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2 TIMOTHY 3:16-17
IS GOD BREATHED
What is Paul's encouragement to Timothy regarding the Scripture?
All Scripture is inspired by God
What is the meaning of "all"
All of its parts
(In (Mt 5:18 Jesus said even every "jot [iota;
or tittle [keraia;
"plenary" in the last column
How does the Psalmist support this interpretation in
Every single word is truth from
the beginning. The totality of God's written revelation is not just true
- it is Truth! There is not a speck of untruth in Scripture. It is
The whole body of revelation is
truth. “Thy Word is nothing but truth” [Luther].
Webster (1782-1852) emphasized the importance of THE TRUTH: "If truth be
not diffused, error will be. If God and His Word are not known and
received, the devil and his works will gain the ascendancy. If the
evangelical volume does not reach every hamlet, the pages of a corrupt
and licentious literature will. If the power of the gospel is not felt
throughout the length and breadth of the land...corruption and darkness
What does Peter teach us about the nature of the Scriptures in 1Peter
The Spirit gave prophecies to the
writers who wrote them down, read them, and tried to figure out what
they meant. They recorded what they were told, but they didn’t fully
understand what they were writing. God didn’t give them thoughts
that they then expressed in their own words. God gave them the words.
What does Peter record about the reliability of the Scripture
(what does he compare the reliability to?)
A more sure prophetic Word than even the experience of the
Transfiguration of Christ and the audible voice he heard out of heaven (see
note on 2P2:19)
What do some teach based on a misinterpretation of 2Peter 1:20?
Some teach that only the “spiritual leaders” may interpret Scripture
What is Peter really referring to when he states "no prophecy of
Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation"?
(clue: check the
The New Living Translation
although clearly a paraphrase is correct in stating that "you must
understand that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophets
themselves". The point is that Peter was not referring to interpretation
of Scripture but the origin of Scripture. It was not a man's own idea.
How does the context support the preceding interpretation (and the NLT
Peter begins verse 21 with "for"
indicating he is explaining the previous verse, and in so doing he
states that no prophecy originated in the will of man.
How does Scripture originate according to 2Peter 1:21?
The Holy Spirit moved men to speak
words from God.
The same verb for "borne
along" is used by Luke in Acts 27:15 "and when the ship was caught in it
and could not face the wind, we gave way to it and let ourselves be
driven along. Here literally the wind but in 2Peter the
picture of the Spirit like "wind" filling the "sails" of His prophets
and moving them along.
What does Moses record
that helps us understand
the "inspiration" of Scripture?
Ex 4:10, 11, 12
God told Moses that He had made
His mouth and that He would be His mouth and teach him what to say. Note
in this passage that God didn’t inspire thoughts. He inspired
words. That is why forty years later Moses was so insistent on
giving verbatim instructions to the people of Israel: “You shall not add
to the word which I command you, nor take from it that you may keep the
commandments of the Lord your God which I command you” (Dt 4:2).
Note how Moses
completely missed the deeper meaning of God's Name "I Am"
(remember His Names always speak of His character, His attributes, etc).
Moses failed to see Him as "I Am all that you will every need for
any and every trial or circumstance in life. What was Moses' problem? He
looked to himself to be eloquent rather than fixing his eyes on the
great "I Am". Are we not all a bit like Moses when confronted with a
test or challenge we think we are inadequate to fulfill? God will not
ask us to do something that He does not enable us to complete or
Jehovah's response to Jeremiah's feeling of being an inadequate speaker
teach us about inspiration of Scripture (Je 1:6, 7, 8, 9) and what does He promise
in Je 1:12?
Jehovah touched Jeremiah's mouth
and put His words in the prophet's mouth (most of this book is Jeremiah
speaking). In Je 1:12 God promises that His Word will be fulfilled.
How did God communicate His Word in
Two tablets of the testimony of
stone were written by the finger of God
What fact does
Ex 32:16 emphasize?
The tablets were God's work, and
the writing was God's writing engraved on the tablets.
Moses had nothing whatsoever to do with originating the stone tablets.
The Lord not only delivered the thoughts, but He did so by writing the
words Himself upon the stones
How did God communicate to Belshazzar King of Babylon in Da 5:5? What
was the message and what transpired that same night? Da 5:24-30
Hand of a man wrote on the wall
and Daniel interpreted the message that Babylon was numbered by
God, the king was weighed and found deficient and Babylon would
be divided. (Babylon was divided between the Medes and Persians)
Belshazzar was slain that very night speedily fulfilling prophecy
proving the Word was a true and sure supernatural message.
fulfillment of God's sure word: "One ancient account alleged that
Persia’s General Ugbaru had troops dig a trench to divert and thus lower
the waters of the Euphrates River. Since the river flowed through the
city of Babylon, the lowered water enabled besiegers to unexpectedly
invade via the waterway under the thick walls and reach the palace
before the city was aware. The end then came quickly, as guards,
Belshazzar, and others were slain on Oct. 16, 539BC" (MacArthur
MacArthur Study = MSB)
How did God communicate in Mt 3:17 at the baptism of Jesus and in Mt 17:5 at the transfiguration of
God spoke - His message in both
was "This is My beloved Son with Whom I am well pleased" In Mt17:5 He
added "Listen to Him!"
Note that God's
declaration was actually a combination of prophecies in Psalm 2:7 and
Isaiah 42:1, both of which would have been recognized by the Jewish
listeners as prophecies of the Messiah.
Why should men listen to Jesus according to
Jesus spoke message given to Him
by God the Father
Note The words
Jesus spoke were themselves a fulfillment of the prophecy in Dt 18:18
where God said "I will raise up a prophet from among their countrymen
like you, and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to
them all that I command him."
What 2 ways did God speak according to Hebrews 1:1-2?
To the fathers in the prophets and
in the last days has spoken to us in His Son. Jesus is the final
How serious is God about the integrity and inerrancy of His Word in Rev
Add to them and he add the plagues
of the book
Take away from them and God would take away their part in the Tree of
Jesus also warns “Whoever
therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men
so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 5:19). God
doesn’t want anyone tampering with His words.
in the Defender's Study Bible (DSB) has a very
intriguing interpretation of this passage: "Note the importance of
the words. The conveyance of precise thoughts requires the use of
precise words. Only the doctrine of verbal inerrancy adequately
expresses the true nature of Biblical inspiration. This warning at the
end of the book of Revelation (in fact, the end of the Bible) stresses
the necessity of literal interpretation. Actually, a literal
interpretation is not an interpretation at all, for it takes the words
at face value, assuming that the Holy Spirit (using the thoughts and
abilities of the human writer whose words He inspired) was able to say
exactly what He meant to say. Any kind of allegorical or figurative
interpretation of those words (unless directly indicated in the context)
assumes that the interpreter knows better than the Holy Spirit what He
should be saying, and such an attitude is presumptuous, if not
The doctrine of inspiration, the truth that the Scripture is indeed
God's word to mankind, is critically important, and not surprisingly is
one of the first points of attack of Satan.
What were his first words to Eve?
Ge 3:1b "Indeed, has God said, 'You
shall not eat from any tree of the garden'?"
A W Pink comments
that "The method of Satan’s approach was the same then as it is now.
“Yea hath God said!” He begins by throwing doubt on the Divine Word!
He questions its veracity. He suggests that God did not mean what He had
said. So it is today. Every effort that is being made to deny the Divine
inspiration of the Scriptures, every attempt put forward to set aside
their absolute authority, every attack on the Bible which we now witness
in the name of scholarship, is only a repetition of this ancient
question, “Yea, hath God said?” Next, he substitutes his own word for
God’s, “Ye shall not surely die.”
(Gleanings in Genesis)
discussion of several "tests" used to assess reliability of the
1) Bibliographical test
2) Internal test
3) External test
4) Changed lives: Who would die for a lie?
What does God testify about Himself in Isaiah 46:9, 10?
(Note Isaiah 46 contrasts futility and powerlessness of Babylonian idols
God states that only He He ("no
other", "no one like Me") can tell what is going to happen before it
writes that "Only God can correctly predict the future, for He controls
it. The Bible is unique among all other books as a book of fulfilled
prophecies" (DSB) Vine adds that "It is good
for the believer to call to mind the former things, to remember the way
the Lord has led and helped and delivered. It stirs the soul to renewed
praise, and stimulates faith and hope as to the future." (Collected
writings of W. E. Vine) Spurgeon on Is 46:10 says "World events are not
tangled, confused, or perplexing to God... Courage, dear friend. The
Lord, the ever-merciful, has appointed every moment of sorrow and every
pang of suffering. If He ordains the number ten, it can never rise to
eleven, nor should you desire that it shrink to nine.
