John Bradshaw: Hi and welcome to Bible Talk, where we talk about the Bible and how the Bible affects us today. I'm John Bradshaw. With me is Gary Gibbs. Hi there, Gary.
Gary Gibbs: Hi, John. Today we're going to be talking about the Bible and is it a book that we can trust in and that we can build our faith on?
John: We've been talking about principles of successful Christian living. We've discussed prayer lately. We've talked about the Bible and studying the Bible. Let's take a few minutes and talk about whether the Bible can actually be trusted. The Bible has had its fair share of detractors down through the years.
Gary: Detractors, they're the people that just outright attack the Bible, who say you just can't trust it whatsoever. There are those in the science community who say the whole account of a creation over six days proves that the Bible is just a book of fables. How would you respond to that?
John: Well, the difficult thing is that you're always going to get into an argument where my scientists can beat up your scientists. My scientific facts are better than yours. No, they're not. Yes, they are. Finally, what you've got to do is accept that somebody has ultimate authority. Now, as a Bible believing Christian, I'm prepared to allow that God has authority enough. I am willing to admit though that there is a lot of evidence in the scientific community. No, not evidence, but there's a lot of thought, thinking theory - call it what you will - in the scientific community that seems compelling, that seems as though it has some weight to it. You'd have to be contrary not to admit that that is true. But at the same time, there are many things about the Bible and evidence in terms of creationism that scientists have never been able to successfully refute. You see, the Bible is to be believed ultimately by faith.
If you're going to go with evolution, you've got to believe that ultimately by faith as well because there's no evidence that the theory of evolution is true. How I would finally confront an argument about the creation versus evolution issue of the Bible is to say that at the end of the day, I choose as my authority the Holy Bible. I accept it by faith, remembering though that there are many, many scientific facts that support and buttress the argument of six-day creation as per the Bible account.
Gary: If I'm a non-Christian coming to the Bible and I have a scientific background, and you're trying to win me to Christ. I come to the Bible and I say, "How can I believe this book?" If I start off on the first page and it has this God speaking the world into existence. There's light before there's sun and the sky. You expect me to read this book? If I can't trust Genesis 1, how do you expect me to believe in John 3:16?
John: I think that when you learn to trust John 3:16 and experience the love and the presence and the power of God, you'll love God so much that you willingly believe whatever the Bible says because it is said by the God who claims to have created the heavens and the earth.
Gary: Let's go to John 3:16 then. Let's say I'm the scientist who says, "You know, I don't know about the creation account." But here we're going to go to the life of Jesus. Can I believe what the Bible says about Jesus? Is this a historically accurate book?
John: I think the Bible is entirely trustworthy, particularly, historically. Let's consider some things. Who wrote the Bible? Eyewitnesses wrote the Bible. If they weren't eyewitnesses, they knew eyewitnesses. Moses wrote a great chunk of the Bible. He was very intimately acquainted with God. Solomon wrote parts of the Bible. These were people who knew God. The prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezequiel, Nahum, Habakkuk - they were filled with the Holy Spirit of God and knew God intimately. They were eyewitnesses. They were there. They saw what happened. You get into the New Testament, Matthew, Mark and John were eyewitnesses. Luke, Doctor Luke, knew those people who were eyewitnesses, no question about it. They wrote accounts of the life of Christ based on what they knew or in Luke's account, what the eyewitnesses told him. The people who wrote what they wrote weren't just speculators and philosophers. These were people who knew what they were talking about and knew who they were talking about.
Gary: Do we have people outside of the Bible, they're not part of the Scriptures, who also testify to the historical accuracy? Let's go to Jesus' time.
John: Oh, man, there's no question. We have historical accounts from historians who were around at the time of Christ. Perhaps the best-known is a man named Josephus who wrote much contemporary history of the time of Christ. Josephus wrote about Jesus himself having existed. He wrote about the followers of Christ, people such as Pontius Pilate, verified by the historical record. History...
Gary: I'll stop you there on Pontius Pilate. For a long time, they said you can't verify that Pontius Pilate existed. Then they find this stone there in, I believe, it's up there in Capernaum, up on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee, if I'm not mistaken. There you can see, I've seen it with my own eyes, "Pontius Pilate" inscribed there. And so you know, yes, it's historically accurate.
John: There's something else that you've alluded to here. That's the idea of archaeology. Many times historians and archaeologists have said you can't trust this part of the Bible because we have no corroborating physical evidence that this civilization ever existed. That this king ever existed, that this battle ever took place. Then archaeologists sometime later turn over a shovel full of sand in the Middle East and find the missing evidence that says "Yes, there was a city by this name. Yes, there was a king by that name. Certainly this civilization existed or this battle took place." Well, I don't want to stretch it but on a continuing basis, archaeologists continue to authenticate the written accounts of the Bible. You've got archaeology. You've got history. You've got eyewitnesses. Man, it's looking good.
Gary: Over 50 years ago, many disbelieving scholars totally rejected the historical accuracy because they didn't believe King David, the House of David existed.
