"Oh, taste and see"

"Oh, taste and see"

Joined: November 28th, 2008, 11:08 am

May 3rd, 2018, 4:37 pm #1

Some people need to experience things firsthand to truly understand them. They need to jump in with their senses and taste or touch to grasp a reality. Perhaps it is for this type of person that David penned Psalm 34:8, " Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good."


 We may have "heard" that the Lord is good by learning of the experience someone else has had, but that won't give us the full experience of knowing Him for ourselves. When we "taste," we allow our body to get really involved. When it's the sweetness of sugar or the tang of hot sauce, we know the true flavor when we have dared to taste for ourselves.

A relationship with God begins this way. We are overpowered by the sense that He is GOOD! Then we want more and more of Him in our lives. The first taste of the goodness of God causes us to want to know Him better.

God has set a wonderful banquet of blessings for you, and you can sit at His table and feast on His goodness. Don't be afraid to sample all that He has for you. Rest in the promise that whatever He gives is very good!

Taken from the devotional,  "Greater Purpose" by David Jeremiah
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Joined: May 3rd, 2018, 11:47 pm

May 3rd, 2018, 11:53 pm #2

l've tried to resist but l can't taste anything any more, it seems the path of the faithful is not going to be my guide to the future. All these years...... 😔
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Joined: November 28th, 2008, 11:08 am

May 4th, 2018, 10:01 am #3

So sorry to hear this Ribaric. Would you like to discuss further? I know that God is a faithful God even when we and others are not faithful. God cannot lie! He has said in His Word that He will NEVER leave us nor forsake us. (Welcome to the group, by the way!) 🙂
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Joined: May 3rd, 2018, 11:47 pm

May 4th, 2018, 12:46 pm #4

It's the whole thing that's bothering me. l was content in my life and accepted the way l was raised as the truth.... the light. A good friend recently asked why l believe the bible and l had no answer. I just stood there , speechless, l felt a complete idiot. Now l ask mysef the same question, constantly. She asked me "who wrote the bible?", my answers were quickly shown to be ridiculous, l feel the ground beneath me sliding away.
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Joined: November 28th, 2008, 11:08 am

May 4th, 2018, 1:27 pm #5

Well, I would have to tell the person questioning that I believe the Bible because of the unity of the Bible as well as many prophecies (pre-written history) that are told in the Bible that have been fulfilled. Unity because the Bible was written over a period of approximately 1,550 years, with at least 40 human writers, most of whom did not know each other and were from varying backgrounds and in varying environments. Three different languages were used to write the Bible, and, despite covering controversial subjects, it carries one harmonious message. Also, just the prophecies of Jesus' virgin birth alone is sufficient. Only God could have written the Bible because only God knows the future. He uses men to do the actual writing but they were inspired by God. 2 Tim. 3:16 says, " All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." And 2 Peter 1:21 says, "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost."
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Joined: November 28th, 2008, 11:08 am

May 4th, 2018, 1:34 pm #6

Do not allow the enemy to destroy what you have built upon so far. It seems to me that you need to do what Timothy instructed the people in the church to do: 2 Timothy 2:15, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." Daily time in God's Word is THE most important thing a Christian can do. 🙂
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Joined: May 3rd, 2018, 11:47 pm

May 4th, 2018, 4:47 pm #7

Ah hisalone, l can see you are devout but you are quoting the bible, the very source of my problem. Can you tell me of one aspect of it which you found so compelling that your faith is now unshakeable? One thing which convinced you to believe scripture to be factual?
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MrW
Joined: November 14th, 2008, 1:46 pm

May 4th, 2018, 5:57 pm #8

Hi Ribaric,

I am pleased you have joined.

Certainly God's enemy seeks to destroy the faith of God's people, and those who would believe on the Lord Jesus.  The number one reason we can believe the Bible is fulfilled prophecy.  There is no religious book on earth that dares to predict the future, yet the Bible did, and does.

The Bible is very clear that Israel would first become a nation, and then would be dispersed for seventy years because of their sins, a particularly egregious one of worshiping false idols and false gods, and would then be regathered as a nation again.  They never went after false gods again, but the Bible also predicted (in Isaiah, specifically), that the nation would reject the long-awaited Messiah and would again be dispersed among the nations (Gentile nations) and would again be regathered and become a nation again in a day.

That happened in 70 A.D., Titus and the Roman legions sacked Jerusalem, killing over a million Jews, and they were dispersed throughout the world for 1878 years.  Imagine America ceasing to exist in 2022 and Americans sent all over the earth with no nation, and then regathering back into the land of America again in the year 3900, with their own people, their own government, their own armies again.  That's highly unlikely, don't you think?  But what if many prophets predicted it, and then it actually happened as they said?  I would think a Higher Power had talked to them and told them what was going to happen.