The Lord’s time is best. The span of your life is measured to a hair’s
width. Restless soul, God ordains all, so let the Lord have His way. (click
It is worth noting that
arguments from prophecy have become less popular in an age
characterized by critical biblical scholarship, which in many cases
claims that apparently fulfilled prophecies were written after the
events prophesied occurred.
What is God's challenge to the idols of the people in Isaiah 41:21, 22, 23?
To prove their power by means of a
test of prophecy accurately fulfilled which of course they cannot
Note: God alone
knows the future, declaring both the beginning and end of His creation,
confirming that Scripture is His inspired revelation to mankind.
What does God say about Himself and His Word in Isaiah 42:8, 9?
After declaring "I Am Jehovah" He
states that everything He has prophesied heretofore has come true. Then
He adds that He will tell them the future before it happens.
comments "That His Name is the guarantee of the fulfillment of His word,
is the clear intimation here in Isaiah 42:8. How sure and steadfast is
His word! What an incentive it provides for faith to lay hold of His
promises, even in the darkest hour and amidst the most perplexing and
distressing circumstances! (Collected writings of W. E. Vine)
adds that "Only God, who created time and is therefore independent of
time, can predict future events with certainty. The Bible is unique in
all literature, with hundreds of fulfilled prophecies given hundreds and
thousands of years before their fulfillment. This is a certain mark of
divine inspiration." (DSB)
PROOF THAT ALL SCRIPTURE IS GOD BREATHED
OLD TESTAMENT PROPHECY FULFILLED
How many prophecies are found in Scripture?
It has been estimated that there are 2500 prophecies in the Bible &
about 2000 have been fulfilled to the letter
for illustration of a literal
fulfillment of the Lord God's prophecy in
against the powerful city of Tyre.
How many OT prophecies speak about the Messiah?
333 OT prophecies are fulfilled in the Messiah (Click
odds that even 8 prophecies could have happened by
Click chart of Messianic
What did Jesus say about the Scriptures?
Mt 5:17, 18 He came to
fulfill the Law and the Prophets (i.e., to fulfill the moral law by
keeping it perfectly and also fulfilled prophecies about Himself written
hundreds of years earlier) The "jot" and "tittle" refer to the
smallest letter and a mark which distinguished two letters in the Hebrew
words of the Old Testament. Not only the words, but even the letters of
Scripture are divinely inspired. The Lord's point is that every letter
of every word of the OT is vital and will be fulfilled.
English a jot would correspond to the dot above the letter “i”
(and look like an apostrophe), and a tittle would be seen in the
difference between a “P” and an “R”. The small angled line
that completes the “R” is like a tittle. These things are
important because letters make up words and even a slight change in a
letter might change the meaning of a word.
(Bible Knowledge Commentary)
Note that in Mt 5:18
Jesus introduces His declaration with a "truly" (NAS) which
corresponds to the Hebrew "Amen". Baker's NT Commentary has an
interesting comment: "Whether “truly” (RSV., NAS.) conveys that same
fulness of meaning or whether, through association with such phrases as
“yours truly,” it has lost some of the strength or solemnity usually
associated with “verily,” is a matter with respect to which opinions
differ. In every case—let the reader examine this for himself with the
use of a Concordance—in which this word occurs in the New Testament it
introduces a statement which not only expresses a truth or fact—as, for
example, 2x2=4 would be a fact—but an important, a solemn fact, one that
in many cases is at variance with popular opinion or expectation or at
least causes some surprise. It is for that reason that I personally
prefer the translation “I solemnly declare” to “Truly I say.”
(Exposition of the Gospel According to Matthew. p 290)
It is easier for the entire
universe to fold up than for the smallest mark in the Bible to be
altered. God’s Word is eternal!
Here Christ was emphasizing both the inspiration and the enduring
authority of all Scripture. He was specifically affirming the utter
inerrancy and absolute authority of the OT as the Word of God—down to
the least jot and tittle... this suggests that the NT should not be seen
as supplanting and abrogating the OT, but as fulfilling and explicating
it. For example, all the ceremonial requirements of the Mosaic law were
fulfilled in Christ and are no longer to be observed by Christians (Col.
2:16, 17). Yet not one jot or tittle is thereby erased; the underlying
truths of those Scriptures remain—and in fact the mysteries behind them
are now revealed in the brighter light of the gospel. They have not
passed from the law is the sense Jesus means here. one jot or one
Mt 24:35 Jesus' Words will not
pass away - it is inerrant and absolutely trustworthy! (cf Isa 40:8)
Every prophecy and every promise will be fulfilled perfectly and
Morris: The only
physical entity in this physical universe which is not subject to the
law of disintegration is the written Word of God. This affirmation by
Christ is a tremendous assurance of its infallible and permanent
Luke 24:25, 26, 27 Called the 2
on the road to Emmaus "foolish" for not believing all the prophets
had spoken because all the
Scriptures spoke about the Messiah (Moses [Pentateuch] and prophets).
Jesus clearly affirmed the validity of using Messianic prophecy.
Baker NT Commentary
on Luke observes that "The trouble with the Jewish religious leaders of
Jesus’ day was that, on the whole, in reading the OT they saw
only the glory & victory of the Messiah, not the fact that the path to
these blessings was one of suffering. At times they would even go so
far as to apply to the Messiah the references (in Isa. 52:13, 14, 15, 53:1,
2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7,8, 9, 10, 11, 12) to
the Servant’s glory, but to apply to Israel the references to the
Although there are 66 books,
written by 40 authors (most of whom had no interpersonal contact) over
1500 years, in 3 different languages, these diverse Scriptures are
internally consistent, lending strong support to "One" Author. And so we
see unity of message, despite diversity of human authors. This harmony is
more apparent the more one studies the Bible! This harmony cannot be
explained by coincidence or collusion and thus the unity of Scripture is
a strong argument for its Divine inspiration. And more than 3000 yrs of criticism have failed
to find even a single irreconcilable contradiction in the Word.
Jesus believed in the OT
Creation, the flood and Jonah are often points of objection for
did Jesus say about...
He quoted from
Genesis chapter 1 in Mk 10:6 declaring that "from the beginning of
creation, God MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE.
He warned in
Lk 17:26, 27
that His second coming would be like the days of
Noah... "they were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, they were
being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and
the flood came and destroyed them all."
In Luke 11:29, 30 Jesus declared
that..."This generation is a wicked generation; it seeks for a sign, and
yet no sign shall be given to it but the sign of Jonah. For just as
Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so shall the Son of Man
be to this generation...32 The men of Nineveh shall stand up with this
generation at the judgment and condemn it, because they repented at the
preaching of Jonah; and behold, something greater than Jonah is here."
Jesus explains the sign in (Mt
12:40) stating that
discussion of why we can accept
Jesus' Word on the authority of the Word
What is the context of 2 Timothy
2Ti 3:1, 2, 3, 4 Paul warned Timothy that in the
last days difficult times would come (Be aware that the lifestyle of
many will be opposed that taught in God's Word)
2Ti 3:5, 6, 7, 8, 9 Men holding to a form of
godliness and yet denying its power would captivate weak women - these
men opposed the truth (Be aware men will oppose God's Word)
2Ti 3:10, 11 Timothy followed Paul's
teaching, conduct, etc (Dear beloved "Timothy" follow God's word just as Paul did so you are a
vessel of honor like Paul)
2Ti 3:12 Those who desire to live godly in
Christ Jesus would be persecuted (Stand fast on God's Word so you are
2Ti 3:13 Evil men and imposters will
proceed from bad to worse - deceiving (Know God's Word so you are not
2Ti 3:14, 15 Your best protection will be
to continue in the things learned and the sacred writings (they gave you
the wisdom that led to salvation and continue to save you -
(what is right)
Profitable for Reproof
(what is wrong)
Profitable for Correction
(how to get it right)
Profitable for Training in
(how to live right)
Scripture has the potential to make us adequate, equipped 2Ti 3:17
FOR EVERY (ALL) GOOD WORK.
Scripture is complete and is all that
we need to have a right relationship with God. We don’t need a vision.
We don’t need a new revelation or a voice from heaven.
What does the "canon
of Scripture" mean? Could you explain to
another person in simple terms how we got our Bible?
discussion of "canon of
A SURE FOUNDATION
OF GOD'S WORD
discussion of 3 tests (bibliographic, internal and external) that
undergird the reliability of the Holy Scriptures.
Plenary = complete in all parts,
nothing is missing
E.g., in Gal 3:16 Paul based his entire argument on the
single word "Seed" as found in used in Ge 22:18 "And in your
seed (masculine, singular) all the nations of the earth shall be
blessed, because you have obeyed My voice." writing that "the promises
were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, "And to
seeds," as referring to many, but rather to one, "And to your
seed," that is, Christ."
logically follows from this definition?
