In spite of the fact that most people have a lot of respect for
the Bible, many of them don’t believe it is true. Some modern teachers
doubt the accuracy of the Bible.
In today’s lesson we are going to learn about three different
kinds of evidence found outside of the Bible itself, which shows it to be very
accurate. So, after a brief prayer asking for God’s help in today’s study,
Someone who seriously doubts the accuracy of the Bible may ask
for external evidence. External evidence is evidence which comes from
outside the Bible itself and shows the accuracy of the Bible stories. As
Discoveries of ruins which show that the walls of Jerico
fell as the Bible says they did.
The writings of a Jewish historian named Josephus which
supports many of the details of the New Testament.
First of all, Let’s see how trust worthy the text of the Bible
really is. We can do this by looking at some of the very old
writings. We don’t have any of the original writings of the new
Testament. Never the less, we do have copies of these first manuscripts
which were made very soon after the original.
A fragment of Papyrus (a early form of prayer) containing three
verses from John 18. Found in Egypt. Scientific testing has shown
that this fragment from John’s Gospel dates from before the year 150 A.D.
But, the Gospel of John was not written in Egypt.
Reliable historical records tell, us that the city of Jerusalem
was destroyed by the Romans in the year 70 A.D. The city of Jerusalem was
considered a holy city by the Jewish people and it’s destruction was an extreme
importance in their history. Almost all of the writers of the new
Testament were Jews. If they had written after the destruction of
Jerusalem: there would be some mention of the event in the New Testament.
Instead Read Matthew 24:1-2. What does Jesus say is
going to happen to the temple in Jerusalem?
This means that most of the books of the New Testament must
have been written before the year 70 A.D.
We know that Jesus was crucified about the year 30A.D.
In other words most of the books of the New Testament were written within years
of Jesus death. There would be many people still living who knew
Jesus. Many people would have known that it was false if it was not
accurate; if that was the case.
Read 1 Corinthians 15:6 very carefully.
To how many people did Jesus appear after the resurrection?
How many of these people were still alive when Paul wrote 1
The authors of the New Testament were very careful to use First
Hand information when they were writing. This means that they
themselves used people who actually saw the events for themselves.
Read 1 John 1:2. “The earliest preachers of the
Gospel knew the value of firsthand testimony, and appealed to it again and
again; ‘We are witnesses of these things was their constant and confident
assertion.” (Professor F. F. Bruce, a well known and highly respected
Bible scholar). He also wrote: “And it can have been by no means so
easy as some seem to think to invent words and deeds of Jesus in these early
years, when so many of his disciples were about (who could remember what had
and what had not happened.
The quotation below is taken from the writings of a man named
Bishop Papias. He lived in a town called Heiropolis in what is now the
country of Turkey about the year 130 A.D..
“Mark having been the interpreter of Peter wrote down all
that He (Peter) mentioned, whether saying or doings of Christ… For he (Marl)
was neither a hearer nor a companion of the Lord… So then Mark made no
mistake writing down in the ways some things as the (Peter) mentioned them;
for he (mark) paid attention to this one thing, not to omit anything that he
had heard, not to include any false statement among them.”
The following words are those of a noted Bible scholar and
archaeologist Sir Frederick Kenyon. Scholars are satisfied that they posses
substantially the true text of the principal Greek and Roman writers where
works have come down to us, of Sophocleus, of Thucudides of Cicero, of Virgil,
yet our knowledge of their writings depend upon a mere handful of manuscripts,
where the manuscripts of the New Testament are counted in the hundreds and
There are literally hundreds of archaeological finds that
provide evidence for the trustworthiness of the Bible. Indeed, the Bible
has proven to be so trustworthy that many archaeologist in the Middle Eastern
countries including those who are not Christians, use the Bible as a guide
book when they are hunting for new discoveries.
Examples are: Payment in the Court of Antonio, Jerusalem found
in 1933. Inscription (cut into stone) mentioning the Roman Emperor
Tiberius and Pontius Pilate, Found in Caesarea in 1961.
Read John 19:13. What is the name of the place where
Pilate sat in judgment during Jesus’ trial. Give the English name not
the Hebrew name?
