Robert Morris — The Bible Is True
All right, I want to ask you to turn in your Bibles to two passages of scripture. I know that shocks you. Two passages of scripture, 2 Timothy 3 and 2 Peter 1. This is the second message in a series of three messages. The title of the series is called "How Do I Know"? How do I know? And last weekend I talked about "How Do I know there is a God"? This weekend I wanna talk about "How Do I Know the Bible is True"? And next weekend will be "How Do I Know Jesus is the Only Way"? So today we're gonna talk about "How Do I know the Bible is true"?
I want to again recommend to you Dr. Ravi Zacharias. And I wanna recommend that. But also, I wanna recommend Josh McDowell's book "Evidence that Demands a Verdict". So, if you're a believer, if you're, and you're looking for how to answer honest questions that people do have, these are two great resources. And if you are searching for the truth, these are two great resources. So, I'm gonna tell you how I know the Bible is true. And I'm emphasizing the word I because this first part, this first point, I have three points, but this first point is well, it'll sound a little silly, okay, if that's all right. I'm warning you, okay? All right. So here's one way. Now, I'll get into some reasoned, logical reasons in a moment. I wanna tell you one way that I, as a believer in Jesus Christ, know that the Bible is true.
Number one, the Bible says so. Jesus loves me, this I know. For the Bible tells me so. Okay, so again, that's not, that's not gonna help you if you're not a believer yet, and you're searching. I'll get to that. But if you're a believer, you need to know if you believe God's word, the scripture tells us what it is. And when I say the word scripture, let me say this. Jesus quoted three fourths of the Old Testament's, three, from three fourths of the books of the Old Testament. Okay? And he always called them "The Scriptures". So, from three fourths of the books of the Old Testament, Jesus made a quote from three fourths of those books. And he said "The Scriptures". The Scriptures.
Jesus, when he was being tempted by Satan, we have a recording three times. He says, "It is written, it is written, it is written". That's how he defeated Satan. And so Jesus himself authenticates the Scriptures by calling them the Scriptures. The word scripture, by the way, means inspired by God. It is an inspired, now it's inspired book, doesn't go into the God part. But it means inspired. Inspired, all right? So let me show you these two verses. 2 Timothy 3:16 says, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God". Now remember, "given by inspiration of God," that phrase. Because that's only one word in the Greek. And I'll come back to that in a moment. "And is profitable," this word means beneficial, "for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness".
Now remember, I said that given by inspiration by God, given, that's one word in the Greek. It is theopneustos. Theo means God. Pneustos means breathed. Breath. It, the root would be air, of that. If you think about it, we still use that pneau in our own language. We'll talk about a pneumatic drill. That means one that doesn't wanna run on electricity, it runs on air. Right? Okay. So, we use that word today. So this literally means, and some versions translated, all Scripture is God breathed. God breathe. That's what this means, okay, from the literal Greek. Now, I want you to think about this. When you speak, you breathe. When you speak, you breathe out. That's why every now and again you have to stop and take a breath. I've met a few people that seem to go forever without taking a breath. But eventually, you're gonna take a breath.
So, you speak when you breathe, okay? So watch this. 2 Peter 1:20, you breathe when you speak, I should say. 2 Peter 1:20-21 says, "Knowing this first," in other words, this is a priority, "that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. "For prophecy," and again he's referring to prophecy of scripture. Prophecy of scripture "never came by the will of man. But holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit". So God spoke, and men wrote what they were inspired by God to write.
Now, I want you to understand, some people say, "Well, why is it important that it's written"? Well, you actually believe in it being written maybe more than you think you do, because when you enter into a contract to buy something, you want it written. Is that right? You don't want just a verbal agreement. Matter of fact, you might even use the phrase, "Will you put that in writing"? Right? So it's important. We've had people over the years question, well if Jesus is the Word, why's the written Word important? It is important that it's written.
And I'll come to that a little bit later. But let me give you an example of this. There was a doctoral student that I heard about that was doing his dissertation, and he disagreed with the dissertation process. And so he kind of decided to kind of make a point during his dissertation. And so, he's doing his dissertation, and he would make this profound statement. And then he would say, "As told to me by the waiter in such and such restaurant". And he named the restaurant, you know. And then he would go a little farther, and then he'd make this other profound statement. And then he would say, "As told to me by the bellman at such and such hotel".
And after a little while, the professor stopped him and said, "You can't do this in a dissertation. You have to have written footnotes. You have to have written documentation to prove what you're saying you can't say, 'As told to me by the waiter'". And the student said, "Why? Why does it have to be written? Why is it more important if it's written than if it's verbal"? And so the professor said, "Okay. All right. I see where you're going. Proceed". So he went on with his dissertation. And a few months later the professor contacted him, and said, "Hey, I want you to know that we passed you. You're gonna be receiving your PHD. But we're not going to give it to you in writing". He said, "Just take our word for it".
