Reasons for Faith in the Bible Part I: Jesus Said So
by PastorErick | 10/31/17, 7:53 AM
Over the last number of weeks we’ve established a couple things:
1. Because the universe had a beginning, because the universe is so finely tuned for human life, because morality actually exists, because truth actually exists, etc. it is most reasonable to believe that there is Someone/Something running the show we call the universe.
2. Because the evidence for Jesus of Nazareth’s resurrection from the dead is so strong (the empty tomb, the post-mortem appearances to hundreds of different people, the historicity of the eyewitness testimonies, the birth of the church and martyrdom of the disciples, etc) we have good reason to believe that this “Someone” running the show is specifically the God manifested by Jesus Himself.
If we accept the above statements as true than all the other parts of the Christian faith become fairly easy to explain. How can we believe in the miraculous? Because there’s a God who rules above space/time. How can we believe there’s something redeemable in suffereing and evil? Because there’s a God who promises there is something redeemable in suffering and evil.
Over the next few weeks we’re going to talk about reasons for belief in the Bible as the word of God. Now there are numerous ways we could go about defending the Bible, but right at the start we’re going to go with something extraordinarily obvious. What is the best reason to believe the Bible is the word of God?
Because Jesus (the one guy to raise from the dead ever) said it was.
Well that was simple!
Ok, ok, ok there is something implicit in this argument that we have to explain a little more. Undergirding this argument is a belief that at the very least, the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) are historically reliable documents. We touched on this belief in our defense of the resurrection. We pointed out that the gospels are written far too early to contain legendary material; we also noted that the gospels contain far too much “counterproductive material” to be fake (women being the first to discover the empty tomb, the weaknesses of the early leaders of the Church, etc.). On top of this, we noted how meticulously accurate the gospel writers were on small details throughout their letters (especially Luke). The names of cities, government officials and other seemingly unimportant details are all repeatedly confirmed by archaeological/historical research.
If indeed all these things are true about the historicity of the gospels, then it follows that the claims made by Jesus in the gospels are true as well. What claims did Jesus make about the Bible?
Divine Inspiration – Matthew 22:43
Indestructability – Matthew 5:17
Infallibility – John 10:35
Final Authority – Matthew 4:4,7,10
Historicity – Matthew 12:40; 24:37
Factual Inerrancy – John 17:17; Matthew 22:29
Christ-Centered Unity –Luke 24:27, John 5:39
Spiritual Clarity – Luke 24:25
Faith and Life Sufficiency – Luke 16:31
In other words, Jesus claimed the Bible was the word of God and as such, we must submit to it as the final standard for determining faith and practice.
As I said at the beginning of today’s post, there is much more that could be written in defense of the Bible. Next week we'll look at some hints in the Bible that lead us to believe in its supernatural origins.
- 31 - Reasons for Faith in the Bible Part I: Jesus Said So
- 24 - Reasons For Faith In Jesus’ Resurrection Part V: The Uniqueness of the Resurrection
- 17 - Reasons For Faith In Jesus’ Resurrection Part IV: The External Evidence
- 10 - Reasons For Faith In Jesus’ Resurrection Part III: The Birth, Rapid Expansion and Martyrdom Of The Early Church
- 03 - Reasons for (Christian) Faith Part II: The Counterproductive Gospel