- The Power of God's Word - A Simple Inductive Study
- Inductive Bible Study: Application
- 2 Timothy 2:19 Study of A Firm Foundation
- 2 Timothy 3:16-17 Study of the Authority of God's Word
- 2 Timothy 3:16-17 Exposition
- 2 Timothy Overview Guard the Treasure
- 2 Timothy Handle Accurately the Word of Truth
- Life Hid and Not Hid by Alexander Maclaren
- 2 Timothy Commentaries
- Watch the incredible youtube video The Indestructible Book - How We Got our English Bible - 3 hours, 37 minutes - It will make you weep!
2 TIMOTHY 3:16-17
|ITS NATURE||ITS PROOF||ITS PURPOSE|
What is Paul's encouragement to Timothy regarding the Scripture? 2Ti 3:16-17-note
All Scripture is inspired by God
How does the Psalmist support this interpretation in Ps119:160?
Every single word is truth from the beginning. The totality of God's written revelation is not just true - it is Truth! There is not a speck of untruth in Scripture. It is everlasting.
The whole body of revelation is truth. “Thy Word is nothing but truth” [Luther].
Daniel Webster (1782-1852) emphasized the importance of THE TRUTH: "If truth be not diffused, error will be. If God and His Word are not known and received, the devil and his works will gain the ascendancy. If the evangelical volume does not reach every hamlet, the pages of a corrupt and licentious literature will. If the power of the gospel is not felt throughout the length and breadth of the land...corruption and darkness will reign."
What does Peter teach us about the nature of the Scriptures in 1Peter 1:10-11-note?
The Spirit gave prophecies to the writers who wrote them down, read them, and tried to figure out what they meant. They recorded what they were told, but they didn’t fully understand what they were writing. God didn’t give them thoughts that they then expressed in their own words. God gave them the words.
What does Peter record about the reliability of the Scripture 2Peter 1:19-note (what does he compare the reliability to?)
A more sure prophetic Word than even the experience of the Transfiguration of Christ and the audible voice he heard out of heaven (see note on 2Pet 2:19)
What do some teach based on a misinterpretation of 2Peter 1:20?
What is Peter really referring to when he states "no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation"? (clue: check the context)
The New Living Translation although clearly a paraphrase is correct in stating that "you must understand that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophets themselves". The point is that Peter was not referring to interpretation of Scripture but the origin of Scripture. It was not a man's own idea.
How does the context support the preceding interpretation (and the NLT rendering)?
Peter begins 2Pe 1:21 with "for" indicating he is explaining the previous verse, and in so doing he states that no prophecy originated in the will of man. (Read value of observing terms of explanation)
How does Scripture originate according to 2Peter 1:21-note?
The Holy Spirit moved men to speak words from God.
The same verb for "borne along" is used by Luke in Acts 27:15 "and when the ship was caught in it and could not face the wind, we gave way to it and let ourselves be driven along. Here literally the wind but in 2Peter the picture of the Spirit like "wind" filling the "sails" of His prophets and moving them along.
What does Moses record that helps us understand the "inspiration" of Scripture? Ex 4:10, 11, 12
God told Moses that He had made His mouth and that He would be His mouth and teach him what to say. Note in this passage that God didn’t inspire thoughts. He inspired words. That is why forty years later Moses was so insistent on giving verbatim instructions to the people of Israel: “You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you” (Dt 4:2).
Note how Moses completely missed the deeper meaning of God's Name "I Am" (remember His Names always speak of His character, His attributes, etc). Moses failed to see Him as "I Am all that you will every need for any and every trial or circumstance in life. What was Moses' problem? He looked to himself to be eloquent rather than fixing his eyes on the great "I Am". Are we not all a bit like Moses when confronted with a test or challenge we think we are inadequate to fulfill? God will not ask us to do something that He does not enable us to complete or fulfill.
What does Jehovah's response to Jeremiah's feeling of being an inadequate speaker teach us about inspiration of Scripture (Jer 1:6, 7, 8, 9) and what does He promise in Jer 1:12?
Jehovah touched Jeremiah's mouth and put His words in the prophet's mouth (most of this book is Jeremiah speaking). In Je 1:12 God promises that His Word will be fulfilled.
How did God communicate His Word in Ex 31:18?
Two tablets of the testimony of stone were written by the finger of God
What fact does Ex 32:16 emphasize?
The tablets were God's work, and the writing was God's writing engraved on the tablets.
Note that Moses had nothing whatsoever to do with originating the stone tablets. The Lord not only delivered the thoughts, but He did so by writing the words Himself upon the stones
Hand of a man wrote on the wall and Daniel interpreted the message that Babylon was numbered by God, the king was weighed and found deficient and Babylon would be divided. (Babylon was divided between the Medes and Persians) Belshazzar was slain that very night speedily fulfilling prophecy proving the Word was a true and sure supernatural message.
Note the fulfillment of God's sure word: "One ancient account alleged that Persia’s General Ugbaru had troops dig a trench to divert and thus lower the waters of the Euphrates River. Since the river flowed through the city of Babylon, the lowered water enabled besiegers to unexpectedly invade via the waterway under the thick walls and reach the palace before the city was aware. The end then came quickly, as guards, Belshazzar, and others were slain on Oct. 16, 539BC" (MacArthur MacArthur Study = MSB)
How did God communicate in Mt 3:17 at the baptism of Jesus and in Mt 17:5 at the transfiguration of Jesus?
