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Why are you a Bible-believer?

Discussion in 'Christianity and World Religion' started by cloudyday2, Jun 8, 2019.

  1. Phil W

    Phil W Well-Known Member

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    Sure...
    I read in Romans 6 how a man can give up his former, worthless life and be reborn to live a new life.
    A life free of hurting others and self.
     
  2. Mathetes66

    Mathetes66 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    That is an excellent question, cloudyday2! And the Bible tells us Christians (meaning: 'of Christ', His follower) that when asked why we believe what we believe, we should have a ready answer.

    First Peter 3:14,15 But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. Do not fear their intimidation, do not be troubled, but in your hearts set apart as sacred Christ the Lord, ready at any time to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you, with gentle strength {meekness} & respect.

    The Apostle Peter adds it is to be done "in your hearts." This does not mean simply "with your hearts," or "from your hearts" (inwardly, or with sincerity & devotion), but it signifies local habitation.

    That is to say: Peter, like the Apostle Paul (Eph 3:17), acknowledges an indwelling of Christ in the hearts of the faithful & this indwelling is not merely subjective, consisting of their constant recollection of Him, but real & objective. We pay due reverence & sacredness, to His presence.

    The Apostle does, in those words "in your hearts," purposely calls attention to the difference between Isaiah's use of the name 'Immanuel' & the Christian meaning. To Isaiah, God dwelt in the midst of a people in its corporate capacity.

    Peter knew that, through the Incarnation (Christ coming down from the invisible heavenly realm & becoming a human being in the visible realm), each individual Christian has God dwelling in him, united with him.

    That is just one of the remarkable differences of Christianity from other religions & their books: the Lord of heaven AND earth, the King of kings & the Lord of lords, who we follow is ALIVE & not only alive but dwells within us forever. He rose out from among the dead with a new spiritual resurrected body & our hope is to obtain a similar resurrected body, just as He promised.

    Gandhi spent 20 years in South Africa with his family as a lawyer before returning to India & practicing satyagraha ('truth & firmness') or passive resistance. I have stood at the tomb of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (Mahatma: 'great souled one') in India. His decayed body/bones are inside that tomb as are Muhammeds or Abraham's. Christ's is not!

    In Gandhi's autobiography, he states: "Between the Old & the New there is a fundamental difference. Whilst the Old [have] some very deep truths, I am unable to pay it the same honours I pay to the NT." The NT & its Sermon on the Mount part overjoyed him. About which he says: "It delighted me beyond measure" & "gave me comfort & boundless joy & "It is that Sermon which has endeared Jesus to me."

    What really impressed Gandhi in the Sermon was the teaching of Jesus - 'resist not evil.' So he often quoted from Mathew 5: 39: "Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you & pray for those who treat you badly. To the one who strikes you on the cheek, turn the other cheek; to the one who takes your coat, give also your shirt."

    I have personally discussed the main difference of the Lord Jesus Christ to Shiva or Krishna with Indians in India: Christ is holy (sacred, sanctified, sinless) while the others are both evil & good. The local, common people told me & know that most of the 'holy' men in India are fakes & we in the US are hoodwinked to believe in them.

    I have personally observed Hindu's worshipping an idol of a 'rat' god, praying to it & burning incense to it, as one of the many gods they believed in & sought with which to find favor.

    Hinduism is a good example of polytheism, like the Greek gods or the Egyptian gods of mythology & the majority of other religions. Only Christianity, with Judaism & Muslims believe in one God only. That is what the Bible teaches from beginning to end & is the very 1st & 2nd of the 10 commandments, unique to Judaism & Christianity.

    These are remarkable just by themselves. But this just scratches the surface of how amazing Christianity is & the Bible, even from a secular, historical perspective.

    The Bible-The Most Unique Book in the World-Part 1 | John Ankerberg Show The Bible—The Most Unique Book in the World-Part One

    The Bible is not the product of human invention or ingenuity, nor does it contain a mixture of truth & error. It is not a hidden book requiring “higher” or “enlightened” consciousness in order to interpret it properly.

    Nor is the Bible, despite cultic claims, an incomplete revelation requiring additional scripture to interpret it or to fulfill God’s purpose. Biblical claims leave us few options. Either the Bible is what it claims—the literal inerrant Word of God—or it is not possible to know if God has revealed Himself to us truthfully.

    The Bible facts cannot be explained by recourse to human theories concerning origin & the biblical data itself leave inerrancy as the only option concerning content. The God of Scripture has revealed Himself as the God of truth, so autographic errors (original writings) would prove God was not their author.

    Indeed, since no other religion offers genuine evidence for belief in their God, apart from the Bible we are forced to remain agnostic about God. He might exist, but beyond general revelation we can know nothing about Him. The following 7 points are necessary for understanding what the Bible is.

    1. Biblical Inspiration

    The Bible claims to be the inspired Word of God. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God [God-breathed: Gk, theopneustos] & is PROFITABLE for teaching, rebuking, correcting & training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16).

    In what sense is the Bible inspired? Biblical inspiration is (a) verbal (extending to the very words, not just the ideas, of Scripture), (b) plenary (extending equally to every part of Scripture) and (c) perspicuous (sufficiently clear for the average person to understand & be spiritually nourished without recourse to scholarly or technical insight).

    Directly or indirectly, the Bible claims/implies divine inspiration 100's of times. Here are several examples:

    Jer 56:1,2 This word came to Jeremiah from the LORD: “Take a scroll & write on it all the words I have spoken to you concerning Israel, Judah & all the other nations from the time I began speaking to you in the reign of Josiah till now.”