Even greater are the prophecies of the Lord Jesus, which started four thousand years before His birth on this earth.  The fact He would be virgin born (parthenogenesis), which is a miracle in itself, the city He would be born in, the fact the children of that city would be murdered in an attempt to murder Him, where He would grow up, His ministry, and how He would die were all told ahead of time.  Crucifixion did not even exist when King David prophesied the Lord's mode of death in the 22nd Psalm.  His resurrection was also predicted, along with the fact that the Gentiles (non-Jews) would come to trust in Him.  It has all been fulfilled.  There are, in fact, about 300 prophecies of the Lord Jesus, and none have failed.  God has proved His authorship of the Bible--no other religion can make those claims.  None.

The Bible is very clear that it is impossible for God to lie.  You and I can, but He cannot, and He has promised eternal life to all who put their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ alone for salvation.  There is a Heaven to gain and a Hell to shun, but He requires we trust in His Son.  Be honest with God about your struggle (one who is still struggling has not yet lost the battle!), and tell Him you will trust Him and His Son as fully as you are able, and ask Him to ". . .help Thou mine unbelief".  Then start reading the New Testament.  When I first trusted Christ, I read the New Testament straight through seven times in a row before I ever started in the Old.  It gave me a firm, unshakeable foundation.  I have served God since I was almost 21 years old, and I'm in the fifth decade now, and He is sweeter than ever.  Never give up on the Lord Jesus.
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Joined: November 28th, 2008, 11:08 am

May 4th, 2018, 9:40 pm #9

First of all, when I heard the Gospel preached, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior and have since spent many years reading and studying the Bible for myself. The prophecies concerning Jesus being born of a virgin was what really clinched it for me.

Also, I believe that Scripture is only understood by the guidance of the Holy Spirit. If a person does not believe and trust Jesus Christ as Savior, they do not have the Holy Spirit and therefore, they cannot understand the Bible. God imparts wisdom through the Holy Spirit's power in our lives.
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Joined: May 3rd, 2018, 11:47 pm

May 5th, 2018, 6:24 am #10

"Scripture is only understood by the guidance of the Holy Spirit" - Then I have no chance. 
You can doubtless see I have been challenged by atheist friends, it was during my discourse with them that I found their arguments to be so logical. I am in crisis, is all which I once held true really unsupported? I am very aware of the prophecies written in the OT which, until recently, I held as true. Now I am forced to question if those writings really were made before the events occurred. I now learn that there exists no documents from that time, just copies of copies of translations and amendments which, within themselves, claim to be a faithful copy of the original parchment/tablet (whatever it was). It is easy to be prophetic after the claimed event is it not? I find myself in a poor position to defend my faith. 
When I argue that faith is a key element, I am challenged to justify my faith in the extraordinary events described in the bible. Merely quoting scripture is, to me, no longer a compelling reason. The voice in my head is screaming that I am making a big mistake, the reason in my mind is telling me I've been deluding myself my entire adult life. That's not easy to take.          
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MrW
Joined: November 14th, 2008, 1:46 pm

May 5th, 2018, 6:13 pm #11

The Bible is the most reliable document in existence from antiquity.  There are far more copies of it in existence than there are, for example, the existence of Julius Caesar, yet you likely do not doubt what you know of him.  Had people been changing the manuscripts, then why do they all still agree with each other?  Why weren't they caught at it, when a manuscript varied from the thousands that preceded it?  Because it didn't happen.  They faithfully copied and recopied the manuscripts, too faithful and too frightened of tampering with God's Word.  I recommend not listening to the voice of the enemy of God (the atheists) but to saturate your mind instead with Scripture, particularly the New Testament.

John 7:17 King James Version (KJV)

17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.

It is the will of God that we believe on the Lord Jesus.  If we do that will, we will know of the doctrine, whether or not it is of God.  I was an alcohol and drug-abuser.  I found reality in Christ.  I have served Him these many decades.  I am fully satisfied God's Word is accurate, and I would much rather trust my own eternity to Him through His Book that has stood the test of time for thousands of years, than to listen to the musings of unlearned men of few years who do not believe.

Perhaps you would profit from reading a book by an unbeliever--Josh McDowell.  The book is "Evidence That Demands A Verdict."  If you truly care about the eternal existence of your soul, you should at least read it and see what he has to say.

