Why Trust the Bible

By February 18, 2024February 22nd, 2024Communicate Beliefs, Meetings, Lifestyle, Responsibility, Podcast

Q: Why do you believe in and trust the Bible?
-what are the intellectual, emotional, “spiritual” reasons?

Q: What reasons have you had or heard that people have had, who struggle to trust the Bible?

Francis Schaeffer wrote, “The God who is there” “He is there and he is not silent.”

He had a ministry in Switzerland where students from all over the world, in a pre-internet time (1955-1984)found their way to his house, L’bri (shelter).

Many people, came to Christ through their ministry, in a very disorienting and confused era of history.
-Vietnam, Watergate, Drug culture, sexual revolution

One person, who came to be Labri…was more interested in being impressive than finding truth went on and on in a group session.

Finally, Shaeffer said, “If you have a real question, I will take all night listening to you. But I will not play with the truth.”

This is now we must lead our groups…with that kind gentleness and with that kind of certainty and clarity

We will listen and love…but we will not play games with the truth…there is just too much at stake.

Everything is at stake…we don’t play with truth here. We cannot.

Julian Huxley was an atheist who said that somehow or another, against what one might expect, man functions better if he acts as though God is there.

That’s because God is there.

A personal God has made us in his own image.

We would expect God to communicate to us in verbalized form since has made us verbalized beings.

If You were God and wanted to communicate to humans who you are and what you value how would you do it?

I would speak directly using words.

I would show through my actions.

I would show up in person.

This is exactly what we have.

Now, what if you wanted to communicate through multiple generations, how would you do that?

You would want a written record, one that could verified and protected for as long as necessary.

That is what we have.

The purpose of the Bible is the revelation of Christ.

Bible Can Be Understood According these 8 categories:
Law: Foundation for Christ
History: Preparation for Christ
Poetry: Aspiration for Christ
Prophecy: Expectation of Christ

Gospels: Manifestation of Christ
Acts: Propagation of Christ
Epistles: Application of Christ
Revelation: Consummation in Christ

You get the point…Christ is the reason for the revelation of Scripture, and he is the interpretative key to the Bible.

Even as he is the interpretative key to our very lives.

The Bible is the Word of God…it is truth with no mixture of error.

People have and do struggle with this.

When they struggle to have confidence in the Bible…the will struggle to apply it…to their own harm.

So, let’s do some training about reasons for our confidence in the Bible.

But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 2 Tim. 3:15-17

For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. 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.
2 Peter 1:16-21

God has revealed himself to humans using their personalities, styles, experiences…but what they wrote is divine inspiration.

He has given us his word in a variety of literary styles, through at least 40 different personalities.

It is Truth with no mixture of error…God gave it to us.

“But humans, wrote it and they are not perfect.”

-There are math books that are without errors…God can easily see to it that we got a perfect Bible

The Bible is not a science book, but when it touches on science it does not err…same with history, and ethics…it is truth with no mixture of error.

But there are so many versions of the Bible…how do we know what we have is the right one?

There are many translations…people think “versions” means, entirely different books.

Revised Standard Version

English Standard Version

New International Version

*These are not different Bibles; they are different translations with some differences in theory of how to translate accurately from one language to another.

-Some more word for word, some more idea for idea.

They all use the many manuscripts God has providentially provided.

Some are better than others…if you use a good one, you have God’s word…you can be sure of it.

Dan Brown, infamous author of Di Vinci Code in early 2000’s..wrote some non-historical fiction about a supposed conspiracy to suppress the real truth of the Bible.

-It is utter Nonsense…non scholarly, but it, and other books like it…have undermined the confidence of some in the Bible.

-A Friend who is agnostic recentlysaid, “The Bible was determined at the council of Nicaea by a bunch of people.”

“No, they didn’t deal with the canon.”

There were times when the church meet and discussed what books are “Scripture”

But what they were doing was not “determining” Scripture they were recognizing it.

Councils did not decide, God did…the church already was using it.

And the church had specific guidelines and reasons for what was Scripture.

My friend got his misinformation from a non-reliable source and readily believed that he was well informed.

His response to me was, “oh, didn’t know that.”

My goal for this part of our time is not so you can remember certain facts or win arguments.

By the way, I had no argument with this friend…he asked, we talked, he was grateful…it was a conversation inside a relationship.

My goal is that you would be able to help the people you lead, when necessary, have confidence in the Bible.

