Why think that (5) … the Bible is the word of God

Imagine there was a man who went around claiming that he had a special message from God and that part of this man’s message was that he would be killed and come back to life. And then imagine that this man did indeed come back to life. Surely that is the sort of person you’d want to pay attention to. We have seen that there is good historical evidence that Jesus is that sort of person – that he claimed to have a special message from God and that he died and came back to life. So we would want to pay attention to what Jesus said about the Bible.

Now for the purposes of this essay we are using the gospels as historical sources, not yet as scripture (otherwise our argument would be circular). But this does not prevent us drawing some conclusions about Jesus’ view of the Bible. For instance, as a first century Jew it would expect Jesus to believe that the Old Testament was inspired by God (just as Jews do today). And the gospels corroborate this. For example, when Jesus says “everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled” (Luke 24:44), he is referring to the three sections into which the Jews divided their scriptures. It is also clear that Jesus regarded the Old Testament books as messages from God. For example, he refers to the Psalms being written by the Holy Spirit (Mark 12:36).

Titlepage of the New Testament section of a Ge...

Titlepage of the New Testament section of a German Luther Bible, printed in 1769. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But what about the New Testament? None of the books of the New Testament were written during Jesus’ lifetime on the Earth. Most written between twenty and forty years after his crucifixion. This being said, there are indications that Jesus expected there to be these books. We know that Jesus was a teacher, that he appointed disciples and that after his resurrection it was these disciples that started telling everyone about Jesus. The gospels say that Jesus selected the disciples for this role; for example, “you are witnesses of these things” (Luke 24:48). And those who wrote the NT recognised that they were specially selected as witnesses (e.g. 1 Pet 1:12; Heb 2:3-4). In effect, Jesus says “there are going be witnesses” and the NT writers claim to be those witnesses.

So Jesus accepted the Old Testament as scripture, and it seems likely that the New Testament was written to fulfil Jesus’ instructions. Therefore the testimony of Jesus is gives us good reason for thinking the Bible is a special book and should encourage us to look for further evidence.

How could you know if a message was from God or not? How about if that message was itself miraculous? How about if that message contained accurate predictions about the future? In fact, this is exactly the test the Bible provides for judging whether a messenger is from God or not:

When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously (Deut 18:22)

As for the prophet who prophesies peace, when the word of that prophet comes to pass, then it will be known that the Lord has truly sent the prophet (Jer 28:9)

Obviously not all predictions are going to be as convincing as others. There seem to be three criteria: (1) that prediction is made before the event it predicts (otherwise its not a prediction), (2) that predicted event can be verified with reasonable certainty (otherwise how would you know if the prediction was successful), and (3) that the predicted events is sufficiently unlikely to make the prediction significant (predicting rain in England is hardly surprising).

The Bible contains numerous prophecies. Some are short term prophecies so aren’t easy to verify historically, but there are plenty of long term prophecies to look at it. Here we’ll just look at one group of prophesies to make the point. These are the Old Testament prophecies about Jesus, which accurately predict many of the events of Jesus’ life. These include being a descendant of King David (2 Sam 7:12-13), being born in Bethlehem (Mic 5:2), being betrayed by a friend (Ps 41:9), being valued at thirty pieces of silver (Zech 11:13), having no bones broken in his execution (Ex 12:46), having hands and feet pierced (Ps 22:16; Zech 12:10), having his clothing divided by lot (Ps 22:18), being buried in the grave of a rich man (Isa 53:9) and being raised from the dead (Ps 16:9-11). What is interesting about these prophecies is these predictions al converge on the person of Jesus.

There is one further prophecy worth mentioning. In Daniel 9:24-27 a prophecy is made about set period of time in the history of the Jewish people. It is described in terms of weeks but all scholars agree that these weeks are periods of seven years. The interpretation of the prophecy can be technical because of some unusual Hebrew words and the fact that Daniel was using 360 day years (as opposed to the 365 ¼ day years that we use). But in essence what the prophecy says is that from command to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem to the coming of the Messiah would be 69 “weeks”. And if you do that maths, the time between the Persian command that the wall of Jerusalem should be rebuilt to the time of Jesus is exactly the period specified by Daniel 9. Even if you wanted to quibble about the exact year of the command or the exact year of Jesus’ ministry, the timing is still so accurate that it cannot be ignored.

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Preceding articles:

Why think that (1) … Jesus existed?

