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The Case for Scripture: Lecture 4 “The Bible is not such a book a man would write if he could, or could write if he would.” ~ Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer.

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Presentation on theme: "The Case for Scripture: Lecture 4 “The Bible is not such a book a man would write if he could, or could write if he would.” ~ Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Case for Scripture: Lecture 4 “The Bible is not such a book a man would write if he could, or could write if he would.” ~ Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer

2 The Reliability of the Bible  I.Scripture Says of Itself  II.Scripture’s Uniqueness (external)

3 I.Scripture Says of Itself A.Scriptures Themselves: 2 Timothy 3: Peter 1:19-21 John 10:34-35 Matthew 5: Peter 3:15-16 B. Scripture Says…God Says C. Extent of Biblical Authority D. Testimony of Jesus Christ E. Fulfillment of Bible Prophecy

4 2 Tim. 3:16-17: “all Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” 1. “all” = “every” or “all.” Canon of O.T. 2. “Scripture” (graphe) = Written documents. 3. “inspired” = (theopneustos) = v. adjective; “pronounced: theh·op·nyoo·stos” “breathed out”. “All Scripture is inspired of God” 4. “Profitable” (predicate) = because they are inspired.

5 2 Tim. 3:16: “all Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” 4 Implications of 2 Timothy 3:16: 1.Inspiration is with reference to the objective text of Scripture; 2. The doctrine of Scripture applied to all or every Scripture, i.e., the Bible in part or in whole is the Word of God; 3. Scriptures are the very words of God (form and content). 4. Because the Scripture is God-breathed, they are useful for the work of ministry, not the reverse (vs. 17).

6 2 Tim. 3:16: “all Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” Additional comment regarding the term, “ever Scripture”: “If Paul means ‘every Scripture,’ he is looking at the various parts of the Bible, that is, he is considering Scripture distributively. He is then saying that whatever Scripture we consider, it is inspired of God. On the other hand, if he means ‘all Scripture,” it is clear that his reference is to the Scripture in its entirety. In either case he is saying that whatever may be called ‘scripture’ is inspired of God.” ~ E.J. Young, Thy Word is Truth, 19.

7 2 Tim. 3:16: “all Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” Additional comment regarding God-breathed being as designated Scripture. Paul Enns contends, “While the designation ‘Scripture’ in v. 16 is sometimes understood to refer only to the Old Testament, it can be argued that Paul was using the designation ‘Scripture not only for the Old Testament but also for the portions of the New Testament that had been written by that time (e.g., Paul must have considered the gospel of Luke canonical [1 Tim. 5:18]), and perhaps even the entire New Testament, some of which would be written in the future.” See also H. Wayne House, “Biblical Inspiration in 2 Timothy 3:16,” Bibliotheca Sacra, 137 (January- March 1980): Moody Handbook of Theology, 165.

8 2 Peter 1:20-21 “ 20 knowing this first, that no prophecy is of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” Peter explains how God produced the Scriptures. This was accomplished through the instrumentality of men who “spoke from God.”  1. prophecy “came” & “spoke” (“to bear”; ”convey”; “utter a divine proclamation”; “to bring forth”). The tense of the verb (aorist) indicates a completed action in “came” and “spoke” is a present passive participle plural. 2.“moved” (“to be carried, to be borne along”) is present passive participle describes the action as it was in progress. The word was used of a ship carried along by the wind (cf. Acts 27:15,17). The metaphor here is of prophets raising their sails, the Holy Spirit filling them and carrying their craft along in the direction He wished.

9 John 10:34-36: “ 34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, “You are gods”’? 35 If He called them gods, to whom the Word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), 36 but do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?” This passage is important because in it Jesus uses the expressions “Scriptures,” “Torah” (Law), “it is written,” word of God,” and “cannot be broken” interchangeably. 1. Jesus affirmed that the O.T. Scriptures are the unbreakable law and Word of God. 2.The phrase “cannot be broken” (outhenai) means cannot be destroyed, abolished, or done away with (cf. John 7:23). 3.Therefore, the Scriptures are viewed by Jesus Christ as the indestructible Word of God.

