Christian Answers has a great deal of basic Bible information in case you just do not know much about it:
The Bible is unique among “Holy Books;” it is rooted in and intertwined with actual human history.
The Bible claims to be “the word of God.” It records the interaction of God with historical people and nations. It reveals the meaning of life and the responsibility of human beings to their Creator.
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|Two major sections|
The Bible’s two major sections are the Old Testament and the New Testament. (What’s so new about the New Testament?) (Answer also available in Hungarian, Spanish)
|The Old Testament has… ||The New Testament has… |
|The nine sub-sections of the Bible|
The Bible’s books are arranged by TYPE, rather than chronologically.
Books of Moses and the Law
History of the early church
Bible Gateway For the Christian, reading the Bible is good but studying and learning and acting upon it is crucial. Non-Christians will not understand, but Christianity is about being in a relationship with God in which you continually take in the Word and seek to live it while the Spirit of God grows in influence within you. The Creator God is the Father of all, the Son of God who died to save us and the Spirit of God living within us. This is not sensible to Darwinists, who cannot comprehend the concept of non-material causation.
For a vivid example of this, we need look no further than the popular King James Version, which celebrates its 400th anniversary this year. The Grateful to the Dead blog has assembled a list of words from the KJV that have very different meanings today than they did when the KJV was first published. For example (KJV words are in bold, followed by the modern equivalent):
amazement terror, 1 Pet 3:6. A much stronger and more negative meaning. We’ve sort of domesticated this word, haven’t we?
bowels (1) heart(s) (metaphorically, as the seat of emotion), Gen 43:30; 1 Kgs 3:26; Ps 109:18; Isa 16:11; 63:15; Jer 31:20; Lam 1:20; 2:11; Phlm 7, 12, 20. (2) compassion, Isa 63:15; Phil 1:8; 2:1; Col 3:12. (3) affections, 2 Cor 6:12. (4) anguish, Jer 4:19. (5) innermost self, Song 5:4. A difficult image for us to appreciate today; seems to derive from an ancient Hebrew understanding of the “guts” as the seat of compassionate emotion. The closest we have now is in phrases like “go with your gut” and “gut check,” which refers more to intuition than love.
by and by immediately, Matt 13:21; Mark 6:25; Luke 17:7; 21:9. Today, “by and by” seems to have the opposite meaning—something that will happen eventually.
careful anxious, Luke 10:41; Phil 4:6. So, in the Sermon on the Mount, “Be careful for nothing” means, “don’t let anything make you full of care,” that is, “make you anxious.”
conversation (1) way of life, 2 Cor 1:12; Gal 1:13; Eph 2:3; 4:22; Phil 1:27; 1 Tim 4:12; Heb 13:5, 7; Jas 3:13; 1 Pet 1:8; 2:12; 3:1, 2, 16; 2 Pet 2:7; 3:11. (2) life, 1 Pet 1:15. (3) in the way, Ps 37:14; 50:23. (4) citizenship, Phil 3:20. This is another 17th-century word whose modern meaning has taken, in the immortal words of Bugs Bunny, a significant “left turn at Albuquerque.”It can be confusing to come across a word that has simply fallen out of use (like “flagon,” Song 2:5); but it can create theological uncertainty when we encounter words whose meanings have changed drastically over time (like “by and by,” Mark 6:25). This doesn’t mean that the KJV is wrong or inferior; but just as we should be mindful of the culture in which the Bible was originally written, we should be mindful of the culture in which a Bible translation was completed.
Every translation will experience this phenomenon over time; give the original NIV 400 years and we’ll have a list just as long. While translators do their best to mitigate this problem, it’s largely out of their hands. Try as they might, no one can predict how language will shift, and this is doubly true today given how rapidly the internet disseminates linguistic fads and memes.
All one needs to do is look at the overuse (and neutering) of the word “awesome” over the past few decades to see how quickly our language changes. “Awesome” has been used in my presence to describe everything from a sandwich to football. Somehow calling God awesome these days doesn’t carry the weight that it once did.
Credit goes to our colleague Rich Tatum for posting the link to Grateful to the Dead on his twitter feed.
