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Bible School - Apologetics

1. Apologetics - Introduction (ch. 1, 2)

Apologetics - Introduction (ch. 1, 2)
Apologetics is the area of Christian study that defends or proves the truth of Christianity.  Our English word apologetics comes from the Greek word “apologia” which means “to defend” or “to make a defense.”  It was used in the Greek language to refer to an argument of defense in court during a judicial interrogation.
The
Linguistic Key to the Greek New Testament describes it this way, “The word was often used of the argument for the defense in a court of law and though the word may have the idea of a judicial interrogation in which one is called to answer for the manner in which he has exercised his responsibility, the word can also mean an informal explanation or defense of one’s position and the word would aptly describe giving an answer to the skeptical, abusive, or derisive inquires of ill-disposed neighbors.”
This word is used by Peter in
1 Peter 3:15: “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord.  Always be prepared to give an answer (apologia) to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.  But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.”
Peter is telling every believer that they should be prepared to present evidence for their hope in Christianity.  This evidence can include what Jesus has done for them personally as in a personal testimony, but should also be able go beyond their personal feelings and experience. 
The word "apologia" is used by Paul in
Colossians 4:6: "Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer (apologia) everyone."
Here the word "conversation" refers to your daily life.
Acts 22:1, "Brothers and fathers, listen now to my defense (apologia)."
Philippians 1:7, "for whether I am in chains or defending (apologia) and confirming the gospel, . . ."
In the above verse the word "defending" (apologia) is for the skeptical unbeliever. The word "confirming" is to the believer who believes but is under the continual assalt of a doubting world.
In Titus 1:7, 9 and 2 Timothy 2:24-25 the overseer and the "Lord's servant" must be willing to "refute those who oppose" truth and "instruct" those who "oppose" his teaching.
2 Corinthians 10:5, "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."
This verse indicates that part of apologetics is to attack or to go on offense against false philosophies.
Areas of apologetics that we will look at in this study are: 1) The Uniqueness of Christianity 2) The Uniqueness of Jesus Christ 3) The Authenticity of the New Testament 4) The Authenticity of the Old Testament 5) Philosophical Proof for the Existence of God 6) Scientific Prood for the Existence of God 7) Scientific Support for the Bible 8) Archeological Evidence for Scripture's Accuracy
Usefulness of Apologetics 1) Confirm your own faith 2) Withstand attacks of unbelief and skeptics in or out of the church 3) Testify to the truth more knowledgeably 4) Influence and enlighten people in a secular and skeptical society
Warnings to the Apologist 1) Cold Caution: An apologist can become cold and intellectual. Avoid this. Keep it personal and relevant. 2) Holy Spirit Caution: Arguing a person to acceptance does not replace the Holy Spirit's conviction. You can win the battle of the debate but still lose the war for a person's soul. 3) Accuracy Caution: An incomplete, inaccurate recital of hear-say will evoke a sarcastic rejection and become stones in the skeptics field.
Some People's Objections to Using Apologetcs All of these are unwarranted objections to apologetics. Many of these are true statements but when taken out of context and misapplied they lose their veracity. 1) The Bible does not need to be defended 2) God can't be known by human reason - Understand that God's existence is revealed by reason. God's plan is revealed by revelation. Apologetics deals with reason. 3) Natural humanity can't understand. 4) Without faith no one can please God. 5) Jesus refused to give signs to evil men. 6) Proverbs 26:4, "Do not answer a fool according to his folly." 7) Apologetics is not used in the Bible. (See Acts 17:2 where Paul "reasoned" with the Jews and Acts 17:22-33 where Paul reasoned with the philosophers in Athens at the Areopagus.
Solid Faith There is no such thing as blind faith, atleast, not in the good or useful sense of the phrase. God has always provided enough evidence for you to put you faith in something: his actions, his existence, his word, Jesus' miracles, etc.
An unexamined faith is not worth keeping. When oppostion comes an unexamined belief system or blind faith will quickly collapse and be replaced by something that seems more defendable.
Evidence of the turth will produce faith. Romans 10:17 says "
faith comes from hearing the message."
A rational person needs evidence that God exists before he believes that God exists. "
What may be know about God is plain to them because God has made it plain to them. . . God's invisible qualities. . . have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made so that men are without excuse." (Rom. 1:19-20)
Jesus said, "
Love the Lord you God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind." (Matt. 22:37) Point: The heart cannot truly belief what the mind rejects.
The Christian faith goes beyond reason but never against it.
"I KNOW whom I have BELIEVED." (2 Timothy 1:12)
Some Misconceptions Concerning Faith and Their Corrections
Blind Faith: False Statement: Christianity is blind faith or intellectual suicide. Truth: The Christian faith is based on evidence and God has always intended it to be that way. Consider: creation, the Red Sea, Jesus miracles, etc.
Objective Faith: False Statement: If you believe something then it is true to you. That is your faith. Truth: It is not how great you believe something that makes it true, but believing something that is true that makes your faith great. The value of the Christian faith is not in the one believeing, but in the one who is believed in. Jesus is the object of our faith.
Ancient Myths: False Statement: There is virtually no difference between Greek mythology and the Christian stories. Truth: All ancient myths have been exposed long ago, but it is comon to see the secular world still trying to undermine Christianity even today. After all the ancient religions have fallen to the skeptics, Christianity is still alive and still under attack. Myths never claim to have eyewitnesses as Christianity does in 2 Peter 1:16, 1 John 1:1-3, Luke 1:1-3, Acts 1:3, 1 Corinthians 15:5,6. The Apostles did not try to convince the public of Jesus life and death but appealed to them by asking them to recall what they themselves had seen as in Acts 2:22 and Acts 26:24-28.
Philosophical Presuppositions
One of our challenges today is that the modern historical approach to history is rooted in the philosophical presupposition that there is no God. A presupposition is what a person believes before the evidence is looked at.  Often a person’s presupposition does not allow them to accept the clear evidence or the truth they are being presented.  This applies not only to non-believers but is an issue for all people including Christians who have presuppositions concerning the interpretation of scripture.
Modern historians who presume there is no God consider the gospel account of Jesus and his life as inaccurate because of the miracles and supernatural events.  The modern philosophical presupposition is that we live in a closed system with no supernatural.   So the modern world begins its “fair and open-minded” investigation of Biblical history by having to reject any reference to God or to the supernatural.
The result is that many times modern skeptics are not debating the Christian from a position of knowledge or evidence but from a presupposed position of assumptions they refuse to give up.  Much of the time this is a reflection of their heart and not their mind.
Faith and Reason
Reason moves our wills from the outside.  Faith is our hearts giving assent to the evidence.  Faith then moves our wills from the inside.  This is why demons can see the evidence but they will not be moved by it.  They are against the evidence.  Reason can prove that God exists but cannot convince the unbeliever to believe in God.  Reason allows us to confront the unbeliever with the evidence of truth.
Reason is like describing the sun to a blind man.  He feels the warmth, eats the crops, but can’t see the sun.  Faith (or, revelation) is like the blind man receiving sight and seeing the sun for himself.
Uniqueness of Christianity Christianity is the only true religion among many religions. 
The Bible Claims Uniqueness
  • ONLY GOD: The God of the Bible is the only true God (Jeremiah 10:10-2)
  • ONLY WAY: Christ is the only way to God (John 14:6)
  • ONLY WORD: The Bible is the only true revelation from God (Isaiah 8:20)
  • ONLY HOPE: Faith in Jesus is the only way of salvation (Acts 4:12; Gal. 1:9)
Christianity Has Unique Historical Basis
  • Christianity is not based on Jesus teachings but on Jesus, who he is, the person Christ, the Son of God.  Salvation is not in the teachings of Jesus but in Jesus. 
  • Islam is based on the teachings of a man, Mohammed, not on Mohammed himself.
  • Buddhism is based on the teachings of Buddha
  • Confucianism is based on the teachings of Confucius
Christianity Has Unique Account of Origins
  • Christianity describes the origin of the universe as a special creation by an eternal, omnipotent, personal God.  In comparison other religions are impotent in discussing the topic of origins.  No other religion goes back to the absolute beginning before anything existed.  All other religions merely discuss the reforming of pre-existent material.
  • Babylonian religions began with a primeval chaotic mixture of three waters
  • Egyptian religion assumes initial watery chaos from which everything evolved
  • Greek mythology have a chaos of water at the beginning
  • Roman writers describe a beginning from a universal blind interplay of atoms
  • Secular Humanism supports a sophisticated process of evolution of pre-existing material
No other cosmogony (theory of creation) goes beyond what currently exists back to the First Cause.  All other cosmogonies begin with space, matter and time already in existence.  No can answer the question, “Where did these come from?”  The Bible gives a reasonable explanation:  These vast and complex physical things came from an eternal, omnipotent and personal God:
  • Eternal God explains the concept of time
  • Infinite God is the adequate cause of space
  • Omnipotent God accounts for the existence of power and matter
  • Omniscient God explains intelligence and order of creation
  • Personal God is why there is life, personality and freewill within creation
Evolution or primeval chaos with colliding atoms cannot explain any of these things: time, space, power, matter, intelligence, order, life, personality and freewill.
The Uniqueness of Jesus Christ
There is no other person in history like Jesus Christ.  The prophecies of his coming is unmatched by any world leader or world event.  His short, humble life resulted in history changing influence on people, religion, philosophy, cultures, nations, standards and time itself.  It is ridiculous to think that Jesus never lived considering the enormous impact his life has had.  The ignorance of believing that Jesus never lived is only out done by the ignorance of rejecting the existence of God.
Anticipation of His Coming
The Old Testament prophecies foretold:
  • The Lineage of the Messiah
  • The Birth Place of the Messiah
  • The Time the Messiah would be Born
  • The Things the Messiah would do
  • The Purpose for the Messiah
  • The Details of the Death of the Messiah
  • The Resurrection of the Messiah
Book by book list of OT prophecies concerning Jesus OT prophecies of Jesus First Coming
Anatomy of the Messiah
Virgin Birth
This had never occurred.  There are myths of demi-gods being born as a result of union of men and gods, but here God himself is conceived and born.  It was a fully natural birth yet with no genetic connection to a father yet with human form from his mother.   This had never been seen or imagined.
Divine Nature
  • Jesus was the creator (John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:16)
  • Jesus claimed to be God in front of the high priest (Mark 14:61-64)
  • Jesus said, “I and the Father are one.”  Then the Jews took up stones to stone him. (John 10:30-33)
  • Jesus spoke as if he was God: “I say unto you . . .” (Matthew 5:20, 22)
  • Jesus asked for and accepted worship as God. (Matt. 8:2; 14:33; John 20:27-29)
  • Jesus critics said, “He claimed to be the Son of God.” (John 19:7)
Sinless Life
Jesus lived an entire life without sin in thought, word or deed.
  • Peter wrote: “He did no sin.” (1 Peter 2:22)
  • John wrote: “In him was no sin.” (1 John 3:5)
  • Judas said: “I have betrayed the innocent blood.” (Matt. 27:4)
  • Pilate said: “I find in him no fault at all.” (John 18:38)
  • Paul wrote: “He knew no sin.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)
  • Jesus said: “I do always those things that please him (the Father).” (John 8:29)
Unique Teachings
Jesus’ teachings have penetrated into many cultures, other religions and the quotes of many leaders.  Jesus’ sermon on the Mont, the Upper Room discourse, the parables and other teachings are without parallel in history. Many non-believers and scriptural skeptics say that Jesus was the greatest teacher ever.  Yet within Jesus’ teachings he continually includes the awareness and the claim that he was the one and only (unique) Son of God.
Unique Death
Jesus died of his own free will.  Concerning his life, Jesus said, “No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own accord.” (John 10:18)  The book of John records that while on the cross Jesus said, “It is finished.”  Then John writes, “With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”
Unique Resurrection
The final and greatest proof of Jesus’ absolute uniqueness was that he rose from the grave with a resurrection body that was seen, heard and touched by many people.  Other religious leaders are dead and their tombs have become memorials for their lives.  Jesus’ life is still experience today.
An Article on the Uniqueness of Jesus
KEY POINTS 1) "apologia" means to give a defense by providing evidence 2) Evidence comes before faith. 3) Part our responsibility is to know the evidence and provide the evidence. 4) Apologetics was used by the apostles; evidence was provided by God. 5) Jesus said to love the Lord your God with all your mind. 6) Christianity is different from a myth since it has stood the test of time because it has evidence and eye witnesses. 7) The object of your faith is what makes faith great, not how sincerely you believe something. 8) Christianity is unique when compared to other religions and philosophies
 
