Who is in Charge Anyway? What Does The Bible Say About This?
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Who is in charge anyway?
Does it seem like your life is just one set of observing, wondering eyes in the vast unintelligible series of events that occur in this world? Who can make sense out of it? We look out there and know that the things we see in the news, on the radio and over the Internet are just not right. The world seems to be out of control. Some say that our world leaders are in control. Some say there is a vast conspiracy underway to alter events to accommodate personal gain. Others simply observe the seemingly chaotic set of world events and say it is too difficult to even conceive that there is anybody in charge.
As crazy as things seem to appear, the God of the Bible tells us that He is in charge. One wonders if that is so why is He not fixing the situation? Is He in charge of world events? How do we know? Let’s look at a few verses in the Scripture to see what He has to say about this issue.
Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times [the things] that are not [yet] done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure
And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?
Why do the nations rage, And the peoples meditate a vain thing?
The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against Jehovah, and against his anointed, [saying],
Let us break their bonds asunder, And cast away their cords from us.
He that sitteth in the heavens will laugh: The Lord will have them in derision.
Then will he speak unto them in his wrath, And vex them in his sore displeasure:
For it is written, [As] I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
And from Jesus Christ, [who is] the faithful witness, [and] the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him [be] glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
The Bible speaks of this frequently. If the Bible is true and reliable then the major questions of the world have answers.
What Does the Bible say about itself?
2 Timothy 3:16-17
All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof (rebuking), for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
Inspiration = theopneustos, thay-oh-peen-noo-stos means God Breathed.
The Bible. This word Bible comes from a Greek word Biblios meaning a collection of books. It is not one book it is actually a set of books. The first five books, the Pentateuch were written by Moses about 1440 B.C. Within the secular laws of logic and argumentative philosophy most believe that using the Bible to validate the Bible is circular reasoning. This means to prove your source from the same source. When we look at the internal evidence for the credibility of the Bible we will see this.
The Bible was written over a span of 1535 years, over 40 generations by over 40 authors. The authors came from all walks of life, careers and social levels. Some were kings, peasants, philosophers, fishermen, poets, statesmen etc.
- Moses was a political leader who was trained in the high courts/palaces of Egypt.
- Peter was a fisherman
- Amos was a herdsman
- Joshua was a military general
- Nehemiah was a cupbearer
- Daniel, a prime minister and slave
- Luke, a physician
- Solomon, a king
- Matthew, a tax collector
- Paul an orthodox rabbi
The Bible was written in different places:
- Moses in the wilderness
- Jeremiah in a dungeon
- David on a hillside and in a palace
- Paul inside prison walls
- Luke while traveling
- John on the isle of Patmos in banishment
- Others in the rigors of a military campaign
The Bible was written at different times, moods, languages and on different continents.
- David in times of war
- Solomon in times of peace
- It was written in moments of joy, despair, sorrow and stating fact with a pleading attitude
- It was written in Asia
- It was written in Africa
- It was written in Europe.
- It was written in Hebrew
- It was written in Aramaic
- It was written in Koine Greek
- All the authors were Jewish
Its subject matter contains very controversial subjects. It speaks of sex, adultery, hatred, murder, love, envy and a host of each human emotion and experience possible. For all these differences it has a single unifying theme. The authors each had an experience with the God of the universe and were compelled to write it down. Collectively these experiences unfold a plan that God has for the universe and each one of us.
No other book on the planet has the wide circulation that the Bible does. No other book in human history has been translated, copied, printed or distributed throughout the world as much as the Bible. In fact no other book on earth even comes close to the Bible in this regard.
In 1976 Geisler and Nix reported that the Bible had been translated into more than 1,100 languages and dialects, which at that time represented more than 90% of the worlds people. As of 1966 they reported that the scriptures were being distributed by the combined Bible societies in the amount of over 87,000,000 per year. The best estimate for the cumulative distribution of scripture as of the printing of their book was a grand total of over two billion portions of scripture. More recently, according to the United Bible society their organization has now published at least some part of the scriptures into over 2,000 languages. Presently the United Bible society is assisting in the translation of the scriptures into 462 languages that have not yet received any part of God’s word in their native tongue. In the year 2000 the United Bible society reports that their member societies combined distributed over 633 million scriptures worldwide. This is almost ten times the amount of scripture reported to be distributed just some 25 years ago. These figures, it should be noted, do not represent the whole picture. For there are other organizations such as the Gideons, who by themselves distribute some 56,000,000 copies or portions of the scriptures on an annual basis. This also does not take into account the spread of the Word of God on the Internet, radio, TV and gospel films. The truth is the combined cumulative numbers of scriptures that have been distributed through the ages is beyond calculation. However there is one fact that is undeniable: the Bible has been translated, copied, printed and distributed more than any book in human history proving it’s universal appeal and circulation.
