In the Beginning ...




"...God created the heaven and the earth" (Genesis 1:1).


4 Things to Share with a Skeptic


by Philip C Jones



When trying to convince a sceptic the Bible is true, you share
with them mostly factual knowledge, not just opinions and personal experiences. Here are four things you can share with a sceptic
to convince them the Bible is valid, hopefully leading them to
a conversion experience by accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord
and Savior, thus saving
their soul from hell and the eventual lake of fire.

1. What the Bible Is


The Bible consists of sixty-six books. Thirty-nine books make up the
Old Testament. Twenty-seven books make up the New Testament.
All sixty-six books were written over a two thousand year period,
from about 2000 B.C. to 40 A.D.. The thirty-nine books of the Old
Testament were written over a sixteen hundred year period.
The twenty-seven New Testament books were written during a
forty year span.

The Bible was written from three different continents. Three languages
were used; Greek, Aramaic and Hebrew. The Bible was written
amidst different culture settings, historical perspectives and personalities
with various vocations.

Various styles of writing were used: Historical, Law, Poetry, Prophesy,
Biographies, Songs, Letters, Parables and Proverbs.

The proof the Bible is divinely inspired is made clear when one
sees there is one theme thread throughout the Bible even though
it was written by forty different authors over a two thousand year period.
That one theme was God's plan of redemption, man being reconciled
to his creator, God. The Bible is God revealing Himself and His will to man, not what man thinks about God.

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works"
(2 Timothy 3:16,17 KJV).

2. The Bible is Different


Written over a period of two thousand plus years, the Bible has forty
authors. The Quran of Islam has had only one author. Bahai - Kitab-i-Agdas has had only one author. The Book of Mormon has had only one author. Only
the Bible has the validity of having many authors writing on the same
theme, redemption, which gives the Bible the validity of having to have
been inspired by God. None of the other religions can boast of having
many authors expressing the same inspired theme, redemption.

Although the Bible has been severly scrutinized, maligned and criticized,
God has supernaturally preserved this holy book over the centuries.

"There Had To Be A Beginning…For centuries scientists argued that the universe was infinite and eternal. If so, many claimed, there was no beginning and hence "nothing for a creator to do". But, we now know that the amount of usable energy in the universe is decreasing. And, scientists agree, if the universe is running down, it cannot be eternal or infinite. It will have an end just as it had to have had a beginning. Scientists know this principle as the second law of thermodynamics. It is fascinating to know that "science's two most foundational discoveries argue for creation, not against it!" (301 Startling Proofs & Prophecies Proving That God Exists, Peter and Paul Lalonde, This Week In Bible Prophecy)

The Universal Flood: "About 85% of the rock surface around the world is made up of sedimentary rock, indicating that at some time in the past, the world was covered by water." Peter and Paul Lalonde , 301 Startling Proofs & Prophecies


Prophecy

I believe prophecy, the prediction of the future, is the strongest argument for the proof of the Bible. Bible prophecy is 100% accurate in predicting the future. The Old Testament was written around 1450 BC to 430 BC. No other "sacred writing" can claim such accurate predictions of the future.

2000 Bible prophecies have been fulfilled. Many prophecies have very specific details. I would think anyone seeking the truth would consider at least a few of these prophecies. For instance, Psalm 22 contains a number of prophecies describing the crucifixion of Christ. This method of execution was not even invented until several hundred years after Psalm 22 was penned by King David. The Bible and an encyclopedia are all you need to verify the prophetic accuracy of Psalm 22.

The recorded Bible prophecies came true in such a detailed manner that they could not have been foretold by chance. The archaeological evidence shows these prophecies were recorded many years before they were fulfilled. This evidence proves they were not falsified documents claiming certain prophecies came true. The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls silenced most of the sceptical talk.

There are two types of prophecies in the Bible: Messianic (dealing with Jesus Christ) and those dealing with the Nations. If the already fulfilled hundreds of prophecies in the Bible are looked at and examined, both Messianic and Nation, they should make the most sceptical individual acknowledge the validity of God's Word.

Science

The Bible's scientific accuracy is without error. The Old Testament
speaks of the earth being a sphere, long before scientists discovered
the earth was round and not flat.

"He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth..." (Isaiah 40:22). At the time this scripture was written the Hebrew language did not have a word for "sphere," only for "circle."

Archaeology

The archaeological evidence alone should shake the foundations
of doubt and unbelief of any skeptic. For instance, Abram's
field in Hebron is mentioned in 918 B.C. by Pharaoh Shishak of Egypt.
After warring in Palestine, the Pharaoh Shishak inscribed on his
temple walls the name of Abraham, the great patriarch, proving
at this early date Abraham was known in Palestine as the Bible
says, not in Arabia.

The Bible says Joseph was sold for the price of a slave, 20
shekels. According to trade tablets found, this was the correct
price for 1,700 B.C. At an earlier time the price would have
been less, at a later time it would have been more.

Perhaps one of the greatest archaeological discoveries is the chariot wheels, chariot frames, human bones and horse bones found at the bottom of the Red Sea where the crossing of Moses and the Israelites took place. The style of the found chariot wheels match those used at the time of the Exodus.

