Topical Studies Power Point Show
Scripture Reading: John 10:30-39
1. The Bible has been praised & despised, ridiculed & exalted, honored & deplored.
2. What is the Bible? Men have suggested:
a. Collection of myths.
b. Compilation of philosophical treatises.
c. Handbook of ancient proverbs.
d. A testimony of the religious sensibility of its day.
3. What does the Bible claim to be?
-In any investigation, one should examine the claims of what is being investigated, in order to arrive at an accurate conclusion.
4. The claims of the Bible cannot be discarded as irrelevant, for they reveal the beliefs of its writers.
a. Were these men honest, yet deceived?
b. Were they dishonest in the claims they made?
c. Were they writing the actual word of God for humanity?
5. What is the Bible? What are some of its claims? What respect for its contents is demanded of us?
I. THE BIBLE: A COLLECTION OF BOOKS.
A. The Name.
1. “Bible” - (BIBLIA) - From BIBLOS, first, the inner bark of the papyrus, hence, books.
2. A library of books.
a. Jerome (4th century) - “The Divine Library.”
b. “Bible” - Usage of the word dates from the 4th century.
B. Overview of the Bible.
1. About 40 writers / 66 books / 1500 years.
2. Written in three languages[Hebrew/Aramaic/Greek].
3. Most popular book of all time:
a. 2.4 billion copies from 1816-1975 (3 times more than any other book!).
b. Completely translated into 242 languages, partially into 1157 more.
4. It has influenced literature, science, art, culture of humanity.
“In fact, nearly half of all the famous paintings in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. are based on the Bible. Take away from the libraries of the world all the books which deal directly or indirectly with the Bible and you would destroy our very best reading materials.” (Simple Studies in Christian Evidences, Rubel Shelly, p. 42)
5. Has impacted the morality of man wherever it has gone!
6. Tremendous source of history of ancient Middle East.
C. Its Survival is Remarkable.
1. Antiochus Epiphanes (ruler of Syria), tried to destroy the Jews in 175 B.C. by destroying their temple & their sacred Scriptures. Failed.
2. 303 A.D., Diocletian (Roman Emperor), through deadly persecutions & burning the Scriptures, tried to destroy Christianity. [In less than 25 years, Christianity became the recognized religion!]
3. The 18th century Voltaire, a French infidel, said in 100 years from his time Christianity would be swept from existence. He died in 1778.
“And only 50 years after his death, the Geneva Bible Society sued his press and house to produce stacks of Bible.” (Geisler & Nix, cited in Evidence that Demands a Verdict, McDowell, 23).
4. Epiphanes, Diocletian & Voltaire have passed from history, but the Bible ever remains – loved, read & studied by millions!
The Hammer and the Anvil
“Last eve I passed beside a blacksmith’s door
And heard the anvil ring the vesper chime’
When looking in, I say upon the floor,
Old hammers worn with beating years of time.
“’How many anvils have you had,’ said I,
‘To wear and batter all those hammers so?’
‘Just one,’ said he; then said with twinkling eye,
‘The anvil wears the hammers out, you know.’
“And so, I thought, the anvil of God’s word
For ages skeptic’s blows have beat upon;
Yet, though the noise of falling blows was heard,
The anvil is unharmed – the hammers gone!”
II. THE BIBLE’S CLAIMS CONCERNING ITSELF.
A. It Claims to Have Originated With God.
1. Scripture – (“Writings”) – 2 Tim. 3:16.
a. Old Testament – cf. 2 Tim. 3:15; Rom. 15:4; Acts 7:38; Rom. 3:2.
b. New Testament – cf. 1 Tim. 5:18 (Lk. 10:7; Matt. 10:10); 2 Pet. 3:15-16; 1 Cor. 14:37.
2. Given by inspiration of God – 2 Tim. 3:16.
a. “God-breathed” [THEOPNEUSTOS – Theos, God; & pneo, to breathe].
b. Of this word, Benjamin B. Warfield said it
“…very distinctly does not mean “inspired of God’…. The Greek term has, however, nothing to say of ‘inspiring’ or of ‘inspiration: it speaks only of a ‘spiring’ or ‘spiration.’ What it says of Scripture is, not that it is ‘breathed into by God’ or the product of the Divine ‘inbreathing’ into its human authors, but that it is breathed out by God, ‘God-breathed,’ the product of the creative breath of God.” (ISBE, III:1473-1474)
c. God “breathed-out” the writings He wanted communicated!
d. 2 Pet. 1:20-21 - Both the prophecy (v. 21) and the recorded fulfillment of it (v. 20) came from God, not from men!
