The Bible has been revered, respected, debated, dismissed and even reviled. But is it the inspired, holy revelation of God?
[Darris McNeely] The Bible is the most influential book of all time. It has shaped the structure of the United States government and influenced the liberties that are defined in the bill of rights. The Bible has been translated into virtually every language on earth. And you probably have a copy somewhere in your home right now.
The Bible is debated, discussed and dismissed. It’s revered, respected, but also reviled by some. And it is still one of the world’s most top-selling books.
But is the Bible true? Is it what it claims to be--the inspired divine holy revelation of God, the Creator?
You can know the answer to this important question about the Bible.
Join us on Beyond Today as we look at the question, “Is the Bible True”?
[Announcer] Join our host Darris McNeely and his guests, as they help you understand your future on Beyond Today!
[Darris] Is the Bible true? And if is true, is it a book where you can find the deepest truths of life? Truths that ground you in a relationship with the Creator God?
On Beyond Today, we hold this book as the ultimate source of truth for life. Every topic we cover is rooted firmly in the teachings of the Bible. But is it reliable? Is the Bible true?
Today, with this topic, we want to help you see that you can have confidence in the Bible as the guide and the authority to life.
Now right now, you may be seeking a source of reliable knowledge to support your belief in the Bible. We know there are many challenges by skeptics and scoffers. The questions have been around ever since the first words were written down. But here is our stand on Beyond Today: We take the Bible as true until proven otherwise. And no credible effort has really ever been made to undermine the ultimate validity of this book. The burden of proof is on the doubters.
How have we come to the position where we trust the Bible to be true? There are many reasons apart from what the Bible itself tells us. And today we are going to look at a few. These reasons can bolster your trust in the Bible.
The first major proof we can examine is fulfilled prophecy. That is, prophecies God made long ago that already came to pass.
The word prophecy in our modern day brings a little bit of baggage. It’s a word that is used in fantasy novels or in movies where some aged religious guru calls out some future event. To be honest, when you hear about prophecy, it often gets thrown in conversations about conspiracy theorists and end-time doomsday nuts.
But prophecy is real, and it is a major part of the Word of God. It takes a balanced approach to look into the study of biblical prophecy. God is the God of history and the future. He knows what has happened and what will happen.
Look at what God said through the prophet Isaiah. He said, “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 46:10 NIV).
Literature and film may minimize and lead many to believe that prophecy is just some fable of lost and forgotten religious fundamentalists. But God has reasons for making prophecies. One reason is that prophecy can build faith. And when we see fulfilled prophecy come to pass, we know that God is in charge and we can be confident in trusting and obeying Him.
There are many such fulfilled prophecies in the Bible. The biggest and arguably most important ones were ones foretelling the first and second comings of Jesus Christ. Prophecies spanning thousands of years from Genesis to Isaiah to Micah described Christ’s first coming--even down to naming the town in which He would be born, Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). There are more prophecies about Christ’s coming than about any other event in the Bible. And there are many more that describe what His return will be like. Studying these is an awe-inspiring exercise that builds faith and helps make sense of the world.
After all, look around: Events are happening all over the world that you may not fully understand--but which are already affecting your life. The Middle East in turmoil. Terrorism creating tragic events in places like Boston, Ottawa, Newtown or Fort Hood, Texas. Massive displacement of refugees in the Middle East and Latin America that shift the balance of populations. These and other events are not happening in a vacuum or without the knowledge of the God who controls history. Bible prophecy tells us where events like these will ultimately lead.
The second and most impactful reason for prophecy is to change who you are. Here on Beyond Today we often read this scripture when delving into a prophetic topic, but it is essential in keeping a balanced approach to prophecy.
The scripture reads this way: “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness” (2 Peter 3:10-11).
We can trust that God is working in our lives and we need to do our part in overcoming sin and becoming more like God. The Bible makes claims like no other book. God reveals future events. He also has revealed events prophesied that have already come to pass.