God spoke - His message in both was "This is My beloved Son with Whom I am well pleased" In Mt 17:5 He added "Listen to Him!"
Note that God's declaration was actually a combination of prophecies in Psalm 2:7 and Isaiah 42:1, both of which would have been recognized by the Jewish listeners as prophecies of the Messiah.
Why should men listen to Jesus according to Jn 12:49-50?
Jesus spoke message given to Him by God the Father
Note The words Jesus spoke were themselves a fulfillment of the prophecy in Dt 18:18 where God said "I will raise up a prophet from among their countrymen like you, and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him."
What ways did God speak according to Hebrews 1:1-2-note?
To the fathers in the prophets (in many portions and many ways - e.g., dreams, visions, direct conversation, etc) and in the last days has spoken to us in His Son. Jesus is the final revelation.
How serious is God about the integrity and inerrancy of His Word in Rev 22:18-19-note?
Add to them and he add the plagues of the book
Take away from them and God would take away their part in the Tree of Life.
Jesus also warns “Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 5:19-note). God doesn’t want anyone tampering with His words.
Note: Morris in the Defender's Study Bible (DSB) has a very intriguing interpretation of this passage: "Note the importance of the words. The conveyance of precise thoughts requires the use of precise words. Only the doctrine of verbal inerrancy adequately expresses the true nature of Biblical inspiration. This warning at the end of the book of Revelation (in fact, the end of the Bible) stresses the necessity of literal interpretation. Actually, a literal interpretation is not an interpretation at all, for it takes the words at face value, assuming that the Holy Spirit (using the thoughts and abilities of the human writer whose words He inspired) was able to say exactly what He meant to say. Any kind of allegorical or figurative interpretation of those words (unless directly indicated in the context) assumes that the interpreter knows better than the Holy Spirit what He should be saying, and such an attitude is presumptuous, if not blasphemous."
The doctrine of inspiration, the truth that the Scripture is indeed God's word to mankind, is critically important, and not surprisingly is one of the first points of attack of Satan.
What were his first words to Eve?
Ge 3:1b "Indeed, has God said, 'You shall not eat from any tree of the garden'?"
A W Pink comments that "The method of Satan’s approach was the same then as it is now. “Yea hath God said!” He begins by throwing doubt on the Divine Word! He questions its veracity. He suggests that God did not mean what He had said. So it is today. Every effort that is being made to deny the Divine inspiration of the Scriptures, every attempt put forward to set aside their absolute authority, every attack on the Bible which we now witness in the name of scholarship, is only a repetition of this ancient question, “Yea, hath God said?” Next, he substitutes his own word for God’s, “Ye shall not surely die.”
Click for discussion of several "tests" used to assess reliability of the Scriptures...
1) Bibliographical test
2) Internal test
3) External test
4) Changed lives: Who would die for a lie?
What does God testify about Himself in Isaiah 46:9, 10? (Note Isaiah 46 contrasts futility and powerlessness of Babylonian idols with God)
God states that only He He ("no other", "no one like Me") can tell what is going to happen before it happens
Note: Morris writes that "Only God can correctly predict the future, for He controls it. The Bible is unique among all other books as a book of fulfilled prophecies" (Defender's Study Bible Note)
Vine adds that "It is good for the believer to call to mind the former things, to remember the way the Lord has led and helped and delivered. It stirs the soul to renewed praise, and stimulates faith and hope as to the future." (Collected writings of W. E. Vine)
Spurgeon on Is 46:10 says "World events are not tangled, confused, or perplexing to God... Courage, dear friend. The Lord, the ever-merciful, has appointed every moment of sorrow and every pang of suffering. If He ordains the number ten, it can never rise to eleven, nor should you desire that it shrink to nine. The Lord’s time is best. The span of your life is measured to a hair’s width. Restless soul, God ordains all, so let the Lord have His way. (click full devotional)
It is worth noting that arguments from prophecy have become less popular in an age characterized by critical biblical scholarship, which in many cases claims that apparently fulfilled prophecies were written after the events prophesied occurred.
What is God's challenge to the idols of the people in Isaiah 41:21, 22, 23?
To prove their power by means of a test of prophecy accurately fulfilled which of course they cannot do.
Note: God alone knows the future, declaring both the beginning and end of His creation, confirming that Scripture is His inspired revelation to mankind.
What does God say about Himself and His Word in Isaiah 42:8, 9?
After declaring "I Am Jehovah" He states that everything He has prophesied heretofore has come true. Then He adds that He will tell them the future before it happens.
Note: Vine comments "That His Name is the guarantee of the fulfillment of His word, is the clear intimation here in Isaiah 42:8. How sure and steadfast is His word! What an incentive it provides for faith to lay hold of His promises, even in the darkest hour and amidst the most perplexing and distressing circumstances! (Collected writings of W. E. Vine)
Morris adds that "Only God, who created time and is therefore independent of time, can predict future events with certainty. The Bible is unique in all literature, with hundreds of fulfilled prophecies given hundreds and thousands of years before their fulfillment. This is a certain mark of divine inspiration." (Note)
PROOF THAT ALL SCRIPTURE IS GOD BREATHED
OLD TESTAMENT PROPHECY FULFILLED
How many prophecies are found in Scripture?
