Summary: The Christian faith is only as certain as the Bible is trustworthy. If the Bible isn’t true, then people who call themselves Christians would have no truth to stand on—their faith would be worthless.
“I will never forget your precepts,
For by them you have given me life.” (Psalm 119:93 NKJV)
Unshakable faith begins with the Bible.
The Christian faith is only as certain as the Bible is trustworthy. If the Bible isn’t true, then people who call themselves Christians would have no truth to stand on—their faith would be worthless.
Is your faith based on truth? How can you know for sure?
For hundreds of years people who reject Christianity have attacked the Bible. Their thinking goes like this: If they can prove that the Bible is not an accurate account of God’s work in history, they can then say it’s not true. If they can say the Bible isn’t true, they can then reject the claims that Jesus is God, that Jesus died on the cross for our sins, and that Jesus arose from the dead. If they can prove the Bible isn’t true, they can say Christians are just misguided people. If they can prove the Bible isn’t true, they can say Jesus’ resurrection—the most important event that Christianity is based on—never happened.
If they can prove it—but they can’t.
For hundreds of years the Bible’s critics—all of them—have failed. Still, they try.
The Da Vinci Code is one of the most recent efforts to cast doubt on the Bible’s truth. The best-selling novel by Dan Brown mixes historical fact with fiction to confuse people about the authenticity of the Bible, in particular the first four books of the New Testament that chronicle the life of Christ. These are called the Gospels, and the books are Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The author of The Da Vinci Code attacks the New Testament through a fictional main character, Leigh Teabing. Teabing is a royal historian who claims, “Almost everything our fathers taught us about Christ is false.”1
Teabing goes on to explain that it’s because at an important church meeting, the Council of Nicea in the year 325, Roman Emperor Constantine “commissioned and financed a new Bible” that “embellished” the Gospels to make Christ more godlike.
Is The Da Vinci Code right? Did church leaders in A.D. 325 make up parts of the Gospels?
No, and no!
The Council of Nicea is an actual event in history, but there’s no evidence that church leaders agreed to change Scripture to fit a desired doctrine or teaching. On the contrary, at Nicea church leaders affirmed the clear teaching of the Gospels written more than two centuries earlier: Jesus Christ is God.
Since The Da Vinci Code was published, however, I’ve talked to many teens and adults who aren’t sure they can trust their Bible. They’re asking questions like “Is it true that man wrote the Bible hundreds of years after Jesus lived? Did people really fight over what the Bible was going to say? I mean, what if the things that ended up in the Bible weren’t what God really meant the Bible to say?”
Christians Believe That the Bible Was Written by God Through Men
To answer those questions and others like them, let’s start our discovery of Christianity’s core truths with what the Bible says about itself. In verse after verse, more than 3,000 in all, the Bible claims to be the actual words of God.
Here are two key references in the New Testament:
Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:20-21)
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” (2 Timothy 3:16)
The Bible makes an impressive claim about itself—it says it is written by God through men. That’s what Bible scholars mean by inspiration. The Bible didn’t just plop down from heaven in a deluxe leather cover. Humans were very much involved, “carried along by the Holy Spirit,” said Peter, one of Jesus’ followers and a key leader of the church. Men wrote as God guided them, not making up their own message. The words they wrote were “God-breathed,” which is the meaning of “inspired.” All of Scripture is inspired, breathed out from the mouth of God, so to speak.
I used to think this meant that God dictated exactly what He wanted the Bible to say to the humans who diligently wrote it down word for word. But after a number of years of reading and studying all of Scripture, I know that’s not how most of the Bible was written.
Sometimes God did dictate exactly what to write, as when God gave Moses the exact wording of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20) and even engraved the words on stone tablets (Exodus 32:16). Usually, however, the Bible displays a human and divine partnership—the Holy Spirit working through the writer’s personality and creativity to express the words of God.