OTHER SITES with more information concerning apologetics:
1)
An Introduction to Christian Apologetics
2)
What is Apologetics 1
3)
What is Apologetics 2
4)
Apologetic Resources
5)
Anthony Flew's Story - The leading atheist of the 1900's and a debater against C.S. Lewis now recognizes the existence of God
APOLOGETIC BOOKS from Galyn's Bookshelf: (back to the top) "Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics by Norman L. Geisler, ISBN 0-8010-2151-0
"Many Infallible Proofs" by Henry M. Morris, ISBN 0-89051-005-9
"Evidence That Demans a Verdict" Josh McDowell, ISBN0-8407-4378-5
"Christian Apologetics" by Norman L. Geisler, ISBN 1-56563-800-X
"Apologetics: An Introduction" by William Lane Craig, ISBN 0-8024-0405-7
"Vital Apologetic Issues" by Roy B. Zuck, ISBN 0-8254-4070-X
"The Case For Faith" by Lee Strobel, ISBN 0-310-24188-X
"101 Reasons You Can Believe" Ralph O. Muncaster, ISBN 0-7369-1198-7
QUESTIONS (back to the top) 1) What is the Greek word for apologetics or defends? 2) What is one of the main apologetic verses? 3) Name four areas that apologetics can help prove for the Christian faith. 4) Name two uses for apologetics. 5) What are three cautions to the apologists. 6) Can you explain why "blind faith" should not be part of the Christian experience? 7) What is the difference between subjective faith and objective faith? 8) Give examples of reason and faith in your life. 9) Describe some presuppositions that you might have.
TAKE THE TESTS -
Chapter Tests: Sect A, Ch 1 -Introduction to Apologetics
Sect A, Ch 2 - Uniqueness of Christianity
Essay Tests: Sect A, Ch 1 - Contrast Faith and Reason
Sect A, Ch 2 - Christianities Uniqueness

2. Apologetics - Authenticity of the New Testament (ch. 3)

Apologetics - Authenticity of the New Testament (ch. 3)
Authenticity of the New Testament
Authenticity refers to the genuineness and reliability of the New Testament documents.  Claiming that the New Testament is authentic means that:
  • The letters were written by the writer claiming to have written them (for example: John wrote the Gospel of John, Paul wrote Romans, Luke wrote Acts, etc.)
  • The letters were written at the time the author claims to have written them
  • The letters were written at the location the author claims he was at when he wrote them.
  • The letters were sent to the people that they were addressed to.
  • The letters contain the original information that the author intended to be in the document.
 
The authenticity of the New Testament is important.  If the information is inaccurate or a forgery then our faith is in vain.  We are some of the most deceived and confused people in history.  Paul wrote:
If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile, you are still in your sins.  Then those who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost.  If only for this life we have hope in Christ we are to be pitied more than all men!”  -1 Corinthians 15:17-19
Critics attack the New Testament documents by saying these things:
  • The New Testament letters were written after the apostolic age.
  • The New Testament contains legends
  • The events in the New Testament are not historical events
  • The books of the New Testament were written by church people to develop a particular belief they were trying to support and spread.
  • The authors who claim to have written them did not write the New Testament letters.
  • The New Testament letters were not sent to the people that were to receive them.

The “Jesus Seminar”: A Voice of Deception

Organized in 1985 by 70 “scholars”
  • They meet twice a year to make pronouncements about the
    authenticity of the words and deeds of Jesus
  • They have a public information campaign that includes promoting their ideas by: TV, articles, interviews, tapes/cds, movies
    • The group uses colored beads to vote on the accuracy of Jesus’ sayings:
      1) Red Bead = Jesus probably spoke it
      2)  Pink Bead = saying could be attributed to Jesus
      3) Gray Bead = the saying probably came from a later source, but not Jesus
      4) Black Bead = Jesus almost certainly did not say this
    • They vote on the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John), the Gospel of Peter, the Gospel of Thomas, and a document called “Q”
      (“Q” represents the word “quelle” which means “source”)
    • The results of the Jesus Seminar’s “scholarship”:
      - Only 15 sayings, or 2%, of Jesus’ recorded in these
      documents are absolute (a Red Bead)
      - 82% are not  authentic (a Black Bead)
      - 10% are doubtful (Pink or Gray Beads)
    • Matthew: 11 of the 420 sayings are authentic, 235 received the Black Bead
      In
    • Mark: 1 of the 177 sayings is authentic, 92 received the Black Bead
      In
    • Luke: 14 of the 392 sayings are authentic, 185 received the Black Bead
      In
    • John: 0 (none) or the 140 sayings are authentic, 134 got the Black Bead
      In
    • Gospel of Thomas: 3 of the 202 sayings are authentic, 92=Black Bead
      In the
    • The Conclusion of “The Jesus Seminar”:
      1) The “old Jesus” and “old Christianity” are no longer relevant
      2) Jesus did not rise from the dead
      3) Gospels are from a late date (after the apostles) and can not be trusted
      4) The authentic words of Jesus come from “Q”, the Gospel of Thomas and the Gospel of Peter.
    • not the Son of God, not the Messiah prophesied of in the OT, not the savior and not the soon returning king.
      What effect does this have on Christianity?  Jesus is a cynic, a sage, a reformer, a feminist, a prophet-teacher, a radical socialist, an end time preacher.  But, Jesus is
    • The Jesus Seminar is a voice of deception in our times.
    -Probe Ministries Christian (critical) view of Jesus Seminar http://www.leaderu.com/orgs/probe/docs/jesussem.html
    -Jesus Seminar’s Misguided Conclusions
    http://www.allaboutreligion.org/jesus-seminar.htm

