Why Trust The Bible?
According to the Canadian Bible Forum, in 1996, 21% of the Canadian population engaged with the Bible on a weekly basis. In 2013, their research showed this weekly Bible engagement in Canada had sunk to 11%.
This fits with the trend that Canada is moving toward a post-Christian culture.
This month, marking the 500 anniversary of Reformation, our Fellowship of churches (Fellowship of Evangelical Baptists), began a journey to increase Bible engagement among our congregations.
Today, I had the honour of unpacking some of a message by Rev. Dr. Les Somers, Lead Pastor at NorthLife Fellowship in Fort McMurray, AB. Provided to our Fellowship pastors, he challenged us with the following 4 reasons to trust in the Bible.
1. CONTENT: What is in this Book?
The Bible holds so much life-changing content! We find fulfilled prophecies, explained by the Apostle Peter:
“19 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, 20 knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. 21 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 1:19-21)
We find that the Bible is a progressive revelation, one giant story of God’s redemption of humanity through His One and Only Son, Jesus Christ. And speaking of Jesus, just look at Jesus’ relationship with Scripture:
The Old Testament points to Him. We read throughout the Gospels that He used Scripture. Then the New Testament explains the fulfilment of God’s plan through Him, ending by pointing to His return.
Now just think of the composition, 40 authors writing under the Holy Spirit’s influence across 1600 years in multiple languages. Tag that with the Canonicity of our 66 books, accepted now for over 400 years.
The content of the Bible is trustworthy.
2. CLAIMS: What does this Book say about itself?
The Bible makes some significant claims about itself. It claims to be God’s written communication to humanity.
In the ESV, “The word of God” appearing 48 times and “the word of the Lord” appearing 274 times is fairly significant.
The concept holds more than just words though. This word is God’s very breath. The Apostle Paul said it best, when writing to his pastoral apprentice, Timothy:
“6 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
The claims of the Bible are trustworthy.
3. CONTINUANCE: How long has this Book been around?
Dr. Les provided us with a unique resource titled, “Tracing the River (of Bible Preservation)“. And a river is a perfect metaphor for how the Bible has been preserved, always moving, always finding a way to overcome obstacles.
Check out this river of events, as the Bible has been preserved throughout time:
- BibleGateway.com: 21st Century
- Several Versions, Many Languages: 20th Century
- Dead Sea Scrolls Discoveries: 1947
- Revised KJV Version: 1885/1901
- King James Version: 1611
- Geneva Bible – Chapter Divisions: 1560
- Tyndale & Gutenburg Printing: 1526
- John Wycliffe – English Bible: 1382
- Alfred the Great, Anglo-Saxon – Some Bible In English: 849–899
- Jerome of Bethlehem – Latin Vulgate Bible Version: 1000 Years of Use
- Church Fathers – Origen; Irenaeus; Tertullian: Clement of Alexandria: ca. 175 AD
- LXX-Septuagint – Greek Version of O.T. – Used by Jesus & Apostles: 285 BC
- Nehemiah: 445 BC – Ezra
- Jewish Nation: Centuries of Scribes
Through meticulous copying, way before the printing press, numerous versions, translations in multiple languages, and a variety of government and religious movements to destroy God’s word; the river has continue forward through time.
The continuance of the Bible is trustworthy.
4. CHARACTER: What influence does this Book have?
This is perhaps the most trustworthy component, because it’s hard to disprove personal experience. And for centuries, this Book called the Bible has agitated, educated, convinced, comforted, guided, and the list goes on.
Even people who hate the Bible struggle to read through its pages and not be affected in some way. This Book called the Bible transforms people. I challenge anyone to read through its pages; just try not to be changed on some level.
The character of the Bible is trustworthy.
Join the Conversation, Leave Your Thoughts
Do you engage with the Bible on a regular basis? If so, what’s your reason(s) for opening #TheGreatestBOOK?