Why think that (2) … Jesus claimed to be something special

Why think that (3) … Jesus rose from the dead

Why think that (4) … God would reveal himself in words

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Please find also to read:

  1. No prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation
  2. The radiance of God’s glory and the counsellor
  3. The day Jesus died
  4. People Seeking for God 3 Laws and directions
  5. Only worship the Creator of all things

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  • 5 Reasons to Suspect Jesus Never Existed (talesfromthelou.wordpress.com)
    Most antiquities scholars think that the New Testament gospels are “mythologized history.”  In other words, they think that around the start of the first century a controversial Jewish rabbi named Yeshua ben Yosef gathered a following and his life and teachings provided the seed that grew into Christianity.At the same time, these scholars acknowledge that many Bible stories like the virgin birth, miracles, resurrection, and women at the tomb borrow and rework mythic themes that were common in the Ancient Near East, much the way that screenwriters base new movies on old familiar tropes or plot elements. In this view, a “historical Jesus” became mythologized.
  • From Reliable to Divine: The Fulfilled New Testament Prophecies of Jesus (escottspencer.wordpress.com)
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    The Case for the Reliability of the Old Testament (Free Bible Insert)

    The ancient scribes employed a trustworthy system of checks and balances as they copied the original texts, and the accuracy of transmission process was successfully tested with the discovery of the Isaiah text in the Dead Sea Scroll collection. The ancient Jewish believers and Church Fathers also embraced the Old Testament as the Word of God. In addition, archeological discoveries have since confirmed many of the Old Testament accounts, and these archaeological evidences are rich compared to other written claims about the ancient past. Finally, the Old Testament Scriptures contain fulfilled prophecies  (including amazing prophecies about the coming Messiah), establishing the Divine nature of the texts. Based on this evidence, the following summary can be created related to the case for the reliability of the Old Testament
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    During Jesus’ life, He made several predictions in the presence of the disciples. At the time of these prophetic statements, His followers were often more than skeptical and less than understanding. But as the years passed, followers of Jesus saw His words come true, and these fulfilled prophecies served to strengthen their faith:
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    While much of the New Testament prophecy points to a distant future, many of the claims of Jesus can be assessed now. Jesus’ accuracy is so compelling, many skeptics have altered their dating of the New Testament in response. Acknowledging the accuracy of the prophecy related to the Temple destruction, skeptics typically date Luke and Matthew after 70AD to account for the inclusion of this statement. In doing so, these skeptics recognize the power of Jesus’ prophetic ability. They would rather deny the evidence for early dating than accept Jesus’ accuracy. Critics and skeptics of the New Testament recognize the power accurate prophecy has to demonstrate the Divinity of the New Testament.

  • Jesus Preached Islām. Period. (thelionofallah.wordpress.com)
    The only religion in the whole world, that believes in Jesus [ʿĪsā] (Upon Whom Be Peace) and testifies to Christianity is Islām. Muslims believe, that Jesus (Upon Whom Be Peace) was one of the mightiest Messengers of Allāh; that he was born miraculously ― without any male intervention; that he gave life to the dead by Allāh’s permission, and that he healed the born blind and the lepers by Allāh’s permission. A person is not considered a Muslim, unless, he or she believes in Jesus (Upon Whom Be Peace). Muslims believe, that Allāh delivered the Gospel ― Injeel to Jesus (Upon Whom Be Peace), just as He did Torah ― Taurāt to Moses [Mūsā] (Upon Whom Be Peace), the Old Testament ― Zabūr to David [Dāwūd] (Upon Whom Be Peace) and The Mighty Qur’ān to Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him).
  • The Holy Scriptures (ptl2010.com)
    During the years of Christ and His death and resurrection a great transition was made between the Old and New Covenants. The Holy Scriptures at that time were Old Testament records and were used as a basis for Israel’s faith. During the first century the Four Gospel’s and the New Testament Epistles were being written and were not published until the 3rd century and after. The Old Testament records (the Holy Scriptures) were Israel’s primary written words of God.
  • How do we know what books should be called Scripture? Broadcast (joelanddeannap.wordpress.com)
    Both the Old Testament and New Testament books were immediately recognized and treated as scripture, though we have no formal statement about the New Testament until the fourth century.
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    How did the early church judge which books were scripture and which were not?

