb. Matthew and Mark also name at least one other woman. Mathew, Mark, and Luke all record the angel(s) speaking to them. All but Mark record the women hurrying to bring the news to the disciples. (Mark notes that they did not speak to anyone on the way.) 2. Jerusalem is not very big. Mary Magdalene seems to have become sep- arated from the other women. Perhaps she violated decorum and ran (sprinted!), while the other women walked. She reached Peter and John, who ran back to the tomb. She seems to have run back with them, because she was back at the sepulchre in Jn. 20:11. Mark says she was the first to whom Jesus appeared (also in Jn. 20:11 – 18). 3. Shortly after, Jesus appeared to the other women, who either had not yet reached the disciples (Mt. 28:9) or else had followed Mary Magdalene back to the tomb. They then made a second trip and told the disciples not only that the tomb was empty, but that they had seen the risen Lord. (The disciples did not believe them.)
ALLEGED DIFFICULTIES LATER POST- RESURRECTION APPEARANCES 4. Mark and Luke report the two disciples encountering Jesus on the road to Emmaus Sunday afternoon. 5. When Jesus disappeared, the two disciples ran back to Jerusalem (about seven miles according to the NKJV). He waited for them to reach the rest of the disciples before making His appearance there. (First appearance to the disciples) 6. At the Monday night prayer meeting a week later, Jesus appeared and reassured Thomas. (Second appearance to the disciples) 7. The disciples went to Galilee as Jesus had instructed. They went fishing but were interrupted by His appearance. (Third appearance to the disciples – Jn. 21:14) 8. The disciples went up a mountain in Galilee (Mt. 28:16) – probably where they received the Great Commission. May be where 500 witnesses saw Him at once (1 Cor. 15:6). 9. The disciples returned to Jerusalem where they saw Jesus for the last time, at His ascension from the Mount of Olives (Acts 1:1- 12).
ALLEGED DIFFICULTIES HOW DID JUDAS DIE? Matthew 27: 3 – 10 says that Judas hanged himself. Acts 1: 16 – 20 says that he fell headlong and burst so that all his bowels gushed out. It is obvious that he could not have hanged himself after he was already dead. A likely scenario is that: 1. He hanged himself. 2. His body stayed suspended from the rope for several days. 3. Meanwhile, decomposition set in so that his body was greatly swollen. 4. Finally, either the rope or the branch from which he hanged himself broke. At this time his swollen corpse fell and burst. NOT A CONTRADICTION!
THE CONVERSION OF PAUL Acts 9:7 NASB: “And the men who traveled with him stood speechless, hearing the voice, but seeing no one.”... - implies hearing without understanding. Acts 22:9 NASB: And those who were with me beheld the light, to be sure, but did not understand the voice of the One who was speaking to me.”... - implies not hearing with understanding. The two passages mean exactly the same thing. Acts 9:7 says the men with him heard the voice but 22:9 says they didn’t. Which is it? ALLEGED DIFFICULTIES
THE BIBLE’S GREATEST CREDENTIAL: FORETELLING THE FUTURE. A dedicated skeptic could still say that everything we’ve seen so far might just be a lucky guess. (Yeah, right.) A dedicated skeptic could still say that everything we’ve seen so far might just be a lucky guess. (Yeah, right.) One thing no human being can get right through lucky guessing, though, is to foretell the future with 100% accuracy. One thing no human being can get right through lucky guessing, though, is to foretell the future with 100% accuracy.
The Bible is Unique in FULFILLED PROPHECY. Jesus fulfilled at least 61 Messianic prophecies: de- scended from David but not Jehoiachin, born in Beth- lehem, crucified, no bones broken, buried in a rich man’s tomb, etc. eightThe chance of anyone fulfilling just eight of the 61 by accident has been calculated at about 1 in first try.It would take silver dollars to cover the state of Texas two feet deep. If you put an “X” on one of them and turn a blindfolded person loose to find it, he would have the same 1 in chance of finding it on his first try. No other “Holy Book” in the world dares to make more than one or two predictions about the future. The Bible makes thousands, with 100% accuracy. No one but God could do such a thing. No other “Holy Book” in the world dares to make more than one or two predictions about the future. The Bible makes thousands, with 100% accuracy. No one but God could do such a thing.
FULFILLED PROPHECY ABOUT JESUS “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come…” Gen 49:10 Always understood by the Jews as a Messianic prophecy. When Rome removed the right of capital punishment in about 11 A.D., Rabbi Rachmon wrote in the Jerusalem Talmud, “Woe unto us, for the scepter has departed from Judah, and the Messiah has not come!” But Jesus HAD come – He was a teenager! "And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.” Dan 9:26 NKJV The Messiah would be “cut off” before the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. Fulfilled by Titus in 70 A.D., about 40 years after Jesus’ death.
