Tagged: truth

Introduction: How do I know the Bible is true?

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Christians generally believe in the reliability and authority of Scripture. But some have doubts, and others raise serious objections to the Bible’s claim to be the Word of God. This study will raise and answer eight of the more common objections, including: No one really knows what the Bible says because the original manuscripts are lost, and the Bible is full of contradictions.

As a preview, here are the eight objections we will address:

  1. No one really knows what the Bible says because the original manuscripts are lost.
  2. The Bible has been copied so many times, with so many variations, there’s no way to know what was originally scripted.
  3. The books of the Bible were chosen arbitrarily by councils of men in highly political processes. As a result, they left out some very good books – perhaps some equally inspired writings.
  4. It’s silly to assume that one book – the Bible – contains all of God’s truth and that other great writings, from the Vedas to the Book of Mormon, do not come from God.
  5. The Bible is full of contradictions.
  6. The Bible can’t be true because it depicts a different God in the Old and New Testaments.
  7. There are so many translations of the Bible today, it’s impossible to know which translation is the right one.
  8. There are so many Christian denominations today, it’s clear that Christians can’t agree on what the Bible teaches.

Watch for a new post each week.

 Copyright 2009 by Rob Phillips

Sound reasons to trust the Scriptures (part 9)

  

This is the final installment of a nine-part series of articles offering sound reasons to believe the Bible is the Word of God.

In Systematic Theology (Vol. I), Dr. Norman Geisler presents many lines of evidence supporting claims for the Bible as the Word of God. In unique fashion, he labels each line of evidence with a word beginning with the letter “S,” making his arguments relatively easy to follow and remember. This article borrows his headings and then incorporates some of Geisler’s research with numerous other sources, which are cited.

Reason 9: The testimony of the saved

  • The Bible’s life-changing power is widely known through the testimony of those who have come to know Christ. The apostle Paul, once known as a Christ-hating persecutor, declared, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek” (Rom. 1:16).
  • The writer of Hebrews declares: “For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating as far as to divide soul, spirit, joints, and marrow; it is a judge of the ideas and thoughts of the heart” (Heb. 4:12).
  • Peter added, “… you have been born again – not of perishable seed but of imperishable – through the living and enduring word of God” (1 Peter 1:23).
  • The celebrated British archaeologist Sir William Ramsay, who began his studies as a skeptic, became a Christian after exploring the sites of Paul’s journeys firsthand and comparing them with the testimony of Acts (“The Historical Reliability of the New Testament,” Craig L. Blomberg, Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics,  p. 220).
  • Testimonies throughout the centuries and in this day speak emphatically and gloriously of the power of God’s Word to bring about a conviction of sin and forgiveness of that sin by faith in Jesus Christ.

Summary

Geisler concludes, “The Bible is the only known book in the world that both claims to be and proves to be the Word of God…. The testimony of science that demonstrates it, of the scrolls that transmit it, the scribes who wrote it, the supernatural that confirms it, the structure that manifests it, the stones that support it, the Savior who verified it, the Spirit that witnesses to it, and the saved who have been transformed by it. These combined testimonies confirm that the Bible is what it claims to be – the divinely inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God” (Systematic Theology, Vol. I, p. 561).

Sound reasons to trust the Scriptures (part 8)

This is the eighth in a nine-part series of articles offering sound reasons to believe the Bible is the Word of God.

In Systematic Theology (Vol. I), Dr. Norman Geisler presents many lines of evidence supporting claims for the Bible as the Word of God. In unique fashion, he labels each line of evidence with a word beginning with the letter “S,” making his arguments relatively easy to follow and remember. This article borrows his headings and then incorporates some of Geisler’s research with numerous other sources, which are cited.

Reason 8: The testimony of the Spirit

  • The same Holy Spirit who authored all Scripture (2 Tim. 3:16-17) lives in the hearts of all believers and “testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children” (Rom. 8:16). This means the indwelling Holy Spirit confirms the truth of God’s Word to us.
  • Jesus taught that the Holy Spirit would convince unbelievers of their sin of unbelief, of the righteousness of Christ, and of the judgment they will share with Satan if they persist in their unbelief – all clear teachings of Scripture (John 16:7-11).