The Bible is
It speaks only the truth. If God wrote it, it has to be true. God used
fallible people to receive and record his infallible Word so that it
would reach us correct and without error. Human beings, though they
often err, need not err in all particular instances.
In addition to being perfect, the
Bible is also inerrant
in the original manuscripts. The Bible has no mistakes.
"Do not add to
His words; lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar” (Pr 30:6, cp
The Word of God is also
authoritative. When it
speaks, we had better respond.
The Bible is
Nothing is missing. Because the Word of God is the breath of God, we don’t need anything
more. If a person says you need this or that spiritual or mystical
experience don’t believe them! The Spirit of God acting through the Word
of God is sufficient to make you fully mature in Christ, adequate
and equipped for every good work.
The Bible is also
Heb 4:12 -note)
on Biblical Inerrancy says that: Infallible signifies the
quality of neither misleading nor being misled and so safeguards in
categorical terms the truth that Holy Scripture is a sure, safe, and
reliable rule and guide in all matters. Similarly, inerrant
signifies the quality of being free from all falsehood or mistake and so
safeguards the truth that Holy Scripture is entirely true and
trustworthy in all its assertions.
Revelation and Inspiration are not the same. Revelation
is the message, and inspiration was the primary method of
delivering that message to mankind. (Illumination
of Scripture is enlightenment by the Holy Spirit Who gives understanding
of the Scripture)
Inspiration is the act of the Holy Spirit in revealing to human
writers the message that God intended to comprise the Old and New
Testaments... Some people say that the Bible is inspired in the same way
that those great works of literature were inspired... The problem with
that view is it is saying that God didn’t write the Bible—smart men did.
Would smart men write a book that condemns men to hell? Would smart men
write a book that provides no human means of salvation apart from the
perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ? No! Man writes books that exalt
himself. He doesn’t write books to damn himself... Second, inspiration
is not only in the thoughts of the writers. Some say that instead of
giving the writers specific words, God supplied the writers only general
ideas, while the choice of vocabulary was theirs. That view doesn’t
square with what the Bible teaches (1Co 2:13)... Some 3,808 times in
the Old Testament, expressions such as “Thus says the Lord,” “The Word
of the Lord,” and “The Word of God” appear. These hardly express
wordless concepts. God does communicate in words... Inspiration is not
mechanical dictation. The Bible writers were not robots, writing in a
semi comatose state, cranking it out without using their
minds. (MacArthur, J., How to Get the Most from God's Word)
Our Lord tells us that “He who is
of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not
of God” (John 8:47).
way to tell a saved person from an unsaved one is that one listens to
the Word of God and the other doesn’t. Are you listening?
Can I Really Trust the Bible?
Why Does It Make Sense to
Believe in Christ?
FULFILLED IN JESUS CHRIST
"And beginning with Moses and with all
He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures."
BE BORN OF A WOMAN
circa 4000 B.C
"Beginning with Moses..."
Genesis 3:15:And I will put enmity
between you and the
and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head and
you shall bruise Him on the heel.
Galatians 4:4 But when the fulness of
time came God sent forth His Son,
born of a woman,
born under the Law. (Note)
MESSIAH WOULD BE THE
SEED OF ABRAHAM &
THE BEARER OF THE GOSPEL
Genesis 22:18 "And in your
seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have
obeyed My voice." ."
Genesis 12:3 And I will bless
those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse.
And in you
all the families of the earth shall be blessed."
("the gospel" - compare Gal 3:8 in next column)
Study Bible) notes that "In his theological argument concerning the
Abrahamic covenant, Paul almost unconsciously makes an exceedingly strong
affirmation of the verbal inspiration of the Old Testament Scriptures,
basing his argument not just on one word, but one letter,
"seed" instead of "seeds." Thus the promised "Seed" was not the
nation Israel, but the one Person Who alone could fulfill the great
promises made to Abraham, namely, Christ.
Matthew 1:1 "The book of the
genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the
son of Abraham."
Galatians 3:16 "Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his
seed. He does not say, "And to seeds," as referring to many, but
rather to one, "And to your
seed," that is, Christ."
Galatians 3:8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God
would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to
Abraham, saying, "ALL THE NATIONS SHALL BE BLESSED IN YOU.
MESSIAH WOULD BE BORN IN
circa 700 B.C
Micah 5:2 But as for you,
too little to be among the clans of
from you One will go forth for Me to
be ruler in Israel. His
goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity (Note)
that even if Jesus could have fulfilled some of the other
prophecies "naturally", He could hardly have fulfilled His place of birth
in an obscure village distinct from the other village by the same first
name (Bethlehem)! Jesus sternly warned every skeptic of every age that "unless
you believe that I am He, you shall die in your sins."
Matthew 2:1-6 Now after Jesus was
born in Bethlehem
in the days of Herod the king, behold, magi from the east arrived in
Jerusalem, saying, 2 Where is He Who has been born King of the Jews? For
we saw His star in the east, and have come to worship Him. 3 And when
Herod the king heard it, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4
And gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he
began to inquire of them where the Christ was to be born. 5 And they said
to him 'In Bethlehem of
Judea, for so it has been written by the prophet,
6 And you, Bethlehem, land of
Judah, are by no means least
among the leaders of Judah;
for out of you shall come forth a Ruler,
Who will shepherd My people Israel.'
TO A VIRGIN
circa 700 B.C
Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the LORD
Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a
will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel
(God with us). (Note)
Matthew 1:18-23 Now the birth of Jesus
Christ was as follows. When His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph,
before they came together
she was found to be with
by the Holy
Spirit. 19 And Joseph her
husband, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her, desired
to put her away secretly. 20 But when he had considered this, behold, an
angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of
David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife;
for that which has been conceived in
her is of the Holy Spirit.
21 And she will bear a Son and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He
Who will save His people from their sins." 22 Now all this took place
that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet might be fulfilled,
saying, 23 "Behold, the
virgin shall be with child, and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His
name Immanuel," which translated means, "God with us."
MESSIAH WOULD BE
PRECEDED BY A
circa 700 B.C
Isaiah 40:3 A
voice is calling: Clear the
way for the LORD in the wilderness, make smooth in the desert a highway
for our God. (Note)
Matthew 3:1-3 Now in those days John
the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea saying, 2 "Repent,
for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." 3 For this is the one referred to
by Isaiah the prophet, saying, "The
of one crying in the wilderness, make ready the way of the Lord, make His
MINISTER IN NAPHTALI
circa 700 B.C
Isaiah 9:1-2 But there will be
no more gloom for her who was in anguish; in earlier times He treated the
and the land of
with contempt, but later on He shall make it glorious, by the way of the
sea, on the other side of Jordan,
of the Gentiles.
2 The people who walk in
will see a
those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them. (Note)
Matthew 4:13-16 Leaving Nazareth, He
came and settled in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the region of
Zebulun and Naphtali. 14 This was to fulfill what was spoken through
Isaiah the prophet, saying, 15 The land of
and the land of Naphtali,
by the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan,
of the gentiles
16 The people who were setting in
saw a great light;
and to those who were sitting in the land and shadow of death, upon them a
ENTER INTO JERUSALEM ON A DONKEY
circa 500 B.C
Zechariah 9:9 "Behold
is coming to you,
He is just and endowed with salvation,
humble and mounted on a donkey even on
a colt the foal of
Zechariah 9:10 And I will cut
off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem; and the bow of
war will be cut off. And He will speak peace to the nations; and His
dominion will be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the
Matthew 21:5 Say to the daughter of
Zion, 'Behold your King is
coming to you, gentle, and mounted on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a
beast of burden. 6 And the disciples went and did just as Jesus had
directed them, 7 and brought the donkey and the clot, and laid n them
their garments, on which He sat. 8 And most of the multitude spread their
garments in the road, and others were cutting branches from the trees, and
spreading them in the road. 9 And the multitudes going before Him and
those who followed after were crying out, saying, "Hosanna ("Save us we
pray") to the Son of David; blessed is He who comes in the name of the
Lord; Hosanna in the highest!" 10 And when He had entered Jerusalem, all
the city was stirred, saying, "Who is this?" 11 And the multitudes were
saying, "This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth in Galilee."
(Not directly quoted so fulfillment is seen in several passages)
Revelation 11:15 And the seventh
angel sounded; and there arose loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdom
of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He
will reign forever and ever."
Revelation 19:16 And on
His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, "KING OF KINGS, AND LORD
MESSIAH WOULD BE REJECTED BY
HIS OWN PEOPLE
Ps 69:8 I have become estranged
from my brothers
and an alien to my mother's sons.
Is 53:3 He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows, and
acquainted with grief; and like one from whom men hide their face, He was
despised, and we did not esteem Him.
John 1:11 He came to His own, and those
who were His own did not receive Him.
John 7:5 For not even His
were believing in Him.