I can beat that...How about Mark 16:25 in the newer King James Version which was redone in 1611 to reflect the fast change of word usage in the English Language.
"And she came in straightway with haste unto the king, and asked, saying, I will that thou give me by and by in a charger the head of John the Baptist."
Immediately she came in with haste to the king and asked, saying, “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.”
"...1A. THE BIBLIOGRAPHICAL TEST FOR THE RELIABILITY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT
The bibliographical test is an examination of the textual transmission by which documents reach us. In other words, since we do not have the original documents, how reliable are the copies we have in regard to the number of manuscripts (MSS) and the time interval between the original and extant (currently existing) copies (Montgomery, HC, 26)?
1B. The Number of Manuscripts and Their Closeness to the Original
F. E. Peters states that “on the basis of manuscript tradition alone, the works that made up the Christians’ New Testament were the most frequently copied and widely circulated books of antiquity” (Peters, HH, 50). As a result, the fidelity of the New Testament text rests on a multitude of manuscript evidence. Counting Greek copies alone, the New Testament is preserved in some 5,656 partial and complete manuscript portions that were copied by hand from the second through the fifteenth centuries (Geisler, GIB, 385).
There are now more than 5,686 known Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. Add over 10,000 Latin Vulgate and at least 9,300 other early versions (MSS), and we have close to, if not more than, 25,000 manuscript copies of portions of the New Testament in existence today. No other document of antiquity even begins to approach such numbers and attestation. In comparison, Homer’s Iliad is second, with only 643 manuscripts that still survive. The first complete preserved text of Homer dates from the thirteenth century (Leach, Oh, 145).The following is a breakdown of the number of surviving manuscripts for the New Testament:
Information for the preceding charts was gathered from the following sources: Michael 1Velte of the Institute for New Testament Studies in Munster, Germany; Kurt Aland’s Journal of Biblical Literature 87 (1968); Kurt Aland’s Kurzgefassle Lisle Der Griechischeri Handsclrriften Des Neven Testaments, W. De Gruyter, 1963; Kurt Aland’s “Neve Nevtestamentliche Papyri Ill,” New “1eslament Studies (July 1976); Bruce Metzger’s The Early Versions of the New Testament, Clarendon, 1977; New Testament Manuscript Studies, eds. Merrill M. Parvis and Allen Wikgren, University of Chicago Press, 1950; Eroll F. Rhodes’s An Annotated List of Armenian New Testament Manuscripts, Tokyo, Ikeburo, 1959; The Bible and Modern Scholarship, ed. J. Phillip Hyatt, Abingdon, 1965.
John Warwick Montgomery says that to be skeptical of the resultant text of the New Testament books is to allow all of classical antiquity to slip into obscurity, for no documents of the ancient period are as well attested bibliographically as the New Testament” (Montgomery, HC. 29)."
There are actually perhaps 43 or so copies of Plato's Tetralogies. Seven Aristotle manuscripts. But there are at most 90 years between the writing of the New Testament and some of the actual manuscripts we have, versus 500 years for Homer's Iliad and 1300 years for Plato and 1400 for Aristotle.
Berosus (also spelled Berossus) was a 3rd century BC Chaldean priest who wrote three books in Greek about the creation and the early history of the world. His books are now lost, but fragments have been preserved in citations by other authors. However, it is necessary to distinguish between the authenticated fragments and the so-called "pseudo-Berosus" fragments that are attributed to his name but thought to be fraudulent.
Berosus, the Bablylonian PriestBerosus was a Chaldean priest of Bel at Babylon who was aquainted with both astronomy and the history of the ancient world. He left Babylon when it was conquered by Alexander the Great and established himself in Asia Minor, on the island of Cos near Rhodes, where he set up an observatory and a school of astronomy. He also spent some time in Athens where he was held in such high esteem that they erected a copper statue in his honour.
As the Greek language spread through Asia, during the Macedonian conquests, there was public interest in the histories that had been preserved by the Babylonians. Berosus, as a Babylonian priest who could speak Greek, was surrounded by an enquiring public who no doubt encouraged him to write his histories.
