The Truth of the Bible
Q: Do you really believe that the words of the Bible are the actual words of God? How can you? Haven’t they been changed? Aren’t they misogynist and intolerant?
A: Yes, we do, and we live by them as such. We actually don’t believe that the God we know and love would leave us without His clear instructions for salvation and righteousness, because He is such a loving and just God who keenly desires authentic relationship with us.
We first began to believe in the Bible when we simply read the text with open minds and hearts yearning for truth, especially the Gospel narratives, and recognized their value and the ring of authenticity they had. We also had the evidence of seeing God’s work in the lives of many beloved Christian friends and family members.
We appreciated that the Bible accurately described the human condition: the struggle between evil and good that we see not just all around us but actually within each of us. It also had a coherent and comprehensive philosophy covering these critical four issues:
- where we come from: The Creator God created us uniquely in His image.
- the source of evil: Angels and then humans chose conscious rebellion against our Creator, and we continue to freely choose the temporary pleasures of personal, worldly gratification over submission to Him.
- the purpose of life: We were created to give God pleasure; to commune and be family with Him; to glorify and enjoy Him forever.
- where we are going: If we accept the free pardon of Jesus Christ by believing in Him, we will go to Heaven for a time, and eventually to the New Earth; if we reject the free pardon of Jesus Christ by disbelieving in Him, we will go to Hades (Hell) for a time, and then the lake of fire after judgment.
We were able to find answers to questions that had never been satisfactorily answered for us in any other spiritual pursuance.
This initial believing was experientially confirmed as we did what Jesus Christ commanded, which was to believe on Him specifically as our Saviour, and received the miracles and blessings that followed. Our next confirmation was when we continued to meditate on the words of the Bible and appropriate by faith the promises of God within, with stunning success.
The Bible is a one-of-a-kind book. It is actually a collection of sixty-six books penned by forty human beings with vastly different educations and circumstances, over a span of 1600 years and across three continents. Yet it is in one voice, offering consistent answers to life’s existential questions and one harmonious overarching message: the salvation for humankind provided by Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. It is a history book as well as a theology book, also containing poetry, law, erotica, biography, satire and several other literary forms.
Many people do not recognize that the central theme of the whole Bible, Old Testament and New, is the redeeming love of Jesus Christ, our Creator incarnated into a human being. Rather than being a book of wisdom or precepts, it is actually a love story of our Creator’s plan to draw us from our rebellion back to Him and how He enacted and achieved that plan. The only step that is ours is that of belief. In believing the message and the Messenger, we receive the gift. This is a unique concept to all holy books and is nothing that could’ve been conceived of by man.
The Bible vindicates itself with numerous fulfilled prophecies, scientific predictions, and factual accounts corroborated by archaeological discoveries. If we didn’t believe the Bible were based on fact, we would not accept it as spiritual guidance for life.
It’s true that there is intolerance in the Bible, as there is in any worldview ~ it’s just a matter of what is tolerated and what is rejected. Whenever you accept any premise as true, you by default rule out any contradicting premise. The Bible is intolerant of evil and sin, which is defined as rebellion against our Creator, a Being of utter holiness and goodness. In fact, sin boils down to a lack of love for our Creator or a lack of love for our fellow human beings. But those lacks display themselves in a vast and creative array of abhorrent behaviours, as we well know.
As far as misogynist, no we do not think the Bible is misogynist. The Bible clearly states that men and women are both created in the image of God, and as such they have equal value in His eyes. Jesus chose a woman to be His first evangelist to the Samaritan people. He also chose a woman to be the first to greet after His resurrection. God commands that a Christian husband be willing to lay down his life for his wife. And there is profoundly ample other evidence in the Bible of the value that God has for the females He has created, even while we also see evidence in the Bible of their denigration by other humans. As a woman, I can testify that before I knew Jesus Christ, I was very insecure in my sense of my own personal value; but now that I do know Him, my sense of worth is unshakable.