Speaker: Rhordan Wicks
In this final part of the Series on the 6 most Googled Questions about Christianity, we examine the question: Can we trust the bible? Can you put your trust in the bible and base your life on it?
The Bible is simply a collection of different types of books divided into the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old and New Testaments speak of 1 continuous story spanning 40 authors over 400 years and in different locations. It tells us of how God created the world, how sin and brokenness entered it, leading to the coming of Jesus to redeem the world and establish God’s kingdom, and finally, the future reunion of heaven and earth.
a. There is plenty of archaeological evidence that proves the existence of Old Testament characters like David and geographical places. Discuss how such evidence adds to the reliability of the Old Testament (see the article below for some examples).
Recommended reading: Ten Crucial Archaeological Discoveries Related to the Bible
b. According to biblical historians, the scribes followed very stringent rules when they copied the Old Testament.
“No word or letter, not even a yod, must be written from memory… Besides this the copyist must sit in full Jewish dress, and wash his whole body each time they were to write God’s name down. The scribes were not allowed to copy sentence for sentence or even word for word. They had to copy letter for letter. After a page was copied and checked by another, still a third person would check to see what the middle word was on the page. Then, when the whole book was finished, another would count the phrases. This process was so accurate they could pinpoint the exact middle of a book simply by letter count and would check the verse at that point as one of the methods of confirmation. If a single error was found, the entire manuscript was destroyed to ensure that it could never be used as a master copy in the future.” – Extracted from Old Testament Authentication Scribal Tradition
What does this tell you about how the scribes took their work? Can we trust that the manuscripts we have today are accurate?
c. Read Matthew 5:17-18. What was Christ’s view of the Old Testament? How should this affect the believers’ view of Scripture in general?
Recommended reading: The Historical Reliability of the Gospels
a. Discuss with your group. What does it mean for the reliability of the four gospels if the books were written less than 70 years after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ?
b. The authors of the four gospels were divinely inspired by the Holy Spirit and wrote the accounts in their own style and words. Do you think different writers with different writing styles add to the reliability of the bible, or does it cause conflict?
a. If the bible is the authoritative word of God, how should we as believers live our lives? What are some areas of our lives that need to come under the submission of the Word of God?
b. If you are a parent/grandparent/teacher/leader (at work or church), how can you influence the next generation of young believers (including your children/grandchildren) or those around you to have a biblical worldview?
WHAT WILL YOU DO
If the bible is true, it should be paramount in our lives. We must immerse ourselves in the bible to discover and deepen our relationship with God. Another action we can take would be to obey and live according to the word. Although some parts of the bible may be difficult to comprehend, many parts, such as forgiving and loving one another, are clear and straightforward.
As children of God, there is no other way to be shaped to become like Christ if we do not spend time reading the bible. If we spend time and be diligent in reading the bible daily, the Holy Spirit will be our teacher and open the eyes of our hearts. Over time, reading the bible well and prayerfully will help us build our faith in Jesus.
“For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” – Matthew 5:18