He wrote his three books, about 290BC, and although they are lost, their contents are known, from the authentic fragments, to have been as follows:
Authentic Citations of BerosusBerosus is quoted by a number of sources, including the following:
For the authentic citations, see the original 1828 version of Cory's Ancient Fragments (1), and the 1876 update by Richmond Hodges (2).
Where Have all the Documents Gone?The three books of Berosus, together with the early citations, have disappeared through the ravages of time. The precise circumstances of their loss is not known, but historians are well aware of the processes by which books can become lost. These include war, fire, flood, failure to make copies, failure to preserve the existing copies, and worst of all, lending them out and never getting them back.
The political circumstances surrounding the loss of these books are as follows:
In 290 BC, when Berosus wrote his books, the province of Attica, with Athens as its capital, was a city state according to the Macedonian model. This type of political system had been imposed in 338 BC by King Fillipe II of Macedonia, the father of Alexander the Great. Athens had lost some of its former glory, but was nevertheless an important centre of learning and trade, and was a good place for Berosus to write his books (if indeed he wrote them while he was there).
Athens was invaded by the Romans, in 146 BC, together with the rest of Greece. However, this was unlikely to have involved the destruction of books and libraries, because the Romans, although they were conquerors, showed respect for the Greek culture.
In 88 BC, Mithradates VI, king of Pontus, was at war against the Roman territory in the east. The Greeks also rebelled against Rome, with Athens taking the lead. Sulla, the Roman consul, laid siege to Athens, and the city fell in 86 BC. These were the circumstances in which Alexander Polyhistor was taken to Rome as a prisoner. Presumably, he was in Rome when he wrote his citations of Berosus. He may have been allowed to take copies of the books of Berosus with him, or they may have been there already.
In 293 AD, the emperor Diocletian divided the empire into two parts, East and West. Each part was governed by a senior emperor called an "Augustus" and a junior emperor called a "Caesar", making four emperors altogether and the arrangement was called the "Tetrarchy". When an Augustus died or otherwise vacated his office, he would be succeeded by his Caesar, who would become the new Augustus and would appoint another Caesar.
When Constantine was the Augustus of the Western Empire, his Caesar Bassianus rebelled against him. Constantine discovered that the rebellion had been instigated by Licinius, the Augustus of the Eastern Empire and went to war against him. After some indecisive battles and a truce, Constantine finally defeated Licinus in 324 and became the sole ruler of the Empire, hence he was called "Constantine the Great". After a while, he became dissatisfied with Rome as his seat of government and sought another capital city elsewhere. After going to a number of different places, he finally settled on the ancient city of Byzantium and called it Constantinople. This turned out to be a good move, because in 476 the Western Empire collapsed, but the Eastern Empire continued for almost another thousand years and became known as the Byzantine Empire.
The city of Constantinople became very prosperous. It was an important centre of trade, capable of supporting a large population, and there were many churches and places of learning. If there were Greek copies of the works of Berosus in the Eastern Empire at the time of Constantine, they must certainly have been preserved in Constantinople, and they would have been used by Syncellus.
In 1453, Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Muslims and they called it "Istanbul". Unlike the Romans, they had no regard for the preservation of the literature and the history of other cultures, and many books were burnt. Presumably, some copies of Berosus might have been destroyed at this time. The fall of Constantinople is still a sore point with the Greek people today, and they continue to call it "Constantinopolis".
After the fall of Constantinople, many Greek-speaking intellectuals went to Italy and contributed to the Renaissance, although it is not certain whether they brought with them any useful knowledge of Berosus.
Annius of ViterboIn addition to the authenticated fragments of Berosus, there is another collection of fragments that are less certain and are sometimes called "pseudo-Berosus". They were published in 1498 by a Dominican Friar called Giovanni Nanni, who lived in the town of Viterbo, sometimes called "Viterbe", about 65 miles north of Rome. He is more commonly known as Annius of Viterbo. He also published some fragments of Manetho, an Egyptian historian who was a contemporary of Berosus, but these are equally uncertain and are called "pseudo-Manetho". The two sets of fragments were published together with a commentary and the complete work was called the Antiquities.
