Why do we believe the Bible?


Satan has always sought to discount and distract from God’s truth

Before the beginning, Satan sought to convince created beings to follow him instead of God.

In the beginning, Satan continued to convince created beings to follow him instead of God.

Did God really say?

God will not really …

God is holding out on you

Since the beginning, Satan has personally sought to convince men to follow him instead of God. (I.e. Judas)

Since the beginning, Satan has often used his children in the world to advance his cause …

Paganism has tried and failed to silence the Bible.

The most hated book:  In the 4th century, the emperor Diocletian issued an edict to stop Christians from worshipping Christ, and he ordered their Scriptures destroyed by fire.

Humanism has tried and failed to silence the Bible.

In the 18th century, the philosopher Voltaire said that in less than 100 years, Christianity would be swept from existence and passed into history.  Ironically, only 50 years after his death, the Geneva Bible Society used his press and house to produce stacks of Bibles.   Now it is being attacked by Liberalism, and some in the fields of science, history, and archeology.

Communism has tried and failed to outlaw the Bible.

In an equally ironic twist of history, Pravda, the publisher which produced the Soviet Union’s official newspaper, is now printing Bibles.  (Reasonable Faith, Dr. Jay L. Wile, 49)

Higher Education has tried and failed to neuter the Bible.

The Bible is just one of many religious manuals.

The Bible is an inspiring story.

The Bible contains some moral truth and much religious myth or urban legend.

The Bible is historically inaccurate.

The Bible is scientifically inaccurate.

The Bible is socially and culturally obsolete.

The Bible is full of contradictions.

The Bible is a man-devised document compiled to control civilization.     (I.e. Da Vinci Code)

Competing Claims


Book of Mormon

Writings of Baha U’ Allah

Sinful hearts have always been enticed and tempted to discount and distract

We have a faith that doubts – a faltering faith like Peter when he exited the boat to walk on water

We have a flesh that rebels – we still do not always love God’s instruction as we ought

We have a flesh that loves the applause of men and will do anything not to look “foolish” in the eyes of peers

Some possible responses

Fideism … I feel, I just believe, I just know, I just have faith.

Agnostic … Who can know, I give up … Who wants to be educated?  Given the uniqueness of the Bible in its composition, popularity, survivability, influence and central character, any person wishing to learn about the nature of God and the purpose of life should at least investigate this source of information.  Any person who wishes to consider himself or herself educated, should at least read the one book that has drawn more attention, favorable and unfavorable, than any other.

Presuppositionalist … Nothing else makes sense.  I cannot do otherwise.

Classical apologist says … I have found this to be the truth due to the undeniable evidence surrounding the Word of God.

God’s Word is authoritative regardless of whether or not man believes it to be so.

God’s Word is authoritative regardless of whether or not he attaches corresponding proofs and evidences.

However, the God who gives his authoritative Word has a history of giving corresponding evidences to verify his Word.

Deuteronomy 18:21-22     You may say to yourselves, “How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the Lord?”  If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him.

Jeremiah 28:9     But the prophet who prophesies peace will be recognized as one truly sent by the LORD only if his prediction comes true.”

Isaiah 46:9-10     Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me.  I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.

Isaiah 48:3,5     I foretold the former things long ago, my mouth announced them and I made them known; then suddenly I acted, and they came to pass … Therefore I told you these things long ago; before they happened I announced them to you so that you could not say, ‘My idols did them; my wooden image and metal god ordained them.’

Luke 4:15-21     He taught in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.  He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read.   The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:   “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”  Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

Luke 24:25-27     He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken!  Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?”  And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

Luke 24:44     He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”

John 5:39-47     You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life … If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me.   But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?”

Sign gifts proved the true apostle and prophet in the New Testament.

So, what are the proofs and evidences that God has given to men regarding the Scriptures?

Evidence #1     The Fulfilled Prophecies

There are 2000 predictive prophecies in the Bible.  Here are some examples:

The Fall of Jerusalem

The OT makes several prophecies regarding the fall of Jerusalem.

In 586 BC … Temple was destroyed

The Return of Jerusalem

The OT makes several prophecies that Israel would return to the land as a nation.[1]

The OT records the fulfillment of these prophecies in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah.

