So let’s have a quick look at some of the claims of the Bible. The Bible makes so many claims that are sometimes hard to believe so what are these claims?
1. There is only one God
2. Jesus is the Son of God
3. God created all things
4. Jesus died to bring us back into a right relationship with God
5. God consists of 3 persons (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) in one
6. Jesus was fully God and yet fully man – he was also without sin
7. Jesus is the only way to God
8. God is all powerful, all knowing, ever present, all loving.
9. Jesus died on a cross but defeated death and rose again, he is now in heaven
10. Jesus will come again
11. If we believe and trust in Jesus He will forgive all our wrongdoings
12. Jesus healed people, cast out demons, raised people from the dead, forgave sins, calmed the sea, turned water into wine
13. God spoke to His people through the prophets
14. One day those who have put their trust in Jesus will live with God in heaven
15. Jesus was born of a virgin
Now these are just the first 15 claims that came to mind, there are hundreds of others on almost every page of the Bible. I can’t prove to you that any of these claims are true. I can’t produce evidence that shows that there is truth in any of them. However, in the time since the Bible was written no-one has been able to disprove any of the claims. Don’t you find that quite remarkable? That a book written by over 40 people spanning thousands of years, some being simple people, some had great learning, all claiming outrageous things, but all unable to be proven wrong even thousands of years later.
In fact as our learning has increased, as technology has developed more things are being discovered that substantiate the claims not contradict them. For example the Bible claims that most of the New Testament was written by Jesus’ disciples. However, many people have disregarded this and have said that the New testament was written 60 or 70 years after the death of Christ therefore making it unlikely that they were written by the disciples. However, it is now agreed by many scholars that the New testament was written much earlier than first thought and well within the lifetime of Jesus’ disciples. This not only backs up the claims of the Bile but it also brings something very important into play – the reliability of the New Testament content.
If I write a book about events that happened hundreds of years beforehand – especially if it is on a subject not written about before – there may be some murmurings about the reliability of the facts but it would be fairly hard to disprove them. Even if the facts sounded completely wrong it would be very hard to collect evidence to speak against them. However, if I were to write about something that took place last year things would be very different. If my facts about an event were wrong people who were there would speak out against them. People who wanted to investigate could ask people who were involved, produce witnesses and put together a case. So if the disciples of Jesus had decided to make up these stories people would have spoken out. Even if Jesus’ disciples had been so deluded as to really believe these things had taken place, others would have spoken out about them. Christianity in it’s early existence would have been snuffed out. Yet you had thousands of people who were willing to die for these claims. If the disciples had spent three years with Jesus could they have been that taken in by him that they would rather die than renounce their faith? If they had made it all up would they have died in order to keep a hoax going? If the disciples of Jesus had written the new testament only a short time after it had happened and the events and things written about hadn’t taken place huge numbers of people would have spoken out about it. The disciples would have become a laughing stock and the Christian faith would have died on it’s feet.
We’ll have a look at more of the claims in part three.