WOL Newsletter 178:Overwhelming Evidence for the Validity of Scriptures Part 3
March 6, 2016
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Edited by Stacie Thomas

I hate to say “I told you so” (actually, I don’t), but I told you this series would lead to a provocation from you to heed His Word and do something about it…
Did you notice that the sermon teaser picture of the first two parts was the same baby/toddler; but suddenly this final part is an older child? There’s a two part symbolism there: 1) after hearing the series in completion- you should have matured some 2) we’re called to ‘become like a little child’. We’re not infants anymore in our belief. We’ve (in theory) grown.
Matthew 18:3-4: Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.
Side note- since I’m late writing this up… it’s interesting how this ties into the sermon from today… stay tuned…

Overwhelming Evidence for the Validity of Scriptures Part 3

Once again, our intention is to prove: “that the Scriptures contained in the Bible are: Accurately preserved Documents; written in unparalleled unity; by eyewitnesses with nothing to gain, and everything to lose; which were verified by contemporary eyewitnesses of friendly, neutral, and hostile persuasion alike; and that these Documents, written like none other in their uniqueness, have been proven trustworthy beyond any reasonable doubt historically, archeologically, and especially prophetically; effecting the entire world for all succeeding generations unlike any Documents before or after; testifying in proof and self-proclamation, they are by absolute necessity, Divine and not human, in origin.” In our case evidence thus far, we have powerfully shown these facts: 1) there are so many ancient copies just years from the originals, in many languages, quoted in other many writings, that their accurate preservation is one of the most proven truths of literature: what we have is what is written 2) they were written with such an unparalleled unity, and in such an unusual way that no other book before or after can compare to its origin, beyond the ability of men 3) tens of thousands of people gave up their lives in persecution and torture for what they would’ve seen themselves, knowing whether it were true or not 4) multiple witnesses which were Christian, non and anti-Christian, whose writings have paralleled and retold the accounts of the NT (even to their own detriment) 5) writers with unique qualities that one wouldn’t include if they were trying to pass off a lie.
...have been proven trustworthy beyond any reasonable doubt historically, archeologically, and especially prophetically;: 1) proof of historical accuracy: facts verified in Acts—including great knowledge and specific details of local information (customs, names, places, landmarks, slang language for that time/place, names/locations of images, superstitions of the time, weather patterns, depth of sea and local shipping routes, local laws and penal/justice code, officials in power) Historian and archaeologist William M. Ramsay investigated [Acts] in order to refute NT (geographic & historical references), and was overwhelmed with evidence he found, he converted to Christianity: "I began with a mind unfavorable to it...but more recently I found myself brought into contact with the Book of Acts as an authority for the topography, antiquities, and society of Asia Minor. It was gradually borne upon me that in various details the narrative showed marvelous truth." And "Luke is a historian of the first rank; not merely are his statements of fact trustworthy...this author should be placed along with the very greatest historians."  John’s Gospel proves almost 60 details. Combine with Acts- that’s over 140 details shown to be accurate historically and archeologically. Why would an author be so intensely detailed and honest about facts like water depth, local slang and wind direction, and not be just as detailed and careful about the miraculous events he witnessed or investigate about Jesus? When a writer’s credentials have been proven, why would we question the details of the miracles just because we don’t want to believe them? Doesn’t that warrant having more faith than the world accuses Christians of having? Wouldn’t there more unfair bias to claim these writers are lying than to claim they speak Truth? (Especially when non-Christian writers confirm some of the same miraculous events in their own writings?) There have been 200 years of archeological excavations and discoveries that can be used as evidence for Scripture: The Tel Dan Stele (confirms stories/kings from 2Kings), The Nabonidus Cylinder (confirms King Belshazzar in Daniel 5), The Caiaphas Ossuary (bones from High Priest over Jesus’ trial), Pilate Dedication Stone (confirms Pontius Pilate), ancient city of Hattusa (confirming Hittites) The Walls of Jericho, water tunnel beneath Jerusalem (confirming 2Chronicles 32:30), multiple seals and inscriptions have proven numerous people and empires of OT/ NT. William F. Albright (scholar, archeologist- former critic of Biblical archeological accuracy): “There can be no doubt that archaeology has confirmed the substantial historicity of the Old Testament.” And “Biblical Historical data are accurate to an extent far surpassing the ideas of any modern critical students, who have consistently tended to err on the side of hyper criticism.” Nelson Glueck (0ne of the greatest Jewish archeologists of 20thC- was on cover of Time Magazine): “It may be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a Biblical reference. Scores of archaeological findings have been made which confirm in clear outline or in exact detail historical statements in the Bible. And, by the same token, proper evaluation of biblical descriptions has often led to amazing discoveries” If the Scriptures are shown to be so accurate in detail and truth, and archeology shows proof of many prophecies coming truth throughout history, why do we have the right to doubt their validity (against evidence) simply because we don’t want to believe? It’s estimated that 1/3 of all Scripture is prophetic in nature- and not one (in 1000’s) have ever been proven wrong. Daniel 2&8 (540-530C) tells of every world power to ever rise in history (Babylonians, Medes & Persians, Grecians, Romans…), Jeremiah 25:11-12 (Babylonians conquered Israel for 70 years), Isaiah 44:28, 45:1: King Cyrus was mentioned by name 200 years before he came to power, Deuteronomy 28 & Luke 21 (in 70AD- Jerusalem was conquered and the Temple destroyed, driving Jews from their homeland), there are over 270 detailed prophecies of the coming Messiah- all fulfilled in Jesus (who His parents would be, where and when He’d be born, how He’d die (method wasn’t invented yet), who He’d die with, where He’d be buried, that the world would believe He’d accomplished nothing) (Psalm 22:1-18- written 1000’s of years before Jesus was born). Scripture predicts that in the last days on earth, the Jews would be miraculously returned to their own land (happened), the surrounding nations would hate her and work for her destruction, the world would suffer because of their conflict, a nation would rise with 200 million man army (East of Euphrates-China), Russia would join Iran (and others) in last day alliance, 1/3 world would be destroyed by warfare involving fire, world would have economy involving no money- but a number on their body.
Dr. Simon Greenleaf, the Royal Professor of Law at Harvard University wrote the standard of what constitutes legal evidence (A Treatise on the Law of Evidence) considered by many to be the greatest legal volume ever written. He believed the resurrection to be a hoax and was determined to expose it; but after careful examination, he became a Christian, and wrote ‘An Examination of the Testimony of the Four Evangelists by the Rules of Evidence Administered in the Courts of Justice’: "The four Gospels "would have been received in evidence in any court of justice, without the slightest hesitation." And "According to the laws of legal evidence used in courts of law, there is more evidence for the historical fact of the resurrection of Jesus Christ than for just about any other event in history."
Twelve, simple, uneducated, uninvolved men (politically, religiously, militarily), caused a moral and spiritual shift in mankind’s history so powerful so radical, so moral, so intellectual, and so indisputable... That for 2000 years no king, scientist, philosopher or lawyer has ever been able to disprove or silence it. Many a court case has been won on a fraction of the evidence presented. What will YOU DO with what you have witnessed?
Romans 1:18

Upcoming Events:

March 20: Easter Egg Hunt @ Culloden Elementary: 3p-5p
March 26: FLOCK Youth Ski Trip- see Jay
March 27: Sunrise Service (leave church 5:15am); breakfast at Teays Valley truck stop afterwards
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