1 covering chapters 1 to 3
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)
1: A Personal Approach
The Book, the Chapter, and a Suggested Approach
The Phenomena of Biblically Illiterate Atheism
Questions from Questioners
Declaring my Background: My Grounds for Writing
Lessons I've Learnt about the Bible and People's Prejudices
of World Views is the True Debating Point
Analysing the Bible scientifically and thinking about ‘spirit'
to be asked about the
Environment that demanded Integrity in Writing
An Example of Logical Examination: Reviewing the Resurrection
Why we can be secure using the Bible: Questions & Answers
1: A Personal Approach
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.
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.
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
history is as an investigator, a teacher and a long-term student of
long term conclusions are that:
Most people don't get excited by the Bible because they don't really
Most people don't get excited by the Bible because they don't ask
God for help with it.
Most people don't get excited by the Bible because they don't let
it touch them.
Many people say it's full of contradictions, because they don't fully
Many people say the God of the Old Testament is harsh, but then they
haven't read much of it .
Many people say that the Old Testament is irrelevant to modern day
living, but they've never read it.
Many people say the Bible is sexist, but then they're the ones who
have only read the odd verse.
Most people who say the Bible is boring haven't ever really troubled
Most people who think you have to be perfect to be loved by God, clearly
haven't read the Bible.
Many people who haven't read the Bible think God was only concerned
with religious men, or kings or prophets.
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2: A Scientific Approach to the Bible: Theoretical Considerations
Heart of Chapter 2: Certainty
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
are very many top scientists who are Christian believers or, at least,
believers in God.
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.
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.
Bible can be analysed historically just the same as any other ancient
may be described as energy with personality. God is Spirit.
considering the origins of the Bible, and especially the writers of
- there are many positive reasons
to believe them,
- we should consider their evidence
- we should avoid the examples of
19 th century so called liberal scholars who came with closed
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.
requires us to learn as we go along.
need to be careful of our presuppositions which may have no intellectual
bases but only poor emotional biases.
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.
writers conveyed good and bad about individuals, revealing a remarkable
lack of bias or prejudice.
prophetic element showed a high level of historical accuracy and fulfilment.
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3: A Scientific Approach to the Bible: Practical Applications
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.
examination of the claims for the resurrection of Jesus Christ is
a good example of assessing historical narrative once the text has
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
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.
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.
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.