"God's Love in the Old Testament" - Recap 1



Recap 1 covering chapters 1 to 3




Recap 1 covering chapters 1 to 3


This is a synopsis of the three chapters that form Part 1. (If you click on any of he chapter headings they will take you to that chapter)


A. Overview

Chapter 1: A Personal Approach

1.1 The Book, the Chapter, and a Suggested Approach
1.2 The Phenomena of Biblically Illiterate Atheism
1.3 Questions from Questioners
1.4 Declaring my Background: My Grounds for Writing
1.5 Lessons I've Learnt about the Bible and People's Prejudices
1.6 To Summarise
2.1 A   Clash of World Views is the True Debating Point
2.2 Analysing the Bible scientifically and thinking about ‘spirit'
2.3   Questions to be asked about the   Writers   of the Bible
2.4   The Environment that demanded Integrity in Writing
2.5 To Summarise            
3.1 An Example of Logical Examination: Reviewing the Resurrection
3.2 Why we can be secure using the Bible: Questions & Answers
3.3 To Summarise



B. Detail


Chapter 1: A Personal Approach


The Heart of Chapter 1: In order to be able to rationally investigate claims about the Bible, we have to first of all confront our ignorance, and our prejudices based on that ignorance.


Atheistic writers, their followers and the media, so often reveal a woeful ignorance of the Bible that they decry. This nullifies their arguments and makes them look silly.


Often people respond out of hurt or prejudice, because of bad past experiences, and have minds that are made up before they read the bible or anything about it.


My history is as an investigator, a teacher and a long-term student of the Bible.


My long term conclusions are that:

1. Most people don't get excited by the Bible because they don't really read it!

2. Most people don't get excited by the Bible because they don't ask God for help with it.

3. Most people don't get excited by the Bible because they don't let it touch them.

4. Many people say it's full of contradictions, because they don't fully read it.

5. Many people say the God of the Old Testament is harsh, but then they haven't read much of it .

6. Many people say that the Old Testament is irrelevant to modern day living, but they've never read it.

7. Many people say the Bible is sexist, but then they're the ones who have only read the odd verse.

8. Most people who say the Bible is boring haven't ever really troubled with it.

9. Most people who think you have to be perfect to be loved by God, clearly haven't read the Bible.

10. Many people who haven't read the Bible think God was only concerned with religious men, or kings or prophets.


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Chapter 2: A Scientific Approach to the Bible: Theoretical Considerations


The Heart of Chapter 2: Certainty is not the tool of modern scientific atheists. Apart from pure mathematics, all investigatory endeavour looks at the evidence and draws logical conclusions, and the same is as true about Biblical faith as it is about any other scientific endeavour.


There are very many top scientists who are Christian believers or, at least, believers in God.


The debate is less to do with ‘science versus religion', but more to do with a materialistic world view versus a theistic & spiritual (believing in God) world view.


Science works on a materialistic basis but disciplines such as psychology show that this isn't always sufficient. History requires we examine the evidence just as much as science generally does, yet history and science both work on assumptions (some of which may in the long term be proven wrong.) Philosophy of science acknowledges that science isn't always so certain as some scientists would make out.


The Bible can be analysed historically just the same as any other ancient documents.


Spirit may be described as energy with personality. God is Spirit.


When considering the origins of the Bible, and especially the writers of the Bible:

  • there are many positive reasons to believe them,
  • we should consider their evidence open-mindedly,
  • we should avoid the examples of 19 th century so called liberal scholars who came with closed materialistic minds.


Even if some Biblical writers had got it wrong (and there is no evidence that they did), the volume of evidence is so great that it cannot be casually dismissed.


Open-mindedness requires us to learn as we go along.


We need to be careful of our presuppositions which may have no intellectual bases but only poor emotional biases.


The writers of the Old Testament wrote within a God-fearing community which required a high level of responsibility and care in their writing, and a high level of accountability to their peers - and to God.


The writers conveyed good and bad about individuals, revealing a remarkable lack of bias or prejudice.


The prophetic element showed a high level of historical accuracy and fulfilment.

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Chapter 3: A Scientific Approach to the Bible: Practical Applications


The Heart of Chapter 3: When we take the evidence for the Bible (and God) and think about it carefully, the conclusions are quite clear. You will only reject them if you have come with a closed (unscientific) mind. The reasons for accepting the veracity of the Bible are many and good.                


An examination of the claims for the resurrection of Jesus Christ is a good example of assessing historical narrative once the text has been accepted.


The primary challenges that are made against this claim are that:

  • the writers got it wrong, or
  • Jesus never died, or
  • the authorities took the body, or
  • the disciples took the body, or
  • the disciples hallucinated, or
  • it was a substitute who died on the Cross.


A simple examination of each of these shows how incredibly unlikely each one is, leaving us with the most likely conclusion, that the accounts were true.


When we examine how the Bible came into being, we find that there are very good grounds for trusting what we have today, as being an accurate representation of the original writing and that was an accurate representation of what actually occurred, often written by writers who exhibited the utmost integrity in their reporting.



C. And So?


These are chapters which challenge the ignorance that is so often revealed by those who decry the Bible. The wealth of scholarship and the volume of investigation carried out with the utmost integrity is often unknown by the detractors of the Bible. It is a subject that the open-minded student would be well-advised to study. These chapters merely seek to act as a catalyst to achieve that outcome – together with the challenge to be open-minded, scientific and objective when approaching the Old Testament of the Bible. The evidence to be studied, for a belief in the God of love revealed in the Bible, is vast and well worth examination. Don't let ignorance, emotional prejudice, and shallow criticism rob you of the truth.


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