The Case For The Bible

Examining Evidence That Answers The Question, Is The Bible True?

Tim Lundy
Jun 13, 2020    45m
favorite_border
FAVORITE
As a Christian, have you ever found yourself defending the contents of the Bible? This message examines the most common doubts around the text of the Bible and uses scientific evidence to answer the question, is the Bible true? Video recorded at Los Gatos, California.

Transcription
messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Tim Lundy: 00:00 Well welcome, Venture. As you can see, it's a new day, we're starting a new series this weekend, and really excited about it, I'm excited about all that we have in front of us. With the new series though, it's still the same old Tim. Out of that, this week I'm going out of town, so I think I'm going to be able to get a haircut legally, I'm looking forward to that. I can't tell you how many of you have reached out to me offering haircuts, and I'm starting to get my feelings hurt a little bit, I'm getting the message there. So, I'll get a haircut, not sure about the playoff beard, I haven't decided whether to keep it or not, I get mixed reviews on it. I have some friends who live out of town, they haven't seen a message in a while, and then they got on and looked at it, and they send a message to Lea that they said, they thought it looked like Harrison Ford, and I was kind of liking that part of it. Now, Lea hasn't said it, I think she thinks it looks more like Chewbacca than Han Solo, so we'll see where we go with that.

Tim Lundy: 01:01 I threatened the staff, we were on a staff meeting Zoom call, and I threatened them that I was going to go all 70s and get a perm, just go all out. And immediately, while we're in the meeting, Shep, worship leader, also he's our resident Photoshop expert, he used the time to Photoshop me. And so you can see on the picture, Shep's rendition. Yeah, there's Tim with the perm, I'm liking the leisure suit. I don't know if you can, I can almost hear the Bee Gees in the background singing, I'm ready to bust a move there. But hopefully over the next few weeks, we'll see some changes.

Tim Lundy: 01:40 You see a change here in the series, we're doing something new here with this. And part of it is, because of the subject matter, I want to be a little more conversational and talk to you today. In fact, you're going to see over the next couple of weeks, as we have Lee Strobel come, and he brings a very personal message. Now I love Lee Strobel, you just need to know I am a huge fan and I'm thrilled personally that we're able to have him. Because I love his story of how he went from being this hard nose, skeptical reporter who worked in Chicago, legal reporter, and how Jesus Christ absolutely changed his life. And you're going to hear his story, he'll walk you through that next week. A couple of weeks, he's going to walk you through his latest work, The Case For Miracles. Why would you ever believe in miracles? And I love how Lee applies his legal skill, he applies his mind, and he'll chase an issue... And if you read any of his books, whether it's the Case For Faith, Case For Creator, Case for Christ, Case for Miracles, Lee's not the expert on it all, but he'll use his investigative skills to go find the experts, to ask the hard questions, and then to weave it together in a that we can understand. And so I really would encourage you to stick with this, to walk to this series, you're going to love it.

Tim Lundy: 03:06 Today, I want to launch it with something that's pretty passionate for me, and that's The Case For The Bible. Why would we even believe the Bible? And, you know, being a pastor over the years, you get a lot of questions around that, a lot of comments with it. And so I thought I would just kind of walk through personally, my journey with it, but why do I believe it, and maybe answer some of those questions. Now, I believe, especially for those of you, maybe you've not been a part of Venture before, somebody invited you to watch. I always like to lay out some presuppositions, where I'm starting from so that you know, and I will give you a couple on this topic in particular.

Tim Lundy: 03:47 The first one I would say is my starting point, that I don't worship the Bible, I worshiped the God of the Bible. Let me make sure that's really clear, I don't worship the Bible. I've got a Bible here, I love the Bible, I've studied the Bible all my life, I've read through the Bible many times, but hear me, I don't worship the Bible. And I say that, especially to those of us in the church, sometimes we can so focus that we put our worship on the words that we're reading, as opposed to the God behind those words. And so I think it is important, and I'll just to say this at the outset, the foundation of my faith is Jesus Christ and what he did on the cross, and everything flows out of that.

