1 Peter 1
Focal Passage: Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God. For,
“All flesh is like grass,
And all its glory like the flower of grass.
The grass withers, And the flower falls off,
But the word of the Lord endures forever.”
And this is the word which was preached to you. 1Peter 1:22-25
Have you ever been involved in a discussion about the Bible and heard something similar to the following statements?
“Well, we can’t be sure the Bible is true…I mean it was written so long ago”…”I don’t believe all of it is true, but certain parts are”…”There are so many translations, we can’t really know which is right”. And then of course there’s this one: “There are just too many contradictions in the Bible”.
I’ve been a student of apologetics for many years…I find it fascinating. For those not familiar with the term, the dictionary defines it as “a branch of theology devoted to the defense of the divine origin and authority of Christianity.” But basically, it’s the science of learning and being able to discuss that believing God makes sense. Contrary to what the world would say, believing the Bible doesn’t require “blind faith”, it requires “intelligent faith”, and apologetics teaches us that sufficient proof exists.
Unbelievers often ask the question, “Can you prove that God exists?” Well, we might offer this question in contrast, “If I were to show you proof that God exists, would you be objective enough to believe it? The Bible tells us that the answer to the first question is “yes”, but the answer to the second is “no”.
In Romans chapter 1, Paul says, “because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.” vs. 19-20
Then he further states in v. 28, “And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind…”
So the answers to the two questions above are, yes, I can give you proof, but, no, you aren’t likely to believe it because you aren’t thinking clearly. Because they don’t believe the evidence God gives them, their reasoning is, as Paul says, “depraved”.
But Jesus tells us in the Great Commission, we are to “go and tell”…and sometimes that requires some explanations. I’ve discussed some of these things in a previous study, but here are some hard facts about God’s word that you might want to commit to memory. Before the turn of the 20th Century, it was easier to believe that the Bible was a work of fiction. But modern Archaeology has something different to say…
-In 1947, at Qumran, The Dead Sea Scrolls were found. They date back to the 3rd century and are the earliest copies of the Old Testament. They contain portions of every book in the Old Testament except for Esther. They detail prophecies that have been fulfilled and provide evidence for the Bible’s divine origin.
-The Dead Sea Scrolls also include a complete copy of the book of Isaiah, dated approximately 335 years before Christ. Isaiah is an old testament book that contains at least 129 prophesies that foretell events and details that Jesus fulfilled. Its contents have been found to be more than 99% exactly the same as our modern Bible’s Isaiah.
-Over 27,000 sites have been discovered that have connection to the Old Testament. NOT ONE archaeological discovery has ever contradicted a Bible reverence.
-Over 24,000 copies of the New Testament have been discovered. Some of them date back to within a few hundred years of the time of Jesus on the earth. Our New Testament today is virtually free from any corruption when compared to these manuscripts. Less than ½ of 1 % differs, and critics have attributed this to be mostly differences in spelling or word order. Not one single variant has any bearing on doctrine of faith.
So…can we offer proof that our Bible is true? Yes we can, and there are pages and pages of facts like the ones above. Can anyone offer proof to the contrary? The answer is no.
If you are interested in looking further into apologetics, one of the sites I’ve found interesting is “Answers in Genesis”. https://answersingenesis.org . But remember, studying apologetics is not for the purpose of being able to argue about God’s Word. It’s about being able to share it with confidence and humility. Peter said we should always be ready to do so.
“… but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence…”1Peter 3:15
I hope you have a blessed and safe Labor Day Weekend!
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.” Matthew 24:35