The Bible And Nothing But The Bible

“Sola Scriptura” is one of the five statements that more or less define Protestantism and which came out of the Reformation in agreement with the 95 Theses that Martin Luther produced five hundred years ago.

Despite this basic doctrine, the Bible has come under attack from any number of sources. First there are those who believe Church tradition and papal authority should be considered as just as important. Others believe a later revelation has added to the Bible. Then there are those who think only parts of the Bible matter, such as the words of Jesus. Others think there are some concepts that are good, but others that are outdated. Still others question its authenticity and others its accuracy. Pretty much, if you can find an excuse for not believing the Bible or parts of it, someone has turned it into a rallying cry for those who oppose Christ.

Oppose Christ?

Yes. The point is, the Bible from start to finish, is His story. Even in the Old Testament Christ is the central figure in one way or another.

Some critics claim that the Bible is nothing more than a jumbled collection of human writings. They completely miss the cohesion that proclaims the gospel throughout.

The proclamation of the gospel is at the heart of the Bible. “Sola Scriptura” does not mean that the Bible is the only source of truth. Certainly we can learn facts about our world from a physical science text. We can turn to a grammar book to learn about the construction of language. We can learn about our past by studying a history book.

On the other hand, should the Bible say something about any of those topics, it is accurate. How could it not be? It’s revelation from God. He knows our history better than we do. He’s not going to get the facts wrong.

But the Bible, though containing history and science and literature, is much more than a book about those temporal things. The Bible gives the information a person needs spiritually. In other words, the Bible is the “go to” book when it comes to spiritual matters.

The oft overlooked fact about the Reformation, and particularly Sola Scriptura, is that, as Luther intended, the Roman Catholic Church did experience a reformation, in part. In other words, the Bible is now valued in the Catholic confession in ways it was not prior to Luther’s departure from the papal teaching about indulgences.

So here’s the bottom line all these five hundred years later. Evangelical Christians believe the Bible is sufficient for salvation; it gives us all we need to know regarding the spiritual life. Also it’s reliable. And it’s authoritative; there is no other higher voice that can or will supersede the Bible.

Third, it is determinative. In other words, how someone responds to the spiritual truth contained in Scripture, determines his eternal destiny.

I find it significant that one attack on the Bible comes from the philosophy that the spiritual, since it can’t be proven by science, simply doesn’t exist. That belief relegates the Bible as useless. Who cares what an ancient book has to say about a spiritual life you don’t believe exists?

Of course, the problem is, people who hold this belief ask for physical proof of the spiritual. They don’t seem to understand that spiritual life is a different animal. They’re basically saying that a tree does not exist because it doesn’t have the properties of a sheep.

The thing is, the Bible explains why some people turn their backs on the Bible:

And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.

The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Corinthians 2:13-14, ESV)

How can a person go from folly to spiritual discernment? By wanting to and by asking God for the ability. Of course, those who reject God are kind of stuck. Those who don’t even think they have a spiritual life are in a cul-de-sac of their own making.

The Bible has all the answers a person needs for spiritual life and godliness. It’s reliable, sufficient, authoritative, determinative and requires only that a person read it and believe it.

Published in: on October 23, 2017 at 6:10 pm  Comments (15)  
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15 Comments

  1. Hi again Rebecca, you write “The Bible has all the answers a person needs for spiritual life and godliness. It’s reliable, sufficient, authoritative, determinative and requires only that a person read it and believe it.”
    Can you imagine reading one of Shakespeare’s plays, the HG Wells classic “War of The Worlds” or imagine a random fictional book about spiritual matters such as “The Celestine Prophecy” by James Redfield or even a superhero comic book surfacing two thousand years from now after everything had been destroyed and being told the stories really happened and you must read and believe it or face the undesirable consequences?

    You may say that is stupid to believe stories such as those, but it would not be so stupid if the story was changed many years later than it was originally written to manipulate the people by using the main male character as responsible for saving all humanity that is existing on Earth, and the book claimed if you celebrated and publicly loved this character you would live a long peaceful life but if you ignored and slandered his name you would expect to die a horrible death. Religious and political ideologies in some respects, are not that far apart, are they?

