John Pearrell

Before the July Fourth weekend, we were looking at the important subject of the Bible. The Bible is the most scrutinized work in existence today. In the first article we saw that the rejection of this work is more based upon personal experience than it is upon verifiable evidence. That is, most people reject the Bible either on the basis of since they haven’t witnessed a miracle, miracles simply don’t happen and since the Bible records miracles, we can’t believe its report. Or, since they don’t agree with something the Bible says, the Bible has to be wrong (because they certainly can’t be wrong).

Then, we explored the possibility that perhaps the reason there is so much animosity toward the Bible is because of its incredible claims about itself. It seems we are conducive to accepting any claims of men speaking for God (no matter how absurd their claims appear to be), but we draw the line in accepting the idea that men are speaking from God — which is exactly what the Bible claims:

“Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:20—21, NIV). Let’s look at this incredible claim.

Peter starts out by stating categorically, “We didn’t come up with this ourselves.” Forty authors, over 1,500 years and none of it Peter says was some guys sitting down and saying, “This is what we think God is like or this is what we think He might say under these circumstances.” He writes instead, “no (that means none, zero) prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things.” To make sure we get this, he continues, “Prophecy never had its origin in (what the prophet wanted).”

Now, it’s one thing to make such a claim. It is another thing entirely to support it. I think the reason modern skeptics and critics fight so hard and diligently to disprove the Bible is precisely because this claim comes with both internal and external evidence that supports it. That is why they don’t go after other religious books with as much vehemence as they do the Bible. The evidence threatens them. If this were a claim with no evidence, there would be no reason to try to dismantle it as frequently and as strongly as they do. Think of it this way, when one claims that Santa “sees when you’ve been sleeping; he sees when you’re awake; he knows if you’ve been bad of good, so be good for goodness sake,” no one forms petitions against this and no one writes books opposing this concept. No need. We know on the face of the claim that it is fable. But, when it comes to the Scriptures making this claim for God, now we have a fight because — let’s be honest — the evidence for the truthfulness of this is all around us!

One of the hardest pieces of evidence for the Bible being more than just an insightful book is its prophecies. They are not nebulous, they are specific. They name names hundreds of years before the individual existed and they say what that individual will do. Because the prophecies of the Bible are so accurate, critics constantly construct false timelines so they can explain what they claim as an example of a prophecy actually being a history. For instance, they claim that Daniel did not write about the coming world empires before they happened, but someone wrote about them after they happened. Problem is, that revision doesn’t fit the hard evidence of when Daniel wrote.

Peter concludes that men spoke from God, not for God and that is where the rub comes in. If they really are speaking from God, don’t you think it is important enough for you to find out what they write rather than relying on what men write about them?

Dr. John Pearrell is pastor of Gateway Community Church in Covington. For more information, visit www.gatewaycommunity.org or email john.pearrell@gatewaycommunity.org.

Editor

I have been editor of the Rockdale Citizen since 1996 and editor of the Newton Citizen since it began publication in 2004. I am also currently executive editor of the Clayton News Daily, Henry Daily Herald and Jackson Progress-Argus.

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