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Lesson 3 of 50 - Apologetics (part three) -
Section A, Chapter 4 - Authenticity of the Old Testament
Section A, Chapter 5 - Philosophical Proof for the Existence of God
Section A, Chapter 6 - Scientific Proof
Written

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TAKE THE TESTS -

Written Notes

Review Points


Questions

Supplementary Material

Source Books

2004 mp3 Audio

2009 mp3 Audio (ch. 4), Authenticity of the OT

Real Player Video (ch. 4), Authenticity of OT

300 class sessions in
2012-2019 Bible School Series

Chapter Tests:
Sect A, Ch 4 -
Authenticity of the Old Testament

Sect A, Ch 5 -
Philosophical Proof for Existence of God

Sect A, Ch 6 - Scientific Proof

Essay Tests:
Sect A, Ch 4 - State Your Views of JEPD

Sect A, Ch 5 - Advantages of a Challenge

Sect A, Ch 6 - Contrast Theology & Scripture


Apologetics: Chapter 4 (2012)
Authenticity of the Old Testament
 

 
Apologetics: Chapter 5 (2009)
Philosophical Proof for the
Existence of God
 

 
Apologetics: Chapter 6 (2009)
Scientific Proof for the
Existence of God
 

 


Apologetics: Chapter 5 (2012)
Philosophical Proof for the
Existence of God
 

 
Apologetics: Chapter 6 (2012)
Scientific Proof for the
Existence of God
 

Authenticity of the Old Testament

Our Old Testament is the same 39 books accepted by Jews in Jesus’ day and by the early church. 

The Old Testament is divided into three parts:

  1. Law of Moses (The Pentateuch or first five books of the OT)
  2. Prophets (including the historical books)
  3. Poetic writings

Jesus spoke of the Old Testament in this way when he said:
“Everything must be fulfilled about me in the Law of Moses, the prophets and the Psalms.”  (Luke 24:44)

There was no meeting or council in the Old Testament times that met to accept these books.
It appears that each book was accepted as its writer presented it.
The books then were self-authentidcating.

The Old Testament comes down to us in six forms:

  1. Masoretic text (see below)
  2. Septuagint (translated from Hebrew to Greek around 280 BC)
  3. Latin Vulgate (Hebrew translated into to Latin by Jerome in 400 AD)
  4. Samaritan Pentateuch (handed down from 400 BC by Samaritans)
  5. Syriac Version (translated 200 AD)
  6. The Dead Sea Scrolls

Masoretic Text 

The Masoretic Text comes from Jewish scribes from 500 AD.  The scribes systematically sorted and co9mpared the various manuscripts.  They wrote the variant readings in the margins.  There are about 1,200 variant readings, or one per page. We have about 1,000 Masoretic manuscripts.  The oldest is fro 916 AD.  The variation in these texts is basically non existent.

These books contained copied portions of the Old Testament.  These books show us that our OT is essentially the same today as when these books were written:

  1. Book of Jubilees
    1. Information
    2. Text (click here and scroll to bottom of the page that opens to see sections including "The Book of Giants", "The Generations of Adam", "The Martrydom of Isaiah", and more.
    3. Written 135-105 BC
  2. The Talmud
    1. Talmud and Mishna
    2. Copy of the Talmud here
    3. Written 200 AD
  3. Josephus
    1. Josephus home page
    2. Written 70-100 BC
  4. Philo
    1. Text of Philo
    2. Philo lived 20 BC-50 AD
  5. Zadokite Fragments
    1. These are documents from Qumran where a group of pious Jews fled to preserve the way of righteousness and to avoid Antiochus Ephipanes around 165 BC.  There are two sections of these documents: one calls the people to obey God’s covenant and introduces the “Teacher of Righteousness”; The second records the statutes concerning vows, assemblies, and other instructions for members and for new members.
    2. Text of Zadokite Document
    3. Image
    4. The Pierced Messiah 
  6. Targums
    1. Targums are Aramaic Translations of the Hebrew Scritptures
    2. Discussion of the Targums
  7. New Testament
    1. The New Testament often quotes the Old Testament which helps authenticate the contents of the Old Testament document in the first century AD
    2. There are 320 Old Testament quotes in the New Testament

No other ancient writings have been so accurately handed down with such an abundance of textual evidence.

