TEXT: Doctrinal, Multiple Texts
INTRO: Is the Bible accurate in all its teachings?
I. REASONS FOR ACCEPTING THE BIBLE’S RELIABILITY.A
A.TEXTUAL RELIABILITY: Using extant manuscripts to ascertain accuracy.
- Homer: 2,000 textual manuscripts indicating our current copies of the Iliad and the Odyssey are accurate representations of His original efforts. Next most: Plato, Aristotle, and Caesar.
Qur’an = 60 fragments or 4,000 pages, and 6 near full texts dating from 7th -8th century.
Declaration of Independence = only 26 of the original 200 prints are in existence today.
- Bible = over 5,000 Greek manuscripts of the New Testament, over 25, 000 in other languages Tens of thousands of citations of the New Testament made by early church leaders.
Textual evidence of the Old Testament as far back as 2050 years ago.
Theological consensus = no variant readings significant enough to call into question any doctrinal belief of the New Testament.
THAT THERE ARE ENOUGH QUOTES FROM EARLY CHURCH FATHERS THAT THE ENTIRE NEW TESTAMENT COULD BE RE-CONSTRUCTED just from them!
B. FACTUAL RELIABILITY: Is the Bible historically and culturally correct?
1.) Most of the New Testament is written by primary rather than secondary sources:
2 Pet. 1:16, “For we did not follow devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty.”
1 Jn 1:1-3, “[Jesus manifested the Word of God] and we have seen and bear witness and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us.”
2.) Josephus referenced John the Baptist and Jesus. Authenticated religious and political leaders, traditions, and cultural events, exactly as the Bible described.
3.) Archeological studies have confirmed hundreds of once doubted biblical statements.
Opponents of the Bible (i.e., Muslims) historically accepted and respected Jesus and the Old Testament.
II. BIBLICAL CLAIMS FOR ITS OWN ACCURACY.
A. Biblical claims to truth and authority.
B. Biblical people believed: Jesus quoted from 14 Old Testament books. Matt. 5:17, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law and the Prophets. I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away until all is accomplished.” He mentioned 18 people from the Old Testament He considered real people.
In Jn. 5:39, “You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life, and it is these that bear witness of Me.”
Matt. 4: 1-11, Jesus used the Scripture to overcome the temptation of Satan.
2.) Paul in Rom.15:4, For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”
James in Jm. 4:5, “Or do you think the Scripture speaks to no purpose: ‘He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us.” (Num. 23:19).
Peter quotes 37 Old Testament passages in 1 and 2 Peter.
2 Pet. 3:16 Peter included Paul’s writings among the “rest of the Scriptures,”
3.) 1 Tim. 3:15-17, “. . . from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God, and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.’
Heb. 4:12, “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
III. THE DIFFICULTY OF THE SCRIPTURE.
A. 1.) Inerrancy: “The Bible is truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter.”
2.) Infallibility: “without error in matters essential for salvation.”
B.Prov. 25:2, “It is the glory of the Lord to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings to search it out.” Rom. 11:33, “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God? How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways.”
Understanding God’s revelation can prove challenging. Some claim there are contradictions and scientific or historical discrepancies, Strong rebuttals have been made to all such claims.
1.) Don’t be afraid of the truth.
2.) Second, it comes down to a matter of faith. Is the Bible God’s Word?
“The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is God’s revelation of Himself to man. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. Therefore, all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy. It reveals the principles by which God judges us, and therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried. All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation.” (BF&M, 2000)