The Decree of Cyrus and Rebuilding of Jerusalem

Isaiah was written in 700 BC.

Isaiah prophesied that Cyrus would be the foreign king who would decree the rebuilding of Jerusalem and her Temple.[2]

In 559 BC … Cyrus reigned

In 538 BC  … Temple was rebuilt

The Fall of Tyre

Ezekiel prophecied that Tyre would be destroyed but that Sidon would remain; he did so around 590 BC.[3]

Ezekiel prophecies that many nations will invade Tyre.

Ezekiel prophecied that the city would be leveled to a flat rock and fishermen would dry their nets on the rock.

Ezekiel prophecied that the rubble of the city would be thrown into the sea, and Tyre would never be rebuilt.

Ezekiel prophecied regarding Tyre’s destruction while it was one of the most profitable and flourishing cities in Phoenecia.

In 585 BC … Nebuchadnezzar broke into the city.

In 332 BC … Alexander the Great builds a sea-bridge out of the rubble of Tyre.

The Fall of Babylon

Jeremiah and Isaiah predicted the fall of Babylon, the great city and world power; this was made around 740 BC.[4]

Jeremiah also prophesied how the wall would be completely broken down, never to be rebuilt again.[5]  (Jer. 51:58)

In 361 AD … Walls of Babylon were completely decimated.

“God threw down the gauntlet to all unbelievers.  Do you want to disprove the Scriptures?  It is very easy!  Simply rebuild Babylon!  God said it shall never be inhabited, it shall never be rebuilt, but it would always remain a desolation.  There was a man who set out to rebuild it.  His name was Alexander the Great…. He issued six hundred thousand rations to his soldiers to rebuild the city of Babylon.  Alexander the Great, the rule of the world, said, “Rebuild Babylon!” and God struck him dead!  He was immediately taken with a fever, and within a few days he was dead.”  (Kennedy, EE)

Do you know who else has tried to start rebuilding the walls of Babylon?  Saddam Hussein

The Fall of Nineveh.

Nahum prophesied regarding the fall of Nineveh around 650 BC.[6]

Nineveh was destroyed in 612 BC.

The Messiah

The OT makes 300 prophecies regarding the coming Messiah – Jesus Christ.

Messiah who would do battle with Satan[7]

Messiah who would be strangely born, “seed of the woman”[8]

Messiah who would be of Abraham’s lineage[9]

Messiah who would be a special son sacrificed by his father.

Messiah who would be of Judah’s tribe[10]

Messiah who would be a Passover Lamb securing salvation from bondage for his people

Messiah who would be a special prophet

Messiah’s being born of a virgin[11]

Messiah’s Davidic lineage[12]

Messiah will come exactly 483 years after the order to rebuild the Temple[13]

Messiah’s being born in Bethlehem; this was recorded 700 years before the coming of Jesus Christ[14]

Messiah born and causing trouble in Ramah[15]

Messiah’s escape to Egypt[16]

Messiah’s arrival in Jerusalem on the foal of a donkey[17]

Messiah’s being sold for thirty pieces of silver[18]

Messiah’s hands and feet pierced[19]

Messiah’s side pierced[20]

Messiah’s gall and vinegar to drink[21]

Messiah’s clothing distributed by lots[22]

Messiah’s resurrection[23]

Messiah’s crucifixion and atonement

Isaiah 52:13–53:12     Behold, my servant shall act wisely; he shall be high and lifted up, and shall be exalted. As many were astonished at you— his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind— so shall he sprinkle many nations; kings shall shut their mouths because of him; for that which has not been told them they see, and that which they have not heard they understand. Who has believed what he has heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.

Many religious scriptures claim divine inspiration, but none of them contain such examples of predictive prophecy.

In all the writings of Buddha, Confucius, and Lao-tse, you will not find one single example of a predicted prophecy.  In the Koran there is one instance of a specific prophecy – a self-fulfilling prophecy that he, Muhammad himself, would return to Mecca.  Quite different from the prophecy of Jesus who said that He would return from the grave.[24]   One statistician, Peter Stoner, has calculated that the probability of five major prophecies which have been fulfilled coming to pass by chance would be one in two quintillion.  This would be equal to filling the state of Texas 35 feet deep in silver dollars and then choosing one coin in the midst of this stack.