 Refuting Higher Criticism
* Writing was Common in Abraham's Day . . . . . . * Library with 1,000s of Cunneform Tablets

JEPD
Higher criticism says there were four different writers of the book of Genesis.  They call them J, E, P and D .  The writers are believed by the critics to have written at different times during the years of 900-600 BC.  This false theory was developed between 19806-1878.
These four fictional writers are called by the critics:

  1. Jehovist (J) since in his writing he referred to God by the name “Jehovah”
  2. Elohist (E) since in his writing he referred to God by the Hebrew word “Elohim”
  3. Priestly (P) since in his writing he seems to support the priestly concepts and traditions
  4. Deuteronomist (D) since in his writing he seems to be aware of the laws and traditions of Deuteronomy.

The information in the book of Genesis was collected by eyewitnesses to the events and edited by Moses.  Several places Genesis uses the formula “these are the generations of _______ (Adam, Seth, Noah, or someone) or “this is the account of _________”.  These men were the eyewitnesses of these events

In the 1800’s the critics denied the accuracy and authenticity of the Old Testament because other ancient writings did not record people like the Hittites, the Horites or Edomites.  These people were only referred to in the book of Genesis and were unheard of in other historical documents into the 1800’s.  What archaeology found in the years since is:

  1. All these peoples, nations and their cities existed and have been excavated.
  2. The Davidic-Solmonic empire existed
  3. The Babylonian captivity and return are now considered historical
  4. The names of over 40 different kins of various countries mentioned in the OT have been found in documents and inscriptions.

These findings prove:

  1. The OT was written by the contemporaries of these events
  2. The OT was written carefully and accurately
  3. The OT has been copied and preserved methodically until our time.

Jesus and the Old Testament

  1. Jesus accepted the OT as authentic
  2. Jesus said, “The Scripture cannot be broken.” (John 10:35)
  3. Jesus said, “It is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.” (Luke 16:17)
  4. Jesus accepted Moses as the author of the Pentateuch. (Luke 24:27; John 5:46-47)
  5. Jesus accepted Isaiah as the author of both the first and second halves of the Book of Isaiah (Matt. 13:14 Jesus quotes Isaiah 6:9-10; John 12:38 Jesus quotes Isaiah 53:1)
  6. Jesus accepted Daniel as the author of the book of Daniel. (Matt. 24:15)
  7. Jesus accepted these people as historical people and not figurative or mythical:
    1. Adam and Eve in Matt. 19:4,5
    2. Abel Matt. 23:35
    3. Noah in Luke 17:26
    4. Abraham in John 8:56-58
    5. Lot in Luke 17:28
  8. Jesus accepted the creation in Genesis as historical. (Mark 10:6-9)
  9. Jesus accepted the Flood as historical. (Matt. 24:37-39)
  10. Jesus accepted the following as miracles:
    1. Sodom
    2. Lot’s wife
    3. Manna
    4. Serpents
    5. Elijah
    6. Elisha
    7. Jonah

It is a serious thing to challenge the authority of the Old Testament when Jesus accepted the authority of the OT

Why the Late Date is Wrong
Some critics of the authenticity of the Old Testament reject the idea that Moses wrote Genesis-Deuteronomy in 1400 BC.  Instead they say the first five books of the OT were forged around 700 BC or even after the Jews returned from Babylonian captivity in 500 BC.  This is wrong for several reasons but it is ridiculous for this reason:  Imagine the scribes and pr4iest presenting the Law of Moses to the Jews for the first time in 700 BC or in 535 BC.  Imagine the Jews being told that some ancient documents had been found by the priest after they had been misplaced for hundreds of years.  Imagine the Jews hearing for the first time with no historical setting or background that:

  1. There was a man named Moses who led them out of slavery in Egypt some 600-900 years before.
  2. This “Moses” wrote some books and created an entire system to live by and be governed by.  They would have heard for the first time about their:
    1. Priesthood
    2. System of worship
    3. Temple
    4. Priests and the power the priest had including receiving 10% of the lands produce.  (Remember: this is the same priesthood that found these “lost” books, but also, the same priesthood that then would have had lost them hundreds of years ago.)
    5. National History
    6. Legendary Heroes: Abraham, Isaac, Samson, David, Solomon
    7. Tithes, offerings and sacrifices to support the priests
    8. Holy Writings
    9. Practice of circumcision that would have then had to begin with all the adult men
    10. Annual Passover which was for the purpose of remembering an event that they had never heard of (and, according to the critics had never happened.)

Would the kings, leaders, rulers, aristocracy and other religious leaders have accepted the priests’ new find?
Would the majority of the people have welcomed an unheard of history recorded by an unheard of man that told them to give 10% to the newly introduced priests and circumcise all the adult males?