    Proving the Authenticity of the New Testament Documents
    A. Effects must have a Cause

      • Something must have happened around 30 AD for history to be so effected and 2,000 years of church history resulted.
      • Christianity has had a huge impact on world history
      • Millions of personal testimonies of changed lives
      • POINT: All history, every bit that we have and know today, must come from written records.  The effect we see today and through out 2,000 years of history tells us that around 30 AD there was a powerful cause that began this powerful effect.
    B. Quality and Quantity of available Manuscripts
    Johannes Gutenberg in 1450 A.D.
    Learn more about manuscripts here:
    http://www.bible-researcher.com/isbetext02.html
    See pictures of manuscripts here:
    http://www.ntgateway.com/resource/image.htm

    What is a manuscript?

    A manuscript (abbreviation - ms. or plural, mss.) is the term used to identify hand written copies of an ancient document. Before there were printing presses or copy machines all documents were written by hand. New Testament manuscripts, or NT mss, are copies of the New Testament books that began to be made in the first century and continued to be made until the invention of the printing press by

    No other document from antiquity even begins to approach the number of available manuscripts for the New Testament.  For example:

    • Homer’s “Illiad”.
      • There are 643 remaining manuscripts of Homer’s "lliad"
      • The "Illiad" has the second most existing manuscripts. The New Testament is first.
    • In comparison there are a total of 48,600 manuscripts of the New Testament
      • 5,686 are Greek manuscripts
      • 10,000 are Latin Vulgate manuscripts
      • 9,300 are other earlier versions
      • 24,000 manuscripts portions of the New Testament
    • Available Manuscripts of Writings from Antiquity
      Title of Document                      Number of Available Manuscripts
      Tacitus “History”                                              5
      Plato “Tetralogies”                                           7
      Thucydides “History”                                       8
      Herodotus “History”                                         8
      Caesar’s “Gallic Wars”                                  10
      Aristotle                                                          49
      Homer “Iliad”                                                643
      New Testament                                         5,686 Greek
      plus 40,000 others    
    C. Time elapse
    • Time elapse is the time span between the time of the original writing and the oldest manuscript, or written copy, of the original.
    • Time elapse between original manuscript and earliest existing copy of the New Testament manuscripts is amazing when compared to the time elapse between the original writing and a manuscript of other ancient documents
    • The time elapse for the book of John is about thirty years (85 – 115 AD) Author      Document   Date of Writing   Oldest MS   Time Elapse
      Caesar           “Gallic Wars”     58-50 BC                850 AD                900 years
      Tacitus            “Histories”         100 AD                    850 AD                750 years
      Thucydides    “History”             460-400 BC            900 AD               1,300 years
      Herodotus      “History”             488-428 BC            850 AD               1,300 years
      Plato               “Tetralogies”     427-347 BC            900 AD                1,250 years
      Aristotle                                     384-322                  1100 AD              1,400 years
      The New Testament
      NT Book    Date         Name of MS          MS Date        Time Elapse
      John                85 AD        John Ryland’s MS                 115 AD           30 years
      John                85 AD        Bodmer Papyrus II                150-200 AD   65-115 years
      Most of NT     45-95 AD  Chester Beatty Papyri          150-200 AD   55-155 years
      Bible w/ NT    45-95         Codex Vaticanus                  325 AD           250-280 yrs.
      Bible w/ NT    45-95 AD  Codex Sinaiticus                   350 AD           275-305 yrs.
    fragjn1 beast300 John 18:31-33; 37-38, 115 AD . . . . .Fragment of Revelation from Oxyrhynchos
    Some of the Important New Testament Manuscripts
    John Ryland’s Manuscript    Bodmer Papyrus Chester Beatty Papyri          Diatessron Codex Vaticanus Codex Sinaiticus Codex Alexandrinus Ephraemi Rescriptus Oxyrhynchos Papyri

    is a plant that grows along the Nile Delta in Egypt. The long stems of the plant were used to make a paper like material to write on. Many of the ancient manuscripts that we have discovered were written on papyrus.
    Read more here:
    http://www.earlham.edu/~seidti/iam/papyrus.html

    is a writing material made from the skins of animals like sheep, goats or calves. When pieces of parchment were made into pages and attached like a book it is called a codex.
    Read more here:
    http://www.earlham.edu/~seidti/iam/parchment.html

    What is Papyrus?

    Papyrus

    What is Parchment?

    Parchment

    D. Early Translations
    • Ancient literature was rarely translated into another language.
    • The Syrian and Latin translations were done about 150 AD
    E. Early Church Fathers
    • We have letters and writings of men who knew and heard the apostles.
    • The men quoted the NT documents during the years 70-150 AD in their writings
    • The quotes in their writings testify to what was in the NT documents in the first century
    • These men would not have:
      • Tolerated a change in the apostles writings or their teachings
      • Quoted from a book that was written by an imposter and not written by an apostle
      • Altered or added to the teachings or the words
    sinjohn Codex Sinaiticus from 325 AD
    Internal Confirmation to New Testament Authenticity
    • Paul always begins his epistles with his name and claims authorship.
    • Undesigned coincidences run through the New Testament books that prove Paul was the author.  Many references to people, places, situations align with the book of Acts and the epistles Paul wrote.
    • Linguistic evidence is consistent with the authors:
      • Paul’s style and vocabulary remain the same in all his books.
      • This is clearly true of John as well using words like “light”, “word”.
    • Archaeology and anthropology confirms the places and customs recorded in the Bible.
    • The New Testament was written in Koine Greek and not Classical Greek
      • Stories, poems and legends were written in Classical Greek
      • Letters, notes, bills, etc. were written in Koine Greek which is the language of common life.  This was discovered and proven in the 1800’s.
    Internal Evidence for the Early Date of Acts and Luke’s Authorship
    According to those who accept the Bible as the authoritative Word of God, the Book of Acts is believed to have been written during Paul’s lifetime by Luke.  This means it was written before 70 AD and probably around 61 AD. This is the evidence in the book of Acts that indicates it was written before 70 AD.
    • No mention of the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD.
    • No mention of the burning of Rome in 64 AD.
    • No hint of deterioration of Roman and Jewish relationships that resulted from the Jewish war with Rome beginning in 66 AD.
    • No hint of the deterioration of relationships between the Romans and the Christian due to Nero’s persecution during 65-67 AD.
    • Gallio’s judgment (Acts 18:14-17) set a precedent to legitimize Christianity for this time period.
    • There is not hint of Pastor James’ martyrdom by the Sanhedrin around 67 AD.
    • The Sadducees are portrayed as still having authority reflecting a pre-70 AD date.
    • Acts never mentions Peter in Rome.
    • Peter (died 65 AD) and John (died after 96 AD) seem to be alive in Acts.  No details are given about any of the disciple’s deaths but James (died 44 AD).
    • There were Gentiles in the synagogues.  Few would be looking into Judiasm after 70 AD.
    • The temple is still standing with no hint of attack or of being destroyed.
    • There is a confident tone of normal life continuing.  Unlike life after 65 and 70 AD.
    • Acts ends as if the events at the end of the book were still occurring.  The ending leaves Paul alive with no hint of his martyrdom.
    • No where in the book does the author try to appear to predict any of these key events or try to give Paul credit as a prophet of these events.
    KEY POINTS (back to the top)
    • The New Testament is made up of historical documents that are authentic
    • Authenticity means the documents are genuine and reliable.
    • There are critics who want to say the New Testament is a fraud and not a first century document.
    • Manuscripts from the first, second and third centuries prove the New Testament was already being preserved before the critics want to say it was being written.
    • The vast amount of manuscripts help prove the New Testament authenticity.
    • The short time period between the first writting and our oldest manuscript help support our belief that the New Testament that we have today is very, very close if not exactly what was originally written.
    • Accepted history of the Romans and even the world is based on documents with as few as 5-10 existing manuscripts. The New Testament has 5,686 Greek manuscripts itself.
    • The time interval between the original writing of many accepted historical documents is 900 years. Plenty of time for corruptions to enter the text. The New Testament manuscripts are with in 30 to 200 years of the original.
    • Internal evidence in the New Testament books also proves they are authentic first century documents.
    OTHER SITES with more information concerning NT authenticity: (back to the top)
    New Testament Reliability Catalogue of New Testament Papyri & Codices 2nd—10th Centuries See images and read details of these manuscripts here Manuscript evidence Here
    BOOKS from Galyn's Shelf: (back to the top) "Early Manuscripts and Modern Translations of the New Testament" by Philip Wesley Comfort "How We Got the Bible" by Neil R. Lightfoot "Books and Their Makers in the Middle Ages" by Geo. Haven Putnam "Light from the Ancient East" by Adolf Deissmann
    QUESTIONS (back to the top) Do you think the New Testament is authentic? How can the number of manuscripts help support the New Testaments authenticity? Does the time between the writing of the document and the closest copy make a difference? Do you think a document that has been copied for 900 years or one that has been copied for 150 years will have more errors in the text? List 4 important manuscripts and about the time it was written. List 2 reasons why we can say the New Testament letters of Paul are authentic based on internal evidence from the text. List 3 reasons why we can say the book of Acts was written before the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD.
    Tests
    Chapter Tests: Sect A, Ch 3 - Authenticity of the New Testamennt
    Essay Tests: Sect A, Ch 3 - Critic the Jesus Seminar
     