It has been estimated that there are 2500 prophecies in the Bible & about 2000 have been fulfilled to the letter
Click for illustration of a literal fulfillment of the Lord God's prophecy in Ezekiel 26:1-21 against the powerful city of Tyre.
How many OT prophecies speak about the Messiah?
What did Jesus say about the Scriptures?
Mt 5:17, 18-note He came to fulfill the Law and the Prophets (i.e., to fulfill the moral law by keeping it perfectly and also fulfilled prophecies about Himself written hundreds of years earlier) The "jot" and "tittle" refer to the smallest letter and a mark which distinguished two letters in the Hebrew words of the Old Testament. Not only the words, but even the letters of Scripture are divinely inspired. The Lord's point is that every letter of every word of the OT is vital and will be fulfilled.
In English a jot would correspond to the dot above the letter “i” (and look like an apostrophe), and a tittle would be seen in the difference between a “P” and an “R”. The small angled line that completes the “R” is like a tittle. These things are important because letters make up words and even a slight change in a letter might change the meaning of a word. (Bible Knowledge Commentary)
Note that in Mt 5:18 Jesus introduces His declaration with a "truly" (NAS) which corresponds to the Hebrew "Amen". Baker's NT Commentary has an interesting comment: "Whether “truly” (RSV., NAS.) conveys that same fulness of meaning or whether, through association with such phrases as “yours truly,” it has lost some of the strength or solemnity usually associated with “verily,” is a matter with respect to which opinions differ. In every case—let the reader examine this for himself with the use of a Concordance—in which this word occurs in the New Testament it introduces a statement which not only expresses a truth or fact—as, for example, 2x2=4 would be a fact—but an important, a solemn fact, one that in many cases is at variance with popular opinion or expectation or at least causes some surprise. It is for that reason that I personally prefer the translation “I solemnly declare” to “Truly I say.” (Exposition of the Gospel According to Matthew. p 290)
It is easier for the entire universe to fold up than for the smallest mark in the Bible to be altered. God’s Word is eternal!
Note: MacArthur: Here Christ was emphasizing both the inspiration and the enduring authority of all Scripture. He was specifically affirming the utter inerrancy and absolute authority of the OT as the Word of God—down to the least jot and tittle... this suggests that the NT should not be seen as supplanting and abrogating the OT, but as fulfilling and explicating it. For example, all the ceremonial requirements of the Mosaic law were fulfilled in Christ and are no longer to be observed by Christians (Col. 2:16, 17-note). Yet not one jot or tittle is thereby erased; the underlying truths of those Scriptures remain—and in fact the mysteries behind them are now revealed in the brighter light of the gospel. They have not passed from the law is the sense Jesus means here. one jot or one tittle. (MSB)
Mt 24:35 Jesus' Words will not pass away - it is inerrant and absolutely trustworthy! (cf Isa 40:8) Every prophecy and every promise will be fulfilled perfectly and completely.
Morris: The only physical entity in this physical universe which is not subject to the law of disintegration is the written Word of God. This affirmation by Christ is a tremendous assurance of its infallible and permanent authority. (DSB)
Luke 24:25, 26, 27 Called the 2 on the road to Emmaus "foolish" for not believing all the prophets had spoken because all the Scriptures spoke about the Messiah (Moses [Pentateuch] and prophets). Jesus clearly affirmed the validity of using Messianic prophecy.
Baker NT Commentary on Luke observes that "The trouble with the Jewish religious leaders of Jesus’ day was that, on the whole, in reading the OT they saw only the glory & victory of the Messiah, not the fact that the path to these blessings was one of suffering. At times they would even go so far as to apply to the Messiah the references (in Isa. 52:13, 14, 15, 53:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7,8, 9, 10, 11, 12) to the Servant’s glory, but to apply to Israel the references to the Servant’s suffering."
Although there are 66 books, written by 40 authors (most of whom had no interpersonal contact) over 1500 years, in 3 different languages, these diverse Scriptures are internally consistent, lending strong support to "One" Author. And so we see unity of message, despite diversity of human authors. This harmony is more apparent the more one studies the Bible! This harmony cannot be explained by coincidence or collusion and thus the unity of Scripture is a strong argument for its Divine inspiration. And more than 3000 yrs of criticism have failed to find even a single irreconcilable contradiction in the Word.
Jesus believed in the OT Creation, the flood and Jonah are often points of objection for skeptics?
What did Jesus say about...
The worldwide flood...
Click discussion of why we can accept Jesus' Word on the authority of the Word
What is the context of 2 Timothy 3:16-17-note ?
