Is the Bible Trustworthy?

One of most highly debated issues is whether the Bible is trustworthy or not. Three major views exist which are:

 

  1. The Bible is all fiction
  2. The Bible is partially trustworthy with errors
  3. The Bible is all inspired by God and inerrant

Option 1: God’s Word is All Fiction

If one can “prove” the Bible is untrustworthy, one can claim the Bible and Christianity is just another false religion. Perhaps good ideas on how to live, but not to be trusted as absolute Truth. Even the idea that Jesus ever existed is in question which would be the same as future generations questioning if you or I ever existed. 

The most rational reasoning and empirical evidence driven arguments will never convince a person to believe the Bible is not fictitious. It is not because enough evidence doesn’t exist, because an overwhelming amount of evidence exists from archeology to ancient manuscripts. However, spiritual truths require an element of faith. It requires more than intellectual capacity we naturally possess. It requires supernatural involvement to understand God’s precepts.

One of the main reasons why the Bible should not be considered fictitious is the impact it has had for over 2,000 years. It has stood the test of time. Generation after generation testify that something is uniquely different about the Bible. It is life changing and transformative, not just another book on the shelf.

Option 2: The Bible is Partially Trustworthy with Errors

Unfortunitely, many Bible critics, church leaders, and Bible scholars will argue because God is infallible, and humanity is fallible, Scripture can’t be fully trusted because it was written by humans. But as Christians, if we pick and choose which parts of the Bible to accept and reject we are moving into dangerous territory. The canon which is comprised of 66 books has been solidified as God’s Word since A.D. 397. Nothing wrong with seeking Truth through technical analysis of Scripture, but the evidence is overwhelmingly in support of the validity of the canonicity. All 66 books of the Bible has remained relevant and trustworthy since the day they were written. If we pick and choose the parts of the Bible to accept and reject, we will always accept Scripture that communicates something we want to hear, while discarding the parts we don’t want to hear. Sadly, many well-known seminaries have moved towards this view based on technical arguments that evidences suggest some piece and parts of the Bible are questionable in terms of validity. In these cases, the process taken seeks to debunk Scripture, verses validate Scripture.

Option 3: The Bible is All Inspired by God and Inerrant

Nothing beats using God’s Word to walk through a topic or issue. Even if someone doesn’t trust that all Scripture is inerrant and God-breathed (inspired by God). It is still God’s Word that is powerful, and can pierce the heart. Therefore, the first step to determine if the Bible is trustworthy or not is to consult the Bible.

Scripture says, “ALL Scripture is God’s Word.”  The three best examples to confirm this truth in Scripture are:

  1. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
  2. 1 Corinthians 2:13
  3. Luke 24:27

 

2 Timothy 3:16-17 – 16 ALL Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

 all Scripture is God-breathed (theopneustos, “inspired”). What does it mean to be inspired? In this case, it doesn’t mean merely inspirationally motivated, but it is God’s will, mind, and heart.

Notice the purpose [so that] for why all Scripture is God-breathed. So that the Master can best equip the servant to do His good work. Only the Creator as the ability and authority to give instruction to its creation.

The Apostle Paul is the author God used to pen 2 Timothy, and what Paul says is astonishing. As a writer, Paul is basically saying, “These are not my words, but ALL God’s words.” An author of any literary work (yesterday, today, and tomorrow) looks to take credit, not give credit away. We want recognition for our work so we can be glorified, not give someone else glory, especially if it is our own work. So, the fact Paul basically says, “Look, these are not my words” is so audacious it supports the validity that what he is saying must be true. He is writing a letter of instruction to Timothy, not a fiction novel. It would make absolutely no sense for Paul to say, “What I have written are not our words,” in a letter of instruction if it was not true.

Some people even claim that Paul did not write 2 Timothy even though the letter begins by stating Paul as the author.

 

1 Corinthians 2:13 “This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.”

This verse is critical to understand how human authors were able to pen God’s Word inerrantly and on God’s behalf. Speaking spiritual Truth is the work of the Holy Spirit, not human wisdom. And, Spiritual understanding is the work of the Spirit. Speaking and understanding God’s will requires divine involvement. The same holds true for the written words in the Bible, and for us to understand the meaning of those words.

 

2 Peter 1:21 – “For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”

Here is another verse confirming prophetic writings were not birthed by human wisdom or will, but were words from God delivered by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Summary: A Trustworthy Author Makes All The Words Trustworthy

If God’s Word is not “all” inerrant and God-breathed, it is not trustworthy. We then can pick and choose which parts we like and want to follow, and which parts to ignore. It is a slippery slope. But if we trust by faith God’s Word is inerrant and God-breathed in spite of criticism, we are not acting in ignorance, but faithfulness.

If we look back on history and the lives of men and women that held to the inerrancy and validity that God’s Word is not merely human wisdom, but words from above, we will see lives worth living. Alternatively, those that spent their lives trying to persuade God’s Word was not to be trusted lived hopeless lives. They did not offer reason to the illogical, but doubt to what can and should be trusted. It is one thing to speak against untruth which brings Light into darkness. It is another thing to speak against Truth which manifests the absence of light. Logically-speaking, if God and His Word is a big hoax, What hope does humanity have as historical and current evidence shows humanity is broken at its core and can’t fix itself?

Final Note: We are not copilots with God. We worship God. He is a loving Father that is worthy of our praise. The inerrancy of Scripture keeps God in control, while everything else seeks to challenge His authority.

Important Questions to Ask:

If one is to reject the Bible or any of its pieces or parts, they must first ask the following questions. Most people that reject the Bible never even ask these simple questions before rejecting it, and deeming it as untrustworthy.

  • How do one decide which parts of God’s Word are His versus human wisdom?
  • How do one decide what to receive, and what to reject as God’s Truth?

Additional Recommended Resources:

What to learn more about why Scripture is trustworthy? Here are some quality resources to read.


 

Resources:

A. Duane Litfin, “2 Timothy,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 757.

The Bible: The Holy Canon of Scripture 

The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts