2 Timothy 3:16-17 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
IN EVERY WAY, the Bible stands up to scrutiny.
Validity of the Bible
The Accuracy of the Words Themselves
The accuracy of any book or piece of literature is determined by how close our current copy is to the oldest known copy and how much time has passed between the original and the copy.
Up until 1947, the oldest copies we had of the Old Testament were from 935 years after Jesus. In 1947, the Dead Sea Scrolls were found, which were dated to around 200 B.C. After years of research, scholars actually found out that the Old Testament we have today and the 2,200 year old documents were practically identical.
There are about 24,000 early manuscripts of the New Testament, of which were written within 200 years of Jesus. We also have 5,600 full manuscripts from within 100 years of it being written, which are all virtually identical.
There were 355 prophesies about the messiah in the Old Testament. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM IS FULFILLED BY JESUS.
Peter Stoner, in his book, Science Speaks looked at just 8 of those specific prophesies, and found that the probability of 1 person being all of them is 1/10^17
That is the same probablilty as stacking silver dollar coins 2 feet deep across the entire 268,000 square miles of Texas, taking one and put a mark on it, throwing it in and mixing them all up, and then blindfolding a person in Dallas and saying “find it,” and having him actually pick the right one.
Historical and Scientific Record
There is not one respected historian, who doesn’t believe that Jesus existed, or doesn't believe that the crucifixion happened.
Roman historical record says that Jesus was buried in a tomb owned by Joseph of Arimathea, a member of the Jewish council, and Roman Historical Record says the tomb was found empty after Jesus was put in it. 515 people saw Jesus in person after his resurrection, and 9 of them documented the whole thing!
Gerd Lüdemann (atheist professor at Vanderbilt University): “It may be taken as historically certain that Peter and the disciples had experiences after Jesus’ death in which Jesus appeared to them as the risen Christ”
There are countless other things described in the Bible, that in modern day we have disputed, only to find archaeological evidence for later:
Traces of the Edomites and the Moabites
The Dead Sea Scrolls
Scientific principles in the Bible that predate our understanding of them
Mass and Energy Conservation
The Second Law of Thermodynamics
Micro-Evolution and Speciation
The Expansive Nature of our Universe
The Shape and Orbit of the Earth
Health Practices (washing, quarantine, diet, bacteria)
Our standards every one of these Disciplship Metrics are all set by the Bible.
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Personal Study | Reading Through the Bible | Memorization
Being Discipled in Scripture
Exegetical is reading to learn what the Bible has to say, and then learning how to apply it.
Eisegetical is reading to prove a point that you already think you know, and finding a way to make the Bible agree with you.
Go into it humbly, learn what the Bible has to say, and be willing to be wrong about what you thought.
Do this in the context of discipleship!
Bring questions you have about the Bible to your discipler, be willing to be wrong, and ask them to help you uncover those areas in your life when you’ve seen things in a wrong way.
You should look at 3 things:
What does the verse say?
What does that mean in that culture?
Is this a command or simply telling a story (descriptive vs prescriptive)?
How should that thing be done?
Does this apply to you?
What does this mean?
What does it not mean?
Could it mean something else based on context?
Is there a deeper meaning you don’t understand?
DO I do what is being described?
How do I do that?
What steps will I take to make sure I do that?
Reading Through the Bible
Ask your discipler to help you start a plan to read the whole Bible! Pick one that’s doable, start, be consistent, and ask for accountability.
Ask your discipler to help you memorize verses.
Ask them to quiz you on them with flash cards.
Ask them to help you make a list of verses that would be beneficial to memorize.
Discipling Others in Scripture
Study WITH them… Pull out a Bible in discipleship, find a key verse that been impactful in your life, Observe | Interpret | Apply , and have them do it with you.
Reading Through the Bible
If the people you disciple haven’t read through the Bible recently, encourage them to make a plan to do it.
Help them stick to the plan.
Help them understand the need for it
Help them figure out how to do it and Keep them accountable to stick to the plan that THEY create!
I’m going to start really studying the Bible for myself.
I haven’t read through the Bible yet, and I’m going to start a plan to do it.
I will make a goal of memorizing scripture, and work through it with my discipler.