Can I trust the Bible?
When I was in college, a coworker of mine introduced me to a book that had caused her to question nearly everything she had been taught about the Bible in her Roman Catholic upbringing. Eventually, I read it with great interest. You may have, too. The book is called The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown’s fast-moving thriller whose plot is based on a very non-traditional understanding of the history of Christianity.
Brown’s influence wasn’t nearly as heavy on most people as it was on my young friend, but the fact remains that The Da Vinci Code tapped into a wide-spread, deep-seated distrust of traditional Christian theism and its various sources of authority. While the novel has long since faded in cultural importance, our suspicion of religious authority has only deepened in the ensuing years.
For evangelical Christians, our primary authority “for faith and practice” has always been the Bible. That is, to settle any theologically significant dispute—or answer any theologically significant question—our final appeal is always “What does the Bible say?”
And yet, like with any other type of authority in our lives, we experience doubts. In fact, over the last few months, several people have come to me with questions like this:
- Does the English translation I’m reading faithfully reproduce the meaning of the original?
- How can we reconcile the teachings of the Bible with what we know about science or history?
- Why are the 66 books of the Bible included in Scripture while others are left out?
- One of my professors said __________ about the Bible and now I’m confused.
It seems to me that if a handful of people have taken the time to ask these questions out loud, then there are probably dozens more who have been wondering the same things but just haven’t expressed them yet.
With that in mind, I’ve decided to write a series of blog posts in answer to this question: “Can I trust the Bible?” My hope is that not only will these brief articles strengthen your confidence in Scripture, but also renew your zeal to read and study the Bible in pursuit of the knowledge of God.
“How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119:103).
Posts in this series
Part 1: God Speaks
Part 2: God's Word in Human Words