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Can the Bible Stand the Test - Part 3 - The Critics vs. The Bible

So What? / Lon Solomon
The Truth Network Radio
May 25, 2021 8:00 am

Can the Bible Stand the Test - Part 3 - The Critics vs. The Bible

So What? / Lon Solomon

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May 25, 2021 8:00 am

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Well good evening everybody. So what is the deal with all of this? I mean what about all these fantastic stories in the Bible about Jonah and the great fish, about the sun standing still, about Noah's flood? I mean can I tonight get up here and answer all the questions that we just saw in the video? Can I prove to you that all these things really happen the way the Bible said?

Absolutely not. These are statements of the Bible that are supernatural in their character and there's no way to prove them. We either accept them the way the Bible narrates them or we don't. And oh by the way where did Mrs. Cain come from? Well I don't know. The Bible doesn't tell us and I can't answer that question. We say well then therefore the Bible is historically, it's inaccurate, it is undependable, it's untrustworthy.

Well wait a minute. Nobody who's a critic of the Bible can prove these things didn't happen. So let's go to an area where we can actually compare notes. Let's talk about an area where we can submit the Bible to a rigorous examination on the basis of the critics criticizing it and let's see if the Bible can stand the test. And here's my logic. If we can take places where the Bible can be submitted to a rigorous examination and if we can show that the Bible can stand up under that rigorous examination then it certainly seems reasonable to extrapolate to those places where the Bible cannot be checked out and say they ought to be given the benefit of the doubt.

So that's kind of what I want to do this evening. I want us to let the critics attack the Bible in two areas where we can check it out. Historical accuracy is the Bible historically reliable and number two is the Bible a book that has a supernatural character. And if we can prove those two things then I think the weight of the evidence would certainly indicate we've got to give the Bible the benefit of the doubt on Cain's wife and some of these other things.

So that's what we want to talk about tonight. We're in the middle of a series called can the Bible stand the test. In the first two parts we looked at the scientists approach to the Bible.

We looked at the evolutionary theory of how the world came into being and the evolutionary theory of how human life came into being. And though I'm not going to go back and review all that but if you miss those two messages I urge you to get the CD in the bookstore. I urge you to go on the internet and download those messages because what we saw is that the Bible actually stands up to the test of science much better than you've been led to believe by your high school biology teacher or your college physics or chemistry teacher. You need to check that out. But what we want to do tonight is finish up by letting the critics go at the Bible's historical accuracy.

Let's let the critics go at the Bible's supernatural character and let's see where we come out. What do you say? Now John Murray let's start with historical accuracy. John Murray you say sounds familiar. Well you know Madeline Murray O'Hare.

This is her son. He's the president of the American Atheists and here's what he said and I quote. He said the Bible is a fictional non-historical book.

It is a myth that is good for business. Now is that really what the Bible is? Is the Bible non-historical? Is it fictional? Is there nothing in the Bible that is really historically accurate and reliable?

Well let's check it out and see. And so I've got ten or twelve of these attacks that have been leveled against the Bible and what I want to do is bring archaeology to bear on every single one of these and let's see you know is the Bible right or or is the Bible unreliable? Number one, critics of the Bible used to say that Moses could never have written the first five books of the Bible because in 1500 BC when the Bible says Moses lived people couldn't write. Well now we know from archaeology that actually people could write all the way back to 3000 BC. We have hundreds and thousands of documents that have been unearthed. Everything from law codes to legal documents to sales agreement. You know Dom Zoo sells nurdoo three pigs for two cows that kind of stuff.

In fact let me show you a picture. This is actually a clay tablet from 1900 BC called the Gilgamesh epic and what this is about it's a Babylonian account of a great flood that wiped out everybody on the earth except for one man a fellow named Gilgamesh. Sound familiar at all? And you know the interesting thing is in this account the reason that the Gilgamesh epic gives for why the god Enlil wiped out the earth with a flood is because human beings were making so much noise that he couldn't get any sleep so he wiped us out. Well if that were true I'd have wiped my teenagers out years ago but anyway the point is this comes from 1900 BC 400 years before Moses was ever born and people could write very well thank you. Well critics of the Bible second of all say that you know Abraham never existed at all or if he did exist what the Bible says about his day and his time is completely inaccurate and and so what about this did Abraham really live or are the what the Bible says about him does it really reflect what the what what the what the culture of that time was? Well let's check that out or the Chaldees for example this was the city that Abraham came from and his hometown and people said that city never even really existed or if it did exist it was like a little you know camel stop somewhere in the middle of nowhere. Well friends in 1922 Leonard Woolley dug it up and what Leonard Woolley found is that it was a large prosperous city exactly the way the Bible says. You know these same critics said well you know the story of Abraham tells us about Sodom and Gomorrah and that this whole Jordan Valley was all green and full of cities and wealth and yet you know right now it's desolate it's like a complete desert the Bible is totally wrong that is until Nelson Gleit the archaeologist did some work there and found 70 cities in the Jordan Valley right where Sodom and Gomorrah are and found that at the time of Abraham they were overrun with wealth just like the Bible says. Well let's go on a third thing the Bible says critics of the Bible said that the customs of Abraham as described in the book of Genesis things Abraham did that they those are absolutely foreign to the ancient Near East at the time 2000 BC when the Bible says Abraham lived. Well is that true?

