A question for the reliability and trustworthiness of the Bible
“You can’t handle the truth!’ is an iconic statement that has been etched into the cultural psyche of most Westerners. It’s an entertaining response to anyone who asks for the truth but the person in question would rather keep the truth hidden or simply irritate the questioner. The statement, however, contains a strangely polarizing word: truth. Now in simple matters this word doesn’t cause much dissension but when discussing the weightier matters of life like abortion, gender identity, and religious issues, determining what is true means everything. So how do we know if a claim is true? There is most certainly a place we must use as a starting point. We have to establish a standard.
... you have to establish a standard by which you judge whether or not a writing or message is from God.
In season one of our podcast we titled the season “What Is Truth?” and in episode one we made the claim that the Bible is the best starting point for determining the truthfulness of a claim. Of course there are some who will push back against this and reject the authority and truthfulness of the Bible. Now the intent of this article is not to convince you of the reliability of the Bible or the trustworthiness of the biblical manuscripts and authors. It’s actually one step before that. If you are going to reject the Bible as God’s authoritative Word, you have to establish a standard by which you judge whether or not a writing or message is from God.
One common argument from Bible detractors is that the Bible couldn’t be from God because it was recorded and copied with human hands. Humans who are deeply flawed and therefore their penned words cannot be fully trusted. If you set this as part of your standard of determining whether or not the Bible is actually from God, then by what means can the Bible be communicated by God?
Perhaps the skeptic might believe God as the originator if God caused a book written by Him to somehow manifest apart from any human. Maybe the book could float down from the sky and appear on land somewhere to be discovered. If this were the case though, might people question whether the book was written by God or secretly by another human?
Well, let's say that maybe when the book dropped down there was a human to witness it and the witness went around town to tell what had happened. Would everyone believe the witness as credible? Over time might the story be viewed as a folk tale or legend? Would a single witness be enough to prove to the skeptic that the book actually originated from God?
What if God himself came down and orated His message to other humans...
Maybe the Bible skeptic would not validate the floating book as a credible scenario to determine whether God was the originator of the book or not. What if God himself came down and orated His message to other humans and they were directed to tell everyone else. Then surely people would believe that those words that were communicated were directly from God. Would the inner skeptic eventually rear its head again? Would there be accusations of another human person being the one delivering the message and not God? Would words like “hallucination” and “conspiracy” be carelessly thrown around?
You see, if none of these situations are valid, then what circumstances, what conditions, what chain of events would have to occur? What is your standard for determining the truthfulness of the Bible?