MESSIAH'S BETRAYAL FOR 30 PIECES OF
(THE PRICE OF A GORED SLAVE!)
circa 500 B.C
Zech 11:12 (Zechariah carried
out the drama - see previous verses - by symbolically picturing Messiah
asking those He came to shepherd what they felt He was worth to them) And
I said to them, "If it is good in your sight, give me my wages; but if
not, never mind!" So they
thirty shekels of silver
as my wages (In a mocking response, the
leaders offered 30 silver pieces which was the amount of compensation paid
for a slave gored by an ox - see Ex 21:32 below). 13 Then the LORD said to
me, "Throw it to the potter,
that magnificent price at which I
was valued by them." So I
thirty shekels of silver
threw them to the potter in the
house of the LORD. (Note)
Ex 21:32 "If the ox gores a male
or female slave, the owner shall give his or her master
thirty shekels of silver,
and the ox shall be stoned.
Matthew 26:14 Then one of the
twelve, named Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests,15 and said, "What
are you willing to give me to deliver Him up to you?" And they
thirty pieces of silver.
16 And from then on he began looking for a good opportunity to betray Him.
Matthew 27:3 Then when Judas,
who had betrayed Him, saw that He had been condemned, he felt remorse and
the thirty pieces of silver
to the chief priests and elders, 4 saying, "I have sinned by betraying
innocent blood." But they said, "What is that to us? See to that
yourself!" 5 And
he threw the pieces of silver into
the sanctuary and departed;
and he went away and hanged himself. 6 And the chief priests took the
pieces of silver and said, "It is not lawful to put them into the temple
treasury, since it is the price of blood." 7 And they counseled together
and with the money bought the
as a burial place for strangers.
MESSIAH'S CRUCIFIXION FORETOLD
LOTS WOULD BE CAST FOR
Ps 22:14 I am poured out like
water, and all my bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; it is
melted within me. 17 I can count all my bones. They look, they stare at
Me; 18 They divide my
garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.
John 19:24 They said therefore
to one another, "Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, to decide whose
it shall be"; that the Scripture might be fulfilled, "THEY
DIVIDED MY OUTER GARMENTS AMONG THEM, AND FOR MY CLOTHING THEY CAST LOTS."
MESSIAH WOULD CRY
OUT FROM THE CROSS
My God, my God, why hast
Thou forsaken me? Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning.
Matthew 27:46 And about the ninth
hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "ELI, ELI, LAMA
SABACHTHANI?" that is, "MY
GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME?"
MESSIAH'S LEGS WOULD NOT BE BROKEN
Ps 34:20 He keeps all His bones;
one of them is broken. (cf. to Ps 22:17 above)
John 19:33 But coming to Jesus,
when they saw that He was already dead,
they did not break His legs.
THE TIME OF MESSIAH'S CRUCIFIXION
Daniel 9:24 "Seventy weeks have
been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the
transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to
bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to
anoint the most holy place.
25 "So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to
restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven
weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat,
even in times of distress.
26 "Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have
nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city
and the sanctuary. And its end will come with a flood; even to the end
there will be war; desolations are determined.
27 "And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in
the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering;
and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even
until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the
one who makes desolate."
See this time period charted out and
the incredible fulfillment...click
Daniel's Seventieth Week
Daniel 9:24-27: Introductory Comments
Brief "Prophecy Primer"
why interpret Daniel 9:24-27 and other prophecy literally?
Why Daniel 9:24-27 Is One of Most
Significant Passages in Scripture
Daniel Commentaries grouped by
interpretative approach to Daniel 9:24-27
Anecdotal Stories & Da 9:24-27
Evidence Supporting Unit of Time in
Daniel 9:24-27 as Years
from a literal, usually futuristic perspective
Da 9:24-27:Notes on Da 9:24-25
Da 9:24-27: Pt 2: Notes on Da 9:26-27
Daniel's Seventieth Week Charted in
parallel with Daniel's other prophecies
See lectures by Kay Arthur on Daniel 9:24-27:
PROBABILITY OF THE OLD
PROPHECIES BEING FULFILLED IN ONE MAN:
Yes, one could possibly find one or two
prophecies fulfilled in other men, but not all 61 major prophecies! In
fact the chance of one man fulfilling even eight prophecies is 1 in 10 to
the 17th power (1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000) This has been illustrated by
imagining placing 100,000,000,000,000,000 silver dollars on the State of
Texas which would result in two feet "sea" of silver wherever you tread!
Now it where the odds get interesting. Mark one of the silver dollars
distinctively and throw it into the state. Stir it all up and blindfold a
man who has one pick to select the marked coin. That's the odds against
anyone fulfilling only 8 prophecies, much less what most authorities feel
is something like 330 plus Old Testament prophecies in some way fulfilled
in the Messiah. To phrase it another way, these incredible odds just
illustrated are the same chance that the OT prophets would have had of
writing eight prophecies and having them all come true in any one man
providing they wrote them in their own wisdom. One can conclude that the
fulfillment of even just eight prophecies proves that God inspired the
writing of these prophecies to a definiteness which lacks only one chance
in 10 to the 17th power! The odds against all 330 plus OT prophecies being
fulfilled in one man cannot even be reasonably illustrated, as they are so
Another objection to
the Messianic Prophecies pointing to Jesus is that Jesus deliberately
attempted to fulfill the Jewish prophecies. This objection seems plausible
until we realize that many of the details of the Messiah's coming were
totally beyond human control.
Note also that some of the
prophecies concerning the Messiah are of such a nature that only God could fulfill them, such as
Christ's virgin birth, His sinless and holy character, His resurrection,
and His ascension. Only God could cause Jesus to be born of a virgin and
to be raised from the dead.
FULFILLED TO EVERY JOT AND TITTLE
EXAMPLE OF THE ANCIENT CITY OF TYRE
An illustration of a fulfilled
prophecy about the city of Tyre in
Tyre was a great Phoenician city and
world capital for some 2,000 years, deriving its rule from domination of
predicted Tyre's violent future and destruction at a time when it was
still a dominant power.
Ezekiel predicted that many nations would come up against Tyre (Ezekiel
26:3), that Babylon under Nebuchadnezzar would be the first to attack it
(Ezekiel 26:7), that Tyre’s walls and towers would be broken down
(Ezekiel 26:4,9); that the stones, timbers, and debris of that great
city would be thrown into the sea (Ezekiel 26:12); that its location
would become a bare rock and a place for the drying of fishermen's nets
(Ezekiel 26:4, 5,14) and finally, that the city of Tyre would never be
rebuilt (Ezekiel 26:14, 21). Note that 8 times in Ezekiel 26 it is
clearly stated that the words spoken are from the Lord God (Eze 26:1, 2,
3, 5, 7, 14, 15, 19, 21)
History testifies that all this is precisely
what happened. Many nations did come up against Tyre including the Babylonians,
Greeks, Romans, Muslims, and Crusaders. In 586BC, three years after
Ezekiel's prophecy, Nebuchadnezzar was the first of these invaders, who, after a
13 year siege, broke down the walls and towers of mainland Tyre,
thus fulfilling the first of Ezekiel’s prophecies against Tyre. Nebuchadnezzar
massacred all of Tyre’s inhabitants except for those who escaped to an
island fortress a half mile out in the Mediterranean Sea. It is notable
that it was Tyre's abundance of fresh water (see note below) that
allowed the city to hold out against Nebuchadnezzar for so many years.
In the years after Nebuchadnezzar's crushing defeat, the people of the
city transferred the wealth of the former mainland city of Tyre to an
adjacent island and there the new city of Tyre prospered protected by
the sea and walls extending out into the sea to protect the port.
Some 241 years after Nebuchadnezzar
had destroyed the old city of Tyre, Alexander the Great began his
conquest of the ancient world, as he sought to capture Persia. But
before he went to Persia, he headed south to conquer Tyre, fearing that
while his troops were in the East engaged in war, and that the
Phoenician navy might therefore seek to invade Greece. Alexander
approached Tyre and demanded that the city surrender but they refused.
After Alexander's first attempt failed, he took the ruble of the old
city of Tyre left by Nebuchadnezzar and built a causeway out to the
island. The city was completely destroyed by Alexander as a
warning to other cities that might seek to defy his demands of
surrender. After hearing of Tyre's fall, many cities opened their gates
in fear to avoid being destroyed.
Centuries later Alexander
the Great fulfilled a portion of the prophecy. In order to conquer
the island fortress of Tyre (because he lacked a navy), he and his
celebrated architect Diades devised one of the most brilliant
engineering feats of ancient warfare. They built a causeway from Tyre’s
mainland to the island fortress, using the millions of cubic feet of
rubble left over on mainland Tyre. Thus Tyre was scraped bare as a rock,
just as Ezekiel predicted.