Evidence #2     The Unity of Message

The Scriptures contain sixty-six different books

The Scriptures contain the writings of at least forty authors

The Scriptures contain the writings from authors of different backgrounds and castes

Kings                     (David, Solomon)

Fishermen             (Peter)

Scholars                (Paul)

Politicians              (Daniel)

Outlaws                 (Moses)

Generals                (Joshua)

Prisoners               (Paul, Jeremiah)

Doctors                 (Luke)

Tax Collectors        (Matthew)

The Scriptures contain the writings from three continents:




The Scriptures contain the writings from three languages:




The Scriptures contain the writings from different atmospheres:

War                       (David)

Peace                    (Solomon)

Captivity                (Paul)






The Scripture contain the writings from fifteen centuries but contain one consistent story:

God’s redemption of man

Paradise lost, paradise found

Jesus Christ – the promised seed

One cannot take the books of one author, Stephen King, and put them together to find a unified and coherent story.

One cannot take the books of all the authors on the best-seller list this year and find a unified and coherent story.

One certainly cannot take the books of the authors of the last 1500 years and do so, but consider the Scriptures.

You can read the 66 books of Scripture and see one story, one theme, from beginning to end.

Evidence #3     The Validity of the Testimony

How does one assess the validity of any ancient writing?

Were the accounts written by credible eye-witnesses to other attesting eye-witnesses?

Excluding the book of Genesis, all books of the Bible were written by eye-witnesses.

Old Testament prophets who fabricated stories were executed.

Most of the books of the Bible were written by eye-witnesses who were presenting a counter-cultural or dangerous message.

Most of the books of the Bible were written by eye-witnesses who suffered or died for their positions.

Why would the authors of the Bible present their own failings and the failings of their leaders?

Example: Abraham – fearful, adulterer

Example: Isaac – disobedient

Example: Jacob  — liar

Example Judah – adulterer

Example: Moses – insecure, reluctant, murderer

Example: David – adulterer, murderer

Example: Israel – unfaithful, idolaters

Example: Mankind – deprave

There is a beautiful correspondence between the various prophets.

They use precise numbers.  (John 21)

They use precise names.

They use precise locations.

Evidence #4     The Faithful Transmission of the Original Text

Presupposition – The Bible should be analyzed as any other book of antiquity.

Great weight should be given to earlier manuscripts over older manuscripts.

Great weight should be given to abundant manuscripts over scant manuscripts.

Great weight should be given to dispersed manuscripts over localized manuscripts.

Dating of Manuscripts

Archeologists have unearthed the Dead Sea Scrolls (125 BC) which had almost perfect copy of Isaiah (750 BC).

Archeologists have determined that the earliest handwritten manuscripts come are from 120 AD.

Archeologists have determined that many of the early handwritten manuscripts are from 150-200 AD.

Archeologists have complete handwritten manuscripts are from 325-250 AD.

Archeology has not only encouraged us in our view of the divinity of the Scripture, but it has greatly aided us in our view of the purity of our Scripture.  (I.e. Dead Sea Scrolls, transmission)

Number of Manuscripts

Archeologists have a collection of over 5,500 handwritten ancient manuscripts in the original Greek.

Archeologists have a collection of over 18,000 handwritten ancient manuscripts translated into other languages.

By 200 AD, the Bible was translated into seven languages; by 500 AD, 13 languages … [25]

Archeologists have catalogues more than 86,000 citations by the ancient church fathers and historians before 325 AD.

Archeologists could put the entire Bible together by merely citing early commentaries and letters.

