Why We Believe The Bible

Bible Book: Psalms  119 : 89
Subject: God, Faithfulness of; Bible, Truth of the; Bible

All of mankind is governed by one of four sources of authority:

i. Personal Opinion

"Well, I'll just tell you what I think..." and for the next hour you hear a personal opinion from someone. They are governed by their own opinion. That's all that matters.

ii. Peer Pressure

Young people are not the only ones affected and influenced by peer pressure. So are adults. "It doesn't really matter what is right or wrong or what is the best choice. I'm going to choose whatever will help me fit in with the group I want to run with."

iii. An Institution

"What does my church or organization say about it?"

"What does your church believe?"

"My church believes what I believe."

"Well then, what do you believe?"

"I believe what my church believes."

"What then do you and your church believe?"

"Why, we believe the same thing."

iv. Scripture

The Bible- which is where the born again Christian should stand.

John Shelby Spong, an Episcopal bishop in the Northeast, wrote a book about the Bible entitled, Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism. Spong attacked everything about the Bible especially taking the text of the Bible literally. He denies the virgin birth, the physical bodily resurrection of Jesus from the dead, and all the miracles of God's Word. In his belief, such stories are antiquated and retard the progress of the modern church. He says, "I could not believe that anyone who had read this book would be so foolish as to proclaim this Bible in every literal word was the divinely inspired, inerrant word of God. Yet the claim continued to be made continues to this day. Have these people simply not read the text? Are they hopelessly uninformed? Is there a different Bible? Are they blinded by a combination of ego needs and naiveté?"

Oh but for those of us who know these Holy Scriptures we know that Spong is the one who is blind, for we know the Bible is -

#1 A Library- a collection of 66 books that are all composed into one.

#2 A Landscape- that views the panorama of God's relationship with man.

#3 A Letter- addressed to mankind by the God of the Universe.

#4 A Listening Post- where we can go to hear the voice of God.

#5 A Law- that tutors and teaches us the way of righteousness.

#6 A Light- that gives guidance in the midst of the perplexities of life.

#7 A Lifeline- a rope to which a drowning sinner may be pulled to eternal safety through Jesus Christ.

T. B. Maston said, "The Christians who have turned the world upside down have been men and women with a vison in their hearts and the Bible in their hands." Why then do we believe the Bible should be the governing source of authority for our lives? What is so special about this book? Why do we believe the Bible? We believe the Bible...

I. Because Of Its Unique Composition

Before us, is a book which is...Composed of 66 separate books, Written over a period of 1,500 years, Written by over 40 authors, Composed in a variety of different places and cultures, Written on three different continents, Revealed in three different languages.

In 100 B.C., the Old Testament was translated into Greek, known as the "Septuagint."

In 328 A.D. St. Jerome, a Catholic priest, was commissioned to translate the Bible from Greek to Latin, the language of the day. This translation was of course, the Latin Vulgate.

John Wycliffe translated the Latin Vulgate into English in 1388.

In 1536, William Tyndale translated the Bible into English and was executed for degrading the priestly office.

In 1611, King James commissioned a translation of the Bible into the language of the day. It became known as the King James Version.

In 1975, the Lockman Foundation made a totally new translation from the original Hebrew and Greek languages into the modern language in use in America. This became known as the New American Standard Version.

In 1971, Robert Taylor read the Bible and paraphrased it into terms the average person could understand. This is the Living Bible.

In 1978, a group of scholars finished the New International Version.

And, in 1984 the New King James Version was completed. Its' composition had it's origins in God Himself...God spoke the Ten Commandments to Moses and then commanded him to write them down. The phrases, "God spoke these words" or "Thus says the Lord" are found over two thousand times in the Old Testament.

In the book of Exodus, with 40 chapters, the phrase, "God spoke all these words" appears 160 times. Moses closed his ministry with this command to the Children of Israel," Set your hearts on all the words which I testify to you today, which you shall command your children to be careful to observe all the words of this Law. For it is not a futile thing for you, because it is your life, and by this word you shall prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to possess" (Deut. 32:46-47).

The writer of Proverbs tells us, "Every word of God is pure." (Prov. 30:5)

(Matt. 24:35)  Jesus said, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away."

Paul declared the Scriptures as "the oracles of God" in Rom. 3:2.

Hebrews 4:12 reminds us, "For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two- edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and the joints and the marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."