The most astonishing of Ezekiel’s predictions was that Tyre would never
be rebuilt. This is singularly incredible because Tyre is strategically
located on the east coast of the Mediterranean Sea and contains the
Springs of Reselain, which pump ten million gallons of fresh water daily, enough to take care of the needs of a modern city. Yet, history
records that after a succession of invasions, Tyre finally and
irrevocably fell in A.D. 1291, never to be rebuilt again. Some 200 years
ago archeologists were watching some fishermen spreading their nets on
the bare rocks of a place that proved to be Tyre. Today Tyre
has been humbled to the point of becoming a place for the drying of fishermen's nets,
literally what Ezekiel prophesied some 2500 years ago! What are the
chances that Ezekiel could have guessed correctly? It has been
conservatively in the book, Science Speaks, Professor Peter Stoner
estimated that the chances are about one in 75,000,000.
THE AUTHORITY OF JESUS CHRIST
When it comes to
determining whether or not the Bible is the inspired Word of God we can
rest confidently on the authority of Jesus Christ. We arrive at this
conclusion by the following logic:
1. We have already
shown that the New Testament can be trusted as an accurate historical
document, giving firsthand information on the life of Jesus Christ.
2. In this
accurate, historical document Jesus Christ is presented as having made
certain claims about himself. He claimed to be the Messiah, the Son of
God, the Way, the Truth, and the Life, the only way by which anyone can
3. Jesus Christ
demonstrated that he had the right to make those Old Testament claims by
fulfilling prophecies about the Messiah. He performed miracles, showing
he had power over nature. The most significant miracle of all was his
rising from the dead (John 2:19–21). The resurrection confirmed his
claims to deity.
4. Since Jesus is
the Messiah, God in human flesh, he is the last word on all matters. He
had the divine authority to endorse all Scripture or some. He
universally affirmed all Scripture, in every part, as the divine Word of
God. The crucial issue of the inspiration of the Old Testament is solved
by Jesus Christ and his attitude toward it. We see Jesus viewing the Old
Testament with total trust, considering it the Word of God. See Matthew
15:3, 6; 22:31–32; John 10:35; and Matthew 5:18.
If Jesus is who he
claimed to be, God in human flesh, then his view of Scripture is of
paramount importance. We see him constantly referring to it as sacred in
his teachings and in discussions with the religious leaders of his day.
The conclusion is
clear: since Jesus is God and authenticates the whole body and every
portion of the Old Testament, we can conclude that it is the inspired
Word of God. (from McDowell, J: Josh McDowell's Handbook on Apologetics
Nashville: Thomas Nelson)
Old Testament authority John Bright
I am quite unable to get around the
fact...that the Old Testament was authoritative Scripture for Jesus
himself. Jesus knew no Scripture save the Old Testament, no God save its
God; it was this God whom he addressed as “Father.”...The very fact that
the Old Testament was normative Scripture to Jesus, from which he
understood both his God and (however we interpret his
self-consciousness) himself, means that it must in some way be normative
Scripture for us too. (Bright, Old Testament, p. 77.)
The idea of "prepare" means to
“clear away the obstacles”. The geographical feature of "wilderness"
symbolized the arid lifelessness of the unconverted soul. Mountains and
hills represent the proud and arrogant among men, valleys the people
of low degree. All unevenness and roughness of character must be made
smooth. All four Gospel writers quote this verse as applying to John the
Baptist (Matt. 3:1, 2, 3, 4; Mark 1:1, 2, 3, 4; Luke 1:76, 77, 78; John 1:23) In the NT John
the Baptist declared that repentance was necessary to prepare the way for
Christ. Highway in Isaiah (and in the Gospels) figuratively
referred to the hearts of people who must be spiritually prepared by
repentance for God’s glory to be revealed.
It was customary to
construct processional avenues for approaching dignitaries and for idols
carried in parade. The wilderness and desert represent the barren waste
where God’s people dwelt, complete with obstacles and impediments to
overcome, and through which He would come to them with refreshment, as He
did formerly at Mount Sinai. The idea is that He was certainly coming and
His people should prepare for His appearing. (Dr.
Constable's Bible Study Notes and Commentary)
It’s been the custom
for centuries for Eastern monarchs who are traveling through their domain
to send men before them to prepare their way by removing stones (see
Isaiah 62:10), leveling rough places, filling up hollows, cleaning up
trash and litter, and generally making the road pleasant and easy for the
distinguished travelers and their guests. One of the stories told about
the semilegendary Queen Sammu-ramat (Semiramis of Greek legend, and mother
of king Adad-nirari III, who reigned from 810 to 783), is that on one of
her journeys she came to a rough, mountainous, region, and ordered the
hills leveled and the hollows filled, which was done at enormous cost. Her
object was not only to shorten her way, but to leave to posterity a
lasting monument to herself. Since her time there have been other
instances of similar character, but none involving so much labor and
expense. (Freeman, J. M., & Chadwick, H. J. Manners & Customs of the
In a devotional from
Our Daily Bread on Isaiah 40:3 we read...
Many years ago Robert Louis Stevenson
was stricken with a fatal illness. Seeking quiet and rest in a favorable
climate, he chose a faraway island in the Pacific Ocean. He soon found
conditions to be less than ideal, however, for the native chiefs were
constantly at war with one another. Quarrels and disputes kept breaking
out among them, but gradually Stevenson was able to solve these conflicts.
By every kind act in his power he won their friendship, and soon he got
them to settle their differences, teaching them how to be happy and at
peace. These people had never had such a friend before. The great novelist
became their hero, and they longed to show him their gratitude. They had
no money to buy gifts, but one of the natives said, "We can make him a
wide, smooth pathway straight through the heart of the jungle that shall
lead to his land, for he has longed to have others come and visit him."
All agreed to start immediately on its construction. Today this
inscription appears over the entrance of that highway: "The Road of the
Loving Heart," and just below it a plaque telling that it was built to
please Stevenson because he had brought them joy and peace.
There is One greater than Stevenson who has also shown us His love, and
through His sacrifice has brought eternal peace to our troubled hearts. In
gratitude to Him, let us labor to prepare "the way of the Lord" for
others, that through our consecrated lives and our words of testimony they
may find easy access to our divine Friend. If we show them His grace, many
will want to walk "The Road of the Loving Heart."
With the zeal of John the Baptist
Let us still "prepare the way"
For the weary feet of sinners
Who would seek the Lord today.— I. H.
When God's work comes to a standstill,
you can be sure the obstacles in the way can be removed by human hands!
MESSIAH IN THE LAND OF
The northern territory of Israel,
called the land of Naphtali, which had been brought into contempt by the
invaders, will be made glorious. (Galilee of the Gentiles was the Savior’s
boyhood home and the scene of part of His public ministry.) Christ’s First
Advent brought light to Galilee. His Second Coming will bring joy to the
nation and put an end to slavery and war. The coming of the Messiah is
synonymous with the coming of light to remove the darkness of captivity.
that in Isaiah's time...
In contrast to
the gloom of the false counselors, the residents of Galilee in Israel, who
would experience the Lord’s chastening, would enjoy glory. God would bring
light when His people had lost all hope. Galilee was the first region in
Israel to feel the lash of the Assyrian invaders. It was a melting pot and
home to many Gentiles as well as Jews because the international highway
between Mesopotamia and Egypt passed through it. Glory came to this region
later when Jesus lived and ministered there (cf. Mt 4:13, 14, 15, 16). But
it will enjoy even greater glory during Messiah’s earthly reign, as will
all of the Promised Land. (Dr.
Constable's Bible Study Notes and Commentary)
THE SURE FOUNDATION OF GOD'S WORD
Can I Really Trust the Bible?
The evidence that
undergirds the reliability that the Scriptures we have access to today are
in fact the actual, inerrant, fully inspired Words of our heavenly Father
can be categorized as follows:
1) BIBLIOGRAPHICAL TEST
2) INTERNAL EVIDENCE TEST
3) EXTERNAL EVIDENCE TEST
The bibliographical test is an examination of the textual transmission by
which documents have been passed down through the centuries. The question
this test addresses is in view of the fact that we do not have the
original documents, how reliable are the copies we possess today and from
which our Bibles are translated? What are the number of original
manuscripts or what is the the time interval between the original and the
copies that we do possess?
One way to grasp the significance of this test is to compare similar
criteria of ancient writers. For example, how do we know that the history
of Thucydides (460-400 B.C.) is really what he wrote? We have only 8
manuscripts of Thucydides' history and the oldest is dated about A.D. 900,
which give us a gap of about 1,300 years between when Thucydides wrote the
original manuscript. This is quite a gap and a relatively small number of
manuscripts and yet as F. F. Bruce notes
"No classical scholar would listen to
an argument that the authenticity of Herodotus or Thucydides is in doubt
because the earliest manuscripts of their works which are of use to us are
over 1,300 years later than the originals."
can be made of the writings of Aristotle who wrote his poetics circa 343
B.C. and yet the earliest copy we have is dated A.D. 1100, nearly a
1,400-year gap, and only five MSS are in existence.
