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#2 Why The Bible? EmptyTue Jan 31, 2017 4:10 pm by PastorDan

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#2 Why The Bible? EmptyTue Jan 31, 2017 4:02 pm by PastorDan


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#2 Why The Bible?

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#2 Why The Bible? Empty #2 Why The Bible?

Post by PastorDan Sat Apr 23, 2016 7:47 pm

Why the Bible -- Christians believe that the Bible is God Himself speaking to us, but what makes it stand out as authoritative, reliable and worthy of our attention?

This video and discussion takes place on June 12th between services (around 10:15).

Here are some of the conversation questions:

Why is it called the "Bible"?

The word "Bible" comes from a Greek word meaning book. Thinking of the Bible as one big book is helpful in reminding us it ultimately has one Writer—God Himself. But it's also called the "Holy Scriptures" to remind us the Bible is actually a collection of texts—God used more than 40 people spanning 1,500 years to produce this remarkable book.

What is so special about the Bible? Isn't it just an ordinary book?

And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the Word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the Word of God, which is at work in you believers. (1 Thessalonians 2:13)

For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to Him by the Majestic Glory, "This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased," we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with Him on the holy mountain. And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:16-21)

Aren't there mistakes and contradictions in the Bible?

With so many different human writers over such a long span of time, shouldn't we expect the Bible to be filled with contradictions? Many people make that assumption, but they need to look a little closer. The accuracy of the Bible depends on how closely God oversaw its writing. Consider what Peter says about God's role in guiding the writers of the Bible:

Knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:20-21)

God directed the choice of each and every word that was written. Though books from 40 different writers from different generations are found in the Bible, God was guiding what they wrote to ensure His Word would be free from error or contradiction.

Do we have the original writings?

The original writings (called "autographs") were handwritten on papyrus (plant stems smashed together and rolled up into scrolls) or on parchment or vellum (animal skins that were folded into a little booklet called a "codex"). Over time they were either lost or wore out, but other copies had been made. Some existing fragments of the New Testament were written just a few decades after the original, but the oldest existing copies of the Old Testament were written hundreds, even thousands of years after the original writings themselves.

Watch this video about how papyrus is made.

This video describes the "dirty job" of making vellum and parchment.

How reliable are the copies of these original writings?

The church approached the making of copies of the Bible with great care. The copyists were called "sopherim," a Hebrew word meaning counters. To double check each copy they counted each word and letter comparing it to a master list for what belonged on each page to ensure accuracy.

For many years, the oldest handwritten copy of the Old Testament we had was the Masoretic Text. It dates from 1006 A.D. In 1947 the Dead Sea Scrolls were found, including multiple copies of almost all the books of the Old Testament. These dated from around 200 years before Christ. Critics expected to find great discrepancies between the two texts because of the recopying that would have occurred over more than 1,000 years. However, there was remarkable agreement between the texts. In fact, any differences that did exist involved only minor, unimportant matters like the spelling of a name, or differing numbers.

Can we find any demonstrations of the Bible's divine origin?

The Bible has hundreds of prophecies fulfilled long after the death of the writers.

For instance, in Isaiah's writings we find a vivid description of Jesus' sufferings, death and resurrection. It was written about 700 years before those events took place.

He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we esteemed Him not. Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was pierced for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with His wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned-every one-to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:3-6)

Click here to read the entire section from Isaiah where this vivid passage unmistakably points to Jesus.

And click the word "spoiler" to see several more examples of prophecies pointing directly to Jesus:


Jesus born of the Virgin Mary:
◊ Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His Name Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14)

Jesus, the perfect Son of God, descended from David's family:
◊ Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and He shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. (Jeremiah 23:5)

Jesus born in the town of Bethlehem:
◊ But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for Me One who is to be Ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days. (Micah 5:2)

Jesus' entry into Jerusalem on a donkey the week of His crucifixion:
◊ Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is He, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. (Zechariah 9:9)

The Crucifixion:
◊ For dogs encompass Me; a company of evildoers encircles Me; they have pierced My hands and feet- I can count all My bones- they stare and gloat over Me; they divide My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots. (Psalm 22:16-18)

Drinking the wine-vinegar from a sponge after He cried out "I thirst" in the cross:
◊ They gave Me poison for food, and for My thirst they gave Me sour wine to drink. (Psalm 69:21)

What is the main purpose of the Bible?

