Scripture. The key component to Christianity at its core. The cornerstone of our beliefs. Without Scripture, we have no belief, no Faith, no arguments, and no understanding of God and His existence. The defense of Scripture is so important that it has become a large tenant to Apologetics. Without it, Christianity fails.
Because of its importance, I have spent much time learning the historical and logical accuracy of the Scriptures. Because of this, I put much stock in the quality of response to the questions-to-be. While this may be the easiest Q&A so far, it will also be the most important. Read carefully.
1: Why is the unity and the sufficiency of Scripture important?
If Scripture is not completely unified and infallible (infallibility is defined as the incapability of error), the authenticity of Scripture comes into question. In other words: if we can question any part of Scripture as being inaccurate or downright wrong, we can question the entire thing. Remove one piece of the puzzle, and the entire thing crumbles.
2: How can I trust what the Bible says over all the other religious writings?
An extremely good (but old) question! Atheists will give a (surprisingly) reasonable answer: you can’t. The logic behind the answer is, again, reasonable- there are other religious writings that claim to be from God. How is the Bible any different?
The answer? Because not a single piece of the Bible has been scientifically, logically, historically, or philosophically disproven. Atheists and secularists will whine and attack this statement, but it is completely true.
“But the Bible has been disproven,” calls the Atheist college student in the back (this actually happened during a discussion chaired by the late Ravi Zacharias).
Actually, it hasn’t. This statement, “the Bible has been disproven”, is a mantra handed down from Atheistic professor to Atheistic student. Neither the professor nor the student knows the (nonexistent) reasoning or study behind the statement, nor do they care. They simply accept the false statement as it is and move on with their studies.
“This statement, “the Bible has been disproven”, is a mantra handed down from Atheistic professor to Atheistic student. Neither the professor nor the student knows the (nonexistent) reasoning or study behind the statement, nor do they care.”Tweet
I cannot overemphasize this: that statement is wrong. Not a single Atheist or non believer can actually back that statement up. They merely accept it as true.
The Bible stood the test of time and has passed all tests with flying colors. Its accuracy remains unquestioned; everything written therein is historically accurate.
3: What does the inspiration of Scripture mean? Why is this important?
The inspiration of Scripture refers to the Divine inspiration aspect, essentially describing the fact that God, through His power and wisdom, inspired the human authors of Scripture to write the legitimate words of God. In other words: the Bible is the literal Word of God, passed to us by human believers who were inspired directly by God Himself.
It is important because we then realize that if the Bible really is the divine, inspired Word of God, it is the most important, relevant, and necessary book of all time.
4: How would you respond to someone claiming the Quran is the true word of God?
I would likely go straight to the source, and ask, “How do you know? Because Mohammed told you so?” There lies the complete difference between the Bible and the Quran- the Bible is written by over fifty authors on three different continents in three (basically two with a few chapters in another) languages over the course of centuries. The Quran was written over a small period of time by a single man who, to be fair, basically invented the religion of Islam in the first place. He didn’t write the book after the beginning of the religion, he wrote it as an introduction to Allah in the first place.
Where was Allah for the past fifty centuries? Why did he suddenly decide to give his word at that time, in a book full of legitimate contradictions that are widely debated in back-and-forth discussion between Muslims?
The Bible, on the other hand, is a compilation from dozens of trusted, educated men throughout history, writing about events that already occured and have been since confirmed as reliable by today’s scholars. Moreover, the history of the Bible starts at the beginning, when God created the Earth.
Finally, I would be quite blunt, and say that Islam was built upon the back of Christianity, a knockoff of the first evolved (Judaism was redeemed by Christ who furthered it into Christianity) religion in history. Its reliability is questionable at best, and cannot be taken as 100% reliable.
5: How does the Book of Mormon compare to the Bible?
Despite many Mormons’ attempt to portray Mormonism as a sect/denomination of Christianity, the book of Mormon (and thus Mormonism itself) is directly contradictory to many truths taught within the Bible. While there are similarities, the book of Mormon is merely a modern-day Quran- built upon the back of Christianity in the hopes that it will attract men with a desire for power (especially over women).
6: What is the Gospel and why is it the core of the Christian faith?
The Gospel is the good news of Jesus’ death on the cross to forgive the sins of humanity and restore them in relationship to their Creator. It encompasses the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, ultimately portraying Jesus as the savior (Messiah) of humanity.
In other words: if it’s true, it is the greatest and most important event in history. If not, it is the most horrible and covered-up event in history.
It is the core of Christian faith because our faith revolves around Jesus’ death in the first place. Take away Jesus’ death, and we have nothing to place our hope and trust in.
7: Is the Bible historically reliable? Why is this important?
Absolutely. The Bible has been proven time and time again to be completely accurate. While I, personally, am not a Biblical scholar or archeologist, there are such men who, even today, proclaim the same thing. A complete explanation of my answer can be found here.
This is important for the same reason I gave in question 3: if the Bible is not 100% accurate and infallible, we cannot trust its contents. Without the complete reliability of the Bible, the death of Jesus is meaningless and born on complete, blind faith.
8: Does science contradict the Bible?
Absolutely not. If anything, the complete opposite is true: even today, science reinforces and confirms the authenticity of the Bible. It continues to show us new and amazing facts about our book, furthering the belief that God divinely preserved His Word for His children to read. More information on this topic can be found here.
9: Can you take the Bible literally?
Yes, but you must avoid taking every single thing within literally. Many of the Bible’s verses are metaphors and comparisons, literary tools used in proving a point. To take the Bible 100% literally is comparative to believing that the stage phrase “break a leg” means that every actor should actually break a leg.
An easy way to tell whether a verse should be taken completely seriously is by deciding if the verse is presenting a historical fact or a teaching. If the specific verse centers on a historical fact (ie. the death of Jesus or the battle of Jericho), it should be taken literally. If the verse presents a teaching, it can be taken literally (ie. “love your neighbor as yourself”), or it should be taken metaphorically (ie. “if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out” -Jesus simply means that anything causing you to sin should be avoided or removed entirely).
10: Why should you study the Bible?
To discern the teachings of God! If the Bible is indeed from God (as I believe it to be), it is the most important and needed book today. We desperately need what it says, yet most hardly know what the Bible says.
Christians should study the Bible especially hard, since it is the core of our lives. Reading the Bible should be as necessary as eating; avoid it, and you’ll starve.
“Reading the Bible should be as necessary as eating; avoid it, and you’ll starve.” -Elisha McFarlandTweet
11: Does the Bible condone slavery?
If you read from an entirely Old Testament perspective, yes, it would. Thankfully, there are more aspects to the Bible’s stance on the subject then the Old Testament.
The Old Testament’s laws on slavery were based on culture and the time it was written. In those days, slaves were a normal part of culture. Yet, interestingly, we do not see the Jews of the time completely conforming to the “slavery norm”. The way they conducted themselves in accordance to slavery was, quite frankly, admirable. The slaves were treated as servants, often paid, and were always released after a set amount of time. That was the law, there was no way around it.
Furthermore, the New Testament shows a stance against slavery, brought about by Jesus’ arrival on Earth and furthered by His teachings on love. “Love your neighbor as yourself” takes on a new meaning when you are a slave owner, and the Apostle Paul apparently realized this. While he didn’t completely condemn slavery, he took a stance that many modern-day Christians would do well to emulate- while he didn’t say that slavery is completely wrong and a massive piece to his government was wrong, he wrote on the spiritual side: A true Christian cannot hold a person captive and become the oppressors. We are called to submit to oppression and to our masters.
Thus, we find a three-prong stance: We are to submit to and understand our government without condemning it (since it is run by human beings who are sinful and do fail), we are to submit to oppression, our masters, and our government, but we cannot be the oppressors. Christianity is about the sacrifice of one man so that we might be restored in relationship with God and man. Christians cannot fulfill this while filling the role of the oppressor.
12: Respond to the statement: “The Bible is full of contradictions.”
Honestly, this statement is not illogical, and I can understand why someone would believe this to be true. Yet, a person that really reads the Bible will begin to understand the true meaning of the supposedly-contradictory verses, and this belief changes. Eventually we understand that it does not contradict, but it builds upon itself.
While the Bible may seem, at first, to contradict itself, further study does show otherwise. For example: in the two accounts of the open tomb, one writer speaks of two angels guarding the tomb, while another witness speaks only of one. Neither says, “there were two angels”, but both mention one. This is not a contradiction; instead, it shows that perhaps one witness only saw a single angel, while another saw two.
13: Respond to the statement: “The Bible is simply the work of a great conspiracy where people sought to create a religion of their own.”
If this is the case, why is the Bible the first religion (excluding Judaism as a people-group and belief set, not a religion)? Moreover, why has it taken ahold of so many people’s hearts and minds, becoming the largest movement in history?
14: How did we get the biblical canon we have today, and how can we trust that it is truly the Word of God?
We have received the Biblical canon today through the meticulous preservation of the original texts/translations by monks and scholars over the course of two thousand years. We can trust that it has not changed by comparing our current Bible with the oldest manuscripts in our possession, some dating mere decades after Jesus’ recorded death. We can trust that it is God’s Word because Jesus, God’s son, said it is. Since the Bible has passed the test of history, science, and archeology, it must be true when it tells us that Jesus says it is the word of God.
Hopefully, you understand why I have answered in the way I did. If not, feel free to put any comments or constructive criticism in the comment section below. I’d love to hear your thoughts!
In the meantime, thank you so much for reading, and I hope you have a fantastic day.
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