    This type of situation will of course never happen in our modern times or the future, however any documentation can be forged, altered and destroyed to suit the ideologies of the day. The Bible is a great example, as it has been claimed that at least 11 of the 27 New Testament books are forgeries by some Biblical manuscript experts. Even if you claimed they are wrong, the issue provides the evidence that the Bible is just as untrustworthy as many other historical documents have proven to be.

    As all humans were supposedly given the freedom to decide how we live by your Christian God, we atheists have used this aspect to its full extent to find the truth and therefore we reject all gods, surely, he should have seen this coming, so if he did was it that he needed fuel for the barbecue😊

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    • Steve, you posed a can-you-imagine situation—reading fiction and the being ” told the stories really happened and you must read and believe it” But the fact is, when the various writers recorded history, people were still alive who lived it and could have refuted it. Instead, people were assigned to carefully transcribe copies so that the record would be preserved. There’s no reason to believe the Bible history isn’t true. None. Unless, of course, you discount the things that are supernatural. But why would anyone do that instead of seeing the historical record as evidence for the supernatural?

      In addition you imply that the Bible was changed “to manipulate people.” But the opposite is true. It was painstakingly preserved. I challenge you to find one bit of evidence to support the idea that it was changed. On the other hand, archaeology has uncovered rooms where scribes worked at copying the Scripture accurately. Historians have details about the requirements for an accepted copy. Furthermore we have fragments that verify the accuracy of the text we have today and the preserved copy. You are believing someone’s lie if you think the Bible has been changed.

      The idea that some anonymous person who doesn’t believe the Bible claims that some of the New Testament consists of forgeries is quite amusing. It really is beneath those who want to examine evidence and make a conclusion. As far as taking such errant ideas to “prove” that forgeries are possible—also quite amusing. That’s like saying, I can imagine aliens came and populated the earth, so that must be what happened. And even if you don’t believe it, my statement should convince you that it’s a possibility. No. Actually, it isn’t. There’s too much historical evidence to the contrary.

      I’m sorry you think God and the judgement He will bring on those who reject Him is a laughing matter, Steve. God, being self-existent, doesn’t NEED anything. Yes, He did know some would become His enemies. He wanted, however, to bring reconciliation to all who come to Him, repent of their rebellion, and turn to revere Him and serve Him.

      It’s kind of like holding a party, and you really want your friends to come. But how do you determine who your friends are? You send out invitations and say, RSVP that you’re coming. There will be some who don’t RSVP and some will say, NOT COMING. Do you still want those people at the party?

      Becky

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      • This I accept Rebecca “I challenge you to find one bit of evidence to support the idea that it was changed.”

        The Codex Sinaiticus or Sinai Bible which is handwritten in Greek and lives in the British library\museum dated as written 330-360 AD, 350 years after the time the Vatican says Jesus Christ walked the sands of Palestine. Claimed by some to not be a real Bible because it has 14,800 differences to the King James version, but is irrefutable evidence of wilful falsifications in all modern-day Gospels. This Bible also does not mention the resurrection of Jesus Christ but of course is argued to the contrary by apologetics.

        You say “archaeology has uncovered rooms where scribes worked at copying the Scripture accurately. Historians have details about the requirements for an accepted copy.”

        Archaeological discoveries can confirm and support the Bible’s historical portrait, but they cannot inductively “prove” the Bible’s truthfulness.

        You state “The idea that some anonymous person who doesn’t believe the Bible claims that some of the New Testament consists of forgeries is quite amusing. It really is beneath those who want to examine evidence and make a conclusion.”

        Forged and claimed as writing in the Name of God. Books of the New Testament identified as forgeries by noted biblical scholar Bart D. Ehrman.

        First Epistle of Peter, Second Epistle of Peter, Acts of the Apostles, Epistle of James, Epistle of Jude, Second Epistle to the Thessalonians, First Epistle to Timothy, Second Epistle to Timothy, Epistle to Titus, Epistle to the Ephesians, Epistle to the Colossians.

