Can we really trust the Bible?
Sure, it’s a good story, but is it good history?
I’m sure you have heard many of the same questions that I have :
- Hasn’t the Bible been changed?
- Isn’t it full of contradictions and errors
- Weren’t the gospels written long after events of Christ’s life?
How do we respond and how can we be sure what the Bible says is true?
When someone poses said questions to me, I like to ask if these questions arose from their reading of the Bible or are just assumptions based upon second-hand
knowledge. More often than not, I find that many are misinformed about the Bible
because they have not bothered to read it for themselves. But this shouldn’t be the case with believers.
Doubting the legitimacy of the Bible is nothing new. In his day, Peter responded to skeptics who believed Jesus wasn’t returning as He promised (2 Peter 3:3-4). As a result, they were advocating others to live as they please. Peter writes his second epistle to reassure followers of Jesus that He is coming back just as He promised. To substantiate his claim, he appeals to divine authorship.
2 Peter 1:21 says, “For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” Peter is very clear about the origin of the Scriptures-they are divine. 2 Timothy 3:16 underscores this truth by stating that, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” However, divine authorship does not preclude human instrumentation. Although the origin of Scripture is divine, it didn’t drop from the sky as a finished product.
Now one might think “wouldn’t human involvement undermine the trustworthiness of the Bible? Why would God do that? If you want something pristine and perfect then keep out of the hands of humans,” the reasoning might go. God’s design from the beginning of time was to accomplish His work through humanity. We bear his image with the responsibility to rule the world under his loving authority. Likewise, God chose to speak through men as they were under the influence of the Holy Spirit. They were “carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21) so that what they wrote conveyed the very thoughts of God albeit through their distinct personalities and writing styles.
We can trust the Bible because God not only authored it, but because He oversaw the process of its formation through the Holy Spirit. He ensured its accuracy. Wherever you are in level of trust with the Bible, here are a couple steps you can take in your own relationship to the Scriptures :
1. Check your doubts.
Are they yours or someone else’s? Have you searched the Bible yourself and
examined the data?
2. Hold to it firmly.
Let’s not blow off what God breathed out (2 Timothy 3:16). Hold firmly to the
Scriptures which are able to build us up and prepare us to do God’s work.