    Matt 4:4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”’

    2 Pet 1:16-21 For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of His MAJESTY. He received honor & glory from God the Father when the voice came to Him from the MAJESTIC GLORY, saying, “This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.” We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with Him on the sacred mountain.

    19More over, we also have the word of the prophets as confirmed beyond doubt & you will do well to pay attention to it, as a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns & the morning star rises in your hearts.

    20Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

    Hebrews 1:1-3 In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times & in various ways, but in these last ('eschatological') days, He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things & through whom also He made the universe.

    The Son is the radiant outshining of God’s glory & the exact representation of His Being, sustaining all things by His powerful WORD. After He had provided purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the MAJESTY in heaven.

    John 12:49,50 For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent Me commanded Me what to say & how to say it...Whatever I say is just what the Father has told Me to say. (John 12:49-50)

    Rev 1:1 The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants what must soon take place.

    Hosea 1:1 The word of the LORD that came to Hosea...The word of the LORD came to Ezekiel…. (Ezekiel 1:5)

    Exodus 24:4 (31:24) Moses then wrote down everything the LORD had said.

    2 Pet 3:2,15,16 NASB ...You should remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets--& the commandment of the Lord & Savior--spoken by your apostles...[Our] beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the unlearned & unstable distort, as they do the rest of the Scriptures.

    2. The Bible Is Authoritative & Powerful

    Jeremiah 23:29 'Is not my word like fire,’ declares the LORD, ‘And like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?’ Because the Bible is the Word of God it is the most important literature in all the earth. It is important for what it is & what it does & how it applies to us.

    “…My word that goes out from My mouth… will not return to Me empty, but will accomplish what I desire & achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (saiah 55:11)“For the word of God is living & active, sharper than any double-edged sword; it penetrates even to dividing of soul & spirit, of joints &marrow. It judges the thoughts & attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).

    Because of its Divine nature, ignorance of the Bible is spiritually & otherwise dangerous. As Jesus told the hypocritical religious leaders of His day, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures nor the power of God” (Matt 22:29).

    Matt 5:36-40,46,47 For the works that the Father has given Me to accomplish, the very works that I am doing, bear witness about Me that the Father has sent Me. 37And the Father who sent Me has Himself borne witness about Me. His voice you have never heard, His form you have never seen

    38& you do not have His word abiding in you, for you do not believe the One whom He has sent. You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life & YET they bear witness about Me, yet you refuse to come to Me that you may have life. For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote of Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”

    Here is just a microcosm of what people down through history have said about the Bible & the Lord Jesus Christ. Throughout history, the Bible has touched every sphere of culture from art & music to philosophy & science. Now that is immensely remarkable & all on this short list (for time & space sake) thought the Bible remarkable.

    "To read the Bible is to take a trip to a fair land where the spirit is strengthened & faith renewed.' - Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969)

    "That Book, the Bible, accounts for the supremacy of England. England has become great & happy by the knowledge of the true God through Jesus Christ." - Queen Victoria (1819-1901)

    "The Bible contains more philosophy than all the libraries that I have ever seen, & such parts as I cannot reconcile with my little philosophy, I postpone for future investigation." - John Adams (1735-1826)

    "The first & almost only book deserving of universal attention is the Bible. I speak as a man of the World. So great is my veneration for the Bible, that the earlier my children begin to read it, the more confident will be my hope that they will prove useful citizens of their country & respectable members of society. I have for many years made it a practice to read through the Bible once every year." - John Quincy Adams (1767-1848)

    "I believe the Bible is the best gift God has ever given to man. All the good from the Saviour of the World is communicated to us through this book...I am profitably engaged in reading the Bible. Take all of this Book that you can by reason, & the balance by faith, & you will live & die a better man." - Abraham Lincoln (1909-1865) (to be continued)
     
  3. NeedyFollower

    NeedyFollower Well-Known Member

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    I appreciate that you are a generic theist for as one poster pointed out , belief is a gift and faith is an endeavor . James said " You believe in one God , thou doest well but know also that the demons believe and fear and tremble . ( In other words , believing is a good start. ) I do believe that God's Holy Spirit must enlighten one's ability to get anything from the Bible .
    Regarding Christianity ..Jesus was purported to say " Before Abraham was , I Am . Before Abraham ...before Judaism ..before man and woman , there was God . In Christ , there is no longer Jew nor gentile ..no longer the biological distractions like race and sexual passions which divide and conquer . Paul said to speak every man truth with his neighbor for we are all members one of another . That is the christian perspective of the restoration . ( Like little children . )
     
  4. redleghunter

    redleghunter Thank You Jesus! Supporter

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    Would this capture your view of the Bible?

    "The Bible is so much better when it's created by popular consensus, rather than divine inspiration."
     
  5. FaithLife1

    FaithLife1 Active Member

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    Well you're talking about Evolution. I like Dr. Hugh Ross, PHD. He's a Christian but he's also an astrophysicist and a scientist, I've read his book and he explains very well about creation though sort of a scientific point of view. Home

    I'm kind of familiar with Paganism, it's a polytheistic religion with the male and female god. Again it's somewhat vague on creation. Unlikely.

    I accept all parts of the bible. While the Old Testament (Old law) is accepted more emphasis is placed on the New Testament (New law) because God says that the old law no longer applies to us.

