I ended up a couple of weeks later driving drunk while on probation, by the way, for two DWI’s. Two-thirty in the morning I’m going down the central expressway and I got stopped by the police and I lied my way out of it. What I had done was when I lost my license with the first DWI’s, I came back over here to Tennessee because I had a driving record and I lied to them and told them I’d been in London for five years. I talked them into giving me a Tennessee license without doing anything. I had to have that to go travel. I had bought my wife a car in Tennessee so I was driving Tennessee tags with a Tennessee license. I lied and told the police that I had just moved here from Tennessee and to give me a break. They didn’t check the computer to realize that I was driving on two DWI’s. One drove me home and one drove the car home. Unheard of, that’s Texas hospitality for a new guy.
The next morning I woke up after going to bed about two-thirty or three o’clock in the morning. I woke up and I was terrified because I knew that I had not planned on getting drunk. I simply knew a guy that bought a restaurant and he had been telling me for months to come see it. I had things I had wanted to do. I worked late and I was going to pay a social obligation and I didn’t plan on getting drunk. Anyway, it just thundered down on me. I was lying in bed at nine o’clock in the morning and I should have been at work but I called in and lied and told them I was sick. This realization came crashing down on me that I was an alcoholic like my father before me and that I had lost control of my life. Remember now, I’d been drinking now since I was fourteen. Twenty-one years. It was my social life. If we went to play a football game, I was drinking. If we went fishing, I was drinking. Taking a trip, I was drinking. It was all part of the deal. It was my social life. It was the biggest thing in my life apart from my work. When that dawned on me I blurted out loud, “God help me! I can’t handle it.” And the compulsion was gone. I know it does not happen that way for everybody and I can’t explain it. All I can say to you is that God took the compulsion for drinking from me.
About the whole time that happened, I do want you to know that I did go to AA for a few weeks. I read some of the materials and I was really forced to focus on a Supreme Being, who is greater than ourselves which is how they teach things. Some Christians told me that it seemed like the only people in the program that ever made it long term were Christians. You have to understand that living the way I was, you can understand I never went to church. Religion meant nothing to me.
Along about the same time a friend of mine started to tell me what the Bible had to say about life and living it. I quickly cut him off and said, “If you can show how I can buy the Bible with my brain like I buy anything else intelligently, I’ll pay attention to what you have to say. Otherwise, as far as I’m concerned it’s just another old book that’s full of a bunch of philosophies that a bunch of old dudes wrote a long time ago and I don’t need it.” I really thought I was throwing a big obstacle at him and he met me head on. He got me documented books and I began to research the validity of the data supporting the Bible.
There were three major areas. The Bible said it was God’s truth. The word of God given to man exactly as He’d intended it. I started looking at the apologetics or the defense of the Bible. Something that a person could intellectually with their mind trust. They broke it down for me in three areas. The archeological discoveries were number one. Number two was from the history and weight of manuscript authenticity and number three, which was for me most important, was the proven fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy in the New Testament hundreds of years later.
Here’s a brief explanation of archaeology, as I know it, the way I studied through the thing. Archaeology is actually less than one-hundred years old; it’s a science. The bible has been proven correct historically so often that it’s now accepted as a tool for archaeologists, not Christians, to go find things. This is outside of Christianity; it’s a tool in the trade. In their search, modern findings of archaeology have only enhanced the Bible’s reputation as being historically factually. Now, that was very impressive to me.
The second thing was on manuscript authenticity. Now, this is a little difficult to express so hang with me on it. In manuscript authenticity, the big question is how reliable are the documents. The biblical manuscripts, that’s what we’re talking about. Everything taught in ancient history is written in manuscripts. The most validity is given to events recorded with (1) the most manuscripts, (2) the least number of years between the event and the earliest manuscripts, and (3) the number of years between the event and the progressing copies of the manuscript. All of this coupled with the text variation, or if you will, impurities in the text, is how they test manuscripts. They’ll look at the dates and the progression of them and then impurities in the text and they can say there is a dilution factor. Through all of this, the New Testament has ten times less dilution than the most secular thing in history. An example is “Caesar’s Gaelic Wars”, written on by Caesar, there’s only ten copies and it’s taught in all the major universities of the world. The same goes for the Iliad. There’s six-hundred and forty three manuscripts of the Iliad, it’s taught in all major universities is truth, and it’s second in manuscripts to the New Testament which has twenty thousand manuscripts.
All of this was overwhelming to me. I couldn’t believe that there would be data like this that would support something, especially the Bible. Last and even more convincing to me was the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. This is the one that really got me to pay attention. The first translation of the Old Testament from Hebrew to Aramaic and Greek was completed two hundred and fifty years before Christ. It was called the Septuagint. It is acknowledged, even by non-Christians, as valid and confirmed at the date of two hundred and fifty years before Christ. Therefore, the Old Testament prophecies and books like Psalms, Isaiah, Micah, Zechariah that prophesize many things, that these had to be at least two hundred and fifty years before Christ was born. People say that they go up to a thousand years but, if you don’t buy that, you have got to buy the two hundred and fifty years because everybody does. They prophesy that the Christ, the Messiah, will be born of a virgin in a specific city in Bethlehem, will ride into Jerusalem on a donkey, and will be scourged and pierced and sacrificed for the sins of man as our Saviour—all of this at least two hundred and fifty years before Christ as born. Well, to me this prophecy was tremendous and it bore this tremendous weight of truth. The supporting evidence was so strong I began to read the Bible.