Presentation on theme: "Testing the Scriptures. 2 Timothy 3:14-17 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from."— Presentation transcript:
2 Timothy 3:14-17 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God [a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.a
Why Test the Scriptures? As Christians, we claim that people should believe the Scriptures as truth, and live by them. The Scriptures, themselves, claim to be true. The Scriptures claim to be inspired by the Creator. If they are not true, then why should we trust them (or their author) for any other truth- whether historical, scientific, or moral? If the Bible is true, it will withstand the tests.
Three Ways to Test The Scriptures Archaeology – What does the past have to say about the claims of the Bible? Prophesy – Were predictions accurate? Science – What does the “Creator” have to say about his creation? Does it reflect what we find?
Why Archaeology? Skeptics often claim that the Bible is not historically accurate- the stories are simply myths. The Bible is rarely given the benefit of the doubt. Keep in mind that we cannot test every historical aspect of the Scriptures, but that does not negate the value of what we can test.
Archaeological Evidence Ebla Tablets- direct confirmation of details – A collection of about 2500 tablets from 2400-2300 B.C. – Before their discovery scholars believed: ‘Canaan’ was not a term used at that time in history ‘the deep’ (Gen 1:2) was a later addition Sodom and Gomorrah were fictional cities Haran (city of Abram’s father Terah) never existed People were not advanced enough to keep written records of their history at that time – All the above were demonstrated to be false by the Ebla Tablets
Archaeological Evidence Flood Myths- A Biblical Interpretation – Over 250 unique accounts of a flood have been found Sumerian Kings list Epic of Gilgamish – These writings date prior to the writings of Genesis Many scholars assume that this means that the Genesis account borrowed from pagan myths of the day This is not the only available, logical conclusion as skeptics would have you believe…
Archaeological Evidence Flood Myths- A Biblical Interpretation – The existence of all these myths indicate a singular source: perhaps a generation that experienced an actual flood – We would expect differences as the generations passed and became further removed from the actual event – The Genesis story, therefore, is not necessarily based on the cultural myths of the day. It could contain an account of what actually happened…but does it?
Why Prophecy? Specific prophecies are a great test. It tests whether or not the authors had access to know the future. If specific details are confirmed, the minimum that must be accepted is that the supernatural exists and that someone or something with access to both the natural realm and supernatural realm informed the writers. Non-Messianic and Messianic Prophecies
Non-Messianic Prophecies Isaiah (44:28; 45:1; 45:13) predicted that a man name Cyrus would destroy Babylon and conquer Egypt, and he would let the Jewish exiles go free without ransom. This prediction came 180 years before Cyrus was born, and 80 years before Israel went into exile 2600 years prior to this happening, Jeremiah (31:38-40) described the exact location and construction sequence of Israel’s second rebirth in 1948
Non-Messianic Prophecies Moses predicted (with additions from Jeremiah and Jesus) some great details with regards to the nation of Israel: – Israel would be conquered twice, first by the Babylonians for 70 years, then by a fourth world kingdom (we now know to be Rome), – This nation would take the Jews captive to Egypt in ships, – Sell them or give them as slaves to all parts of the world. – These were fulfilled precisely (first in 607 B.C., second in 70 A.D.). It is also predicted that Israel would remain scattered among the nations without losing their identity, and finally reforming as a nation. This covers 3500 years of history and completes in 1948 (Deut 29; Is 11:11-13; Jer 25:11; Hos 3:4-5 and Luke 21:23-24)
Non-Messianic Prophecies Jeremiah (49:15-20) predicted that the land of Edom (part of Jordan) would become a barren, uninhabited wasteland. This describes the area to this day Many other non-messianic prophecies were recorded and verified as fulfilled
Messianic Prophesies Daniel predicted that the Messiah’s public ministry would begin 483 years after a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem (Daniel 9:25- 26), that he would be killed prior to the second destruction of Jerusalem Around 700 BC Micah (5:2) predicted that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem
Messianic Prophecies In the fourth century BC, Zechariah (11:12-13) predicted that the Messiah would be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver 400 years before crucifixion was invented, King David (Ps 22; 34:20) and Zechariah (12:10) described the Messiah’s death with words that perfect depict crucifixion. They also mention that his body would be pierced and no bones would be broken Plenty more predictions about the Messiah exist
Prophesy Mathematic impossibility has been set at 1 in 10 50 Probability of these Non-Messianic prophesies accurately predicting future happenings is 1 in 10 58 Probability of these Messianic prophesies accurately foretelling the future events is 1 in 10 32 More significance to come later…
Why Science? First off, the Bible is not a science book However, it claims to be an historical book that describes events that take place in our world Inevitably it will make claims about our world that can be tested scientifically If we can find these claims, we can test them; if they are true, we have another reason to believe that other things it states to be true, are true If we deny the value of science, we deny one of the most powerful tools God has given us
Scientific Evidence Adam and Eve were historical people and are the parents of all humanity – Through genetic studies, secular scientists have traced the human lineage down to a single man and a single woman. – The first woman shows up many generations prior to the first man- Noah and his sons were the genetic bottleneck for males, while Eve is the “bottleneck” for females. – This is exactly what is to be expected if the Bible is from the Creator of these individuals.
Scientific Evidence The laws of physics are constant (Jer 33:25) – Scientists have discovered that the laws of physics have not changed in the entire history of the universe – In fact, Scientists have calculated the chances of the second law of thermodynamics failing is 1 in 10 80
Combine Science and Prophecy The probability of all those prophecies I mentioned being fulfilled is 1 in 10 92 The probability of the second law of thermodynamics failing is 1 in 10 80 The Author of the Scriptures is 12 orders of magnitude (1 million, million times) more reliable than the physical laws of this universe!
Combine Science, Prophecy, and Archeology If the author of Scripture is that much more reliable than something we take for granted every day of our lives, why should we not believe that the story of the Flood presented in the Bible is the true account?
More Importantly… Why not believe the Author when He tells us that we are sinners, in need of a Savior? We can rely on the Bible to be an infallible source of truth The reason people do not trust, has nothing to do with whether or not our arguments are strong or weak- it has to do with the heart The Holy Spirit must prepare the heart to receive truth before it will Our part, as Christians, in the completion of the Great Commission is to “be prepared to give a reason for the hope” when people ask
Conclusion In order to always be prepared, we must constantly grow in the knowledge of God – Constantly pray – Meditate on His Word day and night – Actively seek out more reasons to believe – Apply what we believe and learn to our lives, daily – Practice- discuss with people, both believers and unbelievers