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.

+

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

++

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

+++

  • 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)
    +
    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
    +

    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:
    +
    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.
    +
    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.

Some one or something to fear #3 Cases, folks and outing

Fear to use a name of a ghost, person or group

5. Fear from knowing previous cases

Ghost fear

Ghost fear (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

It is not always from personal history that a person learns to fear. Regardless of whether they themselves have experienced trauma, or if they have observed the fear in others, people are aware in what happens in others and anticipate in what could happen to them when they know what happened to others in a similar situation. History has brought forth that people know how many people were teased, pestered, tormented and even killed for their love of God. Often they become worried to be put in an embarrassing situation if they would mention God or His Name. Their conscience pricks them, not having pangs of conscience, but more of the fear to become confronted with something others do not like, or would not find it ‘cool.’

6. Coming out

They should better have an uneasy conscience why they do not like to come out for those things they do believe. Because as a follower of Christ we should have a beautiful example in what Jesus did for his faith and for those people who even did not like him.

Christ the Saviour (Pantokrator), a 6th-centur...

Christ the Saviour (Pantokrator), a 6th-century encaustic icon from Saint Catherine’s Monastery, Mount Sinai. NB – slightly cut down – for full size see here (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Nobody wants to be a figure of fun or made a fool of, and often it is not easy to be able to take a bit of teasing surely when we know that it easily can take on the form of bullying and going to worse.

Also to fear to be associated with loonies, conservatives, fools or lunatics or with associations or groups which are not so much liked in society.

For this reason several priests and preachers do not dare to use the Name of God. In the fifties we still could find Roman Catholic Bibles with the name Yehowah printed in it. But when a group of lay street-preachers started to put the attention more on God then on his son Jesus and the Church institutions, the Institutions themselves felt taken under fire, and wanted to bring it forth that those people using the name Jehovah were the children of the devil. But then they themselves could not use the same name as those ‘dangerous’ objectors. The growing Jehovah Witnesses became a formidable or fearsome adversary. The church institutions wanted to get rid of this opponent which tried to open the eyes of the unknowing parishioners. According to the Catholic Churches people should not read the Bible because they are not able to understand it. But now those common folk tried to get others to understand that anybody could find the Truth in the Word of God, the Bible.

7. Dangerous folks

Many institutions tried to bring a hate feeling for those ‘dangerous’ people of Jehovah, who had to be avoided at all costs. The fact that those Witnesses also dared to call at the door at the most awkward moments of the day did not make them very popular. That they also showed up at the worst moments was not in their favour. Therefore it was not difficult to have them become a subject of laughter and of hate mails.

According to several studies, when individuals are presented with fearful vs. neutral faces or being confronted with figures clothed in a certain way this triggersthe occipital cerebellar regions including the fusiform gyrus and the inferior parietal / superiortemporal gyri.[1]A fear is created by the looks of the persons. Everybody can see the Jehovah Witnesses from far away. (We probably do not have to have a picture here.)

The cognitive, and behavioural components make that several people come in to a psychological and physiological state whereby they produce worry going into anxiety, angst or in the worst case terror. The Jehovah Witnesses were considered a hazard. Nobody wanted to risk the loss of their members to such an association were everybody seemed so close to each other.They even considered the others in the group as brothers and sisters. That would make such a close relation that they would do a lot to help and protect each other.  It would be more difficult to get them away from the group than when they would stay just some individuals in a community. To make the fear greater for those people the churches found it best to say that those Witnesses of Jehovah were not only the adversaries of faith but also a dangerous sect or cult which would make that families would be broken up.


[1] Radua,Joaquim; Phillips, Mary L.; Russell, Tamara; Lawrence, Natalia; Marshall,Nicolette; Kalidindi, Sridevi; El-Hage, Wissam; McDonald, Colm et al. (2010).”Neural response to specific components of fearful faces in healthy andschizophrenic adults”. NeuroImage 49 (1): 939–946. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2009.08.030. PMID 19699306.