    2 Corinthians 3:10 (NLV)

    "The Law of Moses came with shining-greatness long ago. But that light is no longer bright. The shining-greatness of the New Way of Worship that brings us life is so much brighter."
     
  6. awitch

    awitch Well-Known Member

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    There are countless flavors of Paganism and just as many creation myths and deities.

    There are some scary parts in the Old Testament. Did it ever bother you that any of those parts ever applied to anyone at any time?
     
  7. FaithLife1

    FaithLife1 Active Member

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    It must be very confusing.
     
  8. awitch

    awitch Well-Known Member

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    Not particularly. I don't take any of the creation stories literally. They have symbolic meaning but that's about it. None of them can be shown to be authorized or authenticated by any deity.
    It's best to follow where the evidence leads and I trust the consensus of the scientific community.
     
  9. dlamberth

    dlamberth Senior Contributor Supporter

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    Creation myth stores have always been central to the various cultures through out time. It's an important central part of religions that attempts to answer basic questions about the origin of the Earth, it's life and it's people. Today's Creation story that is being told through science is replacing the old ancient myth generated Creation stories from time past. The world as a whole is coming together in agreement around the Creation story that science has opened up for us. Oh...there are still hold outs for sure. But as time roles on, more and more folks are finding ways of incorporating the new Creation story with their spiritual lives.
     
  10. Tone

    Tone Star Fish Radiant Supporter

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    Just another story...another "myth"...except, all this "new" one can do is open a pit of bottomless questions.
     
  11. dlamberth

    dlamberth Senior Contributor Supporter

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    Is that why your a Bible believer, it answers all of your question? For me, it did raise a lot of questions. Still does.
     
  12. Tone

    Tone Star Fish Radiant Supporter

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    Not a pit of questions...maybe a wonderful universe of unlimited potential. Science is reductionist the Bible is holistic.
     
  13. dlamberth

    dlamberth Senior Contributor Supporter

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    And both together I think makes for a more complete picture.
     
  14. Tone

    Tone Star Fish Radiant Supporter

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    Which is why they are both addressed in the Bible, but one is passing away...
     
  15. Mathetes66

    Mathetes66 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    (continued from remarkable statements from people in history about the influence of the Bible)

    "A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education. Almost every man who has by his lifework added to the sum of human achievement...has based his lifework largely upon the teachings of the Bible." - Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919)

    "A man has deprived himself of the best there is in the World who has deprived himself of a knowledge of the Bible." - Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924)

    "There is no other book so various as the Bible, nor one so full of concentrated wisdom. Whether it be of law, business, morals etc...he who seeks for guidance...may look inside its covers & find illumination." - Hebert Hoover (1874-1964)

    "The influence of the Bible in the early days of the Republic is plainly revealed in the writing & thinking of the men who made the nation possible...They found in the Scriptures that which shaped their course & determined their cause." - Franklin Rooselvelt (1882-1945)

    "To the influence of the Book we are indebted for the progress made in civilisation, & to this we must look as our guide in the future. The Bible is the sheet-anchor of our liberties." - Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885)

    "The Bible has been the Magna Carta of the poor & oppressed. The human race is not in a position to dispense with it." - Thomas Huxley (1825-1895)

    "There is abundant evidence that the Bible, though written by men, is not the product of the human mind. By countless multitudes it has always been revered as a communication to us from the Creator of the Universe. - Sir Ambrose Fleming (1849-1948)

    "Any number of people assume that the Bible says that Eve ate an apple, or that Jonah was swallowed by a whale. Yet the Bible never says a word about whales or apples...It is unfair to turn round & blame the Bible because of all these legends & jokes & journalistic allusions, which are read into the Bible by people who have not read the Bible." - G. K. Chesterton

    Immanuel Kant, the brilliant German scholar & philosopher, said to be one of the greatest Western philosophers & one of the most important figures in the development of modern science, said, "The existence of the Bible, as a book for the people, is the greatest benefit which the human race has ever experienced. Every... attempt to belittle it... is a crime against humanity.”

    Sir Francis Bacon, known as the father of the scientific method, wrote: “There are two books laid before us to study, to prevent our falling into error; first, the volume of Scriptures, which reveal the will of God, then the volume of the Creatures [Creation], which express His power.”

    Wernher von Braun, regarded as the father of the American space program, wrote: “In this age of space flight, when we use the modern tools of science to advance into new regions of human activity, the Bible—this grandiose, stirring HISTORY of the gradual revelation & unfolding of the moral law—remains in every way an up-to-date book.”

    The great English playwright Sir Walter Scott wrote: “The most learned, acute & diligent student cannot, in the longest life, obtain an entire knowledge of this one Volume. The most deeply he works the mine, the richer & more abundant he finds the ore."

    "New light continually beams from this source of heavenly knowledge to direct the conduct & illustrate the work of God & the ways of men. And he will at last leave the world confessing that the more he studied the Scriptures the fuller conviction he had of his own ignorance & of their inestimable value.”

    The noted French writer and philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote: “Peruse the works of our philosophers; with all their pomp of diction, how mean, how contemptible, are they, compared with the Scriptures! Is it possible that a Book at once so simple and sublime should be merely the work of man?”

    John Locke, the noted English philosopher, wrote: “The Bible is one of the greatest blessings bestowed by God on the children of men. It has God for its author; salvation for its end, and truth without any mixture for its matter. It is all pure, all sincere; nothing too much; nothing wanting.”