10 2 Peter 3:15-16: “ 16 and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, 16 as also in all his z epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the all the rest of the Scriptures.z This passage is important because Peter refers to Paul’s writings and indicates that the false teachers distort Paul’s writings as they do the rest of the Scriptures. 1. In this unique statement Peter places Paul’s writings on a par with the Old Testament Scriptures (all the rest of the Scriptures).

11 What Bible Says…God Says: A Comparison I.What God Says…………….the Bible Says: Genesis 12:3 Gal. 3:8 Exodus 9:16 Rom. 9:17 II.What the Bible Says………God Says: Genesis 2:24 Matthew 9:4-5 Psalm 2:1 Acts 4:24-25 Isaiah 55:3 Acts 13:34 Psalm 16:10 Acts 13:35 Psalm 2:7 Heb. 1:5 Psalm 97:7 Heb. 3:7 Psalm 104:4 Heb. 3:7 Psalm 95:7 Heb. 3:7

12 The Extent of Biblical Authority 1. All that is written - 2 Timothy 3:16’; 2. Even the very words - Matt. 22:43; 1 Cor. 2:13; whereby Jesus rested his entire argument of the Messiah by the precise words “my Lord.” 3. Tense of Verb – Matt. 22:32; Gal. 3:16. In defending the doctrine of resurrection to the Sadducees, Jesus quoted from Exodus 3:6 (significant because the Sadducees held only to the Pentateuch), “I am the God of Abraham.” In this response Jesus’ entire argument hinged on the words “I am.” In fact, Jesus’ argument hinges on the present tense of the statement. Because it was written in Exodus 3:6, “I am…the doctrine of the resurrection could be affirmed; God is the God of the living patriarchs. 4. Smallest parts of words – Matt. 5:17-18.

13 The Extent of Biblical Authority 1. Smallest parts of words – Matt. 5: This section presents the heart of Jesus’ message, for it demonstrates His relationship to the Law of God. Jesus was not presenting a rival system to the Law of Moses and the words of the Prophets, but a true fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets —in contrast with the Pharisees’ traditions. “The Law and the Prophets” refer to the entire Old Testament ( cf. 7:12 ; 11:13 ; 22:40 ; Luke 16:16 ; Acts 13:15 ; 24:14 ; 28:23 ; Rom. 3:21 ). I tell you the truth is literally, “Surely (or Verily, kjv ) I say to you.” “Surely” renders the word “Amen” ( Gr. amēn, transliterated from the Heb. ’āman, “to be firm, true”). This expression, “I tell you the truth,” points to a solemn declaration that the hearers should note. It occurs 31 times in Matthew alone. (In the Gospel of John this Gr. word always occurs twice: “Amen, Amen.” Cf. comments on John 1:51.)cf.Gr.Heb. Jesus’ fulfillment would extend to the smallest Hebrew letter, the “jot” ( lit., yôd ), and even to the smallest stroke of a Hebrew letter, the “tittle.” In English a jot would correspond to the dot above the letter “i” (and look like an apostrophe), and a tittle would be seen in the difference between a “P” and an “R”. The small angled line that completes the “R” is like a tittle. These things are important because letters make up words and even a slight change in a letter might change the meaning of a word. Jesus said He would fulfill the Law by obeying it perfectly and would fulfill the prophets’ predictions of the Messiah and His kingdom. But the responsibility of the people was made clear. The righteousness they were currently seeking— that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law —was insufficient for entrance into the kingdom Jesus was offering. The righteousness He demanded was not merely external; it was a true inner righteousness based on faith in God’s Word (Rom. 3:21-22 ). This is clear from what follows.lit.

14 Authority of Jesus Confirms the Authority of the Bible: I. Testimony of Jesus Christ: A. Divine authority - Matt. 4:4, 7, 10 B. Indestructibility - Matt. 5:17-18 C. Unbreakability - John 10:35 D. Ultimate Supremacy - Matt. 15:3,6 E. Factual Inerrancy – Matt. 22:29; John 17:17 F. Historical Reliability – Matt. 12:40, 24:37-38 G. Scientific Accuracy – Matt. 19:4-6; John 3:12. If Jesus is God, then the Bible is the Word of God. Only if one rejects the divine authority of Christ can he consistently reject the divine authority of the Scriptures. If Jesus was telling the truth, then it is true that the Bible is God’s Word.