2Ti 3:1-4-note Paul warned Timothy that in the last days difficult times would come (Be aware that the lifestyle of many will be opposed that taught in God's Word)
2Ti 3:5-9-note Men holding to a form of godliness and yet denying its power would captivate weak women - these men opposed the truth (Be aware men will oppose God's Word)
2Ti 3:10, 11-note Timothy followed Paul's teaching, conduct, etc (Dear beloved "Timothy" follow God's word just as Paul did so you are a vessel of honor like Paul)
2Ti 3:12-note Those who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus would be persecuted (Stand fast on God's Word so you are not shaken)
2Ti 3:13-note Evil men and imposters will proceed from bad to worse - deceiving (Know God's Word so you are not deceived)
2Ti 3:14, 15-note Your best protection will be to continue in the things learned and the sacred writings (they gave you the wisdom that led to salvation and continue to save you - sanctification)
Profitable for Teaching
Profitable for Reproof
Profitable for Correction
Profitable for Training in righteousness
Scripture has the potential to make us adequate, equipped 2Ti 3:17-note
FOR EVERY (ALL) GOOD WORK.
Scripture is complete and is all that we need to have a right relationship with God. We don’t need a vision. We don’t need a new revelation or a voice from heaven. We need to sit at the feet of Jesus like Mary not like Martha (Lk 10:38-40). How do you begin your morning - like Mary or Martha?
What does the "canon of Scripture" mean? Could you explain to another person in simple terms how we got our Bible?
Click for discussion of 3 tests (bibliographic, internal and external) that undergird the reliability of the Holy Scriptures.
What does plenary verbal inspiration mean?
Plenary = complete in all parts, nothing is missing
Verbal = word.
E.g., in Gal 3:16 Paul based his entire argument on the single word "Seed" as found in used in Ge 22:18 "And in your seed (masculine, singular) all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice." writing that "the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, "And to seeds," as referring to many, but rather to one, "And to your seed," that is, Christ."
Inspiration = God-breathed
What logically follows from this definition?
The Bible is infallible. It speaks only the truth. If God wrote it, it has to be true. God used fallible people to receive and record his infallible Word so that it would reach us correct and without error. Human beings, though they often err, need not err in all particular instances.
In addition to being perfect, the Bible is also inerrant in the original manuscripts. The Bible has no mistakes.
"Do not add to His words; lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar” (Pr 30:6, cp Pr 30:5)
The Word of God is also authoritative. When it speaks, we had better respond.
The Bible is sufficient. Nothing is missing. Because the Word of God is the breath of God, we don’t need anything more. If a person says you need this or that spiritual or mystical experience don’t believe them! The Spirit of God acting through the Word of God is sufficient to make you fully mature in Christ, adequate and equipped for every good work.
The Bible is also effective (see Heb 4:12 -note)
International Council on Biblical Inerrancy says that: Infallible signifies the quality of neither misleading nor being misled and so safeguards in categorical terms the truth that Holy Scripture is a sure, safe, and reliable rule and guide in all matters. Similarly, inerrant signifies the quality of being free from all falsehood or mistake and so safeguards the truth that Holy Scripture is entirely true and trustworthy in all its assertions.
Note: Revelation and Inspiration are not the same. Revelation is the message, and inspiration was the primary method of delivering that message to mankind. (Illumination of Scripture is enlightenment by the Holy Spirit Who gives understanding of the Scripture) Inspiration is the act of the Holy Spirit in revealing to human writers the message that God intended to comprise the Old and New Testaments... Some people say that the Bible is inspired in the same way that those great works of literature were inspired... The problem with that view is it is saying that God didn’t write the Bible—smart men did. Would smart men write a book that condemns men to hell? Would smart men write a book that provides no human means of salvation apart from the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ? No! Man writes books that exalt himself. He doesn’t write books to damn himself... Second, inspiration is not only in the thoughts of the writers. Some say that instead of giving the writers specific words, God supplied the writers only general ideas, while the choice of vocabulary was theirs. That view doesn’t square with what the Bible teaches (1Co 2:13)... Some 3,808 times in the Old Testament, expressions such as “Thus says the Lord,” “The Word of the Lord,” and “The Word of God” appear. These hardly express wordless concepts. God does communicate in words... Inspiration is not mechanical dictation. The Bible writers were not robots, writing in a semi comatose state, cranking it out without using their minds. (MacArthur, J., How to Get the Most from God's Word)
Our Lord tells us that “He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God” (John 8:47).
One way to tell a saved person from an unsaved one is that one listens to the Word of God and the other doesn’t. Are you listening?
"And beginning with Moses and with all the prophets,
BE BORN OF A WOMAN
circa 4000 B.C
|"Beginning with Moses..."
Genesis 3:15:And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head and you shall bruise Him on the heel.
Galatians 4:4 But when the fulness of time came God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law. (Note)
|MESSIAH WOULD BE THE SEED OF ABRAHAM &
THE BEARER OF THE GOSPEL
circa 2000 B.C
|Genesis 22:18 "And in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice." ."
Genesis 12:3 And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed." ("the gospel" - compare Gal 3:8 in next column)
Morris (Defender's Study Bible) notes that "In his theological argument concerning the Abrahamic covenant, Paul almost unconsciously makes an exceedingly strong affirmation of the verbal inspiration of the Old Testament Scriptures, basing his argument not just on one word, but one letter, "seed" instead of "seeds." Thus the promised "Seed" was not the nation Israel, but the one Person Who alone could fulfill the great promises made to Abraham, namely, Christ.
|Matthew 1:1 "The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham."
Galatians 3:16 "Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, "And to seeds," as referring to many, but rather to one, "And to your seed," that is, Christ."
