OceanSide church of Christ
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THE BIBLE IS THE WORD OF GOD:
Is It Really?
Victor M. Eskew
A. Two questions:
1. Have you ever heard someone make a claim that you knew was not true? (Acts 12:21-22).
And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them. And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man.
2. Have you ever believed something to be true that was not?
a. I thought our dog named, Baby, was dead, but she was not.
b. Jacob thought Joseph was dead when he was not (Gen. 37:33).
And he knew it, and said, It is my son’s coat; an evil beast hath devoured him: Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces.
B. As Christians, we believe the Bible is the Word of God. We openly make the claim that the Bible is the Word of God.
1. Beliefs can be wrong.
2. Claims can be false.
C. When we say the Bible is the Word of God, is it really?
1. This is the subject of our study tonight.
2. Our title is: “The Bible Is the Word of God: Is It Really?”
I. THE BIBLE CLAIMS INSPIRATION OF GOD
A. II Timothy 3:16-17
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
1. The word “inspiration” literally means “God-breathed.”
2. All Scripture comes from the breath of God.
3. All Scripture is the Word that God breathed to man.
B. It is this claim that brings the Bible under investigation.
C. Other books that are not inspired make this claim.
1. Catholics claim that the Apocrypha is inspired.
2. Mormons tell us that the Book of Mormon is inspired.
3. Muslims assert that the Qur’an is inspired.
D. A claim is not enough to prove inspiration, but a claim does warrant an investigation into the inspiration of the work.
II. THE UNITY OF THE BIBLE
A. What are the odds that a 3000 foot skyscraper could be built piece by piece by 40 men from 40 different cultures and backgrounds over the course of 1600 years?
B. This is precisely what happened with the Bible.
1. About 40 men penned the Bible.
2. They did so over the course of 1600 years.
3. They come from a variety of cultures and backgrounds.
4. They wrote in three different languages: Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic.
5. When all of their efforts were brought together, there were sixty-six books that speak without contradiction and without effort about God’s redemption of fallen man.
C. The only way for this to have occurred is for there be an agent overseeing the entire process. That agent was the Holy Spirit (II Pet. 1:20-21).
Know this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God speak as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
III. THE HISTORICITY OF THE BIBLE
A. Definition: historical accuracy
B. NOTE: The Bible is not a history book per se, but its events happened within a historical context. If the Bible is inspired, all the historical references should be absolutely accurate.
C. Two evidences:
1. The Hittites
a. This group of people is mentioned in 11 Old Testament books. They interacted with Bible characters as early as Abraham and as late as Solomon.
b. Prior to the late 1800s, nothing outside the Bible was known of them. The critics of the Bible believed that this was a fictitious group of people.
c. Discovery of the Hittites
1) In 1876, a British scholar name A.H. Sayce found inscriptions carved on a rock in Turkey. He suspected that they might be evidence of the Hittites.
2) Ten years later, clay tablets were found in the same area. These tablets drew the attention of a German cuneiform expert named Hugo Winckler.
3) In 1906, Mr. Winckler began his own archaeological expedition in the area.
a) They found five temples, one citadel, and several massive sculptures.
b) In one storeroom, he found over 10,000 tables revealing to the world information about the Hittite nation. The Bible was confirmed to be truth!
2. Cyrus allowing the Jews to return to their homeland
a. The concluding two verses of II Chronicles and the opening four verses of Ezra reveal that Cyrus, king of Persia, allowed the Jews to return to their homeland after the Babylonian captivity.
b. The critics of the Bible believed that Cyrus ruled long after the date of release. Nothing, however, could be proven either way.
c. The discovery:
1) In 1879, an archaeologist named Hermudzd Rassam discovered the Cyrus Cylinder.
2) The cylinder is a barrel-shaped cylinder of baked clay measuring 8.9 inches by 3.9 inches.
3) This text is found written on the side of the cylinder:
From [?] to Aššur and [from] Susa, Agade, Ešnunna, Zamban, Me-Turnu, Der, as far as the region of Gutium, the sacred centers on the other side of the Tigris, whose sanctuaries had been abandoned for a long time, I returned the images of the gods, who had resided there [i.e., in Babylon], to their places and I let them dwell in eternal abodes. I gathered all their inhabitants and returned to them their dwellings. (www.wikipedia.com, “Cyrus Cylinder”).
D. The spade of archaeology is a friend of the Bible. Every time the earth is turned and a discovery is made, the Bible’s historicity is confirmed.
IV. THE SCIENCE OF THE BIBLE
A. Again, the Bible is not a science book, but when science is mentioned, the Bible is accurate.
B. Three examples:
1. Earth’s free-float in space
a. When the book of Job was written, it was believed that the earth rested upon the back of a huge animal.
b. Job 26:7
He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing.
c. This became a scientific fact around 1650 A.D. How did Job record such a fact?
2. The paths of the sea
a. Psalm 8:8
…and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the sea.
b. Matthew Fontaine Maury
1) An American naval officer and an oceanographer
2) He believed the Bible was the Word of God. When he read Psalm 8:8, he said: “If God said there are paths in the sea, then there must be paths in the sea.”
3) In 1855, he wrote the first textbook on oceanography. In it, he mentions numerous Bible verses. He speaks of the ocean currents being the paths of the sea.
4) A monument is erected in his honor in Richmond, VA. On the monument, one reads: “Matthew Fontaine Maury, Pathfinder of the Seas, the genius who first snatched from the oceans and the atmosphere the secret of their laws. His inspiration, Holy Writ, Psalm 8:8; Ecclesiastes 1:6” (www.answersingenesis.org, “Matthew Maury’s Search for the Secret of the Seas”).
3. The water cycle of the earth
a. The water cycle of the earth was discovered by scientists in the seventeenth century.
b. Bible authors such as Solomon (Eccl. 1:7; 11:3) and Amos (Amos 9:6) spoke of it hundreds of years before the scientific discovery. How did they know such things?
…he that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: the Lord is his name.
A. Is the Bible really the Word of God? Yes!!!
1. The unity of the Bible confirms it.
2. The historicity of the Bible confirms it.
3. The scientific accuracy y of the Bible confirms it.
B. There are numerous other proofs as well. We will focus on another proof in the second lesson of this series.
C. If the Bible is the Word of God, and it is, then it behooves man to give ear to it and obey.
1. James 1:19
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.
2. James 1:22
But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.