What Every Bible Critic Should Know
If you have an extremely important message to convey, what would be the best way to ensure that it was delivered? How about telling the person directly and then leaving a written copy of the message? Essentially, this is what God has done for us, Jesus came and personally shared His message with humanity and now we have a written copy preserved in the Bible. God even sent His prophets to foretell His arrival.
I know what the critics say, “The Bible is just a book written by men that has been pass down and altered over the years.” Could that be true? Do we have a God powerful enough to create the universe but not powerful enough to preserve and protect His written word?
I say He has preserved it and here’s why.
The Bible, was written by approximately 40 different authors who were directed by the Holy Spirit over a period of about 1600 years. Its main theme and message stays uncannily consistent despite the diversity of the writers. It is the most printed and distributed book in the history of mankind despite numerous attempts to ban or destroy it.
What does the Bible say about itself? "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness," 2 Timothy 3:16.
I can hear the critics saying “That’s circular reasoning" but there is nothing wrong with self-authentication if it’s true. Since the Bible claims to be from God how can we test its credibility?
The answer is prophecy.
Hundreds of years before the modern state of Israel was established the Bible prophesied that God would select a unique group of people to be His chosen ones (2 Samuel 7:24). He would give them their very own land (Psalm 105:10-11). Scatter them around the world because of disobedience (Jeremiah 31:10). Regather them back to their land and the city of Jerusalem, which will be a place of international controversy (Jeremiah 16:15 & Zechariah 12:2). All of these prophesies have come to pass or in the case of Zachariah 12:2 are unfolding before our eyes.
Hundreds of years before the birth of Jesus, the Bible prophesied that God would send the Messiah to be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2), a preacher and miracle worker (Isaiah 61:1-2), crucified (Psalm 22:16-18), die as a sacrifice for sin (Isaiah 53:5-6) and be raised from the dead (Psalm 16:10). Precisely what Jesus did as He fulfilled these prophesies.
And for the critics who claim Jesus was just a myth, there are non-biblical accounts of Jesus and the events of his ministry found in the non-Christian writings of Josephus, the Jewish Talmud, Pliny the Younger and Tacitus.
My favorite proof that the bible is of divine origin comes from my own personal experience.
There is no criticism brought against the Bible that can change the fact that . . . after I repented of my sins, put my faith in Jesus and got baptized . . . the words and instructions of the Bible became alive to me.
No longer are they black and white words on a page but words of living color as they now speak to my spirit and soul. Transforming my thoughts and actions in a way that can only be supernatural. Showing me how to walk in holiness and show love to others. No longer bound by unforgiveness, bitterness, addictions or ungodly attitudes. Not only I, but untold millions of others have experienced personal revelation from God’s word after believing that Jesus died on a cross to pay the price for their sins and rose from the dead on the third day. I am now alive to the things of God and understand why Jesus said “Unless one is born again he cannot see the Kingdom of God”. (Ref. John 3:3)
Christians have been accused of having blind faith for trusting the Bible, saying “It’s just a book written by men.” The very same argument can be said to the critic who puts his faith in the writings of other critics. So where will you put your faith?
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edge sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thought and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
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