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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Why Is The Bible Unique - And Why Has It SO Many Opponents

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Why Is The Bible Unique? And Why Has It SO Many Opponents? -  Michael J. S. Austin, Ph.D.


The Bible has been under attack for centuries, and survived! But why is it so loved, so honored and yet so vilified and despised, like nothing on earth? Well, for a start, it's cut and dried and it challenges people - for here we meet a sinless Saviour who was similarly despised, but who is now loved by millions. It reveals the love and mercy of God, yet stirs bitter antagonism from the natural enmity we all have against our Creator.
The Bible confronts the real issues of life and many are deeply thankful to have found in its pages the way to peace and life. Others don't want to be disturbed. The authority and relevance of the Bible to your life and mine are connected. If it is the inspired word of God, we would expect it to be relevant to us, whether we lived in the first century or the twenty first.
Let's develop this by saying six things:
1. REMARKABLE INFLUENCE - AND WIDE REJECTION. 

The influence of the Bible and its central message of how we may obtain peace with God through Jesus' death on the cross has been, to say the least, remarkable. Much of our Western civilisation was built on its wisdom and values - from the care of the sick to honesty and integrity, for the moral code as the backbone of a healthy society and the rise of science in an understandable universe. A lot of this has been swept away by modern secularism. Now unethical materialism leads the way - unerringly to exploitation, greed and instant gratification, drug abuse, growing violence, and vast national debts followed by disintegration and social and national collapse. It has happened before and it will happen again. The Bible says 'for whatever one sows, that will he also reap' (Galatians 5:7).
2. WORTHY OF HIGHEST CONFIDENCE. 

Is the rejection of biblical Christianity warranted? Not at all. We have nothing to hide. We are open about the Bible's truth claims. Its message continues to liberate large numbers with joy, peace and power. The Bible stands detailed scrutiny. We possess very high-grade textual witness to the biblical documents with far more early biblical documents surviving than any other from the ancient world. Close on 4000 Greek manuscripts of the New Testament have survived, including some small pieces, including the Rylands fragment, which have been dated as early as A.D. 120. The Chester Beatty papyri include portions of the New Testament going back to A.D. 150. In addition, we have numerous Latin Vulgate manuscripts of the New Testament.
3. OVERWHELMING EVIDENCE. 

Can we be sure we have the authentic Scriptures? Yes, every major biblical truth is fully supported by overwhelming textual evidence. Are all Bibles equal? No, some modern English Bibles are free paraphrases and do not follow the principles of faithful translation. Be careful what you read. But there are many faithful translations such as the ASV, KJV, NKJ, ESV and NIV.
4. NOT CORRUPTED IN TRANSMISSION. 

One of the remarkable things about the Old Testament Scriptures is that there is no evidence of them being intentionally corrupted. This was due, in part, to the Jewish people being aware they were custodians of God's written revelation, even when the prophets were often scathing in their condemnation of Jewish idolatry and waywardness. We are also now able to compare an early copy of part of the Old Testament with a modern copy and see what difference there is between them.
5. DEAD SEA SCROLLS OFFER PROOF. 

A clear example of this comes from a scroll of the Old Testament prophet, Isaiah. With other scrolls, this was found in 1947 by a young Bedouin shepherd, carefully sealed in an earthenware pot in a cave at Qumran near the Dead Sea. This scroll, along with many others, had lain, undisturbed, from around the second century BC. When close comparisons are made between the Hebrew of the early Qumran scroll of Isaiah and the later text (the earliest is around AD 980, the product of close on 1000 years of copying) often used to translate our present day book of Isaiah, a very high degree of word for word correspondence was discovered. And there is no evidence of intentional textual corruption. What is also very clear is how Christ stamped his own approval on the Old Testament Scriptures. He often quoted from them; never called them into question, but always affirmed them in the smallest detail, and confirmed, 'it is they that bear witness about me' (John 5:39). Thus Christ's own words are equal in divine authority to the Old testament Scriptures (see Matt. 5:17-18, Matt. 4:4 & Matt. 24:35).
6. JESUS AUTHORISED THE OLD TESTAMENT. 

Jesus limited the Old Testament books to, 'The Law of Moses and the prophets and the Psalms' (Luke 24:44), which correspond exactly to the thirty-nine books of our Old Testament. Subsequently, the further 27 books of the New Testament were completed. Looking at the historical process of how the Bible has come to the present time, we have every confidence in accepting that we are reading the inspired word of God. All the Bible's teaching is true and final, supremely authoritative and sufficient. No other book will ever surpass it. Take a look at it today. The apostle Paul reminded his young colleague Timothy, 'how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus' (2 Timothy 3:15). Perhaps this reminder also applies to you.
While you have the opportunity, turn back to the old, tried and tested pathway - the way of life through faith in the eternal Son of God, who died and rose again. Come to him today. Then you will know why the Bible is relevant to you!
Michael J. S. Austin, PhD Hello, my big goal is to show that biblical Christianity appeals to serious reason and careful thinking - it is grounded in definite history, invites enquiry and is relevant today.  So, I aim to share the good news of Christ crucified, risen and ascended - a Saviour who is worthy of your full confidence. And I write to help you find faith or to strengthen your faith. I share Evangelical and Reformed convictions and have a PhD from Reformation International Theological Seminary for work on the validity of reason. Use these links to my Amazon Kindle titles - all are at very low prices: 1. Dawkins' Dilemmas - Deluded or not deluded? That is the question! http://www.amazon.com/Dawkins-Dilemmas-Deluded-question-ebook/dp/B007RFLYI8/ref=pd_rhf_dp_p_t_2 2. I saw Him die - Viewing Jesus' death TODAY http://www.amazon.com/saw-Him-die-Viewing-ebook/dp/B007TX696U/ref=pd_rhf_dp_p_t_2 Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Michael_J._S._Austin,_Ph.D. Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6697585

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