Summary: Part 1 of 6 in a series on Basic Bible Doctrines.
INTRODUCTION: Most of us know the basics. Big God. Baby Jesus. Our Sin. The Cross. The Resurrection. But beyond that, many of us don’t really know much more about Christianity. It’s a sad commentary on the state of the church when more often than not we don’t actually have clear answers when we get asked about our faith. In this series we’ll look at the foundation of our beliefs and build a Christ-centered confidence built on His truth as we learn why we believe what we believe.
BACKGROUND: The Bible is unarguably an incredible book. Even the most skeptical cannot deny its impact on our world. It is the best-selling, most quoted, most published, most circulated, most translated, most influential book in the history of mankind, and there is no close second. But in the world in which we live an issue that a few generations back would have been a no-brainer, is today one of vital importance – is the Bible reliable? Can we trust what it says? Today we’re bombarded with questions such as
• How can we know that the Bible isn’t just an ancient book of fiction, folklore, or cleverly devised tales invented by deceitful men?
• Haven’t the contents of the Bible been tampered with down through the centuries?
• Isn't the Bible out-of-sync with scientific discoveries?
• What makes the Bible any different than other religious books like the Quran or the Book of Mormon?
These are questions that are being asked, questions we can’t ignore nor be afraid of (they’re not going to go away) perhaps there questions we ourselves have asked or are currently asking… There are (upon honest investigation) a great many reasons to accept and believe in the reliability of the bible, we could do a whole series on this, but for today we’ll just look at a few of them…
• Fulfilled prophecy is something that sets the Bible apart from every other religious book. And the Bible does have some competition today.
• There are 26 other religious books that people of faith believe are divinely inspired (the Hindu Vedas, the Quran, the Book of Mormon, etc.).
• Of these twenty-six books, none of them contain any specific, fulfilled prophecies. None.
• In stark contrast to these other writings; the Bible is literally filled with hundreds of specific, detailed prophecies that were written hundreds of years before their fulfillment.
• In fact 27% of the Bible contains what was predictive prophecy at the time that it was written.
• The authors of the Bible did not just predict some vague things (ala Nostradamus or Jeane Dixon)
• Peter Stoner, a scientist in the area of mathematical probabilities, said in his book Science Speaks that if we take just eight of the Old Testament prophecies Christ fulfilled, we find that the probability of their coming to pass is 1 in 10 to the 17th power
• 1 in 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 chances
• What does scripture itself say about prophecy? (Deuteronomy 18:20-22)