Remember this--in the first book of the Bible, Genesis, God's enemy (satan) told our first parents that what God said was a lie, and that he was the one telling them the truth--he was the one who wanted to help them--God didn't.  They did not accept that lie, so satan changed his tactics.  He said in effect, "Ok, God said that but you misunderstood Him--let me tell you what He meant."  Nothing has changed--you are falling for the first lie, so you're making it easy for him.  Try reading McDowell's book.  It can't harm you and may answer your questions.

http://www.gracechapelsomd.org/books/Th ... erdict.pdf
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Joined: November 28th, 2008, 11:08 am

May 5th, 2018, 7:12 pm #12

Amen, MrW. Good post!

Dear Ribaric, I know it is not easy to take criticism but we must if we are to stand for Christ. Maybe you need some new friends until you are more solid in your learning and believing?? I will be praying for you. Are you Catholic? I don't believe Catholicism emphasizes the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. But if you have trusted in Jesus Christ as your Savior, you have the Holy Spirit living in you. In the Gospel of John, chapter 14, verse 6, Jesus says, "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."

Also 1 Corinthians 2:6-16 on Spiritual Wisdom:

6 However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, 8 which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

9 But as it is written:
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.

10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.
13 These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. 16 For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
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Joined: May 3rd, 2018, 11:47 pm

May 7th, 2018, 4:10 am #13

I thank you guys for your efforts, I do appreciate it.  I am not catholic, I was brought up in a protestant household in England. My formative years, my schooling, my college and my social world were all connected with the anglican church, christenings, weddings, funerals, school assembly, Sunday school... everything. I was never taught about the Quran or any other religion, non-belief didn't seem to exist. It is now, using my intellect (such as it is) that I am led to question my entire life's acceptance.  I am ashamed that it took me so long, I don't want to be thought of as a sheep yet, until now, I have accepted scripture without question. This has been a mistake of epic proportions.

My question is simple enough, the bible provides the truth according to chistianity. There are countless variations of what constitutes christianity but they all accept the bible as inviolate and the word of god - albeit written by the hand of man.  My quest is to ascertain if that cornerstone of faith is plausible. It follows that I must understand the passage through history of the bible as I know it in these times. It does not look good!

I won't try to sermonise this but the first compilation of written texts were put together by the Jews in Greece, 3rd century BC, who had been expelled from their homeland and, over time, lost the ability to write or speak hebrew. So they gathered whatever texts they could find and compiled a Greek language document, the first bible. We don't know which texts they discarded, we don't know who decided what was to be included, we don't know how they translated the original hebrew texts and, most telling, not a single original hebrew text survives. Worse, not a single original Greek translation survives either. Over the next 300 years, a number of translations were undertaken by a number of groups and none of them survive either. The first written document which still exists today for our examination was written around 60AD. Given the numerous further translations and reforms which have since occurred, the bible we know today has no real claim to authenticity. Even if it did, why would we accept the writings of ancient peoples who claim their hand was guided by a god?   

As MrW wrote..."Had people been changing the manuscripts, then why do they all still agree with each other? " The answer is clear, they do not. There are so many inconsistencies and contradictions but that's an argument for another day. 

I am not ready to abandon my faith but I no longer accept there is a basis for me to continue, sheeplike, to believe. I predict that both of you fine people will profess unshakeable faith but I cannot accept that, even you, must surely have doubted the basis of your belief at some time?  
In conclusion, quoting bible passages has no influence on my thinking, to believe in it's messages, word for word, pushes plausibility well past the point of acceptability. I have devout friends who tell me I am risking eternal damnation, all I hear is sheep.       
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MrW
Joined: November 14th, 2008, 1:46 pm

May 7th, 2018, 9:18 pm #14

Not being able to quote from God's own Book is worse, in my opinion, than telling Einstein he cannot quote from his own writings to advance his theory of relativity.  Makes no sense to me.

Will be gone a day or two.  Back in a few days.
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Joined: May 3rd, 2018, 11:47 pm

May 8th, 2018, 1:18 am #15

Einstein could demonstrate his writings were supported by scientific means, believe or deny them, he had to convince his peers his views had merit. There lay the problem with scripture, people claiming they had copied/translated texts (from 55AD until present) which were themselves copies of earlier texts/translations which have all been lost and yet most make fantastic claims or quote God's laws for the adherence of humans.  Who would believe Einstein if he'd made his claims about special relativity and quoted ancient and long lost texts as his source? I wouldn't, and yet the bible has exactly that status. 

I hope you have a good trip and it would be nice to hear from you again. For me, I think my life has changed dramatically.     
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MrW
Joined: November 14th, 2008, 1:46 pm

May 9th, 2018, 12:20 pm #16

Evidence of God is everywhere.  The question is, which God?  After reading Evidence That Demands A Verdict (or even before), I suggest thinking things through logically, by asking yourself some questions.  How did all that exists get here?  Why does it all work together (synergy)?  Why does anything even exist at all?