Well we didn't know until a few years ago when a little when a city in northwest Iraq was on earth called Newsy and Uzi and we found thousands of clay tablets from Newsy dating back to the time when the Bible says Abraham lived talking about the everyday affairs of life. For example in Newsy if your wife could not have a child you were allowed to take her handmaiden and have surrogate children by her handmaiden. Does that sound familiar?

And in Newsy if your wife then got pregnant and she wanted the handmade and her children out you could throw them out and it was not illegal to do so. Does that sound familiar Hagar and Ishmael you remember them? In Newsy we find out that your the blessing of a father always went to the oldest son and it was sacrosanct it couldn't be sold it couldn't be traded it could be stolen.

Does that sound familiar? And however even though the blessing was sacrosanct the birthright that is the inheritance rights could actually be sold to other members of the family if you wanted to sell it like Esau did to Jacob and on and on and on. We find all of these customs that the Bible records Abraham practiced so much so that William F. Albright probably the greatest American archaeologist ever to live and oh by the way not a believer said this and I quote, it is now becoming increasingly clear that the traditions of the patriarchal age that is Abraham, Isaac and Jacob preserved in the book of Genesis reflect with remarkable accuracy the actual conditions of the ancient Near East in the Middle Bronze Age that is in the time when Abraham actually lived. Very interesting. All right number four critics of the Bible once said you know the Hittites you know there's all kinds of tights in there you know there's the Perizzites and the Gibeonites and the Perigersites and the Hittites and the termites I mean they're all in there you know but anyway that the Hittites that they never even existed they they said we've never even found any reference to these guys anywhere except in the Bible that doesn't is until Hugh Winkler in a German expedition found in central Turkey Bagascoy the capital of the great Hittite Empire let's show you this is actually a slide of the entrance to the city of Bagascoy and by the way if you don't read German that says the Hittite main gate right there and that's what this city is all about and it's exactly there of this huge empire exactly the way the Bible says hey critics of the Bible once said you know all that gold that the Bible says Moses and the Israelites brought out of Egypt you know enough gold that they built this huge tabernacle and everything there was never that much gold in all of Egypt oh really well we never knew for sure how much gold was there because you know every single tomb of every single Pharaoh has been raided by grave robbers and so even the Great Pyramids there's nothing left we don't really know how much gold was there at least we didn't until 1922 when Howard Carter found the tomb of King Tut Ankh Aman we call him today King Tut that's the same guy and Carter when he looked in this was a tomb that the grave robbers missed there was so much gold in that tomb that he had to sit down and pull himself together before he could even go in he was so overwhelmed here's the great mask of King Tut solid gold by the way in jewels and as a matter of fact in that tomb we found the inner coffin of King Tut it was solid gold and it weighs 243 pounds of solid gold and you know what King Tut he was a small potatoes Pharaoh he only ruled eight years if there was this much gold in his tomb and he's a small potatoes Pharaoh just think how much gold the big potato Pharaohs like you Brenner must have had those guys must have had unbelievable amounts was there that much gold there for Moses to bring out you bet there was just like the Bible says hey critics of the Bible said that you know where it says in the Bible that David captured Jerusalem by sending Joab his general up through this water shaft to get into the city secretly and unlock the gate there's no such water shaft and that's a ridiculous story oh wait a minute that was until Charles Warren the great archaeologists discovered the shaft I'll show you a picture of it here it is in long distance let's show you another one close up and down in the middle of it that's plenty big enough for a human being to go through and that's the exact shaft that Joab climbed up just the way the Bible says and actually opened the gate from the inside letting David in critics of the Bible once said that we don't even know David existed I mean other than the Bible David is never mentioned anywhere in any secular text of any kind whoa wait a minute that is until 1993 when an archaeological team digging up north at Dan tell Dan in the north of Israel found this this inscription we'll show it to you and right here now you're gonna have to take my word on this unless you can read ancient Hebrew but right here on this inscription is the reference to David the actual name of David because this is a victory monument set up by King Hazael of Syria boasting about he had just had a victory over the house of David and so of course David lived the guy refers to him in this monument just like the Bible said hey critics of the Bible once said you know Pontius Pilate you know the guy in the New Testament who washed his hands said it's not my problem that guy we sounds like he lives in Washington but that guy they say never even existed we never found his name in any Roman record anywhere and oh by the way Caiaphas the high priest who supposedly condemned Jesus we