    William Gladstone, famous 19th-century British prime minister, said: “I have known 95 of the world’s great men in my time & of these, 87 were followers of the Bible. The Bible is stamped with a Specialty of Origin & an immeasurable distance separates it from all its competitors.”

    Charles Dickens passed away on June 1, in 1870. But did you know that one of Dicken’s least-known books is "The Life of Our Lord," written for his children? He wrote to his son, Edward, that the New Testament “is the best book that ever was or will be known in the world.”

    In 1752, the Pennsylvania State Assembly ordered a steeple bell for the statehouse to include the inscription proclaiming, "Liberty throughout all the land." The Liberty Bell at Philadelphia’s Independence Hall has become an icon of American history and independence.

    But did you know that in 2013, the Providence Forum commissioned a full-scale replica of the famed Liberty Bell for Museum of the Bible? It stands six feet tall and weighs 3,200 pounds. And the peeling of the bell is in E-flat, the same key as its original.

    The Liberty Bell became the first exhibit to be installed at Museum of the Bible in 2017. Emblazoned on the Liberty Bell are the same words that appear on the original, from Leviticus 25:10: "Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof."

    Sir William Flinders Petrie is a well-known Egyptologist and one of the first modern, scientific archaeologists to excavate in Israel. His most famous discovery, according to him, was made in 1896 at Thebes, where he discovered a large stele commissioned by Pharaoh Merenptah in the 13th century BC. The Merenptah Stele contains, according to most, the earliest recorded mention of the name "Israel" outside of the Bible.

    In the hours before the Allied invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944 — D-Day — troops were preparing to land on a 50-mile stretch of French coastline.

    Two days before, Chaplain George Russell Barber conducted church services on 11 different ships — distributing thousands of small "Service Testaments" provided by The Gideons International. Barber quoted Psalm 23, attempting to comfort the anxious troops, and on D-Day, Lieutenant Colonel Barber led his men onto Omaha Beach under intense enemy fire.

    Hundreds of soldiers were killed. In the water was a scene Barber never forgot: small Bibles floating everywhere. As men in the water died in his arms, Barber quoted Jesus’s words from John 14:1–2: "Let not your heart be troubled, you believe in God, believe also in me."

    Martin Luther’s 95 Theses were written in 1517 & nailed to the door of Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. Later, when he refused to recant his writings, he was declared an outlaw by the Holy Roman Empire. In hiding at Wartburg Castle, he would complete the initial translation of the NT into German in a remarkably short 11 weeks! He went on to translate the entire Bible & by his death in 1546, more than half a million copies were in circulation.

    "I don't think any words have had a fuller possession of my mind through life than Christ's putting himself in the place of the sick, the infirm, the prisoner." –Florence Nightingale

    On the eve of World War 2, within days of becoming Prime Minister of Great Britain, Winston Churchill faced the inevitability of trying to defeat a powerful enemy—Nazi Germany. Great Britain’s "darkest hour" is the subject and title of a new film released nationwide.

    In a radio broadcast earlier in 1940, Winston Churchill encouraged a nation, using words from John 14: “The day will come when ... victorious nations ... will plan and build in justice, in tradition, and in freedom a house of many mansions where there will be room for all.” In 1941, he wrote: “The more closely we follow the Sermon on the Mount, the more likely we are to succeed in our endeavors.”

    Julia Ward Howe was a prolific writer of the late 19th century. On 1/28/1908, she became the 1st woman elected to the prestigious American Academy of Arts & Letters. But she is best known as the writer of the 'Battle Hymn of the Republic'—the most enduring song of the Civil War period.

    It remains an iconic national song. Heard often at times of national mourning or celebration, it contains many biblical references & metaphors. In the 1st verse, Howe references language from Jeremiah, Isaiah & Revelation: “Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord, He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored."

    The city of Ur is the home of an important figure in Judaism, Islam & Christianity. Genesis 15 mentions that the patriarch Abraham originally hailed from Ur. But up until a 100 years ago, skeptics claimed Ur was a myth.

    In 1922, the city of Ur was excavated by British archaeologist Leonard Woolley, buried deep in the sands of Mesopotamia, now modern-day Iraq. A wide variety of artifacts hidden for over 2,500 years was unearthed, giving insight into ancient Near Eastern culture.

    Statues & temples honoring the moon god, the patron god of Ur, were prevalent, recalling the statement in Joshua 24 that Terah, Abraham’s father & his sons worshiped other gods. Surprising some historians was evidence that the citizens of Ur were well-versed in literature & skilled in craftsmanship, showing an advanced civilization, not a primitive one.

    “It is impossible to enslave mentally or socially a Bible-reading people. The principles of the Bible are the groundwork of human freedom.” Horace Greeley

    Sir Isaac Newton: “There are more sure marks of authenticity in the Bible than in any profane history.”

    “The secret of my success? It is simple. It is found in the Bible.” George Washington Carver

    It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.” George Washington

    “That Book (the Bible) is the rock on which our Republic rests.” Andrew Jackson

    “The whole hope of human progress is suspended on the ever growing influence of the Bible.” W.H. Seward

    “The Bible is the cornerstone of liberty…students’ perusal of the sacred volume will make us better citizens, better fathers, and better husbands.” Thomas Jefferson

    “At this time I both read and studied all kinds of literature: cosmography, histories, chronicles, and philosophy and other arts , to which our Lord opened my mind unmistakably to the fact that it was possible to navigate from here to the Indies, and He evoked in me the will for the execution of it; and with this fire I came to Your Highnesses."