15 Jesus Affirms the Bible B.Jesus Affirms New Testament: 1. Jesus guaranteed the same inspiration for the New Testament by His promise of the Holy Spirit. He looked ahead and assured the writers of the New Testament of that same divine superintendence of the Holy Spirit, thus guaranteeing inspiration and inerrancy to the Scripture they would write: a. John 14:26: “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” b. John 15:26: “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. 2.The teaching & guiding ministry of the Holy Spirit as promised by Christ is given by the N.T. writers themselves (1 Cor. 2:9-12; Rev. 1:1-2).

16 John R. W. Stott believes that one’s view of the Bible depends on his or her loyalty to Christ. The Authority of the Bible (Downers Grove, Ill.: Inter-Varsity Press, 1976), “How then can we, the disciples of Jesus, possibly have a lower view of Scripture than our Teacher himself had?... There are only two possible escape routes from this obligation. The first is to say that Jesus did not know what he was talking about, that the incarnation imprisoned him in the limited mentality of a first-century Palestinian Jew, and that consequently he believed the O.T. as they did, but that he, like them, was mistaken. The second is to say that Jesus did know what he was talking about, that he actually knew Scripture to be unreliable, but that he still affirmed its reliability because his contemporaries did and he did not want to upset them. According to the first explanation, Jesus’ erroneous teaching was involuntary (he could not help it): according to the second it was deliberate. These theories portray Jesus as either deceived or a deceiver. They discredit the incarnate Son of God. They are incompatible both with his claims to speak what he knew (John3 :11), to bear witness to the truth and to be the truth (John 18:37; 14:6), and with his known hatred of hypocrisy and deceit. They are totally unacceptable to anybody who has been led by the Holy Spirit to say “Jesus is Lord” (1 Cor. 12:3). Over against these slanderous speculations we must continue to affirm that Jesus knew what he was teaching, that he meant it, and that what he taught and meant is true.”

17 Fulfillment of Bible Prophecy:  The Bible is strongly predictive: 27% of Scripture is prophetic.  In the Old Testament 6,641 verses out of 23,210 (28.6 %) are predictive.  In the New Testament 1,711 out of 7,914 verses (21.6 %) are predictive.  In the entire Bible 8,352 verses out of 31,124 (27 %) are predictive.  Declaring what will happen in the future forms a major component of biblical revelation. One cannot be a thorough student of the Bible and avoid the study of eschatology. There are an estimated 737 prophetic topics addressed in the Bible. The quantity of information argues for the importance of eschatology and compels us to study the subject. But, it is not quantity alone that justifies this study.  ~ From J. Barton Payne, Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecy: The Complete Guide to Scriptural Predictions and their Fulfillment, pp See John F. Walvoord’s, Prophecy Knowledge Handbook (Wheaton: Victor Press, 1990) for a reference tool regarding the timing of fulfillment of Bible Prophecy.

18 Conclusion to Internal Arguments:  A reasonable defense for verbal, plenary inspiration of Scripture involves: The Claims of Scripture itself; The testimony of Jesus Christ whereby He based arguments on the precise wording of Scripture; Fulfillment of Bible Prophecy; Paul acknowledges that all Scripture is God-breathed; Peter explains how the authors were inspired Peter confirms Paul writings on par with O.T.

19 II.The Uniqueness of Scripture ~ Adapted from Josh McDowell’s, New Evidence That Demands a Verdict (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1999), A.Unique in its Continuity: B.Unique in its Circulation: C.Unique in its Translation: D.Unique in its Survival: Through Time Through Persecution Through Criticism E.Unique in its Teachings Through Prophecy History Character F. Unique in Its Influence on Literature G. Unique in its Influence on Civilization