How do the NT manuscripts stack up in comparison? The New Testament was
written from about AD 50 to AD90. The earliest fragment dates about
AD120, with about fifty other fragments dating within 150–200 years from
the time of composition. Two major manuscripts, Codex Vaticanus (AD
325) and Codex Sinaiticus (AD350), a complete copy, date within 250 years
of the time of composition. This may seem like a long time span, but it is
minimal compared to most ancient works. Caesar
composed his history of the Gallic Wars between 58-50 B.C. and its
manuscript authority rests on 9-10 copies dating a almost 1000 years after
his death! The first complete copy of the Odyssey by Homer dates 2,200
years after it was written. When the interval between the writing of the
New Testament and earliest copies is compared to other ancient works, the
New Testament proves to be much closer to the time of the original. In short, there are more
than 18,000 copies of New Testament manuscripts in existence today
which far out distances otherwise accepted works such as The Iliad which has 643 MSS, the second largest
number of ancient manuscripts..
F. F. Bruce
"The evidence for our New Testament
writings is ever so much greater than the evidence for many writings of
classical authors, the authenticity of which no one dreams of
questioning....And if the New Testament were a collection of secular
writings, their authenticity would generally be regarded as beyond all
doubt” (The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable?)
Sir Frederic Kenyon, director and principal librarian at the
British Museum and second to none in authority for issuing statements
about manuscripts, concludes
The interval then between the dates of
original composition and the earliest extant evidence becomes so small as
to be in fact negligible, and the last foundation for any doubt that the
Scriptures have come down to us substantially as they were written has
now been removed. Both the authenticity and the general integrity of the
books of the New Testament may be regarded as finally established.
In summary, the
bibliographical test assures us that the NT has more manuscript authority
than any piece of literature from antiquity, which leaves little doubt
that the NT is an authentic piece of literature.
INTERNAL EVIDENCE TEST
John W. Montgomery explains this "test" writing that...:
"One must listen to the claims of the
document under analysis, and not assume fraud or error unless the author
disqualified himself by contradictions or known factual inaccuracies."
The ability of the writer or the witness to tell the truth is helpful to
the historian to determine credibility. This in turn is closely related to
the witness's nearness both geographically and chronologically to the
events recorded. The New Testament accounts of the life and teaching of
Jesus were recorded by men who had been either eyewitnesses themselves or
who related the accounts of eyewitnesses of the actual events or
teachings of Jesus.
Inasmuch as many have undertaken to
compile an account of the things accomplished among us, just as those who
from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word have handed
them down to us, it seemed fitting for me as well, having
investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write it out for
you in consecutive order, most excellent Theophilus; (Luke 1:1-3)
The apostle Peter
"we did not follow cleverly devised
tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus
Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty." (2 Peter 1:16)
apostle John testifies that...
What was from the beginning what
we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we beheld and our
hands handled, concerning the Word of Life (he is writing of Jesus
Christ)--and the life was manifested, and we have seen and bear witness
and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was
manifested to us-- what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also,
that you also may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is
with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things we write,
so that our joy may be made complete. And this is the message we have
heard from Him and announce to you, that God is light, and in Him there is
no darkness at all.
One still might
argue that the above eyewitness were relating their own fabrication and
not the truth.
As Josh McDowell
goes on to explain...
The New Testament accounts of Jesus
began to be circulated within the lifetimes of those alive at the time of
his life. These people could certainly confirm or deny the accuracy of the
accounts. In advocating their case for the gospel, the apostles had
appealed (even when confronting their most severe opponents) to common
knowledge concerning Jesus. They not only said, "Look, we saw this"; or,
"We heard that"; but in addition they turned the tables around and right
in front of adverse critics said, "You also know about these things...You
saw them; you yourselves know about it." One had better be careful when he
says to his opposition, "You know this also," because if he isn't right in
the details, it will be shoved right back down his throat." (McDowell, J:
Evidence that Demands a
F. F. Bruce
"it was not only friendly eyewitnesses
that the early preachers had to reckon with; there were others less well
disposed who were also conversant with the main facts of the ministry and
death of Jesus. The disciples could not afford to risk inaccuracies (not
to speak of willful manipulation of the facts), which would at once be
exposed by those who would be only too glad to do so. On the contrary, one
of the strong points in the original apostolic preaching is the confident
appeal to the knowledge of the hearers; they not only said, "We are
witnesses of these things"; but also, "As you yourselves know" (Acts
2:22). Had there been any tendency to depart from the facts in any
material respect, the possible presence of hostile witnesses in the
audience would have served as a further corrective."
well known historian writes the following regarding the authenticity of
the New Testament:
Despite the prejudices and theological
preconceptions of the evangelists, they record many incidents that mere
inventors would have concealed-the competition of the apostles for high
places in the Kingdom, their flight after Jesus' arrest, Peter's denial,
the failure of Christ to work miracles in Galilee, the references of some
auditors to his possible insanity, his early uncertainty as to his
mission, his confessions of ignorance as to the future, his moments of
bitterness, his despairing cry on the cross; no one reading these scenes
can doubt the reality of the figure behind them. That a few simple men
should in one generation have invented so powerful and appealing a
personality, so lofty an ethic, and so inspiring a vision of human
brotherhood, would be a miracle far more incredible that any recorded in
the gospels. After two centuries of higher criticism the outlines of the
life, character, and teaching of Christ remain reasonably clear, and
constitute the most fascinating feature in the history of Western man.
EXTERNAL EVIDENCE TEST
The external evidence test looks at other available contemporaneous
historical writings to either support or deny the truth and reliability of
the documents being scrutinized.
As an example, Papias, bishop of Hierapolis (AD 130), a contemporary of
the apostle John, explained the source of the Gospel of Mark as follows...
The Elder [apostle John] used to say
this also: "Mark, having been the interpreter of Peter, wrote down
accurately all that he [Peter] mentioned, whether sayings or doings of
Christ, not, however, in order. For he was neither a hearer nor a
companion of the Lord; but afterwards, as I said, he accompanied Peter,
who adapted his teachings as necessity required, not as though he were
making a compilation of the saying of the Lord. So then Mark made no
mistake, writing down in this way some things as he mentioned them; for he
paid attention to this one thing, not to omit anything that he had heard,
not to include any false statement among them." (Quoted by the historian
attests to the accuracy of events recorded in the NT, the archaeologist
Joseph Free noting that...
"Archaeology has confirmed countless
passages which have been rejected by critics as unhistorical or
contradictory to known facts."
F. F. Bruce comments
on the detailed, very specific documentation by Dr Luke writing that...
"Where Luke has been suspected of
inaccuracy, and accuracy has been vindicated by some inscriptional
[external] evidence, it may be legitimate to say that archaeology has
confirmed the New Testament record."
A. N. Sherwin-White,
a classical historian, writes that
"for Acts the confirmation of
historicity is overwhelming"...and "any attempt to reject its basic
historicity even in matters of detail must now appear absurd. Roman
historians have long taken it for granted."
The conclusion one
will arrive at after attempting to disprove the authenticity of the NT
record of Jesus Christ is that if one is being intellectually honest, they
would have to dismiss not only the New Testament but virtually all of the
literature of the ancient world!
CHANGED LIVES - WHO WOULD DIE FOR A LIE?
"test" of the authenticity of the NT was the effect that it had on the
lives of those most closely associated with its main subject Jesus. In
short, it radically changed their lives.
comments on the "fullness of time" writing...
This point of time
marked some outstanding events in the history of the human race. First, it
was the moment which God had ordained for Messiah’s coming. To Daniel was
given the date of His coming, 483 years after the edict of the
Medo-Persian government to rebuild Jerusalem. Second, the Mosaic law had
done its educational work, showing to the world that the most
highly-favored nation on earth, the Jewish nation, was, despite all of
God’s blessings and mercy, totally depraved, giving the Gentile portion of
the race a picture of its own totally depraved heart. Third, the Mosaic
law in its three sections, the ten commandments, the laws governing social
relationships, and the Levitical system of sacrifices, was done away with
as a legal system, to be superseded by the gospel of grace centering faith
in an historic Saviour. Fourth, the Roman empire maintained world peace.
Roman roads made travel for missionaries easy. The universal use of the
Greek language made the speedy propagation of the gospel possible. The
earth-stage was all set for the greatest event in the history of the human
race, the incarnation, sacrificial death, and bodily resurrection of God
K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans
When Jesus was born,
everything was right for the coming of the Messiah.
