“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.”
The “5 Essential Steps for Defending the Bible” include; The Unification of the Bible, Scientific Foreknowledge of the Authors, Miracles Witnessed and Reported, Archaeological Discoveries Found and Prophecies Fulfilled.
For true Christians, the Holy Bible is the 100% inspired and infallible word of God. Inspiration means to be ” breathed out by God,” and if something is breathed out by God, it’s obviously without error (infallible). A more accurate and detailed description of what the Bible is to Christians could be found at the bottom of my “About” page (Link).
Although we (Christians ) know that the Bible is the word of God (Romans 9:6; Hebrews 4:12) and that God cannot error (Romans 3:4; Hebrews 6:18), there are millions of other people in the world who have a different view. I recently read about a statistic that was done of 1000 young adults who left the church. When asked why they had left the church, over 40% of them claimed they did not believe that the biblical accounts written in the Bible were true and accurate. As you can see from the stats below, the most common reason given was because the Bible was written by men. The rest of the results are as follows;
It was written by men – 24%
It was not translated correctly – 18%
The Bible contradicts itself – 15%
Science shows the world is old – 14%
The Bible has errors – 11%
There’s so much suffering in the world – 7%
Christians don’t live by the Bible – 4%
Evolution proves that the Bible is wrong – 4%
Studies show that 62% of non-Christian millennial’s (born between 1981 and 1996) hold a negative view of the Bible. Some of them say it can’t be true because it’s been translated too many times, while others say that it’s no different from any other religious book. I guess it’s no surprise that 62% of them also claim they have never read the Bible at all. Notice the correspondence between the two percentages?
The fact of the matter is, the Bible has always been and still is the number one most widely distributed and best selling book in the entire world, every single week of every single month of every single year. Every year over 100 million Bibles are sold or given away for free. Since 1947 the United Bible Society has passed out over 9 billion Bibles. According to Wycliffe Bible Translators, the Bible has been translated in over 2100 languages and has reached over 470 countries. According to “yourbiblequotes.com,” annual Bible sales in America alone are valued at somewhere between $425 and $650 million dollars. I even discovered that the Bible was the most shoplifted book in the world. This all proves that millions of people all over the world want the Bible. Why? The obvious answer is because they believe the Bible is God’s word. So what evidence does the Christian faith offer as proof or reasons to believe that God exists, Jesus Christ is His Divine Son, and that the Bible is God’s inspired word?
The Bible clearly claims to be the word of God. It claims to be “God-breathed” (theopneustos) in 2 Timothy 3:16 and Matthew 4:4. In Matthew 5:17-18 and 15:3-6 it claims to have divine authority. It claims to speak the word of God in numerous places (Genesis 12:1-3; Exodus 9:16; Romans 9:17 and Galatians 3:8) and prophets also claimed they spoke the words of God (2 Samuel 23:2 and Isaiah 59:21). However, for the rest of the nonbelievers out there (as long as they’re willing to listen), I’ve listed here the “5 Essential Steps for defending the Bible.”
Step 1) – Explain the “Unification of the Bible.”
When it comes to defending the Bible on its authenticity and accuracy, the first place to start is in the miracle of the unification of the Bible. Although the Bible is composed into one book, it is actually a collection of 66 different books that were written over a period of approximately 1600 years. These 66 books were written by 40 different authors from three different continents in three different languages. These 40 different authors had diverse educational and cultural backgrounds such as shepherds, kings, priests, fishermen, scholars, a cupbearer, and even a military general. They wrote on hundreds of controversial subjects for different purposes. They wrote all different types of literature such as poetry, prophecy, Proverbs, narrative (recording history), law, pronouncing judgment, or just giving spiritual and moral instruction. They wrote to different audiences such as Roman Christians, Palestinian Jews, Ninevites, and scattered Jews throughout.
They composed their works from prisons, palaces, the wilderness, and even places of exile, bearing all their emotions, expressing frustration, love, joy, and anger. Yet despite the separation of 1600 years, 40 different authors, three different continents, three different languages and everything else, all 66 books of the Bible fit together perfectly with the same unifying message about God’s eternal plan from His creation and Noah’s flood, to the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. This would all be an impossible feat to achieve using the human ingenuity and wisdom we have today. As a matter of fact, it would be humanly impossible even if you gathered writings from 40 men from the same background, the same culture, the same time period all with the same education and achieve anything even remotely close to the unity that is found in the Bible. This evidence alone proves the Bible’s divine origin.