20 A. The Uniqueness in its Continuity ~ Adapted from Josh McDowell’s, New Evidence That Demands a Verdict (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1999), Written over approx. 1,500 year span. 2.Written by more than 40 authors from every walk of life: - Moses: a political leader highly educated in Egypt; David: a king, poet, musician, shepherd, & warrior; Amos: a herdsman; Joshua: a military general; Nehemiah: a cupbearer to a pagan king; Daniel: a prime minister; Luke: a physician & historian; Peter: a fisherman; Matthew: a tax collector; Paul: a rabbi. 3.Written in different places: - Moses in the wilderness, Jeremiah in a dungeon, Daniel on a hillside and palace; Paul inside prison walls; Luke while traveling; John exiled on the isle of Patmos. 4.Written at different times (in times of war, sacrifice, peace, & prosperity) 5.Written during different moods (e.g., joy, despair, sorrow, doubt, bliss). 6.Written on three continents (Europe; Asia; Africa)

21 A. The Uniqueness in its Continuity ~ Adapted from Josh McDowell’s, New Evidence That Demands a Verdict (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1999), Written in three languages (Hebrew; Aramaic [e.g., Daniel 2-7]; Greek). 8.Written in a wide variety of literary styles (e.g. poetry, song, romance, memoirs, satire, biography, prophecy, parable, historical narrative, allegory, didactic treatise, etc.) 9.Addresses hundreds of controversial subjects…yet with amazing harmony. 10.In spite of diversity, the Bible presents a single unfolding story: God’s redemption of humanity. “The uniqueness of the Bible as shown does not prove that it is inspired. It does, however, challenge any person sincerely seeking truth to consider seriously the unique quality in terms of its continuity.” ~ Josh McDowell, p. 7..

22 II.The Uniqueness of Scripture ~ Adapted from Josh McDowell’s, New Evidence That Demands a Verdict (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1999), ~ Professor M. Montiero Williams’ (former Boden professor of Sanskrit) view after spending 42 years studying Eastern books, compared them with the Bible and said: “Pile them, if you will, on the left side of your study table; but place your own Holy Bible on the right side-all by itself, all alone- and with a wide gap between them. For… there is a gulf between it and the so-called sacred books of the East which severs the one from the other utterly, hopelessly, and forever…a veritable gulf which cannot be bridged over by any science of religious thought.”

23 II.The Uniqueness of the Bible in its Circulation ~ Adapted from Josh McDowell’s, New Evidence That Demands a Verdict (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1999), A.The number of Bibles sold reaches into the billions. B.“According to the United Bible Societies’ 1998 Scripture Distribution Report, in that year alone member organizations were responsible for distributing 20.8 million complete Bibles and another 20.1 million testaments. When portions of Scripture (i.e., complete books of the Bible) and selections (short extracts on particular themes) are also included, the total distribution of copies of the Bible or portions thereof in 1998 reaches a staggering 585 million-and these numbers only include Bibles distributed by the United Bible Societies” (p. 8). C.“If you lines up all the people who received Bibles or Scripture selections last year, and handed a Bible to one of them every five seconds, it would take more than ninety-two years to do what just the United Bible Societies accomplished last year alone (ibid).”

24 III.The Uniqueness of the Bible in its Translation ~ Adapted from Josh McDowell’s, New Evidence That Demands a Verdict (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1999), A.According to the United Bible Societies the Bible (or portions of it), has been translated into more than 2,200 languages. Although this is only about one-third of the world’s 6,500 known languages, these languages represent the primary vehicle of communication for well over 90 percent of the world’s population. B.Wycliffe Bible Translators have over 6,000 people working with more than 850 different languages in 50 countries to produce or revised versions of the Scriptures. Of these, 468 languages are being translated for the first time. C.According to Ted Bergman at the Summer Institute of Linguistics, if rate is consistent, the Bible should be available to almost all language groups between the years of 2007 and This may mean that we are less than a generation away from witnessing the world’s first universally translated book.

