Reasons to Trust the Bible: And Why Trusting it Matters: Introduction.
In a World of Fake News
In today's world, we face an inundation of information and, unfortunately, misinformation. With the rise of fake news on the internet, it has become increasingly difficult to discern what is true from what is false. We live in an age where scepticism towards authority and claims to truth is encouraged, making it no surprise that this scepticism extends to the Bible.
Should We Trust the Bible?
If you're a Christian, you may have thought yourself, or had someone ask you: why you trust the Bible? How can you explain to someone who doesn't believe in the Bible why you trust it? This new series aims to equip you with answers to these questions, not just to win an argument, but to engage in meaningful conversations. As Christians, we are encouraged to be prepared to defend our faith, and this includes addressing the fundamental question of why we trust the Bible.
Christianity as History
Christianity is not merely a set of teachings or philosophical musings—it's also a claim rooted in history. At its core, Christianity asserts that something extraordinary occurred in the course of time—something real, concrete, and historical. To explore the reliability of the Bible, we must approach it as a historical document, rather than just assuming it is the Word of God from the outset. This approach invites scrutiny, allowing the documents to stand on their own merits in the court of historical opinion. Can the historical documents we believe are God’s Words stand up to this kind of scrutiny? Through this series we aim to show that they undoubtedly do!
A Chain of Reliability
To establish the reliability of the Bible, particularly the four Gospels, we must address a series of five critical questions. This process can be likened to examining a chain of reliability that extends from ourselves to the events in question:
1: Translation: Can we be confident in the translations? Can we be confident that the translation of the Bible from its original language into our language accurately reflects the original, or is it saying things the original never did?
2: Transmission: Are the manuscripts accurate? Can we be confident that copyists accurately transmitted the original writing to us, or did they (deliberately or not) alter it significantly?
3: Testaments: Do we have the right books? Can we be confident that we're looking at the correct set of books, or is there a possibility that we've missed equally reliable perspectives on Jesus?
4: Trustworthy: Are the authors reliable sources? Can we be confident that the original authors genuinely intended to provide an accurate account of events, or did they have other motives, such as writing fiction or deceiving us?
5: True: Were they telling the truth? Can we establish that the authors indeed intended to provide an accurate account? Can we be confident that what they described genuinely took place, or do we have better reasons to believe they were mistaken?
By addressing each of these questions, we can build a robust chain of reliability that connects us to the historical events described in the Bible.
In a world where trust in information is at a premium, it's crucial for Christians to have a well-founded basis for trusting the Bible. This series will delve into these critical questions and offer insights into why, as Christians, we can confidently place our trust in the Bible as a historically reliable source. To further your exploration, we will provide an information sheet listing recommended books and websites for those eager to delve deeper into this topic.