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Contents: Overheads to be used with Chapter 3 of “Truth in the Balance,” copyright 2003 by David Prentice, M.Ed., M.A.S.T. REVISION DATE 11/04/2014 This.

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Presentation on theme: "Contents: Overheads to be used with Chapter 3 of “Truth in the Balance,” copyright 2003 by David Prentice, M.Ed., M.A.S.T. REVISION DATE 11/04/2014 This."— Presentation transcript:

1 Contents: Overheads to be used with Chapter 3 of “Truth in the Balance,” copyright 2003 by David Prentice, M.Ed., M.A.S.T. REVISION DATE 11/04/2014 This material is made available by the author at no charge. It may be reproduced for use in a Christian environment such as Sunday schools or Bible classes, but it may not be used for any commercial purposes. To be certain that you have the most up-to-date version of this material, go to the Origins Resource Association website, Follow the links to “Bible College Materials” and check that the revision date shown online is the same as shown above. If not, download the latest version.

2 All the world’s “Holy Books”
Contradictions All the world’s “Holy Books” contradict each other. If any one of them is right, all the others have to be wrong. 3-1

3 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. How do we Christians know that we are right and everybody else is wrong? 3-2

1. Is there a God? No Yes Impossible to know anything with 100% certainty 2. Could He communicate clearly if He wanted to? No Impossible to know anything with 100% certainty Yes 3. Are there any books that claim to be a revelation from Him? No Yes Impossible to know anything with 100% certainty 4. Is there a way to test any such books to see if they are beyond human capabilities? No Yes Impossible to know anything with 100% certainty WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? TEST THEM!!! 3-3

• Every one of the apostles was willing to die a grue-some death rather than renounce his faith. So were hundreds of others who claimed to be eyewitnesses of Jesus’ life and post-resurrection appearances. • If this were an elaborate conspiracy, surely at least one person would have admitted it in order to save his own life. • People may die for something they only think is correct, but only a lunatic would die for something he KNEW to be a lie. • Even skeptics must admit that the apostles and other early Christians truly believed the writings of the New Testament. 3-4

1. No one person or group decided which books were canonical - determined by consensus over centuries. 2. Any errors resulted in a book being disqualified. 3. Except for the Book of Esther, the contents of the Jewish Bible (our Old Testament) were settled by the time of Jesus. 4. The uncertainty about the Book of Esther was removed by the Jewish “Council of Jamnia” ca. 70 A.D. 5. The Apocrypha were well known and had been rejected before Jesus’ time. They were not officially added to the Catholic Bible until the Council of Trent in the 1600s. 6. Jesus never disagreed with the scribes and Pharisees on which books were Scripture - only disagreed with their lack of understanding. 7. Christian chapter and verse divisions done in 1227 A.D. - different from Jewish divisions. 3-5

1. By the year 180, Iranaeus had compiled a list showing 21 of the 27 present books of the N.T. as canonical. 2. By the time of the Edict of Diocletian in 303, Christians had decided which books were worth dying for and which were spurious. (e.g., “Gospels” of Thomas, Mary, etc.) 3. Athanasius compiled a complete list of the 27 N.T. books in 367. 4. The Councils of Hippo (393 A.D.) and Carthage (397) merely acknowledged which New Testament books were already accepted as scripture. They neither added to nor subtracted from the list. 5. Even without a list, we could reconstruct all but 11 verses of the New Testament from the writings of 2nd and 3rd century Christian writers. 3-6

8 St. Augustine’s Rule for Bible Interpretation:
“Not to depart from the literal and obvious sense, except only where reason makes it untenable or necessity requires…” Pope Leo XIII in his encyclical Providentissimus Deus, 1893 In other words: If it makes sense literally, take it literally! 3-7

9 Tests for Reliability of
Ancient Manuscripts: 1. Date of composition. 2. Date of oldest surviving copy. 3. Time lapse between date of composition and oldest surviving copy. 4. Number of copies. 5. Agreement between copies. 3-8

