Presentation on theme: "An Introduction to Bible Prophecy. Some statistics … Written over a period of 1,400 years (Moses to C1) by around 40 different “authors” great diversity."— Presentation transcript:
An Introduction to Bible Prophecy
Some statistics … Written over a period of 1,400 years (Moses to C1) by around 40 different “authors” great diversity of writing styles (narrative, poetry, prophecy, parable, apocalyptic literature, etc.). And yet it maintains an astounding consistency in theme cohesion. Bible contains 3,566,480 letters, 773,746 words, 31,102 verses, 1,189 chapters, and 66 books. The average word of the Bible contains fewer than five letters. Very few big words!
The Anvil Of God's Word Last eve I passed beside a blacksmith's door And heard the anvil ring the vesper chime; When looking in, I saw upon the floor, Old hammers worn with beating years of time. "How many anvils have you had," said I, "To wear and batter these hammers so?" "Just one," said he; then with a twinkling eye, "The anvil wears the hammers out, you know." And so, I thought, the anvil of God's Word, For ages, sceptics’ blows have beat upon; Yet, though the noise of falling blows was heard, The anvil is unharmed - the hammers gone. John Clifford (1836–1923)
More statistics … Middle chapter & shortest: Psalm 117. Only 2 verses. Middle verse in the Bible: Psalm 118:8. Middle book of the Old Testament: Proverbs. Middle chapter of the Old Testament: Job 29. Middle verse of the Old Testament: 2 Chron 10:15. Shortest verse in OT: I Chron 1:25; longest: Est 8:9. Middle book of the New Testament is II Thess. Bible divided into chapters by Cardinal Hugo (1250) New Testament verses: Sir Robert Stephens (1551)
Why Trust it? Typical Answers “We know the Bible is true by faith.” (Heb 11:1) Sound pious, but not very logical, nor a correct application of Scripture. Scripture proves Scripture! (II Tim 3:16) Vicious circular argument. Muslims claim the same Textual Consistency and Uniqueness & authenticity to the original do not necessarily prove source is true. Simply mean the Bible is unique and has been accurately transmitted. Archaeology – confirms but cannot prove Prophecy – could claim forgery but see later
Manuscripts Archaeology Prophecy Statistics Manuscripts Eyewitnesses (Luke) External Enemies Many have tried to disprove – all failed New in Old Concealed Old in New Revealed, Remember the maths
Difficult Questions! How do we know the BibleBible is true, and people weren’t just making it all up 1) Masoretes 2) Dead Sea Scrolls 3) Prophecy 4) Loadsa manuscripts!
What is the Bible?
One book … or many?
ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPTS1500 B.C. – A.D. 100 Who wrote the Bible and Where did it come from? Old Testament: 40 different writers, lots of scribes. New Testament: 8 or 9 writers; original manuscripts copied many times as Christians fled persecution. Many copies destroyed by enemies of the church. Fortunately many early copies survived – more than any other ancient document! EARLY COPIES *Codex Alexandrinus A.D. 450 *Codex Vaticanus A.D. 340*Codex Sinaiaticus A.D. 400
Septuagint: 70 Jewish scholars in Egypt translated OT from Hebrew into Greek in about 250 BC Masoretes: Jewish scribes (600 A.D.) whose job was to keep OT text error-free. How did they do it? Vulgate Vulgate: (not vulgar!) Latin translation by Jerome (400 AD) Was the preferred version of the Catholic Church for centuries ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPTS 1500 B.C. – A.D. 100 EARLY COPIES *Codex Alexandrinus A.D. 450 *Codex Vaticanus A.D. 340*Codex Sinaiaticus A.D. 400 ANCIENT COPIES e.g. Septuagint ANCIENT VERSIONS
Wycliffe (1329-1384) first English translation (from Latin) Tyndale: translation of New Testament in 1525. 15,000 copies, in 6 editions, smuggled to England 1525-30. Church authorities destroyed many copies Couldn’t stop the flow of Bibles from Germany into England. May 1535: Tyndale arrested Condemned to death after over a year in prison. Strangled and burned at the stake on 6 Oct 1536. Final words: “Lord, open the king of England’s eyes.”