The Bible is Unique in its Survival:
It was first written on material that perished such as papyrus and vellum. It was copied hundreds of time in the hundreds of years prior to the invention of the printing press. It has been the victim of thousands of attacks on it by individuals and governments attempting to stop its circulation.
The Jewish copyists gave us an almost perfect set of documents that match those found later from antiquity such as the Dead Sea Scrolls.
The Bible has survived intense criticism from liberals, atheists and others who wanted to destroy its credibility. It still stands.
And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
The Bible is unique in its teaching.
No other book on this earth can match the accuracy of the prophecies in the Bible. Those that have been fulfilled have been so with 100% accuracy.
It provides an accurate account of world history that archaeology has confirmed. There is a substantial amount of archeological evidence that confirms some of the events, places and objects mentioned in the gospels and the entire Bible. Nelson Glueck, a renowned Jewish archeologist wrote, “It may be stated categorically that no archeological discovery has ever controverted a biblical reference.” He continues to assert “the almost incredibly accurate historical memory of the Bible, and particularly so when it is fortified by archeological fact.” Almost all of the major cities and major places named in the gospels have been confirmed through archeological finds. Jerusalem and parts of the temple can be visited today. Also, specific places like the Pool of Bethesda (John 5:2) and the Pool of Siloam (John 9:7) have been found.
The Bible deals frankly with the sins of its characters. There is no attempt to cover them up. The Bible tells it as it is. No other book on this earth claims to know the human heart like the Bible does.
The word canon means measuring rod. The word means officially accepted list of books. We don’t know exactly what the Jews used as a canonical measuring “rod” to place the writings into their Bible, which is our Old Testament. There has been some dispute known over the last several Millennia over this issue. The Jews had this settled before 70 AD though. The dispute was not with the early (OT times) Jews. It was with later Jews during the Christian era. Jesus used the “Scriptures” in His teaching and referred to them in an authoritative manner. The OT consisted of the 39 books we have now. The apocryphal books were not recognized by the Jews as legitimately canonical. They have some major doctrinal errors.
- They abound in historical and geographical inaccuracies and anachronisms
- The teach false doctrines which foster practices at variance with inspired Scripture
- They display artificial subject matter
- They lack the distinctive elements, which give Scripture its divine character such as prophetic power and religious feelings.
The Jews did not accept these books. In 1546 the Counter Reformation Council of Trent of the Roman Catholic Church brought them into the Catholic canon. The Bible is a Jewish book and the Jews NEVER brought these books into the canon. They have limited value. Some such 1st and 2nd Maccabees have some historical value. Most are poor representatives of history and experience with God.
Apostles, or those close to the apostles wrote the New Testament. The entire New Testament could be recreated by the writings of the early church fathers. These books circulated widely in the first century so that deciding which books were accurate representatives were not difficult for Godly men to assemble in the third century when the canon was officially formed.
What is the length of time from the copies we have of an historical document and the writing of the original?
|AUTHOR||When Written||Earliest Copy||Time Span||# of Copies|
|Caesar||100-44 B.C.||900 A.D.||1,000 yrs.||10|
|Plato(Tetralogies)||427-347 B.C.||900 A.D.||1,200 yrs.||7|
|Tacitus(Annals)||100 A.D.||1,100 A.D.||1,000 yrs.||20|
|Tacitus (Other minor works)||100 A.D.||1,000 A.D||900 yrs.||1|
|Pliny the Younger (History)||61-113 A.D.||850 A.D.||750 yrs.||7|
|Suetonius (De Vita Caesarun)||75-160 A.D.||950 A.D.||800 yrs.||8|
|Aristotle||384-322 B.C.||1,100 A.D.||1,400 yrs||5*|
|Gospels & N.T. Books||55-95 A.D.||130 A.D.||35-70 yrs||25,000|
Other writers outside of the Biblical Authors confirm stories in the Bible.