Many of them already do have confidence and don’t really have questions…this is fine and not an irrational position to hold.

Some of them, belief and don’t know why…a question may not unsettle them…they just haven’t heard it or thought of it yet.

In my small group, a man in his late 60’s said, “I don’t have any questions.”

He is a very intelligent, well-educated man, who know the Bible well…his response is belief on the other side of years of life, study, and experience with God.

Simplicity on the other side of complexity.

I have found with great interest that River Next kids sometimes have more trouble with mystery than do older adults.

It’s okay to not have questions…it’s okay to have them…there are answers for those who want or need them.

Let me give you some books as reference points if you are feeling ambitious or curious:

1. From God to Us: How We Got Our Bible: Norman Geisler
2. The Books and the Parchments: FF Bruce
3. Scribes and Scripture: Meade
4. Who Choose the Gospels? Hill
5. Josh McDowell, Evidence that demands a verdict, and more evidence that demands a verdict.

Trace: RCT Training class: Principles for interpreting Scripture, Spring 2023.

River Christian Training

I am going to give a summary of the main points regarding the Scriptures using an acrostic I put together.

THE BIBLE

There—It matches what we see in the world and it changes lives.
-God is there

-He has spoken

-His Word, therefore matches what is there.

-His word, even when applied by non-believers “works”

-His word, when not applied even by believers “works” (against them)

Historical evidence—archeology
-There are a number of historical facts that were only known in Scripture, until archeology discovered evidence.

-People doubted some events and places in Scripture because there was no other evidence…then it was discovered…as people dug in the dirt.

-The Popular Handbook of archeology and the Bible. Geisler

*There are many articles and books that describe how the Bible is proven true, every time you dig in the dirt in Israel.

*Unlike, for instance, “The Book of Mormon.”

End times—prophecy
-Christ
-Exile
-Temple

*It doesn’t tell us as much as some say it does, at least in specific details…but when it spoke of the future it was right…it will always be just that.

Bibliographic—number of manuscripts
-6,000 Greek Manuscripts, 25,000 total.

-The most of any other ancient book is Homer’s Iliad (643).

-The gap for most ancient manuscripts is about 1000 years(between original and extant copies), the NT 100 years or less

Autographs are infallible, not the copies.

No difference or debate over major issues…only minor ones.
-Your Bible will footnote them.

**Textual criticism

What we have is reliable, God has seen to that.

YO# H9ve won 20 million dollars.

-100 percent of the original message comes through.

Internal consistency—it is non-contradictory.

Even more not just that it doesn’t conflict with itself…it is a miraculously consistent book.

-There many books and a lot of good research on the way the Bible is put together.
-God’s Kingdoms Through God’s Covenants: Wellum
-The Unfolding Mystery: Discovering Christ in the OT: Clowney
-According to Plan: Goldsworthy

-When you read the Bible, as it is written…not out of context…it fits together in a way that is miraculous.

Bestseller—God’s hand on it.
-It has been smuggled, protected, died for.

-POW’s have longed for it more than food.

-It is the world’s best seller

-How do you explain its reach in mere human terms.

-Men and women have given their lives to learn languages, to write down formerly non-written languages, just to translate the Bible.

Lord Jesus—affirmed it and those who wrote it

Extra biblical sources:

For instance: Josephus, a Roman Jewish Historian and military leader who was born about 4 years after Jesus died.

There are many other extra-biblical books, that are written during the first and second century that confirm the Bible.

JESUS AND THE BIBLE
Jesus affirmed the OT as the Word of God.
He quoted from the first book to nearly the last in a single verse:
“So, all the righteous blood shed on the earth will be charged to you, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar.” Matthew 22:35
The OT as we have it was recognized and used by Jesus and the Jews of his time, Jesus did not refute any of it, quite the opposite.
So hold an OT in your hand…God became flesh confirmed it as his word.
The NT was written by eye witnesses to Jesus and all of it was easily affirmed or would have been dismissed by those who knew Jesus and what he taught.
So the whole Bible…is confirmed by the Lord Jesus.
So, Start with Jesus…Liar, Lunatic, or Lord.
Then go to Scripture…he affirmed it, it all pointed to him.
Christ, the Word of God made flesh, has confirmed the Word of God written down for us.
*Be confident.
*Express your confidence.
There is much at stake…we cannot deviate from Scripture…struggle to understand and apply it, but you need not spend time and energy wondering if we have the Word of God.

Link to Powerpoint File

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