Miles Coverdale also fled England Met Tyndale & helped translate Pentateuch. John Rogers, friend of Tyndale, published a Bible under name of Thomas Matthew. Matthew’s Bible revised in 1538 – sent to all churches in England. Called the Great Bible (it was huge!) First English Bible the king allowed to be used in public.
James VI of Scotland (1566–1625) 1603: QE I died; James I of England and Ireland Religious conflicts in England. 1604 refused Puritan petition Authorised official translation of the Bible, “King James Version” Guido Fawkes & co objected!
King James authorised a new English translation - more accurate than previous translations. More than fifty scholars, trained in Hebrew and Greek, began the work in 1607. Several committees before it was finalised. After KJV was published, earlier and better manuscripts discovered. Revised Version (1885) - many changes to AV based on ‘better’ Greek texts
Dead Sea Scrolls & lots of other manuscripts - all discovered in 20 th C. Provided scholars with 100’s of ancient manuscripts - much better idea of what the Bible originally said. At the same time, discoveries have shown that the Bible as we know it is very accurate.
Scroll with book of Isaiah from Dead Sea Scrolls
Can I trust it? Remember the Masoretes? After a scroll was completed, another scribe would count the letters. Letters as numbers - if they did not add up to the correct amount, the scroll was destroyed. Next, middle word of the Old Testament was found and compared to what it should be. If it did not match, the scroll was destroyed. Smallest mistake would result in the destruction of the scroll. Copying process was so exact that little difference seen comparing the Isaiah scroll found by the Dead Sea (2 nd Cen B.C.) and the Masoretic text (9 th Cen A.D.) NT: 13,000 manuscripts + lots of quotes - reconstruct our entire New Testament except for 11 verses!
Textual Proof AUTHORWHEN WRITTEN EARLIES T COPY TIME SPAN (YEARS) N° OF COPIES New Testament40-100 AD125 AD2524,000 + Livy (Titus Livius)59 BC –AD 174 TH C30020 Homer (Iliad)900 BC400 BC500643 Pliny the Younger (History) 61-113 AD850 AD7507 Suetonius (De Vita Caesarum) 75-160 AD950 AD8008 Also minor works100 AD1000 AD9001 Horace900 Caesar100-44 BC900 AD1,00010 Tacitus (Annals)100 AD1100 AD1,00020
God’s seal of authenticity on the Bible What do OT prophecies about Jesus mean to NT Christians? Many prophecies about Jesus already fulfilled down to last detail We can be confident of the accuracy, faithfulness, & reliability of the Word of God. If all of the prophecies about the first coming of Christ were fulfilled precisely, why doubt whatever else God says in His Word? The Importance of Bible Prophecy
First, some Maths... Let’s say a prophecy has a 50:50 probability of being fulfilled This is the same as a 1 in 2 chance or 1/2 If P = probability and n = number of proph’s Then for a 1 in 2 probability, P n = ½n½n For 1 prophecy P n = ½ 1 = 0.50 or 50% (1/2) If P=¼, for 2 prophecies, P2 P2 =¼ 2 The Bible has 1,817 individual predictions concerning 737 separate subjects! (more)more
Examples of prophecy fulfilled Topic Prophec y Where fulfilled 1. Called “Mighty God”Isa 9:6-7 2. Called from Egypt Hos 11:1 3. Children slaughteredJer 31:15 4. Died with wicked Isa 53:9 5. His stripes = healingIsa 53:4 6. People’s disbelief Isa 53:1 7. Suffered for us Isa 53:4 8. Virgin birth Isa 7:14 9. When to be born Dan 9:25 10. Where born Mic 5:2 Luke 1:35 Matt 2:14-15 Matt 2:16-18 Luke 23:33 1 Peter 2:24 John 12:37-38 Matt 8:17 Matt 1:23 Lk 2:1-2 Matt 2:5-6
Objections The Church made it all up... Even their enemies knew that was not so! No historic incident better supported than the resurrection of Christ. Biased assumptions Jesus knew the prophecies – He arranged it Many prophecies were outside of His control Prophecies written after the event Septuagint translated between 3 rd – 1 st C. BC