Is the Bible Reliable?
What we believe about the Bible is rooted in what we believe about God: If we believe that God is completely true, trustworthy, and reliable: then we will believe the Bible is also true, trustworthy, and reliable. If God is trustworthy, then the Bible is trustworthy.
The Bible is the main source of what we know about God. The purpose of the Bible is to teach us about the character of God, to show us God’s purpose in redeeming a broken world, and to introduce us to Jesus, who is the author and perfecter of our faith. We trust that the Bible will not mislead us and that it provides all that we need for faith and practice. The Bible has authority over us because it is God’s word.
The apostle Paul wrote to his young protégé, Timothy, about the importance of knowing what is in the Bible:
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:14-17)
The Bible is God’s word to us. The main message of the Bible is that God created human beings to have a relationship with him. Humans chose sin and rejected God. But God had a plan to rescue, restore, and redeem his people from their sin. God pursues his people. That plan meant that God would send his Son to die in order to forgive our sin. This is the message of the gospel.
Some Bible Facts:
The word, Bible, means “the books” or “a collection of texts.” In her book, What the Bible is All About, Henrietta Mears shares these facts about the Bible:
- The Bible is God’s written revelation of his will to humanity.
- Its central theme is salvation through Jesus Christ.
- The Bible contains 66 books, written by 40 authors, covering a period of approximately 1,600 years.
- The Old Testament was written mostly in Hebrew (a few short passages in Aramaic). About 100 years (or more) before the Christian Era the entire Old Testament was translated into the Greek language. Remember, our English Bible is a translation from these original languages. (Henrietta Mears, What the Bible Is All About: NIV edition, 15)
The authors of the Bible believed they were writing God’s words:
David “The Spirit of the Lord spoke through me” (2 Samuel 23:2).
Jeremiah “The word of the Lord came to me . . . This is what the Lord says” (Jeremiah 2:1-2).
Paul “For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 4:1-2).
John “The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him . . . the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 1:1).
The authors of the Bible used several different styles of literature: poetry, history, letters, parables, prophecy, etc. These different styles of literature will impact the way we read and interpret the content. Studying poetry is different than studying history. Whole books have been written about the Bible and how to read it.
If you are interested in learning more about the unique book that is the Bible and how to read it, we have a great resource called The Quick & Easy Guide to the Bible by Brian Coffey available for free at the welcome desks of all of our campuses. Please feel free to stop by and get one!
Director of Chapelstreet Groups