There are a number of additional fulfilled prophecies that we could get into to help prove that this Book is true, but that’s why I want you to order the booklet that we are offering today. The prophecies that have been fulfilled deal with people, dates and symbolism that are too detailed to get into here on our program. But if you want to know more about the 70 weeks prophecy or the interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dreams, then order our free booklet.
These are powerful examples of fulfilled prophecy that will change your outlook on your life today.
We have looked at prophecy as a proof of the Bible. Now let’s look at another area, biblical archeology, which supports prophecy and the biblical record. Let’s consider a specific example, it’s the story of Cyrus, the King of ancient Persia.
In 539 BC, Cyrus captured and took over the Kingdom of Babylon. If you'll recall, it was Babylon that had captured Jerusalem and deported everyone who lived there less than 100 years earlier, ending the Kingdom of Judah. Babylon’s policy was to remove conquered people from their homeland and resettle them elsewhere. Most of the Jews had been resettled in the capital city of Babylon. When you read the story of Daniel you see a man caught in this web that Babylon created--people uprooted from their homes and placed in a totally foreign environment. Babylon’s approach was designed to replace the conquered peoples’ native culture with the unique Babylonian culture.
Now Cyrus’ policy was different. He allowed peoples that he defeated to remain in their homeland and as he took power from Babylon, he let these peoples already conquered go back to their homes. In the Bible, in Ezra chapter 1 it records that the Lord “moved the heart of Cyrus to make a proclamation” (Ezra 1:1 NIV) allowing the Jews to return to Jerusalem and rebuild. That decree was a fulfillment of a prophecy made more than 100 years before by the prophet Isaiah.
God had said through Isaiah, “I am the Lord … who says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd and will accomplish all that I please; he will say of Jerusalem, ‘Let it be rebuilt,’ and of the temple, ‘Let its foundations be laid.’ … I summon you by name and bestow on you a title of honor, though you do not acknowledge me” (Isaiah 44:24; Isaiah 44:28; Isaiah 45:4 NIV).
Not only did God predict what Cyrus would do, He called him out by name.
Now this is where it gets interesting. In 1879, a clay cylinder was discovered in modern-day Iraq, with the story of Cyrus’ conquest of Babylon. Understand that clay tablets and cylinders like these were the records--the archives--of the ancient world. They made clay tablets for all kinds of things--from accounts of great events to ordinary things like grocery lists. The Cyrus cylinder as it is called, you can see it in the British Museum today. It has been studied and it’s been verified by top scholars. This fascinating ancient historical document corroborates the biblical account in Ezra of Judah’s return to Jerusalem along with the treasures taken from God’s Temple in Jerusalem.
And more than that, it proves Isaiah’s amazing prophecy from more than 100 years prior to Cyrus.
There are some critical Bible scholars who say that, well it was someone who lived long after Isaiah’s death and after the fall of Babylon who wrote that prophecy. They argue that naming Cyrus by name over a century in advance is impossible. A modern secular mind cannot admit that the revelation of God to a prophet could be legitimate. But the facts speak otherwise.
For one, the cylinder uses language similar to Isaiah. Like Isaiah’s prophecy, Cyrus calls himself a shepherd. And just as foretold, instead of giving the true God credit for his victory over Babylon, Cyrus gives it to the Babylonian god, Marduk.
The Bible is the original historical record of King Cyrus, and here is documented proof from archaeology that backs up that claim.
Archaeological discoveries in Israel, Egypt, Jordan and other lands where the Bible events occurred have unearthed mountains of information that shed light on the people, places and events recorded in the Bible. This is verified in many well documented and reputable books, and papers and museum exhibits.
As we’ve discussed so far on today’s program, the Bible shows its authority and validity in regard to prophecy and archeology. In a moment, we’ll explain that science too backs up the reliability of the Bible. There is much more for you to discover about each of these subjects. And to help you do so, we’ve prepared an enlightening free study aid called, Is the Bible True? You can have your own, personal free copy by calling: 1-888-886-8632. Again the number is: 1-888-886-8632. Or you can go online to BeyondToday.tv and begin reading or order your copy.
This important free study aid examines how the Bible can be counted on to reveal the future and how we should conduct our lives. So, be sure you request your free copy of Is the Bible True?
