Know What You Believe; Believe What You Know: The Bible
“We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. . .” (2 Peter 1:16).
Oh, the B I B L E,
Yes, that’s the book for me,
I stand alone on the Word of God,
The B I B L E!
This little children’s chorus has been around since I was a girl. I taught it to my son and to children in the preschool department for years as we shared stories of Creation, David and Goliath, Noah’s Ark, Jonah and the Whale, the fall of Jericho, Baby Jesus, the Cross and the Empty Tomb. I loved learning and later telling those familiar stories and like all the other children, I believed them. But come on you say, you’re an adult – isn’t it time stop believing in “stories?”
I suppose that’s a valid question, and it deserves a solid answer.
The truth is, I would stop believing if I thought they were only stories made up in the minds of men. But I am confident in the authority of the Bible as the Word of God from the mind of God given to human authors through the Spirit of God. That’s exactly what Peter says following up our key verse: “Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit”(2 Peter 1:20-21).
God wrote the words of Scripture through the pens of men like Moses, David, the Prophets, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, Peter, and James. David, in the last of his Psalms said, “The Spirit of the Lord spoke through me; His word was on my tongue”(2 Samuel 23:2). It is so important to understand that the Bible is not man’s ideas, thoughts, opinions or views on what God has said – it is man as the scribe recording what God has said through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
Many people view the Bible as a directive for how we are to live our lives. Paul said, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work”(2 Timothy 3:16-17). First, notice that Paul confirms the inspiration of Scripture as coming directly from God to man. Secondly, notice that Paul said the Scriptures are useful for life-direction – but that is not the chief purpose of the Holy Writ.
Neil Lightfoot, in his study How We Got the Bible notes, “It was God’s purpose that by means of a written record he would be revealed to all ages and tongues as Creator and Redeemer.” God is all about relationship, about knowing and loving us and us knowing and loving Him. Since the beginning God has been revealing Himself to His beloved creation. He came to Adam and Eve in the Garden until sin broke that pure fellowship. He revealed Himself in various ways to Noah and to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and to Moses. He revealed Himself through words given to His prophets. And finally and perfectly, He revealed Himself through His Son, Jesus. The Bible is a written testament to the reality of God the Creator and Redeemer of all that exists. Over and over in Scripture God reveals His will, “That you may know Me.”
Consider this: If God desires to reveal Himself to humankind, why would he allow men to include fantasy and fallacy in the written account of Himself? Archeological finds such as the Dead Sea Scrolls confirm the accuracy of the Bible as we have it today in comparison to the most ancient manuscripts available. Most modern translations have been painstakingly taken from the ancient Hebrew and Greek and research has proven that any changes from those manuscripts are minimal and do not affect the original message.
That said, I don’t hold to the authority and authenticity of the Bible because of these things. They support my faith in the Bible, but they are not the reason I trust it. I believe in the Bible as the inerrant and infallible Word of God because it has changed my life. It was there that I met Jesus and He turned this sinful woman into the daughter of the Most High God. The Bible is so much more than a good book – as Moses declared, “They are not just idle words for you—they are your life”(Deuteronomy 32:47).
Holy Father, thank You for all the ways You have revealed Yourself to human beings. Thank You for inspiring men to records words that we can understand to make Yourself known. Give me a holy passion to drink in the words of the Bible for as long as I live. Amen.
 Neil R. Lightfoot, How We Got the Bible: Third Edition, (Grand Rapids, Baker, 2003), 23.
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