WORK: DATE EARLIEST TIME # OF WRITTEN: COPY: LAPSE: COPIES: Herodotus B.C. A.D yrs. 8 Thucydides B.C. ca. A.D yrs. 8 Tacitus A.D yrs. 20 Caesar’s B.C. A.D yrs. 9-10 Gallic War Livy’s Roman 59 B.C. - A.D yrs. 20 History A.D.17 All are regarded as authoritative. 3-9

HOMER’S ILIAD • Completed around 700 B.C. • Oldest complete copy about 2,000 years after original. • Oldest partial copy about 500 years after original. • 5% of the text uncertain. • 643 manuscripts available. • Nobody doubts it. 3-10

THE NEW TESTAMENT • Completed by 100 A.D. • Oldest complete manuscript about 200 years after original. • Some fragments as little as 25 years after original (John Rylands Fragment). • Less than 1/2 of 1% uncertainty. • Over 24,000 ancient manuscripts available Greek, Latin, 9300 in other languages. • Yet critics say it’s unreliable! 3-11

The date of composition and the date of the oldest surviving manuscripts and quotes are so close to each other that many hostile eyewitnesses were still alive. They would have been eager to point out any errors or additions to the events recorded in the New Testament. THEY COULD NOT. Their response instead? Kill the Christians to shut them up! 3-12

humeis hemeis The New Testament was written longhand, in all cap-ital Greek letters. The handwritten upsilon in “humeis” (“your”) can look similar to eta in “hemeis” (“our”). The number of variant readings in the New Testament is greatly exaggerated. For instance, if the same word is misspelled in 2,000 manuscripts it is counted as 2,000 variants instead of just one. 3-13

15 THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS Evidence of the amazing accuracy of Old Testament preservation. Part of the Isaiah scroll - virtually identical to the Massoretic Text copied a thousand years later. (Library of Congress photo) 3-14

HEBREW SCRIPTURES • Regulations regarding the color of ink and the manner of clothing • Could not write a single letter from memory • Counted verses and number of letters in original and copy • Counted number of occurrences of each letter • Counted middle verses and letters of major sections of the text, and of the whole Old Testament • Rules for how many letters wide and how many lines high each column could be • Regulations for exact amount of space between letters and sections of text 3-15

Jesus took the Old Testament literally. Luke 4:9 (“It is written”) Mt. 19:4 (creation of Adam and Eve) Mt. 24:37-39 (the Flood) Jn. 5:46-47, Lk. 20:37-38 (Moses wrote the first 5 books of the Bible) Mt. 24:15 Daniel was a real man and a true prophet Mt. 5:18 “Not one jot or tittle shall pass away...” Mt. 22:32 (I AM, not I was, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) So did the apostles and other New Testament writers. Gal. 3:16 (Promises to seed, not seeds) 2 Peter 1:21 (Holy men spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit) Over 300 other instances! 3-16

18 Agreement Between Old Testament Manuscripts
• Only a few letters difference between the Dead Sea Scrolls (around the time of Christ) and the Massoretic Text (ca. 980 A.D.). • Despite the thousand-year separation of the Massoretes from the scribes in Yemen, the Massoretic Torah and the Yemenite Torah vary by only nine letters out of 304,805. • The Septuagint, translated into Greek ca. 250 B.C. agrees almost completely with the Massoretic Text. The differences are almost always in the writing of numbers. They never affect any doctrines. • Old Testament manuscripts in other languages in almost complete agreement too. 3-17

• Of the very small number of variant readings in the Old Testament, almost every one has to do with numbers. Since discrepancies almost never arise in other areas, it is most likely that the numeric differences arose because of language and culture. • The original Hebrew did not use vowels. Scribes translating into Aramaic, Greek, and later Hebrew had to use their judgment in deciding what vowels to insert. • Letters in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek all have numerical values. This may have influenced the translators’ decisions. • The numbering systems in ancient Hebrew and Aramaic are obscure, and may have differed somewhat from each other and from Greek. • In no case is there any question of doctrine involved in a variant reading of the Old Testament. 3-18