Diversity of Manuscripts

Ancient Acceptance

Comparison to other works of antiquity

Book Original Date Earliest Copy Number of Copies
Homer’s Iliad 800 BC 400 BC 643
Herodotus’ History 450 BC 900 AD 8
Thucydides’ History 450 BC 900 AD 8
Plato’s works 400 BC 900 AD 8
Demosthenes 300 BC 1100 AD 200
Caesar’s Gallic Wars 55 BC 900 AD 10
Livy’s History of Rome 59 BC – 17 AD 300 AD 10
Tacitus’ Annals 100 AD 1100 AD 20
Secundus’ Natural History 100 AD 850 AD 7
New Testament 75 AD Fragments in 114 AD

Books at 200 AD

Most of the NT at 250 AD

5656 Greek

10,000 + Latin Vulgate (400 AD)

We have 100 percent of Scripture in the 5366 ancient copies

We have 99% agreement of Scripture in the 5366 ancient copies

No one questions the authenticity of the historical books of antiquity because we do not possess the original copies.  Yet we have far fewer manuscripts of these works than we possess of the NT.  (Edward Glenny)

Since Scholars accept as generally trustworthy the writings of the ancient classics even though the earliest manuscripts were written so long after the original writings and the number of extant manuscripts is in many instances so small, it is clear that the reliability of the text of the NT is likewise assured.  (Greenlee)

If one applies the same standards to the Bible that one applies to any other work of antiquity, the Bible stand tall.

If you can believe any old-world book, then you can believe the Bible.

Evidence #5     The Agreement of Archeology and History

It has been a common practice of many skeptics to doubt certain people, places and events recorded in Scripture.

Sodom and Gomorrah

Sodom and Gomorrah were for many years considered mythological.  There are now digs going on in the region of Elba where they have uncovered 15,000 tablets, and on some of these, the neames of Sodom and Gomorrah are mentioned.[26]


For example, in Daniel, chapter five, the Bible mentions a man by the name of Belshazzar as being ruler of Babylon. Historians denied that a man by that name was ever ruler of Babylon, and claimed that Daniel had made a mistake. However, in 1852, archaeologists found an inscription in a cornerstone of a temple which read, “May I, Nabonidas, King of Babylon, not sin against thee.  And my reverence for thee dwell in the heart of Belshazzar, my first-born favorite son.”[27]

Egyptian Camels

Historians once mocked the account in Genesis 12:6 of Abraham taking camels down to Egypt.  They said that there were no camels in Egypt during this time.  But in another archaeological dig, they found a camel skull – dated about 2000 BC, and they also found a piece of pottery with a picture of a camel on it – which they dated about 3000 BC.[28]


Historians used to mock the Bible for mentioning the Hittites.  Modern archeology has now discovered their existence over a 1200 year span.

History may be proven by historians: Tacitus, Josephus, Thallus, Phlegon

It has never been the case that an archeological discovery has disproved a historical point made in the Scripture.

So far, the findings of archeology have verified, and in no case disputed, historical points of the biblical record.[29]

Further Study


The Stones and the Scriptures, written by Edwin Yamauchi

Evidence #6     The Impossibility of the Contrary  (Presuppositionalism)

The rationality of Scripture

The Bible is coherent … only the Bible has an internally consistent worldview void of contradictions.

Everyone, believer or unbeliever, thinks according to a Christian rules, whether he knows it or not – whether he admits it or not.  He simply has no choice.  He has been created to do.

Evidence #7     The Case from Christ

Premise A – The Bible is a basically reliable and trustworthy historical document.

Premise B – The Bible historically presents the life, teachings, death, burial and resurrection accounts of Jesus Christ.

Christ is either Lord, Liar or Lunatic.

Christ is missing.

Christ rose from the grave showing himself to be divine.

Premise C – On the basis of this reliable historical document we have evidence to believe confidently Jesus Christ is divine.

Premise D – Jesus Christ, the divine Son of God, is an infallible authority who endorsed the OT.

