12 Quotes From “God-Breathed”

God-BreathedJosh McDowell has given us another outstanding Christian apologetic. In God-Breathed, Josh shares with us some astounding facts that show the amazing reliability of the Bible. You can read my book review of God-Breathed by clicking here. Below are some of the quotes I especially appreciated.

“The doctrines and commands of Scripture act as two guardrails to guide us down the right path of life. The teachings of Scripture (doctrine) keep us thinking and believing rightly. The instructions of Scripture (commands) keep us acting and living rightly. But without the proper context, we can miss the true purpose of Scripture, which is to guide us into keeping right thinking and right living in balance. … Scripture was given to lead us into a deeper love relationship with the One Who wrote the Book, and then also with everyone around us.” 

“The infinite God is personal. And because He is personal, we can love Him, worship Him, and please Him with our trust and obedience. Because He is personal, He can love us, rejoice with us, comfort us, and reveal Himself and His ways to us.”

“What is it that really parents our children? Is it the directives, instructions, and commands we give them? Those are behavioral guidelines, but they are not what raises our kids. It is not ‘parenting,’ as a concept, that brings up children; it is the parents themselves—relational human beings—who do the work and perform that role. That is the way God designed it. He wants kids to be brought up in loving relationships. Without relationship with another person, all attempts to instill right beliefs and right behavior will be ineffective, because they are detached from the necessary elements of personal love and care. … The Holy Spirit administers Scripture to us like a loving parent, in order to provide us with wisdom through its lessons (Proverbs 3:5), security through its boundaries (Exodus 20), caution through its warnings (Ephesians 4:17-22), and reproof through its discipline (Philippians 2:3-4).” 

“By AD 100, the apostles had died, but the Christian Church was still in its infancy, with fewer than twenty-five thousand proclaimed followers of Christ. But within the next two hundred years, the fledgling church experienced explosive multiplication of growth, to include as many as twenty million people. This means the church of Jesus Christ quadrupled every generation for five consecutive generations!”

“In AD 367, Athanasius of Alexandria compiled the first official list of books that we know today as the New Testament. There were twenty-seven books listed in all. These books were then canonized officially by the church at the councils of Hippo (AD 393) and Carthage (AD 397). Again, these councils didn’t authorize which writings were God-breathed works; rather, they recognized that these writings were authorized by God Himself.” 

“The Old Testament, comprised of thirty-nine books, was officially recognized as God-breathed Scripture as early as the fourth century BC and certainly no later than 150 BC.”

“The Bible is now the most translated book of all-time. The United Bible Society reports that, as of 2014, the Bible or portions of the Bible has been translated into 2,650 languages. Their Digital Bible Library now hosts more than 800 translations in 636 languages spoken by 4.3 billion people.” 

“Compared with other ancient writings, the Bible has more manuscript evidence to support it then the top ten pieces of classical literature combined.”

“No other work in all literature has been so carefully and accurately copied as the Old Testament.”

“Once archaeologists completed their search of the Qumran caves—eleven caves in all—almost 1,050 scrolls have been found in about 25,000 to 50,000 pieces (a number that varies depending on how the fragments are counted). Of these manuscripts, about 300 were texts from the Bible, and many of the rest had ‘direct relevance to early Judaism and emerging Christianity.’ Every book of the Old Testament was represented, except for the book of Esther, and the earliest copies dated from about 250 BC. … Once the Dead Sea Scrolls were translated and compared with modern versions of the Hebrew Bible, the text proved to be identical, word for word, in more than 95% of the cases. (The 5 percent deviation consists mainly of spelling variations. For example, of the 166 words and Isaiah 53, only seventeen letters are in question. Of those, ten are a matter of spelling, and four are stylistic differences; the remaining three letters comprise the word light, which was added to Isaiah 53:11.)”

