In making our “Case for Christ” we are looking at evidence for the reliability, historicity and inerrancy of the New Testament.
Using the acronym MAPS-S our case can be made based on five categories of Biblical evidence:
From the last two posts:
1. Manuscript evidence includes over 25,000 early New Testament documents with which textual critics can compare, and scholars have given the transmission of what we have today from the originals a 99.5% accuracy rate. Keep in mind that anyone can take versions of the New Testament we use today and go back to the original Greek language to check the translations because there are roughly 6000 early Greek manuscripts to do this with. No other book of antiquity even comes close to this level of verifiable reliability.
2. Archeological evidence includes over 25,000 finds that support people, places and events recorded in the Bible. No archeological find has ever discounted a Biblical report. Archeology, in many ways, gives additional credibility to the manuscript evidence. The Bible has been used by scholars worldwide as a source in historical and archeological research.
3. Prophecy evidence includes over 300 incidental and specific prophecies in the Old Testament fulfilled in life of Jesus—If even 8 of these prophecies would have been fulfilled in Jesus it would statistically be equivalent to 1 chance in 10 to the 17th power; for fulfillment of 48 prophecies it would be 1 in 10 to the 157th power; we don’t even know what to call the number that describe the fulfillment of all 300! No other book or person has the prophetic accuracy that the Bible has! Prophecy fulfillment gives us the most compelling evidence for the reliability, inerrancy and inspiration of the Bible.
4. Scientific authenticity:
The Bible is not designed to be a book of science. However, when it speaks of things related to science facts known today it is never incoherent or mythological in its descriptions. In fact, the Bible was giving accurate scientific and medical information thousands of years before their discoveries by humans.
- The earth is a sphere (Isaiah 40:22)
- Incalculable number of stars (Jeremiah 33:22)
- Free float of earth in space (Job 26:7)
- Creation made of invisible elements (Hebrews 11:3)
- Each star is different (1 Corinthians 15:41)
- Light moves (Job 38:19-20)
- Air has weight (Job 28:25)
- Winds blow in cyclones (Ecclesiastes 1:6)
- Blood is the source of life and health (Leviticus 17:11)
- Ocean floor contains deep valleys and mountains (2 Samuel 22:16; Jonah 2:6)
- Oceans contain currents and springs (Psalm 8:8; Job 38:16)
- When dealing with disease, hands should be washed under running water (Leviticus 15:13)
One of my favorite examples is the fact that God directed circumcision to be done on the 8th day after the birth of the baby (Genesis 17:9-12). Today we know that the 8th day is the only day that vitamin K and prothrombin are at their highest levels and therefore would be the safest day in which to perform this procedure.
In previous posts we have discussed in much detail how science and Christianity are compatible and not at odds when the evidence is followed to its logical conclusion. Please visit posts on this site under the categories “Case for the Creator” and “Creation vs. Evolution.”
Watch this 29 minute presentation by Ray Comfort who gives ten authentic science facts among many found in the Bible:
5. Saved Lives:
Over the centuries millions (possibly billions) of people have given their lives to Jesus and therefore are assured of salvation. Their stories and changed lives, along with your own story, cannot be denied. This may be the most important evidence to share because you may be the only “book” some people will ever read.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” –Matthew 28:19-20
How are you letting God work through you to reach others using your story?
To emphasis the importance of a personal story watch Nabeel Qureshi’s powerful testimony of how the truths of Jesus changed his life drastically, and how God is using him to minister to others around the world today. This is a much watch video because it brings home the teachings of the last several posts and what we have been studying:
If you are not comfortable sharing your story, or you feel your story is not impactful (but it probably is), use examples of others like Nabeel and share how they have helped your growth in the LORD!
A summary to help you remember the evidence:
M=MANUSCRIPTS: 25,000+ early documents/99.5% agreement/Translated once (from the original languages)
A=ARCHEOLOGY: 25,000+ finds support Biblical accounts/None have ever disproven the Bible
P=PROPHECY: 300+ from the Old Testament/100% fulfilled in Jesus
S=SCIENCE: Scientifically authentic/applied truths
S=SAVED LIVES: Millions of saved lives through the centuries/Personal stories like your own
Join us next week as we continue our Case for Christ by looking at documented eyewitness testimony!
You will not find this material in the public school curriculum even though it is based on solid evidence and grounded in research. It is ironic that following the evidence to where it leads stops at the door of our public schools as they will not let a “Divine footprint” in! Join us as we examine evidence for Christianity and learn how to become a thoughtful defender and ambassador of your faith.
Click into the resource page of this website to view many of the top Christian thinkers and apologists along with some of their work; connecting to these types of resources is essential in your Christian growth.
Please let me know what you think: Give feedback, ask questions or send concerns in the comment section of the blog.