    • The test of authority: Who penned the book?
    • The test of internal evidence: Does the book penned or authorized by a genuine prophet or apostle bear the internal evidence of being God breathed?
    • The test of God’s people: Did genuine believers from the penning of these books to the present recognize them as scripture?
  • We Have A More Sure Word Of Prophecy (nowtheendbegins.com)
    Oftentimes when we study end times bible prophecy, we tend to focus on the Old Testament prophets like Joel, Isaiah, Zechariah, and on our apostle Paul in the New Testament. But Peter has a treasure trove of scripture for us to consider as well.
  • What should we say… (thelivingmessage.com)
    The more frequently you read and study the Bible, more of it will get into your mind and you won’t have to memorize it. It will just be there waiting to be used. It will also give you a greater understanding of God and His ways to “search the scriptures” because in doing so, you will be learning about God more and more.
  • End Times Prophecy Headlines: August 28, 2014 (endtimesprophecyreport.wordpress.com)
  • Preface (whatshotn.wordpress.com)
    With one-fourth of the Bible prophetically future when it was written, the interpretation of prophecy is one of the most challenging areas of biblical study. Too often preconceptions have led interpreters to draw from the biblical text doctrines that were quite removed from what the text actually states. Because prophecy is scattered from the early chapters of Genesis to the last chapter of Revelation and deals with so many different situations and subjects, interpreters of prophecy have too often abandoned any detailed interpretation and reached only general conclusions.

Jesus … will come in the same way as you saw him go

“Jesus … will come in the same way as you saw him go”

 

These words should be familiar to all Bible readers: they are the words of the “two men … in white robes” (a common way of describing angels) – it is what they said to the disciples as their astonished eyes watched their Lord ascend upwards “and a cloud received him out of their sight” (Acts 1:9-11). We suspect it was no ordinary cloud, but like the cloud that Moses climbed up into on the mountain (Exodus 24:16).

“9 And when he had said these things, as they were looking, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. 10 And while they were looking stedfastly into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; 11 who also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye looking into heaven? this Jesus, who was received up from you into heaven shall so come in like manner as ye beheld him going into heaven.” (Acts 1:9-11 ASV)

“And the glory of Jehovah abode upon mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days: and the seventh day he called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud.” (Exodus 24:16 ASV)

English: Israel location Judea and Samaria.

Israel location Judea and Samaria. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Countless generations of Bible believers have looked for their Lord to descend from heaven in their lifetime. The disciples had asked,

“Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” (verse 6)

and were told by their Lord they were to be “my witnesses in Jerusalem” – but ultimately that the witnessing was to be “to the end of the earth” (verse 8). He had said this earlier, also on the mount of Olives,

“this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14).

The other sign which Jesus gave, which Luke also recorded, was that

“Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled” (21:24).

 

Today, Jerusalem is constantly a centre of world attention – and the returned Jews have made it the capital of their resurrected country. The evidence is plain that the climax of the ages is near. But we know, and must emphasize that it was not for his disciples, then or now, to know exactly when. Notice again the answer of Jesus when the disciples asked him,

“Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” (verse 6).

They were commissioned to be “my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria” (verse 8). It is for true believers today to complete that commission “… and to the end of the earth”.

Are you his disciple? Are you helping this commission to be carried out? If you are, you will be really looking for his return “in the same way (as the disciples) saw him go into heaven”.

As his disciple you will be following the examples given in the book of Acts, which we have now started reading. Notice the way in which the Old Testament is often quoted as an essential part of that message. It tells us many details of the Kingdom Jesus will set up, also giving us examples of faithful service (and failures) as we are reading in the book of Deuteronomy.

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Additional reads:

  1. Heavenly creatures do they exist
  2. Angels (“Our world” article)
  3. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #2 Witnessing
  4. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #3 Callers upon God
  5. Festival of Freedom and persecutions
  6. Jeruzalem Gods city
  7. Jerusalem God’s City for ever
  8. Presentation: Crisis in the Middle East – Bible Expectations
  9. Isaiah prophet and messenger of God
  10. What Jesus Did – Misleading around the Messiah and the final assessment
  11. How do we know the coming of Jesus is very near?
  12. Armageddon, har and megiddo, an action or a place
  13. The Song of The Lamb #3 Daniel and Revelation
  14. The Song of The Lamb #8 Revelation 15 Lessons for us today
  15. Uncovering the Foundations of Faith
  16. Certainty in a troubled world
  17. The day is near studyweekend
  18. End Times
  19. The Conclusion of the System of Things
  20. Signs of the Last Days
  21. 14 Nisan a day to remember #2 Time of Jesus
  22. Nazarene Acts of the Apostles Chapter 2 v14-20 Pentecostal Sermon
  23. Because men choose to go their own way
  24. The famine of the word
  25. Messengers of Jesus will be hated to the end of time
  26. Discipleship way of life on the narrow way to everlasting life
  27. Do we have to be an anarchist to react
  28. Zion, Flames, Terror, Signs and Games of Peace
  29. Babylon is fallen
  30. Gaza in Bible Prophecy
  31. Hamas the modern Philistines
  32. Turkey and Pictures for the times coming
  33. Syrian capital facing total destruction in the coming months
  34. Crimea votes overwhelmingly to join Russia
  35. Swallowing up Crimea, who is next
  36. Catholicism, Anabaptism and Crisis of Christianity
  37. Missionary action paradigm for all endeavours of the church
  38. Breathing to teach
  39. Which Christians Actually Evangelize
  40. Together tasting a great promise
  41. Witnessing Glad Tidings
  42. Zionism comments and the place of Jerusalem in the world
  43. Will Jesus ever return to the earth?
  44. Articles on the Belgian Biblestudents about the Return of Christ
  45. The Return of Christ seen through the eyes of the Brethren of Christ
  46. The Ecclesia of the Belgian Christadelphians looking at the Return of Christ
  47. Why did Christ not reveal the exact time of his second coming?
  48. Looking forward to the return of Jesus
  49. Secret or public return of Jesus