The fragments of pseudo-Berosus describe a history of the ancient world, from the Flood to the time of Dardanus, the founder of Troy. These were received with enthusiasm in Italy, because they knew the story of Aeneas who had fled the burning city of Troy and re-established his kingdom in Italy, and they knew the Trojan royal line back to Dardanus, but they could not get back any further. The appearance of these missing fragments of Berosus filled an important gap in their history, and also the history of other nations of Europe who believed that their royal line was somehow descended from Troy.
In 1502, only four years after publishing his antiquities, Annius died, and then in 1504 he was criticised by Petrus Crinitus, who claimed that his work was fraudulent, that it never came from either Berosus or Manetho, and he made it all up. This was followed by similar claims from other people, but Annius was unable to answer any of them because he was already dead. The problem was that the source documents that he was supposed to have used could never be found. For a discussion of the entire affair, together with some fragments of pseudo-Berosus, see Asher (3).
The surprising thing about this story is, not so much the absence of the manuscripts, but the failure on the part of his critics to even ask for them until six years later. If somebody today published a book, claiming that he was in possession of some very ancient manuscripts, the press pack would immediately assemble outside his front door asking to see them. The curators of local and national museums would appear, demanding that the manuscripts should be put on display for everybody to see. Perhaps, in medieval Italy, instead of making the documents available, something different might have happened. The Pope sent a delegation from Rome to Viterbo, which is not very far away, asking to see the manuscripts. Then they bundled them all together and took them to Rome, so they would never see the light of day again. After all, the Vatican prevented people from seeing the Bible for centuries, so why should they not do the same with other important books?
Putting aside the conspiracy theory, the most likely probability is that Annius was indeed a fraudster, and he got away with it because the people around him were far too careless. Having said that, it's not fair to put a dead man on trial, so it has to be an open verdict. His work is called "pseudo-Berosus" because it's attributed to Berosus but nobody knows where it came from.
The next question is, if it's fraudulent, is it worth reading? For the answer to that question, we have to ask the police. They talk to people who are fraudulent all the time, in the hope that they might discover some small but important details that might lead them to the truth. There is one such detail in the "pseudo-Berosus" that needs to be noted. It says that one of the names of Noah was Arsa, and cities were named after him. Now it just happens that there is a city called Urfa, in south-east Turkey, where the inhabitants claim that the ark landed on a nearby hill known as the Cudi Dagh. There is another mountain, further east near Cizre, also called Cudi Dagh, which is more likely to be the ark site, but that doesn't matter. The important thing is that Annius knew something that wasn't in the authenticated fragments of Berosus, so where did he get it from?
Perhaps, after the fall of Constantinople, some of the migrant Greek intellectuals might have told Annius something that they knew from the lost works of Berosus. Perhaps they might have added to it something from the local traditions of the fallen Byzantine Empire. There might have been all sorts of fragments that fell into the hands of Annius, but instead of just telling what he knew, he added to it an elaborate set of fables, giving a complete history from Noah to the foundation of Troy.
ConclusionsThe fragmentary citations of Berosus give us much valuable information about the beginning of the world, from the Babylonian point of view, although it is important to distinguish between the authentic citations and the questionable fragments known as "pseudo-Berosus". It is also important to recognise that history is not a science. There is a distinction between truth and falsehood, in the sense that either an event happened or else it didn't happen, but unlike science, we do not have the opportunity to perform repeat experiments. History happens only once, and we have to accept it as it is. We have truth and error, but they both come packaged in varying degrees of mischief.
Some of the material I have discussed here is difficult to obtain through public libraries and bookshops in the UK, and the same is probably true of most other countries. Anyone coming across it by chance would have difficulty finding any other related material, and would require the assistance of academic departments with their specialised libraries. A small amount of knowledge can be a bad thing, especially in a subject like this where half the books are genuine and the other half are fraudulent. The solution is to bring them all up front, out of the dusty old place called "archive", so that we can more easily distinguish between truth and error.
References1. Cory, I.P., The Ancient Fragments; containing what remains of the writings of Sanchoniatho, Berossus, Abydenus, Megasthenes, and Manetho; William Pickering, London, 1828. Facsimile reprints from Ballantrae, Ontario, Canada.