    "All those who heard of my plan disregarded it mockingly and with laughter. All the sciences of which I spoke were of no profit to me nor the authorities in them; only in Your Highnesses my faith, and my stay. Who would doubt that this light did not come from the Holy Spirit, anyway as far as I am concerned, which comforted with rays of marvelous clarity and with its Holy and Sacred Scriptures.” Christopher Columbus

    "The Bible, and it alone, with nothing added to it nor taken away from it by man, is the sole and sufficient guide for each individual, at all times and in all circumstances." -Michael Faraday, English chemist and physicist

    (He came from a very poor family, yet became one of the greatest scientists in history. His achievement was remarkable in a time when science was usually the preserve of people born into wealthy families. The unit of electrical capacitance is named the farad in his honor, with the symbol F.)

    "The Bible is a book that has been read more and examined less than any book that ever existed." - Thomas Paine

    Napoleon Bonaparte:

    “I know men & I tell you that Jesus Christ is not a mere man. Superficial minds see a resemblance between Christ & the founders of empires & the gods of other religions. That resemblance does not exist. There is between Christianity & whatever other religions the distance of infinity…”

    “The Bible is no mere book, but a Living Creature, with a power that conquers all that oppose it.”

    “Time, the great destroyer, is powerless to extinguish this sacred flame; time can neither exhaust its strength nor put a limit to its range. This is it, which strikes me most; I have often thought of it. This it is which proves to me quite convincingly the Divinity of Jesus Christ. If you do not perceive that Jesus Christ is God, very well, then I did wrong to make you a general.”

    "Well, then, I will tell you. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne & I myself have founded great empires; but upon what did these creations of our genius depend? Upon force. Jesus alone founded His empire upon love & to this very day millions would die for Him. I think I understand something of human nature & I tell you, all these were men & I am a man: none else is like Him; Jesus Christ was more than man.

    "I have inspired multitudes with such an enthusiastic devotion that they would have died for me, but to do this it was necessary that I should be visibly present with the electric influence of my looks, of my words, of my voice. When I saw men & spoke to them, I lighted up the flame of self-devotion in their hearts."

    "Christ alone has succeeded in so raising the mind of man towards the Unseen, that it becomes insensible to the barriers of time & space. Across a chasm of 1800 years, Jesus Christ makes a demand which is beyond all others difficult to satisfy; He asks for that which a philosopher may often seek in vain at the hands of his friends, or a father of his children, or a bride of her spouse, or a man of his brother. He asks for the human heart; He will have it entirely to Himself."

    "He demands it unconditionally & forth with His demand is granted. Wonderful In defiance of time & space, the soul of man, with all its powers & faculties, becomes an annexation to the empire of Christ. All who sincerely believe in Him, experience that remarkable supernatural love towards Him. This phenomenon is unaccountable; it is altogether beyond the scope of man’s creative powers."

    Thallus (52AD) Thallus, an historian, is perhaps the earliest secular writer to mention Jesus. He wrote a three-volume history of the Mediterranean world from before the Trojan War to the 167th Olympiad. He is also quoted by various other historians & he is so ancient his writings don’t even exist anymore. There are quotes from all 3 volumes & he mentions definite historical people at the time.

    Here is another example of many quoting him: All writers of Greek & Roman antiquities tell us that Saturn, the first of his kind, was a man: Nepos knows this & Cassius in history, as well as Thallus & Diodorus, say this. (Minucius Felix 21)

    But Julius Africanus, in his 'History of the World,'writing around 221AD--is one of the ancient historians who does quote Thallus-- who previously tried to explain away the darkness occurring at Jesus’ crucifixion as recorded in the Gospel accounts. Another fascinating fact is that he wrote in 'Koine' Greek, the very same Greek the Bible was written in, showing he was indeed a contemporary of the first & early 2nd century.

    “On the whole world there pressed a most fearful darkness & the rocks were rent by an earthquake & many places in Judea & other districts were thrown down. This darkness Thallus, in the third book of his History, calls, as appears to me without reason, an eclipse of the sun.” (Julius Africanus, Chronography, 18:1)

    If only more of Thallus’ record could be found, we might find more confirmation of Jesus’ crucifixion. But there are some things we can conclude from this account: Jesus lived, He was crucified & there was an earthquake & darkness at the point of His crucifixion.

    Matt 27:45,51-54 Now from the 6th hour [noon] there was darkness over all the land UNTIL the 9th hour. And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook & the rocks were split.

    52The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised & coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they went into the holy city & appeared to many. When the centurion & those who were with Him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake & what took place, they were filled with awe & said, “Truly this was the Son of God!”

    Luke 23:44-49 It was now about the 6th hour & there was darkness over the whole land until the 9th hour, while the sun’s light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit My spirit!” And having said this He breathed His last.

    47Now when the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God, saying, “Certainly this man was innocent!” And all the crowds that had assembled for this spectacle, when they saw what had taken place, returned home beating their breasts. And all His acquaintances & the women who had followed Him from Galilee stood at a distance watching these things. (to be continued)
     
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  16. Mathetes66

    Mathetes66 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    First of all, the story being told by secular science is NOT a Creation story. It is naturalistic, excludes anything supernatural or intelligent design & things evolved rather than were created by 'a or many' creators.

    Second, the world is not coming together in agreement around the Creation story & more & more people are not finding ways to incorporate the scientific evolution with their spiritual lives.

