Can you answer: ‘How did we get our Bible?’
A new resource tackles an age old criticism that impacts on the authority of Scripture
Published: 22 August 2013 (GMT+10)
Not only keen creationists, but even lay Christians will know that one of the biggest skeptical objections to the Christian faith is “Isn’t the Bible just a book written by men?” This question presumes that there all sorts of historical and scientific errors in the Bible, because they believe it is not the infallible Word of God. But if it has historical and scientific errors, how could we trust its doctrinal claims? It’s a great way for people to determine their own anti-biblical doctrines and a self-serving view of God that their ‘itching ears’ want to hear.
For instance, the book of Genesis clearly states God created man and woman for monogamous lifelong marriage, and ordained this union as the only model for the family unit. In the New Testament, Jesus reaffirmed this model deferring to what God had made in real space time history (Matthew 19:4–6; Mark 10:5–8). But if Genesis was not inspired by God and wrong in the history it teaches, then Jesus was also wrong when He used its authority as His basis for teaching about marriage. As such, if the Bible is not the view of the Creator expressed to humanity, then there is nothing wrong with gay marriage, because it no longer violates a feature of God’s created order. Indeed, legislators all around the world are keen to impose this deviation of the Creator’s rules as the norm.
Sadly, this is where many professing Christians and ministries ‘shoot themselves in the foot’. By watering down the Bible’s history by trying to accommodate the secular interpretations of origins and its corollary of billions of years into Scripture, they ultimately undermine the complete authority of Scripture.
Everything we need to know about the Christian faith, our need for salvation, eternity, and the nature of God comes from only one authoritative source, and that’s the Bible! It’s not rocket science for the unbeliever to work out that if a Christian doesn’t believe the first book to be real history then there is no reason to trust the rest of it, either. Where does the truth actually begin? If any part of Scripture is not really the truth then there is little justification for believing any of it.
An example of a futile defense
For example, the US’s famous self titled ‘Bible Answer Man’, Hank Hannegraf, seeks to provide answers to seekers (including Christians) on a range of Bible and cultural topics. He’s even published a ‘Creation Answer Book’. Its title is only one letter different to CMI’s Creation Answers Book, which we have published for over 20 years (at the time of writing). One wonders how he can claim to be an authority on origins though. He’s long been known as a compromiser on the book of Genesis deferring to the secular view of a big bang an alleged 14 billion years ago and even saying that there was no global Flood. He also believes that the serpent in the Garden was not a literal snake which tempted Eve, and that Behemoth (Job 40: 15–18) and Leviathan (Job 3:8, 41:1; Psalm 74:14, 104:26 and Isaiah 27:1), were metaphors and not dinosaurs that were made on day 6 along with man (though one wonders, how God, when describing something to Job, could ask Job to “behold” a metaphor?).1 On what basis could he claim the Bible is authoritative and inspired if it simply doesn’t mean what it clearly says?
When it comes to a watering down of God’s Word, even arch atheist Richard Dawkins noted that the “sophisticated theologians who are quite happy to live with evolution, I think they’re deluded!” So, one wonders who we think we can win over by pointing to a Bible full of holes and vague meanings.
The biggest selling and most popular book in human history
Besides the history that is recorded in Scripture itself, there is an historical basis for understanding why we believe the 66 books comprise the Bible we have today. That’s why we produced a brand new resource, in the form of a small booklet that is easy for Christians to digest, and one that is cheap enough for them to give away to others (bulk discounts are available). It’s called How did we get our Bible: And is it the Word of God? It includes topics like:
- How do we know the Bible was inspired?
- How was it communicated to human beings?
- What was God’s purpose in doing this?
- How did we arrive at the books we call the Bible?
- How were they preserved throughout history?
- How can we trust the copies we have?
- Are there corrupt translations?
- And much, much more.
In addition, on the inside back cover of the booklet we have produced a full colour chart that shows all the cross references in the books of the Bible (see illustration, right). It is a staggering sight to see the interconnectedness between them, and it aptly demonstrates the incredible unity of Scripture in a visual way. You can view a larger version of it here.
We believe that every person who claims to be a born again believer should be able to answer these questions. Churches and pastors, wouldn’t it be a great idea to get a copy to every single member of your congregation? After all, if all the “I know what the Bible says … but” type comments were diminished because people really did believe the Bible to be the Word of God, wouldn’t our churches be healthier, and possibly more motivated?
Click on the picture above or on the top, right-hand side to order your copies.
- Hanegraaf, H., Leviathan, Dragons, and Dinosaurs, Oh My!, CRJ 36(2):10–11. Return to text.