First of all, the time
was right religiously. During the Babylonian captivity, Israel once and
for all forsook the idolatry into which she had so often fallen. Despite
their many other sins and failures, including the national rejection of
their own Messiah, no significant number of Jews has ever again turned to
Also during the Exile, Jews developed synagogues, which they used as
places of worship, as schools, anti as courts. In addition to that, they
at last had the completed Old Testament, assembled by Ezra and others
after the return from Babylon. Those features facilitated the proclaiming
of the Messiah’s gospel among the people of Israel.
Second, the time was right culturally. Christians who propagated the
gospel during the first several centuries had a common language with those
to whom they witnessed and with whom they worshiped. Alexander the Great
had thoroughly established Greek culture and language throughout the known
world, and these continued their dominating influence long after Rome
succeeded Greece as world ruler.
Third, the time was right politically. Rome had instituted the pax Romana
(Roman peace), which provided economic and political stability. The
apostles and other early preachers and teachers could travel freely and
safely throughout the empire and could do so on the magnificent system of
roads built by the Romans.
Each of those factors was in some unique way a key to the spread of the
gospel. God’s timing was perfect.
J. Galatians. Chicago: Moody Press
This verse looks
forward to the birth of the One who was to be Ruler in Israel, whose
goings forth are from of old, from everlasting. This latter description points to the
Messiah’s eternity, and therefore to His deity. Note that there were two Bethlehems,
thus Micah is very specific that this is Bethlehem Ephrathah, six
miles south of Jerusalem.
W E Vine comments that...
“behold, a [Heb., the] virgin shall
conceive, and bear a son [the present tenses in the Hebrew vividly convey
the future event in its certainty, as if it were already accomplished],
and shall call His Name Immanuel” (Is 7:14). “Behold,” in
Isaiah, always introduces something relating to future circumstances. The
choice of the word almah is significant, as distinct from
bethulah (a maiden living with her parents and whose marriage was not
impending); it denotes one who is mature and ready for marriage. The
various conditions relating to the prophecy are such that the only
possible fulfillment is that recorded in Matthew 1:22, 23 and Luke
1:31, 32, 33, 34, 35.
W. Collected writings of W. E. Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson
Note that the Septuagint (Greek
translation of the Hebrew OT) used the word parthenos which means a
virgin to translate the Hebrew word 'almah in Isaiah 7:14 which
further supports that the intent of that the 'almah in Isaiah 7:14
specifically was a reference to a virgin.
Mary had been
promised in marriage to Joseph, but the wedding had not yet taken place.
In NT times, betrothal was a form of engagement and in fact a Jewish
betrothal was as binding (probably considering the culture and times even
more binding!) as our modern marriage. In fact a betrothed girl was a
widow if her fiancé died. Normally a one-year period of waiting followed
the betrothal before the consummation of the marriage. During that year
the couple could only break their engagement with a divorce. Although an
engaged couple did not live together until the marriage ceremony,
unfaithfulness on the part of the betrothed was treated as adultery and
punishable by death by stoning. During the time of her betrothal, the
Virgin Mary became pregnant by a miracle of the Holy Spirit.
Greek verb "come together" (sunerchomai) in this context
is a euphemism for sexual relations. In some languages one may use
such expressions as ‘before they were joined’ or ‘before they slept
together’ or ‘before they discovered one another.’
J. P., & Nida, E. A. Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on
Semantic Domains. United Bible societies)
Like some other Old Testament prophecies this one (Zech. 9:9-10) blends
two events into one perspective—events that the New Testament divides into
two distinct advents of Christ separated by the present Church Age (cf.
Isa. 9:6, 7; 61:1, 2; Luke 4:18, 19, 20, 21). In His First Advent He rode
on a donkey and presented Himself to the nation Israel but they rejected
Him as their King. So His universal rule (Zech. 9:10) will be established
when He comes again.
J. F., Zuck, R. B., et al: The Bible Knowledge Commentary. 1985. Victor
This dual fulfillment of Zechariah
9:9 at Messiah's first advent and Zechariah 9:10 which will be fulfilled
at His Second Coming resulted in some pre-Christian sects of
Judaism, including the Qumran community, expecting two Messiahs.
J Vernon McGee has a helpful
note on what might at first seem to be a confusing point...
This is a very remarkable prophecy that
has been literally fulfilled in a most remarkable way. Notice Matthew’s
record: “Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the
chief priests, And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will
deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of
silver” (Matt. 26:14, 15). This is exactly the price that Zechariah
mentions. It is quite interesting that the chief priests didn’t want to
pay very much. I wonder if Judas had a little difficulty agreeing on the
price—“So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver.”
Over in Matthew
27:9, 10, we find something else that is quite interesting: “Then was
fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they
took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom
they of the children of Israel did value; And gave them for the potter’s
field, as the Lord appointed me.” You will find this prophecy alluded to
in Jeremiah 18:1, 2, 3, 4 and evidently quoted from Zechariah 11:12, 13.
It is credited to Jeremiah simply because in Jesus’ day Jeremiah was the
first of the books of the prophets, and that section was identified by the
name of the first book.
J V: Thru the Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson
(Or listen to him on Mp3 -
Zechariah 11:12-14 Commentary)
- all 94 Mp3 Tracks)
THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS
Personally, I have
had a difficult time understanding the meaning of the term "canon of Scripture"
and for that reason have included material from several resources with the
objective of helping all believers have a firm grasp on the meaning of
this term. Obviously there is some reiteration but hopefully that will
enhance and not detract from your understanding.
Dictionary defines the canon of the Bible as...
"Those books in the Jewish and
Christian Bible considered to be Scripture and therefore authoritative in
matters of faith and doctrine. The term translates both a Greek and a
Hebrew word that mean “a rule,” or “measuring rod.”
It is a list to which other books are compared and by which they are
measured. After the fourth century ad, the Christian church found
itself with only 66 books that constituted its Scripture; 27 of these were
the NT and 39 were the OT. Just as Plato, Aristotle, and Homer form a
canon of Greek literature, so the NT books became the canon of
Christian literature. The criteria for selecting the books in the
Jewish canon (the OT) are not known but clearly had to do with their
worth in the ongoing life and religion of the worshiping nation. The
criteria of the selection of NT books revolved around their
“apostolicity,” according to early church writers (also see guiding
principles below). Like those of the OT, these books were collected and
preserved by local churches in the continuing process of their worship and
need for authoritative guidance for Christian living. The formation of the
canon was a process, rather than an event, that took several hundred years
to reach finality in all parts of the Roman Empire. Local canons were the
basis for comparison, and out of them eventually emerged the general canon
that exists in Christendom today, although some of the Eastern churches
have a NT that is slightly smaller than that accepted in the West.
Judaism, as well as Christianity as a whole, believes that the Spirit of
God was operative in some providential way in the production and
preservation of his Word. (Elwell, W. A., & Comfort, P. W. Tyndale Bible
dictionary. Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House Publishers)
from the root word "reed" (English word "cane"; Hebrew form ganeh
and Greek Kanon). The "reed" was used as a measuring rod and
eventually meant "standard." The word "canon" applied to Scripture means
an officially accepted list of books. Note that the church did not
create the canon or books included in what we call Scripture. Instead,
the church recognized the books that were inspired from their
inception. They were inspired by God when written. We don't know exactly
what criteria the early church used to choose the canonical books. To
reiterate, canon refers to the collection of writings accepted as
inspired and therefore authoritative.
has a nice summary explanation of canon writing that the...
word “canon” may need some
definition and explaining. Mention the canon of Scripture in a group of
believers and you often get puzzled looks. They know God’s Word is called
a two-edged sword (see Heb. 4:12) but they can’t seem to recall the
passage that compares it to firearms. (Some people may be wondering if
God’s “canon” is a 12-inch or a 16-inch model.) Actually, the word “canon”
is a metaphor, a play on words. It comes from the Greek word kanon,
meaning “a rod or bar,” “a measuring rule, standard, or limit.”
This Greek term kanon originally came from a root word that meant
“a reed.” In Bible times a reed was used as a Hebrew unit of
measure. So, the word came to mean, in a metaphorical sense, a
measuring rod, or standard. The term was used in many ways: in
grammar, as a rule of procedure; in chronology, as a table of dates; in
literature, as a list of books or works that would correctly be attributed
to a given author. Eventually, the term canon was used to refer to
the completed list of books given to man by God. Athanasius, bishop
of Alexandria, referred to the completed New Testament in a.d. 350 as the
canon. In other words, he labeled the collection of 27 books used in the
New Testament churches as the final part of God’s revelation, which had
started with the Old Testament books. Although some of the books in the
New Testament canon were challenged, the final choice of Athanasius and
other early church fathers held up. Today, when we use the term “canon
of Scripture” we are actually saying the Bible is complete. God has
given us His revelation. The Bible is our standard—efficient,
sufficient, infallible, inerrant, and authoritative. As God’s standard, it
is binding and determinative in evaluating any other writing, concept, or
Two basic tests were used to determine
whether a book belonged in the Old Testament canon:
(1) Was it inspired by
God, written by a prophet or someone with the gift of prophecy?