    QUOTES "There is no time for creating a change in Jesus or his work."
    "There are too many on lookers for one person to create a false quote, let alone a false book."
    "The benefit of the doubt is to be given to the document itself, not arrogated by the critic to himself." -ARISTOTLE
    "It is reassuring at the end to find that the general result of all these discoveries and all this study is to strengthen the proof of the authenticity of the Scriptures, and our convition that we have in our hands, in substantial integrity, the veritable Word of God." - SIR FREDERIC G. KENYON, Director of British Museum
    "To be skeptical of the resultant text of the New Testament books is to allow all of classical antiquity to slip into obscurity, for no documents of the ancient period are as well attested bibliographically as the New Testament."

    3. Apologetics - Authenticity of the Old Testament (ch. 4)

    Apologetics - Authenticity of the Old Testament (ch. 4)
    Authenticity of the Old Testament
    Our Old Testament is the same 39 books accepted by Jews in Jesus’ day and by the early church. 
    The Old Testament is divided into three parts:
    • Law of Moses (The Pentateuch or first five books of the OT)
    • Prophets (including the historical books)
    • Poetic writings
    Jesus spoke of the Old Testament in this way when he said: “Everything must be fulfilled about me in the Law of Moses, the prophets and the Psalms.”  (Luke 24:44)
    There was no meeting or council in the Old Testament times that met to accept these books. It appears that each book was accepted as its writer presented it. The books then were self-authentidcating.
    The Old Testament comes down to us in six forms:
    • Masoretic text (see below)
    • Septuagint (translated from Hebrew to Greek around 280 BC)
    • Latin Vulgate (Hebrew translated into to Latin by Jerome in 400 AD)
    • Samaritan Pentateuch (handed down from 400 BC by Samaritans)
    • Syriac Version (translated 200 AD)
    • The Dead Sea Scrolls
    Masoretic Text 
    The Masoretic Text comes from Jewish scribes from 500 AD.  The scribes systematically sorted and co9mpared the various manuscripts.  They wrote the variant readings in the margins.  There are about 1,200 variant readings, or one per page. We have about 1,000 Masoretic manuscripts.  The oldest is fro 916 AD.  The variation in these texts is basically non existent.
    These books contained copied portions of the Old Testament.  These books show us that our OT is essentially the same today as when these books were written:
    • Book of Jubilees
      • Text (click here and scroll to bottom of the page that opens to see sections including "The Book of Giants", "The Generations of Adam", "The Martrydom of Isaiah", and more.
      • Written 135-105 BC
    • The Talmud
    • Josephus
    • Philo
    • Zadokite Fragments
      • These are documents from Qumran where a group of pious Jews fled to preserve the way of righteousness and to avoid Antiochus Ephipanes around 165 BC.  There are two sections of these documents: one calls the people to obey God’s covenant and introduces the “Teacher of Righteousness”; The second records the statutes concerning vows, assemblies, and other instructions for members and for new members.
    • Targums
    • New Testament
      • The New Testament often quotes the Old Testament which helps authenticate the contents of the Old Testament document in the first century AD
      • There are 320 Old Testament quotes in the New Testament
    No other ancient writings have been so accurately handed down with such an abundance of textual evidence.
     refuting_higher_criticism * Writing was Common in Abraham's Day . . . . . . * Library with 1,000s of Cunneform Tablets
    JEPD Higher criticism says there were four different writers of the book of Genesis.  They call them J, E, P and D .  The writers are believed by the critics to have written at different times during the years of 900-600 BC.  This false theory was developed between 19806-1878. These four fictional writers are called by the critics:
    • Jehovist (J) since in his writing he referred to God by the name “Jehovah”
    • Elohist (E) since in his writing he referred to God by the Hebrew word “Elohim”
    • Priestly (P) since in his writing he seems to support the priestly concepts and traditions
    • Deuteronomist (D) since in his writing he seems to be aware of the laws and traditions of Deuteronomy.
    The information in the book of Genesis was collected by eyewitnesses to the events and edited by Moses.  Several places Genesis uses the formula “these are the generations of _______ (Adam, Seth, Noah, or someone) or “this is the account of _________”.  These men were the eyewitnesses of these events
    In the 1800’s the critics denied the accuracy and authenticity of the Old Testament because other ancient writings did not record people like the
    Hittites, the Horites or Edomites.  These people were only referred to in the book of Genesis and were unheard of in other historical documents into the 1800’s.  What archaeology found in the years since is:
    • All these peoples, nations and their cities existed and have been excavated.
    • The Davidic-Solmonic empire existed
    • The Babylonian captivity and return are now considered historical
    • The names of over 40 different kins of various countries mentioned in the OT have been found in documents and inscriptions.
    These findings prove:
    • The OT was written by the contemporaries of these events
    • The OT was written carefully and accurately
    • The OT has been copied and preserved methodically until our time.
    Jesus and the Old Testament
    • Jesus accepted the OT as authentic
    • Jesus said, “The Scripture cannot be broken.” (John 10:35)
    • Jesus said, “It is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.” (Luke 16:17)
    • Jesus accepted Moses as the author of the Pentateuch. (Luke 24:27; John 5:46-47)
    • Jesus accepted Isaiah as the author of both the first and second halves of the Book of Isaiah (Matt. 13:14 Jesus quotes Isaiah 6:9-10; John 12:38 Jesus quotes Isaiah 53:1)
    • Jesus accepted Daniel as the author of the book of Daniel. (Matt. 24:15)
    • Jesus accepted these people as historical people and not figurative or mythical:
      • Adam and Eve in Matt. 19:4,5
      • Abel Matt. 23:35
      • Noah in Luke 17:26
      • Abraham in John 8:56-58
      • Lot in Luke 17:28
    • Jesus accepted the creation in Genesis as historical. (Mark 10:6-9)
    • Jesus accepted the Flood as historical. (Matt. 24:37-39)
    • Jesus accepted the following as miracles:
      • Sodom
      • Lot’s wife
      • Manna
      • Serpents
      • Elijah
      • Elisha
      • Jonah
    It is a serious thing to challenge the authority of the Old Testament when Jesus accepted the authority of the OT
    Why the Late Date is Wrong Some critics of the authenticity of the Old Testament reject the idea that Moses wrote Genesis-Deuteronomy in 1400 BC.  Instead they say the first five books of the OT were forged around 700 BC or even after the Jews returned from Babylonian captivity in 500 BC.  This is wrong for several reasons but it is ridiculous for this reason:  Imagine the scribes and pr4iest presenting the Law of Moses to the Jews for the first time in 700 BC or in 535 BC.  Imagine the Jews being told that some ancient documents had been found by the priest after they had been misplaced for hundreds of years.  Imagine the Jews hearing for the first time with no historical setting or background that:
    • There was a man named Moses who led them out of slavery in Egypt some 600-900 years before.
    • This “Moses” wrote some books and created an entire system to live by and be governed by.  They would have heard for the first time about their:
      • Priesthood
      • System of worship
      • Temple
      • Priests and the power the priest had including receiving 10% of the lands produce.  (Remember: this is the same priesthood that found these “lost” books, but also, the same priesthood that then would have had lost them hundreds of years ago.)
      • National History
      • Legendary Heroes: Abraham, Isaac, Samson, David, Solomon
      • Tithes, offerings and sacrifices to support the priests
      • Holy Writings
      • Practice of circumcision that would have then had to begin with all the adult men
      • Annual Passover which was for the purpose of remembering an event that they had never heard of (and, according to the critics had never happened.)
    Would the kings, leaders, rulers, aristocracy and other religious leaders have accepted the priests’ new find? Would the majority of the people have welcomed an unheard of history recorded by an unheard of man that told them to give 10% to the newly introduced priests and circumcise all the adult males?
    It is unbelievable to think that an entire generation would have accepted and practiced all the institutions in the law of Moses unless it was a generation of people who actually:
    • Experience release from Egyptian slavery
    • Heard Moses speak and saw him strike the land of Egypt with plagues
    • Followed Moses to the mountain where they saw God descend on the mountain and give the law.
    • Lived in the wilderness and saw the promised land.
    It is easier to believe these were historical events that made a real impact on a generation of people than to think it was a forgery that blindly convinced an entire generation to foolishly follow undocumented writings.
    The Date of Deuteronomy
    Philosophical Proof for the Existence of God
    The more a true witness is challenged or questioned the more perfect his testimony will be.  Court room drama is based on this principle.  The more a witness is questioned the more obvious it will be if they are lying or telling the truth.  This is why the concept of the existence of God, the authenticity of the Bible and the Christian faith should not be afraid of being challenged, questioned or examined.  An attack on Christianity will only prove it to be true.
    When there are not many facts known about an event or a suspect then negative evidence of small account.  For example, there is little physical evidence easily accessible to prove or disprove Noah’s flood, so the fact that we do not physically have Noah’s ark does not prove that it did not happen.  But, when ignorance on a subject is great then the smallest amount of supporting evidence will have great weight.  If we did find Noah’s ark and the measurements fit the description in Genesis then we would tend to believe the whole story.
    Skeptics will make the following statements concerning the Bible based on their assumptions:
    philosophic_skeptic_answers Here are five links that show Archaeological findings that support the biblical account: A    B   C   D    E Here is a link that philosophically supports the existence of God:   F
    It is irrational (unreasonable to the human mind) that the universe came from nothing.  This is an illogical thought to:
    • The ancient mind
    • The modern Eastern and Western mind
    • Scientific thought
    • Philosophy
    • Any method of reasoning or system of Logic
    The existence of God is reasonable.  It is one of the truths about God that does not take spiritual insight.  Many truths about God come only through revelation or spiritual insight (Word of God, Spirit of God).  God’s existence is perceived with mere human reason and observation: “What may be known about God is plain . . .understood from what has          been made . . . they knew God. . .”  Romans 1:19-21
    After six thousand years of thought and research nothing is easier to verify and harder to disprove than: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
    POINT OF DOCTRINE NUMBER ONE: A being greater than the universe has to exist.
    • Reasons logically dependent on sense experience
      • Cause (cosmological) – There cannot be an infinite regress of finite causes.  There must be an uncaused causer.
      • Design (Teleological) – Observable order and design demand a designer.
      • Moral (Anthropological) - all people posses moral impulse.  Behavioral science cannot explain this since many moral behaviors go unrewareded for long periods of time. The development of moral behavior cannot come out of nature.
      • Motion - motion cannot start itself. Infinite regress of motion is meaningless. This is the Greeks concept of the unmovable mover.
      • Perfection - There is a universal pyramid of beings seen from insects to men. Man is at the top of the existence pyramid, but the universe is too grand for man to be the ultimate expressionof existence.
      • Dependency - All things exist in a network of relationships and dependency. Infinite regress of dependency is contradictory. Everything must begin with an independent being.
    • Reasons logically independent of sense experience
      • Perfect Being (Ontological) - concept of perfection exists but is never attained. We did not develop the thought of perfection because we saw it.
      • Innate Idea - People in all cultures through out time have been born with the concept of the idea of God.
      • Mysticism - Man can and has experienced God directly in his life. This union is so real it is self-validating.
      • Truth - The concept of truth exists. People seek truth so the ultimate truth exists.
      • Man is Finite - The fact that we are finite proves their is the infinite.
      • Blessedness - Man is basically restless, searching, striving. This drive is only fulfilled when man finds God.
    C.S. Lewis made this point: If there is hunger, there is food. If there is thirst, there is drink. If there is curiosity, there is knowledge. If there is loneliness, there is society. But, starvation does not prove that food does not exist. Loneliness does not prove that other people don't exist. So also, failure to achieve immortality, to reach paradise, or to find God does not prove any of these don't exist.
    If God Does Exist, Who is He? God would be greater than his creation in every way. God's creation would reflect his nature and his qualities just as Romans 1:20 says: "For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made."