“The writings of the most authoritative writers of the early church—the leaders scholars referred to collectively as the Apostolic Fathers—give overwhelming support to the existence of the twenty-seven authoritative books of the New Testament. Some Apostolic Fathers produced extensive, highly accurate quotes from the text of the New Testament. … Early church writers provide quotations so numerous and widespread that if no manuscripts of the New Testament were extant, ‘the New Testament could be reproduced from the writings of the early Fathers alone.’” —Norman Geisler and William Nix 

“The earliest preachers of the gospel knew the value of…first-hand testimony, and appealed to it time and again. ‘We are witnesses of these things,’ was there constant and confident assertion. And it can have been by no means so easy as some writers seem to think to invent words and deeds of Jesus in those early years, when so many of His disciples were about, who could remember what had and had not happened. … One of the strong points in the original apostolic preaching is the confident appeal to the knowledge of the hearers; they not only said, ‘We are witnesses of these things,’ but also, ‘As you yourselves also know’ (Acts 2:22). Had there been any tendency to depart from the facts in any material respect, the possible presence of hostile witnesses in the audience would have served as a further corrective.” —F.F. Bruce

17 Quotes From “Jesus”

Jesus A TheographyJesus: A Theography is one of those rare books that I gave a “must read” designation (you can read my full review by clicking here). It’s impossible to share with you all of the incredible thoughts that are in this book, but here are 17 of my favorite quotes from Jesus.

Unless otherwise designated, all the quotes are from Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola.

“In Jesus the promise is confirmed, the covenant is renewed, the prophesies are fulfilled, the law is vindicated, salvation is brought near, sacred history has reached its climax, the perfect sacrifice has been offered and accepted, the high priest over the household of God has taken His seat at God’s right hand, the Prophet like Moses has been raised up, the Son of David reigns, the kingdom of God has been inaugurated, the Son of Man has received dominion from the Ancient of Days, the Servant of the Lord has been smitten to death for His people’s transgressions and borne the sins of many, has accomplished the divine purpose, has seen the light after the travail of His soul, and is now exalted and made very high.” —F.F. Bruce

“Jesus is the Logos. He is the Word, or the self-utterance, of God. So when God speaks, it is Christ who is being spoken about. When God breathes, it is Christ who is being imparted. The Spirit of God’s breath (the words ‘Spirit’ and ‘breath’ are the same in both Hebrew and Greek). The Second Testament tells us clearly that the Holy Spirit’s job is to reveal, magnify, and glorify Christ, Thus, because the Bible is inspired, it all speaks of Jesus. Again, Jesus Christ is the subject of all Scripture.” [The authors refer to the two sections of the Bible as the First and Second Testaments, in place of the usual designations of Old and New Testaments]

“Every word of the God-breathed character of Scripture is meaningless if Holy Scripture is not understood as the witness concerning Christ.” —G.C. Berkouwer 

“Your salvation was established, completed, and sealed before creation itself. Your Lord wrapped it up, won it, and came out victorious before anything ever went wrong.”

“What did He finish? He finished the old creation and the Fall. He finished sin. He finished a fallen world system. He finished the enmity of the Law. He finished satan. He finished the flesh. He put you to death and finished you completely. The person you were in Adam was terminated, swallowed up in death. And then He finished His greatest enemy, the child of sin itself, death. If that isn’t enough, He did something else beyond the rest: He raised you up in resurrection and glorified you.

“In Genesis 2:15, God commanded Adam to cultivate and keep the garden. The Hebrew word for cultivate is abad, and the Hebrew word for keep is shamar. These same Hebrew words are used to describe how the priests cared for the tabernacle of Moses. (The tabernacle was a precursor to the temple of Solomon.) The priests were to cultivate (abad) and keep (shamar) the tabernacle. In addition, we are told that God walked in the garden (Hebrew, hawlak) during the cool of the day. God also walked (hawlak) in the midst of the temple. The meaning is clear. The garden was a temple for God. Like the temple, the garden was the joining together of God’s space and man’s space—the intersection of the heavenly realm and the earthly realm. For this reason, Isaiah called it ‘the garden of the Lord,’ and Ezekiel called it ‘the garden of God.’ …Jesus Christ is the reality of the temple. (In the Greek, John 1:14 says Jesus ‘tabernacled among us.’) He is also the reality of the garden. He is the real Tree of Life and a flowing river. In Christ, God’s space and man’s space are joined together.”

