t{squared} Is the Bible True?

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theology

First time to read t{squared}? Click over here to read the introduction or click on the button above to read previous posts.

Is the Bible True?

Many of you will by default answer this question “yes” and it may seem a waste of time to explore this issue. However, in today’s increasingly relative (what’s “true” for you isn’t necessarily “true” for me) society, we need to understand why we believe the Bible is true and the results of that belief.

Let’s walk through what we have explored so far:

First we established that the Bible is a book of God’s words. This resulted in a discussion of how the books of the Bible were determined to be God’s words which concluded in the Old Testament being affirmed as such by Christ and the New Testament being affirmed as such by adhering to some given standards. Finally, we concluded that if the Bible is indeed God’s words, then the Bible is authoritative for life based on its proclamation to be such.

Now, is the Bible true? To consider this question, we must return to the beginning of our journey: The Bible is a book of God’s words. If the Bible is a book of God’s words, then we are really asking the question: are God’s words true? 

To answer this, we must consider what we know about God. Since we’ve established the Bible as God’s words and authoritative for life, Scripture seems to be the logical place to look to learn about God.

Scripture teaches that God cannot lie or speak falsely. Conversely, everything God says is true.

  • Titus 1:2 describes God as one “who never lies”.
  • Hebrews 6:18 teaches that it is impossible for God to lie.
  • In John 14:6, Jesus (who is God incarnate) defines himself as the Truth.
If God never lies, it is impossible for Him to lie, and He defines himself as truth, then our conclusion must be that His words are true and therefore the Bible is true.
In fact, the Bible attests to this:

Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.”
Proverbs 30:5

I feel compelled to add that the Bible is true whether you believe it or not.

The Bible is true not because we believe it is true but because God’s words make up the whole of it. <—-Click to Tweet!

Application

Upfront warning: This week’s application gets a bit complicated and is considered controversial by some, so I strongly encourage you to study this for yourself and draw your own conclusions. I have spent lots of time studying this and discussing it with those whom I respect.

I mentioned earlier that Jesus defines himself as Truth in John 14:6. He also defines God’s word as truth in John 17:17. Grudem points out that He uses the noun here rather than an adjective. God is not simply described as true, but He Himself IS truth. This leads to the conclusion that the Bible is our final standard of Truth. If God IS truth, then he is the standard that determines all other truth. Grudem defines truth as “what God says which we have accurately but not exhaustively in the Bible” (83).

This leads to the controversial statement: “All Truth is God’s Truth”. Just google it and you’ll find scores of controversial articles.

How do we use this in our daily lives?

If the Bible is our standard for truth, then we hold everything up the the lens of Scripture to see if it passes muster. Sometimes, though, Scripture does not speak directly concerning an issue. Here we have three options (prayer goes without saying):

  1. Reject it completely. One may reject watching movies all together because the Bible does not speak directly about watching movies.
  2. Measure it against the principles of Scripture. While the Bible may not comment directly about watching movies, the principles found in Scripture help guide our choices.
  3. Critically use empirical research. In some situations, the Bible may not give a specific answer or a guiding principle. In this situation, we may use empirical research or other methods of gathering solid information from which to base our decision. For example, the Bible doesn’t comment on what sort of car you should drive. There isn’t a guiding principle in Scripture telling you what type of car to drive. So you rely on research to make your decision.

Personally, I believe we are still following Scripture by using methods 2 and 3 understanding that our decision is not “true” but guided by truth. When following these methods for making a decision, we must be humble and always prepared to change our decision should someone point out a flaw in our thinking or a passage we missed.

In sum, when deciding whether an idea is True, we first search the Scriptures as our ultimate standard of Truth. If the Bible does not speak directly on the issue, then we search for a guiding principle from the Bible to base our decision. If no guiding principle fits, then we use the best research we have available and humbly make our choice.

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This post is linked with thanks to:

Thought Provoking Thursday
Thoughtful Thursday
Thankful Thursday
Proverbs 31 Thursday

Life in Bloom
Thrive at Home Thursday

Comments

  1. Rosarymom says:

    Love it. As part of empirical research, this is where Sacred Tradition comes into play. There have been many holy men and women who have come before us that we can learn from. We don’t have to reinvent the wheel so to speak. It’s amazing how in our modern day we struggle with similar issues of our early church brothers and sisters in Christ. There are great books from the saints too. I found your post linked up at NOBH.

    • I’m assuming you are coming from a Catholic background which is different from mine–Southern Baptist. But you are right, we can definitely learn from the writings of our brothers and sisters who have gone before us.

  2. RedOakLane says:

    Very interesting post! Wow!

  3. “the Bible is true whether you believe it or not” AMEN! I love your heart for sharing the Truth every week. Thanks for linking up to Thrive @ Home!

  4. Is there a particular truth that inspired you to speak about God’s Truth? :) I hear you…may we continually be seekers of God, and the Truth He continues to reveal!

  5. Great post! Talking about absolute truth in a relative truth world is tough stuff! Thanks for linking up at Thrive@Home!

  6. Jessica @ Muthering Heights says:

    This is so, SO good Mary Beth!

  7. Girl, I’m glad you said it and I didn’t have to :)
    So thankful for truth!!!

    and thank YOU for taking the time to show us truth in its purest form.

  8. Mary Schieferstein says:

    Oh, I love theology! How wonderful to think rightly of God, to see Him as He is, and allow that to cause us to fall even more in love with Him! Thank you for addressing this important issue of truth – almost nonexistent by the standards of today’s culture, but so important for us! So refreshing to come across good theology out here! Thank you for sharing!

  9. Theresa Miller says:

    This is refreshing! It is disheartening to hear of all the disbelief out there, even within our “Christian” communities…the bible as not authoritative because of our imperfect interpretation (how would you respond to that?) And incidentally, many discrediting Jesus as God. Ugh…it breaks my heart. Yet, I don’t think there is any doubting if one truly has a personal relationship with Christ, has truly experienced the presence of the Holy Spirit, and has experienced those words jump off of the pages of His Word. Thank you for this wisdom.

  10. Fantastic post, thank you for your courage in saying what many are not bold enough to!

  11. Mary Beth, this is GREAT! I don’t know what denomination, if any, you are a part of, but this lines up perfectly with Lutheran theology. :) I’m impressed with your research and reasoning.

    I actually wrote an article recently about truth and what it is, and went through a very similar argument to determine that Scripture is also true, since it is God’s Word (http://jaimie-livinginthelight.blogspot.com/2012/06/what-is-truth.html).
    But you were much more thorough in the Scripture passages you used. Thank you for this! So good!

Trackbacks

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  3. […] covering the truthfulness of Scripture last week, you may think it a bit redundant to cover inerrancy. Maybe so, but we can never […]

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