Gary: But in 1993, archaeologists were digging at Tel Dan in Galilee in Northern Israel and they found a fragment of a stone with the inscription on it, the House of David. It identifies David as the king of Israel. This is the first inscription outside the Bible that confirms the Bible statement that David was the king of Israel in the ninth century before Christ.
John: I don't think we ought to be careless about this and what I'm about to say I don't mean to say carelessly. The Bible ultimately is going to be accepted by faith. Man, I can't prove to you that there is a God. I can't take you to God's house and introduce you to him like I might take you to meet my mother. I can't do that. I can't even prove to you physically that I have a brain and no smart comments. I've never seen it. I've never seen yours, so maybe you don't have one. Well, no, there's enough evidence that suggests that certainly you do. You know what I'm saying.
Gary: For some people you'll have to dig a little deeper for that evidence but it's there.
John: No question. Maybe we can't prove some of these things in the Bible but there is a weighty amount of evidence and faith allows you to lay hold on this evidence and say "Yeah, I can believe this."
Gary: It's a building and accumulating amount of evidence. I just gave this example. The first extra-biblical, outside the Bible inscription of the house of David, 1993. OK. What if we go back 100 years before that, 1893? Here's a person who says "I can't believe the Bible. Most of it is built around this concept that there was this King David and the House of David. There's no archaeology proving this. I'm not going to believe this until this is proven." Well, they would have had to live over a century to get that proof. But they probably had enough evidence to believe right then. Some of the things that we may have questions on, I think we need to put on a shelf and say, "Well, we'll just put that over here to the side and then one day this will become clear. But let's take the things that have been revealed and let's act on them."
John: There are two compelling indicators that the Bible can be trusted. We're going to get to those in just a moment. Right now, today's offer. We want to offer you a Bible study guide called "Is There Anything Left You Can Trust?" Call the number we're going to share with you in a couple of minutes. Write to the address you're about to hear. Get in touch with us and say, "Please, I want 'Is There Anything Left You Can Trust?" It's free, there's no obligation. You're going to be blessed by it. That's our offer to you today here on Bible Talk and we really hope you'll accept that offer. I said two more things. One of those, prophecy. What do you do with the prophecies that say from long ago, that there's going to come a man who'll be crucified? Not one of his bones is going to be broken. These words: "My God, my God, why has thou forsaken me?" were written long before Jesus hung on the cross.
This man is going to born of a virgin, he's going to be born in Bethlehem, and this is about the time he's going to be born. A star is going to be seen there. Wise men sought to understand. What do you do with those prophecies if you're a skeptic who doesn't believe the Bible?
Gary: Well, I tell you what has been done in the past is they'll say these prophets wrote after the fact. They said that for years about Daniel. But, now, archaeology reveals that Daniel did not write after the fact. He knew things that people didn't even know that was lost information. Now that we've gone back with better archaeology, we realize that Daniel had insights that anybody 100 or 200 years after his time could have never known. Daniel was very accurate. He wrote during his time, plus his prophecy spanned. He started writing around 605 B.C. and his prophecies come all the way down to our day. I can take you to Daniel 2:7, and other places and it brings us all the way down to the 20th and 21st centuries. And so, you can't say that he wrote after the fact. He'd have to still be here today.
John: I was sharing Daniel's prophecies in a sermon recently and a teenage girl came to me and said, "Up till this point, I had been a skeptic. I was a non-Christian. I said the Bible couldn't be believed. Based on what I've heard today, my mind has been changed. That fulfilled prophecies are absolutely compelling." Hey, let me share this story with you. A man is in Hitler's army during Second World War, the German army. He believes the Bible. His superior officers call him to a meeting. "Can you explain some of this Bible to us that you talk about?" "Oh, yes." He went to Daniel 2: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome. One of the officers in that little meeting was a history teacher. When he went through the metal man, the head of gold, you got that right, that's right, Babylon.
This man in the army which say a little more. He looked to the teacher, the officer. "Yes, that's right, that's right." Well then, what happens is the prophecy in Daniel says, "They're not going to cleave together again." In other words, the European, what am I calling it, kingdom is never going to come back together like it was.
Gary: Which was what Hitler was trying to accomplish.
Gary: Put Europe all under his control.
John: And they knew it. Now, when he explained that to them, of course, he could have been executed for suggesting that Hitler wasn't going to win. But they dismissed him. They let him go. They must have had a discussion. A day or two later, they said to this young man who was in charge of the purchasing, "Stockpile all the fuel you can." You see, he told them through the prophecy, Hitler was going to lose. They said, "If we're going to lose, get us as much fuel as you can." When it became evident Hitler was going to be defeated, they turned around and with that fuel made it all the way back to Germany. Not one life was lost, they survived because this man knew the prophecies of the Bible could be trusted and they were sure. What are you going to do with fulfilled prophecy? It speaks to us about a Bible that you can trust.
Gary: And if we will read the Bible today, it can protect us and it can bless us just like it did those men 50 years ago.
John: Our time has come to an end again. Thanks for joining us on Bible Talk. We'll see you again next time. With Gary Gibbs, I'm John Bradshaw.
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