Step 2) – Explain the “Scientific Foreknowledge of the Authors.”
Although the Bible is obviously designed to reveal spiritual truths, it also deals with scientific facts. From anthropology to zoology, the Bible gives us accurate scientific information complete with rules, regulations, and prohibitions that were not discovered by man until hundreds or even thousands of years later. Although not exhaustive by any means, below is a “small” list of some of the more commonly known examples included in the Bible.
The Earth Is Held by Invisible Forces (Job 26:7)
For centuries it was believed by many sources that the earth was being held up by Atlas or sitting on the back of a large animal such as a turtle or an elephant. It wasn’t discovered until 1650 that our earth free-floats in space. Yet the Bible tells us in Job 26:7 that “the Earth hangs on nothing.” This was written 3000 years before man discovered this fact.
The Source of Life Is in the Blood (Leviticus 17:11-14)
Up until 120 years ago, physicians used a practice called “bloodletting” whenever someone got sick and they were unable to find a cure for them. They believed that the sickness was caused by bad blood and so they would drain the bad blood in an attempt to get rid of the sickness. When George Washington’s sore throat condition got worse, the doctors began draining his blood numerous times in an attempt to cure him, until 32 ounces were drained, resulting in a blood loss of 40%, causing his ultimate demise. Nowadays we know that sick people need blood and that blood removes waste, carries oxygen, nutrients, and many other things that sustain life, and so we give people blood transfusions to replace or replenish their blood because we know that blood gives life. And yet, God declared in Leviticus 17:11-14 that “the life of the flesh is in the blood” thousands of years before science understood its function.
Noah’s Ark – Ship Dimensions (Genesis 6:15)
In the book of Genesis, the Bible specifies the perfect dimensions for a stable water vessel. God told Noah to build the ark 300 cubits long by 50 cubits wide by 30 cubits high. This was a ratio of 30 to 5 to 3. The length of the ark was six times its width and 10 times its height. At roughly 450 feet long it was the largest seagoing vessel ever recorded prior to 1858. In 1844 Isambard K. Brunnel built the “Great Britain” using the exact dimensions of Noah’s Ark at 30 to 5 to 3, and during World War II, shipbuilders also used the same dimensions to build ships. Also, in 1993 a scientific study was conducted by the South Korean world-class ship research center KRISO, headed up by Dr. Seon Hong. Dr. Hong’s team compared 12 hulls of different proportions and discovered that no modern design outperformed the biblical model which carefully balanced the conflicting demands of stability, comfort, and strength. That’s why modern cargo ships of today are using the same biblical dimensions with a 30 to 5 to 3 ratio. Unless divinely inspired by God, without any previous shipbuilding experience, how could Noah of known the perfect dimensions for a large seagoing vessel?
Mountains under the Seas (Jonah 2:3-6)
A seamount is basically, a mountain under the sea. They rise from the ocean floor and must be at least 3,280 feet above the seafloor to be classified as a seamount. If the mountain’s peak reaches above the water’s surface it is labeled as an island. It takes a lot of modern technology to discover a seamount, which is why we know so little about them today. Only within the last few decades has man had the technology to locate and discover seamounts. Yet, in the book of Jonah, written almost 2900 years ago, the Bible states that when Jonah was in the depths of the ocean, he spoke of going down to the bottom of the mountains. This definitely proves that it really did happen.
The Sun Is Revolving (Psalm 19:4-6)
Only 100 years ago it was believed by scientists that the earth revolved around a stationary sun. Today we know that the earth rotates around its axis which causes day and night, then it revolves around the sun which is responsible for our 12 month year and all four seasons. We now know that the sun is not stationary, but in constant motion, slowly making the trip around our galaxy. Yet, around 3000 years ago King David gave us this information in the book of Psalm even claiming that nothing is hidden from the sun’s heat.
Light Waves and Radio Waves (Job 38:35)
All the electromagnetic radiation from radio waves and x-rays travels at the speed of light. That’s why we can send a message to someone on the other side of the planet instantaneously. But this wasn’t discovered until 1864, by a British scientist named James Maxwell. Yet, 3300 years earlier the Bible tells us in the book of Job that light can be sent, and then manifest itself in speech.
Believe me, I can go on and give many more examples but you get the picture.