Tim Lundy: 04:36 I love the Bible, but it's got difficult parts. You know, I had the privilege, over the years in my life, in college I was able to study the Bible. I studied Greek for a couple of years, then went to seminary, and I loved the school I went to, Dallas Theological Seminary, it was known for rigorous study of the Bible. It took four years to get a Master of Theology, and that's not because I'm slow, it's a four year program. And that's three to four years more of Greek, two to three years of Hebrew that are involved in it, theology, systematics, hermeneutics, textual criticism, all the things that you dive into with it. And I got to tell you, the deeper you get into it, you realize there's some hard parts, it gets complex. You know, some people, when they go through that journey, they start losing their faith. And I think one of the problems is, they've put their faith in the book, not the God of the book, and I think sometimes we send young people out with that. And so let me say at the outset, the foundation of our faith is Christ. We discover him through his communication to us, but Christ is the foundation.

Tim Lundy: 05:51 Now the flip side of that, though, it's always amazing to me, how many people dismiss the Bible pretty quickly, or they'll have an opinion on the Bible, or tell you pretty authoritatively what the Bible says. And then when you ask them about it, they haven't even read it. They've really never picked it up, never studied it, but they've heard things about it. And I always think, if we treated any other subject that way, I mean, if you were having trouble with your car and you're looking at your car and somebody walked up and they said, authoritatively, oh, it's the carburetor. You'd probably ask them, oh, do you know about cars? Are you a mechanic? Have you studied this model? If they looked at you and said, oh no, I've never been under the hood of a car in my life, but I've heard about these things, and I hear it's the carburetor a lot, it's the carburetor. Would you trust that person? I mean, if you were doing your taxes and you're sitting there wondering, can I take this deduction or not? And somebody says, Oh yeah, you absolutely can write that off. You probably would ask them, oh, are you an accountant? And they go, no, I've never read the tax code in my life. I just, I've heard a lot about deductions, there's things on the internet about it, and I know you can take those things. Now, is that how we do our cars? Is that how we do our taxes? And yet, isn't it interesting that something as significant as your whole belief system, with a book as profound as the Bible, even if you're skeptical of it, you've got to admit the profound impact of it. And how many people have this distinct, definite opinion, and they've never read it.

Tim Lundy: 07:32 Now, another one of my presuppositions, I want you to know where I'm coming from. And I'll say, it's my second point on that. I believe that the Bible is unlike any other book, I believe it's unlike any other book, it's supernatural communication from God. And so I want you to hear that at the outset, I do believe it's a miraculous book, I believe God supernaturally spoke in that. And when I say that, here's how the Bible describes it, let me give you a couple of verses. And I know it's the Bible talking about the Bible, but, but look how the Bible describes it. Second Timothy 3:16 says, "All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching for reproof, for training in righteousness." That word breathed out, it literally means it's inspired it, it wasn't just human thought. But for those of us who are Christians, those of us who hold the Bible as God's Word, we believe that God breathed it out, God spoke it through people. Now, it wasn't dictation, nobody sat down with a pen and God spoke from heaven and they wrote out every word, people didn't go into a trance and they wrote it out.

Tim Lundy: 08:43 In fact, look how Peter describes this process, you can see it in Second Peter. He says, Above all, you do well if you recognize this; No prophecy of scripture, (no writing of scripture) ever comes about the prophet's own imagination." The person didn't make it up, "For no prophecy was ever born of human impulse." They didn't just have this idea, "Rather, (and look how he describes it) men carried along by the Holy Spirit, spoke from God." There's this process where God is working with humans and through humans, and in that process, here's what we believe, God superintended the process in a way that we have God's Word. Now, when he wrote through humans, when he spoke through humans, again in one dictation. So you're not going to hear everything's exactly the same, each of them have personality, each of them are speaking in a different ways, it's laid out in different format.

Tim Lundy: 09:42 You know, some people that struggle with the Bible, they start reading at the beginning and they can't understand, wait, why does it not work like an another chronological book? The reality is the Bible is a collection. And so you've got a collected works of what Moses did in the first five books, talking about the formation of the world, formation of Israel's history, the law, and how the Exodus. You've got books of poetry. You've got Proverbs. You've got these prophetic books that are speaking to what the people were doing wrong at that time. Then in the New Testament, you have these things called gospels, these biographies of Jesus that give perspective. Then you have letters to churches. And it ends with a Revelation, this very distinct form of literature, that through these visions, you see these prophecies of what is to come and what's going on in the world. It's not laid out in chronological order. It's not laid out as just one straight history from the beginning to the end. See, I say that because I think so often we just think we can kind of pick it up, go anywhere I want, look anywhere in it. And you need to realize God spoke through it, gave it to us, and there's a place of learning about it, studying it, so I can understand what I'm reading and what's going on.

