Know the One Through Whom Truth Comes
“It’s fantastic to realize – and sometimes I think we forget it – that every time we pick up the Bible, we pick up the truth. What a tremendous legacy we have. But we can’t take it for granted, and we certainly can’t let it just sit around. So the first reason I believe we need to study the Word of God is that it’s the source of truth.”
John MacArthur, “How To Study The Bible.”
Can we conclude from what’s been said about the authority of the Bible that the Bible is truthful? At first blush this appears to be a scandalous question. After all, if the Bible is authoritative because all authority abides in God, and God is described in the Bible as the God of truth (2 Chronicles 15:3; Psalm 31:5), the One who speaks the truth (Isajah 45:19)
and the One who never lies (1 Samuel 15:29, Titus 1:2), then surely it is more than enough to say that the Bible is truthful.
In the current culture of relativism, when truth is what people make of it, the truthfulness of the Bible is often disputed. Disputes about the veracity of the Bible should be expected They’re also problematic. If we dismiss the truthfulness of the Bible we get caught in a hurricane of subjectivism, with everyone acting like a god, and everyone saying what should or should not be believed.
The root cause, however, of why people question the veracity of the Scriptures is because they don’t know Christ. To know truth, we must first know the One through whom truth comes (John 1:17), is full of truth John 1:14), who is the truth (John 14:6), and bears witness to the truth John 18:37). Bible engagement requires submission to the Lordship of Christ. To engage with the Bible we must hold Christ’s view of the Word. And Christ’s view of the Word is that it’s real, lasting, alive, about Him, is truth, and doesn’t lie (Matthew 5:17-18, Luke 24:25-27, John 10:35, 17:17).
Foundational to reading and hearing God’s Word is knowing that God and His Word are inseparable. When the Bible speaks, God speaks. Here’s the rub the Bible is totally truthful and reliable, because the Bible originated with God. God’s Word is truth because God’s Word is bound to God Himself.
When we say that the Bible originated with God, we must add that God speaks through human writers with human language. God’s Word is geographically, historically, culturally, socially and circumstantially linked to this world.
The writers each wrote in their own way, and their writings reflect their own distinct literary styles, personalities, and experiences. They wrote in the context of their time. But as they did so, “they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21) and God spoke through them “at many times in various ways” Hebrews 1:1.
The Bible is therefore both the word of God and the word of man. To say that the Bible is truthful is to say that God spoke truth through human writers and kept them from error without circumventing their humanity. It’s also to say that men spoke truth, freely using their own words, yet without warping God’s message.
So what does this say about the Bible’s own veracity? In Psalm 19:7 it says that the law of the Lord is temimah, an adjective meaning faultless, whole or complete. In 2 Timothy 3:16 the word theopneustos is used, which means inspired or coming directly from God; literally “is God-breathed.* And in 1 Peter 1:25 the phrase, “the word of the Lord endures forever,” indicates that God’s Word is incapable of failing and permanently binding.
Taken together, the Bible’s claims of being whole, inspired and binding are like three legs of a stool. All three complement each other and all three are needed. If one or more of the legs are missing we can’t read, reflect, remember or respond to the Bible as we should. Taken together and properly understood they help us see that what is God-breathed and sustained – the Word of God, in its context and as a whole – is complete, accurate, trustworthy, sufficient, right and true.
Content from Bible Engagement Basics, credit Lawson, SU Canada
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