Truth That Matters

"What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?" - Jesus Christ

The INTEGRITY of the Bible

A lot of people accept some parts of the Bible but reject the others. For example:-

  • They accept Jesus' ethical teachings but reject what the Bible says about the origin of the universe and ancient history.
  • Others accept the "kind" Jesus in the gospels but reject the "harsh" Jesus of Revelation.
  • Yet others tell us that Jesus and the destruction of Jerusalem mentioned in 2 Kings is historical, but Solomon's kingdom mentioned in 1 Kings is not. Both books were one originally.
  • Most people agree with the Bible's claim that Jesus was historical - a good person who can help us on our spiritual journey, but they reject the vicarious nature of his death and his resurrection.

This article shows that such a position is absurd. The Bible stands or falls together. You either take ALL or NOTHING.

Old Testament characters/incidents mentioned in the New Testament

The following examples are by David Cloud:-
  • Creation by the Word of God -- Mark 13:19; Acts 17:24-26; Hebrews 11:3. We conclude that Jesus and his disciples took Genesis 1 literally.
  • Adam and Eve -- Matthew 19:4-6; Mark 10:6-7; Luke 3:38; Romans 5:12,14; 2 Corinthians 11:3; 1 Timothy 2:13. Jesus referred to the Pentateuch as Moses' writings. Thus if the Pentateuch was not written by Moses, Jesus is either ignorant or lying.
  • Abel -- Matthew 23:35; Luke 11:50-51; Hebrews 11:4,24
  • Enoch -- Hebrews 11:5; Jude 1:14-15
  • Noah and the Flood -- Matthew 24:37-39; Luke 17:26-27; Hebrews 11:7; 1 Peter 3:20; 2 Peter 3:5,6. Here Jesus and his disciples take Noah's Flood to be factual, historical and global.
  • Abraham -- mentioned 74 times in the N.T.; leaving his homeland and traveling to Palestine (Acts 7:2-5; Hebrews 11:8,9); God spoke to him (Luke 1:55); God’s covenant to him (Luke 1:72,73; Acts 3:25; 7:17; Galatians 3:8-18; Hebrews 6:13,14); Hagar and Ishmael (Galatians 4:22-25); begetting and circumcising Isaac (Acts 7:8); offering Isaac (Hebrews 11:17; James 2:21); justified by faith before the covenant of circumcision (Romans 4:3,9-16; Galatians 3:6). 
  • Sarah -- Hebrews 11:11; 1 Peter 3:6
  • David and Solomon (Matthew 12:3,42).
  • Melchizedec -- Hebrews 7:1-4. 
  • Lot and Sodom and Gomorrah -- Luke 17:28-29; Jude 1:7; 2 Peter 2:6-8
  • Lot’s wife -- Luke 17:32
  • Isaac -- mentioned 20 times in the N.T. (Matthew 1:2; Heb. 11:9,17-20)
  • Jacob -- mentioned 26 times in the N.T. (Matthew 1:2; Acts 7:8)
  • Joseph -- sold into slavery and raised to power over Egypt (Acts 7:9-10); revealed to his brethren (Acts 7:11-16); prophesied of Israel’s exodus from Egypt to the Promise Land (Hebrews 11:21,22)
  • Pharaoh (Acts 7:10)
  • Passover and the Exodus story -- 1 Corinthians 5:7, 1 Corinthians 10:1-11, Hebrews 7-10. 
  • Luke and John refer to the Pentateuch as God's law delivered via Moses (Luke 2:22-24, John 1:17). Matthew and Mark quote Jesus doing so (Matthew 19:8, Mark 12:26). Thus, if Moses did not write the Pentateuch, Jesus and his four biographers are all liars. Luke is also the historian of the early churches (see the book of Acts), and thus nearly everything we know of Jesus and his apostles goes down the drain if Moses is not historical.
  • In Mark 12:26, note how Jesus refers to "the book of Moses". Thus, Jesus is claiming that the entire Pentateuch (except for a few sentences written after Moses' death) was written by Moses - not just a few portions here and there with several additions centuries later.
  • Jesus referred to the book of Daniel as genuine prophecy (Matthew 24:15) and Daniel agrees with the book of Revelation.

Here we see that Jesus and the New Testament authors regarded Old Testament characters and events as literal and historical. Therefore, if they are not, Jesus and the New Testament authors are either liars or ignorant. Hence the New Testament has to be discarded if the Old Testament is not authentic.

Thematic links

The following links show how the authenticity of a New Testament character or principle depends on the authenticity of the Old Testament.
  • The disciples were first called Christians after being taught by Paul (Acts 11:25-26), the most prolific New Testament author. From the references to Paul's writings in the previous section, we see that he regarded the entire Old Testament as historical. Thus, you cannot call yourself a Christian without adhering to the historicity of the Old Testament.
  • The Bible presents ethics as following from historical facts (Genesis 9:6, Mark 10:6-9). The ethical principles of murder and divorce being wrong follow from the "scientific" claim that God created the universe and made man, made woman, and instituted marriage shortly after. Similarly 2 Co 11:3 and 1 Tim 2:13 Paul derives principles of sexual ethics and church practice from a literal interpretation of Genesis 1. Note how Paul refers to Adam as the first man, and Jesus says that the first couple lived "from the beginning of creation" - not millions of years after it!
  • Romans 5:12-14 implies that if Adam and the Fall are not historical, the way to God established by Jesus Christ is baseless.
  • In Romans 4:3,9-16; Galatians 3:6, the way to heaven established by Jesus Christ is linked to the historicity of events in Abraham's life.
  • In Matthew 12:3, Jesus used an incident in David's life to prove right v/s wrong. In Matthew 12:42, he affirmed what the Old Testament says about Solomon's greatness, and then claims to be greater than Solomon. This means that if the OT is not historical, Jesus' ethics as well as identity go out of the window.
  • Jesus instituted the Lord's Supper based on the Passover, and 1 Corinthians 5:7 mentions Jesus as the fulfillment of the Passover lamb. Hence if the Exodus story is false, Jesus' death, the Lord's supper, the current access that Christians have to God, etc. all go out of the window.
  • In Hebrews 7:1-4, we see that if the Genesis story of Melchizedec is not true, Jesus' present work in heaven fails.
  • The Bible says that the resurrection is absolutely crucial because if Jesus Christ did not rise from the dead:-
    • We can never be justified in God's sight (Romans 4:25),
    • We might as well be hedonists (1 Corinthians 15:32)
    • We can never be truly good (Romans 6:4-12). Why bother trying then?
  • Parallel Patterns in the Bible
  • Types in the Old Testament and corresponding Anti-types in the New Testament
  • Jesus in the New Testament fulfills various Figures of Christ , Sacrifices and Messianic Prophecies in the Old Testament.
  • "The thread running right through"

Conclusion

  • You cannot deny parts of the Bible without denying the rest.
  • You cannot accept parts of the Bible without accepting the rest.
  • You thus accept all or nothing.

Further Reading: Lightner, Robert P. 1970. The Savior and the Scriptures. Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed.