By Dr. Richard Ing
Christians claim that the Bible was written by man inspired by God. If God is the real writer, then the Bible should contain unassailable truth and some things that only God could write. It is true.
The Bible was written over a span of about 1,700 years by 43 or 44 writers. Some say the book of Hebrews was written by the apostle Paul and some claim another wrote it. Thus, either 43 or 44.
The writers were from many different walks of life. Some were kings, peasants, philosophers, fishermen, a tax collector, poets, statesmen and scholars. Most did not personally know each other and some had not even read what the others wrote. The writers lived in many different places, often far away from the others and at different times. Asia, Africa and Europe were such places. They came from different cultures. Some wrote during war and some during peace.
Three different languages were used: Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. The New Testament contains 27 books and the Old Testament contains 39 books. Yet, not one of the writers disagreed with any of the other writers in describing God, His character and nature or what He did, promised or said, His appearance, His voice and His wisdom and judgment. There is absolutely no disagreement among the writers about God.
If you took 43 writers that live in the same city and time and in the same culture and all were scholars, and instructed them to write everything they know about God, you would have 43 versions of who God is, what He is and what He does. There would be many viewpoints on what God did in the past and how He did it. The 43 writers of the Bible, however, were amazingly consistent with one another.
The Bible has proven very accurate both historically and geographically. Historians and archaeologists have used the Bible for centuries to find lost cities and sites and to place certain events and persons chronologically. Even words ascribed to the ancient Egyptians were found to be accurate when compared to the writings on the walls of pyramids and Egyptian tombs. The words used by Joseph in the days of the Pharaohs were found on the walls of the pyramids and verified as authentic.
For centuries, archaeologists and historians doubted that King David and King Solomon were historical figures. Recent digs, however, have found inscriptions describing both King David and King Solomon. Archaeologists continue to trust the accuracy of the Bible regarding historical events the locations of different cities and sites.
You would expect that a book written by God would contain predictions of the future. Only God can accurately predict the future. Indeed, the Bible contains over 3,000 prophecies or predictions of the future, often thousands of years distant. Since the last chapter in the Bible was written around 90 A.D. (Book of Revelation), it is amazing that prophecies written over 2,000 years ago are coming true, even today.
There is no other “Holy” book that contains prophecies as the Bible does. Neither the Qu’ran nor the Sanskrits contains predictions of the future. Modern day writers such as Nostradamus and Edgar Cayce have been wrong many times and their so-called predictions have been very general and much guess work is needed to decipher their vague writings. Prophecies in the Bible, however, are very specific. Some even give the dates and names of the persons 120 years in advance. Isaiah 45 named Cyrus of Persia as the one who was going to liberate Judah from Babylon. One hundred and twenty years later, Cyrus of Persia did exactly that. The Bible also predicted that Israel would be destroyed and the people scattered to the four corners of the earth. The nation of Israel, with its ten tribes were scattered all over the world by the Assyrians around 722 BC. However, the Bible prophesied that Israel would become a nation again, the ten lost tribes would return and their language restored. In 1948, the nation of Israel came into being once again. Eze. 37:21-28.
The Old Testament contains over 308 prophecies regarding the coming of Jesus. Over 250 have already been fulfilled by Jesus. The book of Isaiah, for instance, was written around 625 BC and spoke of the place, time, manner of birth, the people’s reactions towards Jesus, His name, how He was going to be killed and buried and His resurrection, among many other things.
The chances of any one man fulfilling just 8 prophecies is one in ten to the 157th power. If you take silver dollars and lay them side by side, touching one another, they would go around the moon and back to earth eight times. If you paint one of them red and have a blind man pick out that one red silver dollar among all the silver dollars, what would be the odds that he would pick the right one? Yet, Jesus fulfilled 250 prophecies about himself and will fulfill the rest in the future.
DEAD SEA SCROLLS
Some doubters claimed that the book of Isaiah, which contains many prophecies about Jesus that were fulfilled was written by Jesus’ disciples after Jesus was born and died in order to create a false religion. But in 1949, a shepherd boy discovered jars hidden in caves and filled with ancient manuscripts that were written over 220 years BC. The scrolls contained the book of Isaiah and the words on the scrolls matched the words contained in our modern Bible translation of Isaiah almost word for word. Thus, the prophecies were made before Jesus was born.
The Bible is relevant until this very day. It predicts that at the end of the world, there will be famines, pestilences, wars and rumors of wars and much deception, with people claiming to be Christ and deceiving many. Mt. 24:5-7, 11, 24. These are all present today. Both Pope John Paul II and Benedict XVI claim to be “sweet Christ on earth” in their writings. In Revelation 13, the Bible predicts that at the end of the world there will be a one-world dictator called the beast that will rule the world and war against Christians and overcome them. Rev. 13:7-8. In addition, another beast called the false prophet will rise up and join forces with the first beast and give it power. This false prophet will be a religious figure that looks like Christ (has two horns like a lamb), but speaks for the devil.
One-world government or the New World Order is already formed and prepared to take over the world. The Pope’s Ecumenical Movement has joined all the major religions of the world and holds a convention of all religions every two years.
The mark of the beast is also a reality. Every bar code contains the number 666. The end of the world is almost here. Hitachi Corp. has invented a computer chip smaller than the width of a human hair. IBM has invented a computer as small as a molecule. You could place 70 billion of them on the top of the eraser on your pencil. Please see the diagram below.
Thus, we find that the Bible is the true word of God. Yes, there are some discrepancies as would be expected when mankind interprets or translates passages. Sometimes, there is no equivalent word in the English to express a Greek word and so forth. Most of the other discrepancies are immaterial and irrelevant to the major principles of Christianity. It’s like one claiming that a certain car has 350 horsepower and another claiming that it has 355, or one arguing the seats are genuine leather while another claims that it is artificial. It doesn’t change the fact that the car is a car and all the other parts are genuine and unarguable.
Christianity is much fragmented and disunited today because of one central reason: they have not obeyed the Bible. The Bible says not to accept another Jesus from the one in the Bible and not to accept any beliefs or doctrines not taught by the first apostles. Yet, today we have many kinds of Jesus’s and doctrines never taught in the Bible. It has become a free for all with man substituting his ideas for God’s. 2 Co. 11:3-4; Gal. 1:8, 9; Jude 3, etc. Man has created many different Jesus’s. Some claim that he had a brother named Lucifer; others say He is an angry God and you have to go through the saints or His mother; other claim that He was Michael the archangel and only a man. A church in Sweden claims that Jesus was a woman and depicts Him with a woman’s body on the cross. Some New Agers have told me, “I know Jesus. She’s a black.”
In the final analysis, we can trust the Bible as originally written, and depend on it. It is the true foundation of Christianity in its unadulterated form.