don't have his name anywhere either he probably they probably made both of these names up oh wait a minute 1961 doing excavations in the city of Caesarea all of a sudden one day they hit this stone let's show it to you and this is called the Pontius Pilate stone guess why because right here in this line is the name of Pontius Pilate here's the end of Pontius here is P I L A T U S guess what that spells that spells pilot in in in Latin and here's his stone with this guy's name big as life on it that they dig out of the ground and speaking of Caiaphas our friend the high priest several years ago they were digging a foundation to put up an apartment building it was 1990 and they crashed into this tomb that they didn't even know was there and inside they found this ossuary you say an ossuary what in the world is that well it's a bone box see what they did back then is when you died they put you in the ground for a year till all your flesh melted off your bones then they dug you back up to your bones that's all that was left and they put you in a little box like this so that way they could reuse the ground to do this to somebody else I know it's a little sick but that's what they did so anyway this is his bone box and right on the side here is the bigger than life the letters Joseph Caiaphas and so I think this is ironic as can be Jesus who he condemned to death rose from the dens in heaven and this guy we got his bones I think that's kind of cool but anyway let's go on of course he existed exactly the way the Bible said hey you know the Bible said there was a tremendous synagogue in the city of Capernaum well let's show you we found it there it is big as life you know the Bible says that Hezekiah 2nd Chronicles 32 built a tunnel under Jerusalem to bring water in and guess what here it is we found it and actually in here we actually found an inscription let's show it to you that tells the story of how they started digging at one end with picks at with acts and picks and how they started drinking digging from the other end with pickaxes and how they heard themselves coming towards the middle until they finally met through solid rock sounds like the golden spike sort of deal and that's kind of what it is exactly the way the Bible says hey the Bible tells us that on Paul's first missionary journey he went to Paphos the capital of Cyprus and he led the God of Christ there named Sergius Paulus who was the Roman proconsul of the island well we didn't have much of a record of this guy until a few years ago they dug this stone out of the ground let's show it to you and right here on this stone is the name of Sergius Paulus and it even calls him the proconsul ha ha hey you know what the Bible tells us in second Kings chapter 10 that there was a guy named Jehu who was the king of the northern kingdom and that he became a vassal of King Sennacherib of Assyria so look what we found we found the black obelisk it looks a little bit like the Washington Monument this was the black obelisk made by King Shalmaneser the same guy the Bible talks about and on one of the plates of the black obelisk let me show you this up close here is King Sennacherib standing here and guess who this is well if you could read Akkadian across the bottom you'd find out it's King Jehu son of Omri king of Israel this is the only picture we have anywhere in the world of what an actual king of Israel looked like and here he is bowing down and presenting tribute to King Sennacherib why because he's a vassal of King Sennacherib exactly the way the Bible said I got just a couple more for you critics of the Bible once said that the nation of Israel never even existed as a coagulated political nation until 500 BC you know this idea of Joshua leading them in and taking over the country and capturing Jericho ridiculous they weren't even a country they weren't even a nation for another five or eight hundred years after that well then we found this wonderful victory monument by a Pharaoh named Merineptah say what was his name Merineptah just trust me on that and Merineptah this Pharaoh invaded Palestine Canaan in the year 1208 and he set up this victory stela and right here this little dark square that we've magnified for you in this dark square he records 1208 BC these words Israel is laid waste his seed is not confirming that the nation of Israel the people of Israel were a political entity in the land of Canaan in 1208 BC when he invaded exactly the way the Bible says they should be last of all I got a million of them but we'll just give you one more a lot of the critics of the Bible say you know Jesus he never even existed as a real historical character Albert Schweitzer some of you know this great guy Nobel Prize winner and everything he said he wrote a book called the quest for the historical Jesus and said there was no historical Jesus he never existed our good friend John Murray you know the American atheist guy said and I quote there was no such person in the history of the world as Jesus Christ there was no historical living breathing human being by that name ever well John we got a problem and let me show you what it is it's another one of those bone boxes and this one was just found a month ago some of you read about it in the Wall Street Journal some of you read about it in Time magazine some of you saw it on CNN it was just found a month ago and this bone box let me tell you what it says these are the letters now we've taken them and made them bigger for you because they're actually inscribed right here on the side and you can't see them that well and here's what it says