It is unbelievable to think that an entire generation would have accepted and practiced all the institutions in the law of Moses unless it was a generation of people who actually:

  1. Experience release from Egyptian slavery
  2. Heard Moses speak and saw him strike the land of Egypt with plagues
  3. Followed Moses to the mountain where they saw God descend on the mountain and give the law.
  4. Lived in the wilderness and saw the promised land.

It is easier to believe these were historical events that made a real impact on a generation of people than to think it was a forgery that blindly convinced an entire generation to foolishly follow undocumented writings.

The Date of Deuteronomy

Philosophical Proof for the Existence of God

The more a true witness is challenged or questioned the more perfect his testimony will be.  Court room drama is based on this principle.  The more a witness is questioned the more obvious it will be if they are lying or telling the truth.  This is why the concept of the existence of God, the authenticity of the Bible and the Christian faith should not be afraid of being challenged, questioned or examined.  An attack on Christianity will only prove it to be true.

When there are not many facts known about an event or a suspect then negative evidence of small account.  For example, there is little physical evidence easily accessible to prove or disprove Noah’s flood, so the fact that we do not physically have Noah’s ark does not prove that it did not happen.  But, when ignorance on a subject is great then the smallest amount of supporting evidence will have great weight.  If we did find Noah’s ark and the measurements fit the description in Genesis then we would tend to believe the whole story.

Skeptics will make the following statements concerning the Bible based on their assumptions:


Here are five links that show Archaeological findings that support the biblical account: A      C   D    E
Here is a link that philosophically supports the existence of God:   F

It is irrational (unreasonable to the human mind) that the universe came from nothing.  This is an illogical thought to:

  1. The ancient mind
  2. The modern Eastern and Western mind
  3. Scientific thought
  4. Philosophy
  5. Any method of reasoning or system of Logic

The existence of God is reasonable.  It is one of the truths about God that does not take spiritual insight.  Many truths about God come only through revelation or spiritual insight (Word of God, Spirit of God).  God’s existence is perceived with mere human reason and observation:

“What may be known about God is plain . . .understood from what has         
been made . . . they knew God. . .”
  Romans 1:19-21

After six thousand years of thought and research nothing is easier to verify and harder to disprove than: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

POINT OF DOCTRINE NUMBER ONE:
A being greater than the universe has to exist.

  1. Reasons logically dependent on sense experience
    1. Cause (cosmological) – There cannot be an infinite regress of finite causes.  There must be an uncaused causer.
    2. Design (Teleological) – Observable order and design demand a designer.
    3. Moral (Anthropological) - all people posses moral impulse.  Behavioral science cannot explain this since many moral behaviors go unrewareded for long periods of time. The development of moral behavior cannot come out of nature.
    4. Motion - motion cannot start itself. Infinite regress of motion is meaningless. This is the Greeks concept of the unmovable mover.
    5. Perfection - There is a universal pyramid of beings seen from insects to men. Man is at the top of the existence pyramid, but the universe is too grand for man to be the ultimate expressionof existence.
    6. Dependency - All things exist in a network of relationships and dependency. Infinite regress of dependency is contradictory. Everything must begin with an independent being.
  2. Reasons logically independent of sense experience
    1. Perfect Being (Ontological) - concept of perfection exists but is never attained. We did not develop the thought of perfection because we saw it.
    2. Innate Idea - People in all cultures through out time have been born with the concept of the idea of God.
    3. Mysticism - Man can and has experienced God directly in his life. This union is so real it is self-validating.
    4. Truth - The concept of truth exists. People seek truth so the ultimate truth exists.
    5. Man is Finite - The fact that we are finite proves their is the infinite.
    6. Blessedness - Man is basically restless, searching, striving. This drive is only fulfilled when man finds God.

C.S. Lewis made this point:
If there is hunger, there is food.
If there is thirst, there is drink.
If there is curiosity, there is knowledge.
If there is loneliness, there is society.

But, starvation does not prove that food does not exist.
Loneliness does not prove that other people don't exist.
So also, failure to achieve immortality, to reach paradise,
or to find God does not prove any of these don't exist.

If God Does Exist, Who is He?
God would be greater than his creation in every way.
God's creation would reflect his nature and his qualities just as Romans 1:20 says:
"For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made."

