But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. John 20:31
We all have a list of our most favorite places we’ve been to, or things we’ve seen in life. For some it might be the country our ancestors originally lived, or the landscape right out your own back door.
Up to 2006, I would’ve been hard pressed to choose just one favorite place because of the many sites I’d already seen. That was, until.
Late that year, a worldwide tour of the Dead Sea Scrolls Exhibition made a stop in Seattle. Make no mistake, I was really looking forward to seeing some of the scrolls! What I didn’t know then is the effect it would have on not only me, but my family as well.
Hands down, it was the most incredible thing I’ve ever seen in my life. A profound reverence for God’s Holy Word filled rows of displays secured inside cases of thick glass, protecting the precious words from contaminants. Standing in front of each display triggered a dim light illuminating its contents, and turn off again as you walk away.
After living in, and traveling throughout Europe I had many cherished memories. Visiting sites like the Louvre (think Mona Lisa), the Walls of Babylon in the Berlin Pergamon, etc., each site produced an incredible picture of world history.
More Manuscript Evidences
Yet all those things pale in comparison to witnessing what God produced some 2,000 years ago. It was simply breath-taking! This is what makes God, and His word, so fascinating! As we stated yesterday, the evidence He’s left for us won’t prove the Bible is true, but it does provide proof it’s reliable and trustworthy. Think about this – In over 25,000 sites, not one single piece of archaeology has controverted the contents of the Bible.
Also consider the following evidences and the odds of all these things being accurate. Pastor Floyd McElveen quoted John H. Gerstner from his book ‘Reason for Faith’, which provided the mathematical odds of one person fulfilling the 333 prophecies about Jesus. Gerstner stated someone had calculated the odds:
1 over 84,000,000,000,000,000,
000,000,000,000,000,000 of 1%.
In addition to all that miraculous evidence, Pastor McElveen stated archaeologists have discovered more than 5,000 pieces of manuscripts all over Europe and Asia. He noted some of the writings of the early church fathers who were contemporaries with the Apostle John, contained the text of almost all of the entire New Testament. These matched up with what we have today, and are further verified by the writings they discovered at Qumran in the ‘40’s, which we know as the Dead Sea Scrolls.
The Bible was written by people who witnessed the events it describes; many were persecuted or martyred but never changed their story. This scenario is far different than the history of Mormonism!
Think about it.
Would you die for a lie?
Warner J. Wallace, who authored Cold-Case Christianity, made the following statement about the apostolic witnesses –
“The New Testament authors repeatedly referred to themselves as eyewitnesses, even if they did not make overt statements including their names. In the last chapter of John’s Gospel, the author tells us he is testifying and his testimony is true. Language such as this presumes the author has seen something he can describe as eyewitness testimony. In addition, the authors of 1 John and 2 Peter identify themselves as eyewitnesses who directly observed Jesus, and were not inventing clever stories (1 John 1:1,3 and 2 Peter 1:16). While Luke clearly states he is not an eyewitness to the events in his gospel, he does tell us he is relying on the true eyewitnesses for his information (Luke 1:1). These cumulative statements are consistent with the notion the authors of the Gospels saw themselves as eyewitnesses who were recording history.”
Members of the Mormon Church often state that Joseph Smith died a martyr, but how can you be a martyr when you fight against your accusers? Neither Jan Hus, nor Dietrich Bonheoffer did that, and neither did any of Jesus’ apostles. They willingly gave their lives for the sake of their testimonies of Jesus Christ!
The apostolic testimonies speak to the validity of Jesus’ life and death.
There are a multitude of references found in non-biblical history books attesting to biblical events.
Josephus is one of the most favored amongst scholars because of his prolific writing. In his writings you’ll recognize key political, and non-political members of the Jewish community in his reports and books. Some of his writings have provided direct commentary for us in the New Testament.
From our Mentoring Handbook –
The Bible is a compilation of 66 books, written in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. It was written by more than forty authors in three continents over the span of more than 1,500 years. It is by far the most read book in the history of mankind.
While the authors come from a wide variety of backgrounds, the One guiding them was ultimately God. He, and no one else, is the author of His word.
Qualifications to be Deemed Scripture – Expert Scrutiny
From our website –
The early church fathers met several times from 100 – 550 AD to discuss and ratify a basic statement of faith. As in every age, false teachers abound and the early church wasn’t exempt from that problem. In order to prevent any confusion the church presented several creeds defining the Trinity and how man can be saved.
This also included the standards for judging what letters were and weren’t authentic to be included in the Bible. The standards included the following rules –
- Had to be written by an apostle or someone in their immediate circle
- Had to conform to the basic Christian faith
- Had to be in widespread use amongst the churches worldwide at the time
Leaders’ Acceptance as Evidence
The vast majority of great leaders this world has seen, have all affirmed that the Bible is a necessity in every person’s life.
From Why the Bible.com
President George Washington, First President of the United States
“It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and Bible.”
The Bible has been the force behind many of the humanitarian efforts this world has ever known.
“…Christianity is responsible for a disproportionately large number of the humanitarian advances in the history of civilization—in education, medicine, law, the fine arts, working for human rights and even in the natural sciences….” Craig L. Blomberg, in Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith.
You, Me, and Everyone Else with a Changed Life
How many testimonies have been shared and witnessed over time because of the new man’s life? Truly, only the good Lord knows this number, but we’re all living witnesses to what He’s done for, and through us!