Keep asking until you reach the point you can go no further.  If you have problems with that, I will try to assist you.

Oh, and one other thing--read the New Testament, cover to cover.  Then read it again, and again.  It is spiritual food.  If you eat one meal and expect it to last you a year, you will be dead in two months.  And if you eat poison, you will die quicker.  God's Word is spiritual meat and drink.  If you don't receive it by reading it and hearing it and meditating (digesting) it, you will certainly starve to death spiritually, and if you eat atheist poison instead of the Bread of Life (God's Word), you will certainly die spiritually.
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Joined: November 28th, 2008, 11:08 am

May 9th, 2018, 1:28 pm #17

Amen on post #16, MrW!
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MrW
Joined: November 14th, 2008, 1:46 pm

May 9th, 2018, 4:07 pm #18

HisAlone and I discussed it and here's what it comes down to:

You teach math out of a math book.  You teach science out of a science book.  You teach history from a history book.

Consequently, you teach Christianity out of the Christian book, the Holy Bible, which is actually 66 books, written by about 40 authors over 1500 years, in three languages and four continents, and many didn't even know each other, yet they agree.

There is a God

If I were to teach Christianity out of my own head, I would have to be a Catholic, or a Mormon, or a Jehovah Witness.  I am none of those.  I am a Bible-believing Christian.  And any "god" I came up with, or any ideas about the true God that I could come up with that aren't from the Bible, would create a false image of God and thus it would not be God at all.  God created man in His own image, and man has been trying to return the favor ever since.  Not me.  I go by the Word of God alone, and nothing else, though there are some evidences about God in creation itself.  Nonetheless, specific revelation is in Scripture alone.  God has revealed Himself through His Prophets and Apostles, in the Bible, and lastly through His only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus.

Which God Makes the Most Sense?  The God of Love or the God of Hate?

So if you are struggling to believe in the God of Scripture, where does that leave you?  It is evident from design there is a Designer; from creation that there is a Creator.  Is it Allah?  The "god" that hates everyone but Muslims and you must kill everyone else and die yourself for him, or you go to hell?  What about Brahma, Shiva, and Vishnu, in Hinduism?  Maybe Buddha is god?

There is only one God that reveals Himself as love, and that's the God of the Bible.  Mohammed never claimed to be God.  Buddha didn't claim to be God.  Only Jesus Christ claimed to be God and He went about among the people proving His claim.  No one was ever able to show where He committed even one sin, because He did not.  His resurrection proves He is God and many have tried to disprove His resurrection and all have failed.  The evidence is insurmountable.  Read Frank Morris, "Who Moved The Stone?"  He didn't believe it and he checked the evidence.  Read "The Case for Christ", by Lee Stroebel, an unbeliever.

How Is God Revealed to Mankind?

The Bible says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God...and the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."  God became a man in the Person of His Son to bring His final revelation of Himself to mankind.

Then think about this:  The rich man in hell asked Abraham to send someone from the dead to his five brothers, lest they come to that same hell he was in--Abraham said, "If they will not believe Moses and the Prophets, neither will one believe if one returns from the dead."  He was right.  The Lord Jesus returned from the dead, and God, a GOOD GOD, not an evil personage like Allah, but the God Who is love, said of Himself that He cannot lie--and you don't believe Him.  You're in the same boat (eventually) that the rich man was in.

Is There Enough Evidence?  Yes!

There is enough evidence in Scripture for those willing to examine it to prove its authenticity, but for those who refuse to believe, no amount of evidence is ever sufficient.  I stand with the Holy Bible, and every word of it, as found in the King James Bible.  You can choose to believe or disbelieve--God gave you that right.  

He (the Lord Jesus) came to His own, and His own received Him not, but as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.

He that believes on him is not condemned: but he that believes not is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.  And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.  For every one that does evil hates the light, neither comes to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.  But he that does truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

Everything I will teach about God will be from Scripture alone, not the ideas of man.  The internet is full of false trash about God.  The Bible alone has the specific, accurate revelation of God.  Philosophers, atheists, prognosticators and other so-called "wise men" are talking out of their own heads and filling the internet with their false ideas.  The Book that has stood the test of time, for thousands of years, is the only source of true knowledge about God.
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May 10th, 2018, 7:20 am #19