So it's important that it's written. So, one way I know is the Bible tells me this. But here's a second way, okay? That I know the Bible's true. It's amazing. It's amazing. And you may not know how amazing this book is. Just to compare, but not to speak ill of other religions. But just a little comparative. You know, the book of Buddha are sermons by one man compiled, one man. Even the book of Koran, that's writings by one man, who were compilated posthumously, after he died. But again, one man. The Bible is 66 books written by 40 men over 1.500 years. And there's a single thread that runs through the whole book.
It's absolutely amazing. They began writing the Bible in about the mid 14th Century BC, continued to late 1st Century AD. So it's over 1.500 years 40 different writers, over 1.500 years, and 66 books. Thirty nine in the Old Testament, twenty seven in the new. The collusion factor is a miracle. It's a miracle that over 1.500 years, 40 different men, and it has a thread through the whole thing. That should tell us something. And then the prophecies are amazing that have already been fulfilled. Isaiah and Micah wrote 700 years before Jesus was born. Isaiah about a virgin birth. And Micah named the city in which he would be born 700 years before.
David wrote about crucifixion 1.000 years before he was crucified, and 500 years before anyone had ever been crucified. First person crucified we know of was in 497 BC. And David writes in 1.000 BC about crucifixion and describes it, and describes about it. And Isaiah talks about it as well. It's amazing. Now those are some messianic scriptures. I'll give you one that some of you might not even know. Daniel writes 500 years BC, and he writes about an empire that is this great empire that dominates the world, and it is suddenly cut off it says, suddenly cut off. And then it divides into four empires. And then those four divided into two. And then those two become one. And then the messiah comes. So he writes this 500 years before Jesus.
Three Hundred Years BC, you have the empire of Alexander the Great that dominated the whole world. Alexander was killed when he was 32 years old, suddenly cut off. And then his kingdom was divided among his four generals. It became four empires after that. And then those four became two empires, the Seleucid and the Ptolemaic empires. And those two became one empire, the Roman Empire. And then Jesus was born. Now explain that. That's pretty amazing. As a matter of fact, historians are confounded by Daniel's writing. They say it's just amazing that I was so accurate. It's unbelievable how accurate the Bible is.
People are asking, "How do we know it's true"? Let me just turn that around. How do you know it's not true? Let me say this. It'd be easy to prove it's not true. It would talk about a city that never existed. Or it would talk about a city that was 100 miles from one city, but it was actually 200. It's easy to falsify it. But you can't do it. Dr. Bruce Metzger from Princeton Theological Seminary made this statement: "After you take the 20.000 lines of the New Testament, it is safe for any scholar to say that 99.6% of the Bible has been corroborated by other historical documents".
See, you got to understand, history confirms it. Other historical documents confirm what's written in the Bible. It's amazing. That's my point. It's amazing. Two thousand years since Christ has come. Thirty five hundred years since the inscripturation process. No book has been more studied, and no book has been more scrutinized. And it's always been proven true. Always. The mathematical odds, so I'm giving you some reason logic here. The mathematical odds that 66 books over 1.500 years and 40 different writers would be as congruent as these books are, they're astronomical.
So, Dr. Peter Scoffard, a professor of, emeritus, emeritus professor of science at Edmonton University, I think, he decided to do a study. He got approval to do this. They did a study with 12 classes of students representing over 600 students. And they decided to study the mathematical odds of the messianic prophecies. And so first, they decided just to take one, and that was that he, the messiah was born in Bethlehem. They simply took the population of Bethlehem and the population of the world at that time. And Jesus had a one in three hundred thousandth chance of being born in Bethlehem. That's the odds. One in three hundred thousand.
But after they did the study, it's amazing, because one of 'em said, "You know, we forgot to take in into our scientific study the fact that Jesus didn't even live there". What would be the odds of being born in a city where he doesn't live, and that there would be a census that goes out, and his parents travel at the exact time when she's nine months pregnant, and she delivers in that city that Micah said 700 years before he would be born in? So then they also decided, because they're about 54 prophecies, messianic prophecies. You'll hear different versions. Some say over 300. The best way really, to say, is over 50 prophecies, and over 300 references. That's probably the best way to say it theologically. But there are 54 messianic prophecies.
So, they said, "Well we just, we can't calculate the odds of this". And Jesus, by the way, fulfilled them all. So what they did was, they took eight of the messianic prophecies that historical documents of the day confirm, and left the Bible out of it. Okay? I mean, Jesus was born in Bethlehem. There was a Roman census. He did die on the cross. All that, so there are eight messianic prophecies that history tells us that Jesus fulfilled. So they decided to decide what are the odds that one person could fulfill these eight prophecies? And so, they did their mathematical calculations. They submitted their findings, by the way, to the American Scientific Affiliation. And this is what it says: "They verified that these calculations were dependable and accurate in regard to science". They verified it.
