Apologetics 10: Old Testament Trustworthiness
Last time we looked as reasons to believe the Jewish scribes reliably transmitted the Old Testament so that what we have today is what they actually wrote. This time you’ll learn five main reasons why we believe the Hebrew bible is true: (1) archaeology, (2) medical insights, (3) unflattering honesty, (4) predictive prophecy, and (5) martyrdom. Although some of these are stronger than others, cumulatively they establish the veracity of scripture quite convincingly.
If you would like to take this class for credit, please contact the Atlanta Bible College so you can register and do the necessary work for a grade.
Five reasons to believe the bible is true:
- medical insights
- brutal honesty
- predictive prophecy
Reason #1: Archeology Supports the Bible
- Archeology is a soft science based on hard evidence. The clay pot is hard evidence but when it is dated and what it means are based on interpretation. The longer that archeology exists the more detail we get on antiquity
- Why would the author take the time to report so many things accurately and then make up a story in between?
- Many times when Israel had conflict with other nations we can look in the secular history and find corroborative evidence of the event
- Sennacherib’s Prism
- chart on pp. 140-141 in Building Belief
Reason #2: Miraculous Medical Accuracy
- Leviticus continues incredible medical insights far ahead of its time
- 8th day circumcision http://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=13&article=1118
Reason #3: Brutal Honesty
- If they made it up, why would they paint themselves so true to life (moles and all)? Consider the heroes of faith and their recorded failures:
- Noah gets drunk (Genesis 9.20-24)
- Abraham is deceptive about Sarah (Genesis 12.19; 20.5)
- Moses disobeys and speaks presumptuously (Numbers 20.7-12)
- David’s sin with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11.1-27)
Reason #4: Predictive Prophesy
- Prophecy is an objectively testable criterion that could prove the bible true or false. Objective is true no matter who believes it; Subjective is true depending on how it is perceived. Amazingly, the bible repeatedly predicts historical events before they happen! This is the strongest argument for the bible being true because it is testable. The bible is made falsifiable by predictive prophecy.
- Some allege that it is easy to predict the future.
- Try predicting the weather, stock market, gambling, lottery ticket (and don’t forget that if you are wrong once, then you are stoned to death!)
- Nostradamus made extremely vague prophecies. For more information on what he prophesied and how it has to be twisted in order to fit modern events see EvangelicalOutreach.org/nostradamus.htm
- “Jeane Dixon’s supposed “prediction” about John F. Kennedy’s election and assassination. In reality, her prediction in Parade magazine in 1956 said that “a Democrat” would win the election and would “die in office.” This was far less specific than predicting “John F. Kennedy would be assassinated,” as some later retold the “prophecy.” Just how amazing was this prediction?”
- Let’s figure out the odds here: Democrat to win in 1960 = 50% and president to die in office = 40%. 50% x 40% = 20% or 1 in 5
- She also predicted other things:
- world war III would occur in 1954
- Jacqueline Kennedy would never get married again (the next day she married Aristotle Onassis)
- Vietnam would end in 1966 (it continued until 1975)
- Scientists have essentially proved gravity exists based on tests that indicate the probability of the law is so high that any other explanation seems virtually impossible. Scientists generally regard any event with a probability of less than one chance in 1050 as being impossible.
- A Skeptic’s Search for God pages 141-151
- Ezekiel 26 predicts the destruction of Tyre
Reason #5: Martyrdom
- Why would the prophets die for a lie?
- Hebrews 11.32-39: tortured, mocked, scourged, bound in chains, imprisoned, stoned, sawn in two, tempted, put to death with the sword, went about in sheepskins/goatskins, were destitute, afflicted, ill-treated, wandered in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground.
- Sounds like a lot to go through if you knew it wasn’t true!