First the Blade
© 2019 by Larry Nevenhoven
Can We Trust the Bible?
On May 20, 1985, I gave my life to the Lord. Yes, I was a changed man, but I had no clue about what to do next. And to be honest, I didn’t even know how to label myself.
I phoned Bill Sheridan at 8 a.m. the following morning and told him about my conversion on the bathroom floor. Then, I asked, “What am I? Am I a follower of some weird cult like Hare Krishna? Or what?”
Bill laughed. “No, you’re not a follower of Hare Krishna or any weird cult. You’re a born-again believer. A Christian.”
“A Christian? I’m just a Christian! I’ve never met a Christian like me in my whole life.”
We talked a little longer and he advised me to read the Bible, beginning in the Book of Matthew. A couple of hours later, I bought a New King James Bible for $7.95 at Nelson’s Bookstore in downtown Fort Dodge, Iowa. I took it home and then was faced with a new dilemma.
You see, two days earlier I was an agnostic who believed the Bible was a man-made book of religious gobbledygook. Now, I held one in my hands and the friend who was instrumental in bringing about my salvation advised me to read it. What should I do? I thought.
“Lord, You showed me how real and alive You are yesterday when you saved me from committing suicide. So, I’m going to read this Bible and trust that it is Your truth. I may not understand everything, but if You help me, I will do my best,” I said aloud.
The Lord honored my prayer, but I wish the following information about the Bible would have been available to me back then. It would have erased every doubt in my mind:
The Bible was written over a period of 1,600 years by over forty different authors from all walks of life. There were fishermen, politicians, generals, kings, shepherds and historians. These men were born on three different continents and wrote in three different languages. They wrote on hundreds of controversial subjects, yet they wrote in perfect agreement and harmony. They wrote in dungeons, in temples, on beaches, and on hillsides, during peacetime and during war. Yet their words sound like they came from the same source. So, even though ten people today could not write on one controversial subject and agree, God picked forty very different people to write the Bible—and it has stood the test of time.
But is it accurate?
Barton Payne’s Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecy lists 1,239 prophecies in the Old Testament and 578 prophecies in the New Testament, for a total of 1,817. These encompass 8,352 verses.
In the Old Testament there are prophesies against Tyre, Sidon, Ammon, Moab, Philistia, Egypt, Edom, Syria, Elam, Damascus, Gaza, Judah, Israel, and Babylon, to name a few. Not one prophecy failed to be fulfilled with complete accuracy.
Let’s take a look at how many prophecies there are in the Old Testament that were fulfilled by Jesus. Alfred Edersheim concluded that there are at least 456 passages in the Old Testament that Jewish Rabbis historically have interpreted as being about the Messiah.
What would be the odds of just eight of these prophecies coming true, especially since they are from five different authors writing hundreds of years apart?
(1) Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. (Micah 5:2)
(2) Messiah would be betrayed for thirty pieces of silver. (Zechariah 11:12-13)
(3) Messiah’s clothes would be gambled away. (Psalms 22:18)
(4) Messiah’s hands and feet would be pierced. (Psalms 22:16)
(5) Messiah’s bones would not be broken. (Psalms 34:20)
(6) Messiah would be born of the tribe of Judah. (Isaiah 37:31)
(7) Messiah would be called out from Egypt. (Hosea 11:1)
(8) Messiah would be buried in a rich man’s grave. (Isaiah 53:9)
The odds of all eight coming true are virtually incomprehensible! The number is written mathematically as 1014 or 100,000,000,000,000 to one.
But according to Edersheim, there are 456 scriptures that speak of the Messiah! I am not sure there is a number high enough to express the odds of fulfilling all 456 of those—not to mention all 1,817 prophecies found in the Bible. This is proof that the Author of these prophecies knew the future. The God who created the universe out of nothing knows the past, present, and future.
(All of these Bible facts are provided by Mario Murrillo and Dr. J. Smith at mariomurilloministries.wordpress.com, September 15, 2019, in the article, “Believers are leaving the Bible but the Bible will survive.”)
I am a believer who believes we can trust the Bible. How about you?
(Continued in Part 3)