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Bible Legends&Tales?
Can we know the truth?   

Q. On a T.V. show I heard an expert tell the audience that Jesus, heaven and hell aren't real because the bible is just a collection of legends and mistranslated fables. How would you respond to this? Should Christians even try? Can you even know the answer? (J.M., Mt. Vernon, WA)

Answer:

Thanks for the excellent question. There are reasonable answers and every believer should become familiar with them.

Mastering One-Liners

While we could point unbelievers to volumes of books written by top-notch scholars and scientists defending the bible over the centuries, most believers should probably try to master at least a few, quick "one-liner" responses to the damaging remarks of ignorant people. We can't change their minds with these. But, we can quickly point out that there is more to the story than they think.

66 Books, 40 Authors, 1600 Years

For example, the bible consists of 66 separate books written by over forty different authors over a period of 1600 years. Yet, it is a consistent, unified message (Missler, 2002).

This is not true with secular books and dictionaries, however. For example, the Encyclopedia needs to update and change their facts every year or so. But, not one word or letter needs to be changed in the bible even though it was written over a period of thousands of years. There are no internal contradictions and inconsistencies (regardless of what you have heard). There are only a few problems with translations from the original Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic languages. Some of the most brilliant and educated people on earth have researched this and have come to believe it.


Science

In another example, when other cultures said the earth was carried on the back of a turtle or on the shoulders of Atlas, the bible says the earth is round (Isaiah 40:22) and is hung upon nothing! (Job 26:7). It says our sun makes a circuit around the "heavens." (It rotates around the galaxy - Psalm 19:6). Fantastic!

There are hundreds of accurate, scientific statements like these in the bible. Even several of the most up-to-date physicists verify the accuracy of Creationism, the Big Bang theory, the existence of other universes, and other facts in the Bible.


Archaeology

There are more than 25,000 archaeological discoveries that have verified the names of people, places, ancient customs and events from the Bible. The bible is so accurate famous historians and archaeologists have used the bible as a map to find remains and writings of ancient cultures in Mesopotamia and surrounding areas.


Extraterrestrial

The bible proves itself to be written by a transcendent being who exists outside of our dimensions of space and time. It is an "extraterrestrial" message.

While Mr. Art Bell on Coast to Coast radio interviews hundreds of authors who try to discover or reveal actual evidences of E.T. visitations, we already possess the writings, prophecies and warnings from someone outside of our space/time continuum.

Cool!


Prophecy

Here is proof of its extraterrestrial authorship: The bible is specific and accurate when it prophesies things in the future. There are over 2600 prophecies in the bible and over 2,000 of them have come true already.

Furthermore, unfulfilled prophecies are forming right before our eyes - prophecies about Israel, the E.U., Russia, Iran, China and other modern nations.

We already know the last chapter concerning planet earth. We know how it will end. We don't need to hear about the Aztec calendar ending in 2012 or Edgar Cayce's 1999 prediction (which didn't come true, by the way). We even know about a future space-city in a new universe on a new planet earth. Read the last two chapters of the bible for yourself and you will see.


Die for a Lie?

Jesus' disciples didn't just go around playing "phone" and spreading rumors about a fake Messiah. All of the disciples but one died horrid deaths. They didn't die like that for a lie. They really believed Jesus had appeared to them in His resurrected body. They knew the hundreds of Old Testament prophecies about Jesus - such as Isaiah 53 which was written hundreds of years before Jesus visited earth. They understood they had been visited by God appearing as a human being. They each willingly died a martyr's death because they knew it to be true.


Church Fathers

The lives of the early church fathers overlapped one another starting around 50 A.D. onward. There were no "gaps" in time. From their writings we have almost complete copies of the New Testament - there are only about ten verses missing.

From these and other writings, we have outside corroboration of the New Testament's accuracy. This includes secular writers like Pliny the Younger and Josephus and many others.


Ancient Manuscripts

Not too long ago our Old Testament was corroborated by manuscripts from around 1,000 A.D. After the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls less than fifty years ago, we can now compare the 1,000 A.D. copies to those dated around 200 B.C.

Check this out: Scholars learned there were no errors or changes from 200 B.C. to 1,000 A.D. in the Bible. There were some minor spelling differences, but that was all. That is remarkable when you compare the bible to other ancient writings. None hold a candle to the bible's accuracy.


Resurrection

From the new science of cloning we already know it is possible for our DNA to serve as a blueprint for future resurrection. This may not be how it happens. But, now we know how it could be possible.




Virgin Birth

We know the virgin birth is possible because we artificially impregnate women every day. Artificial insemination occurs in doctor's offices all the time. It isn't unusual anymore. If we can do this certainly God can plant a fetus in Mary's womb, can't He?


Multiverse

Physicists tell us we live in a "multiverse" alongside parallel universes. Yet, Jesus already told us that He is "not of this world!" (Jn. 8:23). He plainly said, "My Kingdom is not of this world" (John 18:36).


Assuming facts not in Evidence

These one-liners are just samples of what every Christian should know in order to engage in casual conversations about our faith in today's culture. Many people speak against the Bible and Christianity from ignorance. They repeat what they have heard from others. They assume "facts not in evidence."

But, we can point out that if there is a God, wouldn't He find a way to communicate with us? Wouldn't He leave some evidence of His existence? Wouldn't He give us instructions and tell us what to do? Wouldn't He inform us about the real nature of our world and our universe?

Of course He would!

In fact, He did! He did speak to us - through the bible, and through an extraterrestrial visit from Jesus. As C.S. Lewis said, "We are a visited planet."

______________________________________




Always be Ready (1 Peter 3:15)

Be ready to point people to complete studies about evidences (apologetics). But, we suggest you obtain some of these books to learn short, quick facts about the bible and your faith:

1. Bickel, Bruce&Stan Jantz. 2006. Bible answers to life's big questions. Eugene, OR: Harvest House.

2. Campbell, Charlie H. 2005. One-minute answers to skeptics' top forty questions. USA: Aquintas Publishing. www.AlwaysBeReady.com.

3. Missler, Chuck. 2002. Learn the Bible in 24 hours. Nashville: Nelson.

4. Muncaster, Ralph O. 2005. One-minute answers: The evidence for Christianity Eugene, OR: Harvest House.



Authors Valorie Mays Emilio holds an M.A. in History from UCLA focusing upon early church history. Ken received the M.A. in Biblical Studies from Louisiana Baptist University.







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