Thank you for your time and efforts to write what you have, I do appreciate it and I understand the deep conviction you feel and the resultant motivation it gives you to show others the way. You make your assertions well. However, you present many ideas as factual:  "you teach Christianity out of the Christian book" - "God created man in His own image" - "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God......." - "The Lord Jesus returned from the dead" - "You can choose to believe or disbelieve, God gave you that right" and "He cannot lie" are all taken from scripture.  
I must determine for myself if scripture is a reliable source of information, I no longer have trust in it. The sheer weight of contradictions, the poor opacity of it's history and reformations and the number unsupported yet extra-ordinary claims made within it all contribute to my doubts.  I will not quote science as having the answers, it doesn't but it does have many more plausible explanations about the universe and why there is no need for a designer.  
I keep asking myself if I have become atheist, in truth, I don't know. I don't have an atheist's rule book from which I can quote passages and point to their peer-proven status. Perhaps the word itself has a life-long negative connotation in my mind. One thing is clear, I no longer believe in the supernatural of any kind, gods, devils, ghosts, voodoo, none of it. There remains the un-explained and perhaps the inexplicable but "I don't know" is the honest response rather than "it's God's will". 
This has been a difficult road, I am not surprised in that my entire life has been conducted with one view and now I've formed a different view. As cathartic as it is, the time has come for me to say this... I am no longer a Christian.    
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MrW
Joined: November 14th, 2008, 1:46 pm

May 10th, 2018, 4:58 pm #20

Then you were never a Christian, for the Good Shepherd loses none of His sheep. You believed in vain, according to Scripture.

From your post, your bottom line is your trust is in yourself, while my trust is in God and His inerrant Book. I regret you’ve made that choice, but I believe it is for a two-fold reason—you have failed to study Scripture and you have given heed to the naysayers who don’t care at all for your soul.
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Joined: May 3rd, 2018, 11:47 pm

May 10th, 2018, 5:15 pm #21

Perhaps you are right, I do have trust in myself, now, more than in the book. There's no point in studying scripture when I doubt its authenticity. You're also right, I do give heed to the people you call naysayers, but I give to heed to you too. How else might I come to an informed view?
Thank you for your time. I am grateful.   
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Joined: November 28th, 2008, 11:08 am

May 11th, 2018, 1:49 pm #22

Without Scripture, there is nothing. Until you research and find that the Bible IS God's Word to us, you will not progress spiritually. I hope and pray you will look into some of the books written on proving the Scriptures to be authentic. MrW listed a couple of good ones in above posts.
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MrW
Joined: November 14th, 2008, 1:46 pm

May 11th, 2018, 3:31 pm #23

The best way to come to an informed view is to read God's Word, most especially the New Testament.  Who else but Him knows it all?  I can help you, but reading Scripture is like eating a good meal--I can tell you about it and point you to what's healthy for you, but you have to eat it yourself, or it's more like looking a photo of a good meal, but never eating any of it.

If a doctor is trying to help you and someone who does not know medicine is trying to give you advice, you might should listen to the doctor, don't you think?  Your friends may (or may not) think they are helping you, but they are actually helping you into a devil's hell, hotter than the volcano pouring flaming rocks and mud onto Hawaii right now.  Eternity has no end--if I did not know for sure where I was headed, I would certainly be trying to find out and to ensure I'm headed the right way.  I'm here to help if you allow me to do so.
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May 11th, 2018, 4:47 pm #24

I'll ignore the "Without Scripture, there is nothing." statement. Just because you say that does not mean it has any merit. Similarly "they are actually helping you into a devil's hell", it's meaningless unless there is some plausible reason to think it's true. In the interests of objectivity, could one of you good folks tell me of one single aspect of scripture, that you can identify, which provides compelling evidence that the bible is the work of a god? I ask just one piece and why you conclude it to be plausible. 
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MrW
Joined: November 14th, 2008, 1:46 pm

May 12th, 2018, 6:51 pm #25

Just because you deny it does not make your opinion more valid than a book that was 25% predictive prophecy when wriiten—much fulffilled. Something no other book on earth has ever done nor any group of people. And they never will. It is utter folly to reject such a stellar testimony. I would call it willful ignorance. No excuse.
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May 13th, 2018, 6:00 am #26

OK MrW, I get that, but just give me one clear example, just one, please. 
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MrW
Joined: November 14th, 2008, 1:46 pm

May 18th, 2018, 9:48 pm #27

Fulfilled prophecy. One example: Hundreds of years prior to His birth, Malachi predicted He would be born in Bethlehem, not Jerusalem. A second one for good measure (I can give more), David predicted He would die by crucifixion (Psalm 22), before crucifixion had been invented.
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May 20th, 2018, 3:42 pm #28

