How can you motivate personal study? Self motivation comes from – • Understanding what the Bible is • Focusing on why study the Bible • Knowing how you learn • Choosing what you want (need) to study • Having a worthwhile goal and plan • Reviewing progress toward the goal • Praying
The Book We All Need to Study • What is the Bible? • What does the Bible claim for itself? • It claims to be the Word of God • It claims to be the absolute Truth • It claims purity • It claims completeness • It claims to be the only means of faith in God • It claims to be able to save us • It claims to be eternal • It claims to be that which judges us
Reliability of sources Accuracy of translation Bibliographical Test Internal Test External Test The Book We All Need to Study • Are the Bible’s claims believable? • God is obligated to protect His Word • Philology confirms that He is • Textual Criticism of Bible involves 2 things: • Biblical text passes manuscript reliability tests
Bibliographical Test “Of all of the literary compositions by the Greek people, the Homeric poems are best suited for comparison with the Bible… In the entire range of ancient Greek and Latin literature, the Iliad ranks next to the New Testament in possessing the greatest amount of manuscript testimony.” Bruce Metzger Chapters in the History of New Testament Textual Criticism p. 144 (full reference p. 9, Bible Study for Joy and Profit)
Bibliographical Test (Only 35 of 142 books remain) McDowell, Josh, Evidence that Demands a Verdict, Vol. 1, p. 43
Bibliographical Test McDowell, Josh, Evidence that Demands a Verdict, Vol. 1, p. 43 Philip Schaff says not one of the variations altered “an article of faith or a precept of duty which is not abundantly sustained by other undoubted passages, or by the tenor of Scripture teaching.” Schaff, Philip, Companion to the Greek Testament and English Version, Rev. ed. P. 177 cited by McDowell, Josh, Evidence that Demands a Verdict, Vol. 1, p. 44
Bibliographical Test *Where a slash occurs, the first date is conservative, and the second is liberal.**New Testament manuscripts are fragmentary. Earliest complete manuscript is from ca. 350; lapse of event to complete manuscript is about 325 years. Williams, Jimmy, Are the Biblical Documents Reliable http://www.leaderu.com/orgs/probe/docs/bib-docu.html
Bibliographical Test "The interval, then, between the dates of original composition and the earliest extant evidence becomes so small as to be in fact negligible, and the last foundation for any doubt that the Scriptures have come down to us substantially as they were written has now been removed. Both the authenticity and the general integrity of the books of the New Testament may be regarded as finally established." Sir Frederic G. Kenyon The Bible and Archaeology (1940) New York Harper and Brothers, p. 288ff
100s of fulfilled detailed prophecies about nations, cities, events and people Over 300 fulfilled prophecies about Jesus Christ – odds of only 48 coming true is 1 in 10157 Internal Test Three types of internal evidence: • Unique unity of Bible content • Fulfilled prophecy • Unique power and authority to change lives
External Test “It… may be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a Biblical reference. Scores of archaeological findings have been made which confirm in clear outline or exact detail historical statements in the Bible.” Nelson Glueck Rivers in the Desert p. 136 (full reference p. 11, Bible Study for Joy and Profit)
The Book We All Need to Study • How difficult is the Bible to understand? • Can everyone understand alike? • Why not leave theology to theologians? • Can’t someone else do it for me?
Why Should I Study? • Reasons to study the Bible • Study to know the Truth • Study to increase faith • Study to please God • Study to experience the joy of discovery • Study to change behavior • Study to teach others • Study to live forever • Is Bible study worthy work or drudgery?
You can motivate your own study! Motivate yourself by – • Understanding what the Bible is • Focusing on why study the Bible • Knowing how you learn • Choosing what you want (need) to study • Having a worthwhile goal and plan • Reviewing progress toward the goal • Praying Why not start this weekend?!