Next — Reason 9: The tesimony of the saved.

Sound reasons to trust the Scriptures (part 7)

This is the seventh in a nine-part series of articles offering sound reasons to believe the Bible is the Word of God.

In Systematic Theology (Vol. I), Dr. Norman Geisler presents many lines of evidence supporting claims for the Bible as the Word of God. In unique fashion, he labels each line of evidence with a word beginning with the letter “S,” making his arguments relatively easy to follow and remember. This article borrows his headings and then incorporates some of Geisler’s research with numerous other sources, which are cited.

Reason 7: The testimony of the Savior

  • Jesus claimed to be the Messiah / Christ, the divine Son of God and the divine Son of Man (Matt. 16:16-18; 26:63-64; John 8:58). He was confirmed by acts of God (John 3:2; Acts 2:22), and declared that He had been given all authority in heaven and earth to rule and to judge (Matt. 28:18; John 5:22). Therefore, His views on the Bible are extremely important. What did He have to say?
  • Geisler writes, “Jesus declared that the Old Testament was divinely authoritative (Matt. 4:4, 7, 10); imperishable (Matt. 5:17-18); infallible (John 10:35); inerrant (Matt. 22:29; John 17:17); historically reliable (Matt. 12:40; 24:37-38); scientifically accurate (Matt. 19:4-5; John 3:12); and ultimately supreme (Matt. 15:3, 6)” (Systematic Theology, Vol. 1, p. 559).
  • Jesus also personally affirmed many things that Bible critics deny, for example: 1) God created a literal Adam and Eve (Matt. 19:4); Jonah was actually swallowed by a great fish (Matt. 12:40); the whole world was destroyed by a flood in Noah’s day (Matt. 24:39); and there was one prophet Isaiah (not two or three) who wrote all of Isaiah (Mark 7:6-7; Luke 4:17-20).
  • Jesus called the Old Testament “the word of God” (Matt. 15:6; Mark 7:13; John 10:35). He introduced Biblical quotes with “It is written,” the standard Jewish introduction to Scripture. In Matt. 22:43, he referred to David’s words in Psalm 110:1 as spoken by the Holy Spirit. He also promised that the Spirit would bring more truth, referring to the New Testament (John 14:25-26; 16:13).
  • Jesus promised that the New Testament would be God’s Word. He told the apostles that the Holy Spirit would teach them “all things” and lead them into “all truth” (John 14:26; 16:13). The apostles later claimed this divine authority for their words (John 20:31; 1 John 1:1; 4:1, 5-6). Peter acknowledged Paul’s writing as “Scripture” (2 Peter 3:15-16).

Next – Reason 8: The testimony of the Spirit

Sound reasons to trust the Scriptures (part 5)

This is the fifth in a nine-part series of articles offering sound reasons to believe the Bible is the Word of God.

In Systematic Theology (Vol. I), Dr. Norman Geisler presents many lines of evidence supporting claims for the Bible as the Word of God. In unique fashion, he labels each line of evidence with a word beginning with the letter “S,” making his arguments relatively easy to follow and remember. This article borrows his headings and then incorporates some of Geisler’s research with numerous other sources, which are cited.

Reason 5: The testimony of structure

  • Even though the Bible was recorded by some 40 different authors – from different backgrounds, occupations and levels of education; who spoke in three different languages; who wrote over a period of 1,500 years – there is remarkable unity amid the vast diversity of scripture’s 66 books.
  • There is throughout scripture the unfolding drama of redemption, with Jesus Christ as its central person, seen in the Old Testament by way of anticipation and in the New Testament by way of revelation.
  • The Bible proclaims a unified message: Mankind’s problem is sin, and the solution is salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ (Gen. 2:16-17; 3:16-19; Luke 19:10; John 3:16; 5:24; Rom. 3:10, 23; 4:4-5; 6:23; 10:9-13; Eph. 2:8-9; Titus 3:5-7).

Next – Reason 6: The testimony of the stones

Copyright 2008 by Rob Phillips