Now later in the program, I’ll tell you more about this important free study aid.
Now, let’s talk about science and the Bible.
It sounds controversial, I know.
If you hear the words “science” and “Bible” in the same sentence, it’s usually with the word “versus” in between--as in science versus the Bible.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
The Bible is certainly a book that has to be understood and accepted by faith. But that faith does not have to be an unreasoning, ignorant faith. God does not require us to stop using our brains and intellects to be able to believe that the Bible is His Word. We don’t have to ignore the advances of science in order to still believe in God. There doesn’t need to be a war between God’s Word and our pursuit of scientific understanding.
If we keep an open mind when looking at the Scriptures, and understand how science works, it’s plain that the Bible is sensible, consistent and logical. There are two things to keep in mind when talking about this subject: One, is that science is simply a process for learning about the observable universe; and Two, that the Bible is primarily a book for spiritual guidance.
So the first thing to remember is that science itself is a process of learning--scientists are constantly studying, testing, and reviewing their conclusions to ensure that what they’ve discovered is correct. The scientific method itself is the logical workflow of wondering about something and then testing whether that something is true, and then re-testing to double-check. And in the modern world, the way we make scientific progress is by making a new conclusion or a discovery, then having others review and test that conclusion to ensure its validity.
Very often, new discoveries in science are made that modify and in some cases overturn conclusions that had been made before. In fact, that is a point that scientists take pride in: Science is a process that is constantly reviewing previously held ideas and revising them, getting closer and closer to the truth through observation and experimentation.
Now, the second thing to remember is that the Bible is primarily a book of spiritual guidance. It’s a book that is intended to give us meaning for life, to reveal God as our creator and Heavenly Father, and to give us a road map for how to live our lives. The Bible isn’t meant to be a science textbook. Now that being said, it is an accurate description of nature from man's perspective. In scriptures that comment on the physical nature of the universe, a proper reading will not contradict what we can prove through scientific observation.
So the two can go hand-in-hand: Science seeks to reveal the physical truths of what we can observe, and the Bible gives answers about the meaning of life and the spiritual mysteries that we as humans have wondered about for all of history.
Our free booklet, Is the Bible True? has an entire chapter with multiple examples of biblical principles that have been proven by science, so be sure to request your free copy or read it online for all that the booklet contains.
But I would like to give one example here right now.
Let’s look at Moses. He was raised in an Egyptian home as the adopted son in the house of Pharaoh. Modern archaeologists have uncovered many artifacts from Egypt in Moses’ day, and one of those artifacts is an Egyptian medical document. What it describes about what Egyptian doctors did to treat illness would make us feel pretty ill today.
Some examples include using statue dust, beetle shells, mouse tails, cat hair, pig eyes, dog toes, eel eyes and goose guts. If somebody had a splinter, they would treat it with a salve of worm blood and donkey dung. We know today that dung is full of tetanus spores, so somebody in ancient Egypt might’ve died from lockjaw simply due to the way a doctor would have tried to treat a splinter.
Yet the Old Testament in the Bible doesn’t prescribe any of those disgusting things for treating disease or illness. If the Law of Moses were simply something Moses the man gave, and not divinely revealed by God, no doubt he would have relied on his 40 years of growing up in Egyptian society when giving basic health advice. Instead, he gave sanitation principles that were thousands of years ahead of their time! Major disease epidemics through history have been caused because people didn’t understand that good hygiene leads to good health.
In the early 1800s, there was a major cholera outbreak that started in India and over the course of 20 years spread all the way to the United States, killing thousands of people along the way. Cholera breakouts are almost always linked to improper sewage disposal. In many places around the world, sewage would flow openly in the streets and contaminate the water supply.
In stark contrast with that principle, God clearly instructed Israel on how to dispose of waste. He said: "Designate a place outside the camp where you can go to relieve yourself. As part of your equipment have something to dig with, and when you relieve yourself, dig a hole and cover up your excrement" (Deuteronomy 23:12-13, NIV).
