Thursday, August 08, 2013

Is It All a Myth?

For the mp3 audio recording of this lesson go to “Is It All a Myth?” 
For the complete PowerPoint outline, go to (Outline).  
2 Pet 3:3 knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. 4 They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.”
There are no greater questions than these three: “Does God exist?” “Is the Bible the true, inspired Word of God?” and, “Is Jesus the Christ, the Son of God?” One’s answers to these questions determine his or her answers to all other significant questions.
The Bible’s truth claims are found frequently in its pages. For example, Paul wrote in Gal 1:20, Now in what I am writing to you, I assure you before God that I am not lying.” Over and over again the writers of Scripture insist that they are telling the truth, and they distinguish that truth from fables and tales.
What is a myth?
Greek μῦθος: a tale, story, legend, fable, myth, in contrast with true accounts.
English “myth,” from
1a.  a story about superhuman beings of an earlier age taken by preliterate society to be a true account, usually of how natural phenomena, social customs, etc., came into existence
2. a person or thing whose existence is fictional or unproven
What does the Bible say about myths?
The Bible not only talks about myths; the Bible distinguishes between myths and truth.
2 Pet 1:16 For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” 18 we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. 19 And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, 20 knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. 21 For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
Does the Bible predict those who would deny its truth?
2 Pet 3:1 This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, 2 that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, 3 knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. 4 They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” 5 For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, 6 and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. 7 But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.
Could Christians be misled?
1 Ti 1:3 As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, 4 nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith.
1 Ti 4:7 Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness;
Tit 1:13 This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, 14 not devoting themselves to Jewish myths and the commands of people who turn away from the truth.
2 Ti 4:1 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.
Why would people treat the Bible as myth?
Itching ears. 2 Tim 4:1-4
Desire for autonomy, to be God, not serve God. Gen 3
Dislike of the Bible’s teachings about sin, God’s wrath, hell, etc.
Desire to be free of moral restrictions.
Love of the world and pleasure. 1 Jn 2:15-17; 2 Tim 3:1ff
Desire to “eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.”
Trust in human wisdom, reason, and ability.
Confidence in science, medicine, technology, money.
Belief that science has disproven the Bible.
Sense of enlightenment: “We have arrived!”
Pre-disposition against the existence of God, the possibility of miracles, and the inspiration of Scripture.
Belief that man’s view of God has evolved and that man no longer needs God.
Belief that ancient people were gullible and naïve.
Constant bombardment by all kinds of media.
How does our culture attack the Bible as truth?
Depicting biblical faith as weak, useless, or outdated.
Painting Bible believers as “right-wing extremists.”
Rewriting our nation’s (and the world’s) history.
Promoting the evolutionary timetable as fact.
Indoctrinating the young – the very young.
Highlighting celebrities who live immoral lives.
Using museums, zoos, movies, books, documentaries.
Ignoring indisputable facts about origins.
Silencing Bible-believing scientists, historians, archaeologists, researchers, professors, politicians, etc.
What are the results?
There is no objective basis for defining morality.
The basis of law, morality, ethics, and values is removed.
There is no objective standard of right and wrong.
Anything goes in one’s private life. Between consenting adults any behavior is acceptable.
Self is God. Choice is God. Freedom is God. Sin is God.
Human life has no unique “image-of-God” value.
We have no verified information as to our origin.
Difference between killing a man and killing a squirrel.
Abortion, infanticide, euthanasia.
There is no purpose in life.
There is no basis for marriage or the family.
Marriage can be redefined or eliminated.
There is no basis for altruism (good for its own sake).
There is no limit to bio-medical research or techniques.
Cloning to provide spare parts.
Embryonic stem cell research.
There is no life after death, as the Bible describes it.
There is no ultimate justice beyond this life.
But of course, again, there is no actual good or evil.
People may do whatever they can get away with doing.
Laws must be multiplied to enforced external behavior. Guns, etc.
Large drug companies have paid off generic companies not to produce competing products at a lower price. Time for a new law!
The ultimate breakdown of the family, the school, the community, and the nation.
Our inner moral compass – the conscience – is useless.
What evidence shows that the Bible is not myth?
Undeniable historical realities:
There was a man named Jesus from Nazareth.
He died during the days of Pontius Pilate.
His body has never been found.
The church began early in the first century …
In the city where Jesus lived and died …
Within a very short period after those claimed events.
Baptism reenacted His death, burial, and resurrection.
Christianity spread throughout the first-century world.
Those who claimed to be witnesses were persecuted, tried, tortured, and put to death for their faith.
Elements once denied by unbelievers, but no longer!
Camels Gen 12:16
Hittites Ex 23:23
Solomon’s navy and cavalry 1 Kgs 9:26; 10:26
Sargon Isa 20:1
Belshazzar Dan 5:7
Iconium Acts 14:6
David’s existence and rule
The Tel-Dan Stele (monument)
“House of David”
Mid-9th-century BC
Found in Dan, 1993/94 (in the Golan Heights)
This inscribed basalt stone contains the oldest reference to King David outside of the Bible. Roughly a foot tall. Written in Aramaic. The text actually refers to the “house of David,” meaning his royal family. Now located in the Israel Museum.
