Why Trust the Bible?
Christianity is an experiential religion because a convert must be born again (John 3:3-8). This conversion involves genuine faith and repentance in Christ which creates a new love for Jesus in the heart of the believer (Romans 5:5). Someone can’t simply claim to be a Christian, you have to experience Christ. You are saved not only when “you confess with your mouth” but also when you “believe with your heart” (Romans 10:9-10). Yet, that experience of new life does not happen in a vacuum. “Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17). We must hear the word of Christ to be saved! Where do we find the word of Christ? How can we continue to hear the word of Christ? This answer is simple for every Christian because we have rightly been called “People of the Book.”
At the center of our faith is the Holy Scriptures, the sixty-six books of the Bible that we call the revealed Word of God. It is through the Bible that we experience Christ and continue to grow in Christ. Because our Christian experience is dependent on a book, we must have confidence in the truthfulness of this book, or the foundation of our faith falls apart. Why trust the Bible? That’s the title of a midweek class we are starting this week! In this blog, I want to offer three reasons why we are teaching this course and why you should come and join in.
1.The Bible is True
Christians trust the bible because it’s God’s word (2 Timothy 3:16). Because it’s God’s word, that’s why the Bible is true. How do we know the Bible is true? The Bible is true because it’s God’s word (John 17:17). Now, this sounds very circular, and at one level, it is. All arguments about ultimate sources of authority will be circular at some level. But this is the best and simplest answer to the question: We can trust the Bible because it’s God’s word.
This point is important because Christians don’t need to prove that the Bible is true. The famous Baptist preacher Charles Spurgeon famously said that defending the Bible is like defending a lion…just let him out of the cage! Just unleash the Bible and have people read it. 2 Corinthians 4:4 says that Satan “has blinded the eyes of unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ.” The only way someone believes the gospel and believes that the Bible is true is not because we have such convincing arguments but by the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit. So, Christians can have confidence in the truthfulness of the Scriptures and let the Holy Spirit accompany the word of God with conviction and power (1 Thessalonians 1:5) to raise the dead to life.
But if this were all there was to say, we wouldn’t need to offer a six-week class on Why Trust the Bible. We have reasons for our faith and reasons to believe the Bible is true. While evidence should not be used to prove the Bible is true, they do confirm that the Bible is God’s word and, therefore, trustworthy. This evidence can strengthen the faith of Christians and also help remove barriers for unbelievers so that they can hear the truth and the Holy Spirit can work. As Christians, the Holy Spirit testifies to us that the Bible is true, yet we can also learn and use evidence for our own sanctification and also in our evangelism.
2. The Bible is Tested
A second reason you should study why Christians trust the Bible is because the Bible is tested. Challenges to the truthfulness of the Bible are nothing new for Christians, but we need to recognize that these challenges are extensive. In our day, the claim is that the whole Bible is simply wrong and even immoral.
Consider how you would respond to Christopher Hitchens when he claims, “The Bible may, indeed does, contain a warrant for trafficking in humans, for ethnic cleansing, for slavery, for bride-price, and for indiscriminate massacre, but we are not bound by any of it because it was put together by crude, uncultured human mammals.”
These challenges to the Bible are also intensive. Ask yourself how you would respond to this statement from Richard Dawkins when he claims that the Bible is “a chaotically cobbled-together anthology of disjointed documents, composed, revised, translated, distorted and ‘improved’ by hundreds of anonymous authors, editors, and copyists, unknown to us and mostly unknown to each other, spanning nine centuries.”
In many ways, challenges to the Bible nowadays are more technical. Or at least technical challenges have become more mainstream and popularized. Most Christians aren’t equipped to answer technical issues about the canon, manuscript errors, translational differences, etc. Christians can’t just leave it to the scholars to deal with these issues. We need to understand how our Bible came to be so that we can respond to these challenges, which leads to the last reason to come to a course on why trust the Bible.
3. The Bible is Taught
Most of us take for granted the Bible we hold in our hands. A simple childlike trust in the truthfulness of God’s word is a wonderful thing. But the Bible must also be taught. Most of our churches do a good job teaching the content of the Bible, but what do we believe about the Bible itself? Where did it come from? Who wrote it? Does it have errors? Why does it mirror other ancient myths? Why do we have these sixty-six books; are any others missing? Has the Bible changed over time? Why are there so many versions of the Bible?
These questions go directly to the heart of what the Bible is, the history of our sacred text, and how it has come to us today. Yet most Christians wouldn’t know where to begin if asked these questions. So, in our Why Trust the Bible midweek class, we will be responding to a different challenge brought against its trustworthiness. In answering that challenge, we will look at a different doctrinal truth of Scripture each week. Here’s the outline of our midweek class:
Why Trust the Bible When…
Week 1: The Bible is a Human Book? Inspiration of Scripture
Week 2: The Bible is Full of Errors? Inerrancy of Scripture
Week 3: The Bible is Full of Myths? Historicity of Scripture
Week 4: The Bible is Missing Some Books? Canonicity of Scripture
Week 5: The Bible has Changed Over Time? Transmission of Scripture
Week 6: The Bible has So Many Different Versions? Translation of Scripture
I hope you will join us in our study of Why Trust the Bible so that you can have greater confidence in your faith and be all the more ready to share its truthfulness with others.
 Hitchens, God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, 102
 Dawkins, The God Delusion, 268
This blog was written by Richard Lucas and Andrew Morrell.
Subscribe Via Email
Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.