Recently, I presented a lesson on the existence of God entitled "The Argument from Design." In a nutshell, it was reasoned that a purposeful design implies a designer, and, since the universe is full of evidences of purposeful design, the universe must have had a designer. It simply could not have happened by chance! I believe that designer--or grand architect--is the God of the Bible (who is called "Jehovah" ). I believe the Bible, composed of sixty-six books, is inspired; i.e., it is given by Jehovah or God-breathed.
Today I will begin presenting evidence to prove two points: (1) that the Creator of the universe is Jehovah and (2) that the Bible is His word. Both of these truths will be established by examining the Bible itself. If you are a skeptic of the Bible, you are probably laughing right now. You are probably amused at the idea of me attempting to prove either of these matters by using the Bible. Now, I realize that an atheist or an agnostic will not believe that Jehovah exists or that the Bible is His word simply because the Bible explicitly declares such. Friends, I know that showing someone passages which teach that God exists and that the Bible is His word is not enough; such does not establish anything to an unbeliever. So, how can I prove that Jehovah exists and that the Bible is His word? Through the internal evidences found within the Scriptures! Our focus will not be so much upon the text of the Bible; rather, we will look at some of the amazing internal qualities that the Bible demonstrates.
Before examining some of these internal qualities, we must first consider the Bible as a written book. Logically speaking, there are only three distinct possibilities concerning the inspiration of the Bible. The Bible must be either: (1) partially inspired, (2) not inspired at all, or (3) totally inspired. Since these are the only three possibilities, if we can disprove two of them, then the third one must be true. For instance, if I take a coin, flip it into the air, and, once it has landed, tell you that it is not heads, what must the result be? You know it must be tails. That is the only other possibility. Likewise, since the Bible must be either partially inspired, not inspired at all, or totally inspired, we are going to disprove the first two options, and, in so doing, prove the third option to be true.
The first option is really the weakest of the three. It is foolish to believe that some Scriptures are inspired and others are not. If we hold the view that the Bible contains the words of God and the words of men, then we must establish some criteria for determining what portion is the word of God and what portion is the word of men. This cannot be done objectively and reasonably.
The second option is the choice of the unbeliever. Many will firmly hold to their belief that the Bible is not inspired of God. They do not believe in God at all, and therefore they cannot believe the Bible was given by Him. However, the proponents of this option have some serious explaining to do before I could ever agree with them. I intend to pile up the evidence so high against this second possibility that every open-minded person will be able to clearly see that the Bible shows overwhelming evidence of inspiration. Specifically, I will be presenting seven questions that all must be answered before someone can logically affirm that the Bible is not inspired at all. Basically, I will do my best to dismantle the view that the Bible is just some written work of men. I believe these seven questions are devastating to such a view when considered together. After stating each question, I will explain it in more depth and provide supporting evidence for my position.
The first question I challenge atheists to answer is this: If the Bible is not inspired of God, then how do you explain the scientific foreknowledge that is contained within its pages?
Some of the most intriguing, and perhaps strongest, evidence for the inspiration of the Bible is found in the area of scientific foreknowledge. The Bible is not a textbook on science, and it does not claim to be. There are, however, numerous examples in Scripture where inspired men simply stated or alluded to certain scientific truths they could not have known by natural means. It is certain these truths were not naturally known since they were not discovered by men until centuries later. Let us look at some of the numerous examples of scientific foreknowledge in the Bible.
Matthew Fontaine Maury (1806-1873) was once confined to his bed during a lengthy illness. His son, upon being asked to read to him from the Bible, turned to Psa. 8 and drew his father's immediate attention as he read verse 8 - "the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea that pass through the paths of the sea." This phrase, "paths of the sea," had never been noticed by Mr. Maury before. He reasoned that such paths must exist if the Bible declared that they did. Thus, he decided to find the "paths of the sea," and he was successful! He was the first to recognize that the seas were circulating systems with interaction between wind and water. His book on physical oceanography is still considered a basic text for studies of this sort. The United States Naval Institute issued a book in 1927 entitled, Matthew Fontaine Maury: Pathfinder of the Seas , in which the saga is recounted. Maury's home state of Virginia erected a statue in his honor upon his death; carved in its base was Psa. 8:8. Maury took God at His word and found that the Bible was fully accurate. But, the question for us today is this: how did the writer of Psalms know 3000 years ago about the "paths of the sea" ? Was it just a lucky guess? I do not believe so. I believe that Jehovah, the Creator of the universe and everything therein, inspired the Psalmist to write what he did. God certainly knew about the paths of the sea, and the brief mentioning of such in the Psalms is consistent with the notion that the Bible is the word of God, not the product of uninspired men.
Moses told the Israelites that "the life of the flesh is in the blood" (Lev. 17:11-14). Indeed, Moses was scientifically correct. The red blood cells carry oxygen (due to hemoglobin in the cells), and consequently, life is made possible. Each human red blood cell is capable of carrying 270 million molecules of hemoglobin. If there were any less, there would not be enough residual oxygen available to sustain life after a good sneeze or a hard pat on the back. Medically, we know today that "the life of the flesh is in the blood." But this fact was not known in George Washington's day. He died through the bloodletting process. Those who cared for him evidently believed that he would get better if they drained some "bad blood" out of him. It is known today that such is not medically sound. How did Moses know that "the life of the flesh is in the blood" ? Did he know 3500 years ago what doctors did not understand 200 years ago? Was it just a lucky guess on Moses' part or did God tell him?