Galatians 3:8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, "ALL THE NATIONS SHALL BE BLESSED IN YOU. (Genesis 12:3b)"
MESSIAH WOULD BE BORN IN BETHLEHEM
circa 700 B.C
|Micah 5:2 But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity (Note)
Note that even if Jesus could have fulfilled some of the other prophecies "naturally", He could hardly have fulfilled His place of birth in an obscure village distinct from the other village by the same first name (Bethlehem)! Jesus sternly warned every skeptic of every age that "unless you believe that I am He, you shall die in your sins ." (John 8:25)
|Matthew 2:1-6 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, 2 Where is He Who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east, and have come to worship Him. 3 And when Herod the king heard it, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 And gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he began to inquire of them where the Christ was to be born. 5 And they said to him 'In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it has been written by the prophet, 6 And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah, are by no means least among the leaders of Judah; for out of you shall come forth a Ruler , Who will shepherd My people Israel.'|
|Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the LORD Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel (God with us). (Note)||Matthew 1:18-23 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows. When His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. 19 And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her, desired to put her away secretly. 20 But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for that which has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will bear a Son and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He Who will save His people from their sins." 22 Now all this took place that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, 23 "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which translated means, "God with us."|
MESSIAH WOULD BE PRECEDED BY A
|Isaiah 40:3 A voice is calling: Clear the way for the LORD in the wilderness, make smooth in the desert a highway for our God. (Note)||Matthew 3:1-3 Now in those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea saying, 2 "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." 3 For this is the one referred to by Isaiah the prophet, saying, "The voice of one crying in the wilderness, make ready the way of the Lord, make His paths straight.!"|
MINISTER IN NAPHTALI
circa 700 B.C
|Isaiah 9:1-2 But there will be no more gloom for her who was in anguish; in earlier times He treated the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali with contempt, but later on He shall make it glorious, by the way of the sea, on the other side of Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles. 2 The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them. (Note)||Matthew 4:13-16 Leaving Nazareth, He came and settled in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali. 14 This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, saying, 15 The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, by the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the gentiles 16 The people who were setting in darkness saw a great light; and to those who were sitting in the land and shadow of death, upon them a light dawned|
ENTER INTO JERUSALEM ON A DONKEY
circa 500 B.C
|Zechariah 9:9 "Behold your King is coming to you, He is just and endowed with salvation, humble and mounted on a donkey even on a colt the foal of a donkey."
Zechariah 9:10 And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem; and the bow of war will be cut off. And He will speak peace to the nations; and His dominion will be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth. (Note)
Matthew 21:5 Say to the daughter of Zion, 'Behold your King is coming to you, gentle, and mounted on a donkey, even on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden. 6 And the disciples went and did just as Jesus had directed them, 7 and brought the donkey and the clot, and laid n them their garments, on which He sat. 8 And most of the multitude spread their garments in the road, and others were cutting branches from the trees, and spreading them in the road. 9 And the multitudes going before Him and those who followed after were crying out, saying, "Hosanna ("Save us we pray") to the Son of David; blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest!" 10 And when He had entered Jerusalem, all the city was stirred, saying, "Who is this?" 11 And the multitudes were saying, "This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth in Galilee."
(Not directly quoted so fulfillment is seen in several passages)
Revelation 11:15-note And the seventh angel sounded; and there arose loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever."
Revelation 19:16-note And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, "KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS."
MESSIAH WOULD BE REJECTED BY
HIS OWN PEOPLE
|Ps 69:8 I have become estranged from my brothers and an alien to my mother's sons.
Is 53:3 He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and like one from whom men hide their face, He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
|John 1:11 He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.
John 7:5 For not even His brothers were believing in Him.
|MESSIAH'S BETRAYAL FOR 30 PIECES OF SILVER FORETOLD (THE PRICE OF A GORED SLAVE!)
circa 500 B.C
Zech 11:12 (Zechariah carried out the drama - see previous verses - by symbolically picturing Messiah asking those He came to shepherd what they felt He was worth to them) And I said to them, "If it is good in your sight, give me my wages; but if not, never mind!" So they weighed out thirty shekels of silver as my wages (In a mocking response, the leaders offered 30 silver pieces which was the amount of compensation paid for a slave gored by an ox - see Ex 21:32 below). 13 Then the LORD said to me, "Throw it to the potter, that magnificent price at which I (THE MESSIAH) was valued by them." So I took the thirty shekels of silver and threw them to the potter in the house of the LORD. (Note)
Ex 21:32 "If the ox gores a male or female slave, the owner shall give his or her master thirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned.
Matthew 26:14 Then one of the twelve, named Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests,15 and said, "What are you willing to give me to deliver Him up to you?" And they weighed out to him thirty pieces of silver. 16 And from then on he began looking for a good opportunity to betray Him.
Matthew 27:3 Then when Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that He had been condemned, he felt remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, 4 saying, "I have sinned by betraying innocent blood." But they said, "What is that to us? See to that yourself!" 5 And he threw the pieces of silver into the sanctuary and departed; and he went away and hanged himself. 6 And the chief priests took the pieces of silver and said, "It is not lawful to put them into the temple treasury, since it is the price of blood." 7 And they counseled together and with the money bought the Potter's Field as a burial place for strangers.
|MESSIAH'S CRUCIFIXION FORETOLD
LOTS WOULD BE CAST FOR MESSIAH'S GARMENT
Ps 22:14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; it is melted within me. 17 I can count all my bones. They look, they stare at Me; 18 They divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.
