The ‘Quest’ For Preferred Truths
Vol: 111 Issue: 27 Monday, December 27, 2010
The Bible is under attack, as it has been since it was first compiled, but with a special fervor and intensity unique to this generation. What makes this generation unique is that the principle attackers are believers themselves.
It is possible to be a believer in the Bible and not be a Christian, although it doesn’t seem so until you think about it.
Personally, I know lots of people who say they believe in God, or believe in the Bible, but who have never surrendered themselves to Christ. Most other religions reference it among their sacred texts, from Buddhists to Jews.
And there are ‘cultural Christians’ as well. Most Americans were raised in a Christian culture, and identify with Christianity whether they are born-again or not.
It is actually quite easy to believe in the Bible without even having read it. Which makes it even easier to attack it.
Just turn on A&E and watch some of the ‘Mysteries of the Bible’ series. After watching a couple of them, you’ll conclude that the most mysterious thing about the Bible is that ANYBODY really believes it.
If you don’t know anything about the Bible except that you believe in it, then it is pretty easy to plant misconceptions as part of an effort to discover the ‘truth’ about it.
After all, who doesn’t want to know the ‘truth’ about a Book as mysterious as the Bible? Especially if it comes packaged as a TV program saving the effort of having to actually read its ponderous text?
The Scriptures say, “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:18)
That anyone could attack the Bible escapes me. Especially when one considers that the Bible isn’t one book, but is actually a collection of sixty-six books, written by forty different human authors. Reading through it, it seems to have penned by the same individual.
But the Bible’s authors were shepherds and kings, intinerant preachers and traveling salesmen, tax collectors, tent-makers and fishermen, captives and slaves.
In most instances, the Bible’s authors had never met one another and had no access to each other’s works. Ezekiel and Daniel were contemporaries, but Daniel was held captive in Babylon. Ezekiel lived hundreds of miles away in what remained of Israel. Each book refers to the other, although neither prophet met to compare notes.
There were no libraries where each writer of Scripture could cross reference the other. But each book flows smoothly to the next, some books referencing passages written by the authors who came before, while others reference books not yet written for centuries.
It is obvious to any honest seeker of truth that the Bible actually has only one Author. The alleged ‘quests for truth’ about the Bible like “Mysteries of the Bible” are predicated by that fact.
What escapes A&E is the Identity of the Author, although the Bible clearly identifies Him. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
The word translated here as ‘scripture’ comes from the Greek word ‘gramma’. This means a ‘letter’ — meaning even the smallest details are from God and are perfect.
The Bible is not just a body of unrelated religious writings on various subjects. It is a systematic revelation of history from creation that continues to unfold before our eyes and continues to outline human history to its ultimate conclusion.
The entire Bible revolves around only one central theme. The need for man’s salvation and God’s provision for it through Jesus Christ.
The Bible is a gift from God to all men — a ‘love letter’, some say, from God to you. I like that synopsis, since that is how I have viewed it for most of my adult life. A love letter from God, that starts, “Dear Jack: In the beginning . . .”
What a God we serve! Allow yourself to dwell on the Bible’s magnificence. Meditate on how impossible it would be for the Bible to have come into being through human effort, apart from God, as is now the popular angle of attack.
Many have made much of the alleged ‘Bible codes’ which indeed appear to be real, although not of any particular value apart from serving as the Signature of God for a high tech generation.
Jesus said, “A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign . . .” -(Matthew 16:4) and that is what the Bible codes are to this generation. A sign.
But the Bible proves itself by its very existence. The Bible wasn’t divided into chapters until the 13th century by Stephen Langton. It wasn’t divided into individual verses until the 15th and 16th centuries.
But its contents have been debated by the best and brightest of every generation and has withstood every single attack.
The King James Bible contains sixty-six books — 39 in the Old Testament, and twenty-seven in the New. There are 31,173 verses, 774,746 words and 3,556,480 letters that make up the entire Bible.
In all of that, nobody in all human history has ever conclusively disproved a single word.
At approximately the middle one finds Psalms 118:8:
“It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.”
And so it is.
Note: We had a great Christmas celebration despite the fact Kari and Mike and the kids couldn’t come because they all had the flu. (I told them not to worry. It just means we get an extra Christmas party this year. But we sure missed them.)
Some of my kids stayed over and will be leaving soon. I spent an hour working up an interesting piece on Israel before concluding I’m too distracted to put forth my best shot.
So I hope you will forgive this retread while I finish my family’s Christmas celebration. I pray yours was every bit as wonderful.