Taken from Sunset International Bible Institute Online Studies Apologetics 2: New Discoveries
The previous lesson showed the Bible’s claim to be God’s inspired Word. This lesson presents marvelous evidence to confirm this remarkable affirmation. We will see in this lesson that god’s Word, like God’s Creation, is filled with a knowledge and wisdom, that surpasses human capability and that can only be explained by an Omniscient Mind. Lesson 8 covers only a few examples of the Bible’s vast reservoir of Divine knowledge.
LESSON AIM: To see the Bible as the remarkable and infallible Word of God and to strengthen the faith of fellow Christians and convince unbelievers of the same truth. LESSON OBJECTIVES: You will…
Consider amazing scientific knowledge of astronomy, physics, geology, biology, and medicine that were foreknown by Biblical writers from 1,500 to 3,000 years before modern scientists discovered the same truths.
Examine remarkable Old Testament predictions that detailed accurate histories of four different nations hundreds of years before they occurred.
Scrutinize 80 of a total of 332 amazing Old Testament predictions of the Messiah written from 400 to 1400 years before they were fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ.
Realize that the odds against such accurate and numerous predictions occurring by chance logically imply that the Bible was revealed by an Omniscient God who knew history in detail before it occurred.
Recognize that the Bible has superior teaching to anything written by man in the areas of wisdom, patience, devotion, morality, impartiality, consistency, love, purity, hope and the power to transform human life.
REMARKABLE SCIENTIFIC FOREKNOWLEDGE
Recent Scientific Truths
The Scriptures reveal extraordinary scientific truths that were not discovered or confirmed by scientists until the 15th through the 20th centuries. A.D.
The numberless stars, “I will make the descendants of David my servant…as countless as the stars of the sky” (Jeremiah 33:22).
Job 26:7 He stretches out the north over empty space; He hangs the earth on nothing.(NKJV)
Isaiah 40:22 (c. 700B.C.) wrote, “He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth.” Discovered 2,300 years later.
Jesus said in Luke 17: 31-36 that people will be working in the fields during the day and sleeping during the night when He returned. Jesus knew that day and night occurred simultaneously over the earth 1350 years before Galileo discovered it.
Luke 17:31-37In that day, he who is on the housetop, and his goods are in the house, let him not come down to take them away. And likewise the one who is in the field, let him not turn back. 32 Remember Lot’s wife. 33 Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. 34 I tell you, in that night there will be two men in one bed: the one will be taken and the other will be left. 35 Two women will be grinding together: the one will be taken and the other left. 36 Two men will be in the field: the one will be taken and the other left.” 37 And they answered and said to Him, “Where, Lord?” So He said to them, “Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together.” (NKJV)
Laws of Physics and Geology
Hebrews 11:3 says, “By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible:
Discovery that matter is composed of invisible molecules in 1920A.D.
Job 38:16 (c.1500 B.C.) – Have you journeyed to the springs of the seas?”
Springs under the ocean were discovered c. 1920 A.D., 3420 years later.
Job 38:16 (c.1500 B.C.) – “ Have you walked in the recesses of the deep?”
Trenches on the ocean floor were discovered c. 1920 A.D., 3420 years later.
Psalm 8:8 (c. 1000 B.C.) – “the fish of the sea…that swim the paths of the seas.”
Paths, or streams through the oceans were discovered in 1854.
Ecclesiastes 1:7, written by Solomon (c950 B.C.) – “All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full. To the place the streams come from, there they return again.”
The water cycle was not recognized as scientific fact until the 17th century.
Heb 11:2-3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. Job 38:16 “Have you entered the springs of the sea? Or have you walked in search of the depths?(NKJV) Job 38:16 “Have you entered into the springs of the sea, or walked in the recesses of the deep? (ESV) Psalms 8:8 The birds of the air, And the fish of the sea That pass through the paths of the seas.(NKJV) Eccl 1:7 All the rivers run into the sea, Yet the sea is not full; To the place from which the rivers come, There they return again.(NKJV)
Biological and Medical Truths
Genesis 3:15 speaks of the “seed of the woman,” and Genesis 22:18 speaks of “the seed of man.”
Scientists used to think that only the man had “seed” until the 17th century when they discovered that the woman also has “seed” that combines with man’s “seed” when a strand of DNA from the women combines with a strand from man.
