I was recently watching a television show called “The Case for Christ”. It was about this gentleman who went from being an outspoken non-believer to accepting Jesus Christ as his Lord along with his wife who was someone who didn't know if it was true. He went to a meeting and this pastor laid out something’s that the Gentleman had never heard or considered before and this put him on a 2 year quest after which he accepted Jesus Christ as his savior.
The whole approach that he used was just looking at the four gospels. Now he says that the gospels had different facts for the same subjects which is true if you read for instance the accounts of the crucifixion you will get different facts from the different gospels. This is called narrative development. Luke gives one account of the birth of Jesus while Mathew gives a different account altogether. The two different accounts never contradict each other they are simply written from two different points of view bringing up different things that happened.
He said they are attempts at biographies written by different men.
Luke 1:1 Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us,
Luke 1:2 Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word;
They took a look at this and decided that the reason Luke wrote what he did, he was carefully writing down what some eyewitnesses had told happened.
Luke 1:3 It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus,
Luke 1:4 That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.
They missed some words that need to be understood the words perfect understanding. Where did Luke get that perfect understanding? By just hearing people’s accounts might mean he got some facts that may be reliable. He may have also gotten some things that were just plain wrong. If you look at the teachings we have today about the birth of Jesus Christ and compare them to Luke and Mathew it just doesn't line up.
What man see’s can be wrongly remembered or things thrown in as a way of embellishing a story.
Shortly after that I was watching a show on PBS about if the bible is true or not. The person who was suppose to be on the side of it is true agreed with the other person that Genesis never happened the way that it is recorded that these were stories handed down from generation to generation. That it is like a game of telephone where the first person gives a message to a second person and the second person gives it to a third and so on and so on by the time the message comes back to the person who started it is nothing like the message that was given. Now if it were just man involved in all this I’d agree that it can’t be trusted. The thing is we are not talking about a thing that came by the will of man. We are talking about what many people call the Holy Bible which is really the word of God. And that is how it is referred to in the scriptures as the word of God.
Many people who are Christians do not believe that it is the word of God. How this happens is because that is what they are taught. If your teacher says “Well we know Genesis didn't happen like it says in the word of God” then that is what you will tend to believe. Most people will never take a critical look at the word in an attempt to see its great accuracy, most just want to tear it down and say it cannot be the way it happened.
Now to see the errors in understanding it does take some knowledge and people have been working on it so you don’t need to be able to read Greek or Hebrew to see how things should be translated and such.
Let’s see what the testimony of the word about its self is.
2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
Now even to understand this verse takes some work which we will put in this sharing of God’s word.
The first two words are important, all scripture. The word all is used in two ways in the bible. It can mean all without exception or all with distinction.
1Ti 2:3 For this [is] good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
1Ti 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
Okay in verse 4 it says that God will is for all men to be saved. God wants everyone to be saved. Many aren't but if God has his will all men would be saved. Now the next time someone wants to throw predestination into your face and tells you have no choice in the matter of if you will or won’t be saved it is by God’s will we get saved, this section says God will have all men without exception to be saved.
John 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all [men] unto me.
Now was Jesus lifted up from the earth? Yes he was. Will all without exception or all without distinction be drawn to him? Are all men saved? I think we all know the answer not everyone is a believer. There are some who just choose not to believe. They have never accepted Jesus Christ as their savior.
So this is the way the word all is used in the scriptures all meaning all inclusive or all within a particular group.
All scripture means every word within the word every scripture including those in Genesis and Luke.
The next word is in a bracket because if you look into any King James Version it is italicized. It is the word is. The reason it is in italics is to show that it was added by the translators. Sometimes it is okay sometimes it isn't good what the translators add.
Look at Genesis 1:2
Gen 1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness [was] upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
The word was the second one is in italics because the translators added it. In fact the verb to be, which is where we get was is not in the Hebrew or Aramaic language. The verb to become is but not was. In fact the first was should be translated became. So the earth became formless and void it was not created that way.
There is further proof of this:
Isa 45:18 For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I [am] the LORD; and [there is] none else.
The words not in vain are the same words void in Genesis 1:2. So Isaiah says it was not created void and formless makes it sound like God did half the job. To understand how it became that way is another teaching but we are told how it happened. There was a war in heaven between God and Lucifer. That is basically how the earth became formless and void. A subject for another day.
The next five words are two words in the Greek text.
