Everything we have talked about has been based on the premise that the Bible is true so we need to begin this journey of knowing what we believe with the Bible

How do we know the Bible is true?

1) The Bible says it is true

 2 Timothy 3:16,17

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Matthew 24:35 Jesus words

35Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

In the Old Testament God said this about the stability and consistency of His word.

Isaiah 59:21

21“And as for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the Lord: “My Spirit that is upon you, and my words that I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, or out of the mouth of your offspring, or out of the mouth of your children’s offspring,” says the Lord, “from this time forth and forevermore.”

But it is kind of rough to say the scripture is true because it says that it is! If you are a believer that is enough but what do we say to our skeptic friends? What do you say when you are having a hard time believing scripture?

2) Manuscript evidence

-these are recorded written items that prove the Bible

First, there are 5,366 copies of assorted manuscripts of our New Testament. Dating from as early as the 2ndcentury all the way until the 5th century, of which there is a 99.5% accurate to the original. Those inaccuracies are nothing that would affect the original intent (mainly things like misspellings of names and places and word order i.e. Jesus Christ is the savior of the whole world, Christ Jesus is the savior of the whole world, Jesus Christ the savior of the whole world)

That is more manuscript evidence than there is for any other ancient document.

Which includes even things like the writings of Plato (7 manuscripts), Homer’s Iliad (643 manuscripts), the stories of Caesar (10 manuscripts) and Alexander the great. It is also more manuscript evidence than we have for the declaration of Independence.

In addition if we took the writings of just 7 of the early church fathers

Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Tertullian, Hippolytus, Eusebius.

These men were alive between 150 and 200 AD. 86,000 exact verse quotations from the New Testament were in their writings. (there are only roughly 8000 verses in the New Testament) 

 In fact even if we did not have all of the manuscript evidence we could reconstruct the New Testament with all but 11 verses just based on the information from these early church Fathers.

Information that verifies the Bible was spoken of and recorded in the writings of non-Christian writers of the era

  1. Flavius Josephus (AD 37?-101?, a Jewish historian) mentions John the Baptist and Herod – Antiquities, Book 18, ch. 5, par. 2
    1. “Now some of the Jews thought that the destruction of Herod’s army came from God, and that very justly, as a punishment of what he did against John, that was called the Baptist: for Herod slew him, who was a good man, and commanded the Jews to exercise virtue, both as to righteousness towards one another, and piety towards God, and so to come to baptism; for that the washing [with water] would be acceptable to him, if they made use of it, not in order to the putting away [or the remission] of some sins [only], but for the purification of the body; supposing still that the soul was thoroughly purified beforehand by righteousness.”

Flavius Josephus (AD 37?-101?) mentions Jesus – Antiquities, Book 18, ch. 3, par. 3.

  • Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles.  He was [the] Christ.  And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, (9) those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; (10) as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him.  And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.


  • Flavius Josephus (AD 37?-101?) mentions James, the brother of Jesus – Antiquities, Book 20, ch. 9.
  • Flavius Josephus (AD 37?-101?) mentions Ananias the High Priest who was mentioned in Acts 23:2
  • Tacitus (A.D. c.55-A.D. c.117, Roman historian) mentions “Christus” who is Jesus – Annals 15.44
    • “Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular.”
      • Ref. from http://classics.mit.edu/Tacitus/annals.mb.txt
  • Thallus (Circa AD 52, eclipse of the sun) Thallus wrote a history of the Eastern Mediterranean world from the Trojan War to his own time.  His writings are only found as citations by others.  Julius Africanus, who wrote about AD 221, mentioned Thallus’ account of an eclipse of the sun that had taken place at Jesus crucifixion.
    • “On the whole world there pressed a most fearful darkness; and the rocks were rent by an earthquake, and many places in Judea and other districts were thrown down.  This darkness Thallus, in the third book of his History, calls, as appears to me without reason, an eclipse of the sun.”
      • Is this a reference to the eclipse at the crucifixion? Luke 23:44-45, “And it was now about the sixth hour, and darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour, 45 the sun being obscured; and the veil of the temple was torn in two.”
  • The oddity is that Jesus’ crucifixion occurred at the Passover which was a full moon.  It is not possible for a solar eclipse to occur at a full moon.  Note that Julius Africanus draws the conclusion that Thallus’ mentioning of the eclipse was describing the one at Jesus’ crucifixion.  
  • Pliny the Younger mentioned Christ. Pliny was governor of Bithynia in Asia Minor.  Pliny wrote ten books.  The tenth around AD 112.
    • “They (the Christians) were in the habit of meeting on a certain fixed day before it was light, when they sang in alternate verses a hymn to Christ, as to a god, and bound themselves by a solemn oath, not to any wicked deeds, but never to commit any fraud, theft or adultery, never to falsify their word, nor deny a trust when they should be called upon to deliver it up; after which it was their custom to separate, and then reassemble to partake of food but food of an ordinary and innocent kind.”
  • The Talmud
    • “On the eve of the Passover Yeshu was hanged.  For forty days before the execution took place, a herald went forth and cried, “He is going forth to be stoned because he has practiced sorcery and enticed Israel to apostasy.  Any one who can say anything in his favor, let him come forward and plead on his behalf.”  But since nothing was brought forward in his favor he was hanged on the eve of the Passover!”
      • Gal. 3:13, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.”
      • Luke 22:1-2, “Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is called the Passover, was approaching.  2And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how they might put Him to death; for they were afraid of the people.”
      • This quotation was taken from the reading in The Babylonian Talmud, transl. by I. Epstein (London: Soncino, 1935), vol. III, Sanhedrin 43a, p. 281 as cited in Habermas, Gary R., The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ, (Joplin, MO: College Press Publishing Company) 1996.

