Is the Bible just another “holy book” like the Quran, Bagva-Gita, etc. Or is it different? Many of these books claim to be the “word of God”, but are they? Let’s consider how the Bible differs from some of the other holy texts, and why it IS in fact the unique one-of-a-kind message system from the extra-terrestrial Creator that it claims to be.
If We Received a Message System From Our Creator, What Would it Look Like?
If a super-natural being was going to provide us with a message system, He would certainly want to ensure its survival and distinguish it from imitations. What might be the distinguishing characteristics of such a super-natural messaging system?
- It would contain a significant amount of prophetic statements. “Prophecy” is the ability to tell of things before they happen, and if there is a God that exists outside of space and time, this would be one of the distinguishing characteristics He would place on any message system He delivered. His message system – in contrast to other “books” – should have an inordinate number of prophecies. And these prophecies should show that they have come true time and again.
The Bible includes FAR more prophecies than any other so-called holy book. In fact, numerous times the God of the Bible declares this as one of His distinguishing characteristics: “Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I declare;Before they spring forth I tell you of them.” (Isaiah 42:9)
There were literally hundreds of prophecies about Jesus throughout the Torah (Old Testament). Jesus emphasized this point to the Jewish leaders as He spoke with them:
“You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.” (John 5:39)
“For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me.” (John 5:46)
View a small sample of the hundreds of prophecies concerning Jesus.
- Prophecies documented in its pages would have the unique characteristic of coming true - time after time. If it were the case that the “prophetic statements” were only true some of the time, that would not be indicative of divine origin. If the messages are truly from an extraterrestrial being that is all knowing, all-powerful, and in charge of His Creation, every message that predicts future events should come true without exception, And this is precisely what we find to be characteristic of the Bible.
For example, every single prophecy concerning Yeshua (Jesus) written in the Torah — hundreds of years before His birth — came true. How do we know that the prophecies were not written during the time of Jesus? Because the Septuagint – the Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures – was completed during the reign of Ptolemy Philadelpus (285-246 B.C.). There is no question that there was as least a 250 year gap between the written prophecies concerning Jesus, and their fulfillment in Jesus.
Some say that Jesus engineered fulfillment of these prophecies. That He planned them. The problem is, many of these He had absolutely no control over:
His place of birth (Micah 5:2)
The time of His birth (Daniel 9:25; Gen 49:10)
The manner of His birth (Isaiah 7:14)
His betrayal (Zechariah 11:12-13)
The manner of His death (Psalm 22:16)
Peoples reactions to His suffering (Psalm 22:7-8)
His piercing (Psalm 22:16)
His Burial (Isaiah 53:9)
Others say that the fulfillment of these prophecies in Yeshua (Jesus) is just coincidental — an accident. Is this a reasonable position? While it may be true that one, two or even several prophecies might be explainable as a coincidence or accident, the probability that hundreds of prophecies could be fulfilled in one person is astronomical. According to Peter Stoner of Science Speaks, the chances that eight of the prophecies could be fulfilled in one person is 1 in 1017 (10 to the 17th power). This equates to 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000.
But consider – we are only talking about the probability that one person could fulfill 8 prophecies. Yet Jesus fulfilled literally hundreds of prophecies! In his book, Stoner also calculates the probability that one person could fulfill 48 prophecies. The chances? 1 in 10157. The chance of this happening is so remote it is beyond comprehension. So it can not have been an accident, or a coincidence. The facts simply do not allow this. The only explanation is that God was at work — showing us byHis fingerprint that Jesus — Yeshua – was indeed His Son, the Messiah, the Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.
- It would feature an amazingly consistent design from start to finish. Though the Bible was penned by over 40 authors over several thousand years, it features an incredible systematic design through the Old and New Testaments.
It presents a single unfolding story, from Genesis to Revelation: God’s redemption of His creation. While the gate to paradise closes in Genesis, it is opened forevermore in the final book of Revelation.