    The Universe Appears As:

    First Cause (God) Must Be:
    Limitless Space
    Infinite
    Unending Time
    Eternal
    Perpetual Motion
    Omnipotent
    Unbordered Variety
    Omnipresent
    Infinitely Complex
    Omniscience


    People Have:First Cause (God) Must Be:
    Personality
    Personal
    Feelings
    Emotional
    Will
    Volitioinal
    Ethics
    Moral
    System of right and wrong
    Holy
    System of Justice
    Just
    Love
    Loving
    Life
    Living

    The above description of the creation and the human creatures reflect a First Cause, or a God, that matches exactly the God described in the Jewish and Christian scriptures. Whoever God is, his character and his qualities must be seen in creation itself. If what a person describes as "god" is not compatible with the created world then that "god" is not the True God.
    To Create this universe God must be transcendent (outside the boundaries of the universe). This means God can not be described as one with the universe like the force in "Star Wars". The First Cause cannot be the mindlessness, less-than conscious unity known as the Supreme Soul of Eastern religions because that state itself lacks purpose and design. The Creator must be personable since he created people with personalities. These people long to interact with others. Likewise, the Creator must be imminent (involved in our world, close at hand) and desirous of relationship with people in an even more intense way than humans experience. His love, holiness, wrath, etc. all go far past human ability or understanding. God's character and abode is like our's but without limits.
    Scientific Proof for the Existence of God
    There are no conflicts with Scripture and Nature. Both are the work of God. There are conflicts with theology and science because:

    • Theology is man's study of God's inspired scriptures
    • Science is man's study of God's created natural world
    Remember:
    • Both groups, theologians and scientist) are subject to error -
      • Galileo (1564-1642) was kept under house arrest by the church for eight years for supporting the Copernican theory that stated that the earth revolved around the sun.
      • Science once believed in the eternal cosmos. They taught that the universe had always existed up until the days of Einstein and Hubble.
    • Either group is subject to correction by the other
      • Science has refuted the flat earth theory so theologians can no longer use the scriptural referring to the "four corners of the earth" as literal.
      • Science held to spontaneous generation into the mid-1800's even though scripture taught God made animal life to reproduce "according to their kind."
    • The Bible is not a science textbook, but it is scientifically accurate.
    • Science is constantly in the process of developing
    Bertrand Russell wrote in 1935 that science had successively refuted all the main tenets of religion. He explained that the modern understanding of the universe was the product of two major scientific revolutions:
    • The Copernican, that showed that humanity was not the center of the universe as the Bible taught.
    • The Darwinian, that demonstrated that it was no longer necessary to posit an act of divine creation to explain the origins of human life.
    • Sigmund Freud then nominated his own discovery of the "unconscious" as a third revolution
    Upon these discoveries, Russell then described humanity as a "curious accident in a backwater." The above numbers 1 and 2 gave Friedrich Nietzsche the confidence in 1885 to say what many people in the Western world were thinking: "God is dead."
    In 1917 Einstein published his theory of relativity and tried to conform it to the cosmology of the day which was the Static Universe Theory. (This theory taught that the universe was infinite in age and had always existed. Stars drifted randomly. The Milky Way was all there was.) But, Einstein's general relativity equations demanded that the universe had a beginning. In 1927, Edwin Hubble's telescope showed there were galaxies far outside our own. This was exactly what Einstein's theory had predicted. Science then took a 180 degree turn and needed to develop what became known as the Big Bang Theory.
    Einstein wrote after looking through Hubble's telescope that it was his desire "to know how God created the world. I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know his thought, the rest are details."
    A periodical from July 2000 called
    Science lists these recently establsished facts that are demanding a response:
    • If the physical forces within stars wree only slightly different, our universe would be almost devoid of carbon and oxygen, and life would not exist.
    • If gravity was slightly stronger, all stars would be red dwarfs, too cold to support life.
    • If gravity was slightly weaker, all stars would be blue giants, burning too briefly for life to develop.
    • The mass of the neutron in an atom is delicately balanced with the mass of the proton; if it were not protons would decay into neutrons and make life impossible.
    This same article had these quotes from scientist in it:
    • "I am not a religious person, but I could say this universe is designed very well for the existence of life."
    • "The basic forces in the universe are tailor-made for the production of . . . carbon-based life."
    • "Imagine a univers-creating machine, with thousands of dials representing the gravitational constant, the charge on the electron, the mass of the proton, and so on. Each dial has many possible settings, and even the slightest change would make a universe where life was impossible."
    • "The laws of the universe are cunningly contrived to coax life into being." They "somehow know in advance about life and its vast complexity."
    The Templeton prize-winner for 2000 says, "the universe in some sense must have known we were coming."
    If the nineteenth century's understanding of the universe had been at today's level we would have avoided the entire "death of God" phase of Western history.
    Here are somemore facts concerning the perfect balance of our universe for life to exist:
    • 21% of gases are oxygen. If it was 25% fires would break out spontaneously around the globe. If it were 15% higher life would suffocate.
    • If protons were not almost exactly 1,836 times heavier than electrons molecules would not be able to form and there would be no chemistry, no life and no one to wonder why.
    • The position and angle of the earth is set. A few degrees closer we disintegrate. A few degrees away we become a frozen rock.
    • The 23 degree axis of the earth provides equal distribution of sun and makes possible the food chain.
    • The atomic clock is the most accurate time instrument we have invented. They are accurate up to within 3 seconds a millennium. We use the rotation of the stars to set and chech these clocks.
    • After 150 years of study, fossil records are beginning to agree with scripture's account that life forms appeared abruptlly with no transitional forms.
    Scientist today who reject the concept of God scramble to craft alternative explanations for the obvious existence of God. They have come up with a variety of ways to explain how life and the universe came into existence without God. Each of their reasons agrees with Romans 1:21,22: "For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools." Here is what the fools in science are saying:
    • There are "many worlds" and infinite universes. The odds are one would produce life eventually. We were the lucky universe. (Now, if that is good science then the lottery is a logical thing to invest in.)
    • The zillions of universes are like bubbles in foam. Each one contains more and more little bubbles. (To believe this takes more faith (more blind faith) than any religious explanation. Thus, we see that this phase of science has entered the realm of religion. )
    • All possible states of a quantum interaction have to be actualized, so that slightly different versions of our universe are constantly splitting off - creating a near-infinitude of new universes every moment. (One scientists points out that this statement is not science when he says, "Invoking an infinitude of unobservable universes to explain the one observable univers is a grotesque violation." Remember science is based in observation.)
    • Life must have been sent here in a spaceship from a dying civilization and perhaps just the astronauts bacteria survived the journey. Two physicists conclude that just the genetic material was sent here in the first place. Both of these last two ideas come from scientists who have earned Nobel prizes and discovered natural laws. (With this kind of science we are clearly headed back into the dark ages. Bring your flashlights!)
    "The Evolution of Man Mathematically Disproved" by William A. Williams in 1925
    KEY POINTS
    • The Old Testament has been recorded and preserved accurately.
    • Higher Criticism has technical sounding arguments against the Old Testament but they can be refuted with logic and evidence.
    • Understand JEPD and its false assumptions.
    • Jesus embraced a literal and historical understanding of the Hebrew Scriptures.
    • It is reasonable to conclude there is a God.
    • The Christian God revealed in Scripture has the same characteristics as the Creator of our universe has.
    • Nature and Scripture always agree. Science and theology may disagree.
    OTHER SITES with more information concerning OT authenticity:
    Old Testament Apologetics
    Historical Proof of the Old Testament
    Archeology and the Old Testament
    Seminary for Apologetics
    Evidence for God
    The Masoretic Text in Hebrew and English
    BOOKS from Galyn's Shelf: "Early Manuscripts and Modern Translations of the New Testament" by Philip Wesley Comfort "How We Got the Bible" by Neil R. Lightfoot "Books and Their Makers in the Middle Ages" by Geo. Haven Putnam "Light from the Ancient East" by Adolf Deissmann
    QUESTIONS Does archeology confirm the Old Testament's accuracy? What is the Masoretic Text? What are some of names of the text forms or translations that preserve the ancient Old Testament? Give examples of how Jesus used the Old Testament as historical. What do these theories of the origin of the universe all have in common: Big Bang, Oscillation Theory and Static Universe? How does cause (cosmological) and design (teleological) reasoning prove the existence of a God? Give an example of science being proved wrong by the Scriptures. Give an example of theology or scriptural interpretation being proved wrong by a scientific discovery.
    TAKE THE TESTS
    Chapter Tests: Sect A, Ch 4 - Authenticity of the Old Testament
    Sect A, Ch 5 - Philosophical Proof for Existence of God
    Sect A, Ch 6 - Scientific Proof
    Essay Tests: Sect A, Ch 4 - State Your Views of JEPD
    Sect A, Ch 5 - Advantages of a Challenge
    Sect A, Ch 6 - Contrast Theology & Scripture

    4. Apologetics - Philosophical Proof for the Existence of God (ch. 5)

    Apologetics - Philosophical Proof of the Existence of God (ch. 5)
    Philosophical Proof for the Existence of God
    The more a true witness is challenged or questioned the more perfect his testimony will be.  Court room drama is based on this principle.  The more a witness is questioned the more obvious it will be if they are lying or telling the truth.  This is why the concept of the existence of God, the authenticity of the Bible and the Christian faith should not be afraid of being challenged, questioned or examined.  An attack on Christianity will only prove it to be true.
    When there are not many facts known about an event or a suspect then negative evidence of small account.  For example, there is little physical evidence easily accessible to prove or disprove Noah’s flood, so the fact that we do not physically have Noah’s ark does not prove that it did not happen.  But, when ignorance on a subject is great then the smallest amount of supporting evidence will have great weight.  If we did find Noah’s ark and the measurements fit the description in Genesis then we would tend to believe the whole story.
    Skeptics will make the following statements concerning the Bible based on their assumptions:
    philosophic_skeptic_answers Here are five links that show Archaeological findings that support the biblical account: A    B   C   D    E Here is a link that philosophically supports the existence of God:   F


     
    It is irrational (unreasonable to the human mind) that the universe came from nothing.  This is an illogical thought to:
    • The ancient mind
    • The modern Eastern and Western mind
    • Scientific thought
    • Philosophy
    • Any method of reasoning or system of Logic
    The existence of God is reasonable.  It is one of the truths about God that does not take spiritual insight.  Many truths about God come only through revelation or spiritual insight (Word of God, Spirit of God).  God’s existence is perceived with mere human reason and observation: “What may be known about God is plain . . .understood from what has          been made . . . they knew God. . .”  Romans 1:19-21
    After six thousand years of thought and research nothing is easier to verify and harder to disprove than: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
    POINT OF DOCTRINE NUMBER ONE: A being greater than the universe has to exist.
    • Reasons logically dependent on sense experience
      • Cause (cosmological) – There cannot be an infinite regress of finite causes.  There must be an uncaused causer.
      • Design (Teleological) – Observable order and design demand a designer.
      • Moral (Anthropological) - all people posses moral impulse.  Behavioral science cannot explain this since many moral behaviors go unrewareded for long periods of time. The development of moral behavior cannot come out of nature.
      • Motion - motion cannot start itself. Infinite regress of motion is meaningless. This is the Greeks concept of the unmovable mover.
      • Perfection - There is a universal pyramid of beings seen from insects to men. Man is at the top of the existence pyramid, but the universe is too grand for man to be the ultimate expressionof existence.
      • Dependency - All things exist in a network of relationships and dependency. Infinite regress of dependency is contradictory. Everything must begin with an independent being.
    • Reasons logically independent of sense experience
      • Perfect Being (Ontological) - concept of perfection exists but is never attained. We did not develop the thought of perfection because we saw it.
      • Innate Idea - People in all cultures through out time have been born with the concept of the idea of God.
      • Mysticism - Man can and has experienced God directly in his life. This union is so real it is self-validating.
      • Truth - The concept of truth exists. People seek truth so the ultimate truth exists.
      • Man is Finite - The fact that we are finite proves their is the infinite.
      • Blessedness - Man is basically restless, searching, striving. This drive is only fulfilled when man finds God.
    C.S. Lewis made this point: If there is hunger, there is food. If there is thirst, there is drink. If there is curiosity, there is knowledge. If there is loneliness, there is society. But, starvation does not prove that food does not exist. Loneliness does not prove that other people don't exist. So also, failure to achieve immortality, to reach paradise, or to find God does not prove any of these don't exist.
    If God Does Exist, Who is He? God would be greater than his creation in every way. God's creation would reflect his nature and his qualities just as Romans 1:20 says: "For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made."




