I bet you thought I left yet another thing unfinished. Nope! I may get sidetracked, but sooner or later, I do get back to what I started. Sometimes it takes months, sometimes years. In this case, it has been 2.5 months since I started reading New Evidence and blogging about it.
Saturday was my first full day off after working 12 days in a row, so I spent about six hours of it getting through part one of four in this book. Part one was “The Case for The Bible”. After a bit of history explaining how we got the Bible, including the materials used to write it, some interesting things were pointed out. First of all, Christ himself witnessed to the Old Testament talking about the law, the prophets, the writings (Psalms), and the martyrs throughout the entire OT from Abel to Zechariah. (I like how that’s A-Z!)
When speaking to the historical reliability of the Bible, more interesting points were made:
- The unexplained is not necessarily unexplainable.
- Fallible interpretations do not mean fallible revelation.
- Make sure you understand the content of the passage.
- Interpret difficult passages in light of clear ones.
- Don’t base teaching on obscure passages. The main things are the plain things. If something is important, it will be clearly taught in scripture, and probably in more than one place. When a passage is unclear, never conclude that it means something else or opposes another plain teaching.
- The Bible is a human book with human characteristics.
- Just because a report is incomplete does not mean it’s false. Sometimes things are complimentary, not contradictory.
- New Testament citations of the OT need not always be exact.
- Context will dictate whether a word should be taken literally or figuratively.
- General statements don’t necessarily mean universal promises.
- Later revelation supersedes previous revelation. God did not reveal everything at once, but that doesn’t make contradiction.
- Archaeology has found evidence that proves the accuracy of the Bible.
- The Bible is trustworthy and historically reliable.
Translated text of the Bible compared to that of 1,000 years earlier proved to be word for word identical in more than 95% of the text. The other 5% were merely variations in spelling – nothing that affected the message. In 184 cases, evidence shows that for 2300-3900 years, the text of the proper names in the Hebrew Bible have been transmitted with minute accuracy.
Then, of course, there are the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Part two is “The Case for Jesus” – just over 200 pages. Will it be a week? Two weeks? Another 2.5 months? My goal was to finish by the end of January. I’m changing that to finish by the end of March!