Summary: There are many supporting truths which states that the Bible is the Word of God but the most important truth is that the One and Only True God is found in the Bible!
I hope you are now prepared to answer the question, “Does God really exists?” That was our topic last week.
More importantly, I hope you truly believe in the Creator God and that belief is not only experienced on Sundays but on a daily basis.
Now, if someone asks you “Why do you believe the Bible is God’s Word?”, what would you say? Think about this question for a moment and write down your answers in your bulletin………….
To have a better appreciation of God’s involvement with the Bible, let’s take note of some facts:
The Bible is actually a book of books written by 40 authors with a time span of 1600 years.
The Bible was originally written in languages appropriate to the people at the time: the Old Testament in Hebrew, the New Testament in Greek, and both Testaments contain Aramaic (a form of Hebrew).
The oldest copies of Old Testament books go back to 200 BC. Earliest manuscripts of New Testament go back 100-200 AD. Think about this for a moment; I have a copy of the Milwaukee Journal Newspaper Sports Section dated March 4, 1973. It’s acceptable to believe what’s written here isn’t it? You see, just because something written is old, it doesn’t mean it’s not true!
Bible Scholar R. Laird Harris states:
We can now be sure that copyists worked with great care and accuracy on the Old Testament, even back to 225 BC. Although some differed among themselves, it was so little, we can infer that still earlier copyists had also faithfully and carefully transmitted the Old Testament text. Indeed, it would be rash skepticism that would now deny that we have our Old Testament in a form very close to that used by Ezra when he taught the Law to those who had returned from the Babylonian captivity, about 457 BC.
Now, because most people can not read Hebrew or old Greek, the first Bible translation was printed to the English language in 1526. As the English language changed, the need for contemporary English versions of the Bible grew; thus we have today many English translations of the Bible. By the way, Chapter and Verses were not put in till 1214 AD.
The Christian world uses 2 types of Bibles: Fundamental Evangelical Bibles have 39 books in OT and 27 in NT. Roman Catholic Bibles have 51 books in the OT and 27 in NT. The difference is due to the “canon”; a canon is a set of standards. Why is there a difference?
There are 12 Books of Apocrypha in the Catholic Bible which were never included in the Hebrew canon.
Jesus cited most of the books in the Hebrew canon BUT NEVER CITED any of the apocryphal books. NT writers quoted from every other book of the Hebrew canon but never from any apocryphal book. Which Bible to study?
You be the judge; but I go along with Jesus!
The NT canon was established around AD 300 and confirmed many times in several councils!
And so, when we evangelical Christians talk about the Bible as the Word of God, we are talking about the 39 books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New Testament.
And so, Why should we believe that these 66 books of the Bible are God’s Word?
1. The Bible is confirmed by archaeology.
More than 25000 sites (digs) have confirmed the Bible.
Here are some examples: show picture of Ebla tablets
The discovery of the Ebla archive in northern Syria in the 1970s has shown the Biblical writings concerning the Patriarchs to be viable. Documents written on clay tablets from around 2300 B.C. demonstrate that personal and place names in the Patriarchal accounts are genuine. The name “Canaan” was in use in Ebla, a name critics once said was not used at that time and was used incorrectly in the early chapters of the Bible. The word tehom (“the deep”) in Genesis 1:2 was said to be a late word demonstrating the late writing of the creation story. “Tehom” was part of the vocabulary at Ebla, in use some 800 years before Moses. Ancient customs reflected in the stories of the Patriarchs have also been found in clay tablets from Nuzi and Mari.
The Hittites were once thought to be a Biblical legend, until their capital and records were discovered at Bogazkoy, Turkey.
The Smithsonian Department of Anthropology has this to say about the Bible. “Much of the Bible, in particular the historical books of the old testament, are as accurate historical documents as any that we have from antiquity and are in fact more accurate than many of the Egyptian, Mesopotamian, or Greek histories. These Biblical records can be and are used as are other ancient documents in archeological work.”
Historical and archaelogical finds will confirm the Bible, because the Bible is true, because it is the Word of God!