If mankind had listened to God’s instructions, recorded by Moses thousands of years before, lives could’ve been saved.
There are many more examples like this, where scientific discoveries of modern times have proven principles in the Bible that are plain for anyone to read. When the Bible does speak about practical matters of science, it is not only accurate but centuries ahead of human experience and research.
We’ve covered prophecy, archaeology and science to support the truth of the Bible. And, there are many additional proofs to consider if we had the time. So, what does this mean for you and what should you do?
The Bible is true. It is what it claims to be--the inspired, divine, holy revelation of God, the Creator. It is the true account that the Creator has put in your hands. God is a living God that challenges other gods to perform like He can.
He says: “Tell us, you idols, what is going to happen. Tell us what the former things were, so that we may consider them and know their final outcome. Or declare to us the things to come, tell us what the future holds, so we may know that you are gods. Do something, whether good or bad, so that we will be dismayed and filled with fear” (Isaiah 41:22-23 NIV).
As we study these things, we have to take a close look at the lives we lead. We have to analyze what changes need to be made in our own lives. God has given us an instruction book on life. God, through His word, foretells the events that will lead up to the end-time. What are you going to do about it? Once you know that God has laid out in detail future events, it’s in your hands to decide what to do. It’s now between you and God. I can only show you where to go and where to find truth. It’s now in your hands.
You’ve been watching our show for some time now. We’re glad you’re here. We come on here every week to proclaim the good news of God’s coming Kingdom. Pick up His Word today. Pray and ask Him to open your mind and your heart to understanding. The Bible is real. It’s life changing and it’s worth every effort you put into it.
We’ll have the Beyond Today panel back in a minute to discuss this topic further. But first, let me tell you about our free study aid: Is the Bible True? As you have heard on today’s program, the Bible has over many decades, taken a back seat to science. But as scientists have reexamined the Bible’s instruction, they've found it's actually been way ahead of its time.
So, you really need this, this dynamic study aid to help you better understand how the Bible is highly relevant to your life today. To request your free copy of: Is the Bible True? call toll free: 1-888-886-8632. That’s 1-888-886-8632. Or you can go online to BeyondToday.tv to read or download this Bible study aid. If you live outside North America, please contact us at the address on your screen [Beyond Today, PO Box 541027, Cincinnati, OH 45254].
When you order your free study aid, we’ll also send you a free subscription to our bi-monthly Beyond Today magazine. This publication is filled with articles that will also enlighten you to the many astonishing truths found in your Bible.
To order your free subscription to Beyond Today magazine and our Bible study aid, Is the Bible True? call: 1-888-886-8632. Or, write to us at the address shown on your screen. And of course, you can read Is the Bible True? and Beyond Today online at BeyondToday.tv.
I’m joined now by fellow Beyond Today hosts, Steve Myers and Gary Petty. As we talk about this subject of the Bible being true, we earlier mentioned that ever since it began to be written there were scoffers and skeptics, what’s behind the attacks on the Bible?
[Gary] You know Darris, I think there are two kinds of people. There are a certain people who just don’t believe in the Bible, they don’t believe in God. But, there is an awful lot of people out there who have a concept of God and they believe there is a Supreme Being but they don’t like doing what this Book says. They like the promises, they like the ideas, but they don’t like doing what it says. And it really comes down to, they just don’t want to have God as the sovereign over their lives.
[Steve] I think that is the problem. That so many want to believe in a Supreme Being and yet, that means I have to submit myself to what He says. And so if God says this and He knows the best way to live then I have to do it. And that means somebody else has to govern my life instead of me, and that’s a challenge for every one of us. We have to come to that to realize this is God’s Word and we need to obey it.
[Darris] Throughout history that really is an underlying cause of so much of the attacks upon the Bible and its authority, cause people don’t like to be told what to do.
How is it that living by the Bible is an ultimate or valid proof to us of its authenticity?
[Gary] Now that’s an interesting question. Because we can argue how the Bible can be proved through archeology or history or like you did in the program…
[Gary] But to a skeptic, they’ll come up with other arguments. And there’s a point where this is a book of faith. You believe that there is a God and you believe that this is His Book that He has given to us. And how do you prove it? You live it.