Tim Lundy: 11:02 Now, as I say that, and especially when I say it's supernatural communication, for some people I lose you right there. You don't believe in miracles, you don't believe that anything supernatural could happen like that. I really would encourage you, in two weeks, Lee's going to speak to this issue, Lee Strobel is going to speak the case for miracles. Why would a rational person believe in any miracle like the Bible, any miracle like the resurrection of Jesus. I really want to encourage you to come for that message. Let me address though, specifically, some of the objections I hear about the Bible, some of the questions I get over the years. In 30 years of a preaching and being a pastor, I've heard a lot of different objections, and I'll be honest, I don't mind when somebody's skeptical. I am, by nature, skeptical of a lot in life. And so when somebody comes, and they're skeptical of the Bible, I get it, I understand why.

Tim Lundy: 11:54 Let me go through them. Here's the first one I hear a lot is, is the Bible authentic? Is the Bible authentic? And here's what they mean in it, a lot of times people will say, that are respectful about it, I know it's a good book, I know it's got a lot of good stories in it, it's kind of a moral book in that, but isn't it fairytales? Isn't it basically a collection that got kind of assembled over time, people kind of added this and that, and they added to the legend of Jesus, and they added to the legend of David and in that. And do we have any way of knowing, authentically, that when the writer said it was written in this time, that what we have today is even close to what they may have originally written about Jesus? Again, those are good questions, especially when you're talking about a book as ancient as a Bible.

Tim Lundy: 12:44 Now, anytime you're studying ancient literature, an ancient book, or an ancient history, a couple of
things that you have to do to study it and to understand it. One, you always want to look, how many manuscripts do we have of that book? How many manuscripts of it? And then how old are they? And what's the gap in time from our oldest manuscript, to when they were said to have been written.

Tim Lundy: 13:08 And so if you go through a lot of the historical books that we have from the past, take the writings of Plato, so Plato lived in about 380 BC, he wrote. Now, the earliest manuscript that we have of Plato's writings is about 980 AD. Did you catch that? That's almost a what, 13-1400 year gap between Plato's writings, and when we have a copy of it. Now, we have seven copies of it though, so with the seven copies, and then with that, that we can compare those copies, and so people will say pretty authoritatively, this is what Plato said. You hear him quoted all the time, it's based on those seven manuscripts. Same thing with Aristotle, he lived about 30 years later, 350 BC, and again, earliest manuscript about 900 AD. So we still have that same gap that's there, there's about five copies from that time period of what Aristotle wrote, and again, we can say that authoritatively. Do the same thing with Caesar, he lived in 60 BC about a 900 year gap with his Gallic Wars, and so people will quote Caesar all the time.

Tim Lundy: 14:15 You see how it works, I mean, in that you have to go, okay, what's the gap with the earliest copy, and then how many of those copies do we have. Hear me when it comes to the New Testament, do you know how many copies we have? Twenty four thousand. Do you know how long the gap is between the events of the New Testament and the first copies? Less than a hundred year. You go, wait a second earlier, we quickly we'll quote Plato, and Aristotle, and Caesar, and other historical books, and you're looking at over a thousand year gap, and yet you don't see same doubt in them. And in the New Testament you have 24,000 fragments and copies, and there's a science behind that, it's called textual criticism. We don't just take those copies, they look at all the copies and they compare them. Are there any variants at all? Were there any errors that came in? Is there any reason this text stream might be a little bit different? And through that process, you need to realize the most scrutinized book from the ancient world is the Bible. And I would say the science of textual criticism has been applied to it more than any other book, and it has more evidence.

