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Dr. Ed Young - Is the Bible True?

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    Dr. Ed Young - Is the Bible True?

In the middle of August, I was jogging on a little path that moved down the beach, and I came around the curve; I jog there many times. I was dreading, to be honest with you, going down in the valley, going up that next hill. Say, "Woo". And as I turned around the curve, I heard a loud, loud noise that was overwhelming. I didn't know what it was. It's a rather remote area, the beach area, a little road by it, and I recognized it as rap music. And I'll be honest with you, I haven't been a shell all of life. I have never heard as many vulgarities, profanity, almost word after word, after word. It was loud, just echoing through that area.

And you know, for a minute I said, "Maybe I am jogging into hell, I don't know". It sounded like that. And then I ran to the curb, and there pulled up in a beach area was a pickup truck with a pretty large group of 20-somethings and they were having a party. I'm sure pot was being smoked and alcohol was flowing. They'd been to the beach, had their bathing suits on, listening to this rap music just filled with unbelievable vulgarities. I had never heard anything like it on this earth, one after another, one after another. They were laughing, and staggering, and dancing, and lying down on blankets. It was something, it was still daylight. I guess it was the preparation for the orgy that was just about to take place, and I jogged by. When I got by, I'll be honest with you, I started to kind of smile and laugh a little bit.

You say, "Well, that's kind of an inappropriate response". No, I was sort of thinking about this study we're dealing with today on the Bible, and I almost turned around. And I said, you know, if I go back and approach them and say, "I want to ask you something, what do you think about the Bible"? Yeah, "Or could I ask you, is the Bible true"? I wonder how they would have responded. I think I pretty well know. They'd have said, "who cares, get out of here. Are you coming to preach to us? Who believes that old stuff? Who knows what's true? Who knows if it's accurate? That's myth, get out of here". They would have followed up, I imagine with an expletive or two. It's amazing, is it? How almost everybody has an opinion about the Bible.

Have you noticed that? Everybody has some opinion about it. So you have all extremes when you ask is the Bible true, or is it myth, or who knows what should be in the Bible or shouldn't be in the Bible, or are all of these stories just fabrications or are they fantasies? Are they delusions? Are they some kind of crazy dreams or visions? You know, is the Bible true? A friend of mine was speaking at a university and a history professor asked him to come and speak to his class. My friend stood up and he said, "The Bible is historically accurate". The professor had began to laugh. And he said, "What are you laughing about"? He said, "For anyone to stand in a class of History at this secular university and make the absolutely silly, ridiculous statement, to say the Bible is historically accurate, I find that humorous".

My friend, who is a former atheist is now a Christian apologist, he said, "Well, sir, I'd like to ask you a question. As a historian what test do you put down to determine whether something is true or not in history or in literature? How do you test something"? And the scholar sort of didn't have an answer. And my friend said, "Let me suggest that you test the truth of literature, of history, put the Bible to the same test you do any secular writing or secular piece of literature". And he reminded the professor of a scholar who was a... her writes military books. He is a scholar on military battles and on wars by the name of Dr. Charles Sanders. And Dr. Sanders says he uses three tests to determine what really happened.

Can you imagine you're writing about a war, a battle, and you get one side says this, and one side says this, and you get all the reports from these military people, all the reports from those who have already written on it, and you try to figure out what really happened in the Battle of Bulge? What really happened at Thermopylae Pass, famous battle in ancient history? What really... how do you determine that? Dr. Sanders says you put down three tests: the bibliographical test, the internal evidence test and the external evidence test.

Now, relax, we're not going to move too fast. I'm going to explain exactly what this involves. Number one... now, remember what we're doing. We're testing as to whether or not the Bible is true, and we're using a secular test that is used to determine whether something is true or not. You can't put it Snopes. Everybody know what that is? How many knows what S-N-O-P-E-S is? Lift your hand. Got a few. That you hear popular urban legends and you put it in Snopes, spell it in. Online, it'll tell you whether or not it's true. If it's false, it will be a little red dot. If it's green, it's true. If's green and red, it's sort of undecided, no decision. You know put in there, "The Aggies are undefeated this year," and see what you get? It'll be a truth teller. It'll be a truth teller.

So this is what... you can't use stuff, so you have to look and determine. The bibliographical test, the first test, is a test of the manuscripts. Haven't you heard people say, "Well, you know, the Bible is so old, it's been translated so many times, and it's been handed down, and therefore what's in here, it just may not be true. They have revised it, they changed it back from... we don't have any autographs, original, and therefore, you just can't tell". Have you heard people say that? "How do you know that's not old stuff, and it's antiquated, and how do you know that's what the author said and this took place"?

You know, so you take it to the bibliographical test. You look at manuscripts, you go back early, early, and you see what manuscripts are available and see how the correspond. For example, Plato and Aristotle, philosophers, classical philosophers, how do you test, whether or not what you read by Plato or Aristotle really was what they wrote down? They have about nine manuscripts I think, for Plato, and ten for Aristotle, that date back, and you compare those manuscripts and you come up with, you know, a fairly accurate account as to what they have penned. They have only nine or ten way back in antiquity. Nobody debates with the fact: this is pretty much what Aristotle said, that's pretty much what Plato said.