"when the ‘messenger of the covenant’ arrives, he will appear like a blazing fire, and he will purify everyone". I know that well but there's no mention of Jesus, it seems to infer it will be Elijah or John. No matter, none of the OT is verifiable by physical evidence, nor is much of the NT, at least not until about 50AD. It follows that the prophecy may well have been written after the event, it's easy to look prophetic with hindsight. The same is true for the case you make about David - or anyone else!  We are asked to believe the scripts we do have, contradictory though they are, are faithful reproductions of earlier texts (which were themselves reproductions ... and so on) were prophetic when they were written - and we have to accept this all on faith. Try that in a court of law and see how many jurors will believe you. I'll ignore the "wilful ignorance" jibe and refrain from introducing wilful self delusion when it comes to believing OT prophecies. If prophecies provide the case for the bible, I remain sceptical. Are there other compelling reasons?  
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MrW
Joined: November 14th, 2008, 1:46 pm

May 22nd, 2018, 3:49 pm #29

I suppose you don't believe in the existence of Julius Caesar, either.  🙂
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Joined: May 3rd, 2018, 11:47 pm

May 23rd, 2018, 3:05 pm #30

In Britain alone, the first Roman invasion of Britain by Julius Caesar in 55BC is an accepted historical fact, with vivid and contemporaneous accounts on papyrus passed down by Tacitus, Cicero and Caesar himself. These documents exist today. Rome is replete with contemporaneous written evidence that Caesar existed, so yes, it seems reasonable to believe he lived and died.... but it isn't important.  Neither Caesar nor his peers make extra-ordinary claims about his achievements, no walking on water, no rising from the grave, making the universe, great floods etc., nothing.  The bible however does make extra-ordinary claims and also purports to set down rules by which we should all live. That's a huge difference and none of it backed up by contemporaneous evidence, but you knew that.      😉
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MrW
Joined: November 14th, 2008, 1:46 pm

May 23rd, 2018, 6:53 pm #31

These days, many Christians, especially college-age students, face having their faith in God and the Bible questioned if not downright assaulted.

Dr. Jonathan Morrow teaches Christian students how to defend their faith at the Impact 360 Institute in Pine Mountain, Georgia.

He knows how tough it is for Christians at secular institutions.

"Sometimes they're going to have a professor that's going to outright challenge why they believe what they believe and say, 'Look, what you believe is actually a fairytale,'" Morrow said.

Check below this story for eight extra videos of lively conversation and teaching on why you can trust the Bible.  Bible experts also explore how Christianity rests on a deep and substantial bedrock of fact.

But Morrow and two more of the world's top biblical experts told CBN News there's good reason for believers to have faith in your faith.

Dr. Darrell Bock teaches at the Dallas Theological Seminary and co-wrote Truth Matters.

"The faith is very, very defendable," Bock said. "That's why it's lasted 2,000 years."

Overwhelming Evidence

Josh McDowell wrote one of the most authoritative defenses of the Bible with Evidence That Demands a Verdict and its sequel The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict.

He pointed to how even respected "non-believers" wrote about Jesus.

"There are 16 total historians apart from Scripture that reference Christ," he said. "Almost everything about Christ we can find without ever going to the New Testament."

McDowell writes extensively about this in his newest books God-Breathed and 77 FAQs About God and the Bible.

Morrow points out in his book Questioning the Bible there's more evidence that Jesus lived than Julius Caesar, yet no one doubts Caesar existed.

"When you're doing history, you want early and you want eyewitnesses. And the gospel writers give you both," Morrow explained.

"They investigated everything carefully. They have the ring of truth to them. They include embarrassing details," he continued.

One supposition of scholars is the closer in time a writer was to events, the more likely his account is accurate.

Morrow pointed out respected biblical writers Paul and Luke interviewed the apostles and knew many others who witnessed Jesus' life, death, and resurrection.

And the writers Peter, John, and James actually lived with Jesus.

"John said, 'What our eyes have seen, what our ears have heard, what our hands have handled is what we're declaring to you,'" McDowell said. "In other words, 'We're eyewitnesses.'"

More Accurate than Any Other Document

McDowell explained another understanding among scholars.

"The closer the manuscript to the original, the less chance of error or miscopy," he said.

Current surviving Bible manuscripts get closer to the original work than any other manuscripts from the ancient world.

"We've got manuscripts and fragments that show up within 35 or 40 years of the time when they were written," Morrow said of these Biblical survivors.

"Why does that matter? It means there's not enough time for error and mythology to corrupt the message of what's going on there," he said.

But doubters scoff at those while readily accepting manuscripts of Greek and Roman histories that were created hundreds of years after the originals.