Tim Lundy: 15:31 Take the Old Testament, do we even have any idea, the scripture that Jesus may have read in his lifetime, is that what we have today? And there was difficulty around that, you know, the oldest Hebrew scripture we had was called the Masoretic Text, and it was from 980 AD. So the gap from when Malachi was said to have finished the last book of the Old Testament was in 400 BC, you had to go all the way to 908 AD before you had the first Hebrew text that you could look at. And you go, man, in that 1300 year gap, a lot of people would say, did writers come, and they added things? I mean, 1300 years is a long time. And here's specifically where they said things were added, prophecies that pointed to Jesus, that were so specific and so direct, a lot of scholars in the 17-1800s hundreds, they came along and they said, you know, there's no way Isaiah prophesied about Christ the way that he did, there's no way that Micah knew exactly where he'd be born. There's no way in that, so somebody, through that 1300 years, must've come and added those things in the text.

Tim Lundy: 16:44 You know, an interesting thing happened in 1947, there was a little shepherd boy, he was over in the Dead
Sea region. He threw a rock and the rock went up into some caves, and suddenly he heard clay pots breaking, and they went up and they discovered what many people consider the greatest archeological discovery of all time, the Dead Sea Scrolls. Because in these pots, it was from the Essenes community, it was a community that studied scripture, they had saved the scrolls. And the date on the scrolls, instead of being 900 AD, they went back to 150 BC, all the way up until the time of Christ. And so as soon as they found these scrolls, they` said, now we're going to see, we're going to see how much it changed from this time period to what we have today. And they started going through it scroll by scroll.

Tim Lundy: 17:37 One of the first ones they dove into was the Book of Isaiah. And the scroll, the dead sea scroll from Isaiah, it dates at around 150 BC, 150 years before Christ was born. And when they went through it, you, what they found, they found an exact match, it was the same text, the scribes had been so rigorous in the copies of it. And I would say, I believe, and again, it's my belief system, but God had protected it, and here we have actual verification of it. And now suddenly you've got those same prophecies that you could verify, wait a second, they were written before. Guys, as you look at this, I would encourage you, if this is a question you have around it, it is one of the most fascinating things of the authenticity.

Tim Lundy: 18:25 Now some people will throw out there, but didn't the early church kind of throw out books, and keep books out? Yeah, there was a process of canonization over the first 300 years. And again, they used a reasonable, rational process. Did this book, did this part of the Bible, go back to one of the apostles. Did it go back to somebody that we can verify?

Tim Lundy: 18:46 You know, a few years ago, the movie, The DaVinci Code, it kind of came out and it said, oh, books of the Bible were left out that they didn't like. A book like the gospel of Thomas, that's a real gospel. And yet, if you study the Gospel of Thomas, here's what I can say for a fact, the Gospel of Thomas was not written by Thomas. You say, well, Tim, how can you be so authoritative? Because it was written after 170 AD, and Thomas lived during the time of Jesus. See the Gospel of Thomas, when you study it, it has writings, it actually quotes another book, it's a book called The Diatessaron, and it was written around 170 AD. And so the fact that the Gospel of Thomas quotes that book, I know for a fact it was written after it. And someone used the name Thomas to try to insert it as a legend, the very thing that people accuse the New Testament of doing. I bring this up, just so that you realize, guys, there's a process that it's been through, it's been rigorous, it's been studied. And in the privilege I've had in my life to be able to study it at this level, man, my confidence grows the more I study it.

Tim Lundy: 20:01 Now, another question that comes up is, is the Bible accurate? Okay, maybe it's authentically written, but is it accurate? Here's how I hear this, people say it's full of contradictions, the Bible has so many contradictions. Sometimes they'll quote early laws, I mean the, the people of Israel, they couldn't wear a shirt that had two different weaves together. They couldn't eat these foods. They couldn't do certain things out of that. And then yet later, you see them doing that. And again, I would say, let the Bible explain the Bible. If you'll look at it, some of the dietary laws, some of the clothing laws, some of the things that they were not allowed to do at an earlier time, the Bible explains, itself, why it changed.

Tim Lundy: 20:42 Now, some people will say, yeah, but there's contradictions of the witnesses around Christ, around the stories, and what was involved with it. And again, I like these conversations at times because when you drill in, I'll ask people a lot of times, well tell me specifically what you're talking about. And usually I'll be honest, usually the answer I get is, well, I just know they're there. When you dive into those supposed contradictions, a lot of times it's witnesses seeing the same story, but they see it a little bit different way. Guys, we have this happen today. There's a reason in a court case, they don't go off of just one witness, they bring different witnesses. Because some people remember one aspect of it, and some people see it a little bit different this way. Sometimes the same event that appears contradictory, when you dig in a little more, you realize it's not contradicting itself, it's just different nuances of it.