Jesus and his disciples preached from the Torah

Creation of the universe                        (Gen. 1)             John 1:3;          Col.1:16

Creation of Adam and Eve                     (Gen. 1-2)         1 Tim. 2:13-14

Marriage of Adam and Eve                    (Gen. 1-2)         1 Tim. 2:13

Temptation of the woman                     (Gen. 3)             1 Tim. 2:14

Disobedience and sin of Adam             (Gen. 3)             Rom.5:12;         1 Cor. l5:22

Sacrifices of Abel and Cain                    (Ger. 4)             Heb.11:4

Murder of Abel by Cain                         (Gen. 4)             1 John 3:12

Birth of Seth                                          (Gen. 4)             Luke 3:38

Translation of Enoch                              (Gen. 5)             Heb.11:5

Marriage before the flood                      (Gen. 6)             Luke 17:27

The flood and destruction of man          (Gen. 7)             Matt.24:39

Preservation of Noah and family            (Gen. 8-9)         2 Pet. 2:5

Genealogy of Shem                               (Gen. 10)          Luke 3:35-36

Birth of Abraham                                   (Gen. 11)          Luke 3:34

Call of Abraham                                    (Gen.12-13)       Heb.11:8

Tithes to Melchizedek                            (Gen. 14)          Heb.7:1-3

Justification of Abraham                        (Gen. 15)          Rom.4:3

Ishmael                                                 (Gen.16)           Gal. 4:21-24

Promise of Isaac                                    (Gen. 17)          Heb. 11:18

Lot and Sodom.                                    (Gen.18-19)       Luke 17:29

Birth of Isaac                                         (Gen. 21)          Acts 7:9-10

Offering of Isaac                                   (Gen. 22)          Heb. 11:17

The burning bush                                  (Exodus 3:6)      Luke 20:32

Exodus through the Red Sea                  (Exodus 14:22)  1 Cor. 10:1-2

Provision of water and manna                (Ex.       16:4)     1 Cor. 10:3-517:6

Lifting up serpent in wilderness (Num. 21:9)       John 3:14

Jesus and his disciples preached from the Historical Books

Fall of Jericho                                       (Joshua 6:22-25)            Hebrews 11:30

Miracles of Elijah                                   (1 Kings 17:1; 18:1)        James 5:17

Jesus and his disciples preached from the Poetical Books

Jesus and his disciples preached from the Prophetic Books

Jonah in the great fish                           (Jonah 2)                      Matt. 12:40

Three Hebrew children in furnace           (Dan. 3)                         Heb. 11:34

Daniel in lion’s den                                (Dan. 6)                         Heb. 11:33

Slaying of Zechariah                              (2 Chron. 24:20-22)       Matt.    23:35

Matthew 5:18     I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.

John 10:35     If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came– and the Scripture cannot be broken.

Mark 12:26–27     And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God spoke to him, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not God of the dead, but of the living. You are quite wrong.”

Premise E – Jesus Christ, the divine Son of God, is an infallible authority who promised the NT.

John 14:26     But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

John 16:13     When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.

Evidence #8    The Subjective Transformation in My Life

The Bible answered my questions.

“The Bible answers the questions which nature raises.”  (Gerstner, Reasons)

No other book covers such diverse subjects and has such proven wisdom as the Bible.

Who am I?

Why am I here?

Where did I come from?

What is my purpose?

What is the significance of life?

Where am I going?

What is my destiny?

What should I do?

How should I live?

The truth is never exhausted.

Pragmatism proves Scripture.

The Bible has personally changed my life.

The Bible has changed the life of multitudes.

I am convinced.  This is otherwise known as the “testimony of the Holy Spirit.”

Deprave saved

Addicts freed

Homosexuals transformed

Depressed encouraged

Evidence #9    The Transformation in My World and Culture

Read D. James Kennedy, “What if the Bible had never Been Written?

Evidence #10    The Perseverance of the Bible

Paganism has tried and failed to silence the Bible.

The most hated book:  In the 4th century, the emperor Diocletian issued an edict to stop Christians from worshipping Christ, and he ordered their Scriptures destroyed by fire.

Humanism has tried and failed to silence the Bible.

In the 18th century, the philosopher Voltaire said that in less than 100 years, Christianity would be swept from existence and passed into history.  Ironically, only 50 years after his death, the Geneva Bible Society used his press and house to produce stacks of Bibles.   Now it is being attacked by Liberalism, and some in the fields of science, history, and archeology.

Communism has tried and failed to outlaw the Bible.

In an equally ironic twist of history, Pravda, the publisher which produced the Soviet Union’s official newspaper, is now printing Bibles.  (Reasonable Faith, Dr. Jay L. Wile, 49)

Higher Education has tried and failed to neuter the Bible.