Leviticus 13 gives instructions for quarantine for diseases to prevent the infection from spreading to the rest of the camp.
Discovered in the 19th century, 3,240 years after Moses’ time.
Leviticus 17:10 forbids Israelites to drink or eat blood of animals.
In the 19th century scientists realized that diseases of animals can infect humans if their blood is eaten or drunk.
Leviticus 15:5-13 instructs the washing of hands and clothes to prevent infection after touching a diseased or dead person.
Genesis 17:12 commands Abraham and his descendants to circumcise their male children on the 8th day after birth.
In the 20th century medical scientists discovered that vitamin K causes blood to clot and does not enter the body significantly until the 8th day after birth.
NOTE: Such remarkable scientific foreknowledge can be explained only by an Omniscient Scientist who revealed these truths to His prophets. Corresponding verses: Gen 3:15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.” (NKJV) Gen 22:18-19 In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.” 19 So Abraham returned to his young men, and they rose and went together to Beersheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beersheba. (NKJV) Gen 17:11-12 He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised, every male child in your generations, he who is born in your house or bought with money from any foreigner who is not your descendant.(NKJV) Lev 13:4-5 And the priest shall examine him on the seventh day; and indeed if the sore appears to be as it was, and the sore has not spread on the skin, then the priest shall isolate him another seven days. (NKJV) Lev 17:10-11 “If any one of the house of Israel or of the strangers who sojourn among them eats any blood, I will set my face against that person who eats blood and will cut him off from among his people. 11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you on the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life.(ESV) Lev 15:4-13 And anyone who touches his bed shall wash his clothes and bathe himself in water and be unclean until the evening. 6 And whoever sits on anything on which the one with the discharge has sat shall wash his clothes and bathe himself in water and be unclean until the evening. 7 And whoever touches the body of the one with the discharge shall wash his clothes and bathe himself in water and be unclean until the evening. 8 And if the one with the discharge spits on someone who is clean, then he shall wash his clothes and bathe himself in water and be unclean until the evening. 9 And any saddle on which the one with the discharge rides shall be unclean. 10 And whoever touches anything that was under him shall be unclean until the evening. And whoever carries such things shall wash his clothes and bathe himself in water and be unclean until the evening. 11 Anyone whom the one with the discharge touches without having rinsed his hands in water shall wash his clothes and bathe himself in water and be unclean until the evening. 12 And an earthenware vessel that the one with the discharge touches shall be broken, and every vessel of wood shall be rinsed in water.13 “And when the one with a discharge is cleansed of his discharge, then he shall count for himself seven days for his cleansing, and wash his clothes. And he shall bathe his body in fresh water and shall be clean. (ESV)
AMAZING PREDICTIONS OF FUTURE PEOPLE, NATIONS AND EVENTS
The Accuracy of Biblical Prophecy
God told Isaiah, “Write it on a tablet for them, inscribe it on a scroll, that for the days to come it may be an everlasting witness (Isaiah 30:8).
God Predicted the Future of Babylon Isaiah Chapters 13-14, 44-45, written about 700 B.C.
Medes will conquer Babylon (Isaiah 13:17) Fulfilled 539 B.C.
“Cyrus” (predicted by name) will free the Jews from Babylonian Captivity and permit them to return to Judea and rebuild Jerusalem (Isaiah 44:28, 45:1) fulfilled 539 B.C.
Babylon to be desolate and uninhabited, like Sodom and Gomorrah, forever (Isaiah 13:19-22)
Babylon to be covered by swamps of water (Isaiah 14:23)- “The great part of the country below ancient Babylon has now been for centuries a great swamp” (Over 1,000 years after Isaiah predicted it).
Name survivors and offspring of Babylon to be cut off forever (Isaiah 14:22). The name of Babylon ceased to exist more than 1,000 years after Isaiah predicted it.
Prophecies Concerning Egypt. Ezekiel 29: 15-16 predicted that the great and mighty country of Egypt would become, and remain forever, a lowly kingdom. He further predicted that Egypt would not become extinct as Babylon was.
Date of Ezekiel’s prophecy: between 592 and 586 B.C.