Tim Lundy: 21:33 You know, I experienced that this week. The World Health Organization, I saw a story that came out and it said, hey, great news, people that are asymptomatic of COVID, people that aren't showing symptoms, even though they have COVID, probably don't spread the disease, so it doesn't spread as much. And so the news came out, initially, where people are saying, man, if even if you have COVID, if you're not showing the symptoms, you're not spreading it. And then another source came out and said, well wait a second, people that are pre-symptomatic, these are people that don't show the symptoms, but they haven't developed the full COVID yet, they're pre-symptomatic, they can spread it. So at first you go, wait, I thought you told me that people who don't have the symptom don't spread it, and they go, well, that was asymptomatic people, pre-symptomatic people can. I mean, we're struggling with this all the time, you hear different nuances of things out of it, it doesn't mean it's a contradiction. And I would say the same, if you read through the stories of the Bible, you'll see these different perspectives. And what people often pull out as a contradiction, there is a reasonable explanation, and even the instances themselves are few and far between in that. Sometimes they will hold the language of the Bible against it, when they talk the language of their day. And I would say, we do the same thing in our day. I doubt there's any of us that believe that the sun circles around the earth. And yet, every day what do we say? We say, what time is sunrise? What time is sunset? Well, that's not really accurate language is it? Somebody might look at us at one time period, and go all those buffoons from that age period, look, they didn't even know better. No, we're just using the language of our day, and the same thing happens in the Bible guys.

Tim Lundy: 23:27 You know, one of the things I love about the Bible, when you come this issue of accuracy? I love archeology. I love the ways the Bible has been proven over and over again, because over and over again, things that the Bible mentioned, until archeologists find proof of it, people doubt you. You have whole civilizations, the whole Hittite empire that's mentioned in the Old Testament, it was doubted for years until discovery of the Hittite empire. You've got different verses, one of the writers that was picked on the most is Luke. If you remember, Luke was a doctor, and he was a very detailed writer. And he even said it at the beginning of Luke and the beginning of Acts, he researched when he did his books. Because of that, and again, when I told you the Bible is the most scrutinized book, every word has been scrutinized. And so take a portion of Acts, in fact, if you look at it in Acts 17, look at the verses. And in those verses, it's talking about Paul, he was drug before the city authorities in this one area of Thessalonica, and it highlighted city authorities in both cases. That word in the Greek that Luke used, is the word proconsul. And so people came along and they said, see, Luke couldn't have written this, no one referred to city authorities, as proconsul, until over a hundred years later, this proves that somebody doctored the text. Until they were digging in the exact same region, and they found an arch to that city, and it was dedicated to the proconsuls of that city from that time period. The same thing happens, you see it over in Acts 18, Gallio was proconsul. Luke mentions it. Again, if you read through Acts, you read through Luke, he gives a lot of details like this, he's always giving definite color. And when he does that, again, that word, that proconsul in Gallio, people said, oh see, this is evidence of a later author in it. Until they dug up an inscription to Gallio the proconsul, that dated back to AD 51. Guys, this has happened over and over again with archeology, it's one of my favorite things in it. And here's what I love about it, that's a hard science proving the truth of the scripture.

Tim Lundy: 25:51 And in this short time period, I know I can't convince somebody if you're starting way over here, but I hope I've convinced you to at least investigate it for yourself. The authenticity, the accuracy of it. What about the third thing I hear often is, the Bible's at odds with science, the Bible's at odds with science. How can you believe the Bible if you believe science? And usually I would say, when people struggle with this, it's almost invariably, they're struggling either with miracles, and Lee's going to address that, or they're struggling with creation, the first three chapters of the Bible. And they come to the first three chapters of the Bible and they look at what scientific world says today. And by the way, we have a lot of young people, your intention about this, you've been taught and you hold onto the Bible, but you go off to school, and you wrestle with how do I put these two things together?