Step 3) – Explain the “Miracles Witnessed and Reported.”
A miracle is not just any unusual event. Nor can we call something a miracle just because God caused it. According to the Bible, a miracle is an event that would be impossible by natural law but is only brought to pass by the supernatural power of God. Miracles are acts of God that confirm the Word of God through a messenger of God. The opening chapter of the Bible (Genesis 1:1) begins with God’s first miracle. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” And all throughout the Bible, God shows us that day by day, with a single command He can cause things to happen, stop things from happening, or even create anything out of nothing, taking something that is formless and desolate and creating this magnificent universe that we are in today. There are so many miracles reported in the Bible that this post would be way too long if I even began to mention half of them. However, below I’ve listed a few of the more prominently known miracles recorded where there were numerous eyewitnesses, therefore leaving no doubt of what had just occurred.
All throughout the New Testament Jesus and His apostles healed people born blind (John 9:1-7), born lame (Acts 3:2-7; 4:22), lepers (Mark 1:40-45), raised the dead (John 11:38-44; Luke 7:11-17; Acts 9:36-42), replaced missing or withered body parts (Luke 22:49-51; Mark 3:1-5), turned water to wine (John 2:1-11), walked on water (Matt. 14:25-33), calmed storms (Mark 4:35-41) and much more. And for all my readers who would like to see a more exhaustive list of miracles recorded in the old and New Testament, I found a great resource from “Our Daily Bread” listing at least 20 specific miracles just in the book of Acts and speaks of nine times when clusters of them occurred. I also found a great list of 83 miracles recorded in the Old Testament and over 80 miracles recorded in the New Testament compiled by an unrelenting Bible student named Godwin Goziam Jireh.
Step 4) – Explain the “Archaeological Discoveries Found.”
According to Wikipedia, biblical archaeology involves the recovery and scientific investigation of the material remains of past cultures that can illuminate the periods and descriptions in the Bible, be they from the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible) or from the New Testament, as well as the history and study of Judaism and Christianity, with the principal location of interest being the “Holy Land,” also known from a Western perspective as the “Middle East.” It is estimated that less than 1% of archaeological sites in the holy land have been excavated, and even those, only partially. And yet, over the past 150 years, there have been hundreds of finds that continuously demonstrate the historical reliability of the Bible. So far, no archaeological discovery has ever denied the truth of a biblical reference. Below is a list of my 5 personal favorite archaeological discoveries found to prove the accuracy and authenticity of the Bible. A more in-depth study of these five discoveries will get you even more detailed and interesting information.
The Pontius Pilate Stone
Pontius Pilate was the fifth Roman governor (Prefect) of Judea serving under the Emperor Tiberius from approximately 26 to 36 C.E. In the New Testament Pontius Pilate is the notorious figure responsible for sentencing Jesus to death (John 19:15-16). Discovered in 1961, this huge limestone block was part of a dedication to the Emperor Tiberius from “Pontius Pilate, Prefect of Judea,” which is exactly what was found inscribed on this stone. Because only one Pontius Pilate was ever the Roman governor of Judea, this archaeological find supports the biblical doctrine that Pontius Pilate was exactly who the Bible says he was.
The Caiaphas Ossuary
In 1990, two burial caves containing four ossuaries (bone boxes) were discovered south of Jerusalem. One was inscribed with the name “Joseph son of Caiaphas.” Inside were the bones of six people including a 60-year-old man which most scholars believe to be the actual physical remains of the high priest Caiaphas who presided over the trial of Jesus. (Mt 26:3, 57; Lk 3:2; Jn 11:49) The Jewish historian Josephus records that Caiaphas’s full name was Joseph Caiaphas and that he held his role from A.D. 18-36 (Jewish antiquities, 18:35 & 18:95)
The Pool of Siloam
In 2004, during construction, engineers stumbled upon some ancient steps leading to a ritual pool near the mouth of Hezekiah’s tunnel in Jerusalem near the city of David. In the plaster of this pool, they found coins dating back to the years before and after Jesus. Due to the exact location and date of this archaeological find, scholars have identified this location to be the actual Pool of Siloam in which Jesus healed a man who was born blind in John 9:1-7.
