Is the Bible trustworthy
Is the Bible trustworthy? – What about the words of Jesus in it?
Is the Bible trustworthy? No ancient religion possesses its original scriptures, first written on rock, clay, leaves, reeds, or animal skin. That’s true of the Jewish Old Testament, the Judeo-Christian New Testament, Islam’s Koran, Buddha’s teachings, and the Hindu Vedas. The originals were copied and later lost, buried, or destroyed. The same is true of every ancient author and even of many more modern books and writings.
When it comes to the Christian New Testament (Injil), literally thousands of ancient, hand-written copies or portions still exist today. They date from before the advent of printing, some back to within a few decades from the lives of the original authors. These many manuscripts (the word means “hand-written texts”) testify to people’s great enthusiasm for the good news about Jesus. They copied them whenever they could. Meaningful differences between these New Testament manuscripts are relatively minor. The science of textual studies compares the differences, evaluates them, and brings the words of the New Testament to almost complete certainty. The few places where questions might remain make little or no difference to the Christian faith. Furthermore, nothing is missing. It’s simply a matter deciding which of two or three forms is the original.
Adherents of any religion can, of course, claim they possess scriptures in their original form. However, such claims cannot be proven. They can only be taken on faith. When it comes to faith, Jesus Himself has something to tell us.
“Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own” (John 7:17).
The real questions are not about the Bible, but about its content. What does it say? In particular, who was Jesus, and what should He mean to me? As some military men of His day said about Him, “No one ever spoke the way this man does” (John 7:46).
Is the Bible trustworthy? – What about translations?
What about translations of holy books? Don’t they corrupt the original? Not necessarily. God made language, and if He wants, He can help people translate holy scriptures. When Jesus returned to heaven He told His disciples:
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20).
“Philip said, ‘Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.’ Jesus answered: ‘Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, “Show us the Father”? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it’” (Luke 14:8-14).
Compliments of Scott Munger, PhD, Biblica, All rights reserved in the original.
What is your response?
Yes, today I am deciding to follow Jesus
Yes, I am already a follower of Jesus
I still have questions