3. “All” scripture - Complete inspiration is claimed.
a. “Plenary Inspiration” - Full, complete, extending to every part.
b. Every part of the Bible is inspired, and equally inspired.
B. It Claims to be the Verbally Inspired Word of God - 1 Ths. 2:13 [1967 survey, Protestant ministers].
1. “Thus saith the Lord” (or its equivalents) occurs more than 2,000 times in the Old Testament!
a. Matthew 22:43 & 2 Samuel 23:1-2 - When David was “in the Spirit,” the Spirit of the Lord spoke by (in) him! God’s word was on his tongue!
b. Jeremiah 1:9; 10:1-2 - God’s words in Jeremiah’s mouth -- Hear the word the Lord speaks.
2. Verbal inspiration is claimed.
“Verbal Inspiration is the work of God through the Holy Spirit so directing men in their choice of the subject matter and in their choice of words that their writings contain, written accurately, exactly what God desired, and all that He desired, them to contain. It is the doctrine of the superintendence, or guidance; that is, God so guided in the writing of the books of the Bible that the words are His words in the style of the writers. Verbal Inspiration is the opposite of Inspired Concepts.” (H. S. Miller, General Biblical Introduction, p. 24; cited by Ferrell Jenkins, Introduction to Christian Evidences, p. 51)
a. Zechariah 7:12 - Words which Jehovah sent by His Spirit by the prophets. Illustrates the entire process of inspired revelation: Lord – Spirit – Prophets - Words!
b. 1 Corinthians 2:10-13 - Through the Spirit, God revealed His mind to the apostles & prophets.
-v. 13 - They spoke these revealed things using words taught them by the Spirit.
c. Words taught by the Spirit - Allows for the different styles of the men who wrote the Bible.
d. Verbal inspiration is claimed for the original autographs. It is evident that translations are not inspired.
C. It Claims to Meet Man’s Needs - 2 Timothy 3:16-17.
-Profitable/Beneficial to thoroughly furnish the man of God unto every good work.
D. It Claims to be Relevant and Effective - Hebrews 4:12.
1. Living words, not dead letters.
2. It meets man’s need for salvation from sin as it contains God’s communication to mankind - Hebrews 1:1-2 (Rom. 1:16-17).
III. OUR RESPECT FOR THE SCRIPTURES.
A. We Must Respect the Authority of the Scriptures - John 10:30-38.
1. v. 30-33 - A claim considered blasphemy by the Jews, because with it He made Himself God.
2. v. 34-36 - In response, Jesus quoted Psalms 82:6.
3. Shows Jesus’ attitude toward the OT: “and the Scripture cannot be broken.”
a. v. 34 - Psalms -- “law.” Jesus ascribed legal authority to the entirety of the OT Scriptures.
* b. v. 35 – Scripture cannot be undone, unloosed, or deprived of its binding authority!
c. Jesus saw authority in the most casual clauses of the Scriptures!
4. Matthew 5:17-18 - Authority of the Old Testament emphasized.
-Its authority reached to the “jot” and “tittle.”
a. Jot - The Hebrew yodh, the smallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet.
b. Tittle - A distinguishing mark, a serif, a stroke.
c. Some modern translations: “not even the smallest letter, nor one stroke of a letter” (Twentieth Century New Testament); “. ..not one dotting of an i or crossing of a t” (Goodspeed).
d. Jesus declared the Scriptures were letter perfect!
B. We Can Have Confident in the Accuracy of the Scriptures (see above, Matt. 5:18).
1. We can believe all of it (and should!):
a. Luke 24:25, 27 - Believe all the prophets…in all the scriptures concerning Himself.
b. Luke 24:44 - Echoes Matthew 5:18!
2. Have confidence in its words - Matthew 22:31-32.
-To prove resurrection, Jesus rested His case on the tense (present) of a Hebrew verb!
4. “It is written” ended all controversy with Jesus - cf. Luke 10:25-26.
1. What is the Bible?
a. Much more than the words of men.
b. 2 Timothy 3:16 - The inspired word of God.
2. How we use it directly affects our soul! - 2 Peter 3:16-18
Ferrell Jenkins, Introduction to Christian Evidences, p. 49-51
Jerry Fite, The Bible, What is it? p. 1-2
Josh McDowell, Evidence that Demands a Verdict, p. 21-23
__________ International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, I:460; III:1473-1483 p. 1473-1483