Is the Bible an incomplete collection of books?

If you asked me to be the authority on, say, medicine of the 21st century, and I had to compile one book that would have all the critical and necessary information within it, we would be in serious trouble, because I don’t come from a medical background.  I could try to pull books together, but my lack of knowledge would create a very feeble anthology, I’m afraid.

But even if you asked me to create a compilation on children’s literature, which I love, I don’t know how well the anthology would be received.  I have strong opinions about which children’s books are classics and which are clutter, but you might not agree with me at all.  In addition, I would place books of deep sentimental value very high on the list, books which might have little literary quality at all.

So when I think of the Bible as an anthology, questions can create great clouds of doubt in my mind, like

  • How do I know the best books were chosen?
  • How do I know good books weren’t left out?
  • How do I know bad books weren’t added?
  • How do I know there wasn’t a conspiracy involved in the choosing of books?
  • How do I know bad ethics weren’t involved in choosing the books?

There seems to me to be three and a half approaches to answering these questions:

1.          To use outside sources to help verify or help refute the books in the Bible.

2.          To use logic.

3.          To use the Bible to answer questions about the Bible.

3 ½.  To make up stuff that sounds ‘cool’ or ‘right’.

#1 Outside Sources

  • Which outside sources will I use?
  • How will I know those sources are any better than the sources already contained in the Bible?
  • How many outside sources do I need to verify or refute the sources inside the Bible?

#2 Logic

  • Whose logic am I going to listen to: the Christian, the atheist, or another religious perspective?
  • Whose logic am I not going to listen to?  Pick 2: the Christian, the atheist, other religious perspectives

#3 Inside Information

  • How can I prove my point if my point is proved before I can prove it?  If I believe the Bible is true and right from the get-go, how will I prove the Bible is true and right, if that’s the source I’m using to make my claim?

#3½ Making Up Stuff

  • Am I doing this to falsely persuade people, gain popularity, appear cool, or because I simply don’t want to know the truth?
  • How long do I think this lie is going to last?

So . . what will I choose?

Using Outside Sources to Verify the Bible

If I tell you reasons from outside sources to believe in the Bible, you’re going to know that, since I am a Christian, I picked outside sources I believed in.

This is not to say there is not outstanding historical evidence for belief in the Bible.   But if a person doesn’t believe the Bible, (s)he’s probably not going to believe any historical evidence for the Bible, either.

Using Logic to Verify the Bible

The foundation of how we use logic is because we believe our universe is orderly.  Otherwise, logic is useless.  The concept of communication is useless in a chaotic universe, because I can’t trust what I’m saying, what language means to the other person, who I am, or that the words coming out of my mouth are anything more meaningful than chemical responses in a chance brain.

Even so, though, if I tell you logical reasons why you should believe in the Bible, you’re going to know that, since I am a Christian, I’m telling you based on my way of thinking.

This is not to say there are not outstanding logical arguments for belief in the Bible.  But if a person doesn’t believe the Bible, (s)he’s probably not going to believe any logical arguments for the Bible, either.

Making Up Stuff to Verify the Bible?

I could go the ½ route and make up nonsense, but not only would that be absolutely useless, because there is real evidence for the truth of the Bible, but also contrary to the Bible’s teachings about honesty.  All I would be doing is verifying my lack of understanding about the Bible.

Using Inside Information to Verify the Bible

The best way for you to know the Bible is authentic is not through me at all, but rather to experience the Bible for yourself.  The evidence for the source is the source.

Is this a weak line of evidence?  Not at all.  Do we believe in gravity primarily because we have researched outside sources, heard a logical explanation,  or because when we jump we come back down?

I believe in the Bible because I believe the Bible.

I have experienced the Bible’s promise of eternal forgiveness and salvation for those who trust in Jesus Christ.  God gives anyone who believes in Him the gift of His Spirit, and His Spirit causes these people to believe the Bible.

This is impossible to understand until you call on Jesus for help, because Jesus is the only bridge between human understanding and God’s understanding.  Only Jesus can give us belief in Him.

Jesus is the only one who can complete us.  Only then do we discover that it is not the Bible missing any pieces, but ourselves missing the piece we need to understand the Bible: Jesus!

Only through Jesus will you ever believe an extraordinary God wrote the Bible through ordinary people, that He guided the gathering of His Words into the greatest collection of all time.  Only then will you see that the Bible is not a controversial anthology but a map to the heart of God.

As Jesus was approaching Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the road begging. Now hearing a crowd going by, he began to inquire what this was. They told him that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. And he called out, saying, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Those who led the way were sternly telling him to be quiet; but he kept crying out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” And Jesus stopped and commanded that he be brought to Him; and when he came near, He questioned him, “What do you want Me to do for you?” And he said, “Lord, I want to regain my sight!” And Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and began following Him, glorifying God; and when all the people saw it, they gave praise to God.  (Luke 18:25-43, NASB)

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. (1 John 3:16a, NIV)

See Copyright Page for Bible translation information.

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