Why Believe in the Bible?
Text: I Corinthians 1:18-31
I. Could the Bible be a product of man?
A. We know that the Bible was written by about 40 different people
1. Each from different walks of life, from shepherds to kings, councilors to fishermen.
2. It was written over a 1,500 year time span
B. If men could sit down to devise such a book, would they do so?
C. Think about the various history books and text books that you have read.
1. How many make statements similar to Romans 3:9-23?
2. It is a books that exposes the weaknesses in men, their sinful thoughts and actions.
3. Even of those involved in writing the books!
a. Moses wrote the first five books
(1) But he included his lack of eloquence - Exodus 4:10-14
(2) He wrote about his sins - Numbers 20:11-12
b. David’s sin with Bathsheba - II Samuel 11-12
(1) How do men record their histories?
(2) Wouldn’t their own failings be skipped over or made to be shown as an asset?
(3) Who would want their dirty laundry hung out for all to see?
4. Why does every author and person agree that they all sin, yet all agree that Jesus did not?
5. I Corinthians 1:18-31
D. If men composed a religious book, it would be quite different.
II. Unusual Features of the Bible
A. High and Holy Standards
1. People tend to set standards for themselves which are easy for them to reach.
a. Even when people claim to expect more of others, they expect less of themselves.
b. While not a religious book, look at the laws our government sets. How often do you find that the lawmakers are exempt from their own rules or taxes? It is what people tend to do.
c. So what motivated the writers of the Bible to discuss standards which no one was keeping?
2. David looked like an incredible hypocrite when Nathan exposed his sins - II Samuel 12:1-13
a. Would a king or his heirs have allowed this story to have been passed on?
b. What did they gain from knowledge of the story?
c. These type of stories are normally kept in the closet
d. And who made up the standards which made David look so bad?
e. Why was that standard more important than the reputation of King David?
3. What nation would treasure a book like Jeremiah?
a. Jeremiah constantly drummed the beat of how horrible Israel acted - Jeremiah 8:5-12
b. He warned them not to do things, and they turn around and did them anyway - Jeremiah 37:7-10
c. What nation would treasure a book as inspired of God that made them look so bad and so foolish?
d. Why weren’t Israel’s virtues trumped?
e. And actually most of the 39 books of the Old Testament makes Israel look bad. There are more failures than heros recorded.
4. No, human wisdom would not unite behind books whose theme was the sins of men. Humans write books of about gods whose own standards are similar to their own.
B. Unheeded Prophecies
1. The books written long before the coming Savior of the world spoke of people’s blindness - Isaiah 53:1-3
a. When men make up a story about the coming of a mighty king, they speak of the awe in the man as they see the prophecies being fulfilled.
b. But the Old Testament speaks of his humiliation and rejection - Isaiah 53:4-12
c. Human wisdom would not have prophesied that the Savior would be rejected by the bulk of his own people - Psalm 22:6-21
d. And because of their reject their own city would be destroyed - Matthew 23:29-36
2. Would human wisdom direct Jewish writers to predict the defeat of Israel and how various succeeding empires would rule over them, as recorded in Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Daniel?
a. There are things predicted in the pages of the Bible that men could not have guessed would take place.
b. Even if men could accurately write such, which record the humiliation of the nation that treasures these books as inspired of God?
C. Accuracy of the Prophecies
1. Who would predict that a child called “Mighty God” (Isaiah 9:6)
a. Would be born of a virgin in a tiny town? - Isaiah 7:14; Micah 5:2
b. Rejected by his own people? - Psalm 118:22
c. Save only a few of his people? - Isaiah 10:22-23
d. Slaughtered by his own people - Isaiah 53:7
e. Yet not left in the grave - Psalm 16:10
2. Who could have predicted the rise and fall of kingdoms like Assyria, Egypt, Babylon, Tyre, Sidon, the subjugation of the Medes and Persions to the Greeks, the rise of Rome?
3. Who could have predicted the tiny details?
a. The casting of lots for Jesus’ garments - Psalm 22:18
b. The piercing of his hands and feet - Psalm 22:16
c. But no broken bones - Psalm 34:20
4. Isaiah 41:21-24
5. There are dozens of books which attempt to foretell the future
a. We have disasters books of overpopulation, ice age, global warming, etc. Yet they never quite get it right
b. We have books about coming utopias, but they never happen
c. We can’t seem to predict accurately what will happen in the next decade let alone detail events in the next 500 years with precision.
6. Yet the Bible is filled with direct prophecies, subtle use of foreshadowing, and seemingly obscure references which all play together as the story unfolds.
a. And a people whose own books degrade them keep them and preserves them for the future.
III. What other book is like it
A. The Quran
1. A book containing the sayings of Mohammed who swings from respect for the Jews and Christians, whom he calls “People of the Book” to disdain when he realizes they won’t accept him as a prophet.
2. It doesn’t prove itself to be divine by prophecies.
3. It calls the Bible divine and holy, but it is inconsistent with the Bible’s precepts.
4. It has internal contradictions, though it is the work of one man
5. It imposes rules while giving exceptions to the author
6. It is a book that you would expect from the hand of a man, written from human wisdom.
7. It spreads evil, fear, murder, and subjugation.
B. The Book of Mormon
1. It leans heavily on the King James Version of the Bible, which is odd if was really a collection of scared writings from two thousand years earlier, but discovered in the 1800's. After all, the KJV was written in the 1600's so why quote so heavily from this version?
2. Where are the predictive elements?
3. Why are there so much controversy over its origin and contents?
4. This is a book that could come from human wisdom.
a. Its author, Joseph Smith, was heavily influenced by Free-Masonry, and popular beliefs of the time.
b. Example: Essays on the origins of the Indians which were popularly believed in the 1800's but have since been disproved.
c. There are no elements of divine wisdom or accurate foreknowledge
5. It is a book you would expect from the hand of a man
IV. Unity of Theme
A. Only the Bible has a single theme pointing forward to the Messiah (Old Testament) and backwards to the Messiah (New Testament) in a completely consistent manner.
B. Only the Bible shows accurate predictive features
C. Only the Bible calls people to a standard that has been shown to improve men
D. And it calls itself complete
1. John 16:13
2. Jude 3
3. II Peter 1:3
4. II Timothy 3:16-17
E. It is a firm foundation - Ephesians 2:19-22
F. The Bible is God’s book, the Creator’s only written revelation.
Based on an article by Terry Benton