The Bible

Scripture: Isaiah 40:8, 2 Timothy 3:16, 2 Peter 1:21, Isaiah 40:8, 2 Timothy 3:16, 2 Peter 1:21
Different men have claimed that someday the Bible will be a book of the past, yet it still stands today. This broadcast looks at the authorship of the Scriptures, the continued relevance to science, the vindication by archaeology, the issue of Moses' writing the Pentateuch and more.
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Many years ago a man stood up in a certain house in France and loudly proclaimed that within a hundred years the Bible would be a book of the past. The years went by and that man, whose name was Voltaire, wrote volumes against God and the Bible. Finally, the great unbeliever died and in the course of time a Bible Society was established in the self-same house where Voltaire had made his great boast. Since that time a leather-bound set of ninety-two books by Voltaire was sold at a public auction in England for five dollars. In contrast to that, the British government paid five hundred thousand dollars for the Codex Sineiticus, a manuscript of the Bible. What a study this is in contrasting values. How true are the words of the prophet: “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand forever.” Isaiah 40:8.

Today we want to show why the Bible is not just an ordinary book. First, I want us to think about the authorship of the Bible. It was actually written by over forty different persons in all stations of life extending over a period of some sixteen hundred years. These writers of different generations and different occupations, writing at times even in a different language, produced a work of sixty-six parts. All of these parts deal with the same great doctrines of God, man, morality, salvation, and immortality. What kind of composition would you expect to get from this arrangement? Even men of the same generation can’t agree on the most elementary questions, but it would be inconceivable to think of unity in an ordinary book written over a period of sixteen hundred years by such varied authors as a king and a shepherd. Yet the Bible speaks in perfect harmony on the most controversial issues. There is not a false or discordant note in any one of the great fundamental truths of it. Now I say that this is a miracle of the first magnitude that no man’s wisdom can explain.

Nobody today would think of using a science book fifty years old or a book of medicine published twenty years ago. A psychology book is out of date after only a few years. H.G. Wells actually wrote a book, The Outline of History, and had to revise it before it was published. But the Bible has talked about all these subjects and it still remains the standard guide among men after all these centuries. What has preserved it from superstitious ideas and fanciful “science” so-called of those past ages? It would simply astound us to know what wild, erroneous beliefs were commonplace in the days when the Bible was written. And yet today even its scientific utterances can be tested and verified by modern research. The only explanation for this miracle is the Bible answer itself. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God.” “Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21.

Well, for hundreds of years skeptics and unbelievers have mocked and ridiculed the Word of God and yet they have never been able to disprove one iota of its record. On the other hand, one after another of their charges, have been answered by the stones which speak. Recent discoveries of archaeologists have left the scoffers silent. The ancient sites have yielded their secrets to the spade and vindicated the Scriptures in every respect.

I want us to think for a moment of the oft-repeated charge that Moses could never have written the first five books of the Bible because the alphabet had not been invented at that time. Now for many years it was believed that the Phoenicians originated the alphabet much later that the time of Moses. But then the Sinai Peninsula was explored and excavated by a group of archaeologists. On the walls of an ancient copper mine they found the remnants of an alphabet. Found right there in the Sinai Peninsula that dated from 1500 B.C. the very time Moses was right there herding sheep in the same area. Now, of course, no one dares to question the ability of Moses to write.

Another favorite charge against the Bible had been concerning the record of the Hittite nation. No secular evidence of their existence had been found until fairly recently. But now the stones have spoken about a mighty race called Hittites and the Bible story is vindicated once more.

The first archaeologists to accept the challenge of the higher critic was a Frenchman by the name of Batta. In 1840 he headed the first expedition to dig in the ruins for proof of the Bible’s authenticity. At the time one of the loudest criticisms against the Bible centered upon the scriptural account of King Sargon 11 of Assyria. Since no other record of his existence had been found except in the Bible, the skeptics charged that it was all fabricated and just a part of the biblical myth. But in the providence of God, Batta, in his first excavation, started digging down into the ruins of the ancient site of Khorsabod and emerged into the private library of Sargon 11. There were thousands of clay tablets containing the personal correspondence of that King. The stones had spoken and the critics were silenced once again.

The most recent, and doubtless the most important discovery that throws light on the authority of the Bible was made in 1947. In a cave near the Dead Sea some ancient scrolls were found rolled up in a clay pot. One of those scrolls proved to be a manuscript of the complete book of Isaiah. In 1952 it was translated and published. This ancient copy of Isaiah dated all the way back almost to the time of Christ, and friends, it agrees in practically every letter with the Isaiah in our Bible today. No longer can it be charged that the context has been mutilated through much copying and translating.

