Why I Choose to Believe the Bible – Answer Sheet Voddie T. Baucham, Jr. The most important question any Christian should be able to answer is: a) Who is God? b) Is Jesus the Divine Son of God? c) Why do you choose to believe the Bible? d) How can I get to heaven? Two weak, standard fall-back answers: o Standard fall-back answer #1: “I was raised to believe that.” o Standard fall-back answer #2: “I tried the Bible and it worked for me. It changed my life.”  Malcolm X tried "The Nation of Islam" - it worked for him; it changed his life. o In the words of Regis Philbin, "Is that your final answer?” Why I choose to believe the Bible (2 Peter 1:16-21) o The Bible is a reliable collection of historical documents written by eyewitnesses during the lifetime of other eyewitnesses. They report supernatural events that took place in fulfillment of specific prophecies and they claim that their writings are Divine, rather than human, in origin. o Circular reasoning argument - not a good one. Voddie: I"m not about to defend the Bible. My defense is of why I choose to believe the Bible. o Charles Haddon Spurgeon said, "It makes no more sense to defend the Bible than it does to defend a lion." "The Bible is a reliable collection of historical documents..." o A unit. However, the Bible is comprised of 66 books, written by over 40 authors, written on three different continents in three languages over a span of 1500 years. o A historical document. Filled with names, places, dates. o Over 23,000 archaeological digs in the name of historical accuracy. All confirmed the Bible to be true. Luke 1:1-4 "...written by eyewitnesses ..." Eyewitnesses a) Are not reliable. b) Are just in it for the money. c) Forget things over time. d) Change everything! "...during the lifetime of other eyewitnesses." o I Corinthians 15. By the time I Corinthians was written, there were at least 300 eyewitnesses to the resurrection still alive! o Da Vinci Code problem. Two principal arguments related to the Bible being written by eyewitnesses during the lifetime of other eyewitnesses. "The Bible we have is not the same as the original, because of the miraculous events and deifications." o Argument #1: Multiple - translation argument. A favorite of professors of colleges & universities.  Professors liken this to the idea of the children"s game, "Telephone."  Does it matter how many times a Bible has been translated? No, only if translations were translations of translations.  How do we make a Bible translation? We go back to the original Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic manuscripts. o Argument #2: Overzealous - monk argument. "The Council of Nicea doctored up manuscripts to make Jesus look like the Divine Son of God."  Council of Nicea just acknowledged what was already Bible.  3-fold hole in their argument 6,000 manuscripts or portions of manuscripts of the New Testament alone, earliest copy 2 ½ decades after original. o Julius Caesar"s Gaelic Wars - less than a dozen copies; earliest copy 1,000 years after original. o Aristotle"s Poetics - less than 10 copies; earliest copy 1,400 years after original. o Writings of Socrates - No copies. Plato told us what we know about Socrates. No originals. o Homer"s Iliad. 600+ copies. 2,100 years after original.  (Pentata ethne) Different people groups speak different languages. The Bible was originally written in Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic. First translations are Syriac, Coptic and Latin. o 1st layer: Overzealous monks must find 6,000 Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic manuscripts. Change them, don"t show your ink-work, don"t get caught, and put them back where you stole them from. o 2nd layer: Learn how to lie in Syriac, Coptic and Latin as well as you do in Greek. Change them to match the lies you told in Greek, don"t show your inkwork, don"t get caught, and put them back where you stole them from.  The writings of the early church fathers o 95-98% of the NT can be re-produced from the writings of the early church fathers (Bruce Metzger) o New study suggests all but 11 verses can be re-produced from the writings of the early church fathers. o Find all of the writings of the early church fathers. Change them to match the lies you told in Syriac, Coptic, Latin and Greek, don"t show your ink-work, don"t get caught, and put them back where you stole them from. "They report supernatural events..." o Audible voice of God Almighty - miraculous! Aside: We have become far too familiar with the phrase, "God told me." o The man with the withered hand. o Jesus walking on water. o Crucified, dead, buried. Third day, He rose again. "...that took place in fulfillment of specific prophecy." Psalm 22 - why does Jesus refer to a title of a song when He was being crucified? a) “Feelings, nothing more than feelings.” b) Name it, claim it. c) It"s exactly what"s happening to Him when He"s being crucified! d) And some of the bystanders hearing it said, "Behold, he is calling Elijah." o Written 1,000 years before Jesus was born by a man who never once saw a crucifixion. "They claim that the Bible is Divine, rather than human, in origin." o "I"m a person of science. I cannot believe by blind faith. Unless you can prove the Bible scientifically, I can"t believe it."  An ignorant statement. The fact that we have a Bible mitigates against blind faith. o You cannot use the scientific method (is it observable, measurable, repeatable?) to prove historical events (e.g., you cannot prove scientifically that George Washington was our first president.).  We use the evidentiary method, like what you would use in court. You want witnesses who are reliable, whose stories are corroborated.


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 What does that look like? 66 books, 40 authors, three continents, three languages, 1500 years. Internal consistency, external corroboration through the likes of Philo and Josephus, as well as the early church fathers.