it says James Yaakov the son of Joseph the brother of Jesus you say why you say that no come on yeah I'm telling you the truth this is James the son of Joseph the brother of Jesus and you know on these ossuaries it's very strange to have a brother referred to very often they'll say my name is so-and-so and I'm the son of so-and-so but as a general rule you never record anything beyond that so why would James the son of Joseph actually write his brother's name on here unless his brother was so well known that everybody in town would have known who his brother was and you say Lon come on now this has got to be a hoax I mean you know somebody there's no way this can be a reference to Jesus like of Nazareth well listen this was sent to dr. Andre Lemaire one of the greatest experts in ancient inscriptions anywhere in the world and he published an article in biblical archaeology review and here's what he said and I quote he said I have studied the James ossuary you know bone box now you know that now you guys are like archaeologists now this James ossuary from every possible angle and consulted with eminent scholars regarding various aspects of it we have even studied it with an SEM that is a scanning electron microscope and with an EDS that's an electron dispersion spectroscopy and I am pleased to report that in my judgment it is genuinely ancient and not a fake this guy's not a believer now it seems very probable that this is the ossuary of James in the New Testament and that with it we have the first epigraphic that is written mention outside the Bible from around 63 AD of Jesus of Nazareth end of quote Jesus of Nazareth didn't exist sure he did his names on his bone box from 63 AD of course he existed and we could go on and on and on like the energizer buddy bunny buddy buddy bunny whatever but the point is the point is friends that I've got a wonderful quote to share with thee it says this the more we dig out of the ground the more the Bible proves to be right Indiana Jones didn't say that I said that okay now now you say okay okay okay time I get okay as a matter of fact if you ever go to Israel with me I'll take you to the Israeli Museum because we go there and I'll let you see these things you can see the Pontius pile of stone you can see the kai's pasa worry you can touch them if the guards not looking huh you can touch them um you know but but these things are real I'm not kidding you know you can actually go see these things now you say well on all right all right all right I give you know a little bit of overload here but I give but but none of this none of this proves that the Bible is a supernatural book okay maybe maybe you're right maybe it is historically accurate but prove to me it really has the supernatural character that God claims that it has well let me tell you how I believe we can do that it's through this thing called fulfilled prophecy Isaiah 46 verse 10 God says I am God and there is none other and I declare in the Bible from ancient times things that have not happened yet you understand what God is saying here he's saying in order to prove to people that I really exist and in order to prove to people that the Bible really is a book of supernatural origin I'm gonna tell you things in the Bible hundreds of years before they happen so when they happen you know I'm real and you know the Bible's for me we say what are some of the things he did that well I mean I could go on but Isaiah chapter 13 the Bible predicted the fall of Babylon in great detail 200 years before it happened and it happened just like Isaiah 13 said in Daniel chapter 2 in chapter 11 over 500 years of the political fortunes of the ancient Near Easter predicted the Babylonian Empire the Persian Empire the Median Empire the Greek Empire Alexander the Great dividing up in four different directions with four different generals after the death of Alexander and in fact it's so precise in its predictions the only way its critics can handle to the book of Daniel is to declare that the book of Daniel is a forgery that wasn't written until the time of Christ but we know that can't be true because we've got copies of the book of Daniel from almost 200 years before the time of Christ that we discovered in the Dead Sea Scrolls and then how about all the predictions in the Old Testament about Jesus over 30 of them you say like what well like the Bible predicts the virgin birth Isaiah 7 it predicts that Jesus would be a descendant of David Isaiah 11 it predicts that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem Micah chapter 5 it predicts John the Baptist it predicts that Galilee would be Jesus's headquarters Isaiah 9 it predicts the betrayal of Judas for 30 pieces of silver that would be thrown into a potter's field Zechariah 12 and 13 it predicts that that there would be a crucifixion Psalm 22 that the guards would actually cast lots for Jesus's coat there at the cross Psalm 22 in fact even some of the exact words that Jesus's enemies said are predicted in the Old Testament along with the resurrection over 30 of these in fact I got a letter from Richard Park one of the members of our staff and he said this long during this past week I was talking with a research scientist and mathematician formerly employed at the Pentagon who researched 30 of the clearest Old Testament prophecies referring to Jesus and she calculated that the probability of one in the same person fulfilling all 30 prophecies was one chance times 10 with 100 zeros after it end of quote now friends I'm not a professional mathematician and I can't confirm those numbers but even