What makes the Bible different?
April 8, 2011
Sixty-six books, written by 40 different authors over nearly 2,000 years, and yet the message is seamless throughout.
The Bible, the best-selling and most widely read book of all time, is in nearly every home in America. It is unlike any other book — it's alive and totally relevant to our lives.
In His first coming, Christ fulfilled some 150 prophecies and hundreds of specifications with amazing accuracy. This is unlike say, Nostradamus, whose quatrains are vague, general and could be construed to mean almost anything.
I have picked just three of these prophecies (Christ's birth, betrayal, and death) to examine. The odds of any one individual fulfilling them by random chance are truly astounding.
The prophet Micah in chapter 5 verse 2 predicts Jesus would be born in Bethlehem, which of course he was: "But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah. Yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel."
Compare this with Mathew 2:1: "Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea."
The prophet Zechariah predicted the betrayal of Jesus in the 11th chapter verses 12-13. "And I said unto them, if ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price 30 pieces of silver. And the Lord said unto me, cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the 30 pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the Lord."
Consider the various details that had to be met to fulfill this prophecy: Jesus would be betrayed for precisely 30 pieces of silver, not close to 30 or about, it was exact. They would give the money to a potter and the transaction would take place in the temple.
Now compare this with Mathew 27:3-10: "Then Judas, which had betrayed him … brought again the 30 pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders. … And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple. … And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter's field."
We find that this prophecy was fulfilled with uncanny precision.
Was this coincidence, or an accident? I don't think so.
Psalm 22 is a picture (in advance) of the crucifixion of Christ. It begins with what sounds like a direct quote by Jesus on the cross: "My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?"
Compare this with Mathew 27:46, when Jesus cried out these very words from the cross. Just a coincidence, you say?
Continuing in Psalm 22 with verse 14: "I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. My strength is dried up. … They pierced my hands and my feet. … They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture."
See Mathew 27:35: "And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots."
This is a perfect picture of the crucifixion process that was written 800 years before Christ and 700 years before crucifixion was invented by the Persians and later adopted by the Romans. The mode of capitol punishment in Israel was stoning — they knew nothing about crucifixion.
In verse 6 of this Psalm, it states "I am a worm and no man."
The Hebrew word for worm is "towla," though it is often translated scarlet or crimson. The worm referred to in the Hebrew is the Coccus Ilicts from which they got crimson dye.
"When the female species was ready to give birth, she would attach her body to the trunk of a tree. She was fixed so permanently that she would never leave again. The eggs would hatch and the larvae would feed on the body of the adult. When the mother died she would leave a crimson stain on the trunk of the tree. After three days the spot would turn white and fall off." This is from "Biblical Basis for Modern Science by Henry Morris.
Isaiah wrote, "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson (towla), they shall be as wool" (Isaiah 1:18).
People say, "You can't prove the Bible."
I beg to differ.
Volumes could be written documenting thousands of Biblical examples of supreme design that is absolutely impeccable. These are not generally noticed by the casual reader, but are revealed to those who would conduct a diligent search.
As Jesus spoke through the writer of the Psalms, "In the volume of the book, it is written of me."