Is the bible legit?
With the rise of humanism and secularism in Canada the bible, for the majority, is seen as irrelevant. With it comes the intimidation that the bible is fairy tale and the stories, especially in the New Testament, were written by delusional followers of God.
I get it. Under the mask of pastor is a recovering skeptic.
So why would I give my life to teaching the scriptures on a weekly basis when culture at large is going the other direction?
This fall we are running the Alpha course at City View. I have been a follower of Jesus for a while yet it is beautiful to watch people engage through spiritual and theological questions.
Last week we looked at the theme of “Who Is Jesus?” In his talk, Nicky Gumble highlighted the fact that historically the scriptures are the most accurate documents in ancient history.
The picture below has helped me.
The fact is, there has been writings of other historical figures in the past, yet we don’t seem to question their legitimacy like we do the New Testament. What we see through this research of the bible is not blind Christians pleading their case for the book they love; rather we see the science that leads to the legitimacy of the scriptures.
The graphic shows us that the earliest copies of the writings of Herodtus, Thucydides, Caesar and others were found literally hundred of years later with most only having a dozen or so copies. The earliest copies of the New Testament on the other hand were written only a few decades later, having not dozens but thousands of copies in different languages.
Were Heodotus, Caesar, Tacitus real people with real stories? You would say I was crazy if I denied this. Of course these people lived and we understand their stories because of what was written down and passed around but we have to remember that these documents are small in comparison to that which was written down by multiple authors of the life of Jesus and the church.
It is what it is.
Will this all of a sudden make skeptics become believers? No… But for many who love the scriptures we do have historical (not simply Christian) assurance that these writing are legitimate and maybe just maybe this could help us articulate a better story than simply, “just have faith” or “because the bible says so.”
Just my thoughts.
Grace + Peace,