Paul said, "ALL Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" (2 Tim. 3:16).

Isaiah proclaimed, "The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of our God abides (stands) forever" (Is. 40:8).

The Bible's very composition and the One who composed it proclaim to us that this is no ordinary book. It is the living Word of God. We also know this is no ordinary Book...

II. Because Of Its Survival From Opposition

For 2600 years all the powers of this world have combined to try to destroy this book and yet it still remains. The intense opposition the Bible has faced through the years should be a reminder to us that Satan hates the Word of God and will do everything possible to destroy it and thwart its' message.

King Manassah of Judah, born in 697 B.C., was a violent, pagan king who tried to destroy all the copies of the Mosaic Law. He succeeded in doing so except for one copy hidden in the wall of the temple. 20 years after his death, his grandson, Josiah, discovered that copy of the Law and the result was revival in the land.

During the time between Malachi and Matthew, Antiochus Epiphanes, the wicked Syrian ruler, conquered Israel. He offered a pig on the altar of the temple, and murdered all those who owned a copy of the Scripture. His actions led to the Maccabean revolt. No sooner was he in the grave until a great revival of the Scriptures took place and numerous copies were made of God's Word.

In 303 A.D., Roman Emperor Diocletian, one of the last great persecutors of the early church, ordered the confiscation of all Christian property and the burning of all Scriptures. Only ten years had    passed since Diocletian died and Constantine the Great rose to power and ordered the writing of many copies of the Scriptures.

In the Middle Ages, even some of the clergy placed the Bible on the list of banned books. But men such as John Tyndale, John Wycliffe, and John Huss proclaimed the Bible to be their final authority and even gave their lives for it.

Mary, queen of England, also known as Bloody Mary, ordered that anyone possessing a copy of the Bible be burned. Five years after her edict, she was dead.

Queen Elizabeth I ascended to the throne of England. In her time as queen she ordered no less than 130 editions of the Bible to be printed. Voltaire, the noted French atheist and infidel who died in 1778, said that 100 years from his time, Christianity would be swept from existence and passed into history. However, 50 years after his death, the Geneva Bible Society used Voltaire's house and printing press to print Bibles.

Today, it is illegal to own a copy of God's Word in many places around the world. There are Muslim extremists that will kill you in a heartbeat if you are caught with a copy of the Bible. There are countless thousands who are imprisoned and thousands more who have died as martyrs simply because they were discovered with a Bible. I don't know about you, but I want to be a part of anything that gets the Devil upset and that he opposes. Opposition to God's Word and its very survival reminds us this Book is alive and living. We believe the Bible...

III. Because Of Its Proven Authentication

How has the Bible been proven to be authentic?

A. It Is Authenticated By Archaeology

In the winter of 1947, outside the community of Qumran near the Dead Sea, a Bedouin shepherd threw a rock inside a cave and heard the sound of an earthen jar shattering. Another shepherd lowered himself into the cave and found 10 tall jars lined up along the wall. What they discovered as well as archaeologists who followed were manuscripts dating back to between 200 B.C. and 200

A.D. making them the oldest in the world. For every book of the Old Testament, except Esther, there was a fragment discovered. Nelson Glueck, the famous archaeologist, observed, "It may be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a Biblical reference."

B. It's Authenticated By Science

The Bible is not primarily a scientific book, however, whenever the Bible writers touch on scientific matters, their observations about man, history, and society are accurate.

#1 Is. 40:22 speaks of the spherical shape of the earth.

#2 Job 26:7 states the fact that the earth is suspended.

#3 Genesis 15:5 points out the stars are innumerable.

#4 2 Samuel 22:16 refers to the existence of mountains and canyons in the sea.

#5 Gen. 7:11; 8:2 speak of the existence of springs and fountains in the sea.

#6 Ps. 8:8 speaks of "watery paths" (ocean currents) in the sea.

#7 Job 26:8; 36:27-28; 37:16; 38:25-27; Ps. 135:7; Ecc. 1:6-7 all speak of the hydrologic cycle.

#8 Gen. 1:21; 6:19 points out the fact that all living things are reproduced after their own kind.

#9 Gen. 17:9-14; Lev. 12-14 uncover the connection between sanitation and sickness.

#10 Lev. 17:11 reveal facts concerning the human bloodstream.

#11 Ps. 102:26; Rom. 8:18-23; Heb. 1:10 proclaim the second law of thermodynamics concerning energy deterioration.

