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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

P3 - The Bible is God's Book by virtue of its accuracy


2 Peter 1:19 "So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts."

Introduction:
What makes the Bible worthy of the title "Book of God"? Over the past two posts we have considered the Bible as God's authoritative book and alive book. Today's post will attempt one final time to unpack Peter's words here in 2 Peter 1:16-21 by noting three reasons why we can consider the Bible as God's Book. Today we will consider the third and final reason why we can call the Bible "God's Book", namely that: the Bible is an accurate book.

The Bible is an accurate book
How accurate are the books of the Bible? In the Old Testament we find archaeological corroboration for such sites as the Tower of Babel in the records of Strabo the Roman historian and the site known as "Ur-Nammu", which records the construction of a large ziggurat structure prior to the days of Abraham. The existence of King David was confirmed by documentary evidence in pottery shards recovered from the "tel-Dan" site in Israel in 1993. Other cultures claimed to be mythological turned out to be real people-groups. For years critical scholarship viewed the Book of Joshua as fiction until the discovery of ancient sources such as the Armana letters recording a group of raiders in ancient Canaan known as the "Habiru" (more on these people can be found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Habiru )

We also find for the New Testament confirmation of the existence of such figures as Herod, Pilate, Caiphas and towns such a Bethsaida, Siloam and other places previously believed to had been non-existent. Archaeology provides ample circumstantial evidence to bring us to the reliability of the Biblical text. 

It is in the areas of fulfilled prophecy that we find incredible confirmation of not only the Bible's accuracy but Divine inspiration. No other book in the world has one example of historically verified fulfilled prophecy. The Bible has not only just one, or dozens but hundreds of examples. One such example is the amazing prophecy of Daniel 9:23-27 and the predictions made about Jesus' first coming. Details of this particular prophecy can be found at http://www.growingchristianresources.com/2013/11/daniels-seventy-weeks-in-summary.html

Undeniably we can infer from the nature of the Bible's predictive prophecy its amazing accuracy and can glean enough from Biblical archaeology to provide reasonable warrant for holding such a conclusion.

However, there is a third consideration which is the most-important when asserting the Bible's accuracy - namely what Jesus Himself had to say about scripture and the character of God Himself. 

Jesus time and time again pronounces His view of scripture as being inerrant or totally true (Matthew 22:29; John 17:17); infallible or totally effective, ever-trustworthy (John 10:35) and indestructible or preserved in all copies of the originals (Matthew 5:17-18). His living out or quotation of nearly 600 Old Testament passages as well as the promise to His apostles of being able to produce Spirit-inspired scripture free-from error (John 16:12-15) demonstrates His high view of scripture. 

Closely related to Jesus' view of scripture is the character of God Himself as a God who cannot lie (Numbers 23:19; Titus 1:2; Hebrews 6:18). Since God is a God who cannot lie, and Jesus was revealed as God-incarnate - then it stands that inerrancy of the scriptures as originally given should follow suit. Conservative Biblical scholars such as Dr. Daniel Wallace of Dallas Seminary have drawn together this link (see: https://danielbwallace.com/2013/11/26/a-bibliology-grounded-in-christology/ ). 

Thus our view of the scriptures as originally revealed by God must include inerrancy, since the source of them - God, as well as the affirmation of such by Jesus - issues forth from the only source that is perfect - God Himself. The Baptist Faith & Massage makes such a big deal about this point that three of its five sentences about the Bible assert Biblical inerrancy: "It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. Therefore, all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy."

Conclusion:
We have considered over the past few days how the Bible is God's book. We first of all looked at its authority. Next, we observed how the Bible is alive or a living book that changes lives. Then in today's post we realized that the Bible is an accurate book - henceforth being inerrant, infallible and indestructible or, stated positively, totally true, always trustworthy and preserved. My prayer is that these last several posts will instruct and encourage God's people to have a higher view of scriptures and the God who inspired them. 

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