Okay, so here's what they came up with. The mathematical odds of Jesus fulfilling simply eight, not all fifty four, even though he fulfilled all fifty four, eight, of the prophecies that history says he fulfilled, were one in ten to the seventeenth power. In other words, it's a one with eighteen zeros. That's a ten with seventeen zeros. That's ten to the seventeenth power. So a ten with seventeen zeros. So a one with eighteen zeros. Those are the odds. But then they decided, because it's hard to understand that. So how would they come up with an example? They said if you took silver dollar coins and you stack them side by side in the state of Texas, now obviously they use Texas cause we're the best state. You know, that's why. So Texas is large, okay, and I'm a Texan, so I love Texas.
All right. Let me just give you a little more, if you don't know. You can take Texas if you cut it out of the map there, and if you folded it to the east, it would, the end of it then would go into the Atlantic Ocean. If you folded it to the west, that part would go into the Pacific Ocean. If you folded it south, it would go past Mexico into the Pacific Ocean. And if you fold it north, it almost reaches to Canada. Okay? So we are the biggest and best. I just wanna just say that. We are the biggest and we're the best. We're not bigger than Alaska, but they don't count cause not many people live there. All right. So, I'm sorry if you're watching online in Alaska. We love you, and I've actually vacationed there, and I love Alaska. It's just not better than Texas.
All right so, if you took silver dollars and you put 'em where every silver dollar's touching other silver dollar, and you covered the state of Texas, one to the seventeenth, one in ten to the seventeenth power, those silver dollars would be two feet high. That's how big that number is. And you put a mark on one of those silver dollars. And you put a blindfolded man in the middle of the state of Texas, and tell him he can walk in any direction as far as he wants, but he has to reach down and pick up one silver dollar. That, those are his odds that he'll get the one with the mark on it. And Jesus fulfilled them all. Okay, so how can you do that?
Well, this is my third question. Third point, all right? I know the Bible is true. Number three, because I know the author personally. I know Him personally. I mean, I know Him personally. I know Him personally. So, you do too, probably. Many of you. I will say awhile back, this pastor was about going to introduce me to speak at a conference. And he said, "You know Robert, I was looking at how many of your books have made the best seller list. And I was just thinking about how did, what, how did you want me to introduce you"? I said, "Well you just tell them that I know the author of the best seller of all time personally. Just tell them that".
So, God, this is the best seller of all time. The Bible, right? Well I know Him personally. And if you met Jesus, you do. Now here's the reason I say that. Okay, I've given you some scientific logical reasoning of how we know the Bible is true. But at some point, you're gonna have to take a step of faith. And it's not a leap of faith. It's just a step. Because the Bible points to a person and his name is Jesus Christ. Let me read you these scriptures. John 5:39, Jesus said "You search the Scriptures," the Scriptures, that's what he called them. "The Scriptures, because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me".
John 1:1, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God". And John 1:14, "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us". You know how we know the Bible is true? Because the Word became flesh and lived on this earth. If Jesus had been a charlatan, he could have just changed one word, and you could falsify his life. He could have said, "I will rise from the dead spiritually". Now, he didn't say that. But if he had said, "I will rise from the dead spiritually," then some scoffer might have said "Well hey, his body's still in the tomb". And we'd a said, "Oh yeah, he said spiritually. He'd rise from the grave spiritually". But, he didn't say that. He said he would rise from the grave bodily. Bodily. And over 500 people saw him. And the historical documents of the day say he rose from the dead. They say that. You can read 'em.
Let me tell you, people say, "Well he wasn't really dead". Oh listen, he was dead. Because a roman soldier put a spear in his heart, and blood and water came out, and you can read a medical report of how you know that person's dead. He was dead. And he rose from the dead. And by the way, Mohammad is still in the tomb. And Buddha is still in the tomb. But after 2.000 years, archeologists have never found his body. Never. Never.
Here are my questions for you if you're wondering if the Bible is true. And if Jesus was who he said he was. Here's the first one. How did he arrange to be born in a specific family? Here's the second one. How did he arrange to be born in a specific city in which his parents didn't live? Here's the third one. How did he arrange his own death? And specifically, by crucifixion with two others. How did he arrange that? How did he arrange to have his executioners gamble for his clothing? How did he arrange to be betrayed in advance, and to be crucified on the exact day that the Jews sacrificed a spotless lamb for their sins? How did he arrange that? How did he arrange to have the executioners carry out the regular practice of breaking the legs of the two victims on each side but not his own? And that was prophesied a thousand years before. And here's the last question. How did he arrange to come back to life on the exact day that he said we would?
Well I have an answer for you. Because He's God. That's the only way that He could arrange all of that. Because He's God. He's the Son of God, and He died on that cross because He loves you. And he wants to save you from your sin. Sixty six books, over fifteen hundred years, written by forty different authors. Think about it. And yet, there's one theme. You know what the theme is? That God loves you. God loves you so much that He sent His son to die for you, to pay for your sins and for my sins. We can never be good enough to go to Heaven. But we can receive the free gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ. Now I'm asking you to receive that gift right now, in your heart. In your heart you can flip a switch. You can say, "I choose to believe that the Bible is true. I choose to believe that God loves me, and that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, died for my sins, and rose on the third day". I hope you'll make that decision.