20 DIVISIONS IN GENESIS The way the narrative is divided indicates that from Adam on, each section was compiled by the person or someone familiar with him. It was passed on orally or in writing until Moses put it all together. “GENERATIONS OF:” Heaven and Earth, Gen. 2:4-4:26 Adam, 5:1-6:8 Noah, 6:9-9:28 Sons of Noah, 10:1-11:9 Shem, 11:10-26 Terah, 11:27-25:11 Ishmael, 25:12-18 Isaac, 25:19-35:29 Esau, 36:1-43 Jacob, 37:2-50:26 The poetic format makes the creation account more reliable, not less. Even today, many cultures preserve their history orally in the form of poetry. This helps to remember the exact words. 3-19

21 YEARS SINCE CREATION (Massoretic Text)
1656 ADAM years SETH yrs d. 1042 ENOSH yrs d. 1140 KENAN yrs d. 1235 MAHALALEL yrs d. 1290 JARED yrs d. 1422 ENOCH, 365 yrs (walked with God) METHUSALEH yrs, d. 1656 LAMECH yrs d. 1652 NOAH yrs d. 2006 THE FLOOD Earth divided Death of Noah Tower of Babel (between 1757 and 1996) SHEM yrs d. 2157 Arpachshad, d. 2096 Shelah, d. 2126 Eber, d. 2187 Peleg, d. 1996 Reu, d. 2026 Serug, 230 - d. 2049 Nahor-- 147, d. 1997 Terah ----- 205, d. 2082 Abraham- 195, d. 2122 Isaac ---- 180, d. 2227 Jacob- 149, d. 2254 Death of Adam 3-20

22 Kings of Israel and Judah Confirmed by Archaeological Sources:
David and the House of David Omri and the House of Omri Ahab Ahaziah Jehu Uzziah Joash Ahaz Menehem Hezekiah Pekah Manasseh Hoshea Jehoiachin In addition, researchers found a clay cylinder in Iraq bearing the actual decree of Cyrus quoted in Ezra 1:1-3 allowing the Jewish people to return to their homeland. 3-21

23 Does the New Testament Reflect a Growing
Mythology in the Early Church? If the miracles of Jesus were myths added later, the later books should record more and more of them. They do not. • Paul’s epistles were among the first N.T. books written. 1 & 2 Thessalonians, ca. A.D Corinthians, Galatians, Romans, 2 Corinthians, ca. A.D ; James, ca. A.D. 60; Hebrews, between 61 and 70. • Tradition says that Matthew was originally written in Hebrew, then translated into Greek in A.D. 60. • Mark is believed to have been written afterward, between 60 and 70 A.D. • Luke and Acts came after Mark. Acts concludes with Paul’s imprisonment, so it must have ended before the last of the “Prison epistles” (Ephesians, Colossians, Philemon, Philippians, A.D ). • Dates of 1 and 2 Tim: ca , Titus ca. 65, 1 Pet. ca. 66, 2 Peter and Jude ca. 67. • 1, 2, and 3 John, perhaps 85 or 90. John’s Gospel ca. 90. • Finally, Revelation, ca. 96. One of the earliest books, 1 Corinthians, reports that Jesus appeared to 500 people at a time after His resurrection. The Gospels, written years later, list only a few witnesses. John’s Gospel, one of the last books, pays less attention to miracles than do the earlier writings. If this is a myth, it’s shrinking instead of growing! 3-22

• About 40 human authors • Written over about 1600 years from Genesis to Revelation • Three different languages: Hebrew (most of the Old Testament), Aramaic (a few parts of the O.T.), Greek (New Testament) • Written during many different political and economic circumstances. Yet the Bible is completely consistent in doctrine from beginning to end! 3-23

Skeptics often claim that the Bible is full of contradictions and mistakes. Yet when pressed to give even a single documented example, they cannot. They keep trying, though! Some examples: 3-24