(2) Was it
accepted, preserved, and read by God’s people, the Israelites?...
tradition holds that the final compilers of the Old Testament canon were
part of the Great Synagogue, that school of scribes founded by Ezra after
the Jews returned from captivity in Babylon. Interestingly enough there
were many attempts to add to the Scriptures back then, just as there are
today. Efforts were made to add some fourteen non-canonical books to the
Old Testament. This collection, called the Apocrypha... The apocryphal
books were not allowed into the Old Testament canon by the
Jews, however, because:
(1) They were written long after the
canon was completed, about 400 b.c., and lacked the prophetic quality to
stamp them as inspired Scripture.
(2) None of the apocryphal writers
claim divine inspiration, and some openly disclaim it.
(3) Apocryphal books contain errors of
fact and teach questionable ethics and doctrines. For example, apocryphal
writings justify suicide and assassination and also teach praying for the
Interestingly enough, the Roman
Catholic Church accepted the apocryphal books, and they were included as
part of the Roman Catholic versions of the Bible.
Tests used by the early Christian
church to determine New Testament Scripture were somewhat the same as
those used for the Old Testament books.
(1) Was the book authored by an apostle or someone closely associated with
an apostle? Again, the key question was the book’s inspiration. And to be
inspired it had to be written by an apostle, someone who had walked and
talked with the Lord or someone who had been a close companion of an
apostle. For example, Mark was not an apostle, but he was a close
associate of Peter. Luke, the only Gentile writer of the New Testament,
was not an apostle but he worked closely with Paul who was an apostle
through his special experience on the Damascus Road.
(2) Another test applied by the early
church was content. Did the writing square with apostolic doctrine? In
those early years of the church, heretics such as the Gnostics would try
to slip in a phony book, but none ever made it. If it didn’t square with
apostolic doctrine, it didn’t pass. The doctrinal aberrations were too
easy to spot.
(3) A third test asked if the book was
read and used in the churches. Did the people of God accept it, read it
during worship, and make its teachings part of daily living?
(4) And the final test determined
whether the book was recognized and used by the next generations after the
early church, especially by the apostolic fathers.... It is important to
note, however, that the church leaders did not force certain books on the
church. No one man or group of men made a certain book canonical. God
determined the canon; man discovered it through long and steady usage. The
canon finally emerged through the combined conviction of church leaders
and church members working in harmony and guided by the Holy Spirit. As
with the Old Testament, a formidable group of apocryphal New Testament
books also sprang up... But all these failed to make the final New
Testament canon because they failed one or more of the key tests of
The canonical determination and
collection of genuine and inspired books continued slowly and gradually.
No church council ever decreed an “official” New Testament canon, but
several councils did recognize the consensus of the people and the
existence of canonical books. By the end of the fourth century the
collection was complete. The canon was closed.
The writers of Scripture spoke with
special conviction and authority that could come only from God. They did
not use phrases like, “I think I am right” or “You probably won’t agree
with me, but …” Instead they said again and again in different ways: “Thus
says the Lord” and “God has put His words in my mouth.” They did not guess
their writings were inspired; they knew it.
The “canon of Scripture” is a term all
Christians should know and understand better. It includes the sixty-six
books that have been determined to be the infallible rule of faith and
practice for the church for all time....
To allow anyone, or everyone, to claim
to speak revelation from God is to pay too high a price. Christ has put
His own stamp of authority on Scripture. The church has discovered the
canon of God’s Word under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. To abandon, or
even downplay in the slightest way, the uniqueness of Scripture as the
only truly inspired Word of God is to invite a spiritual free-for-all.
(MacArthur, J., F. How to get the most from God's word Dallas, TX:
Dictionary writes that
The Old Testament Canon is
witnessed to by the New Testament writers. Their evidence is conclusive.
The quotations in the New from the Old are very numerous, and the
references are much more numerous. These quotations and references by our
Lord and the apostles most clearly imply the existence at that time of a
well-known and publicly acknowledged collection of Hebrew writings under
the designation of "The Scriptures;" "The Law and the Prophets and the
Psalms;" "Moses and the Prophets," etc. The appeals to these books,
moreover, show that they were regarded as of divine authority,
finally deciding all questions of which they treat; and that the
whole collection so recognized consisted only of the thirty-nine books
which we now posses. Thus they endorse as genuine and authentic the
canon of the Jewish Scriptures. The Septuagint Version (q.v.) also
contained every book we now have in the Old Testament Scriptures. As to
the time at which the Old Testament canon was closed, there are many
considerations which point to that of Ezra and Nehemiah, immediately after
the return from Babylonian exile. (Bolding added)
Dictionary adds that the "Canon of Scripture"...
may be generally described as the
"collection of books which form the original and authoritative written
rule of the faith and practice of the Christian Church," i.e. the Old and
New Testaments. The word canon , in classical Greek, is properly a
straight rod , "a rule" in the widest sense, and especially
in the phrases "the rule of the Church," "the rule of faith," "the rule of
truth," The first direct application of the term canon to the
Scriptures seems to be in the verses of Amphilochius (cir. 380 A.D.),
where the word indicates the rule by which the contents of the
Bible must be determined, and thus secondarily an index of the
constituent books. The uncanonical books were described simply as
"those without" or "those uncanonized." The canonical books were also
called "books of the testament," and Jerome styled the whole collection by
the striking name of "the holy library," which happily expresses the unity
and variety of the Bible.
After the Maccabean persecution the
history of the formation of the Canon is merged in the history of its
contents. The Old Testament appears from that time as a whole. The
complete Canon of the New Testament, as commonly received at present, was
ratified at the third Council of Carthage (A.D. 397), and from that time
was accepted throughout the Latin Church.... The books of Scripture were
not made canonical by act of any council, but the council gave its
sanction to the results of long and careful investigations as to what
books were really of divine authority and expressed the
universally-accepted decisions of the church. The Old Testament Canon is
ratified by the fact that the present Old Testament books were those
accepted in the time of Christ and endorsed by Him, and that of 275
quotations of the Old Testament in the New, no book out of the Canon is
quoted from except perhaps the word of Enoch in Jude.
To reiterate, canonicity is
determined by God. It is not the antiquity, authenticity, or religious
community that makes a book canonical or authoritative. A book is
valuable because it is canonical, and not canonical because
it is or was considered valuable. Its authority is established by God and
merely discovered by God’s people.
basis of recognition of a book as part of the NT Canon was (a) apostolic authorship or authentication,
(b) Christ-honoring doctrinal content, in line with the known teaching of
other apostles, and (c) continuous acknowledgment and spiritually fruitful use of the books
within the church from the apostolic age on. It is interesting that Martin
Luther used criteria (b) to reject James because he felt James
contradicted Paul, which they clearly do not do when one compares their
messages. On the other hand the Catholic and Orthodox branches use (c) as
warrant for canonizing the apocryphal books.
Isaiah 46:10 Devotional Comment by C H
Spurgeon - In the Face of the Future
World events are not tangled, confused,
or perplexing to God. “I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the
end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet
done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure’ ”
(Is. 46:9-10). Jehovah’s power is apparent, from the least to the
greatest, for God is in all and rules all. He guides the grain of dust in
the March wind and the planets in their immeasurable pathways. He steers
each drop of spray beaten back from the face of the rock. He leads the
north star (Jer. 31:35). God is the dictator of destinies. He appoints
both the ideas and the end. He is the King of kings (Rev. 19:16), ruling
rulers and guiding counselors. He is the same in the crash of battle or in
the hush of peace. He is the same in famine or in the joy of an abundant
harvest. He is Lord. He does according to His will, not only in heaven but
among the inhabitants of this lower world. The storm may rage, but all is
well, for our Captain is the governor of storms. He who trod the waves of
the Galilean lake is at the helm, and at His command winds and waves are
quiet (Matt. 14:27).
Courage, dear friend. The Lord, the ever-merciful, has appointed every
moment of sorrow and every pang of suffering. If He ordains the number
ten, it can never rise to eleven, nor should you desire that it shrink to
nine. The Lord’s time is best. The span of your life is measured to a
hair’s width. Restless soul, God ordains all, so let the Lord have His
way. (Spurgeon, C., & Clarke, R. H. Beside still waters: Words of Comfort
for the Soul. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers)
for free. It is an easy to install and simple to use
Bible Verse pop up tool that allows you to read cross references
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the Version you prefer. Only the KJV is free with this
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including the excellent, literal translation, the English Standard
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can be disabled if the popups become distractive. This
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