There’s nothing like the written Word of God for showing you the way to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us. 2 Timothy 3:15-16 (MSG)
I grew up in church never questioning the authority, accuracy or inspiration of scripture. As I approached my mid 20s I began to question many of the things I just believed as a child. My best friend’s brother was a seminarian. We had many good talks. I remember his answer to my question, “Why doesn’t the Bible mention anything about the dinosaur?” I remember it because his answer was instantaneous and it made me laugh. As the “s” sound of “dinosaurs” came from my lips, his snappy answer came from his, “Because dinosaurs have little religious significance.”
The Bible always seems to be under scrutiny. TV shows dramatically portray the events. Documentaries attempt to explain the miracles and secrets. Many people talk about the Bible. Many dismiss the Bible. Sometimes, deep in my heart, I think some Christians are to blame for some of the disdain non-believers have toward the Bible.
Let me be perfectly clear. I believe, unequivocally, the Bible is the inerrant, inspired, or God-breathed, word of God. I do not believe the Bible is all things. The Bible doesn’t answer every question in the universe. The Bible doesn’t record all of the events of history. The Bible is not a science book, it’s not simply a history book, it’s not a self help book, it’s not a bunch of fun stories and good ideas. To try to make the Bible be something it’s not is a mistake and opens the door for misinterpretation and misrepresentation. It also fuels the criticism of the non-believer and the unwilling to believe.
So what is the Bible?
Paul made the purpose of the written word clear when he wrote to Timothy. The written word is for teaching the principles of God and for teaching the character of God. The Bible is a light in the darkness, (Psalm 119:105) to both expose error and enlighten the reader; to offer reproof of sinful behavior (Psalm 119:11). To correct the errant course humanity invariably chooses. Finally, the Bible is a training guide to produce Godly character, to produce believers fully equipped and capable of service to God (Psalm 19:7-11).
The Bible is a unique book. The author of Hebrews says God’s word is alive and working. No book requires a response in the way the Bible does. The Bible is demanding. The Bible is God’s purposeful revelation of Himself, His plan, and His love. After offering that knowledge, God demands the reader’s response.
The “aliveness” of the Bible makes it a threat to Satan. Satan attempts to diminish and discredit the Bible. To the non-believer the lie takes the form of the half truths; the Bible was written by man and so there are contradictions and errors, the Bible is only a collection of stories and fairy tales, the Bible is a crutch weak people use to try and control and manipulate others. The list is lengthy but I don’t think these are the worst lies about the Bible.
Satan spins the worst lies for the believer, the very ones who should be able to wield the sword and conquer the enemy. Satan’s lie makes those charged with changing the world, impotent. Have you heard these lies whispered in your ear?
- You don’t need to read or know scripture.
- It’s an old outdated book. People can make it say whatever they want.
- Don’t try and share the Bible with your friends, they’ll think you’re nuts!
- You have read your Bible enough. There is nothing left for you to get from it.
The Bible is God’s word, His heart, His love “breathed-out” to man. The creator of the universe wants you to KNOW Him; so much so, He wrote it down. The Bible is perfect for teaching, reproof, correction and training in righteousness. It’s alive with meaning for today. It’s powerful. It’s an invaluable gift. It’s a precious treasure.
Father, thank you for your word. Deafen my ears to the lie that your word is an optional part of my life as a believer. Give me a hunger for your word. Open my heart and mind to the truth of your word.