2. Hodges, E.R., Cory's Ancient Fragments, A New and Enlarged Edition, Reeves & Turner, London, 1876. Facsimile reprints from Ballantrae, Ontario, Canada.
3. Asher, R.E., National Myths in Renaissance France; Francus, Samothes and the Druids, Edinburgh University Press, 22 George Square, Edinburgh, 1993, ISBN 0-7486-0407-3. Note: It might sound as if this is easy to get in the UK, but it isn't available in the high-street bookshops, even by special order, and it doesn't appear in the public library catalogues (the ones where they order things from other libraries).
Updated March 2002
SO you may wish to take an online course on the Bible. Here is one page from such a site.
|Written||Online Audio or Video||TAKE THE TESTS - |
| Written Notes |
|Quick Time Audio |
2004 mp3 Audio
2009 mp3 Audio (ch. 4), Authenticity of the OT
Real Player Video (ch. 4), Authenticity of the OT
|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
Sect A, Ch 4 - State Your Views of JEPD
- Law of Moses (The Pentateuch or first five books of the OT)
- Prophets (including the historical books)
- Poetic writings
“Everything must be fulfilled about me in the Law of Moses, the prophets and the Psalms.” (Luke 24:44)
It appears that each book was accepted as its writer presented it.
The books then were self-authenticating.
- Masoretic text (see below)
- Septuagint (translated from Hebrew to Greek around 280 BC)
- Latin Vulgate (Hebrew translated into to Latin by Jerome in 400 AD)
- Samaritan Pentateuch (handed down from 400 BC by Samaritans)
- Syriac Version (translated 200 AD)
- The Dead Sea Scrolls
- Book of Jubilees
- 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.
- Written 135-105 BC
- The Talmud
- Josephus home page
- Written 70-100 BC
- Text of Philo
- Philo lived 20 BC-50 AD
- Zadokite Fragments
- 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.
- Text of Zadokite Document
- Description and Information
- The Pierced Messiah
- Targums are Aramaic Translations of the Hebrew Scritptures
- Discussion of the Targums
- New Testament
- The New Testament often quotes the Old Testament which helps authenticate the contents of the Old Testament document in the first century AD
- There are 320 Old Testament quotes in the New Testament
* Writing was Common in Abraham's Day . . . . . . * Library with 1,000s of Cunneform Tablets
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 1806-1878.
These four fictional writers are called by the critics:
- Jehovist (J) since in his writing he referred to God by the name “Jehovah”
- Elohist (E) since in his writing he referred to God by the Hebrew word “Elohim”
- Priestly (P) since in his writing he seems to support the priestly concepts and traditions
- Deuteronomist (D) since in his writing he seems to be aware of the laws and traditions of Deuteronomy.
- All these peoples, nations and their cities existed and have been excavated.
- The Davidic-Solmonic empire existed
- The Babylonian captivity and return are now considered historical
- The names of over 40 different kins of various countries mentioned in the OT have been found in documents and inscriptions.
- The OT was written by the contemporaries of these events
- The OT was written carefully and accurately
- The OT has been copied and preserved methodically until our time.
- Jesus accepted the OT as authentic
- Jesus said, “The Scripture cannot be broken.” (John 10:35)
- Jesus said, “It is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.” (Luke 16:17)
- Jesus accepted Moses as the author of the Pentateuch. (Luke 24:27; John 5:46-47)
- 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)
- Jesus accepted Daniel as the author of the book of Daniel. (Matt. 24:15)
- Jesus accepted these people as historical people and not figurative or mythical:
- Adam and Eve in Matt. 19:4,5
- Abel Matt. 23:35
- Noah in Luke 17:26
- Abraham in John 8:56-58
- Lot in Luke 17:28
- Jesus accepted the creation in Genesis as historical. (Mark 10:6-9)
- Jesus accepted the Flood as historical. (Matt. 24:37-39)
- Jesus accepted the following as miracles:
- Lot’s wife
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 priest 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:
- There was a man named Moses who led them out of slavery in Egypt some 600-900 years before.