    The latest Gallup poll comparing views of origins since 1982 until 2017 show that there has been a drop (from 44 to 38) of those who strictly believe one God is the Creator of all things & no evolution is involved. What has actually stayed the same, for 37 years, since 1982 is 'theistic evolution' at 38.

    The one that has increased the most is pure naturalistic evolution (denying any aspect of creation or intelligent design) since 1982, going from 9 to 19, a little more than doubling itself. But it has remained the same for the last 3 years with no increase.

    So, as a whole, the vast majority (76) still believe in intelligent design of a creative nature of some type rather than completely naturalistic.

    The vast number of creation stories in the world are polytheistic in nature (Hinduism, Egyptian, Roman, Greek, Buddhism (syncretizes easily with other religions), tribal for the most part--rather than monotheistic (Christianity, Judaism, Islam).

    Polytheism

    "Polytheism still represents much of the world today. Except for the monotheistic (belief in one God) religions of Christianity, Judaism & Islam, most of the world's religions are overwhelmingly polytheistic. Polytheism characterizes the beliefs of Hinduism, Mahayana Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism & Shintoism in the East & also contemporary tribal religions in Africa & the Americas. These religions are widely practiced throughout the world & remain very popular in their ancestral areas."

    This is a bit off-topic from the thread topic ('Why are you a Bible believer?') & I do apologize. Continuing on why I am a Bible believer.

    The Bible-The Most Unique Book in the World-Part 2 | John Ankerberg Show

    Scriptural Declarations Concerning the Bible’s Own Authority

    The Old Testament

    Eternal

    Isaiah 40:8—The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.
    Psalm 119:89—Your word, 0 LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens.
    Psalm 138:2—I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word.
    Perfect and Trustworthy
    Proverbs 30:5-6—Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.
    Psalm 12:6—And the words of the LORD are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times.
    Psalm 18:30— As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.
    Psalm 19:7-9— The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul… the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
    True
    Psalm 119:43, 142, 151, 16—The word of truth… your law is true… All your commandments are true…. All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal.
    Holy and Righteous
    Psalm 105:42— For he remembered his holy promise given to his servant Abraham.
    Psalm 119:125— My eyes fail, looking for your salvation, looking for your righteous promise.
    Psalm 119:140— Your promises have been thoroughly tested, and your servant loves them.
    Good
    Jeremiah 33:14— I will fulfill the gracious promise I made….
    Vital (and verbal)
    Isaiah 59:21—”As for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the Lord. “My Spirit, who is on you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will not depart from your mouth, or from the mouths of your children, or from the mouths of their descendants from this time on and forever,” says the LORD.
    Jesus Christ and the Gospels Note Jesus’ view of God’s Word:

    Eternal
    Matthew 24:55— Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
    Trustworthy
    Matthew 5:18— I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.
    John 5:47—But since you do not believe what he [Moses] wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?
    John 10:35—… the Scripture cannot be broken…
    John 12:49-50—For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.
    John 17:8—I gave them the words you gave me…
    Luke 16:17—It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the least stroke of a pen to drop out of the Law.
    True
    John 17:17—Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.
    Holy
    John 7:16— My teaching is not my own. It comes from him who sent me. (compare 12:49-50)
    Vital (and Verbal)
    Matthew 4:4—Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”’
    The Rest of the New Testament Note the Apostles’ view of God’s Word:

    Eternal
    1 Peter 1:25—But the word of the Lord stands forever. And this is the word that was preached to you.
    Inspired
    2 Timothy 3:16-17— All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
    2 Peter 1:20-21—… no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
    2 Peter 3:2, 15-16—I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles…. Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these mailers. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. (This shows the inspiration of the New Testament.)
    Living and Active
    Hebrews 4:12—For the word of God is living and active… (compare Acts 7:38)
    1 Peter 1:23—For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.
    True
    2 Timothy 2:15— Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
    Not Human
    1 Thessalonians 2:13— And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe.
    1 Thessalonians 4:8—…he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.
    Holy
    2 Timothy 3:15—… from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures…
    Vital (and Verbal)
    Revelation 22:18-19—I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.
    1 Corinthians 2:12-13—We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us… in words taught by the Spirit… (See v.14)
    Romans 3:2—… they have been entrusted with the very words (logia) of God.
    The Character of God and the Inerrancy and Authority of Scripture
    • Sovereign: A sovereign God is able to preserve the process of inspiration from error.
    • Righteousness: A righteous God is unable to inspire error.
    • Just: A just God could not be untruthful when asserting that His word is inerrant He would be unjust if He bore witness to errant Scripture as “holy and true.”
    • Love: A loving God would adequately provide for the spiritual health and safety of His people by inspiring an inerrant word.
    • Eternal: An eternal God has had forever to determine the canon and means of inspiration (verbal, plenary, perspicuous) for His word.
    • Omniscient: An omniscient God knows every contingency that might arise to inhibit inerrancy.
    • Omnipotent: An omnipotent God can effectively respond to every contingency and also preserve the transmission of His Word.
    • Omnipresent: An omnipresent God can initially reveal and inspire His word and later illuminate it
    • Immutable: An immutable God could never contradict His word.
    • Veracity: A truthful God would not lie when He testifies about the inerrancy of His word.
    • Merciful: A merciful God would not be unmerciful in inspiring both truth and error and then have His people vainly attempt to find the parts that are true. He would not leave His people to subjectivism and uncertainty about His vital word.
    • Personal: A personal God can inspire verbally, with words, to ensure effective communication. (to be continued)
     
