1. Read Luke 1:1-4. Luke is the only one of the four Gospel writers who stated his method at the beginning of his book. Why do you think this was important?
(Intent: Since Luke was not an Apostle (see Lk. 6:13-16), he interviewed eyewitnesses and conducted meticulous research to give him a precise understanding of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ.)
2. a) What is a disciple? b) If our aim in life is to follow Jesus and His teachings, how do we know the Biblical account is accurate and true?
(Intent: A disciple is a follower or student of a teacher, leader, or philosopher. Discuss people’s initial thoughts on the accuracy of the Bible; the following questions will examine this and lead to some specific answers. See Mathew 26:56, Romans 3:2, Romans 15:4, Hebrews 4:12, and 2 Peter 1:19-21.)
3. a) What is the value of having four accounts (i.e., Gospels) of Christ's life on earth? b) How can all four accounts be true?
(Intent: Discuss how different people observe somewhat different aspects of an event and emphasize different parts of the event. Yet all are true. Multiple consistent accounts add credibility to the story. Perceived inconsistencies are resolved by careful study of Scripture and other sources.)
4. Regarding the authenticity of Christianity, what is the significance of it being based on a historical story rather than being just a philosophical viewpoint?
(Intent: Historical accounts are subject to verification, which has implications not only on the accuracy of actions and words but on the believability of what was said. For example, if it's verified that the account of the resurrection is reliable, then Christ's words about raising every believer from the dead become very believable.)
5. a) What types of evidence validate a historical event? How is testimony validated in a court of law? b) What is the evidence for the accuracy of the Gospel accounts as well as the Bible as a whole?
(Intent: First, archaeology continues to substantiate the Bible. Nelson Glueck, a renowned Jewish archaeologist, wrote that "It may be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever contradicted a Biblical reference" and asserted "the almost incredibly accurate historical memory of the Bible." Second, about 5366 manuscripts of the New Testament exist, compared to 7 manuscripts of other writings like Plato of the same era. The NT manuscripts are virtually consistent with each other and nearly identical to today's Bible. Also, they were written much closer to the original as opposed to other writings of the same period.)
6. First Peter 3:15 states that we should “be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” Prepare a concise Gospel explanation for those who may ask or be interested in your beliefs. The statement should contain supporting evidence and may include your story of how you gave your life to Christ. Share this explanation with your group next week.