Friday, January 20, 2017

Bible Boot Camp Lesson 4: Our Manual The bible

Training Manual: The Bible (Audio Podcast)

4. 0 Training Manual: The Bible
The Christian soldier does everything by “the Book,” it is our only rule of faith and practice. Since so much depends upon it, we need absolute confidence in it.

4.1.         What the Bible says about itself
* The written word of God. Ex 34:1, 27-28; Jer 36:2, Rev 1:10-11
* Preserved by God. Ps 119:89; Mat 24:35; 1Pet 1:25
* Not to be altered.  Deut 4:2; 12:32; Pr 30:6; Rev 22:19
* Trustworthy 1Kings 8:56; Ps 111:7; Matt 5:18

4.1.1.     Reliability of the Bible
(From "Evidence that Demands a Verdict" by Josh McDowell.)

Unique in its Continuity
It was written over 1,500 year time span, Over 40 generations, by 40 different authors, in 3 different languages. (Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek.) On 3 different continents, (Africa, Asia, Europe.) Yet it speaks with one voice, the voice of God.

Unique in its Circulation
To print every Bible, New Testament and individual portion of the Bible, published up to 1974, one printer would have to produce: 1 copy every 3 seconds, 20 copies every minute, 1,200 copies every hour, 28,800 copies every day, 10.5 million copies every year nonstop for 245 years. That's enough pages of scripture to circle the globe 1,000 times.
In 1998 alone the United Bible Society distributed 20 million Bibles, 20 million New Testaments. That is just one society and does not include the millions published by the major Christian publishing houses, independent publishers or the millions of copies now produced digitally on computers, tablets and smart phones. One Bible app, YouVersion has been downloaded more than 50 million times as of 2015! That is only one app maker, there are literally hundreds that produce the Bible. No other book in all of time and history has been distributed as much as God’s Word, none even come close and given its incredible lead none ever will.

Unique in its Translations
The Bible was the first major book to be translated into another language, Hebrew to Greek, 250 BC called the Septuagint. The Bible has been translated into more than 2200 languages. Though this is only a third of the 6500 languages know today it represents over 90% of all the earth's languages that are most commonly used worldwide. Wycliffe Bible Translators alone has over 6000 translators working with more than 850 languages to create Bibles in native tongues for the first time. At this rate the Bible will become the first book every universally translated. 

Unique in Survival, Preservation
No other ancient writing has more documentary evidence than the Bible and no other writing of antiquity has as much manuscript evidence as close to the writings of the originals.

Work of Antiquity
Earliest Copy
Time Span
Surviving Copies
750 yrs
1,200 yrs
1000 yrs
1400 yrs
Homer (Illiad)
New Testament

4.2.         Inspiration of the Bible
Revelation is the communication of truth that cannot be otherwise discovered, inspiration is how that truth is recorded.

Theories of the modes of inspiration
Which of the following definitions of inspiration is correct since we hold to a verbal (every word), plenary (every thought) inspiration of scripture?

* Intuition: a superior insight on the part of the natural man into moral and religious truth.
* Illumination: an intensifying and elevation of the religious perceptions of the believer.
* Dynamic: God supplied the enabling need for the trustworthy transmission of the truth in matters of faith and practice.
* Dictation: the writers of scripture were secretaries who recorded God's exact words.
* Guidance: the Holy Spirit guided the authors of scripture even in the employment of the words used, and preserved them from all error and omission.

Inspiration because it is a miracle of God, is difficult to fully comprehend or understand but the mode of inspiration called guidance seems to best describe the way God transmitted His truth to those men he wished to record it.

"It is essentially 'guidance'.  That is, the Holy Spirit supervised the selection of the materials to be used and the words to be employed in writing.  (He) finally, preserved the authors from all error and omission.  “We have, therefore, in the Bible the verbally inspired Word of God." -Henry Thiesen in Lectures in Systematic Theology.

Internal evidence of inspiration
2 Timothy 3:16-17 Scripture is inspired by God and we need nothing else.
1 Peter 1:10-11 Writers recorded what they didn't fully understand.
2 Peter 1:21 Writers were moved, empowered by the Holy Spirit.
Revelation 1:1 Writers reported on what they saw.

" Whenever the Bible writers allude to themselves, they invariably say that their words are not their own but that they come from God.  God used their facilities, traits and abilities.  Some write that God put words in their mouth; others that God directed them to use their own words to convey what God had transmitted unto them….  but all are unanimous in declaring that their writings came direct from God and that God simply used them as agents...." – W. A. Criswell  

"John Wesley argued that the Bible must have been written by bad men or angels, good men or angels, or by God.  He showed that it could not have been written by bad men or angels, for it condemns their souls to hell for all eternity: nor could it have been written by good men or angels, for they would not say, "Thus says the Lord" when it was they who said it; it must, therefore have been written by God."-Henry Thiesen

4.3.         Confirmation of the Bible
The Bible, like God, does not need to be confirmed or proven, it is true no matter what I can or cannot prove.  Still there is ample evidence to show time and again that the Bible is absolutely without error or omission.

Confirmation by Archaeology
Jericho was destroyed by Joshua and the invading Israelite armies in Joshua 6:20.  The city of Jericho was excavated in 1930-36.  They found the wall had fallen down flat just as the Bible had said.

The Five Cities of the Plain are recorded in Genesis 14.  These were considered fictitious until the discovery of the Kingdom of Elba site, which not only mentions the cities but even lists them in the same order on clay tablets 1000 years before Moses wrote Genesis.

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