There is just one way that the unbeliever can disprove the Bible. Let him show where one of the dozens of prophecies of that book have failed, or let him find another book which has proved equally accurate in foretelling the future.

Right here I want to mention some things which have confounded the doubters for generations. The great city of Tyre had been growing for two thousand years until she was the mistress of the seas and rival even to Rome itself. Tyre was the commercial center of the world. At the midst of her prosperity, Ezekiel the prophet came along and made some very sober predictions about the future of that city. Here they found in Ezekiel 26:4, 5, 12: “And they shall destroy the walls of Tyrus, and break down her towers: I will also scrape her dust from her, and make her like the top of a rock. It shall be a place for the spreading of nets in the midst of the sea: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord God: and it shall become a spoil to the nations. And they shall make a spoil of thy riches, and make a prey of thy merchandise: and they shall break down thy walls, and destroy thy pleasant houses: and they shall lay thy stones and thy timber and thy dust in the midst of the water.”

Now there it is, friends. And soon after the prophecy was written, Nebuchadnezzar came along and besieged the powerful city for thirteen years and left it in ruins. Yet the exact word of the prophet had not been fulfilled. The dust had not been scraped up and the timbers were not laid into the water. Two and one-half centuries passed by. Then Alexander the Great came marching into the East in 332 B.C. He came there to the ruins of old Tyre and saw an island there just a half mile off shore that he wanted to occupy, so he set his soldiers to building a causeway through the sea and all the timbers of old Tyre were cast into the water to build that causeway. In fact, materials were so scarce that the workmen had to scrape down into the very dust to meet their needs and every letter of Ezekiel’s prophecy was fulfilled.

Now we come to the most amazing part of that story in Ezekiel 26:14, “Thou shalt be built no more,” that is what God said. Now here’s a way, my friends, to prove the Bible untrue. Let all the skeptics contribute a dollar and send an expedition to rebuild old Tyre. It is a fertile place, a perfectly inhabitable place. But to this day it remains as God said it would remain-only a place for fishermen to dry their nets. I stood there on those desolate rocks and actually saw the fishermen as they mended and dried their nets on that barren spot.

Just thirty miles from Tyre was a small declining city of Sidon. The prophet also spoke against it but not of total destruction. Notice the words of Ezekiel 28:20, 21, 23: “Again the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, set thy face against Zidon, and prophesy against it. For I will send into her pestilence, and blood into her street.” Now this city was to suffer from the sword, but it was always built back. In fact, it remains to this day with over ten thousand inhabitants. I drove through that thriving city on my way to visit the abandoned site of Tyre. Now why did the prophets say that the strong city would become extinct and the weak city remain? God had spoken, my friends. Herein we see the power and authority of the Word of God.

Now let’s consider something even more amazing. Turn your eyes to Babylon, the mightiest, wealthiest city that ever existed. It was the capitol of the world and located in the most fertile valley on the face of the earth at that time. Yet it rose to power, Isaiah the prophet spoke these words: “And Babylon, the glory of the kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldee’s excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.” Isaiah13:19. Oh, how they must have laughed at Isaiah for this incredible prediction. But he was even more explicit, my friends. He went on in verse 20 and said, “It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation.”

And then it seems that God remembered the scoffers and the doubters who might exist down in our day and so He made it even more exact. He said, “Neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there.” Then Jeremiah came along a bit later and added something to what Isaiah had said. He said, “And Babylon shall become heaps, a dwelling place for dragons, and astonishment, and a hissing, without an inhabitant.” Jeremiah 51:37.

What happened to that cultured, golden city which once dominated the earth? It is now a wild, desolate, uninhabited pile of ruins. Never before or since has any such calamity overtaken any such city. I will never forget the profound impressions that came over me when I walked among those ancient ruins of Babylon. The foundation walls can still be seen there and part of the incomparable palace with its hanging gardens are still discernable. But it is now silent, abandoned and inhabited only by wild animals. Oh, how true and accurate God’s Word is. The Great Wall of China is still standing though it was built before Babylon and was much weaker materials. But God said in Jeremiah 51:58, “The broad walls of Babylon shall be utterly broken.” And so they have been, and the infidel is proved untrue. The Bible is true, but the skeptics and the agnostics have been proven untrue.

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