The Universe Appears As:
First Cause (God) Must Be:
Limitless Space
Infinite
Unending Time
Eternal
Perpetual Motion
Omnipotent
Unbordered Variety
Omnipresent
Infinitely Complex
Omniscience
People Have:
First Cause (God) Must Be:
Personality
Personal
Feelings
Emotional
Will
Volitioinal
Ethics
Moral
System of right and wrong
Holy
System of Justice
Just
Love
Loving
Life
Living

The above description of the creation and the human creatures reflect a First Cause, or a God, that matches exactly the God described in the Jewish and Christian scriptures.
Whoever God is, his character and his qualities must be seen in creation itself.
If what a person describes as "god" is not compatible with the created world then that "god" is not the True God.

To Create this universe God must be transcendent (outside the boundaries of the universe). This means God can not be described as one with the universe like the force in "Star Wars". The First Cause cannot be the mindlessness, less-than conscious unity known as the Supreme Soul of Eastern religions because that state itself lacks purpose and design. The Creator must be personable since he created people with personalities. These people long to interact with others. Likewise, the Creator must be imminent (involved in our world, close at hand) and desirous of relationship with people in an even more intense way than humans experience. His love, holiness, wrath, etc. all go far past human ability or understanding. God's character and abode is like our's but without limits.

Scientific Proof for the Existence of God

There are no conflicts with Scripture and Nature. Both are the work of God.
There are conflicts with theology and science because:

  1. Theology is man's study of God's inspired scriptures
  2. Science is man's study of God's created natural world

Remember:

  1. Both groups, theologians and scientist) are subject to error -
    1. Galileo (1564-1642) was kept under house arrest by the church for eight years for supporting the Copernican theory that stated that the earth revolved around the sun.
    2. Science once believed in the eternal cosmos. They taught that the universe had always existed up until the days of Einstein and Hubble.
  2. Either group is subject to correction by the other
    1. Science has refuted the flat earth theory so theologians can no longer use the scriptural referring to the "four corners of the earth" as literal.
    2. Science held to spontaneous generation into the mid-1800's even though scripture taught God made animal life to reproduce "according to their kind."
  3. The Bible is not a science textbook, but it is scientifically accurate.
  4. Science is constantly in the process of developing

Bertrand Russell wrote in 1935 that science had successively refuted all the main tenets of religion.
He explained that the modern understanding of the universe was the product of two major scientific revolutions:

  1. The Copernican, that showed that humanity was not the center of the universe as the Bible taught.
  2. The Darwinian, that demonstrated that it was no longer necessary to posit an act of divine creation to explain the origins of human life.
  3. Sigmund Freud then nominated his own discovery of the "unconscious" as a third revolution

Upon these discoveries, Russell then described humanity as a "curious accident in a backwater."
The above numbers 1 and 2 gave Friedrich Nietzsche the confidence in 1885 to say what many people in the Western world were thinking: "God is dead."

In 1917 Einstein published his theory of relativity and tried to conform it to the cosmology of the day which was the Static Universe Theory. (This theory taught that the universe was infinite in age and had always existed. Stars drifted randomly. The Milky Way was all there was.) But, Einstein's general relativity equations demanded that the universe had a beginning. In 1927, Edwin Hubble's telescope showed there were galaxies far outside our own. This was exactly what Einstein's theory had predicted. Science then took a 180 degree turn and needed to develop what became known as the Big Bang Theory. Einstein wrote after looking through Hubble's telescope that it was his desire "to know how God created the world. I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know his thought, the rest are details."

A periodical from July 2000 called Science lists these recently establsished facts that are demanding a response:

  1. If the physical forces within stars wree only slightly different, our universe would be almost devoid of carbon and oxygen, and life would not exist.
  2. If gravity was slightly stronger, all stars would be red dwarfs, too cold to support life.
  3. If gravity was slightly weaker, all stars would be blue giants, burning too briefly for life to develop.
  4. The mass of the neutron in an atom is delicately balanced with the mass of the proton; if it were not protons would decay into neutrons and make life impossible.

This same article had these quotes from scientist in it:

  1. "I am not a religious person, but I could say this universe is designed very well for the existence of life."
  2. "The basic forces in the universe are tailor-made for the production of . . . carbon-based life."
  3. "Imagine a univers-creating machine, with thousands of dials representing the gravitational constant, the charge on the electron, the mass of the proton, and so on. Each dial has many possible settings, and even the slightest change would make a universe where life was impossible."
  4. "The laws of the universe are cunningly contrived to coax life into being." They "somehow know in advance about life and its vast complexity."