The Heel Bone of the Crucified Man
In 1968, in Northeast Jerusalem, archaeologists uncovered several tombs containing numerous ossuaries. One of them contained the bones of a crucified man named Jehohanan who lived in the century before Jesus, with a 7-inch Roman nail still embedded in his heel. His bones also bore evidence that they may have been broken. Fragments of olive wood were also found at the point of the nail. This discovery confirms the biblical description of Roman crucifixion including the nailing of the feet and the breaking of the legs. It also proves that crucified victims had the right to a proper burial just as it says in the gospel accounts.
In northern Israel at Tel Dan in 1993, a stone inscription was found written in old Aramaic where Hazael, King of Aram celebrates his defeat over Jehoram, King of Israel, and Ahaziah, king of Judah, of the “House of David” (2 Kings 8). One year later they found two more pieces that linked to the first piece. With a total of 13 preserved lines written on the fragment, the inscription read “I killed Jehoram, son of Ahab, king of Israel and I killed Ahaziah, son of Jehoram, king of the House of David” (2 Kings 8:28-29). The Tel Dan Inscription is one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of the century not only because it mentions the “House of David,” but because it also documents 8 other kings listed in the Bible (Hazael, Ben-Hadad II, Ahab, Joram, Ahaziah, Jehoram, David & Jehu).
Step 5) – Explain the “Prophecies Fulfilled.”
What is prophecy? Predictive prophecy may be defined as; a miracle of knowledge, a declaration, or description, or representation of something future, beyond the power of human wisdom to discern or to calculate, and it is the highest evidence that can be given of supernatural communion with Deity, and of the truth of a revelation from God. (Horne, T. H. 1841) Or, a more simple way to put it would be; a message from God communicated to a human prophet, who shares it with the intended audience. However, accurate prediction alone does not indicate that the prophecy came from God. A prophet’s message must also correspond with the truth that God has already revealed through His Word (see Deut. 13:1-3).
In the book of Genesis, God changed Abrams’s name to Abraham, which means “father of a great multitude.” God then told Abraham, “I will make nations of you, and kings shall come out of you (Genesis 17:1-6). ” That promise from God was a prophecy. And according to biblical and secular history, we see that Abraham’s descendants did grow to become many nations. And although it took quite a few generations they did include many kings. And believe it or not, there are actually nations in the world today that are descended from Abraham – just like God said. A simple Google search on Bible prophecy will yield you pages of Old and New Testament prophecies that were predicted, fulfilled and some still waiting to be fulfilled. It would be a fun and rewarding task to endure for anyone who would like to make more of a Bible study out of it. As for now, here is a short list of Bible prophets and their prophecies that were predicted, and then fulfilled hundreds or even thousands of years later.
The Messiah would be the Son of God (Psalm 2:7) – fulfilled in Matt. 3:17. He would descend into hell and be resurrected from the dead (Psalm 16:10, 30:3) – fulfilled in Acts 2:27, 31, 13:33-35 and Eph. 4:9. He would say “Why have you forsaken Me?” (Psalm 22:1) – Fulfilled in Matt. 27:46. Those watching the crucifixion would wag their heads (Psalm 22:7, 109:25) –
fulfilled in Mark 15:29 and Matt. 27:39. And that they would mock Him for not saving Himself (Psalm 22:8) – fulfilled in Matt. 27:41-43. His hands and feet would be pierced (Psalm 22:16) – fulfilled in Luke 24:39. His garments would be divided and they would cast lots for His clothing (Psalm 22:18) – fulfilled in John 19:23-24. None of His bones would be broken (Psalm 34:20) – fulfilled in- John 19:32-36. He would be hated for no reason (Psalm 35:19, 69:4) – fulfilled in John 15:25. He would be betrayed by a friend (Psalm 41:9) – fulfilled in Matt. 10:4. He would eat bread with His betrayer (Psalm 41:9) -fulfilled in John 13:18, 26, and Mark 14:18). He would ascend into heaven (Psalm 68:18) – fulfilled in Acts 1:9, and Eph. 4:8–10. His brothers would reject Him (Psalm 69:8) – fulfilled in John 7:5. He would be given vinegar to drink (Psalm 69:21) – fulfilled in Matt. 27:34. And that He would be seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven (Psalm 110:1) – fulfilled in Acts 2: 34-35, and Col. 3:1. David predicted these prophecies 1000 years before Jesus Christ, and even before Roman crucifixion was ever invented.