CREATION ACCOUNT IN GENESIS 1: A Broad Overview. 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. CREATION ACCOUNT IN GENESIS 2: Focuses on the Creation of Humans. • Plants had already been created, but now God placed the “plants of the field” (cultivated plants) in the Garden. • 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. 3-25

HOW COULD A SNAKE TALK? 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. WHY WASN’T EVE SURPRISED WHEN A SNAKE TALKED TO HER? Who said she wasn’t ? However, she would not have known anything was wrong, because she did not yet understand the meaning of “wrong.” 3-26

If all humans came from Adam and Eve, how could there have been any women for Cain to marry? • 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 dozens of 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. 3-27

WERE ANIMALS (such as dinosaurs) EATING EACH OTHER FOR MILLIONS OF YEARS BEFORE HUMANS CAME ALONG? 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) AT LEAST UNTIL AFTER ADAM’S SIN, ALL THE ANIMALS WERE VEGETARIANS. Scoffers may not like it, but the Bible makes it plain that there was no death before Adam. 3-28

IF ANIMALS WERE NOT MEANT TO KILL EACH OTHER, WHY DO SNAKES HAVE POISON? The poison of snakes and many other creatures is actually a mixture of digestive enzymes. When injected into a potential source of food, the enzymes immediately begin to break it apart. In the case of an animal, the killing is a side effect of the digestive process. Many scientists believe that over 90% of all the plant species present on the early earth are extinct now. If any type of animal previously ate plants that became extinct as a result of the Flood, the animals would have to change their diet to whatever was available – such as other animals. Likewise, sharp teeth – such as those of pandas – are not necessarily a killing mechanism. 3-29

31 HOW COULD ALL THE ANIMALS This would only fill the Ark to about 1/3 of
FIT ON A SINGLE BOAT? • 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! 3-30

32 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. T. Rex egg A few dinosaurs may have made it through the Flood on the Ark. 3-31

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. Mosaic floor at Zippori in North Israel – ca. 300 A.D. Somebody saw something! (photo by the author) 3-32

34 Does Gen. 30: 37 – 41 contain a mistake in biology?
ALLEGED DIFFICULTIES 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. 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 as he showed God which animals he wanted. 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. 3-33

WAS MOSES AFRAID WHEN HE LEFT EGYPT? • 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. 3-34

DIFFERENT WORDING in the TEN COMMANDMENTS in Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5. Context: Exodus 20 is a word-for-word reading of what was written on the tablets. Deuteronomy 5 is a record of Moses reiterating and explaining what God said to a new generation 40 years later. He was NOT reading word-for-word. 3-35

DOES THE BIBLE CONTRADICT ITSELF ON CAPITAL PUNISHMENT? Exod. 20:13 says, “Thou shalt not kill.” Yet the Law of Moses requires the death penalty for certain offenses (e.g., Ex. 31:14). Is this a contradiction? The word translated “kill,” rasah, indicates killing without just cause. Many translations render it as “murder.” 2. “Thou” in Ex. 20:13 is directed to individuals, not the government. The Israelite government was a theocracy. Throughout the Old Testament the King, God, authorized the government or individuals to take a life in certain circumstances: a. In punishment for certain designated crimes, after due process. b. In defense of self or those for whom one was responsible c. In time of war when defending one’s nation. Murder was never allowed, but killing with just cause sometimes was. 3-36

DOES THE BIBLE CONTRADICT ITSELF ABOUT THE SABBATH? (Why don’t Christians rest on Saturday?) There is no mention of the Sabbath in Genesis. It is first seen in Exod. 16: when God established it for the Israelites. It was a new concept to them. It first became mandatory in the Ten Commandments. (Ex. 20:8, Neh. 9:13-14). Those who try to establish their own righteousness by living under this part of the Law are obliged to keep the WHOLE Law – over 600 commandments (Gal. 3:10). Christians are not in bondage to observe any specific day of rest: One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. (Rom. 14:5 – 6) We have already entered into our rest (Heb. 4:6 - 10). 3-37