King David’s palace found at Khirbet Qeiyafa 7/13
The project covered about 18 miles of excavation over a seven-year period.
The site is located about 20 miles southwest of Jerusalem, and it borders the Elah Valley. This valley is one of the major thoroughfares between the coastal plan, where the Philistines lived, and the hill-country, where the Israelites settled and had their capital city of Jerusalem. It was in the Elah Valley that David defeated the Philistine champion Goliath (1 Sam. 17).
Excavations at the site have uncovered a well-planned fortified city from the late 11th-/early 10th-century B.C. This is the period in which many historians place David’s rule over Israel. In the central area of the site, archaeologists unearthed remains of a 10,000-square-foot palatial structure. To the north of the palace, they found a pillared building that was perhaps used as an administrative store-room for the palace. The archaeologists argue that the city is the best example of a fortified town from the time of King David.
One of the buildings was identified as a palace, while the other is believed to be a very large royal storeroom.
The storeroom contains evidence that can help researchers date the site.
“This is the only site in which organic material was found — including olive seeds — that can be carbon-14 dated [to King David’s time],” Israel Antiquities Authority spokeswoman Yoli Schwartz told The Times of Israel.
From Time Magazine
The December 1974 issue of Time stated, “The Bible is often surprisingly accurate in historical particulars, more so than earlier generations of scholars ever suspected.”
It went on to say, “After more than two centuries of facing the heaviest scientific guns that could be brought to bear, the Bible has survived – and is perhaps the better for the siege.”
From U.S. News & World Report
“A wave of archaeological discoveries is altering old ideas about the roots of Christianity and Judaism – and affirming that the Bible is more historically accurate than many scholars thought.” U.S. News, “New Finds Cast Fresh Light on the Bible,” 8/24/81
From the Tennessean newspaper:
“[Recent] discoveries have provided the first hard evidence for a number of biblical figures and events, many of which had been widely dismissed as myths and moral tales.” The Tennessean, “Archaeologists’ finds fit Bible’s account of past,” 12/96. Such as:
· Site of ancient Shechem found, where Genesis 12:6-7 says Abraham built an altar to God. Archaeologists have confirmed an organized community there 4,000 years ago.
· Discoveries of fire-blackened stone in a trench on a hot, barren mountainside fit with the Bible’s claim that Joshua destroyed ancient Hazor with fire, as recorded in Joshua 11.
· Archaeologists in 1996 found a stone tablet with a Phoenician inscription bearing the name Ekron, an ancient Philistine city. See Josh 13:3.
· An ivory pomegranate, with words, “Holy to the priests, belonging to the temple of Yahweh [the LORD],” may be first relic ever recovered from Solomon’s temple, 950 BC.
· In 1996, in a 2,000-year-old garbage dump at Masada, wine jug found, inscribed with name of King Herod. First object ever found with his name. See Matt 2:1.
· The discovery of ancient Egyptian forts near the Mediterranean reveals why God sent the Israelites to Canaan by an indirect route. Ex 13:17-18
The Bible itself: unity.
It contains 66 books, written by about 40 people (farmers, fishermen, kings, shepherds), over a period of 1600 years, on 3 continents (Africa, Asia, Europe), in 3 languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek). Yet it is a single volume … the Bible (Greek for “book”).
Imagine 10 writers on any subject whose works form a unit (not just a collection).
Imagine three independent sculptors, each with a product, who come together to find that their pieces fit together perfectly and form one statue. What would you conclude?
· Unity of Theme · Unity of Structure · Unity of Focus
The Need of Redemption, Promise of Redemption, Prophecy of Redemption, Realization of Redemption, Publication of Redemption, Application of Redemption, and Fulfillment of Redemption
The Bible itself: accuracy.
Not only were the Bible’s anticipations of modern science unknown in ancient times; they flatly contradicted the “medical” writings of Egypt, where Moses was reared.
Do Not Eat Blood - Lev 17:12,14
Do Not Eat Pork, Scavengers - Lev 11
Diagnosing Leprosy - Lev 13
Burning Contaminated Clothes - Lev 13:52
Washing and Bathing - Lev 17:15
Disposing of Human Waste - Deut 23:13
Without such instruction, the Israelites would have perished in the wilderness.
The Bible itself: predictive prophecy.
· Early in time · Specific in scope · Unmistakable in fulfillment
Jesus’ identity: legend, liar, lunatic, or Lord?
Jesus’ resurrection: no other option.
Jesus’ teaching: proven by practice.
Jesus’ influence: attested by history.
In fact, isn’t evolution itself actually a myth?
According to the “scientific method,” if you cannot see it, taste it, smell it, or see it, then “it” is not confirmed truth!
“Matter is eternal.” “An accident caused a Big Bang.” “The Earth is 4.6 billion years old.” “Non-living material came to life on its own.” “One tiny, living cell ultimately produced all forms of life that exist today.” “There is no design(er).”
“DNA is the result of infinite millions of accidents.” “Human personality came from non-personal causes.”
Note the specific detail and authoritative tone with which the “evolutionary timetable” is presented. Then note the disclaimer: “Dates are approximate!”
Notes, outline, and audio from this presentation:
Click on “Evidences.” 
“Samson Strikes Again”
“Charles Darwin Attacked by Bombardier Beetle”
“Who Invited Job to Jurassic Park?”

Convicted, Brad Harrub, Ph.D., Focus Press, 2009.
Dinosaurs Unleashed, Kyle Butt and Eric Lyons, Apologetics Press, 2004
Why the Bible is Number 1, Kenny Barfield, Wipf and Stock Publishers, 1997.

What If Jesus Had Never Been Born, D. James Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1994
What If the Bible Had Never Been Written, D. James Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1998
Bible and Archaeology - Online Museum
Fifty items in approximate chronological order.

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