Islam’s Jesus By Jack Kinsella I received an email today from someone taking me to…
BLIND Faith? I Don’t Think So
By Jack Kinsella
None of the prophets of the Old Testament were volunteers. Being a prophet of God was not a popular job, since most of God’s prophets lived miserably and died painfully.
Most, like Moses or Jeremiah, did their best to talk God out of hiring them.
The writers of the Bible, for the most part, did not know one another — in some cases, they didn’t even know OF one another. The Bible is actually a compilation of sixty-six separate and individual books, each capable of standing on its own.
The Bible that we have today had forty different human authors who lived and died in different places and mostly in different centuries, beginning with Moses, who wrote the first five books of the Bible in the 14th century BC, and ending with the Apostle John, who penned the final, “Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ” sometime around the end of the first century.
Yet with all of that, every book blends seamlessly into the rest, both the books that came before, and those that came AFTER. Some books of the Bible quote other books not yet written at that time. Others quote earlier prophets or sacred writing, but all are harmonious with one another.
The writing of the Scripture is nothing short of miraculous in and of itself. Its preservation over the centuries is mind-boggling, if you let yourself think about it. You and I have both experienced discussions with non-believers convinced they can prove the Bible is wrong.
They rail and babble and quote everybody EXCEPT the Scriptures, and in the end, come away as convinced as when they went in. Or get mad and just go away.
Think how many times similar conversations take place around the world, every single day.
Then, take a look at the broader view: In every generation since its compilation, the Bible has been the subject of discussion between believers and non-believers. In every generation, non-believers have made it their mission in life to disprove the Scriptures.
Any discrepancy has been analyzed and re-analyzed by both friend and foe, read and re-read, argued and re-argued, in a million conversations over thousands of years. The Bible says of itself,
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” (2 Timothy 3:16)
The Bible is wholly consistent with known science. The book of Isaiah said the earth was round tens of centuries before Columbus.
“It is He that sitteth upon the circle of the earth…” (Isaiah 40:22)
Who told Isaiah, a Jewish prophet that lived and died more than five hundred years before Christ, that the earth was round? Until Columbus, most mariner’s maps ended somewhere in the midst of the Atlantic with notations like, “There be sea monsters here.”
Ecclesiates 1:6 reveals that the winds move in cyclonic patterns and Job tells us that light is in motion (Job 38:19-20) thousands of years before weather satellites and Einstein’s calculations proved both to be true. How did they know?
Medically, the Bible tells us the chemical nature of human life (Genesis 2:7, 3:19) that the life of creatures are in the blood (Leviticus 17:11), the nature of infectious diseases (Leviticus 13:46) and the importance of sanitation to health (Numbers 19, Deuteronomy 23:12-13, Leviticus 7-9) many thousands of years before doctors were still practicing blood-letting as a treatment for disease.
Job knew that the “earth hangs on nothing”. Job lived around the time of Abraham, some two thousand years BEFORE Christ. Who told him that?
The list goes on. Every historical event described by the Bible has either been confirmed by other sources, or has yet to be confirmed. Not a single historical event described by Scripture has ever conclusively been disproved.
Sometimes, it is necessary to go back and take another look at the Source and meditate on just what a miracle it is in order to get a clearer understanding of what it says. It helps to reconfirm that everything it says is true.
Despite thousands of years of editorial criticism, the Bible stands essentially unchanged from when it was first given.
A complete copy of the Book of Isaiah was unearthed as part of the Dead Sea Scroll treasures and is today enshrined in the Dome of the Tablets in Jerusalem. I have personally seen it and marveled at the fact its date could NOT be questioned. It could NOT be younger than the day it was buried in AD 70.
But, apart from grammatical changes made necessary by changes in Hebrew grammar over the centuries, it reads exactly the same way as the Book of Isaiah in your own Bible.
It makes sense to assume the rest of the Scriptures are equally accurate, since there is no evidence to the contrary and all the available evidence supports Scripture.
The Bible’s accuracy is not limited to where mankind has been and what he has learned over the centuries. It is a book of geography, science, history and medicine, but that only scratches the surface.
It is every bit as accurate in its accounts of the things that are not yet done.
“Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure:” (Isaiah 46:9-10)
The prophecies of the Bible are, from God’s perspective, ALREADY history.
“…yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.” (Isaiah 46:11)
So not only does the God of the Bible know all things, but He has chosen to make known to us, through the Bible, what is still to come! In fact, even more than that, the God of the Bible CHALLENGES any so-called ‘gods’ to do the same.
