WEDNESDAY — Is the Bible True? This is a Test!
Big Point: The Bible is true and passes the historicity test with flying colors.
Is the Bible true? Better yet, are you sure the Bible is true? Can you clearly explain whether the Bible is trustworthy, true and accurate? Today’s study is meant to arm you with some findings and a few “battery tests” by using the research of Steve Sanders, a 1952 historian who came up with three specific tests to evaluate the authenticity of historical writings. In addition, we’ll share some thoughts from Craig Groeschel’s “Text #2” sermon in which he addressed this topic. The tests are:
- Internal Test—“Do the writers of the Bible claim that their writings are true?” Quick Answer: The New Testament was written between 47 and 95 A.D. by plenty of first generation believers who were alive and were actual eye-witnesses to Jesus. Yes, the Bible passes the internal test.
- External Test—“What does the outside evidence (non-biblical sources) say about the Bible?” Quick Answer: Roman Writers, Greek writers and Jewish sources confirm biblical stories and the historicity of Jesus Christ. And, while archaeological findings do not completely prove the authority of the Bible, it is fair to say, as Groeschel points out, “archeological evidence has provided external confirmations for literally hundreds of Biblical Statements.”
- Bibliographic Test—“How well were the original documents translated to today?” Quick Answer: The most reliable and well-respected copy of the Old Testament was the Hebrew manuscript known as the Masoretic text. When the Romans attacked the Jews in 70 A.D., the scrolls were hidden in bottles for over 1800 years and became known as the Dead Sea Scrolls. Archaeologists went on to discover eleven other sources of these ancient scrolls. When you compare the Dead Sea Scrolls to the Masoretic text, the accuracy is spot on. There are over 14,000 copies of parts of the Old Testament and over 24,000 copies of parts of the New Testament—the Bible stands alone and unquestionably passes the bibliographic test with flying colors.
Take the time to understand the above findings so that you can explain them to anyone interested in understanding the truth of the Bible. To learn more, take the Bible Essential’s course—www.cedarcreek.tv/get-connected/classes/online-classes
“It may be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a biblical reference”
Nelson Glueck, Archaeologist and former President of the Jewish Theological Seminary
READ and THINK…What does the Bible say?
What does Peter want everyone to know in 2 Peter 1:16 as it relates to the stories he was writing about in the Bible?
2 Peter 1:16 (New Living Translation)
For we were not making up clever stories when we told you about the powerful coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. We saw his majestic splendor with our own eyes.
What do1 Peter 3:15 and Colossians 4:6 say we should do if someone asks about our Christian hope that is found in the Bible?
1 Peter 3:15 (New Living Translation)
Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it.
Colossians 4:6 (New Living Translation)
Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.
LIVE…What will you do now?
Are you always ready to explain your hope and why it stands firmly in the scripture as described in 1 Peter 3:15? Do you have the right response ready for everyone? Explain why or why not.
Take the time to see how much you know about the three above mentioned tests. Can you list two other authors of the New Testament who, like Peter, were eye-witnesses to Jesus’ teachings? This will help further support your understanding of the internal test. HINT: Check out the author of the first and the last book of the New Testament. Research these authors in your study Bible and write out what you learn.
Have you ever taken the time to understand the archeological evidence that supports the stories in the Bible? Well, here’s your chance to research your findings by going to www.answersingenesis.org and search under “articles” and find “Does Archeology Support the Bible.” Or simply go to http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/nab/does-archaeology-support-the-bible. Write out four findings that you were not aware of before and their relevance. This will help support your understanding of the bibliographic test.
With over 24,000 original copies of the New Testament alone, why do you think it is so difficult for people to believe that the Bible is true?
PRAY…God, What do you want me to know & do?
Ask God to help you understand and to learn as much as possible about the Bible and its truthfulness so that you can easily explain it to others.