The Templeton prize-winner for 2000 says, "the universe in some sense must have known we were coming."

If the nineteenth century's understanding of the universe had been at today's level we would have avoided the entire "death of God" phase of Western history.

Here are somemore facts concerning the perfect balance of our universe for life to exist:

  1. 21% of gases are oxygen. If it was 25% fires would break out spontaneously around the globe. If it were 15% higher life would suffocate.
  2. If protons were not almost exactly 1,836 times heavier than electrons molecules would not be able to form and there would be no chemistry, no life and no one to wonder why.
  3. The position and angle of the earth is set. A few degrees closer we disintegrate. A few degrees away we become a frozen rock.
  4. The 23 degree axis of the earth provides equal distribution of sun and makes possible the food chain.
  5. The atomic clock is the most accurate time instrument we have invented. They are accurate up to within 3 seconds a millennium. We use the rotation of the stars to set and chech these clocks.
  6. After 150 years of study, fossil records are beginning to agree with scripture's account that life forms appeared abruptlly with no transitional forms.

Scientist today who reject the concept of God scramble to craft alternative explanations for the obvious existence of God. They have come up with a variety of ways to explain how life and the universe came into existence without God. Each of their reasons agrees with Romans 1:21,22: "For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools." Here is what the fools in science are saying:

  1. There are "many worlds" and infinite universes. The odds are one would produce life eventually. We were the lucky universe. (Now, if that is good science then the lottery is a logical thing to invest in.)
  2. The zillions of universes are like bubbles in foam. Each one contains more and more little bubbles. (To believe this takes more faith (more blind faith) than any religious explanation. Thus, we see that this phase of science has entered the realm of religion. )
  3. All possible states of a quantum interaction have to be actualized, so that slightly different versions of our universe are constantly splitting off - creating a near-infinitude of new universes every moment. (One scientists points out that this statement is not science when he says, "Invoking an infinitude of unobservable universes to explain the one observable univers is a grotesque violation." Remember science is based in observation.)
  4. Life must have been sent here in a spaceship from a dying civilization and perhaps just the astronauts bacteria survived the journey. Two physicists conclude that just the genetic material was sent here in the first place. Both of these last two ideas come from scientists who have earned Nobel prizes and discovered natural laws. (With this kind of science we are clearly headed back into the dark ages. Bring your flashlights!)

"The Evolution of Man Mathematically Disproved" by William A. Williams in 1925

KEY POINTS (back to the top)

  • The Old Testament has been recorded and preserved accurately.
  • Higher Criticism has technical sounding arguments against the Old Testament but they can be refuted with logic and evidence.
  • Understand JEPD and its false assumptions.
  • Jesus embraced a literal and historical understanding of the Hebrew Scriptures.
  • It is reasonable to conclude there is a God.
  • The Christian God revealed in Scripture has the same characteristics as the Creator of our universe has.
  • Nature and Scripture always agree. Science and theology may disagree.

OTHER SITES with more information concerning OT authenticity: (back to the top)

Historical Proof of the Old Testament

Archeology and the Old Testament

Evidence for God

The Masoretic Text in Hebrew and English

BOOKS from Galyn's Shelf: (back to the top)
"Early Manuscripts and Modern Translations of the New Testament" by Philip Wesley Comfort
"How We Got the Bible" by Neil R. Lightfoot
"Books and Their Makers in the Middle Ages" by Geo. Haven Putnam
"Light from the Ancient East" by Adolf Deissmann

QUESTIONS (back to the top)
Does archeology confirm the Old Testament's accuracy?
What is the Masoretic Text?
What are some of names of the text forms or translations that preserve the ancient Old Testament?
Give examples of how Jesus used the Old Testament as historical.
What do these theories of the origin of the universe all have in common: Big Bang, Oscillation Theory and Static Universe?
How does cause (cosmological) and design (teleological) reasoning prove the existence of a God?
Give an example of science being proved wrong by the Scriptures.
Give an example of theology or scriptural interpretation being proved wrong by a scientific discovery.

TAKE THE TESTS

Chapter Tests:
Sect A, Ch 4 -
Authenticity of the Old Testament

Sect A, Ch 5 -
Philosophical Proof for Existence of God

Sect A, Ch 6 - Scientific Proof

Essay Tests:
Sect A, Ch 4 - State Your Views of JEPD

Sect A, Ch 5 - Advantages of a Challenge

Sect A, Ch 6 - Contrast Theology & Scripture


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 
 
 
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