        In addition, there are eight originally anonymous New Testament texts that had names of apostles ascribed to them later and are falsely attributed.
        Gospel of Matthew, Gospel of Mark, Gospel of Luke, Gospel of John, First Epistle of John, Second Epistle of John, Third Epistle of John, Epistle to the Hebrews.

        Bart D. Ehrman is a world-renowned distinguished New Testament Historian at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Ehrmans works are highly controversial, but he is not some radical far left wing-nut who has no idea of what he is talking about. He is highly educated and went to two of the most prestigious Christian institutes in the United States, Moody Bible Institute and Wheaton College.
        https://bittersweetend.wordpress.com/2012/07/31/who-is-bart-ehrman/

        I doubt you will want to consider anything I have written as factual, however it is understandable because it has been found by scientific research that parts of the brain used for analytical thinking are suppressed and the parts for empathy that are used to believe in god are engaged. From what is known about the brain the belief in the supernatural and faith in religious terms displaces the analytical and logical reasoning that assists people to understand and achieve a greater social and emotional insight.

        Regards.

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        • Hi Steve, I have no desire to engage in a debate with you, as that is a useless endeavor. I am compelled to counter a couple of points, but they will well illustrate that you posture and preen as if you are a qualified textual critic, when you just regurgitate atheist talking points. You said the following:

          “This Bible also does not mention the resurrection of Jesus Christ but of course is argued to the contrary by apologetics.”

          That is a factually incorrect statement. The resurrection, even in that document, appears in all four of the Gospels. What is missing is a particular ending in the Gospel of Mark. So, your assertion is simply a false one.You further said:

          “Claimed by some to not be a real Bible because it has 14,800 differences to the King James version, but is irrefutable evidence of wilful falsifications in all modern-day Gospels.”

          Claimed by some eh? Steve, the fact that something is claimed by some does not carry weight as proof. That is absurd. 14,800 differences huh? You realize that those include every single difference even as small as a word, or even punctuation. I challenge you to present and address intelligently any actual doctrinal differences between various translations. So, all this constitutes irrefutable proof of willful falsifications? Really, Steve? That is patently absurd.I think to make that assertion, especially the “willfull” part, requires that you be able to demonstrate a causal relationship of some sort.

          Bless Becky for her patience with you Steve. Your assertions here are laughable and ludicrous. Don’t make me challenge you to back them up point by point.

          But it you must, start by analyzing those 14,800 differences one by one and include a clear explanation of their impact on Christian Doctrine as it is taught in modern Bible translations as compared to the King James version. For that matter, find me one single Doctrine considered essential and central to orthodox Christianity that is either undone, or proven wrong simply because of this Bible you speak of that you actually know NOTHING about. You won’t find one, Steve.

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          • Rebecca and Wally, we can argue about specific points until the end of time, however if Rebecca and yourself are going to argue things such as:

            “On the other hand, should the Bible say something about any of those topics, it is accurate. How could it not be?”
            “But the Bible, though containing history and science and literature,”
            “The Bible has all the answers a person needs for spiritual life and godliness. It’s reliable, sufficient, authoritative, determinative and requires only that a person read it and believe it.”

            You will have nothing but disapproval for such statements considering the Christian faith and all religions are on eroding foundations in Western countries anyway due mostly to scientific progress.

            The Bible is undisputedly not a literally accurate document, and this has been recognised by some apologetics. I understand that in terms of scientific and historic events the facts are not so important for many Christians because the basic story of God’s love and his teachings are the central theme for them.

            I do think that claiming the Bible is scientifically and historically accurate is much more than a step to far and a clear falsehood. Some of the morality is definitely unsuitable for human consumption and the literature interpretations are unclear at best, however scripture is fascinating and poetic for some people as is Shakespeare’s writings, and that is about as far as it goes for most of us still able to make informed decisions based on reality.

