Fellow Dutch, but post-WWII Canada and later US resident, radio host (Bible Answer Man) and Bible Scholar Hank Hanegraaff uses Bible, history, and archeology in themes, characterized by memorizable acronyms to confirm the divine origin and truth of the Bible. He’s strongly opposed to the narrow minded Bart Ehrman, chair of the Religious Studies Department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (author of popular works like Forged: Writing in the Name of God—Why the Bible’s Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are and Misquoting Jesus. MAPS is used for:
- manuscripts: the strength of the manuscript itself as many actual fragments have been located
- archeological proofs that have been uncovered
- prophecy that has accurately predicted events
- scriptural synergy found in the unity, consistency, and harmony of the sixty-six books
Discovery of the strength of the manuscripts of Bible books is done through COPIES: Copyist practices (precise, consistent), Oral culture (long forgotten in modern times, but the normal way of transferring knowledge in ancient times.), Internal evidence (Scripture to scripture comparison), External evidence (what others say about the historical facts in the Bible) and Science of Textual Criticism (freedom to study the Bible, be critical, seek proper translation and hermeneutics).
Hanegraaff proves Bible’s right through SPADE: Steels and stones, Pools and fools, Assyrian archeology, the importance of the Dead Sea Scrolls and digging into the Epic of Gilgamesh (both similarities and differences). Prophecies are very important. If they fail, then why trust them? If they are fulfilled later, then proof is added to the divine origin of prophecies. Prophecies by Daniel, Ezekiel, Maleachi are tracked by reading Maccabeans, Gospels and Revelation and history books). In the fourth part the author teaches several principles on Bible reading through LIGHTS:
- Literal: start with reading text as is.
- Illumination: without guidance by the Holy Spirit Bible reading cannot be a light to follow.
- Grammatical: take grammar serious, and don’t alter parts of it in your translation. Examples of the Watchtower edition, but regular ‘christian’ Bible translations are given.
- Historical: take history serious. Don’t try to transfer it all to modern times or other contexts.
- Typology: prophecies, christophanies can have a ‘likewise’ fulfillment in the life of Jesus Christ, examples for the Christian Church.
- Synergy: context rules.
These clearly presented proofs provide powerful indicators that confirm the trustworthiness and divine nature of Scripture. Really insightful is Hanegraafs denouncement of modern end-day theories (think of Hal Lindey, Jerry B. Jenkins & Tim LaHaye, Harold Camping) on rebuilding the temple, Russia’s role in the Great Tribulation, Greater Israel, exact timing of Christ’s return, etc.). But also misquotes (even by Barack Obama) on slavery, swines, Sabbath celebration versus Sunday worship, same-sex sexuality) are tested on biblical contexts and proofs. For those seeking a Bible reading plan to apply all principles and (re)discover God’s word, Hanegraaff has one attached. Yes, God has spoken. Don’t get fooled.
- Book Review : Has God Spoken? Proof of the Bible’s Divine Inspiration (stevenruff.wordpress.com)
- Questions from Bible Study (Series): What Bible should I use? (ptl2010.wordpress.com)
- Treasuring the Word (newbranchchurch.wordpress.com)
- De evolutie van de Bijbel: wie veranderde de tekst van de Bijbel en waarom? (HenkJanvanderKlis.nl)