  17. Mathetes66

    Mathetes66 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The Bible-The Most Unique Book in the World-Part 3 | John Ankerberg Show

    This is part three in our look at seven points necessary for understanding what the Bible is. In previous articles we have seen: 1) Biblical inspiration; 2) the Bible is authoritative and powerful; 3) Scriptural declarations concerning the Bible’s own authority. And now we come to point 4:

    Contents
    4. The Uniqueness of the Bible
    • The Bible is the only book in the world that offers objective evidence to be the Word of God. Only the Bible gives real proof of its divine inspiration.
    • The Bible is the only religious Scripture in the world that logically can be considered inerrant in the autographs.
    • The Bible is the only ancient book with documented scientific and medical prevision. No other ancient book is ever carefully analyzed along scientific lines, but many books have been written on the theme of the Bible and modern science.
    • The Bible is the only religious Scripture that offers eternal salvation as a free gift entirely by God’s grace and mercy.
    • The Bible is the only major ancient religious Scripture whose complete textual preservation is established as virtually autographic.
    • The Bible contains the greatest moral standards of any book.
    • Only the Bible begins with the creation of the universe by divine fiat and contains a continuous, if often brief and interspersed, historical record of mankind from the first man, Adam, to the end of history.
    • Only the Bible contains detailed prophecies about the coming Savior of the world and whose prophecies have proven true in history.
    • Only the Bible has the most realistic view of human nature, the power to convict people of their sin and the ability to change human nature.
    • Only the Bible has unique theological content including theology proper (the Trinity; God’s attributes); soteriology (depravity, imputation, grace, propitiation/atonement, reconciliation, regeneration, union with Christ, justification, adoption, sanctification, eternal security, election and so on); Christology (the incarnation; hypostatic union); pneumatology (the Person and work of the Holy Spirit); eschatology (detailed predictions of the end of history); ecclesiology (the nature of the church as Christ’s bride & its organic union with Him) & more. (A good systematic theology, as Wayne Grudem’s Bible Doctrine, published by Moody Press, will be useful in understanding what the Bible teaches on these and other subjects.)
    • Only the Bible offers a realistic and permanent solution to the problem of human sin and evil.
    • Only the Bible has its accuracy confirmed in history by archeology and other sciences.
    • The internal and historical characteristics of the Bible are unique in its unity and internal consistency despite production over a 1,500-year period by 40-plus authors in three languages on three continents discussing scores of controversial subjects yet having agreement on all issues.
    • The Bible is the most translated, purchased, memorized & persecuted book in history.
    • Only the Bible is fully one-quarter prophetic, containing a total of some 400 complete pages of predictions.
    • Only the Bible has withstood 2,000 years of intense scrutiny by critics, not only surviving the attacks but prospering & having its credibility strengthened by such criticism. (Voltaire & not a few cult leaders, predicted that the Bible would be extinct within 100 years; within 50 years Voltaire was extinct & his house was a warehouse of the Geneva Bible Society.)
    • The Bible has molded Western civilization history more than any other book. The Bible has had more influence in the world than any other book.
    • Only the Bible has a Person-specific (Christ centered) nature for each of its 66 books, detailing His life in prophecy, type, anti-type & so on 400-1,500 years before the Person was born.
    • Only the Bible proclaims a resurrection of its central figure & proven in history.
    • Only the Bible provides historic proof that the one true God loves mankind.
    5. Principles for Interpreting the Bible
    The Scripture declares that it is our responsibility to interpret the Bible accurately. “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed & who correctly handles the word of truth” (2 Tim 2:15).

    The reason that members of cults misinterpret the Bible is because they have never studied or properly applied the rules for correctly interpreting a historical document like the Bible. Our Encyclopedia of Cults & New Religions documents numerous examples of how cults misinterpret the Bible by failing to adhere to accepted rules of textual interpretation.

    While it is beyond the scope of this discussion to offer an adequate treatment of hermeneutical principles, these may be secured from any good treatment of biblical hermeneutics, such as McQuilkin’s Interpreting & Applying the Bible.

    In order to approach the Word of God correctly, we must have familiarity with the basic rules of interpretation, such as that the Bible is to be interpreted normally or literally. There is no justification in the text, or anywhere else, for generally interpreting it mystically, or only symbolically or through the alleged insights of so-called “higher consciousness” or alleged new divine revelations that contradict the Bible’s earlier revelation.

    To interpret the Bible normally means attention must be paid to what the authors’ intended, what the words they wrote meant to them in their linguistic and historical context. The point is to discover the writer’s intent, which is the only true meaning. This meaning is fixed by the author & not subject to alteration by anyone else, cultist or Christian. It should also be noted that while a good English translation is usually reliable, it may not convey all the nuances or force of the original Greek or Hebrew.

    Biblical verses must be interpreted with due reference to the original languages of Scripture—Greek, Hebrew & Aramaic—and one must study word meanings & grammar. Comparing corollary or parallel passages relevant to the particular verse or topic is also important.

    Bible verses must be interpreted both in their immediate & larger context. This may require some understanding of the author & the general historical context, such as whether the book is pre-exilic or post-exilic. Just as no one interprets a single sentence in a magazine article by itself, but in the context of the entire article, this must be true with the Bible.

    Understanding the literary genre of a passage is also important. Thus, one would not interpret the parables of Jesus in the same manner as the historical narrative in, say, the Book of Acts. In addition, because the Bible is a compilation of progressive revelation, the OT text when applicable must be interpreted in light of the greater & final revelation of the NT.