John 19:24 They said therefore to one another, "Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, to decide whose it shall be"; that the Scripture might be fulfilled, "THEY DIVIDED MY OUTER GARMENTS AMONG THEM, AND FOR MY CLOTHING THEY CAST LOTS."
|MESSIAH WOULD CRY
OUT FROM THE CROSS
|Ps 22:1 My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me? Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning.||Matthew 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?" that is, "MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME?"|
|MESSIAH'S LEGS WOULD NOT BE BROKEN||Ps 34:20 He keeps all His bones; not one of them is broken. (cf. to Ps 22:17 above)||John 19:33 But coming to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs.|
|THE TIME OF MESSIAH'S CRUCIFIXION ACCURATELY FORETOLD
|Daniel 9:24-note "Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy place.
25-note "So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress.
26-note "Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined.
27-note "And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate."
See this time period charted out and the incredible fulfillment...click
Yes, one could possibly find one or two prophecies fulfilled in other men, but not all 61 major prophecies! In fact the chance of one man fulfilling even eight prophecies is 1 in 10 to the 17th power (1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000) This has been illustrated by imagining placing 100,000,000,000,000,000 silver dollars on the State of Texas which would result in two feet "sea" of silver wherever you tread! Now it where the odds get interesting. Mark one of the silver dollars distinctively and throw it into the state. Stir it all up and blindfold a man who has one pick to select the marked coin. That's the odds against anyone fulfilling only 8 prophecies, much less what most authorities feel is something like 330 plus Old Testament prophecies in some way fulfilled in the Messiah. To phrase it another way, these incredible odds just illustrated are the same chance that the OT prophets would have had of writing eight prophecies and having them all come true in any one man providing they wrote them in their own wisdom. One can conclude that the fulfillment of even just eight prophecies proves that God inspired the writing of these prophecies to a definiteness which lacks only one chance in 10 to the 17th power! The odds against all 330 plus OT prophecies being fulfilled in one man cannot even be reasonably illustrated, as they are so high!
Another objection to the Messianic Prophecies pointing to Jesus is that Jesus deliberately attempted to fulfill the Jewish prophecies. This objection seems plausible until we realize that many of the details of the Messiah's coming were totally beyond human control.
Note also that some of the prophecies concerning the Messiah are of such a nature that only God could fulfill them, such as Christ's virgin birth, His sinless and holy character, His resurrection, and His ascension. Only God could cause Jesus to be born of a virgin and to be raised from the dead.
An illustration of a fulfilled prophecy about the city of Tyre in Ezekiel 26:
Tyre was a great Phoenician city and world capital for some 2,000 years, deriving its rule from domination of the seas. Ezekiel 26 predicted Tyre's violent future and destruction at a time when it was still a dominant power.
Ezekiel predicted that many nations would come up against Tyre (Ezekiel 26:3), that Babylon under Nebuchadnezzar would be the first to attack it (Ezekiel 26:7), that Tyre’s walls and towers would be broken down (Ezekiel 26:4,9); that the stones, timbers, and debris of that great city would be thrown into the sea (Ezekiel 26:12); that its location would become a bare rock and a place for the drying of fishermen's nets (Ezekiel 26:4, 5,14) and finally, that the city of Tyre would never be rebuilt (Ezekiel 26:14, 21). Note that 8 times in Ezekiel 26 it is clearly stated that the words spoken are from the Lord God (Eze 26:1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 14, 15, 19, 21)
History testifies that all this is precisely what happened. Many nations did come up against Tyre including the Babylonians, Greeks, Romans, Muslims, and Crusaders. In 586BC, three years after Ezekiel's prophecy, Nebuchadnezzar was the first of these invaders, who, after a 13 year siege, broke down the walls and towers of mainland Tyre, thus fulfilling the first of Ezekiel’s prophecies against Tyre. Nebuchadnezzar massacred all of Tyre’s inhabitants except for those who escaped to an island fortress a half mile out in the Mediterranean Sea. It is notable that it was Tyre's abundance of fresh water (see note below) that allowed the city to hold out against Nebuchadnezzar for so many years. In the years after Nebuchadnezzar's crushing defeat, the people of the city transferred the wealth of the former mainland city of Tyre to an adjacent island and there the new city of Tyre prospered protected by the sea and walls extending out into the sea to protect the port.
Some 241 years after Nebuchadnezzar had destroyed the old city of Tyre, Alexander the Great began his conquest of the ancient world, as he sought to capture Persia. But before he went to Persia, he headed south to conquer Tyre, fearing that while his troops were in the East engaged in war, and that the Phoenician navy might therefore seek to invade Greece. Alexander approached Tyre and demanded that the city surrender but they refused. After Alexander's first attempt failed, he took the ruble of the old city of Tyre left by Nebuchadnezzar and built a causeway out to the island. The city was completely destroyed by Alexander as a warning to other cities that might seek to defy his demands of surrender. After hearing of Tyre's fall, many cities opened their gates in fear to avoid being destroyed.
