WHY I BELIEVE THE BIBLE, AND WHY YOU SHOULD TOO

Reason number 4.

Remember the number 173,880 and be prepared to have your socks blown off. The last four verses of Daniel 9 are known as the Seventy Weeks of Daniel. It is within these verses that very specific information is given to the Jews regarding their expectation for the Messiah. Daniel 9:24 -25 says that 70 weeks are set-aside for the Jews. These are not weeks, as in seven days, but weeks of years; each week is equal to a seven-year period. Verse 25 tells the Jews to KNOW AND DISCERN that from a decree to rebuild Jerusalem (after destruction by the Babylonians) until the Messiah the Prince would be 7 and 62 weeks. That is 69 weeks from the order to rebuild the city until the Messiah.

69 weeks x 7 years per week = 483 years

483 x 360 = 173,880 days (360 day year is standard)

If one calculates the difference between 1 Nissan 444 B.C. (March 5) and 1 Nissan 33 A.D. he or she would arrive at a difference of 476 years. This time period needs to be converted to the Julian calendar system by multiplying and adding the following.

476 x 365.242            =       173,855 days

March 5 – March 30 =          +     25 days

173,880 days

Nehemiah 2:1-9 records the decree by the Persian King Artaxerxes in 444 B.C. Remember, the book of Daniel was written about one hundred years before this decree was issued. By adding 173,880 days from when the order was given (1 Nissan) we arrive at 10 Nissan 33A.D.  (I first read about this about twenty years ago. Sir Robert Anderson cracked the code and wrote about it in his book “The Coming Prince” which was published in 1894. Since then more precise information regarding dates has been conducted. H.W. Hoehner’s book “Chronological Aspects of the Life of Christ” improves on Anderson’s work.)

Here is where it gets interesting. Throughout Jesus’ ministry on earth people kept trying to make Him king. The gospels record His response. Jesus always told people, “It’s not My time”, or He would evade them. There was only one time where Jesus allowed Himself to be hailed as King. That was on 10 Nissan 33 A.D. This was the day of Jesus’ triumphal entry into the city of Jerusalem.

Zechariah 9:9 put it this way. “…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.”

John 12:13 “Took the branches of the palm trees, and went out to meet Him, and began to cry out, “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord, even the King of Israel.”

The Pharisees that heard what Jesus followers were saying told Him to rebuke His disciples. Jesus responded by telling the Pharisees that if His followers were quiet the very stones would cry out.  Jesus knew this was His time to be recognized as King. He wept over the city and pronounced judgment because the Jews did not recognize the time of His visitation.

Jesus expected the Jews to know the Scriptures. The Jews were ordered to KNOW AND DISCERN events regarding His arrival as King. The Jews missed it; John 19:42 records that that the things which make for peace are hidden from the Jews because of it. Don’t you think we should give more attention to the Bible? I certainly do.

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WHY I BELIEVE THE BIBLE, AND WHY YOU SHOULD TOO

Reason number 3.

The problem with much of the Bible is that to truly understand it, one must be very familiar with Middle Eastern history. The good news about this is that there is an ample supply of secular historians that can confirm the information. This is true of one of my all time favorite Bible passages, Ezekiel chapter 26.

God promises to destroy the ancient city of Tyre in Ezekiel 26. This passage is interesting because of the reason God states for his judgment, but also because of the details given about this particular judgment. Verse 2 tells us why God is going to destroy the city. It is because the men of Tyre looked upon Jerusalem as a target for conquest. Because of this attitude towards Jerusalem, God makes 7 very clear predictions about the ancient city of Tyre.

  1. Many nations will come against Tyre. (26:3).
  2. Tyre’s debris will be scraped bare (26:4).
  3. Tyre will be a place to spread nets (26:5).
  4. Nebuchadnezzar will destroy the mainland city of Tyre (26:8).
  5. Debris will be thrown into the water (26:12)
  6. Tyre won’t ever be rebuilt (26:14).
  7. Tyre won’t ever be found (26:21).

History records the destruction of this city in a very dramatic way. Three years after Ezekiel’s prophecy Nebuchadnezzar begins a thirteen-year assault (585 B.C. – 573 B.C.) on the mainland of Tyre. The mainland city of Tyre was destroyed and most of the residents had moved onto an island one half mile into the Mediterranean Sea. The island city of Tyre remained until Alexander the Great appeared on the scene in 332 B.C.  Alexander began using debris from the destruction of the mainland city of Tyre to build a causeway to the Island city of Tyre. When Alexander’s armies were done with the causeway, not a stone remained. Historian Philip Myers records that nothing remains of the ancient city of Tyre; it is laid bare and is frequently used for fisherman to dry their nets. There is much more detail one can find out about the history of Tyre, but this should help get the main points out.

I find this fascinating because of the detail of the prophecy, the detail of the fulfillment, and the reason for the destruction of the city. We are just scratching the surface however. Stay tuned for more reasons WHY I BELIEVE THE BIBLE, AND WHY YOU SHOULD TOO.

