Is the Bible true?
An Introduction to The Question
By Stephanie Ismer
Is the Bible True: The Series:
An Introduction to The Question
The Sheep Hear the Shepherd
Words of Eternal Life
First, it is important for both Christians and non-Christians to recognize that our entire religion is based on the presupposition that everything in the Bible can be trusted because it was inspired by a perfect, truth-telling God. Furthermore, we should realize this presupposition is assumed (based on what has been told us by pastors and parents and culture) rather than truly understood. This does not mean that the presupposition is necessarily wrong, only that most Christians do not know why they're so sure it's right.
Is our presupposition of the Bible's truth correct or not? The answer to this is very important, because if we are not sure that the Bible is actually the Word of God, none of the answers we find there will carry any more weight than the opinions and writings found in any other book.
The Bible does claim to be divine writ. Paul the Apostle said, "All Scripture is God-breathed" (2 Timothy 3:15-17). Because of his training and upbringing in Judaism, we can assume that when Paul says "All Scripture" he means (at the very least) the Law, the Prophets, and the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible). However, interestingly, Peter also refers to Paul's letters as "Scripture" (2 Peter 3:16).
That then begs the question: can we trust that Peter's writings were divinely inspired? If not, how can we trust that Paul's letters are Scripture, since it was Peter who made that claim? And if we can't be sure that Paul's letters are Scripture, how can we trust his statement that "all Scripture is God-breathed"? And what about the Gospels? Or Psalms and Proverbs? Do these fall under the umbrella of "divinely inspired"? How do we know?
There are valid arguments for the legitimacy of the Bible as a historical book, and also for the Messianic prophecies in Isaiah which point to Jesus Christ for fulfillment. There is also an amazing consistency throughout the Bible, considering it was written by over 40 authors over a period of 1500 years. These are all good things to consider, and there is a longer article on those evidences here.
What I want to focus on, however, is a simpler and often overlooked evidence for the verity of the Bible: the human factor. What I mean is that the faith of Christians proves the truth of Scripture. Notice I did not say "the goodness / morality of Christians." One does not need to look far (or even beyond oneself) to find discrepancies between Christian ideals and Christian behavior. But faith is a different story — a story that has been told, over and over again, ever since Christ died on the cross. People believe that the Bible is true, and that belief becomes a remarkable source of strength.
The first Christians, Jesus' disciples, were the first to show this strength when they were all martyred for what they believed.
Next Week: "The Sheep Hear the Shepherd"
Image Credit: Celiosilveira; untitled; Creative Commons
Tags: Biblical-Truth | Christian-Life
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