Centuries later Alexander the Great fulfilled a portion of the prophecy. In order to conquer the island fortress of Tyre (because he lacked a navy), he and his celebrated architect Diades devised one of the most brilliant engineering feats of ancient warfare. They built a causeway from Tyre’s mainland to the island fortress, using the millions of cubic feet of rubble left over on mainland Tyre. Thus Tyre was scraped bare as a rock, just as Ezekiel predicted.
The most astonishing of Ezekiel’s predictions was that Tyre would never be rebuilt. This is singularly incredible because Tyre is strategically located on the east coast of the Mediterranean Sea and contains the Springs of Reselain, which pump ten million gallons of fresh water daily, enough to take care of the needs of a modern city. Yet, history records that after a succession of invasions, Tyre finally and irrevocably fell in A.D. 1291, never to be rebuilt again. Some 200 years ago archeologists were watching some fishermen spreading their nets on the bare rocks of a place that proved to be Tyre. Today Tyre has been humbled to the point of becoming a place for the drying of fishermen's nets, literally what Ezekiel prophesied some 2500 years ago! What are the chances that Ezekiel could have guessed correctly? It has been conservatively in the book, Science Speaks, Professor Peter Stoner estimated that the chances are about one in 75,000,000.
When it comes to determining whether or not the Bible is the inspired Word of God we can rest confidently on the authority of Jesus Christ. We arrive at this conclusion by the following logic:
Old Testament authority John Bright once said...
The idea of "prepare" means to “clear away the obstacles”. The geographical feature of "wilderness" symbolized the arid lifelessness of the unconverted soul. Mountains and hills represent the proud and arrogant among men, valleys the people of low degree. All unevenness and roughness of character must be made smooth. All four Gospel writers quote this verse as applying to John the Baptist (Matt. 3:1, 2, 3, 4; Mark 1:1, 2, 3, 4; Luke 1:76, 77, 78; John 1:23) In the NT John the Baptist declared that repentance was necessary to prepare the way for Christ. Highway in Isaiah (and in the Gospels) figuratively referred to the hearts of people who must be spiritually prepared by repentance for God’s glory to be revealed.
Freeman notes that...
In a devotional from Our Daily Bread on Isaiah 40:3 we read...
|MESSIAH IN THE LAND OF NAPHTALI
The northern territory of Israel, called the land of Naphtali, which had been brought into contempt by the invaders, will be made glorious. (Galilee of the Gentiles was the Savior’s boyhood home and the scene of part of His public ministry.) Christ’s First Advent brought light to Galilee. His Second Coming will bring joy to the nation and put an end to slavery and war. The coming of the Messiah is synonymous with the coming of light to remove the darkness of captivity.
Constable writes that in Isaiah's time...
|RELATED RESOURCE: Can I Really Trust the Bible?
The evidence that undergirds the reliability that the Scriptures we have access to today are in fact the actual, inerrant, fully inspired Words of our heavenly Father can be categorized as follows:
1) BIBLIOGRAPHICAL TEST
The bibliographical test is an examination of the textual transmission by which documents have been passed down through the centuries. The question this test addresses is in view of the fact that we do not have the original documents, how reliable are the copies we possess today and from which our Bibles are translated? What are the number of original manuscripts or what is the the time interval between the original and the copies that we do possess?
One way to grasp the significance of this test is to compare similar criteria of ancient writers. For example, how do we know that the history of Thucydides (460-400 B.C.) is really what he wrote? We have only 8 manuscripts of Thucydides' history and the oldest is dated about A.D. 900, which give us a gap of about 1,300 years between when Thucydides wrote the original manuscript. This is quite a gap and a relatively small number of manuscripts and yet as F. F. Bruce notes
Similar observations can be made of the writings of Aristotle who wrote his poetics circa 343 B.C. and yet the earliest copy we have is dated A.D. 1100, nearly a 1,400-year gap, and only five MSS are in existence.
How do the NT manuscripts stack up in comparison? The New Testament was written from about AD 50 to AD90. The earliest fragment dates about AD120, with about fifty other fragments dating within 150–200 years from the time of composition. Two major manuscripts, Codex Vaticanus (AD 325) and Codex Sinaiticus (AD350), a complete copy, date within 250 years of the time of composition. This may seem like a long time span, but it is minimal compared to most ancient works. Caesar composed his history of the Gallic Wars between 58-50 B.C. and its manuscript authority rests on 9-10 copies dating a almost 1000 years after his death! The first complete copy of the Odyssey by Homer dates 2,200 years after it was written. When the interval between the writing of the New Testament and earliest copies is compared to other ancient works, the New Testament proves to be much closer to the time of the original. In short, there are more than 18,000 copies of New Testament manuscripts in existence today which far out distances otherwise accepted works such as The Iliad which has 643 MSS, the second largest number of ancient manuscripts..
F. F. Bruce concludes that...
Sir Frederic Kenyon, director and principal librarian at the British Museum and second to none in authority for issuing statements about manuscripts, concludes
In summary, the bibliographical test assures us that the NT has more manuscript authority than any piece of literature from antiquity, which leaves little doubt that the NT is an authentic piece of literature.