“There are 184 verses in the birth narratives of the Second Testament. These 184 verses presuppose or repeat the words of 170 verses from eighteen verses of the First Testament.” 

“Jesus is the three shepherds: the good shepherd, the great shepherd, and the Chief Shepherd. Jesus presented Himself as both sheep and shepherd, the good shepherd who lays down His life for the sheep. …Jesus died on the cross at the ninth hour (about three o’clock in the afternoon) when the Passover lamb would be sacrificed in the temple. Christ, the Paschal Lamb, was slain to atone for the sins of humanity and to open the gate of the true temple that promises God’s salvation for all people.”

“In the Second Testament, as the sacrificial sign of the new covenant, Jesus Himself becomes the sin offering of humanity. In fact, Jesus’ very words on the cross, ‘It is finished!’ (‘Kalah’), are the words used by a priest at the conclusion of the sacrificial offering in the temple. In the ancient days, when the Jewish priest had killed the last lamb of the Passover, he uttered the Hebrew word Kalah, ‘It is finished.’” 

“At His birth, Jesus received the myrrh. At His death, He rejected it. Jesus’ earthly ministry centered on alleviating human suffering. He was the personification of myrrh. In His crucifixion, however, He was bearing the full brunt of human pain, suffering, and agony on the cross. He bore our shame and sorrows. So He rejected the myrrh and the wine that came with it. Jesus took the full dose of suffering for sin on the cross so we wouldn’t have to. And He rejected the myrrh so we would be able to receive it.”

“When in a garden relationship with God, humanity had no need of the Torah, for we had the Tree of Life. The Torah was the Tree of Life reborn, and Jesus was the Torah reborn.”

“We need the whole Jesus. The complete Jesus. Everything He said. Every detail of what He did.” —Eugene Peterson

“The temptation of Jesus was a playback of two episodes in the First Testament. First, it’s a replay of the first temptation in the garden of Eden. John tells us that the three enemies of the Christian are ‘the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.’ Each of these temptations was in play in the temptation of Adam and Eve in the garden:

  • The fruit was ‘good for food’ = the lust of the flesh. 
  • The fruit was ‘pleasant to the eyes’ = the lust of the eyes. 
  • The fruit was ‘desirable to make one wise’ = the pride of life. 

“…The temptations that satan leveled at Jesus in the wilderness struck the same three chords. Here is the ordered presented in Luke 4 (paraphrased):

  • ‘Turn these stones to bread’ = the lust of the flesh. 
  • ‘I will give you the kingdom of the world and their glory’ = the lust of the eyes. 
  • ‘Cast yourself down from here and angels will protect you’ = the pride of life.” 

“The Second Covenant knows the First Covenant: the Second Testament quotes from the First Testament more than 320 times, and that does not include times when biblical writers, searching for the scriptural reference, were reduced to admitting that ‘somewhere’ it reads thus and so.”

“Theology is nothing more than the Holy Spirit making His way through our brains, as the Scriptures make their way through our hearts.” 

“In biblical prophesy, the coming of Jesus is viewed as one event separated by parentheses that stretch from the ascension to His royal appearing at the end of the age. We are now living in the parentheses, wherein we look back to His first coming and anticipate His second coming. Put another way, the kingdom has come and will come. Jesus’ first coming inaugurated the kingdom of God; His second coming will consummate it. So the coming of the Messiah is one event separated by two moments: Bethlehem and the end of the age.”

“As followers of Jesus, we have a task before us. That task is to work for the kingdom. To continue the ministry of Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit… to bear witness to the sovereign lordship of Christ… to embody the message that Jesus is both Lord and Savior, not just of our personal lives but of the entire world. And to find creative ways to manifest that kingdom where we live and travel.” 

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