2 — What We Believe About the Bible

Every religion has its holy literature.  Confucianism has its “Analects.” Hinduism has its “Bhagavad Gita.”  Islam has its “Koran” and, of course, Christianity has its “Bible.”  Of them all, only the Bible claims to be the history of God’s dealings with mankind from the beginning, and of all religions, only Christianity and Judaism count on the truthfulness of that story as the total foundation of their faith.

As God interacted with humanity, His people began writing about what He did and what He said.  Along the way, a body of literature, divided by centuries, verified by history and united by a common theme began to form.  Present in every book, that common theme was: “God loves His people and wants the world to be those people and love Him back through trust, obedience, and love for each other.”  That body of literature was called by a variety of names.  Jesus knew its content and the Jewish people of His day knew it to be well defined.  Throughout, that literature claimed by its content to be the story of God and mankind.  By its vocabulary, it claimed to be the word of God – a claim that appears nearly 6000 times (similar claims appear only 8 times in the Koran and only 175 times in the Book of Mormon).

In the Christian faith, the Bible is our supreme authority, but that doesn’t mean we should be guilty of worshiping it.  The Bible is neither God nor Jesus.

On the other hand, without it, while we might conclude there is a God of some kind, but we would know little of Him. We wouldn’t know He cares for us.  We wouldn’t know what He wanted of us, and we wouldn’t know if He had hope for us.

Though written over a period of 1600 years, its youngest part being now 2000 years old, the Bible is the best attested document of antiquity.  No other book comes close to it.  Were we to dismiss it on textual grounds, we would also have to dismiss the writings of Plato, Caesar, Suetonius, Tacitus, and (more near our time) Shakespeare.  Without it, the Christian faith is but a straw in the wind, unworthy of notice.

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