Egypt remains “a lowly” and impoverished nation, thus continuing the fulfillment of Ezekiel’s prophecy for the last 2,580 years.
Rome and the Kingdom of Christ
Daniel predicted in 604 B.C. the coming of four world empires.
Babylon the first empire (Daniel 2:38)
Medo-Persia the second (Daniel 2:39; 5:28-31;6:8)
Greece the third world empire (Daniel 2:39; 8:20-21)
Daniel describes in detail the fourth world empire (Daniel 2:40-43; 7:17-27)
History and the Bible (Luke 2:1) identify the fourth kingdom as the Roman Empire.
Daniel 2:44-45 predicted that the Kingdom of God would be set up during the days of the fourth world empire (Rome).
Daniel 7 also predicted that the Messiah’s Kingdom would outlast the Roman Empire.
Jesus Christ, who began to preach about 26 A.D., in the 15th year of Tiberius, Emperor of Rome (Luke 3:1) said, “the time has come,” and “the Kingdom of God is near.”
Two years later Jesus told His apostles that the Kingdom would be established during their lifetime (Mark 9:1)
After His resurrection Christ claimed to have all authority and He commanded His apostles to expand His kingdom to all the world (Matthew 28:18-20).
Jesus’s apostles taught that His kingdom was established in the 1st century during the roman empire (Colossians 1:13 and Revelation 1:5,6,9).
Rome fell in the 4th century – Christ’s Kingdom continues to exist to this day.
Daniel prophecies c. 604 B.C. , 600 years before Christ was born and 900 years before Rome fell. A Hebrew manuscript of Daniel was found among the Dead Sea Scrolls with a carbon-14 date of c150 B.C., 150 years before Christ was born and 450 years before the Roman Empire fell.
Daniel’s amazing predictions could not have been made without divine foreknowledge, proving the Bible is the work of God.
MESSIANIC PREDICTIONS FULFILLED IN JESUS CHRIST
Evidence That Demands A Verdict By Josh McDowell Lists 332 Old Testament Predictions Of Jesus Christ.
Six Old Testament Prophecies Of Christ’s Dual Nature As Both God And Man Are Fulfilled In Jesus Of Nazareth
Six of the 80 Prophecies Predict Christ’s Genealogy, Luke 3 traces Jesus’ genealogy all the way back to Adam and Eve. NOTE: other prophecies in the list of 80 predict the town of Christ’s birth (Bethlehem), the time of His birth (during the reign of the Roman Empire) and His virgin birth.
Three Prophecies of Christ’s youth and Three Prophecies concerning his Forerunner, John the Baptist (See Table-8A)
Ten Different Roles of the Future Messiah. As Prophet, Priest, King, shepherd, Servant, Son of Man, Sacrifice, Counselor, Judge and Redeemer
Ten Different Aspects of the Messiah’s Life and Ministry; His miracles, preaching in Galilee to the poor and sinful, speaking in parables, making a covenant with the Gentiles, And living a sinless life.
Thirteen Different Ideas About Christ’s Betrayal by Judas
His rejection by the Jews, and humiliation before Pilate. The Messiah’s entrance into Jerusalem on a donkey, His betrayal by a friend for 30 pieces of silver.
The Death of Christ; Eight are listed
Pierced hands and feet,
One garment taken by lot,
Gall and vinegar for drink,
Forsaken by God,
Vicarious death for others, and
A death that justifies others.
Christ’s Resurrection from the Dead
His ascension to heaven, His reign over all nations while seated at God’s right hand and His final victory over death in the final resurrection at His second coming.
Odds of Varied Numbers of Prophesies Being Fulfilled in One Person’s Life
Eight prophecies: 1 to 10 with 17 zeroes. This number will cover Texas with silver dollars by 2 feet deep.
Forty-eight prophecies: 1 to 10 with 157 zeros
Eighty prophecies: 1 to 10 with about 260 zeros. The total population of the world is now 6 million, 6 with 9 zeros. 260 is impossibility.
To illustrate the odds of the total of 332 prophecies of Christ that McDowell lists, Batsell Barrett Baxter pictured 40 archers as representing the 40 authors of the Old Testament. He distributed 332 arrows among these 40 archers and placed them from 1400 to 400 yards away from a hidden target, to represent the prophecies that were made about Christ from 1400 t 400 years before He was born. Each of the archers shoots his allotted arrows into the sky toward the hidden target. Imagine 332 arrows flying through the sky toward a hidden target, and all of them hitting the bull’s eyes.
