PODCAST: The Bible: Myth or History?, Part 2 (Reasons to Believe #170 with Daniel Whyte III)

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Welcome to The Reasons to Believe podcast, episode #170. My name is Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International.

Our Reasons to Believe Scripture Passage for today is Hebrews 4:12. It reads, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

Our Reasons to Believe quote for today is from John Newton. He said,
“Precious Bible! What a treasure
Does the Word of God afford!
All I want for life or pleasure,
Food and Medicine, shield and sword;
Let the world account me poor—
Christ and this, I need no more.”

Our Reason to Believe powerpoint today is titled “The Bible: Myth or History?, Part 2” from “The Handbook of Christian Apologetics” by Peter Kreeft and Ronald K. Tacelli.

The authors continue with the first part of this chapter subtitled, “Connections among the Bible, miracles and the resurrection.”

4. Another technical meaning, unusual outside professional circles, is that of a projection of human consciousness out onto reality. In this sense, Kant’s theory of knowledge (“the Copernican revolution in philosophy,” as he called it) is the claim that all human knowledge is myth. In a narrower sense, dreams are myths if while we are dreaming we take them for objective realities.

5. A much broader, but still technical and professional, use of myth is “any story meant to articulate a worldview.” This sense would include both literally true and fictional stories, but it is usually used with the connotation of fiction.

6. A last sense, also quite broad and quite technical, used in literary more than biblical circles, is that of a Platonic archetype in story form, a universal truth about human life expressed in a story. The story is usually fiction, but not necessarily. Christ’s resurrection, even if factual, would also be a myth in this sense, as the pattern for our resurrection.

When it comes to biblical studies, the major controversy is between the demythologizers and orthodox Christianity. Demythologizers claim that all or most of the miracle stories in the Bible are myths in all six of the above senses. Orthodox Christians often agree that the Bible contains myth in senses 1 (sacred story), 3 (parables), 5 (worldview) and 6 (archetype), but not senses 2 (unreal) or 4 (projection).The bottom line is miracles, especially the resurrection: did they really happen or not? This simple question is not the only legitimate question, and consideration of differently nuanced senses of myth is quite proper, but not if it obscures the primary, simple question.

It is important at the outset to clarify the logical order and relationship among the three issues of demythologizing, miracles and the resurrection, because this relationship is often put backwards by those who argue against a literal resurrection and against miracles on the grounds that the Bible is myth, not history. The logic goes the other way: if the resurrection really did happen, then the assumption that “miracles don’t happen” is refuted; in that case, the miracle stories in the Bible can be history, not myth.

Let us put the logical point in a different way. To argue that the resurrection didn’t really happen because the Bible is myth begs the question. For when unbelievers are asked why they think the Bible is myth rather than history, they say it is because it is full of unbelievable miracle stories like the resurrection. This is arguing in a circle. It is arguing that the resurrection is myth because the Bible is myth, and the Bible is myth because it contains obviously mythical miracle stories like the resurrection.

Lord willing, we will continue looking at this topic in our next episode.

—PRAYER—

Now, if you are listening today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, allow me to show you how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Until next time, my friend, please keep in mind these reasons to believe. God bless!

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WHAT DO YOU THINK?

- We have all sinned and deserve God's judgment. God, the Father, sent His only Son to satisfy that judgment for those who believe in Him. Jesus, the creator and eternal Son of God, who lived a sinless life, loves us so much that He died for our sins, taking the punishment that we deserve, was buried, and rose from the dead according to the Bible. If you truly believe and trust this in your heart, receiving Jesus alone as your Savior, declaring, "Jesus is Lord," you will be saved from judgment and spend eternity with God in heaven.

What is your response?


If you are not a Christian, and would like to become a Christian. Simply say - "LORD Jesus, thank you for forgiving me of my SINs, today I am deciding to follow you. Accept me into your family, in Jesus name I pray. Amen "

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