"When you look at Greek and Roman historians like Herodotus and Tacitus and Livy, those (oldest surviving manuscripts) are hundreds of years later - 500, 600, 700 years after the fact," Morrow said.

McDowell pointed out a second rule among scholars of ancient works.

"The more manuscripts you have, the easier it is to reconstruct the original," he said.
 
When it comes to the Bible, the surviving ancient copies or pieces of it way outnumber all other ancient works.

McDowell said there are "66,420 some manuscripts and scrolls" for the Bible.

Second place goes to Homer's The Illiad, with just 1,827. Most ancient works have far few intact remnants.

"We do trust Homer. How much more should we trust the New Testament documents?" Morrow asked.

Really 400,000 Mistakes?

With so many more copies produced by thousands of scribes across the centuries, it's no surprise there'd be occasional errors.
But critics claim there are some 400,000 mistakes or "variants" in the Bible.

Such a claim steams Bock, McDowell, and Morrow.

"Ninety-nine percent of those 400,000 or so number evaporate as simple spelling errors, word order," Morrow said.

"Like 'honor' spelled h-o-n-o-r -or 'honour' spelled h-o-n-o-u-r," McDowell explained.

"But none of those, those texts that are in question, affect any central teaching of Christian doctrine or practice," Morrow insisted.

Bock explained many of the so-called contradictions in the Bible are just different ways of telling the same story.

"And difference does not equal contradiction. It's just difference," Bock said. "One text may be more precise than another, but they'll both be accurate."

For instance, one Gospel talks about Jesus and His disciples coming upon two demoniacs in a graveyard, but another Gospel speaks of one demoniac there.

A simple explanation is one writer shared the raw fact two demoniacs were present. The other writer only mentioned the one demoniac because he wanted to concentrate on that one for a particular reason.

Another example: one Gospel says Judas hanged himself while another says he fell to the ground and his insides spilled out.

A look at the area where it's thought Judas died has trees above and on rocky cliffs with jagged rocks below. Judas could have hanged himself and then the branch broke or the rope came unknotted and his body crashed to the rocks, splitting open.

Meticulous Copy Process

Doubters have a hard time believing that the Bibles we read today could accurately reflect the actual words written by the authors so many centuries ago.

But McDowell explained how for Jewish scribes, copying books like Genesis and Exodus was holy work and strictly controlled.

"Four-thousand regulations the scribe had to follow to guarantee accuracy," he said.

McDowell brought to CBN News a massive scroll from the Middle Ages owned by a Jewish village in Europe.
 
In producing such a scroll, the scribes would have needed about three years to carefully ink its 300,000-plus letters. Then a man known as a "counter" would come check their lettering meticulously.

"They knew what the center was, in Leviticus 11," McDowell explained. "And they would count 159,402, hoping the next one, 403, was a center letter. If it wasn't, they couldn't use it."

Monks had tight rules for copying as well.
 
Archaeology: The Bible's Best Friend

Another reason to trust the Bible: archaeology and related research have time and again shown the Bible is true and the skeptics to be wrong.

"Archaeology has probably cleared up already over half of all what appeared to be alleged discrepancies in the Scriptures," McDowell said.

Skeptics used say there's no record of a Nazareth, so the New Testament can't be true. They'd point out there was no proof of the oft-mentioned Hittites, so the Old Testament can't be true.

Archaeology and associated research have since shown both existed.

"Now you can go to Harvard or anywhere else and study the Hittite language," McDowell said.

Finally there's the proof of logic. After Jesus' death, the apostles kept pointing to the shared knowledge everyone around them had, even their opponents.

McDowell paraphrased the logic, "You know what I'm talking about. You were there."
 
A Truth Worth Dying For

McDowell pointed out that dying for the Gospel would have been a crazy thing to do if you were making the whole story of Jesus' miracles and resurrection up.

"They appeal to their opponents for the facts of which they talk about. To me, that's one of the best tests of truth historically," McDowell stated.

Finally, Bock asked what better proof the earliest disciples weren't making it all up than the fact they almost all were martyred for it?

"You don't die knowingly for something that you know you made up," he said.
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Joined: May 3rd, 2018, 11:47 pm

May 23rd, 2018, 10:18 pm #32

Thanks for the cut and paste bomb, please pick one aspect of that which you find compelling.
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MrW
Joined: November 14th, 2008, 1:46 pm

May 24th, 2018, 9:17 am #33

If you don't want to read it and you have a made up mind, I can't help you.  "Wherefore they entered not in, because of unbelief."
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MrW
Joined: November 14th, 2008, 1:46 pm

May 26th, 2018, 10:43 am #34

BIBLE MEDITATION:

For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse. Romans 1:20

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:

Can intellectuals believe in God? Absolutely! Many intellectuals believe in God. As a matter of fact, your intellect has very little to do with your belief in God.

