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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Why I Still Believe: Apostles, Bible, Archaeology

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I'm no Indiana Jones, but the truth of uncovered ancient mysteries makes a great difference for me. God's Word is often classified as pure fiction. But the diggers have been digging for centuries, and the Bible is proven true and historical over and over again.

Here are three more reasons why I still believe.




Five great questions of life: Life * Love * Learning * Labor * Leadership

Life: What's My Spiritual Center?

Why I Still Believe: Apostles, Bible, Archaeology

By Evan Nehring

I've talked about how the both the resurrection of Jesus and Pascal's inner witness strengthen my faith. Here are three more reasons why I still believe.

The faith of the apostles

The apostles’ faith in the resurrection bolsters my faith in Jesus even more. They saw Jesus before, during, and after his resurrection. Then eleven of the twelve apostles died for believing Jesus was alive.
 
I believe that the deaths of the Apostles increase the certainty level of the historicity of the resurrection to a level that is beyond excuse for disbelief. People do not die for their own lies, half-truths, or fabrications. If the Apostles truly died proclaiming to have seen Christ dead then alive and ascend into heaven, Christ is who He said He was: God incarnate who came to take away the sins of the world.[1]
 
 

The Bible

I love God’s Word from cover to cover. The character of these 66 books of the Bible win my allegiance on their own merit.
 
The first senior pastor with whom I served on staff, Dr. Tom Lindberg, masterfully describes the internal witness and consistency of scripture.
Historic Christianity has always held to the infallibility, inerrancy, and authority of the Bible. The confessions and creeds of the church councils through the centuries have stated, proven, and defended the divine inspiration of the Bible. We know the Bible was written over a span of sixteen hundred years by about forty authors. God inspired kings and poets and prophets and shepherds. They wrote out of very different personalities and in very different circumstances. Some wrote from a plush palace setting, while others penned their words during an island exile. Some wrote out of the agony of personal tragedy, while others spoke from the ecstasy of an epiphany. Written in three different languages on three different continents, the biblical authors used 11,280 Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek words. Yet the Bible stands today as totally unique. Despite the fact it touches hundreds of complex subjects and controversial topics, it possesses a supernatural harmony from beginning to end (Martin Luther called this the analogy of faith). To this day it remains omnirelevant to every person on planet earth.
As a lifelong student of the Bible, I wholeheartedly agree that honest study shows this book to be the consistent revelation of God.
 
The document evidence is significant as well. Our colleges will present Plato’s writings as solid and historical without a hundredth of the historical reliability as the Bible.
 

Archaeology

Used by permission. By Clément Bucco-Lechat (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Fedora made famous by movie character Dr. Indiana Jones, professor of archaeology
 
I'm no Indiana Jones, but the truth of uncovered ancient mysteries makes a great difference for me. God's Word is often classified as pure fiction. But the diggers have been digging for centuries, and the Bible is proven true and historical over and over again.
 
The information age has brought a whole new light to the historicity of the Bible and the people it references. Excavations in Israel. The discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls at Qumran. Electronic cross-referencing of ancient writers. All of these add historical weight to the Jesus story.
 
Those who dismiss Jesus as mythological are not serious seekers. They do not dissuade me. They hold their views for their own purposes. Serious seekers of the truth will find the Bible and the historical Jesus on rock solid footing.
 

[1] “What Happened to the Twelve Apostles? How Their Deaths Evidence Easter,” Parchment & Pen Blog, Credo House Ministries accessed March 30, 2011, http://www.reclaimingthemind.org/blog/2009/04/what-happened-to-the-twelve-apostles-how-their-deaths-evidence-easter/.

Missed part one of Why I Believe? Read it here.
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