Given by inspiration of God are the Greek words theo and pneustos. Theo means God and pneustos means breathed. So it means God breathed. Now it says in the word that God is spirit and it also say says spirit has no form so if God has no form isn't solid how does he breathe? He doesn't. When the bible or the word says something that isn't true to fact it will always be a figure of speech. There are 212 document able figures of speech used in the bible, with up to 40 different variations with some figures. This figure is called in Hebrew derech benai adam which translates to “ways of the sons of man,” it brings God down to mans level.
If I were to say the ground is dry that would be a statement of fact if I were to say the ground is thirsty it gives you a more vivid mind picture even though the statement on a surface level is not true it is truer than the truth stated as a fact.
Now the next words “are profitable”. Do you know that you can profit from the learning of God’s word? The profit that we get from the word is not just future tense like most people would tell you. You can find profit in the here and now. You can know things that are impossible for you to know by your five senses. You can be healed of illness as well as learn many other things just from the word of God.
For doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. The word doctrine means right believing. The word of God gives us doctrine. Reproof tells us when we believe wrongly, correction takes back from wrong believing to right believing. All scripture will fit into one of these three categories it will be doctrine, reproof, or correction.
For instruction in righteousness is how this verse ends the word for should be translated which is. Doctrine, reproof, and correction together make up instruction in righteousness.
So all scripture God Breathed which means there will be things that people try to pass off as scripture that isn't. There is for instance the Roman Catholic Bible which has more books in it. There are things like the book of Mary Magdalena, there is the DiVinci Code. None of these came because God breathed them. They came by the will of man.
Let’s look at another scripture which sheds some light on this subject.
2 Peter 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake [as they were] moved by the Holy Ghost.
There is a misconception about the word prophecy. When people think of prophecy they think only in terms of people foretelling the future. That is a part of what the word calls prophecy but there is also forth telling. To state the facts. This is shown in Gen. 20
Genesis 20:2 And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She [is] my sister: and Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah.
Gen 20:7 Now therefore restore the man [his] wife; for he [is] a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live: and if thou restore [her] not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that [are] thine.
These verses are speaking of Abraham. Abraham is called a prophet. You can’t show me one thing he foretold. More of the prophecy in the word of God is forth telling than foretelling. Now there will always be a chance of foretelling when dealing with a prophet.
It then tells us the scripture did not come by the will of man. So Luke never decided to sit down and write a biography of Jesus Christ’s life. Moses never sat down and decided hey time to write Genesis. These men were holy men of God. Anyone who speaks for God is called a holy man. When we speak for God we are holy men or women speaking for God. They spoke as they were moved by the holy spirit. There is a law here that you need to understand. God can only communicate with spirit. In the Old Testament it talks of God placing his spirit upon the prophets.
Deu 34:9 And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him: and the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as the LORD commanded Moses.
When Moses had laid his hands on Joshua he also transferred a piece of holy spirit on him. Joshua could now communicate with God because God would speak or convey information to Joshua through the spirit upon Joshua and his spirit would teach his mind.
Of course now we don’t need a holy man to lay hands on us to receive the spirit from God. When we believe that God raised Jesus from the dead we receive the holy spirit. It is called Christ in you in the New Testament. All men can now communicate with the lord directly you no longer need a go between.
One more scripture that we need to take a look at is in Galatians.
Gal 1:11 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.
:12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught [it], but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Moses did not go by stories that were handed down for two thousand years God told him what to say via revelation. Revelation comes by what 1 Cor. 12 calls Word of knowledge. God gives you the content then Luke or Moses or Paul or whoever happened to be writing would use their vocabulary to express it. There were many writers of the scripture but only one author. This also explains the different writing styles you find in the word, Paul for instance was a highly educated man a scribe Amos was a herdsman so you have very different vocabularies. How they got what to write came the same way though. They were moved by the holy spirit which means to get revelation and receive the God breathed word.
Most people never even consider that the bible has what it says it has.
2 Peter 1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that [pertain] unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
Just think about that for a moment the word of God has all things that pertain unto life or Godliness. We can find the answers to life’s questions.
God also thinks highly of his word.
Psa 138:2 I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.
God magnified his word above his name.
So just disregard these people who talk about the word being filled with myths or unreliable information. That is mans testimony about the word God has magnified it above his name. Certainly know that if anyone talks about how the stories were handed down that have no idea of what they are talking about.