    The Universe Appears As:

    First Cause (God) Must Be:
    Limitless Space
    Infinite
    Unending Time
    Eternal
    Perpetual Motion
    Omnipotent
    Unbordered Variety
    Omnipresent
    Infinitely Complex
    Omniscience


    People Have:First Cause (God) Must Be:
    Personality
    Personal
    Feelings
    Emotional
    Will
    Volitioinal
    Ethics
    Moral
    System of right and wrong
    Holy
    System of Justice
    Just
    Love
    Loving
    Life
    Living

    The above description of the creation and the human creatures reflect a First Cause, or a God, that matches exactly the God described in the Jewish and Christian scriptures. Whoever God is, his character and his qualities must be seen in creation itself. If what a person describes as "god" is not compatible with the created world then that "god" is not the True God.
    To Create this universe God must be transcendent (outside the boundaries of the universe). This means God can not be described as one with the universe like the force in "Star Wars". The First Cause cannot be the mindlessness, less-than conscious unity known as the Supreme Soul of Eastern religions because that state itself lacks purpose and design. The Creator must be personable since he created people with personalities. These people long to interact with others. Likewise, the Creator must be imminent (involved in our world, close at hand) and desirous of relationship with people in an even more intense way than humans experience. His love, holiness, wrath, etc. all go far past human ability or understanding. God's character and abode is like our's but without limits.
    Scientific Proof for the Existence of God
    There are no conflicts with Scripture and Nature. Both are the work of God. There are conflicts with theology and science because:

    • Theology is man's study of God's inspired scriptures
    • Science is man's study of God's created natural world
    Remember:
    • Both groups, theologians and scientist) are subject to error -
      • Galileo (1564-1642) was kept under house arrest by the church for eight years for supporting the Copernican theory that stated that the earth revolved around the sun.
      • Science once believed in the eternal cosmos. They taught that the universe had always existed up until the days of Einstein and Hubble.
    • Either group is subject to correction by the other
      • Science has refuted the flat earth theory so theologians can no longer use the scriptural referring to the "four corners of the earth" as literal.
      • Science held to spontaneous generation into the mid-1800's even though scripture taught God made animal life to reproduce "according to their kind."
    • The Bible is not a science textbook, but it is scientifically accurate.
    • Science is constantly in the process of developing
    Bertrand Russell wrote in 1935 that science had successively refuted all the main tenets of religion. He explained that the modern understanding of the universe was the product of two major scientific revolutions:
    • The Copernican, that showed that humanity was not the center of the universe as the Bible taught.
    • The Darwinian, that demonstrated that it was no longer necessary to posit an act of divine creation to explain the origins of human life.
    • Sigmund Freud then nominated his own discovery of the "unconscious" as a third revolution
    Upon these discoveries, Russell then described humanity as a "curious accident in a backwater." The above numbers 1 and 2 gave Friedrich Nietzsche the confidence in 1885 to say what many people in the Western world were thinking: "God is dead."
    In 1917 Einstein published his theory of relativity and tried to conform it to the cosmology of the day which was the Static Universe Theory. (This theory taught that the universe was infinite in age and had always existed. Stars drifted randomly. The Milky Way was all there was.) But, Einstein's general relativity equations demanded that the universe had a beginning. In 1927, Edwin Hubble's telescope showed there were galaxies far outside our own. This was exactly what Einstein's theory had predicted. Science then took a 180 degree turn and needed to develop what became known as the Big Bang Theory.
    Einstein wrote after looking through Hubble's telescope that it was his desire "to know how God created the world. I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know his thought, the rest are details."
    A periodical from July 2000 called
    Science lists these recently establsished facts that are demanding a response:
    • If the physical forces within stars wree only slightly different, our universe would be almost devoid of carbon and oxygen, and life would not exist.
    • If gravity was slightly stronger, all stars would be red dwarfs, too cold to support life.
    • If gravity was slightly weaker, all stars would be blue giants, burning too briefly for life to develop.
    • The mass of the neutron in an atom is delicately balanced with the mass of the proton; if it were not protons would decay into neutrons and make life impossible.
    This same article had these quotes from scientist in it:
    • "I am not a religious person, but I could say this universe is designed very well for the existence of life."
    • "The basic forces in the universe are tailor-made for the production of . . . carbon-based life."
    • "Imagine a univers-creating machine, with thousands of dials representing the gravitational constant, the charge on the electron, the mass of the proton, and so on. Each dial has many possible settings, and even the slightest change would make a universe where life was impossible."
    • "The laws of the universe are cunningly contrived to coax life into being." They "somehow know in advance about life and its vast complexity."
    The Templeton prize-winner for 2000 says, "the universe in some sense must have known we were coming."
    If the nineteenth century's understanding of the universe had been at today's level we would have avoided the entire "death of God" phase of Western history.
    Here are somemore facts concerning the perfect balance of our universe for life to exist:
    • 21% of gases are oxygen. If it was 25% fires would break out spontaneously around the globe. If it were 15% higher life would suffocate.
    • If protons were not almost exactly 1,836 times heavier than electrons molecules would not be able to form and there would be no chemistry, no life and no one to wonder why.
    • The position and angle of the earth is set. A few degrees closer we disintegrate. A few degrees away we become a frozen rock.
    • The 23 degree axis of the earth provides equal distribution of sun and makes possible the food chain.
    • The atomic clock is the most accurate time instrument we have invented. They are accurate up to within 3 seconds a millennium. We use the rotation of the stars to set and chech these clocks.
    • After 150 years of study, fossil records are beginning to agree with scripture's account that life forms appeared abruptlly with no transitional forms.
    Scientist today who reject the concept of God scramble to craft alternative explanations for the obvious existence of God. They have come up with a variety of ways to explain how life and the universe came into existence without God. Each of their reasons agrees with Romans 1:21,22: "For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools." Here is what the fools in science are saying:
    • There are "many worlds" and infinite universes. The odds are one would produce life eventually. We were the lucky universe. (Now, if that is good science then the lottery is a logical thing to invest in.)
    • The zillions of universes are like bubbles in foam. Each one contains more and more little bubbles. (To believe this takes more faith (more blind faith) than any religious explanation. Thus, we see that this phase of science has entered the realm of religion. )
    • All possible states of a quantum interaction have to be actualized, so that slightly different versions of our universe are constantly splitting off - creating a near-infinitude of new universes every moment. (One scientists points out that this statement is not science when he says, "Invoking an infinitude of unobservable universes to explain the one observable univers is a grotesque violation." Remember science is based in observation.)
    • Life must have been sent here in a spaceship from a dying civilization and perhaps just the astronauts bacteria survived the journey. Two physicists conclude that just the genetic material was sent here in the first place. Both of these last two ideas come from scientists who have earned Nobel prizes and discovered natural laws. (With this kind of science we are clearly headed back into the dark ages. Bring your flashlights!)
    "The Evolution of Man Mathematically Disproved" by William A. Williams in 1925
    KEY POINTS
    • The Old Testament has been recorded and preserved accurately.
    • Higher Criticism has technical sounding arguments against the Old Testament but they can be refuted with logic and evidence.
    • Understand JEPD and its false assumptions.
    • Jesus embraced a literal and historical understanding of the Hebrew Scriptures.
    • It is reasonable to conclude there is a God.
    • The Christian God revealed in Scripture has the same characteristics as the Creator of our universe has.
    • Nature and Scripture always agree. Science and theology may disagree.
    OTHER SITES with more information concerning OT authenticity: (back to the top)
    Old Testament Apologetics
    Historical Proof of the Old Testament
    Archeology and the Old Testament
    Seminary for Apologetics
    Evidence for God
    The Masoretic Text in Hebrew and English
    BOOKS from Galyn's Shelf: "Early Manuscripts and Modern Translations of the New Testament" by Philip Wesley Comfort "How We Got the Bible" by Neil R. Lightfoot "Books and Their Makers in the Middle Ages" by Geo. Haven Putnam "Light from the Ancient East" by Adolf Deissmann
    QUESTIONS Does archeology confirm the Old Testament's accuracy? What is the Masoretic Text? What are some of names of the text forms or translations that preserve the ancient Old Testament? Give examples of how Jesus used the Old Testament as historical. What do these theories of the origin of the universe all have in common: Big Bang, Oscillation Theory and Static Universe? How does cause (cosmological) and design (teleological) reasoning prove the existence of a God? Give an example of science being proved wrong by the Scriptures. Give an example of theology or scriptural interpretation being proved wrong by a scientific discovery.
    TAKE THE TESTS
    Chapter Tests: Sect A, Ch 4 - Authenticity of the Old Testament
    Sect A, Ch 5 - Philosophical Proof for Existence of God
    Sect A, Ch 6 - Scientific Proof
    Essay Tests: Sect A, Ch 4 - State Your Views of JEPD
    Sect A, Ch 5 - Advantages of a Challenge
    Sect A, Ch 6 - Contrast Theology & Scripture