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          • Steve, of course you don’t want to argue about specific points. If you actually have to defend specific points, you are no longer free to make broad, sweeping, nonsensical assertions backed by nothing other than our opinion and disdain for God. Now, back to your assertion. You declared your precious Codex proved the Bible was a fraud. I challenge to you back that up. I further challenged you, since YOU made the claim about some many thousands of differences to discuss even ONE that provided a signficant doctrinal departure from Orthodox Christianity.

            I am sorry, Steve, but if you don’t want to defend speficic points, don’t make specific assertions.

            Now, I will return Becky’s blog to her, so that your answers to me don’t simply provide you a forum for atheist preaching, as we all know you will never actually defend and back and assertion you make.

            Peace, Steve

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          • Rebecca said “I challenge you to find one bit of evidence to support the idea that it was changed.”
            Is this a significant change and difference for you Wally?

            The Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9–13)
            King James Version
            Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
            Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
            Give us this day our daily bread.
            And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
            And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.
            Amen.

            Codex Sinaiticus
            Father,
            Hallowed be thy name,
            Thy kingdom come.
            Thy will be done, as in heaven, so upon earth.
            Give us day by day our daily bread
            And forgive us our sins, as we ourselves also forgive every one that is indebted to us.
            And bring us not into temptation.

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          • No, actually, that is not significant. Steve, you understand nothing about textual criticism, or even how the Bible was translated, and is still being translated. I mean, seriously, you know absolutely nothing. If you are using that to prove your assertion about falsification then you are not very smart.

            Peace out, Steve. You need to go do some study on exactly how the Codex Sinaticus actually factors into use today as a source document for modern Bible Translations, versus those used primarily for older Bible translations, and how Bible students and scholars today consider them in their studies. Until you do, you are saying really dumb things, and making assertions that are silly. Again, I am done.

            Liked by 1 person

        • Don’t know if you saw my reply, Steve. This reply thread was getting so thin, I put my response at the bottom.

          Becky

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          • Thank you Becky, I have seen it.

            Liked by 1 person

      • Hi, Steve. I’m afraid this Sinai Bible you refer to—a Greek edition, not Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek—isn’t proof that the Bible has been changed. It’s simply evidence that false teachers were at work even as far back as the fourth century. If it was evidence of change, then the present Bible would more nearly mirror it, not the copies we have that pre-date it. So, yes. false teaching—which, by the way, a number of the New Testament writers warned against-. But something false trying to influence the truth, does not prove that the truth has been changed.

        When I mentioned the archaeological evidence for scriptoriums, that was for the purpose of emphasizing how important copying Scripture was to the early Church. Of course it doesn’t speak to the truthfulness of the Bible. But it does speak to the accuracy of the copies we have today.

        So you named a scholar who discredits certain books of the Bible. In light of the Church councils that debated which books were accurate and which belong in the canon of Scripture, and the thousands of Biblical scholars since who do not reach such an erroneous conclusion, one man’s false idea is no evidence, no matter what schools he went to.

        Steve, your ideas about religion and empathy versus logic are laughable. I have no doubt that you’re right about what this one man believes, but I’ll reiterate, there are literally thousands who have used good science and logic and study of history who have arrived at the same conclusion as the Church did in those first centuries of existence.

        The fact that we don’t always know who wrote certain books is not in the least troubling, though I think the list you gave is suspect in places. We certainly do know who wrote the Gospel of John, and all you have to do is read the Johannine epistles to know they were written by the same person (hint: what’s the central theme running through all of them).

        But the bottom line is this: Scripture itself is the Word of God, so who the human author was, isn’t all that important. Most of the letters were actually dictated to amanuenses. How much did they edit the spoken word? Immaterial. God controlled the whole process so that His word was breathed into their words. I know it likely sounds over the top to you. But since God can do the impossible, nothing is too difficult for Him. Nothing. That’s fundamental to the reasoning of believers.

        Becky

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  2. […] via The Bible And Nothing But The Bible — […]

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  3. Hi, I enjoyed your take on Biblical opposition.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:
    ANY OTHER HOLY BOOKS SEEKING TO ADD TO OR REINTERPRET THE BIBLE ARE TO BE AVOIDED. THE BIBLE INTERPRETS ITSELF!

    Liked by 1 person


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