Out of all of the secular professional groups, do you know what professional group has the highest number of believers in God?  The astronomers do. Over 90% of the world’s great astronomers believe in God. Why? Because they have studied the heavens.

It’s not a sign of intelligence not to believe in God. If you’re intelligent, you have to say, “Somebody created all of this.”
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Joined: May 3rd, 2018, 11:47 pm

May 26th, 2018, 2:13 pm #35

I read it, I've read countless treatises both for and against. I only want to know, from those with faith, one example that clinched it for them. Carpet bombing is a sign of a weak argument, I'd very much like to understand a single piece of scripture, or anything else, that did it for you - apart from the prophecies. 
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MrW
Joined: November 14th, 2008, 1:46 pm

May 28th, 2018, 7:53 am #36

Question for Dave Hunt: Sir, if today you die, are you 100 percent sure you would go to heaven? How can I, a Muslim, have that assurance?

Answer: I am 100 percent certain because of the teaching in the Bible. I know the Bible is the Word of the one true God for many reasons: it is archaeologically and historically verifiable, it has hundreds of prophecies that have been fulfilled centuries and even thousands of years after they were recorded, it rings true to the conscience, and I have experienced in my own life the fulfillment of the salvation it offers.

There is no way that any sinner could pay the infinite penalty for his sins. All religions attempt to appease the gods or spirits with various occult ceremonies and sacrifices—but such efforts wouldn’t even pay for a traffic ticket and surely won’t be accepted by God. It is a matter of justice. The “ticket” has been written out on every one of us because of our sin, and the penalty has to be paid.

Islam has no solution for sin. No one in Islam paid the penalty for mankind. The Qur’an commands Muhammad to confess his sin, but that wouldn’t remove his guilt. Muhammad couldn’t even pay for his own sins, much less for those of others. Dying as a suicide bomber won’t pay for sin. Any religion that offers paradise for committing suicide and murdering innocent women and children in the process is false and ought to be condemned.

We have the record of eyewitnesses and many proofs that Jesus Christ is God come to earth through a virgin birth and that He paid the penalty for our sins in His death, literally resurrected, ascended to heaven, and is coming again. He offers forgiveness of sins and an eternal home in heaven to all who will believe on Him. There is no other way.
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Joined: May 3rd, 2018, 11:47 pm

May 28th, 2018, 8:54 am #37

There are no eyewitnesses, only later claims about what eyewitnesses were reported to have seen. Even Paul, the earliest living disciple was not an eyewitness to anything. 
I guess we've come to the end of this, I have chosen the view of plausibility and, by definition, see no compelling reason to accept what I see as grotesquely implausible. In truth, I haven't "chosen" this path, my reason forces it upon me. I guess your faith leaves you no choice but to take the opposite view. I hope we can live in peace with each other but history shows this to be unlikely. Go in peace fellow human. 
    
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MrW
Joined: November 14th, 2008, 1:46 pm

May 28th, 2018, 9:42 am #38

Me, personally, I knew as a child God was calling me to Himself.

As an adult, I began to reason out the logic of there being a God, or not, and I realized nothing made sense without a God.  It was reasonable to me that if there were a God, He would communicate somehow.  I saw that in nature.  

Then I started reading the Bible, and comparing it to other religions.  It clicked with me--I knew intrinsically it was true, the literal Word of God.  I have committed my eternity to it's truthfulness, and have rejected the opinions of people who are mere decades old, in favor of the Book that is thousands of years old and witnesses its truth with my own heart.  And nothing satisfies my heart more than the knowledge that God loves me and provided His Son as the substitutionary atonement for my own sins, to reconcile me to Himself.  I have His witness, His Holy Spirit, within me; His Word feeds my own spirit and mind, and I am satisfied with Him.
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Joined: November 28th, 2008, 11:08 am

June 5th, 2018, 1:25 pm #39

Dead sea scrolls. Archaeology.
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Joined: May 3rd, 2018, 11:47 pm

June 5th, 2018, 2:22 pm #40

All the prophecies are contained in the long "Isiah" scroll and all are already contained on the Torah. Only "the suffering servant" is often used by Christians as a prophecy of the birth of Christ. Jews will tell you it refers to the suffering of Israel, not Jesus. I guess you pays your money, you takes your choice.   Indeed, apostasy of Jews is very rare on the basis of the prophetic content in Isiah's Dead sea scroll. It's much harder to argue with them than with Christians. Muslims haven't a leg to stand on.       
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