+

Additional reading:

  1. 7000 to 20000 words spoken each day
  2. Darkness, light, burning fire, Truth and people in it
  3. Greatest single cause of atheism
  4. Breathing and growing with no heir
  5. Facing disaster fatigue
  6. Fear knocked at the door
  7. 8 fears caused by the fear of Man
  8. Walking alone?
  9. Fearing the right person
  10. Fear and protection
  11. Anxiety is the gap between the now and the later
  12. Vile language and behaviour plus little secrets
  13. Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #4 Mozaic and Noachide laws
  14. Condemnation of the World and Illustration of Justification
  15. Fear not tomorrow. God is already there
  16. Do not be afraid. Good news because a Saviour has been born
  17. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #2 Calling upon the Name of God
  18. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #4 Transitoriness #1 Prosperity
  19. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #4 Transitoriness #3 Rejoicing in the insistence
  20. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #8 Prayer #6 Communication and manifestation
  21. I Only hope we find GOD again before it is too late !
  22. Look for your Refuge by God
  23. Praying For What We Want or Don’t Want
  24. Prophets making excuses
  25. Would You Run?
  26. Control and change
  27. When discouraged facing opposition
  28. Only the contrite self, sick of its pretensions, can find salvation
  29. Try driving forward instead of backwards
  30. Be strong and take courage
  31. A small trouble is like a pebble
  32. Look for today
  33. Rejoicing in the day
  34. Give your worries to God
  35. God is Positive
  36. God Feeds The Birds
  37. God become master of our passions
  38. No fear in love
  39. Joy: Foundation for a Positive Life
  40. Wondering
  41. Eternal Word that tells everything
  42. Power in the life of certain
  43. Being sure of their deliverance
  44. Jehovah’s Witnesses not only group that preach the good news
  45. Focus on Jehovah’s Witnesses
  46. Focus on Charles Taze Russell
  47. Charles Taze Russell never claimed to have found a new religion, or a new church.
  48. Bringing Good News into the world
  49. A small company of Jesus’ footstep follower
  50. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian
  51. Those who call the Christadelphians a cult
  52. Breaking up with a cult
  53. Being religious has benefits even in this life

