When it comes to the Scripture – the Bible – I am a literalist. I believe in the literal virgin birth and virgin conception of Jesus Christ. I believe he is the literal Son of God, was born free of sin, lived a sinless life, died on the cross to pay for the sin of all mankind, was buried in a borrowed grave that was sealed by the Roman government as a preventive measure against the theft of the body by Jesus’ disciples. I believe there was a literal earthquake as an angel came and rolled away the stone from the grave to show the tomb was literally empty. Christ had arisen under His own power: a literal bodily resurrection. I believe He literally ascended to heaven forty days after His resurrection and sits on the right hand of God the Father. I believe He is literally coming back to take His Church to be with Him and that He will literally reign on this earth for one thousand years. I believe at that time every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ IS Lord, to the glory of God the Father whether they believe all this literally or not! That is literally what the Bible says, so that is why I believe it! Why do I believe all that just because the Bible says so? Because I believe the Bible is the Word of God in written form. And why would an obviously intelligent guy like myself – two college degrees, one of them from one of the most prestigious universities in the South – believe something like that? (OK, I just HAD to throw that in there! People who doubt the Bible often think Bible believers are toothless ignoramuses! Those of you who know me, also know I hated school and got by with the skin of my teeth! I really believe God allowed me to graduate to prove if I could do it, anybody could!) Here is why I believe the Bible IS the Word of God and why, if you do not, I believe you should. First, its history and preservation. There are manuscripts, secular and religious, that are older than the oldest Biblical manuscripts; but there are many more ancient manuscripts, of the Bible, whole and in part, than any other written work. When examined, the manuscripts differ so little it is actually amazing. Just as an example, the writings known as the Dead Sea Scrolls include a scroll of Isaiah that dates from around one hundred and fifty to two hundred years before Christ. The manuscript our Old Testament is taken from is known as the Masoretic Text and was compiled between 600 to 900 AD. So, depending on which date one chooses, the Dead Sea Scroll is at least seven hundred and fifty years older than the Masoretic. Yet, when compared, the two texts are nearly identical! Remember: These texts were HAND COPIED hundreds of years apart! I believe that to be divine preservation. Second, the accuracy of the Bible. There are may people who pull select passages and take statements completely out of context in an attempt to prove the Bible is inaccurate. Known historical events that took place around the time of Biblical events will be compared and if the Biblical account differs, then it must be wrong because we know the secular version is true! Probably the most noted example is the history of the people known as Hittites. Until the late nineteenth century, archeologists could find no evidence of Hittite culture and claimed the Biblical record of them was a fabrication. “Then, in the 19th and 20th centuries archaeologists hit the jackpot, not only identifying extrabiblical references to the Hittite civilization, but by actually finding and excavating the ancient Hittite capital city of Hattusa … The rediscovery of this ancient civilization vindicated the Biblical record” (https://www.allaboutarchaeology.org/hittite-faq.htm). There are many such examples, this is just the most famous. The fact that people continuously attempt to discredit the Bible, also helps to solidify my belief of its accuracy.
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