Remaining in spite of antiquity.  No printing presses.  Poor original materials.  Yet the Bible has maintained incredible accuracy.

Words from Dr. Kennedy: The Bible is like the anvil with the hammers banging against it.  The hammers have struck, but they are wearing down while the anvil stands strong.

Evidence #11     The Popularity of the Bible

No other book in history has been so loved

No other book in history has been so hated

No other book in history has been so translated           (By 1966, parts of the Bible had been translated into 1280 languages.)

No other book in history has been so printed

No other book in history has been so sold

Good Questions:

What about the conflicts with science?

The Bible is not a textbook on science.

They didn’t suddenly obtain all supernatural knowledge … DNA … Solar System

The men writing were stating what they observed … sun is rising or setting.

But when the Bible directly addresses science, it has never been proven wrong.

Evolution is a question of history.

Archeology has never discovered anything to discredit or disprove the Bible.

What about all the contradictions in the Bible?

Very few of these people have ever read the Word of God.

1)  Judo Technique: Ask them to list all the contradictions that trouble them.

If they cannot list a contradiction then therefore their objection is silenced.

If they voice a concern regarding a passage, now you have ground upon which to engage in a Bible study.

First of all, to those who say this, ask them what contradictions?

Ask them to show you all the contradictions.

Since it is filled with them … this should not be a difficult task.

2)  Explain the difference between contradiction, mystery, and paradox.

These three terms are often used as synonyms, but they are not and should be differentiated.

a) Contradiction

The Law of Non-Contradiction:  A cannot be A and Non-A at the same time and in the same relationship.

Here are some examples of contradictions:

Joe is exactly thirty years old.  Joe is exactly forty years old.

The universe is mono-theistic.  The universe is poly-theistic.

Jesus Christ is the only way.  Jesus Christ is not the only way.

Joseph is my son.  Joseph is my father.  (You can be a father and a son.  But you cannot be a father and a son in the same relationship.)

This triangle has four corners.  (Square circle)

Here is an example of a complex thought wrongly labeled a contradiction: Some believe that the concept of the Trinity defies logic and is therefore a contradiction.

God is not one in essence and three in essence.  God is not one in A and three in A’s.

God is one in essence and three in person.  God is one in A and three in B.

Contradictory statements are unintelligible propositions.

Even Einstein cannot comprehend a contradiction.

If there are contradictions in true theology or Holy Scripture, then God is contradictory and cannot be known, followed or trusted.

God is not subject to the law of Non-contradiction.  He is the law of Non-contradiction.  Therefore, God is inherently rational, logical, and non-contradictory.

Some feel that we operate on one logical plane while God uses a special, higher, or other logic.

If God uses a higher logic than we do, one that allows Him to resolve contradictions in religion that we cannot, then we should not trust a single word of the Bible, for it could mean the very opposite in His higher logic.

If this were true, you would have no way of knowing any truth regarding God.  (R.C. Sproul)

Bottom Line: There are no contradictions in Scripture.

b) Paradox

That which at first glance seems or appears to be contradictory, but when further studied shows that it is not a contradiction. (a seeming contradiction)   The contradiction appears in the words, but not in the thought.

Here are some examples of what might be termed paradoxes:

To find your life you must lose it                    In order to live you must die

The first shall be last                                     To be free you must be a slave

Make sure that you are not guilty of what some call, “The Heresy of the First Glance.”

Bottom Line: There are many paradoxes in Scripture.

c) Mystery

Deuteronomy 29:29  The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.

There are many mysteries in Scripture.  Here are some examples:

Trinity                                  Infinity of God               Sovereignty and Human Responsibility

Incarnation of Christ             Hypostatic Union of Christ         Predestination, Providence and Prayer

Creation Ex-nihilo                 Jesus separation from the Father


Because we cannot understand a truth, that does not make it a contradiction.

“Mystery is beyond human reason, but it is not against human reason.”  (Os Guiness)

“Mystery is but another name for our ignorance; if we were omniscient, all would be plain.”  (Tryon Edwards)

We have mysteries because the “finite cannot grasp the infinite.”

Even in heaven, there will still be elements of mystery.