FULFILLED PROPHECY ABOUT JESUS Gifts brought by kings after His birth – Ps. 72:10, Isa. 60:6 To be born at the “Tower of the Flock” in Bethlehem – Mic. 4:8 Murder of children at His birth - Jer. 31:15 Jealous for the Temple - Ps. 69:9 Preceded by a messenger – Isa. 40:3 Ministry begins in Galilee – Isa. 9:1 Would perform miracles – Isa. 35:5-6 et al. Would teach in parables – Ps. 78:2 Would come while the Temple was still standing – Mal. 3:1 Would enter Jerusalem on a donkey – Zech. 9:9 Betrayed by a friend – Ps. 41:9
Sold for 30 pieces of silver, which were thrown into temple – Zech. 11:12-13 Sufferings described in detail– Isa. 53 Spit upon – Isa. 56 Hands and feet pierced – Ps. 22:16 Garments divided – Ps. 22:18 Given gall and vinegar – Ps. 69:21 No bones broken – Ps. 34:20 Executed with criminals – Isa. 53:12 Body pierced – Zech. 12:10 Darkness at His death – Amos 8:9 Buried in rich man’s grave – Isa. 53:9 Would rise from the dead – Ps. 16:10 FULFILLED PROPHECY ABOUT JESUS
FULFILLED PROPHECY ABOUT INDIVIDUALS: King Cyrus of Persia was named hundreds of years before his birth: That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid. Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him… Isaiah 44:28 – 45:1
FULFILLED PROPHECY ABOUT INDIVIDUALS: And, behold, there came a man of God out of Judah by the word of the LORD unto Bethel: and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense. And he cried against the altar in the word of the LORD, and said, O altar, altar, thus saith the LORD; Behold, a child shall be born unto the house of David, Josiah by name; and upon thee shall he offer the priests of the high places that burn incense upon thee, and men's bones shall be burnt upon thee. 1 Kings 13:1-2 HUNDREDS OF YEARS LATER: And as Josiah turned himself, he spied the sepulchres that were there in the mount, and sent, and took the bones out of the sepulchres, and burned them upon the altar, and polluted it, according to the word of the LORD which the man of God proclaimed, who proclaimed these words. 2 Kings 23:16
FULFILLED PROPHECY ABOUT JERUSALEM: WOULD BE CONQUERED And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: FULFILLED IN 70 A.D. BY THE ROMAN GENERAL TITUS BUT THEN RECAPTURED BY ISRAEL and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. (Luke 21:20-24 ) FULFILLED IN 1967!
FULFILLED PROPHECY ABOUT THE TEMPLE: And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, he said, 6 As for these things which ye behold, the days will come, in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. Luke 21:5-6 (KJV) FULFILLED LITERALLY IN 70 A.D. BY THE ROMAN GENERAL TITUS
Fulfilled Prophecies in Daniel Chapter 11 (Starts 535 B.C.) 2. Rise of next 4 Persian kings 4. Alexander the Great dies childless, kingdom broken in 4 parts 5. Rise of Ptolemy dynasty in Egypt and Seleucid dynasty (many kings named Antiochus) in Syria 6. Alliance between Ptolemy II and Antiochus II; marriage and intrigue 7-8. Ptolemy III gets revenge, carries away spoil, outlives Seleucus II 9. Unsuccessful Seleucid counteroffensive 10. Next generation of Seleucids succeed in rebellion 11. Ptolemy IV strikes back with a large army Antiochus III builds his army for years, recaptures lost territory from Ptolemy V 14. Antiochus III gains allies among traitor- ous Jews Antiochus III besieges Gaza, gains control of the Holy Land 17. Antiochus III plans to overthrow Ptolemy V completely by giving his daughter to him in marriage; plot fails when she sides with her new husband 18. Antiochus III tries to expand westward; defeated by the rising Roman Empire 19. Antiochus III killed shortly after. 20. His son Seleucus IV immediately raises taxes. Assassinated 175 B.C. 21. Seleucus’ brother Antiochus IV Epiphanes usurps the throne He has the Jewish high priest mur- dered, replaces him with a paganized Jew who bribed him, then breaks the agree- ment in favor of an even higher bidder 24. Deceives many by pretending to be peace- ful; gives many extravagant gifts and has shows put on for the public. Mean-while, prepares for war against Ptolemy V’s widow (his sister) and her son Ptolemy VI 25. Antiochus IV defeats Ptolemy VI 26. His victory partially due to bribing officials within Ptolemy’s court 27. Did not kill Ptolemy; they plot against each other. Ptolemy VII plotting too. 28. Jews rejoice at false report of Antiochus IV’s death; he is furious and pollutes the temple. etc. SO ACCURATE THAT SKEPTICS REFUSE TO ACCEPT IT; SAY IT HAD TO BE WRITTEN AFTER THE FACT. SO ACCURATE THAT SKEPTICS REFUSE TO ACCEPT IT; SAY IT HAD TO BE WRITTEN AFTER THE FACT.
There are many other fulfilled prophecies in the Bible – about people, nations, and events in nature. No one but God can foretell the future. The Bible HAS TO BE from God. There are many other fulfilled prophecies in the Bible – about people, nations, and events in nature. No one but God can foretell the future. The Bible HAS TO BE from God.
THE BIBLE IS UNIQUE IN: 1. Preservation. 2. Consistency of Doctrine. 3. Accuracy (verified by archaeology and science). 4. Fulfilled Prophecy. 5. It is not the story of the dead founder of a religion, but of a RISEN SAVIOR! 1. Preservation. 2. Consistency of Doctrine. 3. Accuracy (verified by archaeology and science). 4. Fulfilled Prophecy. 5. It is not the story of the dead founder of a religion, but of a RISEN SAVIOR!
For more information, contact: David Prentice (M.Ed., M.A.S.T.) For more information, contact: David Prentice (M.Ed., M.A.S.T.)