Now, how many manuscripts do you think we have, say of the New Testament, that would date back like that to compare? We don't have the original, the autograph, any more than we do with Plato or Aristotle. How many you think? Hundred? All right. There are 14,000 manuscripts of the entire New Testament, dating back, and over 24,000 books of the New Testament, and parts of the New Testament. So when you sit down to say, is this what Paul really said? Is this what Paul really wrote? Is this the Gospels? You've got all of this manuscript evidence that we come down to. How many words, you think, there are in the New Testament? There are a hundred and... there's 184,509 words in the New Testament; 184,509 in the New Testament.

How many words do you think are even debated as to whether or not that should be the right word in that verse? Less than 400, less than 1%. And not a single world that is under discussion for debate has anything to do with the major doctrine of our faith. Not a single word, it doesn't affect anything that we believe. So therefore, when you have a Bible in your hand, you have overwhelming manuscript evidence that it is accurate and it is very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very close to the autograph, the Scripture that was originally penned. So someone gives you that old line, "Well, it's been passed down and translated," you just sit back and say, "You don't know what you're talking about".

The bibliographical test, let me tell you, the Bible passes with flying colors. Great, what about the next test, to see if whether something is true or not, something is accurate? That's the internal evidence test. In other words, this involves, to those who have written this document, are they truth tellers? Are they people who have integrity or do they spin what they're writing? Do they twist the truth? Are they people of veracity? That's internal evidence. And we had to look at Matthew and say, he was a tax collector. Kind of suspect, isn't it? Did he write the truth? Luke was a Physician. What about old Moses? Is that true.

Now, how do you find out? I want to just let you touch on two scholars and their understanding of this. The first one is C.S. Lewis, you may have heard of him. C.S. Lewis was a professor of medieval literature at Cambridge, an agnostic. C.S. Lewis came to faith in Christ partly because he said when he read the New Testament, he saw this was not fiction. He said he'd spent half of his life reading ancient literature, myths and legends and conjured stories. He said when he read the New Testament, he knew he was reading, first hand, accurate history. And you know why he said he knew that? He said primarily because of the details that were written in the New Testament.

Notice, that Jesus was on the boat and he was sitting on cushion. What does that have to do with anything? They caught a hundred and fifty-three fish. What if they had caught a hundred and fifty-four? No, idea. What does that mean? And you find details all the way through. And Lewis says, "You do not find fiction written with these kind of details in any ancient materials, unless it's a character description, not just details for details sake". He said the genre of writing details in fiction came in modern times. And you read novels today, have a lot details. You read about somebody, they spend all this time telling you all about this person. Has nothing to do with the plot, drives me crazy.

I quit reading Robert Ludlum. He did that so many times, it was silly, but that's modern fiction. Lewis said this kind of fiction wasn't known in the first century. Anytime before that period or for a hundred years after that period, so he knew that these writers were truth tellers. Now, second person, Will Durant, next to Gibbons' "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire," Will Durant would be one of the foremost historians. Durant said he also sees the Bible as true and he uses a different approach. He said, "I say it's true because of what some of the authors said about themselves". Read an autobiography of almost anybody, the might put a little mixed bag in there but primarily they come out heroic.

Have you noticed that? Have you noticed that, write your autobiography and you could read it and I would know, you would say, "Who is this person"? Same with me. You don't find that in the Bible. Will Durant, he says, "When you read the Bible, you see things that are written there". You would say, "I don't believe I would have told that: Jesus' family once went to him and thought he was out of his mind, wanted to take him home to keep from embarrassing the family's name. I don't believe I would have written that". Jesus didn't perform any miracle in Galilee. He performed everywhere else. I think I would have left that out. Jesus before he was crucified in the Garden of Gethsemane, said, "Lord, let this not happen. Let this cup pass from me".

Man, I don't think I'd put that in there. And what about the apostles? They ran like cowards when Jesus was arrested and they just got through boasting: Peter did, and the rest of them said, "I'm with it, we'll give our lives for you". I'd think I'd have left that out, if I had been writing an account in the Scripture. You know, what about old Moses? Man, he wasn't obedient. What about Abraham? Now, Abraham is a liar. I mean, he lied about his wife three different times. Isaac, one of the patriots in the Bible, he was about the poorest father you could find. He was a no good sorry dad in any way you look at Isaac. And Jacob, ah a con artist, slick man, couldn't trust him at his word, dishonest in relationships and in business affairs. I mean, what kind of book do you read that is so truthful about all of this?

Will Durant says it's the truth, it's the Bible. You can't argue with it. As a Historian, C.S. Lewis as a scholar of medieval literature, this is truth. Now, let's touch on two things. What about those miracles? Walking on water, man with the withered hand, man born blind, now he sees. What about all the miracles? Parting of the Red Sea, how do we know they are true? My, my, my. Let me remind you of something. We have to understand that who God is and how we write down what God does is the problem. Anybody who believes in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth; now, hold with that, stay with that, think about it. You really believe in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. You believe that, you don't have any big deal with miracles.

