Can we trust everything the Bible says?
Does it contain any errors?
Can a book that is so thoroughly human in its origins reasonably claim to be completely and timelessly accurate?
We claim that it is inspired by God, but does that make it any more accurate than all the other writings that God has, in some sense, inspired?
Without pretending to give complete answers to these questions, let me share these thoughts.
First, I find it meaningful to look to Jesus Christ. John 1 refers to Him as the Word – that is, the Word of God. He also was fully human in every way, yet fully divine. His thoughts, His words, and His life were uniquely, beautifully, flawlessly true.
If we affirm that the Bible is the Word of God, we find confidence that it also can be uniquely, beautifully, flawlessly true. Just as He was one perfect, human-but-divine life among many righteous-but-flawed lives, so we can reasonably believe that the Bible is one perfectly inspired, human-but-divine book among many inspired-but-flawed books.
The perfection of the Bible is thus driven by the same energy that drove the life of Christ: God’s loving desire to be fully known by His people.
We also must take seriously what the Bible says repeatedly about itself, or at least portions of itself:
- Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15, NASB).
- All Scripture is inspired [margin: God-breathed] (2 Timothy 3:16, NASB).
- The law of the Lord is perfect…sure…right…pure…clean…true (Psalm 19:7-9, NASB).
- The words of the Lord are pure words; as silver tried in a furnace on the earth, refined seven times (Psalm 12:6, NASB).
I trust the Bible because:
- Both history and experience have proven it to be completely reliable.
- Its perfect truthfulness is in keeping with the perfect truthfulness of the life of Christ.
- Both the written Word of God and the living Word of God flow from the God of perfect wisdom, power, and love who longs to be fully known and understood by His people.
I trust the written record God has given us because I trust Him.