It presents the one, true living God, made known to His creation through Jesus Christ. According to “The New Evidence that Demands a Verdict, by Josh McDowell, Yeshua — Jesus — is THE central theme from the very start of the Bible to its end:
The Law points us to Christ
The historical books provide us with a for-shadowing of Christ
The Psalms and poetical works paint pictures of the coming Christ (Psalm 22)
The Prophets (Isaiah, Micah, Zechariah, etc.) point us to Christ (Isaiah 53)
The Gospels record the historical manifestation of the Christ
The Acts record the propagation of Christ
The Epistles give us the interpretation of Christ
In Revelation we have the consummation of all things in Christ
- It would feature a central message of utmost importancethat the Creator/Designer wanted to communicate to His creation.
The Bible — from start to finish — tells the story of a Creator who became one of His creatures – became incarnate. A Creator who gave His all – His very life -- to bring His creation back into communion with Him. The story of Yeshua (Jesus) starts in Genesis, and proceeds through the Torah, through the Gospels, and finds its glorious conclusion in Revelation – the final book of the Bible.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1)
“And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)
- The messages would be consistent with the findings of modern science. Today, more than ever before in history, we see that science is consistent — and some would argue supports — what the Bible has to say. For example:
Science and the Bible both tell us that the universe was created out of nothing. According to most scientists, theuniverse — time, space, and all matter — began some 14.7 billion years ago, in a single moment that scientists refer to as the “Bing Bang”. Everything that is today was created out of nothing. Remarkably, then Bible ells us precisely the same thing: Genesis 1:1 - “In the Beginning, God created (the word “bara”, used here, means to create something out of nothing) the heavens and the earth.”
The two greatest “laws” of science – the first and second laws of thermodynamics — are consistent with the Bible:
1. The first law states that matter can neither be created, nor destroyed, but changed in form only. This is completely consistent with the Bible’s teaching that God created on days 1-6 of creation, and rested on the 7th day (ceased from His creative activities). So its not surprising that new creation is not taking place.
2. The second law states that all closed systems progress from organization to disorganization, or randomness. In other words, unless you put work into it, all things eventually break down and decay. In the Bible we see confirmation of this second law being in effect:
See Evidence for Design in the Universe for more on how science and Bible agree.
One cannot say this about many of the other so-called “holy books”. For example: eastern religions — in particular Buddhist writings — claim that the universe has existed from eternity. This assertion is in contradiction to the findings of modern science — ie., that the universe had a beginning of space, time and matter, in what we refer to as the “Big Bang”. So a key tenet of Buddhism is plainly incorrect.
- We would see evidence of intentional design throughout the pages of the message system.
If we examine the Old and New Testaments, we see evidence of patterns and design throughout. For example:
1. Stories in the Old Testament “forshadow” or tell of events to come.
2. We see patterns of numbers throughout the Bible.
3. Passages in books relate in almost mystical waysto passages in other books.
- The message sender would ensure that His message would survive and be preserved through numerous attempts to distort or destroy it.
Note that a particular people were “chosen” to write, copy and preserve the message system. And throughout history, although there have been numerous attempts to destroy, the Bible continues as the most widely read book ever.
If There is Evidence for Design, What Can We Conclude?
- The Bible is unlike any other “holy book”
- We should pay special attention it in contrast to other so-called holy books
- It is truly a message of extra-terrestrial origin, from a Creator who loves us and has a special message for each of us: that He loves each and every one of us, and wants to bring us back into communion with Him for all eternity.
Do you have a personal relationship with the Lord? If you do, then you have everything to look forward to – in this life, and in the life to come. You were made for a purpose, and receiving the Lord into your heart and walking daily with Him will help you come to realize His purpose in your life and fulfill it. If you don’t have a relationship with your Creator, you can! Here is a link to Billy Graham’s web site that can show you how you can accept the Lord into your heart, and begin a right relationship with Him…
Steps to Peace with God ==> http://www.billygraham.org/SH_StepsToPeace.asp