This article is a continuation of Part II
The Bible guards mankind against atheism (the belief that there is no God), against Polytheism (the belief that there are many Gods), against Pantheism (the belief that God is in everything), against Deism (the belief that God created all things and left them on their own, and He is not involved with His creation), against Agnosticism (if there is a God, I cannot know Him). However, the Bible teaches strict Monotheism, the fact that there is only one God. This Monotheism protects us from all the others listed above.
The Bible addresses itself to man’s incurably religious nature. Man is religious. This religious nature in man is a part of man’s appetite, and this appetite to worship, was put in man by his Maker. Man is incurably, worshipful. Discoveries in ancient artifacts verify his religious nature.
(6) It would have to survive the most energetic attacks by its enemies.
Modern infidels have tried to bury The Bible, but The Bible will not stay buried. Voltaire, the French skeptic, (1694-1778) said, "In less than one hundred years the Bible will be swept from the earth." Voltaire died, and the British Foreign Bible Society bought his house and have been printing Bibles in it ever since!
The Bible – There It Stands
Century follows century-there it stands.
Empires rise and fall and are forgotten-there it stands.
Dynasty succeeds dynasty-there it stands.
Emperors decree its extermination-there it stands.
Kings are crowned and uncrowned-there it stands.
Atheists rail against it-there it stands.
Agnostics smile cynically-there it stands.
Profane, prayer-less punsters caricature it-there it stands.
Unbelief abandons it-there it stands.
Higher critics deny its inspiration-there it stands.
The flames are kindled about it-there is stands.
The tooth of time gnaws at it-there it stands.
Infidels predict it’s abandonment-there it stands.
Modernism tries to explain it away, but there it stands.9
The United States of America has the original Declaration of Independence in Washington D. C. Most of us have never seen it. If it were to be destroyed today, would the loss affect our knowledge of what was written on it? No! So it is with the Bible! Man has numerous and accurate copies of that original. Do we have any original writings of Homer, Plato, Aristotle, Shakespeare, Milton, Dante, or John Bunyan? No, we have none?
Here is an objection by critics of the Bible: They say that we do not have the original manuscripts that were written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, Peter, etc. Keep this in mind; that no ancient, original writing of Plato, Virgil, Aristotle, Caesar – none of their original writings exist either, and the Bible is no different. What we have are copies of the Bible.
How many copies do we have? How close are they to the original autograph? How many of them are there? We have more than 5,750 known Greek manuscripts of portions of the New Testament. We have over 10,000 manuscripts of the New Testament of the Latin Vulgate. We have over 9,300 other early versions and manuscript portions of the New Testament, and over 25,000 manuscript copies of portions of the New Testament. There are quotations from the New Testament that are found in the writings of the early Church Fathers for the first 300 hundred years.
In fact, early historians tell us, that the entire New Testament could be reconstructed from the writings of the early Church Fathers if every one of the 5,750 manuscripts and all the 25,000 other early translations were destroyed.
The Bible has been translated into more languages and dialects than any other book on earth!
It was F. F. Bruce who said: "Everybody questions the authority of The Bible and no one questions the authority of other ancient writers." If you were to throw out The Bible as being historically, and textually uncertain; then, one would have to do away with all ancient history also. Then, we would have to conclude that we know nothing about what happened in this world before 1,000 A.D.
We don’t have to apologize about the text of the New Testament. It is 1,000 times more reliable than any other ancient secular writings because it is rooted in the flow of history.
In most ancient writings we have very few copies of the original. There are not even more than 50 reliable manuscripts from any writer of antiquity. Consider the following table:
Suggested Time Intervals
Author Dates of Copies In Between No. of Available Copies
Aeschylus 525-456 B.C. 1000A.D. 1400 years a few
Aristophanes 450-385 900A.D. 1300 years not more than 50
Catallus 85-54 B.C. 1300A.D. 1400 years 3 Copies
Demonsthenes 383-322 B.C. 900A.D. 1200 years not more than 50
Herodotus 480-425 B.C. 900A.D. 1350 years 8 copies
Lysias 450-380 B.C. 1000A.D. 1400 years a few
Lucretius 99-55 B.C. 950A.D. 1000 years not more than 50
Plato 427-347 B.C. 800A.D. 1100 years 15 copies
Sophocles 496-406 B.C. 1000A.D. 1400 years 7 copies
Tacitus 55-117 A.D. 1060A.D. 950 years 2 copies
Thucydides 460-400 B.C. 900A.D. 1300 years 8 copies
Virgil 79-19 B.C. 300A.D. 350 years 1 copy
Nobody questions the history or the authority of these writers. Notice the time-span from the earliest existence of these manuscripts. Why is every critic of The Bible so quick to acknowledge and quote from them and yet deny the accuracy of The Bible? Can The Bible be trusted? Is The Bible reliable? Yes, we have a very reliable text in The Bible.
(7) It would have to promote a Higher Code of Ethics.
The teachings of The Bible strike at the heart, the mind, the cognitive reasoning ability, and the motives of all mankind. The Bible holds to a morality, and teaches this morality.
The Bible teaches that man is a personal being who can know, understand, and reason concerning what is objective right and what is objective wrong.
The Bible also teaches that man, in his fallen state, is depraved, and in his wickedness, there is a propensity, a proclivity in the heart of man, to bury the truth he knows concerning right and wrong; because mankind wants to be free from any accountability for his/her actions. The apostle Paul declared in Romans 1:18-20:
"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse."
Francis Schaffer said, "Man has a feeling of moral motions, because man has always felt that things are right and things are wrong. All men have this sense of moral motions. You do not find man without them anywhere back in antiquity."10 The Bible is the only book which correctly points to a standard of right and wrong, and man’s moral motions.