Tim Lundy: 26:47 Now, hear me, I believe the creator of the universe is God, I believe he created heaven and earth. And when we talk about the creation, here's the only thing, and I don't want to wait too deep into this, but at least like to put on the table, this topic. There are people who hold the Bible as God's Word is absolutely true, who have different approaches to how we approach creation. One interpretation of those first few chapters is that God did that in seven days, the earth is fairly young, and maybe he created it with the appearance of age, we don't know, but hold very strongly to the exact seven day young earth creation. There's another group who, by the way, are Christians who hold onto the Bible. They look at that and they go, you know, wait, there are gaps in those seven days, or those days could be ages, those days could represent something more. And so they say that there could be a lot of age that's represented there, either between gaps in them, or ages in them. There are others who come and go, man, we believe in the God of the Bible, and he's the intelligent designer, and the process is he used in that were much longer, and so they believe in an old earth creation. There's even a group, and I probably struggle with them the most, that they would go, no, God used evolution, and it was an evolutionary process, and they're theistic evolutionist.

Tim Lundy: 28:17 Now I struggle with that, because I think there's a lot of gaps in evolution itself on just science alone. Here's all I want to say to you today, as I lay out those different ones, and we're talking about a small portion of scripture and different parts throughout the Bible. We need to come to it with humility, for those of us who trust God and trust the Bible in that. And recognize, it's interesting to me, how many people, they struggle with the first three chapters with the Bible and the last few chapters of the Bible, so you've got the Book of Genesis, and then you've got the Book of Revelation. And I'll be honest with you, I'll be absolutely unequivocal that when I come to the beginning of the Bible, man, I believe God created this world. And I'll be unequivocal with you, when I come to the end of the Bible, I absolutely believe that Jesus is coming again one day. The details around both of those things, there are parts of it that are hard to understand, there's parts of it that are interpreted in different ways. Isn't it interesting how many people throw out the whole of the Bible over those chapters? Some of you have thrown it out, because you won't it on your own. Or maybe we've been a little too dogmatic about things that we can't be absolutely certain of? And so let's hold fervently to what we can, but don't miss 'the story' over those details, because 'the story' centers in the center of the Bible around Jesus. And, you know, people ask me, do you believe Genesis? I absolutely do believe Genesis. I love how Andy Stanley puts it, he said, "You know, my science teacher told me not to trust Genesis, but Jesus believed in Genesis. And he goes, my science teacher never died and rose again, so I think I'll stick with what Jesus said until somebody shows me otherwise." That's where I land today with it, that we can trust it in that.

Tim Lundy: 30:29 There's a final issue, and this is one that we wrestle with in this, doesn't the Bible promote dated and even offensive practices? Doesn't the Bible promote things? I mean, you read through these stories and some of the thing in it, man, it's offensive, we don't operate like that. And part of what I want you to realize, because again, this is why it's important to read it, and read it understanding the context. God teaches principles through the Bible, that through those principles, he's shaping the culture and society of where people live. And in those principles, he then tells the story of what really happened. And here's one of the things I love about the Bible, instead of taking all the heroes of the Bible and erasing the bad parts of their lives, and presenting this glorious group, you know, if you were going to make it up, that's probably what you do. No, God says, hey, here's the truth, here's how they lived it out, here's where they didn't live it out, here was the impact on culture, here's how God's truth was changing that culture through that.

Tim Lundy: 31:33 So you take a book like Genesis, and in that time period of Genesis, man, in the patriarchy, a man could be a polygamist. A man could have as many wives, and through that, he could do whatever he wanted. And in the Bible, you see even the heroes practicing this, so that Abraham is a polygamist, you see Jacob with wives and concubines, David and Solomon. No, that's not the principle that God taught, if you go all the way back to the beginning, God taught the principle, no, marriage is between a man and a woman, they are one flesh united together, that was God's principle. But then we see how they live it out when they don't follow that principle, and the devastation that comes from it, and over and over again, we see the impact on culture and society. See, even in presenting it that way, in writing it with that kind of raw honesty, God has been able to shape our culture that we understand, oh, you can't live like that.