- 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:
- System of worship
- 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.)
- National History
- Legendary Heroes: Abraham, Isaac, Samson, David, Solomon
- Tithes, offerings and sacrifices to support the priests
- Holy Writings
- Practice of circumcision that would have then had to begin with all the adult men
- 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 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?
- Experience release from Egyptian slavery
- Heard Moses speak and saw him strike the land of Egypt with plagues
- Followed Moses to the mountain where they saw God descend on the mountain and give the law.
- Lived in the wilderness and saw the promised land.
Philosophical Proof for the Existence of God
Here are five links that show Archaeological findings that support the biblical account: A B C D E
Here is a link that philosophically supports the existence of God: F
- The ancient mind
- The modern Eastern and Western mind
- Scientific thought
- Any method of reasoning or system of Logic
“What may be known about God is plain . . .understood from what has
been made . . . they knew God. . .” Romans 1:19-21
A being greater than the universe has to exist.
- Reasons logically dependent on sense experience
- Cause (cosmological) – There cannot be an infinite regress of finite causes. There must be an uncaused causer.
- Design (Teleological) – Observable order and design demand a designer.
- 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.
- Motion - motion cannot start itself. Infinite regress of motion is meaningless. This is the Greeks concept of the unmovable mover.
- 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.
- Dependency - All things exist in a network of relationships and dependency. Infinite regress of dependency is contradictory. Everything must begin with an independent being.
- Reasons logically independent of sense experience
- Perfect Being (Ontological) - concept of perfection exists but is never attained. We did not develop the thought of perfection because we saw it.
- Innate Idea - People in all cultures through out time have been born with the concept of the idea of God.
- Mysticism - Man can and has experienced God directly in his life. This union is so real it is self-validating.
- Truth - The concept of truth exists. People seek truth so the ultimate truth exists.
- Man is Finite - The fact that we are finite proves their is the infinite.
- Blessedness - Man is basically restless, searching, striving. This drive is only fulfilled when man finds God.
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.
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:
First Cause (God) Must Be:
System of right and wrong
System of Justice
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.
There are conflicts with theology and science because:
- Theology is man's study of God's inspired scriptures
- Science is man's study of God's created natural world
- Both groups, theologians and scientist) are subject to error -
- 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.
- Science once believed in the eternal cosmos. They taught that the universe had always existed up until the days of Einstein and Hubble.
- Either group is subject to correction by the other
- 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.
- Science held to spontaneous generation into the mid-1800's even though scripture taught God made animal life to reproduce "according to their kind."
- The Bible is not a science textbook, but it is scientifically accurate.
- Science is constantly in the process of developing
He explained that the modern understanding of the universe was the product of two major scientific revolutions:
- The Copernican, that showed that humanity was not the center of the universe as the Bible taught.
- The Darwinian, that demonstrated that it was no longer necessary to posit an act of divine creation to explain the origins of human life.
- Sigmund Freud then nominated his own discovery of the "unconscious" as a third revolution
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."
- If the physical forces within stars were only slightly different, our universe would be almost devoid of carbon and oxygen, and life would not exist.
- If gravity was slightly stronger, all stars would be red dwarfs, too cold to support life.
- If gravity was slightly weaker, all stars would be blue giants, burning too briefly for life to develop.
- 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.
- "I am not a religious person, but I could say this universe is designed very well for the existence of life."
- "The basic forces in the universe are tailor-made for the production of . . . carbon-based life."
- "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."
- "The laws of the universe are cunningly contrived to coax life into being." They "somehow know in advance about life and its vast complexity."
- 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.
- 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.
- The position and angle of the earth is set. A few degrees closer we disintegrate. A few degrees away we become a frozen rock.
- The 23 degree axis of the earth provides equal distribution of sun and makes possible the food chain.
- 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.
- After 150 years of study, fossil records are beginning to agree with scripture's account that life forms appeared abruptlly with no transitional forms.
- 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.)
- 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. )
- 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.)
- 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 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.
"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
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.
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
Sect A, Ch 4 - State Your Views of JEPD
Pretty nice bite of information here!