In fact, it would be logical to think that this Almighty God who spoke everything into existence throughout the solar system and other solar system, it's no problem believing that he performed some miracles here and there in his sovereignty and in the economy of mankind. Miracles, man they fit. By the way, did you notice that in the New Testament especially, all the miracles with only one or two exceptions was performed in public? Can't you imagine that more than anything else, those who would refute Christianity what to disprove miracles? Why didn't they do it? When Peter stood on Pentecost a thousand people came to believe in Christ. How many thousands were there? And he talked about the resurrection which just happened, why didn't a lot of people, "Oh, we don't believe that, that's a bunch of nonsense". They couldn't deny it, there were too many witnesses.

So we understand from the internal evidence of Scripture. You look at the Bible and it stands with crystal clarity as truth, but look about the external evidence. "Oh, now we're getting serious," somebody says. What do you have? Secular history says this, and biblical history says this. There are contradictions, and there have been a lot of them. I'll give you an illustration of one. A guy by the name of Belshazzar is mentioned in the Bible as the King of Babylon. Well, in secular history, they have all the kings listed. They say, "Look Belshazzar is not one of the Kings. Therefore, the Bible just made that story up, just made that guy up. He was not the King of Babylon". But in the 1950s, they were digging around the ground, some of those old archeologists and they found three tablets.

And on this tablet it told the story of a King of Babylon named Nebulous, Nebuli. And Nebuli took an army off, a large army and left Babylon and went out to a war, and this tablet tells a story of when he was gone, he turned and he appointed his son to be king and his son's name was? Guess? Belshazzar. Biblical history against secular history, biblical history wins. When I was in seminary, they told me that you know, it's a mistake in the Bible to attribute Solomon having all those horses. You know Solomon had all these horses. Said the horse was not introduced into Israel until hundreds of years after the time of Solomon. It's absolutely impossible. We had all kinds of evidence in secular history.

Now, the problem with that, some old guy was poking around up a little side of Megiddo, I think. Well, listen, punch down there and said, "Look, this is where a stable was. Oh, look this is horses and they found his stable". Secular history against biblical history. The Hittites, that was a good one. All through the Bible the Hittites were enemies of Israel, but secular historians said, "You know, the Bible talks about this large empire of Hittites. We can't find any evidence of Hittites anywhere. This is just phony baloney, biblical stuff, legend, myth. It's just simply not true". Until, some archeologists were poking around and they found a Hittite town, then they found 40 Hittite towns had been excavated and the capital of the Hittite Empire is now excavated. And they discovered a whole language, the Hittite language.

Footnote, Voyager 1, broke out of orbit, out of our area of the world, out of our atmosphere, out of our solar system in 1986, the Voyager. The next time the Voyager 1, reaches anything outside of our outside of our solar system, it will be 40,000 years from this time, 40,000 years. It will travel through space as it gets to the nearest star. On that Voyager, they have artifacts of this day and age, music, hopefully not any of that rap, and they'll have culture and stories about our lifestyle, so we'll understand in case someone bumps into the Voyager up there, they'll know something about us, and they have in 40 different languages, directions as to where they can find the earth. One of those languages is Hittite.

Oh, prophecy, truth in the Bible. It's internal and external evidence that we find in the Scripture. In fact, Nelson Glueck, who is one of the foremost archeologists, who is a Jewish man said, "In all the archeological excavation, not a single verse of Scripture has been contradicted, not one verse, not one bit of truth". Now, compare that briefly with the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon tells the history of North America from 1600 BC to 400 AD. You say, "Well, the Book of Mormons they got their history and we've got our history". The only problem with that, there has not been a scintilla of evidence, any artifact, anywhere in North America that said such a civilization existed, mountains, and valleys, and towns, and cities existed in this civilization.

Where did the Book of Mormon came from? It came floating down out of heaven. It has everything about it that would be a hoax. And what do the Mormon scholars say, Brigham Young and in other places? They cannot show you one shred of any semblance of evidence from any source on this earth, to give one scintilla of truth to the Book of Mormons. And they say, "Well, why do you believe"? They say, "We just believe by faith". That's blind faith. Christianly, this Bible does rest on truth, absolute history, and therefore, we can stand and not worry about anybody else and we could say, "This is true truth".

Look at the bibliographical evidence, look at the internal evidence, look at the external evidence, and the Bible stands. Everybody knows that drugs will kill you. I don't know anybody who is, you know, over 10 years of age, who doesn't know that. Drugs will kill you. They'll kill you, but you know people still do drugs. It's amazing. Though they kill, people still take drugs, buy drugs, sell drugs, big giant business, but everybody know it will kill you. See, to know the truth and to rightly respond to the truth; two different things. I think we know, we see, the evidence is overwhelming that the Bible is true truth. The question is, how do we respond to it? And I will tell you the primary reason I know the Bible is true, is because it's true about what it says about me. So here is the evidence, you're the jury, you decide.
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