    5. Apologetics - Scientific and Archaeological Proof (ch. 6)

    Apologetics - Scientific and Archaeological Proof (ch. 6)
    Scientific Proof for the Existence of God
    There are no conflicts with Scripture and Nature. Both are the work of God. There are conflicts with theology and science because:
    • Theology is man's study of God's inspired scriptures
    • Science is man's study of God's created natural world
    Remember:
    • Both groups, theologians and scientist) are subject to error -
      • Galileo (1564-1642) was kept under house arrest by the church for eight years for supporting the Copernican theory that stated that the earth revolved around the sun.
      • Science once believed in the eternal cosmos. They taught that the universe had always existed up until the days of Einstein and Hubble.
    • Either group is subject to correction by the other
      • Science has refuted the flat earth theory so theologians can no longer use the scriptural referring to the "four corners of the earth" as literal.
      • Science held to spontaneous generation into the mid-1800's even though scripture taught God made animal life to reproduce "according to their kind."
    • The Bible is not a science textbook, but it is scientifically accurate.
    • Science is constantly in the process of developing
     
    Bertrand Russell wrote in 1935 that science had successively refuted all the main tenets of religion. He explained that the modern understanding of the universe was the product of two major scientific revolutions:
    • The Copernican, that showed that humanity was not the center of the universe as the Bible taught.
    • The Darwinian, that demonstrated that it was no longer necessary to posit an act of divine creation to explain the origins of human life.
    • Sigmund Freud then nominated his own discovery of the "unconscious" as a third revolution
    Upon these discoveries, Russell then described humanity as a "curious accident in a backwater." The above numbers 1 and 2 gave Friedrich Nietzsche the confidence in 1885 to say what many people in the Western world were thinking: "God is dead."
    In 1917 Einstein published his theory of relativity and tried to conform it to the cosmology of the day which was the Static Universe Theory. (This theory taught that the universe was infinite in age and had always existed. Stars drifted randomly. The Milky Way was all there was.) But, Einstein's general relativity equations demanded that the universe had a beginning. In 1927, Edwin Hubble's telescope showed there were galaxies far outside our own. This was exactly what Einstein's theory had predicted. Science then took a 180 degree turn and needed to develop what became known as the Big Bang Theory.
    Einstein wrote after looking through Hubble's telescope that it was his desire "to know how God created the world. I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know his thought, the rest are details."
    A periodical from July 2000 called
    Science lists these recently establsished facts that are demanding a response:
    • If the physical forces within stars wree only slightly different, our universe would be almost devoid of carbon and oxygen, and life would not exist.
    • If gravity was slightly stronger, all stars would be red dwarfs, too cold to support life.
    • If gravity was slightly weaker, all stars would be blue giants, burning too briefly for life to develop.
    • The mass of the neutron in an atom is delicately balanced with the mass of the proton; if it were not protons would decay into neutrons and make life impossible.
    This same article had these quotes from scientist in it:
    • "I am not a religious person, but I could say this universe is designed very well for the existence of life."
    • "The basic forces in the universe are tailor-made for the production of . . . carbon-based life."
    • "Imagine a univers-creating machine, with thousands of dials representing the gravitational constant, the charge on the electron, the mass of the proton, and so on. Each dial has many possible settings, and even the slightest change would make a universe where life was impossible."
    • "The laws of the universe are cunningly contrived to coax life into being." They "somehow know in advance about life and its vast complexity."
    The Templeton prize-winner for 2000 says, "the universe in some sense must have known we were coming."
    If the nineteenth century's understanding of the universe had been at today's level we would have avoided the entire "death of God" phase of Western history.
    Here are somemore facts concerning the perfect balance of our universe for life to exist:
    • 21% of gases are oxygen. If it was 25% fires would break out spontaneously around the globe. If it were 15% higher life would suffocate.
    • If protons were not almost exactly 1,836 times heavier than electrons molecules would not be able to form and there would be no chemistry, no life and no one to wonder why.
    • The position and angle of the earth is set. A few degrees closer we disintegrate. A few degrees away we become a frozen rock.
    • The 23 degree axis of the earth provides equal distribution of sun and makes possible the food chain.
    • The atomic clock is the most accurate time instrument we have invented. They are accurate up to within 3 seconds a millennium. We use the rotation of the stars to set and chech these clocks.
    • After 150 years of study, fossil records are beginning to agree with scripture's account that life forms appeared abruptlly with no transitional forms.
    Scientist today who reject the concept of God scramble to craft alternative explanations for the obvious existence of God. They have come up with a variety of ways to explain how life and the universe came into existence without God. Each of their reasons agrees with Romans 1:21,22: "For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools." Here is what the fools in science are saying:
    • There are "many worlds" and infinite universes. The odds are one would produce life eventually. We were the lucky universe. (Now, if that is good science then the lottery is a logical thing to invest in.)
    • The zillions of universes are like bubbles in foam. Each one contains more and more little bubbles. (To believe this takes more faith (more blind faith) than any religious explanation. Thus, we see that this phase of science has entered the realm of religion. )
    • All possible states of a quantum interaction have to be actualized, so that slightly different versions of our universe are constantly splitting off - creating a near-infinitude of new universes every moment. (One scientists points out that this statement is not science when he says, "Invoking an infinitude of unobservable universes to explain the one observable univers is a grotesque violation." Remember science is based in observation.)
    • Life must have been sent here in a spaceship from a dying civilization and perhaps just the astronauts bacteria survived the journey. Two physicists conclude that just the genetic material was sent here in the first place. Both of these last two ideas come from scientists who have earned Nobel prizes and discovered natural laws. (With this kind of science we are clearly headed back into the dark ages. Bring your flashlights!)
    "The Evolution of Man Mathematically Disproved" by William A. Williams in 1925
    Archaeological Proof:
     
    KEY POINTS
    • The Old Testament has been recorded and preserved accurately.
    • Higher Criticism has technical sounding arguments against the Old Testament but they can be refuted with logic and evidence.
    • Understand JEPD and its false assumptions.
    • Jesus embraced a literal and historical understanding of the Hebrew Scriptures.
    • It is reasonable to conclude there is a God.
    • The Christian God revealed in Scripture has the same characteristics as the Creator of our universe has.
    • Nature and Scripture always agree. Science and theology may disagree.
    OTHER SITES with more information:
    Archeology and the Old Testament
    Seminary for Apologetics
    Evidence for God
    BOOKS from Galyn's Shelf: "Early Manuscripts and Modern Translations of the New Testament" by Philip Wesley Comfort "How We Got the Bible" by Neil R. Lightfoot "Books and Their Makers in the Middle Ages" by Geo. Haven Putnam "Light from the Ancient East" by Adolf Deissmann
    QUESTIONS Does archeology confirm the Old Testament's accuracy? What is the Masoretic Text? What are some of names of the text forms or translations that preserve the ancient Old Testament? Give examples of how Jesus used the Old Testament as historical. What do these theories of the origin of the universe all have in common: Big Bang, Oscillation Theory and Static Universe? How does cause (cosmological) and design (teleological) reasoning prove the existence of a God? Give an example of science being proved wrong by the Scriptures. Give an example of theology or scriptural interpretation being proved wrong by a scientific discovery.
    TAKE THE TESTS
    Chapter Tests: Sect A, Ch 4 - Authenticity of the Old Testament
    Sect A, Ch 5 - Philosophical Proof for Existence of God
    Sect A, Ch 6 - Scientific Proof
    Essay Tests: Sect A, Ch 4 - State Your Views of JEPD
    Sect A, Ch 5 - Advantages of a Challenge
    Sect A, Ch 6 - Contrast Theology & Scripture