25 IV.The Uniqueness of the Bible in its Survival: ~ Adapted from Josh McDowell’s, New Evidence That Demands a Verdict (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1999), A. Through Time: 1. Though written on perishable materials, and had to be copied and recopied for hundreds of years before the printing press, the Scriptures have never diminished in style, correctness, or ever faced extinction. Compared with other ancient writings, the Bible has more manuscript evidence to support it than any ten pieces of classical literature combined. “To be skeptical of the resultant text of the New Testament books is to allow all of classical antiquity to slip into obscurity, for no other documents of the ancient period are as well attested bibliographically as the New Testament.” ~ John Warwick Montgomery. “Jews preserved it as no other manuscript has ever been preserved. With their massora (parva, magna, and finalis) they kept tabs on every letter, syllable, word and paragraph. They had special classes of men within their culture whose sole duty was to preserve and transmit these documents with perfect fidelity-scribes, lawyers, massoretes. Who ever counted the letters and syllables an d words of Plato or Aristotle? Cicero or Seneca?” ~ Bernard Ramm.

26 IV. The Uniqueness of the Bible in its Survival : ~ Adapted from Josh McDowell’s, New Evidence That Demands a Verdict (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1999), A. Through Persecution: 1. The Bible’s enemies come and go, but the Bible remains. As Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away” (Mark 13:31). 2. The Bible has withstood attacks by burning it, outlawing it, and discrediting it. B. Through Criticism: 1. The Bible is unique in its ability to stand up to critics, whether skeptics, liberal scholars, or intellectual movements.

27 IV. The Uniqueness of the Bible in its Survival : ~ Adapted from Josh McDowell’s, New Evidence That Demands a Verdict (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1999), “Infidels for eighteen hundred years have been refuting and overthrowing this book, and yet it stands today as solid as a rock. Its circulation increases, and it is more loved and cherished and read today than ever before. Infidels, with all their assaults, make about as much impression on this book as a man with a tack hammer would on the Pyramids of Egypt. When the French monarch proposed the persecution of the Christians in his dominion, an old statesman and warrior said to him, “Sire, the Church of God is an anvil that has worn out many hammers.” So the hammers of infidels have been pecking away at this book for ages, but the hammers are worn out, and the anvil still endures. If this book had not been the book of God, men would have destroyed it long ago. Emperors and popes, kings and priests, princes and rulers have tried their hand at it; they die and the book still lives.” ~ H. L. Hastings.

28 IV. The Uniqueness of the Bible in its Survival: ~ Adapted from Josh McDowell’s, New Evidence That Demands a Verdict (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1999), “A thousand times over, the death knell of the Bible has been sounded, the funeral procession formed, the inscription cut on the tombstone, and committal read. But somehow the corpse never stays put. No other book has been so chopped, knived, sifted, scrutinized, and vilified. What books on philosophy or religion or psychology or belles lettres of classical or modern times has been subject to such a mass attack as the Bible? With such venom and skepticism? With such thoroughness and erudition? Upon ever chapter, line, and tenet? The Bible is still loved by millions, read by millions, and studied by millions.” ~ Bernard Ramm.

29 V. The Uniqueness of the Bible: ~ Adapted from Josh McDowell’s, New Evidence That Demands a Verdict (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1999), A.Uniqueness of the Bible in its Teaching 1.Predictive Prophecy 2.Factual History 3.Character (reports the sins of its characters, even when those sins reflect poorly on God’s chosen people, leaders, and the biblical writers themselves. B.Uniqueness of the Bible in its Influence on Literature (No other book has inspired the writing of so many other books as the Bible). C.Uniqueness of the Bible in its Influence on Civilization:

30 V. The Uniqueness of the Bible: ~ Adapted from Josh McDowell’s, New Evidence That Demands a Verdict (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1999), “The influence of the Bible and its teachings in the Western world is clear for all who study history. And the influential role of the West in the course of world events is equally clear. Civilization has been influenced more by the Judeo-Christian Scriptures than by any other book or series of books in the world. Indeed, no great moral or religious work in the world exceeds the depth of morality in the principle of Christian love, and none has a more lofty spiritual concept than the biblical view of God. The Bible presents the highest ideals known to men, ideals that have molded civilization.” ~ Dr. Norman Geisler and Dr. William Nix.

31 Why Believe the Bible? The Bible is a reliable collection of historical documents written by eyewitnesses, during the lifetime of other eyewitnesses. They report supernatural events that took place in fulfillment of specific prophecy, and claim to be divine rather than human in origin. ~ Voddie T. Baucham, Jr. The Ever-Loving Truth


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