What about circumcision? According to the Gen. 17:12, circumcision of newborn males was to be performed on the eighth day after birth. Why the eighth day? In 1935, Professor H. Dam proposed the name "vitamin K" for the factor in foods that helped prevent hemorrhaging in baby chicks. We now know that vitamin K is responsible for the production of prothrombin by the liver. If vitamin K is deficient, there will be a prothrombin deficiency and hemorrhaging may occur, since both vitamin K and prothrombin are necessary for proper bloodclotting. Oddly enough, it is only on the fifth through the seventh days of the newborn male's life that vitamin K begins to be produced (the vitamin is normally produced by bacterial action in the intestinal tract). And it is only on day eight that the percentage of prothrombin climbs above 100% of normal! The only day in the entire life of the male that the bloodclotting element prothrombin is naturally that high is day eight. Thus, the best day for a surgical procedure like circumcision is day eight. Do you suppose this was a lucky guess by Moses? Modern man just discovered this truth seventy years ago! How did Moses know this over 3000 years ago? I know the answer--God told him! The fact that circumcision was commanded on the eighth day is another bit of scientific foreknowledge that testifies to the fact that there is a God and the Bible is His book!
In this field of scientific foreknowledge, it is interesting to point out that what the Bible does not say is just as important as what it does say! The Bible indicates that Moses was educated by the Egyptians. Thus, one would expect that when Moses wrote about medical topics, he would include the common Egyptian medical knowledge of the day. For example, the Egyptians in that era had a remedy for teething children: fry a dead mouse and give it to the child to chew on. Their remedy for removing a splinter required finding an earthworm, cutting it in half, and squeezing its green blood on the problem finger. Their solution for gray hair was to apply the blood of a black calf that has been boiled in oil. The Egyptians even had a remedy for baldness. The individual would apply to his scalp the fats of a hippopotamus along with a crushed donkey tooth. Friends, why did Moses not put these things in his Old Testament writings? He did address many medical issues (in the book of Levitcus, for instance), but one never sees the kind of nonsense described above. Moses did not include such because he was writing what the Lord inspired him to, not the earthly wisdom of the day!
Isaiah said, in speaking of God, "It is He who sits above the circle of the earth..." (Isa. 40:22). In the context, of course, Isaiah is giving a discourse on the supreme sovereignty of God. But, in this verse, he has also given us a pearl of scientific foreknowledge. The Hebrew word he used for "circle" is the word khug, which literally means something with "roundness" or "sphericity." The people of Isaiah's day (and for many generations to come) thought that the Earth was flat, not round or spherical (remember the skeptics about 500 years ago in Christopher Columbus' day?)! Isaiah said just the opposite, however. How did he know approximately 2700 years ago? Was it just a lucky guess?
Psalm 19:5,6 contains an interesting astronomical fact. In speaking of the sun, the psalmist says that "his going forth is from the end of heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it; and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof." For many years Bible critics scoffed at the Bible, stating that this verse taught the old, false doctrine of geocentricity (i.e. the sun revolves around the Earth). Then, it was discovered, and only relatively recently, that the sun is in fact moving through space! It is not stationary as was once thought. In fact, it is estimated to be moving through space at about 600,000 miles per hour, in an orbit so large it would take an estimated 220,000,000 years just to complete one orbit! How did the psalmist know about the "circuit" (orbit) of the sun? Did he just guess?
Stephen, how could there be any scientific foreknowledge pertaining to the building of ships? Allow me to explain. What characteristics would the ark that Noah built need to have? Obviously, speed was not an important factor. However, overall stability and the ability to stay right-side-up was very important. The dimensions of the ark (as recorded in Gen. 6) can be reduced to a 30:5:3 ratio. Those who have vast experience with shipbuilding (particularly barge-like structures) are agreed that this ratio is the best possible ratio for stability. In World War II, a boat was built much like the ark and it was called "The Ugly Duckling." It was not a pretty vessel, but it served its purpose well. The question we must ask is this: upon whose shipbuilding knowledge did Noah draw upon? How did he know that the 30:5:3 ratio would give him the best stability? Did he just guess or did God really tell him what dimensions to use?
Friends, remember, this is just a small sampling of some of the scientific foreknowledge contained within the Bible. I encourage any interested listeners to go to www.examinetheevidence.com for more fascinating information on this subject. How can an unbeliever explain how these scientific truths got into the Bible unless God, who knows all things, put them there before man discovered them?
Are you skeptical regarding God's existence? Do you doubt that the Bible is the product of deity? We still have much to consider on this very important subject, but we are at a good stopping place for the moment. Reflect upon the things I have just shared with you, and be sure to listen to next week's lesson. I will do my best to remove any doubt from your mind on this subject. Thank you for listening, and may the Lord bless you as you strive to do His will.