39 ALLEGED CONTRADICTIONS out by Moses; they were almost all Israelites.
Deut. 23:3 says that no Moabite could enter into the congregation of the LORD to the tenth generation. How could Ruth, a Moabite, be joined to Israel and have her third generation descendant David enter the tabernacle (2 Sam. 12:20)? Just as anyone from Texas is called a Texan regardless of ethnic background, likewise anyone from the land of Moab was called a Moabite. However, the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh had driven out most of the Moabites and taken possession of the land hundreds of years before (Num. 34 etc.). Only a few of those in Moab were descendants of the Moabites driven out by Moses; they were almost all Israelites. When Ruth told her mother-in-law Naomi “whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God” (Ruth 1:16), the words “shall be” are not in the Hebrew text. Naomi had told Ruth to follow Orpah’s lead and go back to her own people and gods, but Ruth was reminding her that the Israelites already were her people and the LORD already was her God. She was a Moabite by geography, not ancestry. She did not need to “enter into the congregation of Israel” because she was already an Israelite by birth. 3-38

HOW MANY STALLS OF HORSES DID SOLOMON HAVE? “Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen” (1 Kgs 4:26). “Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen” (2 Chr. 9:25). Which is right? Both! 1 Kings refers to stalls for horses only, while 2 Chronicles refers to stalls for both horses and chariots. A stall for horses and chariots would automatically be bigger than one just for horses, so it would be able to include a number of smaller stalls dedicated just to horses. (Like an office including many smaller offices.) ( THERE IS NO ERROR OR CONTRADICTION. 3-39

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. • 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). SAME GOD, DIFFERENT EMPHASIS. 3-340

• 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. Both accounts were well known to the Christian church from the beginning and were never viewed as contradictory. 3-41

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. 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. 3-42

• 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. 3-43

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! 3-44

• 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. 3-45

BLIND BARTIMAEUS • 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. 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. 3-46

IF JESUS ATE THE PASSOVER, HOW COULD HE HAVE DIED AT THE SAME TIME AS THE PASSOVER LAMBS? The Bible never said that He did! • 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. • 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). This was the one 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. If they had been defiled before the Passover meal (a night time meal), Lev. 11 says that they could simply have washed in the evening to become clean again. 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 PROBLEM IS WITH TRADITION, NOT SCRIPTURE. 3-47

“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.” 3-48

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. NOT A CONTRADICTION! 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. 3-49

THE CONVERSION OF PAUL Acts 9:7 says the men with him heard the voice but 22:9 said they didn’t. Which is it? • Acts 9:7 NASB: “And the men who traveled with him stood speechless, hearing the voice, but seeing no one.” ...akouontes men ths fwnhs - 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.” ...thn de fwnhn ouk hkousan - implies not hearing with understanding. The two passages mean exactly the same thing. 3-50

52 Has any statement in the Bible been disproved, or is it instead
EXTERNAL EVIDENCE Has any statement in the Bible been disproved, or is it instead completely consistent with scientific and historical knowledge? 3-51

53 Scientifically Accurate Statements in the Bible
The Earth hung on nothing (Job 26:7) Shape of the Earth (Isaiah 40:22) Motion of the Sun (Ps. 19:6) Rotation of the Earth (Job 38:14) The Hydrologic Cycle (Eccl. 1:6-7, Amos 5:8) HOW DID THE WRITERS KNOW? 3-52

54 IS THE SKY “STRONG”? 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! 3-53

Genesis 2 (written by Moses long after Noah’s Flood) describes the loca- tion of the Gar- den of Eden, using land- marks that would have been famil- iar to post- Flood readers. 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. 3-54

56 HOW ABOUT THE OTHER TWO RIVERS? (Pison and GIhon emphasized
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. 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) 3-55

HOW COULD GOD MAKE A HUMAN BODY FROM THE DUST OF THE EARTH? The human body is formed from elements found on the periodic table: hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, 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. WHAT BETTER PLACE TO OBTAIN THE CHEMICAL ELEMENTS THAN THE DIRT? 3-56