The Messiah would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14) – fulfilled in Matt. 1:18-25. He would be called Emmanuel meaning “God with us” (Isaiah 7:14) – fulfilled in Matt. 1:23. He would come from Galilee (Isaiah 9:1-2) – fulfilled in Matt. 4:13-16. He would swallow up death in victory (Isaiah 25:8) – fulfilled in 1 Cor. 15:54. And do miracles (Isaiah 35:5-6) – fulfilled in Matt. 11:2-5.
He’d be spat upon in the face (Isaiah 50:6) – fulfilled in Mark 14:65. His back would be scourged (Isaiah 50:6, 53:5) – fulfilled in John 19:1. He would be mocked (Isaiah 53:3) – fulfilled in Matt. 27:29. He would be wounded, bruised (Isaiah 53:5) – fulfilled in Matt.27:27-31 and Luke 22:63. He would be silent before his accusers (Isaiah 53:7) – fulfilled in Matt. 26:62-63. He would be buried in a rich man’s tomb (Isaiah 53:9) – fulfilled in Matt. 27:57-60. He would pray for his accusers (Isaiah 53:12) – fulfilled in Luke 23:34. And die with criminals (Isaiah 53:12) – fulfilled in Mark 15:28 and Luke 22:37. And also that the Spirit of the Lord would be upon Him (Isaiah 61:1) – fulfilled in Luke 4: 16-21, and Matt. 12:17-18. Isaiah predicted these prophecies over 700 years before Jesus Christ.
Israel’s king would ride into Jerusalem on a donkey (Zech. 9:9) – fulfilled in Matt. 21:5-9 and John 12:14-15. The Messiah would be betrayed for 30 pieces (exact amount) of silver (Zech. 11:12) – fulfilled in Matt. 26:15. The money would be thrown in the house of the Lord (Zech. 11:13) – fulfilled in Matt. 27:5. The money would be returned (Zech. 11:12-13) – fulfilled in Matt. 27:3. The betrayal money would pay for a potters field (Zech. 11:13) – fulfilled in Matt. 27:7. His side would be pierced (Zech. 12:10) – fulfilled in John 19:34, 37. And, He would be forsaken by the disciples (Zech. 13:7) – fulfilled in Matt. 26:31, 56. Zechariah predicted these prophecies over 400 years before Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ was not only a walking fulfillment of prophecy from the Old Testament, but He also made numerous predictions Himself (more than I have listed here below) that have been accurately fulfilled. I’ll start with the fact that He predicted His words would be everlasting (Matt. 24:35), and of course, the words of Jesus are still with us today, read and believed by millions of people all over the world, just like He said. Some of the other prophecies Jesus made include;
He would be betrayed by one of His disciples (Matt. 26:21-22) – fulfilled in Luke 22:47-48. Peter would deny Him 3 times (Matt. 26:33-34) – fulfilled in Matt. 26:69-75. His disciples would leave Him (Matt. 26:31) – fulfilled in Matt. 26:56. He would die in Jerusalem (Matt. 16:21) – fulfilled in Mark 15:40-41. He would die by crucifixion during the Passover (Matt. 26:2) – fulfilled in John 19:14-16. He would be resurrected from the dead on the third day (John 2:18-22 & Matt. 16:21) – fulfilled in Matt. 28:1-7. The city of Jerusalem and the temple would be destroyed within one generation, not leaving one stone left upon another (Luke 19:43-44 & Luke 21:5-6, 20). Jesus spoke this prophecy in around 33 A.D. and 37 years later, it was fulfilled to perfection in 70 A.D. when Titus the Roman destroyed the city of Jerusalem and the Temple, not leaving one stone left upon another. Jesus fulfilled more than 300 prophecies from the Old Testament concerning the Jewish Messiah that was to come. A Christian writer and calculus expert by the name of Peter Stoner calculated that the probability of one man fulfilling even only 48 prophecies was 1 and 10 to the 157th. Power.
That’s = 1 in 10,000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000,
000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000,
000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000,
000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000
This evidence is so compelling that it should convince anyone beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus is real and the Bible is true. Considering that the Bible has been the most scrutinized book in the world for over 2000 years, if it wasn’t the true infallible Word of God, then especially in today’s high-tech society, someone would have been able to prove it by now. If anyone were to share this post with a nonbeliever to no avail, then it’s not that they don’t believe, it’s that they won’t believe. A big difference!
To thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to read my first “Pillar Post” (2000-5000 words), I leave you with this awesome heartfelt 4 minute and 7-second video clip (Rise Again).