    Also one must interpret unclear passages in light of clear ones & because the Bible is inerrant revelation, one must assume that problem passages have a resolution rather than being an error. Time & again history & archaeological discovery have proven the correctness of this approach.

    If we respect the Bible as the Word of God, apply proper interpretive principles, & depend upon the Holy Spirit to help us interpret & apply it properly, our reverent study will bring great rewards.

    6. Jesus’ View of Scripture
    All cults must somehow undermine the authority of Scripture. They do this by alleging textual corruption, or a false interpretation by the church or new revelation that corrects or completes the Bible. But what all cults fail to do at this point is to honor the words of Jesus, whom they claim to revere.

    Jesus said plainly, without any qualification whatsoever, “Your word is truth” (John 17:17). He said that heaven & earth would pass away but that His words would never pass away (Matt 24:35). In John 14:26 He promised the disciples that the Holy Spirit would teach them all things & bring to remembrance the things Jesus had taught them.

    He taught that the Holy Spirit, whom He would send, would guide the disciples into all the truth (John 16:13), thus pre-authenticating the inspiration & inerrancy of the NT. Clearly, Jesus did not believe that the Holy Spirit, whom He called the Spirit of truth (John 14:17), would corrupt His own words or inspire error.

    As the incarnate Son of God, Jesus was an infallible authority. He would hardly teach the infallibility of the OT & not know that the same condition would apply to the NT. As the only man in history to ever resurrect Himself from the dead (John 2:19), His view of Scripture holds precedent over everyone else’s.

    7. Recommended Reading
    John Wenham, Christ and the Bible;
    Rene Pache, The Inspiration and Authority of Scripture; Norman Geisler, Christ the Theme of the Bible;
    Henry Morris, Modern Science and the Bible;
    Gleason Archer, Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties; Norman Geisler, ed., Inerrancy;
    J. Barton Payne, Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecy
     
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  18. Mathetes66

    Mathetes66 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Here is Rabbi Tovia Singer talking about the amazing accuracy of the Tenakh, the Old Testament (OT) when the oldest manuscripts of the Bible we have are compared to the OT books found in the Dead Sea Scrolls (38 of 39 books found there & being 1200 years older, have a 99.9% match).



    Here is Daniel Wallace talking about the accuracy of the New Testament based on the large number of Greek manuscripts (5500) & over a million pages of quotes from the early church fathers that could easily construct the whole NT several times over.

    He compares this to secular, historical writings of historians in an illustration. The secular historians' manuscripts would be like a podium 4 feet high. The evidence for the NT manuscripts alone would be like 4 1/2 empire state buildings tall! And that isn't even including the over a million pages of the early church fathers!



    These are just a few examples of why I am a Bible believer, because of the enormous amount of evidence for its accuracy and reliability. I haven't even gotten into the examination of the text & the astounding UNITY of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation from 40 different writers from all walks of life over a period of 1500 years of writing & on at least 3 different continents.

    No wonder the many quotes I have already given show famous people (scholars, archaeologists, scientists, historians, conquerors of the world, etc.) verifying the remarkable nature of the Bible & how it has influenced history, the arts, institutions, people, etc. No other book in history comes even remotely close.

    From Genesis to Revelation the constant theme & unity of all the books, both OT & NT, is about ONE PERSON: the Lord Jesus Christ, the predicted & promised Messiah by all the prophets (over 600 specific prophesies!) & the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

    Luke 24:25-27 Then Jesus said to them, “O foolish ones, how slow are your hearts to believe all that the prophets have spoken. 26Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and then to enter His glory?” 27And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He explained to them what was written in all the Scriptures about Himself.

    Luke 24:32-35 They asked one another, “Were not our hearts burning within us as He spoke with us on the road & OPENED THE SCRIPTURES TO US?” 33And they got up that very hour & returned to Jerusalem.

    There they found the Eleven & those with them, gathered together & saying, “The Lord has indeed risen & has appeared to Simon!” Then the two told what had happened on the road & how they had recognized Jesus in the breaking of the bread.

    Luke 24:36-49 While they were describing these events, Jesus Himself stood among them & said, “Peace be with you.” But they were startled & frightened, thinking they had seen a spirit. “Why are you troubled,” Jesus asked, “and why do doubts arise in your hearts? Look at My hands & My feet. It is I Myself.

    Touch Me & see—for a spirit does not have flesh & bones, as you see I have.” And when He had said this, He showed them His hands & feet. While they were still in disbelief because of their joy & amazement, He asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” So they gave Him a piece of broiled fish & He took it & ate it in front of them.

    44Jesus said to them, “These are the words I spoke to you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is WRITTEN ABOUT ME in the Law of Moses & the Prophets & the Psalms.” Then He OPENED THEIR MINDS TO UNDERSTAND THE SCRIPTURES.

    46And He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer & rise from the dead on the 3rd day & in His name repentance & forgiveness of sins will be proclaimed to all nations, beginning in Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending the promise of My Father upon you. {Holy Spirit} But remain in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

    John 16:12-15 I still have much to tell you, but you cannot YET bear to hear it. However, when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. For He will not speak on His own, but He will speak what He hears & He will declare to you what is to come. He will glorify Me by taking from what is Mine & disclosing it to you. Everything that belongs to the Father is Mine. That is why I said that the Spirit will take from what is Mine & disclose it to you.
     
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