Read Luke 3:1 carefully. What archaeological discovery
gives external evidence for the people involved .
The Bible has so much external evidence to support its
accuracy that a great preacher once said: “Defend the Bible; I might as
well try and defend a lion.”
1. List four reasons why materialism is unable to solve
social, economic, and political injustice and give a Bible reference for each.
2. Give four ways in which the justice of the kingdom of
God is better than the justice offered through materialism.
3. Take part in a discussion of the ways in which
materialistic solutions are being offered as solutions to the social,
economic, and political problems which face people today.
4. Tell two ways in which believers fall into the sin of
pride and be able to use two simple steps to overcome this temptation in your
One of the first temptations Jesus had to face was the
temptation to solve his personal problems through materialism. How ever
Jesus had to face this same temptation throughout this entire ministry.
The Jewish people were an oppressed people. As a Good
Jew, Jesus faced the temptation to try to believe the social and political
injustices of his day through materialistic means. Jesus didn’t do this
though, because he knew that materialism is not an adequate solution to social
and political problems. Materialism has four major defects. In
this lesson you will discover what these defects are.
Before you continue, take a brief moment and ask the Lord for
his help. Good, now Let’s continue…
In our world there is a great deal of political and social
injustice. Just as in Jesus’ time; this injustice has come from both the
government (Luke 3:18-20; Matthew 2:16, 14:1-12, 27:27-30) and from those who
claim to believe in God (Matthew 21:3). But we must remember that
social, economic, and political injustice is not something new. Jesus
also faced it. Throughout His entire ministry, Jesus would be tempted to
try to solve the social, economic, and political problems of His people Without
Satan has not changed. He still tempts mankind just as
he did Jesus, to seek a solution for poverty, hunger, oppression, and
injustice by trying to get “Bread Without God Providing;” or
in other words, to solve social, economic, and political problems through
Materialism does offer a kind of human justice to those who
are oppressed and suffer social, economic, and political injustice.
Materialism’s justice is primarily Economic Justice. It tries to bring
justice to all men by forcing them to share material goods.
One thing ought to be clear. The kind of Justice that
Materialism offers to us has a great many defects. We are going to look
at these defects now.
Read Matthew 4:4
Is it possible for material goods alone to satisfy the needs
of mankind? (Yes or No)
The Bible teaches men need something more than material things
(Proverbs 15:16-17; 17:1).
In Luke 12:15, Jesus put it this way: “Watch out!
Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in
the abundance of his possessions.”
Materialism cannot satisfy the needs of mankind is the first
Read Matthew 6:19-20
This tells us that material goods
Materialism tries to solve problems by changing the
environment in which men live. Although these changes have some times
caused dramatic improvements in the living conditions of the poor, they have
never taken care of the root problems. At the bottom of all social and
political injustices lies the evil in the human heart. Materialism has
never been able to change the heart of mankind.
Read Deuteronomy 8:13-14. What is the great sin which
materialism lends to?
Read Deuteronomy 8:2-3. What warning about the dangers
of materialism did the Jewish people forget?
The justice which materialism offers can never come to pass
because it does not change the real problem which lies in the hearts of
men. There will always be some selfish and violent men in positions of
power. Even though all existing social structures may one day be
changed, there will still remain social injustice and poor people.
Read Proverbs 23:4-5.
What happens to riches at the very moment that the poor
reaches out his hand to grasp them?
When God created man, He made man Body, Soul, and
Spirit. Materialistic attempts to solve injustice brings about changes
in the environment for man’s Bodily good. But, changes on man’s
environment can never save man’s soul.
Peter speaks about the only thing which can change the
condition of the soul in 1 Peter 1:18-19. What does it take to save the
What poses the greatest risk to not continuing in Christ? The greatest
risk is the crisis of values which inexorably comes when we follow
hollow and deceptive philosophy. It may not come until we have traveled for
many years down the road of self-deceit, but it will come.