+++

+

+

  • God’s Name is Jehovah, not ‘Yahweh’ (dontbefooled666.wordpress.com)
    When one does more research, they find that there are a multitude of Biblical names of places and people–even names of kings–that have meanings that center around God. These names begin with Jeho in English (Yeho in Hebrew) and some even include God’s whole name: Jehovah.
  • “Do not be Anxious.” An unrealistic expectation? (God’s Law and the Christian Pt. 3) (newjerusalem.net.au)
    If the standard of legalistic righteousness of the Pharisees was above most people’s heads, Jesus comes and shows that the standards of the law are much higher even than that – they are beyond the ceiling!
    +
    Jesus’ teaching on the Law shows me up. He tells me that lustful thoughts are adultery, so that I will see that I am an adulterer, filled with lust and ungodly desires; he tells me that anger is murder, so that I will see that I am a murderous, selfish person who lives for myself instead of others; He tells me my ‘spiritual life’ must be simple and private, so that I will see that I am craving the attention and approval of others in order to affirm my own sense of self righteousness.
    +
    Paul’s statement in Philippians 4:6 ‘…do not be anxious about anything…’ does not stand on it’s own; it is sandwiched between ‘The Lord is at hand’ and ‘the Peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.’ Again, the character and faithfulness of God gives us reason to obey His call to trust and not be anxious.
    +
    Instead of listing the nature of our circumstances and concluding that all will be disastrous, we need to list the nature of our Father and His faithful and righteous acts so that we will conclude that He is good and can be trusted to world for good in whatever may be around the corner, be it gladness or grief.
  • Preaching the Gospel as Gospel: When Law Becomes Torah (afkimel.wordpress.com)
    There is an old story about a Lutheran pastor who, after a long ministry of rightly distinguishing law and gospel, announced on his death bed: “I shall most certainly go to heaven, as I cannot remember ever having done a good work.” The story touches on the great fear we all have about the preaching of the gospel in the performative mode of unconditional promise—it seems to make good works and personal holiness irrelevant. During his lifetime Catholic apologists violently hurled the antinomian accusation against Martin Luther, and he struggled to express why it did not apply to the reforming doctrine.
    +
    if the preacher is never accused of antinomianism, this probably means he is not preaching the authentic gospel at all.
    +
    Most preachers therefore prefer the carrot-stick approach, which is simply the way the world works. First tell the congregation that following Jesus is the good and right thing to do, with outstanding rewards in heaven and maybe some perks in the present; and then threaten them with punishment if they fail to comply (fire and brimstone works pretty well). In other words, preachers and congregations prefer the preaching of the law. It’s what comes natural because it is natural: law structures our fallen existence.
    +
    Proclaiming gospel in the performative mode of unconditional promise can be frightening, both for the preacher and the congregation. Exhortation is so much safer. It maintains the status quo.
  • A Satisfied Spirit Fears Not (asatisfiedspirit.com)
    Throughout scripture we are told not to be afraid.  Why is that?  God knew, when He put Adam and Eve out of the garden, that fear would be a part of everyday life.  So then what do we fear?  For me,  it’s something will happen to someone I love when they are not near me.  Or, there won’t be enough money for everything we need.  Or, not enough time for what I need to get done.  Or, someone will not like how I look.
    +
    I’m told the only way to conquer my fear is to face it.  Perhaps so but the Word says I don’t have to face it alone.  God is always with me and with Him all the the Angel Armies of Heaven.  Why would I fear with that at my Protector’s disposal?
  • The Right To Be Wrong About Everything (isylumn.wordpress.com)
    everything we know about the universe may be wrong. And Science will correct itself even if men must admit there truly is a Higher Power.Until then and the perspective never, men must question everything they know. So, what if everything we know about the universe is wrong? What then? Wild possibilities feed verdant imaginations. One would have to dream as a child to even contemplate answers. Indeed, the question itself sounds as if asked by a kid in grade school.
  • Man fires 19 rounds at Jehovah’s Witnesses (huffingtonpost.com)
    After telling a group of three Jehovah’s Witnesses to get lost, Centeron, Ark., resident John Baldwin, 35, fired about 19 shots at the group as they were leaving, police said.
  • “Ye Are My Witnesses, Saith Jehovah Baldwin: Arkansas Man Arrested For Firing Shots At Jehovah’s Witnesses Who Approached Him On His Lawn (jonathanturley.org)
    Jehovah’s Witnesses in Arkansas will soon be called to be witnesses of a different kind for John Baldwin, 35. Baldwin is charged with aggravated assault after firing 13 times at the Jehovah’s Witnesses who approached him in his front yard.
    +
    I guess Baldwin is another one of those “responsible guns owners” we have all been hearing about. The thought that this man could even think that firing shots at these women was appropriate and acceptable conduct makes my blood run cold. He should be put away for attempted murder and they should file a law suit and take his house. While justice in the next world may be the Lord’s Baldwin deserves a little earthly justice as soon as possible!
  • Jehovah’s Witnesses and Pedophilia (alexjamesisnotmyrealname.wordpress.com)
    JWs insist on what they call the “two witness” rule, meaning that there must be two witnesses to any crime for them to move forward with any type of action.
    +
    Child sex assault rarely if ever has a second witness to the crime.  However, there is no reason that Jehovah’s Witnesses cannot consider it as having happened “in a field.”  I would like an explanation as to why they ignore this scriptural principle and continue to insist that nothing be done to investigate allegations of child sexual assaults in their midst if there is not this second witness to the crime.
  • Rosary No More!! Why I Stopped Praying The Rosary!! (Testimony of a Former Roman Catholic) (soulrefuge.org)
    I write this post as a former Roman Catholic, and as one who has forever stopped praying the Roman Catholic Rosary. For those of you who are not familiar with the Rosary, the Rosary is a set of beads, each bead representing a prayer. The majority of those beads represent a prayer well known as the “Hail Mary” and there are 53 “Hail Mary’s” on each bead set of 5 decades. There are also larger beads which would represent the Lord’s prayer (Our Father) but there are only 6 of them on the rosary. There is a crucifix on the end, and the “Apostles Creed” would be said on that, and there are also “Glory Be” prayers that are said on that Rosary.
    +
    The Lord Jesus Christ set me free from the darkness of Roman Catholicism, and it’s false Gospel over 20 years ago, and people are being seduced in our day, like never before! There is very little resistance to Rome, in the pulpits in our time, even though many know Rome preaches a false gospel. Many are afraid of offending other “big name Christians” whose ministries are known around the world. Could it be that they are receiving funding from the compromisers, and do not want to lose that funding, should they speak out?