You will hear a variety of answers to this question:

"It tells the history of God's people."
"It teaches God's ways."
"It shows right and wrong."
"It tells about the life of Jesus."

The Bible is all about God's plan to send His Son Jesus to save us. John 20:30-31 says it simply and well:

Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His Name.

Click for Additional Examples:

◊ He (Jesus) said to them, "O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into His glory?"And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. (Luke 24:25-27)

◊ Then He (Jesus) said to them, "These are My words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled." Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. (Luke 24:44-45)

What is the difference between the Old and New Testaments?

Both the Old and New Testaments tell about Jesus Christ and His rescue mission. The Old Testament was written before Jesus' birth. It promises His coming and makes many predictions about His life. The New Testament tells of the Savior who came and details how He rescued us.

What should I think when things in the Bible make no sense to me?

It is important to use the rules of grammar and language to understand the Scriptures. That being said, some things in the Bible still won't fit our understanding or experience of life in this world. In these cases we have to let God be God, remembering He has the power to do more than human reason can imagine.

A Question for you to respond to below" What Bible teachings do you struggle with?

What should I look for when I read the Bible?

The Bible's two primary messages are Law and Gospel.

The Law, God's rules of right and wrong, shows us the reason we needed Jesus to come to save us. It commands and teaches us how to live lives pleasing to God. Since we cannot live perfect lives, it reveals our sins-the ways we violate God's Law, and it shows the punishment we deserve for those sins.

For the wages of sin is death. (Romans 6:23a)

The Gospel is the dominant message of the Bible in both the Old and New Testaments. It speaks of what God did for us to fix the problems our sin has caused. It shows us God's love and compassion in sending His Son Jesus to be our Savior.

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

Some additional questions to respond to below:

Why do you think so many world religions are based on what we do for salvation, rather than what God has done for us?

Why is it so difficult for us to open up and admit we cannot save ourselves from our sin?

And if you REALLY want to dig deeper, try reading this: Walther's "Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel". That'll keep you busy!

Is the Bible difficult to understand?

While some parts of the Bible are certainly challenging to understand, God made sure the message of the Bible is clear and comprehensible to all.

The unfolding of Your Words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple. (Psalm 119:130)

Which is the best version of the Bible for me to read?

Short Answer: Pastor Dan loves the "English Standard Version".

Click here to download a 10-page .pdf which does a spectacular job of explaining Bible versions. Really, don't be intimidated... read it!

Have you ever been told that "the King James Version is the ONLY proper version"? Read this article to understand why that is totally wrong thinking.

Click here to download a .pdf that explains the use of masculine pronouns in scripture, and why stripping the Bible of them is a tragedy.

How can I start reading the Bible?

There is no doubt that God preserved His Word through centuries of copying for an amazing purpose! He wants you to know Him through it! If you're interested in reading the Bible, consider this approach:

1. Start with one of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke or John). There you'll learn about Jesus' life.

2. Then read Galatians through Colossians. These are short letters to Christians full of great teachings for faith and daily life.

3. Next, go back to Acts. Here you'll read the story of how Christianity began.

4. Now read Genesis. As the first book of the Bible, it has key teachings about life and gives a big-picture perspective of God's work.

5. Then read Romans in the New Testament.

6. After that, keep going with the books of your choice. Be ready for an adventure and for blessing!

What are additional resources for getting acquainted with the Bible?

Read the Bible online.

Follow a daily reading plan

Try a keyword search...
...or a topical index.

Some videos describing how we got the Bible

More videos answering difficult questions about the authenticity of the Bible

This was a lot of information, but we are talking about God's Word, after all. Come back here often. Research this topic. And as Peter says:

...in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect... (1 Peter 3:15)

Post below to continue our conversation.

Last edited by PastorDan on Sun Jun 12, 2016 6:06 am; edited 2 times in total

Posts : 243
Join date : 2016-04-23
Age : 53

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#2 Why The Bible? Empty Re: #2 Why The Bible?

Post by PastorDan Thu Jun 09, 2016 9:44 am

This should be a great class!

Posts : 243
Join date : 2016-04-23
Age : 53

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