WHY I BELIEVE THE BIBLE, AND WHY YOU SHOULD TOO

Reason number 2.

If my number one reason for believing the Bible is the uniqueness of the book itself, my second reason for believing the Bible is the uniqueness of the Jewish people and the history surrounding them. One would have to be willfully ignorant of the Jews and what the Bible says about the Jews to not be truly amazed at their course through history.

God took Abram out of Ur and brought him to a specific piece of real estate. God promised to give Abram all the land that he could see and to make his descendants very numerous. Abram’s name was changed to Abraham and he settled in the land; his grandson Jacob lived in the land as well. Jacob had twelve sons. There came a famine in the land and, through a series of events, the entire family wound up in Egypt.

The Jews stayed in Egypt for four hundred years. Our long-suffering God was waiting for the Amorite to finish doing bad things before He sent his people in to settle the land. A pharaoh who was fearful of the Jews large numbers enslaved them, but God sent Moses to deliver them from slavery and bring them into the land promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It was during this time that God gave Moses the Law. We need to read Deuteronomy 28 in order to truly understand why Jewish history has played out the way it has.

God promised the Jewish people two things: Good things would happen to them and they would stay in the land if they were obedient, and bad things would happen to them and they would be removed from the land if they were disobedient. History records their decision. The Assyrians conquered Israel and the Babylonians conquered Jerusalem, destroyed the Temple, and carted off the Jews to Babylon. The Jews returned to Jerusalem after living in captivity for seventy years (Jeremiah 29:10 records how long the Jews would be captive in Babylon). The Roman Empire was the next foreign power to rule over Israel. The last remaining Jews were expelled from the land in 70 A.D. It wasn’t until 1948 that the Jewish people were brought back into the land.

It is important to note a couple of things here. First, obedience to God is always the indicator if the Jews will maintain possession of the land God promised them. It’s almost like a parent that gives a child a vehicle. The vehicle may belong to the child, but if the child does not follow certain guidelines, he or she may lose possession of the car for a while. A second item to note is that God always uses a foreign power to punish the Jewish people. War and conquest is God’s method for dealing with a disobedient people.

Let’s look at some very specific things that God promised would happen to the Jews if they disobeyed.

Deuteronomy 28:25 The Jews would be defeated before their enemies.

(History Validates)

Deuteronomy 28:37 The Jews would be a horror, a proverb, and a taunt among all the people where the Lord would drive them.

Ever hear of anti-Semitism? The Jewish people have been blamed for all the world’s ills throughout history.

(History Validates)

Deuteronomy 28:64 God promises to scatter the Jews among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other.

(History Validates)

Israel is the size of New Jersey. It is a very small country. Yet the Jewish people, in spite of being scattered throughout the world, have maintained their Jewishness. It is also interesting to note the extent of the hatred for the Jews the nations surrounding Israel would maintain forever.

The Jewish people are truly a remarkable group of people. Not so much because they are any different from anyone else, but because the God of the Bible has truly blessed them and has shown His hand on them in spite of the tragic history they have lived out.

WHY I BELIEVE THE BIBLE, AND WHY YOU SHOULD TOO

Reason number 1

This year my daughter learned about the Renaissance in her Western Civilizations class. Some of the class time was spent learning about how the church influenced the culture of the time. The students were required to visit several churches this year that were influential during the Renaissance and write a couple of papers comparing and contrasting them. We visited Catholic, Lutheran, Eastern Orthodox, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, Baptist, and Charismatic churches this past year.

The one thing that most of the churches we visited had in common was a token acknowledgement of the importance of the Bible. Some of the services did not mention the Bible or verses from the Bible at all, but focused on church tradition.  Many of the churches had no Bible Studies listed in their church bulletins; the studies that were listed were not Bible studies but group studies focused on a workbook. Is it any wonder that Christians today don’t know what they believe, or why they believe it?

I posted an article on Facebook a couple of years ago. The article was about how most Christians are unable to explain their faith. The article quotes Christian apologist Josh McDowell and makes the observation that many kids who grow up in the church leave after high school because they have no firm roots in the faith. McDowell states that over the past 17 years he has asked over 4,000 pastors, leaders and parents why they believe the Bible is true. McDowell noted that a mere six came close to giving an intelligent answer. I find that appalling but not too surprising.

Never fear my dear friends. I will help provide logical reasons for you to know why you should believe the Bible is true. Starting today, I will give reasons for you to believe that the Bible is a reliable source, and the God of the Bible is the One, True God.

I believe the Bible is true because:

It’s a collection of 66 books that has been written by forty different people. The Bible was written over a period of about 1,600 years; yet the message of the Bible is consistent. The Bible is a compilation of writings about God’s great love for mankind. It’s a collection of books that documents Gods’ plan of redemption through His son Jesus. Show me any other collection of writings or a “holy book” that could keep the integrity of the message unaltered if given the same number of authors over a similar period of time. The Bible is Supernatural in the way it was written, distributed, and preserved. That is just one of the reasons why I believe the Bible is true.