I thought I’d start a series of discussion topics (DT) you can use in your home church gatherings. These are topics that I’ve found to be hugely influential over the course of my Christian walk and have helped me to ‘have a reason for the hope that is in you’ (1 Peter 3:15). The first one I’m going to look at is the foundational book for all Christians, the Bible.
Some people say that Bible stands for ‘Basic instructions before leaving earth’. It may not be true but it shows how important the Bible is for a Christian. It is our basic manual to hear from God this side of eternity. That’s why it is so important to be certain that it is directly from God.
A lot of people will try to discredit the Bible and say it is simply a book written by man. Here are 7 key points which prove that the Bible contains the words of God.
1. The Bible is the best-selling book in the world.
Bible sales are about 100 million per year, with approximately 5 billion in total sales! No other book even comes close. The 7 Harry Potter books have sold approximately 500 million copies since the first one was released in 1997. In that same period there have been 2 billion Bibles sold. That is 4 Bibles sold for every Harry Potter book!
2. The Bible has been translated into more languages than any other book.
The Bible has been translated into over 650 languages around the world. This is more than twice as many languages as the next book.
3. The Bible claims to be written by God.
One preacher stated that the Bible uses “thus says the Lord” and similar phrases over 3,600 times.
Imagine I write on a piece of paper the phrase, ‘God is love.’ How did the writing get there? Did I write it or did the pen write it?
There is no separation. I can’t write it without the pen and the pen can’t write it without me. It is the same with God. He uses man to write his words. He can’t write them without us and we can’t write them without him.
However, just because the Bible claims God as its author, does that mean He is? Of course not. I could write you a letter telling you to give me your house and sign it “From – God.” Would you do it? You’d be gullible in the extreme to do so. If you did, then you would believe any religious text that claims to be written by God. E.g. the book of Mormon, the K’oran or the Bhagavad Gita.
4. Historical & archaeological evidence supports the Bible.
No one has yet been able to identify a single historical mistake anywhere in the Bible. That in itself is amazing. If man wrote it, we would certainly find errors after all these years—but there are none.
There have also been 25,000 archaeological finds relating to people, places, and events in the Bible —and not one has contradicted anything in the Scriptures. That’s incredible proof of the Bible’s trustworthiness.
5. Long lasting.
Voltaire was a famous French philosopher who lived about 230 years ago. He disliked and openly mocked the Bible and Christianity and said, “In 100 years there will be no more Bibles on the earth.” The Bible has certainly not disappeared, and it has been around for over 2000 years.
6. Fulfilled prophecies.
There is only one book in the world that has hundreds of detailed prophecies. The prophecies in that book have all come true to the smallest detail, apart from the ones that are still to happen. That book is the Bible. A lot of these are found in the gospel of Matthew. Here are some others:
The Book of Micah (5:2) tells us that the Messiah will be born in Bethlehem—not in Jerusalem, Atlanta, or New York. And Jesus was born in Bethlehem (Luke 2:4–7).
The Book of Zechariah (11:12,13) says that this Messiah will be betrayed for thirty pieces of silver. Jesus was betrayed for thirty pieces of silver (Matthew 26:15).
The Book of Psalms (chapter 22) says that this Messiah will be pierced in His hands and His feet. This prophecy is amazing because it was written 800 years before crucifixion was ever used as a means of punishment, yet Jesus was pierced in His hands and feet (Matthew 27:35).
7. Heptadic structure.
You might be asking what I’m on about right now. This basically means that the number seven — or an exact multiple of seven — is found repeatedly throughout the Bible. The Sabbath on the seventh day is probably the most well-known example.
There is a less well-known example but by far the most comprehensive.
Before I show you, I want you to try writing out your genealogy including just your Father and your Father’s Father.
E.g. John was the son of Frank. Frank was the son of Thomas.
Now try to fulfil the following criteria.
The total number of words should be a multiple of 7.
If you can do that, then try to make the total number of letters a multiple of 7.
Now try making the total number of vowels a multiple of 7.
Finally make all the consonants a multiple of 7.
Change the wording as you see fit and add more generations if you need to. If you can do it, let me know. My guess is that you won’t be able to.
These are exactly the criteria that the genealogy of Jesus Christ found in Matthew 1:1-17 fulfill.
The number of Greek words used is 49, or 7 x 7.
The total numbers of letters in these 49 words is 266, or 7 x 38.
The number of vowels among these 266 letters is 140, or 7 x 20.
The number of consonants is 126, or 7 x 18.
Of these 49 words, the number of those beginning with a vowel is 28, or 7 x 4.
The number of words beginning with a consonant is 21, or 7 x 3.
There are a list of other occurrences but this should be enough to realise that with man this is impossible. But with God all things are possible.