Roman writers: The impact of Christians and Christianity was felt in the Roman empire in a rather quick fashion (for the ancient world) and this impact is recorded by two Roman historians – Tacitus and Suetonius. In talking about Christians, Tacitus, who wrote about 120 AD, confirms some of what the gospels and the book of Acts record. Namely, that there was a Jesus, a man who was crucified by Pontius Pilate and there was a growth of the following of Jesus after his death. Around 120 AD, a Roman governor Pliny, wrote letters to the emperor. He does not give direct account of Jesus but does make it clear that Jesus’ followers were convinced that Jesus was God and they regularly met to share a meal, perhaps referring to the ‘communion’ meal established by Jesus.
Jewish writers: Josephus a Jewish man who wrote a great deal about Roman and Jewish history around the time of Jesus. He confirms a remarkable amount of the gospel records. In particular, he confirms that Jesus had a brother James, that John the Baptist existed around the time of Jesus, that John the Baptist did baptize people, called people to good deeds and was killed by Herod. Josephus also states that Jesus was crucified during Pilate’s reign and makes reference to the wisdom, miracles and claims to Messiah that surrounded Jesus. Rabbi Eliezer who is thought to have written after 70 A.D. verifies in his writing that Jesus taught that he was God and that he would depart and return.
Other non-Christian writers: A writer by the name Thallus, who is thought to have been Samaritan and written in about 52 A.D., also mentions the crucifixion of Jesus. The interesting thing is that he independently confirms that darkness fell over Jerusalem the day that Jesus died (Matthew 27:45). A letter written by a Mara bar Serapion some time after 73 A.D. also verifies the life and death of Jesus.
Who Were the Human Authors of our Bible?
Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy = Moses – 1440 B.C.
Joshua = Joshua – 1350 B.C.
Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel = Samuel / Nathan / Gad – 1000 – 900 B.C.
1 Kings, 2 Kings = Jeremiah – 600 B.C.
1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah = Ezra – 450 B.C.
Esther = Mordecai – 400 B.C.
Job = Moses – 1440 B.C.
Psalms = several different authors, mostly David – 1000 – 400 B.C.
Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon = Solomon – 900 B.C.
Isaiah = Isaiah – 700 B.C.
Jeremiah, Lamentations = Jeremiah – 600 B.C.
Ezekiel = Ezekiel – 550 B.C.
Daniel = Daniel – 550 B.C.
Hosea = Hosea – 750 B.C.
Joel = Joel – 850 B.C.
Amos = Amos – 750 B.C.
Obadiah = Obadiah – 600 B.C.
Jonah = Jonah – 700 B.C.
Micah = Micah – 700 B.C.
Nahum = Nahum – 650 B.C.
Habakkuk = Habakkuk – 600 B.C.
Zephaniah = Zephaniah – 650 B.C.
Haggai = Haggai – 520 B.C.
Zechariah = Zechariah – 500 B.C.
Malachi = Malachi – 430 B.C.
Matthew = Matthew – A.D. 55
Mark = John Mark – A.D. 50
Luke = Luke – A.D. 60
John = John – A.D. 90
Acts = Luke – A.D. 65
Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon = Paul – A.D. 50-70
Hebrews = unknown, best guesses are Paul, Luke, Barnabas, or Apollos – 65 A.D.
James = James – A.D. 45
1 Peter, 2 Peter = Peter – A.D. 60
1 John, 2 John, 3 John = John – A.D. 90
Jude = Jude – A.D. 60
Revelation = John – A.D. 95
As we move through a book of the Bible you will see the “internal evidence” which demonstrates that over several thousands of year this message comes through as God’s Word. There is no contradiction or error. It starts out with Genesis “In the beginning” and ends with Revelation 21:22 with amen. It closes with the restoration of the eternal order here on the earth. The chaos will finally be over and peace on earth restored.
There is no other message like it on the planet and it is an absolute joy to hear, read and understand God’s Word. However, it is only for His children. The unsaved will not understand this love letter written on a wooden cross 1974 years ago. It is only to us who believe.
But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
Daniel E. Woodhead