(Question asked by @saveamerica)
The responses to my “question” kept rolling in and most of what I read either wasn’t worth responding to because the responder had wrong motivations, or it required someone with a theological degree to answer. I liked this question. Perhaps that’s the Holy Spirit? It’s funny how on some things I draw a blank especially when the responses go so fast. Yet on other things I suddenly find the time and information to reply. God provides the words.
God didn’t “write” the books.
“Jesus addressed this exact point in the New Testament. Hundreds of years prior to his coming the Religious men, Pharisee’s, scribes added their laws to God’s law. Here the point is made in Mark 7:6-9 “He answered and said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ “For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men– the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do.” And He said to them, “All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.’
Jesus is reiterating the warning said in Proverbs 30:5-6 “Every word of God is pure; he is a shield to those who put their trust in Him. Do not add to His words, lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar.”
What is written is for us is to live by and nothing else, 2 Tim. 3:16-17: “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” This means what is written (Scripture –graphe) not what is spoken by modern prophets whether it by in another religion, or in the church. This is why it is referred to as “it is written” by those in the Bible (Jesus and the apostles) All Scripture is inspired by God. The Scripture records men’s lies and all kinds of sins. These actions are not inspired but the recording of them is (found here).”
The late Dr. Ron Carlson of Christian Ministries International says in this article, “After I had shared the above facts with this student, I offered him the following challenge: I said to him, “If you do not believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God, if you do not believe that the Bible is of a supernatural origin, then I challenge you to a test.” I said to the student, “I challenge you to go to any library in the world, you can choose any library you like, and find 66 books which match the characteristics of the 66 books in the Bible. You must choose 66 books, written by 40 different authors, over 1500 years, in 3 different languages, written on 3 different continents. However, they must share a common storyline, a common theme, and a common message, with no historical errors or contradictions.” I went on to say, “If you can produce such a collection of books, I will admit that the Bible is not the inspired word of God.” The student’s reply was almost instantaneous, he emphatically stated, “But that’s impossible!”
The question is really about faith. It isn’t about whether the Bible is true, but about belief. Someone of the faith with a far more extensive education in theology could better explain the origin of the Bible than a lay person with a simple faith and access to online resources. God has been proven to exist in science and historical record, but it’s whether or not that person chooses to see that He exists that makes or breaks an argument. The evidence is overwhelming and only someone intensely determined to deny God could say otherwise.
Here are some resources to further investigate on your own: a Study Bible, Is the Bible Reliable with Dr. Stephen Meyer (Tyndale), and The Truth Project. Warning: This requires extensive study. If you are serious in finding the truth, those are the resources you’ll need.
What are your thoughts on the reliability of the Bible?
Have you seen the above resources?
What are your thoughts on them?
Editor’s Note: We’ve also posted some short video studies on major doctrines, including this one on the Inspiration of Scripture…
[youtube QgETcEAOW3w nolink]
How has God been proven from science? I can firmly say that as Christian/amatuer scientist/apologist/amatuer theologian that any kind of ‘proof’ of God does not exist. The closest anyone ever got was Aquinas and his Five Ways, and even those only work in the context of an Aristotlean metaphysic, which most modern people since Bertrand Rusell regard as being out of date. God can neither be proven or demonstrated; likewise He cannot be disproven. All there really are are probability arguments against His existence.
To be understood properly, IMO, The Doctrines of Inerrancy/Inspiration must be viewed a couple of ways; from the Jewish perspective and from the Early Church Fathers perspective. Paul’s statement in Timothy (if Paul wrote it, as the Pauline authorship is shaky at best) refers to the Jewish Scriptures, as did Jesus’s; the NT did not exist yet and when the authors of the NT were writing, they certainly didn’t know they were writing Scripture. About 3-400 years later the Church finally got around to making a list of things they considered Inspired Scripture, with St. Athanasius finally naming the most of the books we know today as them.
However, the Early Church Fathers almost universally affirmed the Scriptures were inerrant; Augustine, Ignatius, Iraeneous, Clement, Basil, Gregory, John Chrysostom, etc. It took a little while but the doctrine of Inerrancy was born IMO soon after the NT was completed (which was around 100-120 AD, when 2 Peter was written). But even then, the NT canon was pretty fluid; there are about 15 other books (1+2 Clement, Didache, Shepherd of Hermas, among others) that were all accepted as Scripture at one point. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church canon has something like 80 books in it…so really, who can say what is and isn’t inspired? The only reason our Bible has 66 books is because Luther axed out the rest, almost taking out James (which he HATED) and Hebrews (since it’s anonymous). Was the rest of Christianity wrong for 1500 years? It’s a tricky issue, for sure.
Matt. 1,2 After 400 years of silence, He spoke mostly in dreams. He has also spoken to us in these last days through His Son. Emmanuel.