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. DO MEN HAVE ONE MORE 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! 3-57

59 Scientifically Plausible Statements in the Bible
ADAM WAS THE FATHER OF ALL HUMANS 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”). HOW DID MOSES KNOW? An Invalid Argument NOT to use: “Mitochondrial Eve” Reports from the 1980s said that mitochondrial DNA was inherited only from the mother and could be used to establish that all humans came from one woman. While this agrees with the Bible, scientists later learned that some of the mitochondrial DNA comes from the father. Therefore, we cannot use this as a scientific argument for “Mitochondrial Eve.”. 3-58

60 How could a human body (LOT’S WIFE) turn into salt?
ALLEGED DIFFICULTIES How could a human body (LOT’S WIFE) turn into salt? “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) 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 desiccated (all the water removed), what would be left behind? A pile of powder! 3-59

61 Does the Bible Say Insects Have Four Legs?
Leviticus 11:20-33 lists animals the Israelites could and could not eat. The King James says, “All fowls that creep, going upon all four, shall be an abomination unto you. Yet these may ye eat of every flying creeping thing that goeth upon all four, which have legs above their feet, to leap withal upon the earth; Even these of them ye may eat; the locust after his kind, and the bald locust after his kind, and the beetle after his kind, and the grasshopper after his kind. But all other flying creeping things, which have four feet, shall be an abomination unto you.” Skeptics say that Moses must not have known that bats are not birds, that birds do not use their wings to walk, and that insects have six legs instead of four. These claims do not come from careful study, but from laziness in reading the passage. 1. “Fowls” is a mistranslation. The word simply means “flying things.” 2. “All” is not present in the Hebrew translated “all four.” The expression should simply read “four.” It refers to animals that use four limbs to crawl, but that also fly. This would exclude bats, flying squirrels, sugar gliders, and the like from the Hebrew diet. And… 3-60

62 Does the Bible Say Insects Have Four Legs?
A literal word-for-word translation of Lev. 11:20 – 23 would read something like: “Every crawling flying [thing] going on four abomination it [is] to you. Only this you may eat of crawling flying [things] which go upon four, which [has] legs above its feet to leap with on the earth. These from them may you eat: the locust kind, the bald-locust kind, the long-horned-grasshopper kind, the short-horned-grasshopper kind. But every crawling flying [thing] which to it four feet, abomination it to you.” (Author’s translation based on Green’s Interlinear Bible, Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, and Bible Explorer 4 software) God did NOT say insects have only four legs. He said that if animals crawled on four limbs and flew (like bats and such creatures) then they were unacceptable to eat. However, if unlike those creatures they also had extra legs used for jumping, then they were acceptable as food. He was not saying insects have only four legs; he was marking a difference between animals that only have four, versus those that have extra legs for jumping. 3-61

63 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” means simply “flying things.” Yes, bats are flying things. 3-62

64 HARD-TO-BELIEVE BIBLE STORIES: Confirmed by Non-Biblical Sources!
• The Walls of Jericho fell down flat! (Josh. 6) • Parting of the Red Sea (Exodus 14:21) • Joshua’s Long Day (Josh. 10:12-13) Confirmed by Non-Biblical Sources! 3-63

65 Outer diameter 10 cubits (180 inches)
THE VALUE OF PI A handbreadth thickness (4 inches) all around 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) Inner dia- meter 9.56 cubits (172 inches) This is pure stupidity. Three verses later we find that the basin was a handbreadth thick, or about 4 inches all around. 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. Outer cir- cumference 31.4 cubits (565 inches) Inner cir-cumference cubits (540 inches) Is that close enough to 30 for you? 3-64

