Summary: A defense for the integrity of the Bible
How many time have you heard questions like these: How can a book over 2000 years old have anything to do with life in the 21st century? How can you believe stories about a sea parting and the sun standing still, and a man being eaten by a fish and surviving for three day? How can you believe a story about a man coming back to life after being dead for three days? How can you believe all that stuff? Doesn’t that Bible have lots of errors and mistakes? Why are there so many different versions of Bibles? If the Bible says one thing why are there so many different Christian beliefs?
Haven’t we all heard these questions time and time again?
How do we answer our critics who will oppose the truth of the Word Of God?
The nature of the Bible.
First off we have to understand what kind of a book the Bible is. The nature of the Bible. What is its intended purpose? You would not expect to go to an English book to learn about science. What do we expect to learn from the Bible? The Bible is not a science book, but everything in the Bible is scientifically accurate. It is not a geography book, but everything in it is geographically accurate. It is not a history book, but everything in it is historically accurate. It is not a sociology book, but everything in it is sociologically accurate. It is not a Greek and Hebrew text book, but it is expertly written in its original language. It is not financial guide book, but there are proven solid financial principals in it. It is an life instruction manual. It covers two different aspects of life.
First there is the issue of life eternal. What must I do to be saved? How am I going to spend an eternity with my God and Father who art is heaven?
The second aspect of life that it covers is the temporal life. How do I live my life now? What can I do to find happiness and joy? What can I do with my life that will bring me meaningful benefit? The Bible’s primary purpose to answer the questions of life.
Now there are some that accept one but not the other. Have you ever seen miserable down in the mouth, griping, complaining Christians. They are never happy, but they are saved!
They are few but there are some others who accept the other side of the coin. They believe that the Bible contains some good principles to live by but they don’t believe in the necessity of salvation.
ILL. In London’s Hyde Park there is section of it called Speakers Corner. It was set aside in the medieval days to give people freedom of speech. On Sunday afternoon you could go there and say anything you wanted about the government without fear of being beheaded. On Monday that was a different story. Sunday afternoon in Speakers Corner you were all right. That has carried over to today and you can go there and listen to all the wackos promote their ideas. There are the Homosexual groups, the animal rights people, the Muslims and the Christians both preaching. And quite often when we would go there, there would be a man with a sign around his neck that said Christian Atheist. He would talk and promote his ideas to all who would listen. His basic position was that there is no God, but that the Bible contains good and wise teachings for living life in the here and now.
Although the Bible is completely accurate in many areas, its purpose is to be a life book for life both here and after.
If the Bible is accurate, what about all the supposed errors we find in the Bible.
One of the common accusations against the Bible has been that it has errors in it. In 1800 the French Institute in Paris released a list of 82 errors found in the Bible. Today, everyone of those supposed errors has been proven accurate. In 1850 a group a Bible critics claimed there are a host of errors in the Bible. By 1950 this same organization recanted their accusation of biblical inaccuracies.
Part of the problem is errors are not the same as difficulties and there are many who will see the difficulties and instantly label them as errors, mistakes, or it is wrong. The Bible is anywhere from 3500 to 2000 years old depending on the part you are reading. Any reasonable person would expect to find difficulties in understanding a culture and language that is that far removed from 21st century America.
At the root of this discussion is the question of our presuppositions. Do we believe that the Bible has errors and contradictions or are they just difficulties that need further examination.