Jesus alone fulfills all 332 prophecies.
One of the principal methods used by the apostles to convert unbelievers was to prove to them that Jesus Christ fulfilled the old Testament predictions of the Messiah (Acts 2:14-36; 3:17-26; 8:32-35; 13:16-41; 13:46-48; 17: 2-4; 10-12; 18: 4-6)
THE SUPERIOR CONTENTS OF BIBLICAL TEACHING
The Wisdom of Solomon
No one in history has succeeded in expressing greater wisdom more concisely than Solomon (except for Jesus). Read this wisdom in Proverbs and Ecclesiastes
The Patience of Job
Job is a masterpiece of philosophical, scientific and religious concepts in real life situations. Yet it was written more than 3500 years ago.
The Devotion of David
The Psalms contain the highest spiritual concepts and the deepest yearnigs of the soul to praise and glorify God.
The Superior Morality of the Bible
The Ten Commandments and other moral laws found in the Old Testament are superior to the moral standards of other nations when Moses wrote.
The morality of Jesus Sermon on the Mount sets the highest moral standard ever taught in human history (Matthew 5 – 7).
The impartiality of the Bible
Most ancient histories glorify their heroes and kings and fail to record their weaknesses and their defeats.
The Bible impartially presents the strengths and weaknesses of its most important characters.
Noah’s drunkenness (Genesis 9:21)
Sarah’s lie (Genesis 18:15-16)
Jacob’s deceit (Genesis 27)
The envy and jealousy of Joseph’s brothers (Genesis 37)
Judah’s fornication with Tamar (Genesis 38)
Moses’ killing of an Egyptian (Exodus 2: 11-16)
Israel’s sin and exile in the wilderness as punishment.
King Saul’s witchcraft (1 Chronicles 10:13-14)
David’s adultery with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11).
Solomon’s multiplied wives and idolatry (1 Kings:11).
The Bible points out Israel’s defeats as well as its victories.
Saul’s defeat at the hands of the Philistines and his suicide (1 Samuel 31).
Absalom’s rebellion against his father, David (2 Samuel 15).
Pharaoh Shishak’s sacking of Solomon’s treasures (1 Kings 14:25-28)
Assyrian destruction of the kingdom of northern Israel (2Kings 17)
Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem and Judah (2 Kings 24-25)
Slaves in Babylon for 70 years (2 Chronicles 36:20-23)
Unified and Consistent Truth
Unity of thought in diversity of culture.
About 40 authors wrote the 66 books of the Bible over 1500 years.
The authors had varied cultural backgrounds, different religious teachings, and different education backgrounds and professions
While God’s covenants are different for each age, the same God is recognized as the Omnipotent, Omniscient Creator and Father in each covenant.
Jeremiah 31:31 specifically predicted the coming of Christ’s new covenant, and Hebrews 8-10 shows that the Old Testament prepared for and foreshadowed Christ’s New Testament.
The Wisdom, Love, and Purity of Jesus Christ
Jesus analysis of “the two greatest laws” in the Old Testament demonstrates His divine wisdom (Mark 12:30-32)
Jesus said the first and most important law is “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”
The second most important law is “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
The Golden Rule of Jesus is the best expression of the two greatest laws: Matthew 7:12 Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.(NKJV)
Jesus’ new and superior law of love for neighbor.
(John 13:34-35 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”(NKJV))
Jesus said in, John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.(NKJV)
Jesus demonstrated that incredible love by dying on the cross for not only His friends, but also for His enemies (Romans 5:6-8 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.(NKJV))
His teaching to “Be perfect… as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48) was demonstrated by His perfect life, the only man to attain a sinless life (Matt 5:48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.(NKJV) John 8:46 Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me?(NKJV) 1 Peter 2:21-22 For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: 22 “Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth”;(NKJV) 2 Cor 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.(NKJV)).
The Power of the Gospel to Transform Lives
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.(NKJV)
The power of the gospel has changed more lives than the teaching of human philosophy, psychiatry and psychology in all of history.