Yet we can have confidence.  Because of the law of non-contradiction, the things not revealed will never, ever contradict and repudiate the things about God revealed.

Bottom Line: There are many mysteries in Scripture.

Most “contradictions” are nothing worse than failures to understand logic.

3.  Spend time studying scripture to unravel the paradoxes.

Not every question has been answered, but scholarship, archeology, better understanding of the Greek and Hebrew languages are moving us in that direction.

Don’t be lazy.  Figure them out.

Utilize the Following Principles:

Principle # 1: The Unexplained Is Not Necessarily Unexplainable.

Principle # 2: Fallible Interpretations Do Not Mean Fallible Revelation.

Principle # 3: Understand the Context of the Passage.

Principle # 4: Interpret Difficult Passages in the Light of Clear Ones.

Principle # 5: Don’t Base Teaching on Obscure Passages.

Principle # 6: The Bible is a Human Book with Human Characteristics. (I.e. expressions of speech)

Principle # 7: Just Because a Report is Incomplete Does Not Mean It Is False.

Principle # 8: New Testament Citations of the Old Testament Need Not Always Be Exact.

Principle # 9: The Bible Does Not Necessarily Approve of All Its Records.

Principle # 10: The Bible Uses Non-technical, Everyday Language.

Principle # 11: The Bible May Use Round Numbers As Well As Exact Numbers.

Principle # 12: Note When the Bible Uses Different Literary Devices.

Principle # 13: An Error in a Copy does not equate to an error in the original.

Principle # 14: General statements don’t necessarily mean universal promises.

Principle # 15: Later revelation supercedes previous revelation.

Principle #16: Differences in perspectives are not contradictions.

Taken from Josh McDowell, Evidence that Demands a Verdict, except for #16

Maintain the Proper Attitude

Humility – Mystery points to the lack of knowledge.

Curiosity – Search, but search the Scriptures.

Paul and John both present theology as a mystery that is revealed to believers.

Colossians 1:25-26  I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness – the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints.  To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

1 Corinthians 15:51  Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed.

1 Timothy 3:16  Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great: He appeared in a body, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.

Just like Science takes the mystery of general revelation and seeks to comprehend it, so we take Scripture and strive to delve as deep into the mystery of God as we can.

4. Never Rebellion or Apathy

Let those for whom this seems harsh consider for a little while how bearable their squeamishness is in refusing a thing attested by clear Scriptural proof because it exceeds their mental capacity. (Calvin, 237)

5.  Prayer

1 Corinthians 2:10

The Sovereign God may use their questions, your answers, and their thought processes to lead them to saving faith in Jesus Christ.

We are not putting God in a box.

We are not elevating the natural thinking capacity of man.

We are simply using God’s tools and God’s evidences to find God’s elect people still in their unconverted state.

[1] Isaiah 11:11

[2] Isaiah 44:28; 45:1

[3] Ezekiel 26:3-21; 28:21-23

[4] Isaiah 13:19; Jeremiah 51:26

[5] Jeremiah 51:58

[6] Nahum 1:3

[7] Genesis 3:15

[8] Genesis 3:15

[9] Genesis 22:18

[10] Genesis 49:10

[11] Isaiah 7:14

[12] Isaiah 16:5; Jeremiah 23:5; Luke 2:4

[13] Daniel 9:225; Nehemiah 2:1-6, Luke 9:51

[14] Micah 5:2

[15] Jeremiah 31:15

[16] Hosea 11:1, Matthew 2:14

[17] Zechariah 9:1-10, Matthew 21:1-11

[18] Zechariah 11:12, Matthew 26:15

[19] Psalms 22:16, John 20:27

[20] Zechariah 12:10, John 19:34

[21] Psalms 69:21, Matthew 27:34

[22] Psalms 22:18, Mark. 15:24

[23] Psalms 16:10, Luke 24:36-48

[24] James Kennedy, Why I Believe the Bible

[25] The World Christian Encyclopedia

[26] Answers to Tough Questions, McDowell, 34-35

[27] Evidence that Demands a Verdict

[28] Evidence that Demands a Verdict

[29]Answers to Tough Questions, McDowell, 35.