if she's half right and it's only 50 zeros even if she's a quarter right and it's only 25 zeros after it wouldn't you like to go to Las Vegas what I was like that on your side you'd be a rich lady a rich man hey let me tell you something the reason God gave us all of these prophecies and then fulfilled them exactly was to do what he said in Isaiah 46 to show us that he's real and to prove to us that the Bible is a supernatural book from a supernatural God giving a supernatural truth about a supernatural Messiah who died on the cross to give us a supernatural relationship with God so we can live a supernatural life that has a supernatural destination in heaven when we're done this is what the Bible is and you know tonight if you're here and you came with an open mind and an open heart I've given you enough evidence to make it reasonable for you to believe the Bible is what it claims to be can I prove it beyond any shadow of a doubt no can I prove Noah's flood or the Jonah got swallowed by a fish we already said I can't do that but what I can do is prove to you that the Bible is historically accurate to a fault and what I can do is prove to you the Bible is a book with a supernatural character that defies explanation except that a supernatural God wrote it I was in Israel several years ago and we were going through security and I had a young lady an army officer who was asking me some questions because I'm the tour leader and that's kind of how they do it so she said to me she said what kind of tour is this and I said well it's a Christian tour and she said really and she had my passport and she looked at it she goes Solomon Solomon I said yeah that's a that's a strange name and I said well I'm Jewish she said you're Jewish and you're a priest well it wasn't worth the trouble to try to explain the nuances and so I said yeah yeah that's close enough she said how could you be Jewish and be a priest I said well because I'm a Jewish person who believes that Jesus is the Messiah and she looked at me and said what possible evidence could there be to believe something as nutty as that and I said would you believe 10 with a hundred zeros after it she said what are you talking about oh we sat down we had a wonderful conversation for about 10 minutes and then she said look look look I gotta go but she said hey what just before I go she said answer me one question she said don't you ever wonder if you're wrong and I said let me tell you something when I got 10 with a hundred zeros after it no no I never wonder that I'm wrong and folks if you're here and some biology teacher shook your faith in the Bible if you're here and some smart talking college professor shook your faith in the Bible if you're here and some friends pseudo-intellectual friends have undermined your confidence in the Bible I'm here to tell you don't pay any attention to them the Bible stands the test we've spent three weeks saying the Bible stands the test I can't prove it to you like I can 2 plus 2 is 4 but I've given you enough evidence to make believing the Bible believing it as a reliable document historically a reliable document supernaturally and a reliable document scientifically I've given you enough evidence to make that a reasonable and logical position and let me just tell you what Jesus said he said heaven and earth will pass away but my word my word will never pass away and if you want to go into eternity safe secure and all locked down tight let me tell you how to go into eternity friends go into eternity holding on to the Word of God go into eternity believing the Word of God going to eternity basing your entire eternal destiny on the promises of the Word of God and I promise you when the smoke clears you're gonna be just fine now if you're here tonight and you've never trusted Jesus in a real impersonal way and one of the things that's hung you up for years is all of this conflict that you've been hearing about I hope you'll listen to these three messages maybe listen to them over and over digest well all the information because there's a lot of information in here and I hope the result of that will be that you'll give serious consideration to who Jesus says he is because I'm telling you the document that tells us about him is a reliable document that can stand the test let's pray together Lord thank you for talking to us these last three weeks about the Bible and whether it really can stand the test of a thorough examination scientifically historically and supernaturally now Lord where does that really leave us well it leaves us with awful strong evidence that the Bible is what it claims to be and if that's true then that means that we are called upon by you to surrender our lives to the Lord Jesus to trust what he did for us on the cross and to go into eternity holding on to that as our confidence to face the living God and the wonderful good news is that when we go into eternity holding on to the truth of the Bible we have nothing to fear because as Jesus said heaven and earth might pass away but my word will never pass away Lord give us that kind of confidence in the Word of God encourage our faith and grant that we might be willing to listen to you when you talk to us from the scripture because we accept it and a tribute to it trustworthiness veracity and integrity thanks for talking to us through this series change our lives because we were here and learn these things and we pray this in Jesus name Amen. you
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-11 08:11:07 / 2023-06-11 08:22:51 / 12

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