So today, in Vegas, we went to Grace City Church. The speaker was Dr. Dave Earley who is a well known author and professor. The topic alone caught my attention from the get go and kept it the whole time! I wanted to share the notes from his sermon so none of this is mine, all credit goes to Dr. Earley. (Side note: if this blog looks weird, it's because I posted from my phone, not the computer, so the font options and text set up are a bit different.)
- Scientific Accuracy
- Undeniable Indestructibility
- Fulfilled Prophecy
- Historical and Archeological Integrity
- Immense Popularity
- Absolute Honesty
- Strict Canonicity
- Amazing Reliability
- Astounding Unity
- Life-Changing Potency
Point 1: Scientific Accuracy
A. Although it is not a science book, when the Bible speaks on scientific subjects, it speaks accurately.
B. Because the Bible is an ancient book written thousands of years ago, the authors, although speaking accurately, were limited in expressing themselves to the new language. (i.e. Atomic structure)
C. Through the ages the Bible has contradicted some scientific theories, yet as science has developed, science has also contradicted itself. (i.e. People thought world was flat and stood on pegs at one point, Bible contradicted that)
D. Therefore, when science and the Bible contradict, relax. Give science a few hundred years to catch up.
Point 2: Undeniable Indestructability
A. Isaiah 40:8 and Matthew 5:18
Point 3: Fulfilled Prophecy
A. Isaiah 42:8-9
B. The Bible is the only ancient book with detailed predictive prophecy.
C. Hundreds of predictive prophecies have come true.
Point 4: Historical and Archeological Integrity
A. A professional archeologist set out to prove the Bible wrong through archeology. The more he searched and researched, the more the Bible proved itself to be accurate over and over.
Point 5: Immense Popularity
A. Most books go out of print within 3-5 years. The Bible has continuously grown in sales since day one.
B. A guy (I forget the name of this man but I know he was a famous man) in the 18th century predicted the Bible would be extinct and have no more copies made within 50 years. Not only are Bibles still being made but 150 years after that man died, his house started being used to print Bibles.
Point 6: Absolute Honesty
A. The Bible points out anything that may have been different between manuscripts. None of those differences are doctrinal differences. All differences from all 24,000 manuscripts we have from around 125AD have only a half a page worth of differences. Again, none of which are doctrinal.
Point 7: Strict Canonicity
A. Canonicity: God oversaw the process by which the people of God recognized the writings in which God had revealed and inspired and then collected them into one book, the Bible.
B. Criteria for the Old Testament included: had to be written by a prophet, had to be approved in the New Testament authors, had to be authentic, had to be reliable, and had to produce life/ be dynamic.
C. Criteria for the New Testament included: had to be written by an apostle or one close to an apostle, had to be immediately accepted by the churches, had to be testified to by the church fathers, had to be authentic, had to be reliable, and had to produce life.
Point 8: Amazing Reliability
A. Isaiah 40:8
B. Evidence of preservation: immense care and attention to copy details, large number of copies with minimal discrepancies (half a page, see point 6A), and citations of the church fathers.
C. There were 17 strict rules that those who copied the Bible had to abide by. If there was even one mistake when checked and rechecked, the copy was burned. They took this so seriously that even if the king walked into the room while they were copying the Bible, they didn't move, they didn't even acknowledge the king. They kept to their work.
Point 9: Astounding Unity
A. The Bible contains 66 books written over 1500 years by 40 different writers but it tells one "big story" of God's plan of salvation that culminated in Jesus Christ.
Point 10: Life-Changing Potency
A. Hebrews 4:12; John 6:63; 1 Peter 1:23