 

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  • Friday (April 25): “It is the Lord.” (shechina.wordpress.com)
    Skeptics who disbelieve the resurrection say the disciples only saw a vision of Jesus. The Gospels, however, give us a vivid picture of the reality of the resurrection. Jesus went out of his way to offer his disciples various proofs of his resurrection – that he is real and true flesh, not just a spirit or ghost. In his third appearance to the apostles, after Jesus performed the miraculous catch of fish, he prepared a breakfast and ate with them. Peter’s prompt recognition of the Master – It is the Lord! – stands in sharp contrast to his previous denial of his Master during the night of Jesus’ arrest. The Lord Jesus reveals himself to each of  us as we open our hearts to hear his word. Do you recognize the Lord’s presence in your life and do you receive his word with faith?
  • The Ascension of Jesus into Heaven (viviansielaff.wordpress.com)
    After Jesus resurrection He was with the disciples for forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God. (Acts 1:2-3). And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; “for John truly baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which they Father has put in His own authority. “But you shall receive power when they Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:4-8
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    This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey. And when they had entered, they went up into the upper room where they were staying: Peter, James, John, and Andrew; Philip and Thomas; Bartholomew and Matthew; James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot; and Judas the son of James. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.
  • Luke 9:28-36 (arietta18.wordpress.com)
    at the transfiguration, Peter, John, and James would, in a sense, get to see the kingdom of God.
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    This appearance was the same or similar to the appearance that Jesus would have after his resurrection when hewas exalted to heaven to sit at the right hand of God the Father.Later, in Acts, when Stephen, the first recorded Christian martyr, was being stoned to death, he “looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.” (Acts 7:55b NIV).  A few chapters later, the Apostle Paul saw Jesus appear to him
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    In the transfiguration, we get a glimpse of heaven, where all the dead in Christ will rise and be glorified with him.
  • Mystery – What causes a Christian to be set apart part 2? (lhwm1.wordpress.com)
    There is a mystery that surrounds the cross of Christ. Jesus the Son of God, Savior of mankind, Lord of Lords and King of Kings beaten until He no longer looks like a human being. Unbelievers see Jesus as weak and unable to stop His horrible death. (Luke 23:35, 39)
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    The death of the coming Messiah was told to the prophets of the Old Testament (Isaiah 53) and was planned before the beginning of time. The mystery was not death itself; it was the method and purpose of His death on the cross.  How could the Messiah die and reign forever. There was certainly no seeing the cross for the unity of Gentiles and Jews (Ephesians 3:3-6). All this was kept hidden until Jesus Christ came to the earth. He would tell his disciples in detail of His death and resurrection.
  • Lift Up Your Heads – a take on the ‘Olivet Discourse’ (Luke 21:5-38) (newjerusalem.net.au)
    Jesus says that they will see the Son of Man ‘from now on’ – ie. from that moment. It seems that on these two occasions Jesus is not speaking of an event, as much as a position of power and authority. In fact, He is making an unveiled reference here (and every time he calls himself ‘the Son of Man’) to Daniel 7
  • The True Easter Story (findingmywayinfo.wordpress.com)
  • Happy Resurrection Day! Christ IS Risen! (wrightlexi83.wordpress.com)
  • FFOZ TV Review: The Restoring the Kingdom (mymorningmeditations.com)
  • Jesus Is in Every Book of the Bible! (whatshotn.wordpress.com)
  • Morning Prayer 4.23.14, Wednesday in Easter Week (dailyoffice.org)
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