“Produce your cause, saith the LORD; bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob. Let them bring them forth, and shew us what shall happen: let them shew the former things, what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things for to come. Shew the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods: yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold it together.” (Isaiah 41:21-23)
From God’s perspective, which is uniquely outside of space and time, everything is now, so to speak. God’s historical pronouncements are given from the benefit of Divine Hindsight. His prophetic pronouncements also enjoy the benefit of Divine Hindsight.
The Bible describes the future, but to God, it has already happened, if you can follow that line of reasoning for a minute. Since to God, it already happened, the events that remain yet future will be fulfilled as specifically as those events that have already come to pass.
The Bible is also an eyewitness to the power and coming of our Lord Jesus.
“For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I KNOW WHOM I HAVE BELIEVED, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.” (2 Timothy 1:12)
“For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty.” (2 Peter 1:16)
Think about that! The New Testament record is a record of eyewitness accounts! How can we know that this is true? Apart from the testimony of Scripture and the testimony of history, there is also the testimony of logic.
When Jesus was taken by the Sanhedrin to the house of Caiaphas, the Apostles, all of whom had heard His teaching and witnessed the Lord’s miracles, they fled in fear. Peter denied even knowing Him on three separate occasions.
After His Ascension into Heaven, the Apostles began to spread the Gospel without fear. Every single one of them, was given a choice. Renounce Jesus or die a horrible death.
Imagine that YOU had seen Jesus. Imagine that YOU had watched Him heal the lame, give sight to the blind, raise the dead. . . Now, imagine that you saw Him killed, then saw Him alive, put your fingers in the nail holes, then spent more than a month with Him after you had witnessed His death?
Knowing all that you know, and having actually SEEN Jesus ascending into heaven, along comes some ruler who tells you that if you don’t deny what you have seen, well, that ruler will send you to be with Jesus again.
You’ve seen Jesus. You’ve talked with Jesus. You watched Jesus ascend into heaven. You heard the two angels promise He will return in the same manner — but you have to wait.
So along comes some guy who promises to cut short the wait and send you into the glory you KNOW awaits you. (Oh no! Not Heaven! Anything but that!)
The Apostles paid a heavy price for their faith, even before being called upon to make the final payment with their lives. Being an Apostle was no fun. Each of the Apostles was an apostate Jew in the eyes of their friends and families. Most were declared ritually dead.
They were ostracized, insulted, beaten, run out of town, arrested, imprisoned, and generally hounded everywhere they went. Each of them was given an opportunity to save his own life by renouncing his testimony of Jesus.
And with the exception of the Apostle John, every single one of them chose a brutal, torturous death, instead.
Eusebius records that Bartholomew was given such a choice; Bartholomew chose beheading.
James the Less was beaten, clubbed and stoned to death. Andrew was crucified, although he was bound, rather than nailed, in order to prolong his suffering. Peter was crucified upside down.
Thomas was killed in India when he was thrust through with a spear wielded by an enraged pagan priest. James, the brother of John, was executed by order of Herod Agrippa. Phillip was crucified in Phrygia. Matthew was speared in Ethiopia. Jude was crucified in Odessa and Simon was crucified in Britain.
The skeptic denies their eyewitness testimony, but fails to give any reasonable explanation for why. Why would they all accept a life of misery and deprivation, culminating in a torturous death, just to spread a myth?
Does it seem reasonable that twelve guys would sit around a campfire and make up a story that ruined their lives (in the natural) just so they could be known by their first names 2000 years later? Of course it doesn’t. So the skeptic simply denies the historical record.
Nobody denies the accuracy of Plato’s writings. Or Tacitus. Or Homer. Or Suetonius. Or Flavius Josephus (except the part where he refers to Jesus as an actual historical figure).
Skeptics, liberals, and cults and false religions such as Islam that claim the Bible has been tampered with are completely proven false by the extensive, historical manuscript evidence.
But it doesn’t matter. The skeptics continue to assault the Bible on any and all fronts, applying the most unreasonable standards for accuracy imaginable.
They hate it, and they can’t even explain why. That is also, to the Christian, evidence of its Divine Origin.
That hatred is so blind, so unreasoning, and so irrational that it cannot be explained in any other way.
“Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man’s sake.” (Luke 6:22)
It takes a spiritual ‘operation’ to remove that blindness, but we can only point a person in the direction of the Divine eye Surgeon.
But they have to request the ‘operation’ for themselves.