66 Scientifically Accurate Statements in the Bible
God instructed Ezekiel, “Take thou also unto thee wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentiles, and millet, and fitches, and put them in one vessel, and make thee bread thereof, according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon thy side, three hundred and ninety days shalt thou eat thereof.” (Ezek. 4:9) It’s hard to believe a person could survive on just bread for so long. However, a health food company tested the recipe and found that it “is 84.3% as efficient as the highest recognized source of protein, containing all 8 of the essential amino acids! What’s more, there are 18 amino acids present in this unusual bread.” (From the wrapper of a loaf of Ezekiel 4:9 bread.) Though you would get awfully bored, you could survive on this bread for an indefinite period. GOD KNEW ABOUT NUTRITION LONG BEFORE WE DID! 3-65

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. 3-66

68 The Bible is Unique in FULFILLED PROPHECY.
Jesus fulfilled at least 61 Messianic prophecies. Stoner calculated the chance of anyone fulfilling just eight of the 61 by accident to be about 1 in 1017. Born in Bethlehem – about 1 in 280,000 people. Someone claimed to be his forerunner – 1 in 1,000. Entered Jerusalem “riding on a colt, the foal of an ass” - 1 in 100. Betrayed by a friend, hands wounded – 1 in 1,000. Betrayed for 30 pieces of silver – 1 in 1,000. The silver thrown into the Lord’s house and used to buy a potter’s field - 1 in 100,000. On trial for his life but offers no defense – 1 in 1,000. Died by crucifixion – 1 in 10,000. A one in 1017 probability would be like covering the state of Texas two feet deep in silver dollars (1017 coins), putting an “X” on one of them and turning a blindfolded person loose to find it. He would have the same 1 in 1017 chance of finding it on his first try. And these are just eight of the prophecies! Peter Stoner, Science Speaks, 1944 3-67

“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,” then Jerusalem and the Temple would be destroyed. Fulfilled by Titus in 70 A.D., about 40 years after Jesus’ death. 3-68

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 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, Dan. 9:26 Sufferings (e.g., stripes) 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 3-69

King Cyrus of Persia was called by name 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… (Isa. 44:28 – 45:1) So was King Josiah of the nation of Judah: 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 Kgs 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 Kgs 23:16 ) 3-70

TEMPLE TO BE DESTROYED… And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, he said, 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. (Lk 21:5-6 ) 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. (Lk 21:20-24 ) FULFILLED IN 1967. 3-71

73 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. Meanwhile, 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. 3-72

• 7 words containing 7x4 letters. • The first 3 words contain the subject. They have 7x2 letters. • The last 4 words contain the object and have 7x2 letters. • The Hebrew words for “heaven” and “earth” each have 7 letters. • The numerical values of the three nouns total 777. • The verb for “created” has a numerical value of 7x29. • The value of the first and last letters of all 7 words is 7x199. At least 30 features of “7” in this one verse. MATTHEW 1:1-11 • 7x7 vocabulary words containing 7x38 letters. • 7x2 occur once, 7x5 more than once. • 7x6 are nouns, 7 are not. • 7x4 begin with a vowel, 7x3 with a consonant. • 7 end with a vowel, 7x6 with a consonant. • Male names occur 7x8 times. • The 3 women's names contain 7x2 letters. Matthew couldn’t have made it up; the names were chosen before he was born! 3-73

• If you examine every third letter of a book, or every 4th letter, every 22nd, etc., you might find some recognizable words. However, it would be amazing to find that all the words belonged in the context of the passage. • Many words significant to the Jewish people are found in context in the Torah. (Torah, Hitler, Berlin, Auschwitz, etc.) • Gen. 2:4-10, the Garden of Eden: “Eden” occurs 16 times in only 379 letters. 25 Hebrew names for trees are also hidden in the text. • Throughout the Torah: The names of every one of the 64 men with the longest biographies in the Encyclopedia of Great Men in Israel occur near the Hebrew month and day of either their birth or death. These findings were submitted to several technical journals. The editors did not believe in the Bible, but reluctantly agreed to publish the results because they could not find a single error in the statistical work. 3-74

76 THE BIBLE IS UNIQUE IN: 1. Preservation. 2. Consistency of Doctrine.
3. Accuracy (verified by archaeology and science). 4. Fulfilled Prophecy. 5. Structure. 3-75

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