Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Why Trust The Bible?

On Christmas Eve it seems fitting to ask the question, Is the Bible true?  After all, many people will have been reading the Christmas story in the Bible in the weeks leading up to Christmas.  How we do know what REALLY happened?  Can we trust the Bible as a reliable historical manuscript?

These are good questions to ask and are a stumbling block to many when it comes to investigating Christianity.  Amy Orr-Ewing was challenged by her friends with these very questions and so she set about proving that what the Bible says about history and Jesus is wholly reliable and true.

In the book, she addresses 10 main questions that non-Christians challenge the Bible with:

  • Isn't it all a matter of interpretation?
  • Can we know anything about history?
  • Are the biblical manuscripts reliable?
  • Is the contents of the manuscripts reliable?
  • What about the canon?
  • What about the other holy books?
  • Isn't the Bible sexist?
  • What about all the wars?
  • Isn't the Bible out of date on sex?
  • How can I know?
This is a great book to give to non-Christians who are asking the hard questions about the Bible.  It is particularly aimed at those 'academic types' (some of it went a bit over my head even though I've been to uni), people who want facts and 'proof'.

It's also ideal for Christians who've been asked this question by friends and are not quite sure to say.  It helped me feel more confident in explaining why I trust the Bible and that it's not a book of fairy stories.

However, the thing I had to remind myself was that faith is ultimately God's work.  A book like this is great to give to someone wanting to hold the Bible up against time and history, but it cannot change people's hearts.  It may set them along the path to faith, but only God can make the seed grow.  Too often when I've had conversations with people wanting hardcore proof, I've thought that if only I could find enough proof, then they'd come to faith.  But sometimes the questions come because people DON'T WANT to believe.  I used to ask these questions before I became a Christian, but I didn't really want the answers - I just wanted an excuse to mock the Bible.  I was quick to believe other stories passed down in history, but doubt the Bible because it makes such big claims on our lives.  God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise.

Still, for someone with these questions, whether they are genuinely seeking or not, this book would be good to give to them.

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