The Certainty Of The Bible

chicken-3-1392636-mWhich came first, the chicken or the egg? It’s a conundrum to many people, but for those of us who believe the Bible, not so much. God created the animals, including birds, so clearly the chicken came first.

In truth, belief in the Bible is a similar chicken-or-egg puzzle for many people. How do you know the Bible is true? Short answer: God’s fingerprints are all over it. But how do you recognize God’s fingerprints? The Bible gives us a portrait of Him.

So which comes first, belief in God or belief in the Bible?

I’d say, both. Scripture is important throughout . . . well, Scripture. For example, Philip explained to an Ethiopian the Scripture he was reading, and the man consequently believed in Jesus; in His teaching ministry, Jesus Himself elaborated on the Law of Moses; Paul and Peter quoted frequently from Old Testament prophets; and so on. Scripture values Scripture.

But there was a time before people had Scripture, and God still made Himself known, so faith in God must not be tied exclusively to faith in the Bible. In fact the book of Romans explains that God first made Himself known in what He created.

In addition Scripture records any number of direct encounters God or one of His angels had with various people. Sometimes He appeared in a dream such as He did to Jacob. Sometimes He talked directly to an individual as He did with Adam and Abraham and Samuel. At other times He appeared in the form of a man as He did to Gideon or Jacob–which may have been an angel as His messenger or Jesus before His coming to earth in the form of a baby.

Then there are the indirect messages God gave people through prophets–men who spoke His message at His prompting. People like Hosea and Jonah, Ezekiel and Jeremiah.

But here’s the thing: we know about these encounters today through the Bible. So how do you have faith in God’s ability to make Himself known apart from the Bible except by believing that the Bible record is true?

There seems to be a sort of synergistic relationship with believing God and believing the Bible. One leads to the other and the other leads back to the starting point. The Bible reveals God and God validates the Bible. Or God points to His word and His word points back to Him.

The idea that God points to His word might seem doubtful, but it’s actually Biblical. 😉 Jesus explained to His disciples that the Holy Spirit would come and guide them, and us, into all truth (John 16:13). In fact, He said,

When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me (John 15:26).

The Holy Spirit, then, is our source of truth, and as it happens, it was the Holy Spirit who breathed His truth into Scripture through the agency of humans.

But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. (2 Peter 1:20-21)

In turn, Scripture tells us about the Holy Spirit and all His work.

Seems very eggish and chickenish, doesn’t it. Except, remember, there really is an easy answer to the question that appears, on the surface, to be a puzzle. So, too, with this matter about believing the Bible.

The first step is to ask, can we know about God apart from the Bible? The answer, which the Bible verifies, but which countless humans down through the ages have discovered apart from the Bible, is yes. When we look at the vastness of space–and more so now that we can look into deep space using advanced technology–or the beauty of a sunset or the majesty of purple mountains or the thunderous power of the surf or the intricacy of a butterfly or the astounding birth of a baby or . . . pretty much anything in the natural world, we recognize we are part of all that exists, not the maker of it. There is something beyond us.

Today a popular position is to say that “something” is nature itself. This position has many problems. But here’s the thing. Having recognized that there is something beyond us, we then see God saying He has chosen to disclose Himself to us.

We ought not to be shocked if some people respond by saying, Really? I mean, it is a rather fantastic claim. An Other, a Greater, wants to stop by for a chat? Wants to introduce Himself and become friends? It’s . . . incredible.

So we can say, NOT POSSIBLE, meaning that we have determined we know what is and isn’t possible in a universe we did not create and do not fully comprehend; or we can say, the One who is Other and Greater is also Incredible.

What then can’t He do? If He chooses to disclose Himself in a written record, who am I to say, no, He didn’t.

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Published in: on October 15, 2013 at 1:32 pm  Comments (2)  
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2 Comments

  1. The bible justifying it’s own claims is circular reasoning (a logical fallacy) and is an error in logic made by advocates of many religions. Here are some humorous examples of it:

    Amniotic eggs appear for the first time in the fossil record about 200 million years ago, 50 million years before the earliest true birds that have ever been discovered – before that species laid eggs, just without the amnion (lining) as it was part of the adaptation from sea to land. An interesting fact – humans lay eggs to this day, we just retain them in our abdomen until they begin to hatch (water breaking). The amniotic sac a baby grows in is anatomically the same as the lining of a chicken egg (just without the shell), and it contains an empty yolk sac. We also have the genes for making egg yolk proteins, but they are deactivated and in humans no longer do anything.

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  2. agnophilo, thanks for your comment.

    I agree with you that there is a certain amount of circular arguing, but no more than would exist if I tried to prove to you that I’m a real person without actually meeting you. You start with my words on this blog and perhaps move to the Gravatar info or my Facebook account or Twitter or any of the other links you find, but the fact is, they originated here. So if this is a fabrication, those would also be a fabrication since this points to those.

    The point is, there has to be something from which a person reasons. You obviously are choosing to reason from nature, but history proves that what we know about nature is not static and is not reliable.

    The fact, for example, that egg fossils have been discovered that are older than bird fossils only points to the idea that the egg precedes the bird until someone discovers an older bird fossil. And you cannot say with any authority that this will not happen.

    At best a study of nature shows us that a study of nature is fallible.

    Becky

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