C. S. Lewis, commenting on human nature, said: "Fist, that human beings, all over the earth, have this curious idea that they ought to behave in a certain way, and cannot really get rid of it. Secondly, that they do not in fact behave in that way. They know the Law of Nature; they break it. These two facts are the foundation of all clear thinking about ourselves and the universe we live in."11
The Bible deals with man’s internal motions and his enternal motions also. Take for example, the tenth of the Ten Commandments: "Thou shalt not covet" (Exodus 20:17). This Commandment touches the internal behavior of man and his external behavior as well. In the New Testament, ‘to covet’ or to practice covetousness is called ‘idolatry’ (Eph. 5:5; Col. 3:5).
Notice again that Jesus said, "Whosoever looks on a woman to lust after her in his heart commits adultery . . ." (Matt. 5:28). In this verse, the Bible describes the intentions of man apart from God, in his inner thinking, and man’s reaction because of wrong thinking in his outer behavior.
The Bible says that mankind’s problem is guilt and that mankind has no solution for his/her guilt outside of God’s provisions in Christ. Yet, no religious Book condemns evil more than the Bible. The Bible says that evil is real, and that evil lives in the human heart. Yet, no book promotes a higher standard of ethical and moral living than the Bible.
Christianity is not a philosophy; it is a history. It is a way of life. Christianity is a relationship with the living God –through His Son, Jesus Christ. The great philosophers from Socrates, to Plato, to Aristotle to modern day (such as philosophers; Immanuel Kant, and John Stuart Mill, and others); have given their conception of an ideal human life. But none of them had the abiding answer, or no final word for the moral, and spiritual life of mankind.
The apostle Peter wrote (in 2 Peter 1:16), "For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty." It is quite clear from this passage, that Christianity was founded by observers. Peter affirmed, "we are eyewitnesses." They were not writing blindly. They observed God’s revelation revealed in Christ (see, Matt. 17:1-5; John 1:1-14; and I John 1:1-5).
Christianity brings a complete, objective change in the moral and spiritual condition in the heart of man. This change is not static, or abstract. This objective change produces an obedient Christian. This change has the character of the living God in it. This tells us that someone, a personal Someone is present in the universe, and that Someone is the living God, and He is behind the revelation of sacred Scriptures.
(8) It would claim Universal Authority
The question of the authority of the Bible, in the highest sense (universally), rests upon the testimony of Jesus Himself.
First, Jesus said, the Scriptures point to Him. "Search the Scriptures; for in them you think you have eternal life, and these are they which testify of me" (John 5:39). Second, what did Jesus claim for Himself? Christ claimed nothing less than deity – He is God (John 1:1-3; 8:58; 10:30; and 14:9). Third, He claimed to be a prophet from God. Was He a true prophet, or was He a false prophet? If He is The true prophet from God, then His teachings must be taken seriously, including His teaching concerning sacred Scripture. Jesus taught concerning Scripture, "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" (Matt. 5:18) [NIV]. Fourth, the Old Testament prophets, in their prophesies gave a description of His ‘flawless character.’ (See, Old Testaments prophecies listed).
What did He say about His own character? He challenged His nit-picking, fault-finding enemies to find fault with His character. He said, "Which one of you convicts Me of sin?" (John 8:46).
After Christ was fully examined by the Roman Governor Pilate, he then, exclaimed three times concerning the character of Christ, "I find in Him no fault at all." (John 18:38; 19:4; and 6).
The authority of Scripture involves more than an academic question. At the heart is the question; who is God, man or his Creator? And who shall issue the final word for the whole of man’s behavior, thought, and action; will it be the living God, or mortal man?
John Rushdoony said: "Clearly, then, if the infallibility of Scripture (the authority of Scripture) is denied, it is denied only in order to ascribe infallibility (authority) to nature, to man, or to some aspect or institution of man."12
God speaks an infallible, and authoritative Word when He reveals Himself in sacred Scripture to Moses, and to others mentioned in the Bible, and to people who have lived on this earth over the last 21 centuries. He declared Himself to be God: that was His name, He Who Is, the self-existent One; the great I AM!
And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and is my memorial unto all generations (Exod. 3:14-15).
Several things about the living God: (i) Man cannot name or define the living God: God names Himself, I AM THAT I AM. (ii) God defines Himself by His self-revelation. (iii) Scripture is the necessary Word of God. He makes Himself know and all creation know by means of His sovereign, infallible, and authoritative Word. (Man can, therefore, know God). (iv) God’s Word is the unchanging Word. He is "the same yesterday, today, and for ever" (Heb. 13:8). God declared, "For I am the LORD; I change not" (Mal. 3:6). And (v) the living God made it very clear to Moses, the children of Israel, and to Pharoah, "they all answer to ME" (see, Exodus 3:16-20).
The Scripture is not a problem to be solved by man, nor a mere subject for research and speculation. It is God’s holy, inerrant, infallible, and authoritative Word. Man either obeys (the authority) of God’s Word, or is condemned by it.
9 A. Z. Conrad, as quoted by Jim McGuiggin, p. 197.
10 Francis Schaeffer, He Is There And He Is Not Silent, Tyndale House Publishers,
(Wheaton; Illinois), 1972, p. 19.
11 C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, Harper Collins Publishers, Inc., (New York; New York),
1952, p. 13.
12 John Rushdoony, Systematic Theology, 2 vols. (California; Vallecito, Ross House Books),
1994, vol. 1, p. 5. [Emphasis added].
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