C. It Is Authenticated By Fulfilled Prophecy

Isaiah gave 22 prophecies concerning the birth and life of Jesus Christ almost 700 years before the birth of Christ. Each one has been fulfilled. Mathematician Peter Stoner proved that the chance of one person fulfilling even eight of these prophecies was one in 10 to the 17th power. That's one with 17 zeroes after it. However, of the more than 2000 general prophecies in the Bible, Jesus has fulfilled 333 of them concerning Himself as the Messiah. Stoner went on to say the chances of one person fulfilling just 48 would be one in 10 to the 157th power. It would be like finding a "single predetermined atom among all the atoms in a trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, billion universes the size of our universe."

D. It Is Also Authenticated By Christ Himself

The Bible says the resurrected Christ took the Scriptures, "and beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself" (Lk. 24:27). Jesus believed every word of the Old Testament, even the miracles.

#1 In Lk. 17:29 He talked about the supernatural judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah.

#2 In John 6:32 He spoke of the miracle of manna from heaven, which fed the Israelites for 40 years.

#3 In John 3:14 He recalled how those bitten by snakes in the wilderness were cured instantly when they looked upon the brass serpent.

#4 In Matt. 12:39-40 He likened His death and resurrection to the miracle of Jonah being swallowed by a big fish.

He held the Old Testament to be the Word of God.

Christ is the key to Scripture...The Law gives the foundation for Christ, History shows the preparation for Christ, Poetry expresses aspiration for Christ, Prophecy proclaims an expectation of Christ, The Gospels record the manifestation of Christ, Acts reveals the propagation of Christ, The Epistles give the interpretation of Christ, Revelation describes the consummation of Christ. Truly, this is the living Word of God! But we also believe the Bible...

IV. Because Of Its Powerful Transformation

The Bible has the power to transform.

A. Transformed The Nation

It is God's Word that has made this nation great and has transformed it into the land of the free and the home of the brave. George Washington said, "It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible." In almost prophetic voice Daniel Webster said more than two hundred years ago, "If we abide by the principles taught in the Bible, our country will go on prospering and to prosper; but if we and our posterity neglect its instruction and authority, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us and bury all our glory in profound obscurity."

This country was not founded on the principles of Islam...or the philosophies of eastern mysticism...or the godless teachings of Marxism. This country was founded upon the principles of God's Word. It is not our wisdom, prosperity, and military might that have made America into the greatest super-power on earth. It is our obedience to the God of this Bible and to His principles that have made us what we are today. WE MUST MAKE A COMMITMENT TO TAKE GOD'S WORD TO A NEW GENERATION IN AMERICA. If we do not, the fall of this great nation will not only come, but also it will be great!

B. Transforms The Heart

It is the heart of man where the Bible does its most transforming work. Every one of us could tell stories of how God's Word placed in a hotel or motel or in the hands of a school child changed a person's life forever. In the 1930's in Stavropol, Russia, Joseph Stalin ordered all Bibles confiscated and Christian believers sent to concentration camps. Most of the Bibles were not destroyed but placed in a warehouse while the Christians died as "enemies of the state.

"With the dissolution of the Soviet Union, a Christian group arrived in Stavropol in 1994 seeking to get Bibles shipped to Moscow. They had a difficult time getting their own Bibles for distribution. But someone told them about the warehouse where all the confiscated Bibles had been stored.

Remarkably the team was granted permission to take those Bibles and ship them to Moscow. They hired several local Russian workers to begin loading the trucks with the Bibles. One young man by the name of Nicolai Shivinska, a hostile agnostic, came to help load the trucks and earn a days pay. Not long after they began loading the trucks Nicolai disappeared. When they found him he was in a corner of the warehouse, weeping, with a Bible in his hands. He had been loading the Bibles when he took one out of the stacks and just happened to open it. There on the inside cover of the Bible was the name of his grandmother who had died in a concentration camp for her faith. She had clearly marked the verses for eternal life and salvation and her own grandson had come under conviction of sin and had trusted Jesus as Savior. Today, Nicolai Shivinska is being transformed by the very Bible that his grandmother was persecuted for possessing. Though the cover is worn, And the pages are torn , And though places bear traces of tears, Yet more precious than gold, Is this book worn and old, That can shatter and scatter my fears. Have you allowed the God of this Bible to change your life?