Is the Bible Reliable?
2 Timothy 3:14–17 – Explore God
Sixth Sunday after Epiphany – February 17, 2019 (am)
Many of you come here every week to study a Bible – perhaps you read it every day.
But is it reliable?
What makes it any better than then book of Mormon, or the Koran, or the ancient texts of eastern religions
What if it were all made up?
How can a book this old be relevant today?
Doesn’t it need to be updated?
They didn’t have internet, or all the tools of science, the knowledge of man we have through sociological and psychological research.
Isn’t it dangerous to have something so outdated function as your authority?
§ Intellectual doubt
§ Emotional doubt
§ Functional doubt
What if you were talking to a friend – what would you say?
Erica from Milwaukie in the Denver airport waiting area
2 Tim 3:14-17
14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it 15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
Not like a song or a performance is inspired
Doesn’t say “dictated” – each book has it’s own character
Revelation – God watched over it so the final result was what he wanted
ALL – this is important, because there are 66 books. Some you will like more than others
It carries his authority
Without error in the original text
Often find people taking it apart – this was written by this guy
One project – The Jesus Seminar – an attempt to discover what words were really written by him
“Eighty-two percent of the words ascribed to Jesus in the gospels were not actually spoken by him, according to the Jesus Seminar. How do scholars account for this pronounced discrepancy?”
Red (likely authentic)
Pink (somewhat likely)
Gray (somewhat unlikely)
Is this claim a reliable one?
1. Is the inspiration of the Bible reliable?
You can’t scientifically prove the Bible
The scientific method requires repeatability
But many things can’t be proven scientifically
Or historical events
But there are signs of error and signs of truth
I could say I just came from the north pole and I have a polar bear in my car
Ask me about the north pole
Go check my car
What would be the fingerprints of a God-breathed text?
I gave Erica these four:
§ 66 books
§ 1500 years
§ 3 languages
§ 3 continents
2. Fulfilled prophecy
Psalm 22:16-18 – John 19:23-28
200 prophecies fulfilled in Christ
Thousands of dates, names, places, events. These can be confirmed historically.
100 million sold every year
20% of those are in the US
Average in a US household is 3
5 Billion printed
Bestseller for 2018 in Becoming by Michelle Obama – 3.4 million copies
As of October 2017 the full Bible has been translated into 670 languages, the New Testament has been translated into 1,521 languages and Bible portions or stories into 1,121 other languages. Thus at least some portion of the Bible has been translated into 3,312 languages.
Second most translated book – Pinocchio – 260 languages
2. Is the usefulness of the Bible reliable?
It is useful today?
This is under attack – even in evangelical circles
Many churches these is little of the Word and much of pop psychology, or clever story telling
A prominent evangelical pastor – “unhitch from the Old Testament”
We can be apologetic about the word
Living and active – Heb
Heb 4:12 ESV - 12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
Story of Ermal
Don’t be afraid to get people into Gods Word
All kinds of promises in Psalm 119
· Psa 119:9, How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. ...
· 28 My soul melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to your word! ...
· 98 Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies, for it is ever with me.
· 99 I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation.
· 100 I understand more than the aged, for I keep your precepts. ...
· 103 How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! ...
· 105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
176 verses in this Psalm
Daily Bible Reading
Don and his program
3. Is the sufficiency of the Bible reliable?
Three other authorities
Sola does not mean Solo
God is revealing himself in many ways
All must be tested by the Scripture
We have the word even more certain
2 Peter 1:16-21
In your family
My Dad and Josh – If you are rooted in revelation you will be the most relevant person in the room.
4. Reliability and the self-authenticating Word of God
My challenge to Erica – read it for yourself
I’ve been afraid of the Bible – it doesn’t look that long
16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.