2) INTERNAL EVIDENCE TEST
John W. Montgomery explains this "test" writing that...:
The ability of the writer or the witness to tell the truth is helpful to the historian to determine credibility. This in turn is closely related to the witness's nearness both geographically and chronologically to the events recorded. The New Testament accounts of the life and teaching of Jesus were recorded by men who had been either eyewitnesses themselves or who related the accounts of eyewitnesses of the actual events or teachings of Jesus.
Dr Luke records...
The apostle Peter adds that...
Finally the apostle John testifies that...
One still might argue that the above eyewitness were relating their own fabrication and not the truth.
As Josh McDowell goes on to explain...
F. F. Bruce adds that...
Will Durant, well known historian writes the following regarding the authenticity of the New Testament:
3) EXTERNAL EVIDENCE TEST
The external evidence test looks at other available contemporaneous historical writings to either support or deny the truth and reliability of the documents being scrutinized.
As an example, Papias, bishop of Hierapolis (AD 130), a contemporary of the apostle John, explained the source of the Gospel of Mark as follows...
Archaeology attests to the accuracy of events recorded in the NT, the archaeologist Joseph Free noting that...
F. F. Bruce comments on the detailed, very specific documentation by Dr Luke writing that...
A. N. Sherwin-White, a classical historian, writes that
The conclusion one will arrive at after attempting to disprove the authenticity of the NT record of Jesus Christ is that if one is being intellectually honest, they would have to dismiss not only the New Testament but virtually all of the literature of the ancient world!
CHANGED LIVES - WHO WOULD DIE FOR A LIE?
Another crucial "test" of the authenticity of the NT was the effect that it had on the lives of those most closely associated with its main subject Jesus. In short, it radically changed their lives.
Kenneth Wuest comments on the "fullness of time" writing...
John MacArthur adds that...
This verse looks forward to the birth of the One who was to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting. This latter description points to the Messiah’s eternity, and therefore to His deity. Note that there were two Bethlehems, thus Micah is very specific that this is Bethlehem Ephrathah, six miles south of Jerusalem.
W E Vine comments that...
Note that the Septuagint (Greek translation of the Hebrew OT) used the word parthenos which means a virgin to translate the Hebrew word 'almah in Isaiah 7:14 which further supports that the intent of that the 'almah in Isaiah 7:14 specifically was a reference to a virgin.
Mary had been promised in marriage to Joseph, but the wedding had not yet taken place. In NT times, betrothal was a form of engagement and in fact a Jewish betrothal was as binding (probably considering the culture and times even more binding!) as our modern marriage. In fact a betrothed girl was a widow if her fiancé died. Normally a one-year period of waiting followed the betrothal before the consummation of the marriage. During that year the couple could only break their engagement with a divorce. Although an engaged couple did not live together until the marriage ceremony, unfaithfulness on the part of the betrothed was treated as adultery and punishable by death by stoning. During the time of her betrothal, the Virgin Mary became pregnant by a miracle of the Holy Spirit.
Note the Greek verb "come together" (sunerchomai) in this context is a euphemism for sexual relations. In some languages one may use such expressions as ‘before they were joined’ or ‘before they slept together’ or ‘before they discovered one another.’ (Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains. United Bible societies)
This dual fulfillment of Zechariah 9:9 at Messiah's first advent and Zechariah 9:10 which will be fulfilled at His Second Coming resulted in some pre-Christian sects of Judaism, including the Qumran community, expecting two Messiahs.
J Vernon McGee has a helpful note on what might at first seem to be a confusing point...
Personally, I have had a difficult time understanding the meaning of the term "canon of Scripture" and for that reason have included material from several resources with the objective of helping all believers have a firm grasp on the meaning of this term. Obviously there is some reiteration but hopefully that will enhance and not detract from your understanding.
Tyndale Bible Dictionary defines the canon of the Bible as...
"Canon" comes from the root word "reed" (English word "cane"; Hebrew form ganeh and Greek Kanon). The "reed" was used as a measuring rod and eventually meant "standard." The word "canon" applied to Scripture means an officially accepted list of books. Note that the church did not create the canon or books included in what we call Scripture. Instead, the church recognized the books that were inspired from their inception. They were inspired by God when written. We don't know exactly what criteria the early church used to choose the canonical books. To reiterate, canon refers to the collection of writings accepted as inspired and therefore authoritative.
John MacArthur has a nice summary explanation of canon writing that the...
Easton's Bible Dictionary writes that
Smith's Bible Dictionary adds that the "Canon of Scripture"...
To reiterate, canonicity is determined by God. It is not the antiquity, authenticity, or religious community that makes a book canonical or authoritative. A book is valuable because it is canonical, and not canonical because it is or was considered valuable. Its authority is established by God and merely discovered by God’s people.
The basis of recognition of a book as part of the NT Canon was (a) apostolic authorship or authentication, (b) Christ-honoring doctrinal content, in line with the known teaching of other apostles, and (c) continuous acknowledgment and spiritually fruitful use of the books within the church from the apostolic age on. It is interesting that Martin Luther used criteria (b) to reject James because he felt James contradicted Paul, which they clearly do not do when one compares their messages. On the other hand the Catholic and Orthodox branches use (c) as a warrant for canonizing the apocryphal books.