And that’s what’s so hard. You know, the three of us can give our testimonies here about how this Book means so much to us, but until somebody else actually does it, they won’t understand what we’re talking about.
[Steve] You have to be doers--doers of the Word it says. Not only just faith but you have to put it into practice and I think that’s the key. When God says He has inspired this Word and its good for so many different things, that we can prove things and we can see that it’s true and we can understand it and it is good for those kinds of things, and becoming more god-like, more godly in our life, well how do you do that? It means you got to put it into practice and you’ve got to apply it in your life. And so that’s what we’ve got to do, is begin to make use out of it.
[Darris] I guess that’s what it means when the Bible says to taste and see whether these things be true (Psalm 34:8).
[Steve] And so many times God keeps pointing that out, over and over in different ways. He even says, test it. Test it out.
[Darris] Prove Me.
[Steve] Hang on to what’s good. And these are good things for us, and so He is our Creator and He knows what’s best.
[Darris] So it comes down to taking this Book as true and recognizing that it’s a living breathing document that is vibrantly alive.
[Gary] And you know, it is alive. These are the Living Words of the Almighty God. And I think there’s a lot of people today, you hear the term Christian-Agnostic. Now that seems like an oxymoron but there are Christians who claim they believe in God, they just don’t’ really believe in the Bible. It’s a myth. They don’t see it as the Living Word of God. It’s living! It’s meant to interact with us, give us the knowledge God wants us to have and change our lives.
[Steve] And it doesn’t matter when you live, because it applied at the time of Adam. It applied throughout history. It applies now. And like we say on the program, the Bible, like our program tries to do, give help for today--which the Bible does, and it also gives us hope for tomorrow. So throughout the whole Word of God, we have His plan and we have His purpose, not only for the future but for us right today, to make a huge difference in our life.
[Darris] So, when we really come back to this idea that skeptics, critical thinkers attack the Bible, it for the reasons that we’ve said, they don’t want an authority over their life. But we see so much in our popular culture today that attempts to relegate this Book to myth, and not true and the way it is portrayed and talked about in so much of our popular culture.
[Gary] One of the great reasons for that, people do not want to believe that God is both a God of love and of justice. That there are results to our actions and God is someone who actually punishes people or holds us accountable for our actions, and people don’t want to believe that.
[Darris] The matter of judgment with God, that there is a God of Judgment and a day of judgment--it’s pretty heavy stuff.
[Gary] Yes, and that’s what people don’t want to accept.
[Darris] Well, make sure that you order your personal, free copy of our study aid, Is the Bible True? and your free subscription to Beyond Today magazine. All you have to do is call toll free: 1-888-886-8632. Do that right now. Again, the number is: 1-888-886-8632. Or, go online at BeyondToday.tv for both of these offers.
All of our publications are completely free of charge and they’re offered to you as an educational service. So please, call or write. We look forward to hearing from you.
Also, if you’d like to discover much more about the wonderful truths of the Bible, we invite you to tune in every other Wednesday night for our live online Bible studies. Join me and our other Beyond Today hosts, as we examine important biblical subjects including, prophecy, doctrine and Christian living. Our Bible studies are webcast live every two weeks. Click on the Bible studies link on the page. You can find them on our website BeyondToday.tv
Is the Bible true? We on Beyond Today believe that it is, and we believe you can trust its message as a daily guide to your life. You can trust it as a direct revelation from the Creator God of the universe, the God of Abraham. He is your Father and you can establish a direct personal relationship with Him as you read this book.
The Bible is true and the proof can be readily examined. Skeptics who attack the Bible have yet to prove it wrong.
Do yourself a favor. Start today to study and to learn from the Bible--God’s Word to us.
Get our free offer today and begin reading the Bible every day as a personal message from God to you. And keep watching Beyond Today. We give you help for today and hope for tomorrow.
Please join us in praying “Thy Kingdom come.” For Beyond Today, I’m Darris McNeely--thanks for watching.
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