Can I Trust the Bible?
By Tim Burns
CBN.com How can I read a book like the Bible and accept the idea that these are God’s words and his will for me? In a world full of spiritual crosscurrents, how can I ever come close to being sure that this collection is veritable truth upon which I can build my life?
A search regarding how many Bibles have been sold would reveal that it is the most published work in all of history. But that only proves its popularity. One could be assured by devout Christians that the Bible is indeed the Word of God, but that would only prove that Christians believe what they have been taught. Further inquiry would uncover that Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus have similar faith in their holy books. No, if we are to ascribe the status of uncompromising, unchanging truth to a mere book, we need more than anecdotal evidence.
Let’s start by considering the Bible as literature. What are the verifiable elements of this book as literature? The Bible is composed of 66 individual books. Each was written as an independent project, by authors spanning over 1200 years. The writers originated from diverse backgrounds. Some were lawyers and doctors while others were kings, sheep herders, tax collectors and social outcasts. Some were educated in the best schools of their time. Others were itinerant blue collar workers: soldiers, fisherman and fig pickers. Books were written by men and women; yet each author sought to communicate his or her perspective on incredibly weighty and complicated matters.
These writers were concerned with controversial topics which have been at the heart of political and social debate since men began building societies. This eclectic group wrote about:
- the nature and origin of the universe
- the nature, identity and personality of an Eternal God
- prediction of future events
- the problem of evil in the world
- described, and agreed upon the only way to defeat evil in the heart of man
- attaining eternal life.
If this is not enough, they all agreed upon the need for man’s personal redemption, and what it takes to enter into eternal life.
Without debating the pros and cons of these beliefs / doctrines in this short article, we must acknowledge this fact. These many authors agreed unanimously on all of these diverse and controversial metaphysical issues. The Bible comments without contradiction on all these topics, which leads to the second half of our proof. While many scholars argue that there are contradictions within the bible, for the purpose of this discussion, we will limit our scope to the 6 categories above. And regarding these topics, the bible has no internal disagreements.
What would happen if we attempted to duplicate this procedure, and create a new bible today? Select 40 men and women from across different cultures, of different ages, levels of education and position. Isolate them from one another and ask them to write a book on a list of topics similar to the one listed above. Ask them to predict future events, and interpret history in light of their doctrinal assertions. What would be the outcome?
Do you think that these men and women would agree on these issues? Could they produce the cohesive and complete ‘Dissertation of the Eternal’ which would be worthy of copying and publishing for over 1900 years?
The evidence that the bible is trustworthy, and is God’s word is the (undeniable) unity of the message it delivers. The consistency and lack of internal conflict is evidence that the Bible was written by One Mind, working through the lives of individual men and women whom were called to this specific work. The logical conclusion is that this work is the Word of God, written by God to and through men and women in order to reveal Himself to us, and to draw us into an intimate relationship with Him.
So, the last question is – what will you do with the evidence?
(Bible references related to this article: Isaiah 40.8, Psalm 119.89, 2 Timothy 3.16, 2 Peter 1.20-21)
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