3) Archeological evidence

There is far more manuscript and archeological evidence than what I could tell you in this short time. In fact to prepare for this I read through dozens of books on the subject and didn’t even really scratch the surface

– 1967 an ancient manuscript was found in Deir Alla, Jordan it as a clay column dated from around 760 BC. It talked about Balaam son of Beor the prophet sent to curse Israel.

– Jericho has been found and the structure had collapsed walls and part of the wall was spared where there was a house up against it. The evidence shows that the destruction took place at the end of the 15th century BC, that it was at harvest time and that many of the items were still there all proving the correct biblical time, that the harvest had been brought in and that the Israelites did not plunder the city all recording in scripture

– Peter’s house in Capernaum has been found. At least they believe it to be his house it is a house with symbols and the name of Jesus clearly written in several place in the walls. They believe it is Peter house because his name is inscribed in several places and there is a 5th century diary verifying this place as the house of Peter.

If you don’t know the Bible what anyone tells you, you will believe and if someone misquotes, vilifies it or in any other way denies it, you can be easily persuaded to believe them.

Many groups like the Hittites, Amorites, even King David were all though to be myths from the Bible until there were archeological discoveries that verified their existence.

The Bible says this about itself and this is why the devil, cults and other religions all want to cause people either to not read it or to think of it as corrupt.

Hebrews 4:12

 12For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Psalm 119: 105

Your Word is a lamp to my feet

      and a light to my path.

Heaven and Hell


1 Hell was not designed for people but was established originally for Satan and his demons Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:10.

2 Hell will also punish the sin of those who reject Christ (Matthew 13:41,42; Revelations 20:11-15; 21:8)

3 Hell is conscious torment.

Matthew 13:50 “furnace of fire…weeping and gnashing of teeth”

Mark 9:48 “Where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched” Note it says where “their” worm – imposing that worms are eating at individuals

Luke 16 parable of Richman and Lazarus verse 24 Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’

Revelation 14:10 “he will be tormented with fire and brimstone”

Nowhere does it say or suggests that you will see or be with other people

4 Hell is eternal and irreversible.

  • Revelation 14:11 “the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever and they have no rest day and night”
  • Revelation 20:14 “This is the second death, the lake of fire”
  • Revelation 20:15  “If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire”

Probably the worst torture is the absence of “feeling” the presence of God the aloneness that every person will feel along with the knowledge and remorse for eternity of rejecting God. There will be no hope, no joy, no love, no grace, no mercy, nothing of the fruit of the Spirit.  The torment continues beyond that with the heat, flames, smell of the sulfur and the worms. 

Heaven and the new earth

1 – It is a physical place – Jesus came from there – John 6:42- and lives there – John 14:2,3 -, God dwells there (Matthew 6:9), angels are there (Hebrews 12:22)

2 – It is a place where our inheritance is waiting. Reserved specifically for each of us.  -1 Peter 1:4

3 – We will be free of the corruption of this earth and will be made righteous and pure. Matthew 6:20; Romans 7:24; Matthew 13:43

4 – We will be with our loved ones who have died in Christ before us. – 1 Thessalonians 4:14 – 18

5 – We will be given rewards – Matthew 6:19 -25; 25:20-21

6 – It is a place where those things that may have been disregarded on earth will be acknowledged and rewarded – Galatians 6:9

7 – It is a beautiful city (or large dwelling of people) with many dwelling places for each of us. -Revelation 22:1,2; John 14:2

8 – Heaven has light, water, trees, and fruit – Revelation 22:1,2

9 – We will be able to walk in and out of the city, the city is only part of heaven.- Revelation 21:24,25; 22:14

10 – There are animals there. – Isaiah 65:25; Revelation 6:2-8; 19:11

 11 – We will eat and drink there. – Matthew 8:11; Luke 22:29,30; Revelation 19:9

I believe based on these scriptures and others that heaven is very much like the uncorrupted earth. God took the design of heaven and created earth and the place we are going is like what we have never seen before and earth like place more beautiful than words could ever describe. It is a place of love, joy, peace in their fullest so much that if revealed to us living we could not stand it. Heaven is a place where we will have the full knowledge of all of our questions; a place of rest and celebration!