Tim Lundy: 32:34 You'll see this over and over again in scripture, I mean, one of the issues and we're wrestling with it in our time, the issue of slavery, slavery's impact on our country. And honestly, if you go back in our country's history, even in church history, there are people that use the Bible to justify slavery. And so you hear that today, well, I can't trust the Bible in that. I mean, even didn't the Apostle Paul in the New Testament, didn't he say, slaves, obey your masters. Now again, let's go back and look at it in the context. When Paul was writing that, one, let me say two things on that. One, he's writing to a far different form of slavery, the slavery in the Roman world. I'm against all slavery, by the way, and I think Paul was too, as we'll see in other writings. But the slavery in the Roman world was so different than what was practiced in this country. For one, it wasn't based on race. Two, you could sell yourself into slavery, many people did so as a business proposal. Because even though you were a slave, you could have private property, you could have your own business, you could purchase yourself back out of that debt in that. There were many rights that slaves had, oftentimes the slaves in a household were more educated than the master, because they were the managers of the household expected to run things.

Tim Lundy: 33:54 Now, I don't say that to diminish slavery in any form, but I want to be careful that you don't pull a verse where Paul talking in that context, as people did in church history, and justify the way slavery was practiced in this context. Where it was based on race, where you did own people as property, Paul would never be for that. Do you know why I say that? Because Paul says in Galatians, in Jesus Christ, there's no class distinction, there's no slave or free, there's no women or men, we're all the same in that. He's bringing forward this principle, that was actually revolutionary in that time, and should have been applied more in our time. He says in that, and we see when he writes the book of Philemon, as Onesimus, this former slave, is going back to his master, and he stole it from him. Paul writes to Onesimus, he says, you treat him like you treat me. If you've got a debt, or he's got a debt, i'll pay it. Do you see how it's changing the culture? Do you see how these practices, even in that time, scripture speaks into it. And it's because of the Bible, that men like William Wilberforce came forward in their reading of scripture and understanding of it, that he said slavery is wrong in all forms, and certainly the way it's practiced in the world.

Tim Lundy: 35:17 It's based on the truth of the Bible, that Abraham Lincoln truly believed that all men were created equal, created in the image of God, and should be emancipated. And so even when people look at parts of it, and you go, man, that was an offensive story, that's an offensive part. Look at it in the context, and see what God's teaching in that. See guys, in all these things, I think as you go through this and we've done a pretty quick pass on all these objections, I would just encourage you study it, look into it, and maybe ask yourself a few questions. Just three questions. I'd leave you with to consider.

Tim Lundy: 36:00 What do you do with the uniqueness of the Bible? What do you personally do with it? What do I mean when I say that? Just listen, because you know the Bible is written over 2000 years, by 40 different authors, on three different continents, in three different languages, no other book has been written like that. It was written by shepherd, kings, scholars, fishermen, prophets, a military general, a cup bearer, and a priest, no other book has been written by people from such different perspectives. It has history, laws, poetry, prophecy, and proverbs. I mean, you just take all those facts, if I tried to assemble 40 different people, from three different continents today, and told them to write all those different kinds of forms of literature, and it's going to come together as one cohesive book, I couldn't pull it off today, much less over a 2000 years period. What do you do with the Bible?

Tim Lundy: 36:58 Second question, what do you do with the prophecies of the Bible? What do you do at the prophecies of the Bible? The reason I wanted to go through that dating so much, because I want you to realize how important it is that we have the accuracy of the books that were written hundreds of years before Jesus, and they point out with specific detail things about his life. Have you ever read through it? Have you ever read that it describes his crucifixion, it tells where he's going to be born, tells where he's going to go into Jerusalem, it tells the tribe he would be from. I mean, it goes through prophecy after, and now we can validate those were all written before the fact not after. What do you do with that?

Tim Lundy: 37:43 Final question, I'd just asked you, what do you do with the story of the Bible? Not just a story in the Bible, but here's what you need to realize, the Bible is telling the story, the whole story of humanity, a humanity that was created by God, the humanity that's been separated by him with sin, and the devastation that we feel every day, The humanity, that God loves so much, that he was willing to redeem. And so he starts with the nation of Israel, and then out of that nation, he sent his son Jesus, and he died on a cross, and he rose. And then that story of the Bible ends with Jesus returning, when he will come back for those who trust him and believe him. Guys, don't miss 'the story' because you lost it in a detail. Don't miss these story because you're struggling with a story. Guys, don't miss the story, because you've never taken the time to investigate it yourself. I'll say it again, it's the most scrutinized book in all of human history. And yet here we are 2000 years later and we study it, and we verify it. And you need to know for those of us who hold it, dear our lives have been changed by the God of that we find in the Bible. But what are you going to do with it? 0

Tim Lundy: 39:20 You know, I'll close with a story, a true story, from the Soviet Union. Back in the Soviet Union, Stalin in particular, was determined to stamp out the Bible. And so he had them all collected, and in many areas of the country they were burned. In Stavropol, Russia though, instead of being burned, they were all collected in the warehouse. And in 1994, when the Soviet union was opening up back up again, and more Christians were able to come back in. Some relief, agencies and groups were coming in, and they were wanting to bring more Bibles with them. They ordered them, and while they were waiting for them, when they were in the region of Stavropol, somebody said, man, you ought to go to this warehouse, it's full of Bibles. And sure enough, they went to it, and there were all those Bibles stored there. They hired a bunch of the townsmen to help them as they started loading up trucks, and one young man in particular, he was scoffing the whole time. He was making fun of the Bible, couldn't believe it. A little bit later in the day he disappeared and they found him in the corner of the warehouse, and he was sitting there with the Bible on his lap. Because of all of his scoffing behind all of that, he was curious himself. And he was determined he wanted a Bible, and he didn't want anybody to know about it. So he just grabbed one off the shelf, and he snuck away over to the corner. And you can imagine his surprise when he opened the front page of the Bible, and at the top of the page there written was his grandmother's name, his grandmother who believed the Bible, his grandmother, who was persecuted because of her faith. And as he held her Bible in his hands, the power of her life, and the power of the words in front of him, changed him. And he began to study the Bible, and he gave his life to Christ.

Tim Lundy: 41:26 Guys, there's millions of stories of people who've been changed by this book. Not because we worship the book, but remember it's a supernatural communication of the God who gave it to us. I'd encourage you, read it, read it for yourself. If you don't where to start, I would encourage you open to the book of John, it's in the New Testament. You want the Gospel of John, not First, Second, Third John, there's some other books named John. The gospel of John, it's 21 chapters. And John said he wrote it that you could understand who Jesus is, and understand the story. If you do nothing else, would you make a commitment to read through that book? You can do it in probably under an hour, or maybe take a chapter a day, but discover for yourself if the God of the Bible really is who he says he is.

Tim Lundy: 42:33 Let's pray together as we close. God, I thank you, I thank you for the Bible, I thank you for the miracle that it is, and I really believe it's a miracle. I thank you how it has changed my life, how your words in it come alive. Lord, I pray for anybody, maybe they doubt it, maybe they struggle with some of the details in it, Lord, I pray that you would at least give them the intellectual honesty to pursue it for themselves. Lord, I pray for anybody that may be they've missed 'the story' of what Christ has really done. I pray, would you use the next few weeks, especially next week when Lee comes and he tells his story, and he lays out the case for Christ. Lord, I pray that many would hear, and believe just like he did. Lord, thank you for today, thank you for our church, thank you for loving us so much that you didn't just come to this world, you gave us this love letter, you gave us this truth, and we trust it because we trust you. And we pray this in Christ name. Amen.

Tim Lundy: 43:42 Hey guys, as we close out, I want to encourage you, I want to encourage you come and view. join us online in the next two weeks. Lee, lays out in the case for Christ, I think in such a succinct, great way, both how you can understand it, but the impact it has. And then in two weeks, it's really going to be fun, the case for miracles. And in both those weeks, I'm going to do a zoom call with Lee, we're going to do some Q and A as well. So it's not just him speaking. we'll ask him some questions, and follow up questions with that. So you're going to want to be a part of that.

Tim Lundy: 44:17 I'd also encourage you, if you're part of the Venture family that's local, we're asking everybody, get your yard sign, put your yard sign out. We want to identify, so that we can invite people to Venture to be a part of our services online, just through our witness of those signs together. And finally, if you're here today and you're watching online and maybe something stirred in you, maybe you want to talk to somebody, maybe you want to pray with someone, our prayer room is open online right now. You can, through the chat function, let someone know, hey, I need prayer, I need to talk to somebody, and let's connect with you today.

Tim Lundy: 44:52 It's been great being with you. I look forward to being back in a couple of weeks, or three weeks from now, I'm going to close out this series. Until then, what a treat it's going to be as we welcome Lee Strobel next weekend.



Recorded in Los Gatos, California.
Read More
Venture Christian Church
16845 Hicks Road
Los Gatos, California 95032
408.997.4600