This post is a continuation of my discussion on the truth of the Bible.
The Bible is the most studied book in the history of the world, but has also been subject to differing interpretations, especially in the last 150 years or so. These differing interpretations have added to the confusion and the controversies surrounding the Bible. For millennia, the Bible has generally been understood in light of Church tradition, which has been handed down from the Apostles. Many of these traditional interpretations were written down by the early church fathers, who had received them orally from those who learned from the Apostles.
Today, we see the Bible being misinterpreted to fit various social or personal agendas. Clear teachings are distorted using a smokescreen of scholarly language, so as to make the Bible politically correct, but not theologically correct. Along those same lines, we see scholars deconstructing the Bible, creating doubts about its truth. In addition, verses have been taken out of context to fit doctrines which really aren’t biblical. So no wonder the Bible is so controversial and people can find it confusing. Yet the Bible is, for the most part, clearly written and easy to understand when you take time to study it and you have the Holy Spirit guiding you.
Why Should We Care?
Regardless of how we might define “true” regarding the Bible, why should we even care about whether or not it is true? We should care for the following reasons:
·Our faith is based on it.
·We understand God through it.
·We have guidelines for living in it.
·We have some idea of the future based on it.
·We learn about Jesus, our Savior, by the Gospels in it.
What, then, are the ramifications for not believing the Bible is true?
¨If we don’t believe the Bible is true, then we don’t have a code of morality that is higher than ourselves, and anything goes.
¨If we don’t believe the Bible is true, then we have no basis for understanding God, life, the world, and the spiritual realm.
¨If we don’t believe the Bible is true, then we are missing out on the way to salvation, placing our eternal destiny at risk.
¨If we don’t believe the Bible is true, then we have no foundation for a relationship with God through Jesus.
Those are the reasons why we should believe the Bible is true and then study it to deepen our faith.
There is much more in the study book about the Bible, and I encourage you to read it to strengthen your faith in what God tells us through the Scriptures. The message of the Bible will transform your life, and it will also:
·alter your view of the world;
·change your patterns of relating to God and other people;
·change your values and ethics;
·change your view of history and world events;
·and it will change your opinion of eternity.
With all this discussion about the Bible, let me end with a word of warning. I believe some people elevate the Bible too high, making their veneration of the Scriptures a form of idolatry. There’s even a word for making the Bible into some sort of idol: bibliolatry. The Bible is a vehicle for transmitting God’s truth to us, using human agents. Jesus was both divine and human, so he had both divine and human traits. Some raise the Bible above even Jesus, giving it all divine traits and little or no human attributes.
The Bible was inspired by God and written by humans. Let’s not forget both sides of that equation. Since the Bible tells the story of Jesus, reveals God to us, and gives us God’s guidance and standards for living, let’s commit to study it regularly. I encourage you to join a study group, and delve deeper into the Scriptures. It will be very rewarding, and you will be blessed.
Note: Some material in this post was based on the book The God Questions by Hal Seed and Dan Grider, published by Outreach Publishing, © 2007