The crisis of values is no less than a bad case of the -ism’s –
materialism, relativism, humanism, hedonism, liberalism, legalism,
secularism and so on. I doubt few of us ever set out to become a materialist
or a relativist or whatever. It is more that without self-examination we
atrophy from the Christian value system into something less. Not that we
abandon the spiritual connection, but slowly, almost imperceptibly, we undo
the moral knowledge to which we pledged ourselves. When once we redraw the
line, there is less pressure against redrawing it, and less and less each
When we start on the comeback, we start from where we have been – in the
belly of the world which swallowed us up. God spits us up onto the shore by
His grace; It is an inauspicious starting point from which to make a
The comeback will be embarrassing. The odor of where we have been remains
until we cleanse ourselves. The people we hurt will not trust at first. We
must still work through the human consequences of having untied the moral
knot – of being taken captive by hollow and deceptive philosophy. Painful
and embarrassing it may be, but He does let us come back.
Do you have a case of the -ism’s? Have you been taken captive,
swallowed up into the belly of the world? If you have been swallowed up, are
you ready yet to humble yourself? Are you ready to start your comeback? If
you are willing. He is willing.
(From Walking with Christ in the Details of Life by Patrick Morely)
Have you developed any habits or attitudes that stand between you and
God? Are you noticing any of society’s immoral values infiltrating your
faith? If you have been gradually easing away from God, what can you change
to head back in the right direction?
February 15, 1921, New York City. The operating room of the Kane Summit
Hospital. A doctor is performing an appendectomy.
So this surgery will be uneventful in all ways except two.
The first novelty of this operation? The use of local anesthesia in major
surgery.. Dr. Kane is a crusader against the hazards of general anesthesia.
He contends that a local application is far safer. Many of his colleagues
agree with him in principle, but in order for them to agree in practice,
they will have to see the theory applied.
But I said there were two facts that made the surgery unique. I’ve told
you the first: the use of local anesthesia. The second is thee patient. The
courageous candidate for surgery by Dr. Kane was Dr. Kane.
A wise move. The doctor became a patient in order to convince the
patients to trust the doctor.
… The story of the doctor who became his own patient is mild compared
to the story of the God who became human. But Jesus did. So that you and I
would believe that the Healer knows our hurts, he voluntarily became one of
us. He placed himself in our position. He suffered our pains and felt our
Rejection? He felt it. Temptation? He knew it. Loneliness? He experienced
it. Death? He tasted it.
And stress? he could write a best selling book about it.
Why did he do it? One reason. So that when you hurt you will go to him –
your Father and your Physician – and let him heal.
(From In the Eye of the Storm by Max Lucado)
Though hard times bring frustration, easy times can cause us to forget
God and depend on ourselves. Because he loves us, God may let difficult
situations enter our lives to redirect our attention to him. What desires or
goals do you have that may be weakening your faith? What comforts or
successes cause you to depend less on God? When a difficult situation arises
today, turn to God before trying to decide on a solution.
Sunday School, the greatest lay movement since Pentecost, was
founded by a layman. Robert Raikes was the crusading editor
of Gloucester Journal. After becoming frustrated with ineffi-
cient jail reforms, Raikes was convinced vice could be better
prevented than cured. While visiting in the slum section of
the city, he was distressed with the corruption of children.
Raikes shared the problem with Rev. Thomas Stock in the vil-
lage of Ashbury, Berkshire. They conceived of a school to be
taught on the best available time–Sunday. They decided to
use the available manpower–laymen. The curriculum would be
the Word of God, and they aimed at reaching the children of
the street, not just the children of church members.
The movement began in July, 1780, when Mrs. Meredith
conducted a school in her home on Souty Alley. Only boys at-
tended, and she heard the lessons of the older boys who
coached the younger. Raikes wrote four of the textbooks, but
the Bible was the core of the Sunday School. Later, girls
were allowed to attend. Raikes shouldered most of the finan-
cial burden in those early years.
Within two years, several schools opened in and
around Gloucester. On November 3, 1783, Raikes published an
account of Sunday School in the columns of his paper. Excite-
ment spread. Next, publicity was given the Sunday School in
Gentlemen’s Magazine, and a year later Raikes wrote a letter
to the Armenian Magazine.
Raikes died in 1811. By 1831, Sunday School in Great
Britain was ministering weekly to 1,250,000 children, approx-
imately 25 percent of the population.