April 22, 2008
We, as Christians are often confronted by disbelievers and people who are in a crisis
of faith. In response to those not that familiar with scripture we are often
at a loss for words.
We protest, “I know that God is real, I feel Him, and you can see His presence
in the world.” Without getting into details that a PhD in theology would
have a hard time explaining, sometimes this is what I say:
There have been over 25,000 ancient manuscripts of Holy Scripture found. Some are from the Old Testament, some from the New. Some are
complete copies and others are mere fragments. But, even different versions and
translations are almost identical in nearly every respect. The closest ancient
writing behind the Holy Bible in terms of contemporary copies recovered is Homer’s Iliad. There have been about 7,000 ancient copies of this work found.
Why the great discrepancy? If the bible
is just another book, why has it been so popular down through the ages?
One ancient biblical book, Isaiah, prophesied
about the ancient Hebrews being taken into exile because of their disobedience to God.
The fact that this exile occurred has been proven through vast historical and archeological proofs. The heading in ancient manuscripts, the Greek "Septuagint" version of the Hebrew bible, strongly indicate that
this book was written before the exile. The author also predicted by name
the Persian leader who would factor in subsequent events, Cyrus.
If God is not real, how can this be?
When a German printer named Johannes Gutenberg made innovations with movable type in 15th century Europe that revolutionized printing, what was his most famous
project? The bible. This was significant
because before this time few people read or could afford books. This change made
it possible for economic mass production so that the common man could learn to read the word, own a bible and have a personal
relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Was this a coincidence?
This occurred just in time for the “age of exploration.” You may recall from your high school history, that this was when European kings and queens began to send
countless ships throughout the world to explore and colonize. What did they all
take with them? The bible. This
helped expand the knowledge of God as He revealed Himself to the Jews to what is now one-third of the world’s population
(2 billion people).
The disciples of Jesus Christ believed that He was the Son of God, thus equating Him
with God. Then, they saw Him arrested, tortured and killed. Jesus had taught them to follow His example. If the disciples
had just seen God killed, why would they have followed Him in preaching the gospel and near certain death had they not seen
Him resurrected from the grave? They wouldn’t.
This is why we know that God is real, that His Son is Jesus Christ who lives, and that
He is revealed to man in the Holy Bible.
The bible says: “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things
not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).