Ron Wyatt, the man who made these discoveries, recovered the hub of a wheel with the remains of eight spokes and gave this significant find to Nassif Mohammed Hassan, Director of Antiquities in Cairo. Mr. Hassan immediately identified the artifact as a chariot wheel dating over 3500 years ago during the 18th Dynasty, the only time the ancient Egyptians used an eight spoked wheel. The hub and spokes are on display in Cairo, Egypt.

And archaeological finds show the Jericho walls fell down
outwardly to allow the Israelites to enter the city and
overcome their enemies. "According to the laws of physics,
walls of towns always fall inwards."

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3. How We Obtained the Bible


God determined which books would be included in the Bible. He
preserved the books to be discovered by believers.

The Basic Criteria of Canon of Scripture:
  • Was it written by a prophet or apostle of God?
  • Was it confirmed by acts of God?
  • Does it show consistent truth about God?
  • Does it come with the power of God?
  • Has it been accepted by the people of God?
Only the Bible can claim a "yes" to all of the
basic criteria of canon of scripture listed above.

Israel determined the validity of the Old Testament. The
Apostles determined the validity of the New Testament.

4. The Bible Can Do for You What No Other Book Can Do


The Bible can reveal God to you because the Bible
is written by men inspired by God. As stated above,
the Bible is God revealing Himself to man.

The Bible has the Words of Life that can give you eternal
life and save you from hell and the lake of fire.

"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus,
and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him
from the dead, thou shalt be saved" (Romans 10:9).

The Bible has the power to renew your mind so you can
think the way God thinks and fulfill the destiny He has
for you.

"For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper
than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing
asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow,
and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the
heart" (Hebrews 4:12).

"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the
renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good,
and acceptable, and perfect, will of God" (Romans 12:2).

The Bible can give you the power to overcome sin to live
a holy life.

"For sin shall not have dominion over you" (Romans 6:14a).

As stated in the scriptures, the Bible can give you truth (Jesus Christ
is the Truth), peace, joy, love, victory, wisdom, guidance, financial
prosperity and the list goes on and on of what God's Holy Word
can do for you.

This article may be reprinted or used freely, but it must be in its entirety including the author's name: Philip C Jones.




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Books I Recommend




Is the Bible True...Really?: A Dialogue on Skepticism, Evidence and Truth by Josh McDowell and Dave Sterret. "With over 40 million books sold, bestselling author Josh McDowell is no stranger to creatively presenting biblical truth. Now, partnering with fellow apologist Dave Sterrett, Josh introduces a new series targeted at the intersection of story and truth.

The Coffee House Chronicles are short, easily devoured novellas aimed at answering prevalent spiritual questions. Each book in the series tackles a long-contested question of the faith, and then answer these questions with truth through relationships and dialogue in each story.

In Is the Bible True, Really?: A Dialogue on Skepticism, Evidence, and Truth, we meet Nick, a college freshman at a state school in Texas. Nick has his spiritual world turned upside-down with what he hears in an introduction to religion class. His questions turn into conversations as he dialogues with professors, friends, and family about the authenticity and authority of the Bible."




How Do We Know the Bible Is True? by John Ankerberg and Dillon Burroughs. "The Contenders study series of books combine Bible study with spiritual conversations that will lead readers to conclude that the Christian faith can stand up to any challenge."




Scientific Facts in the Bible by Ray Comfort. "Most people don’t know that the Bible contains a wealth of incredible scientific, medical and prophetic facts. The implications are mind boggling…"





The Exodus Case by Dr. Lennart Moller. "In this newly updated and expanded volume, there are 448 pages of spectacular color photographs of places you will likely never see in your lifetime. There are pictures of ancient chariot wheels and human bones lying on the bottom of the Red Sea; pictures of the six-story massive rock in the desert that quenched the thirst of two million Israelites. According to Josephus the water that came from the rock in the desert was like a rushing river! Dr. Lennart Moller took some startling photos of the blackened, melted granite on the top of Mount Sinai. You will see the altar of the golden calf -- photographic evidence of an archeological cover-up. Many of the historical sites from the Exodus are fenced off and surrounded by barbed wire, armed guards and "No Trespassing" signs. The Saudi government has no desire to corroborate the historical veracity of the Hebrew Scriptures. Dr Moller's scientific specialty lies in DNA studies and he includes a chapter on the bloodlines of the Jewish priesthood. Through advanced DNA research , the families who descended from Aaron have also been discovered."




How to Know God Exits by Ray Comfort. "With the recent wave of books on atheism becoming New York Times best-sellers, the God debate is heating up. Because of the implications, it's the most significant question of all time: Is there a God, or isn't there? In this compelling book, Ray Comfort argues the case with simple logic and common sense. If there is a God, surely He has made His presence known so that anyone, young or old, scholar or school child, can find Him. By applying basic logic to three clear evidences for the existence of God, Comfort will help you to: * Examine the case for evolution and see what top scientists are really saying about the theory * Explore the facts that led the world's most notorious atheist to acknowledge a Creator * Investigate the evidence to discover who God is through 100% scientific proof, you can know God exists."






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