by Matt Slick
When we ask if the Bible is true, we must ask in what sense is it true. Is it true as a historical document? Is it true regarding its wisdom? Is it true in its claim to be inspired by God? Is it true regarding the person of Jesus, His claims, and His miracles? Different people will give different answers to the questions because different people have different beliefs, expectations, and emotional commitments to various topics that are covered in the questions. Not only that but we have to ask ourselves a very important question: what is truth?
Basically, truth is a statement that agrees with reality and/or logic. Let me illustrate by giving you statements that are true.
- A mouse is smaller than an elephant.
- The earth orbits around the sun.
- 2 + 2 = 4
- If A equals B and B equals C, then A equals C
As you can see, each of the preceding statements are true. That's the nature of truth. It is a statement that either agrees with actuality and/or logic. A statement cannot be true if it does not accurately represent what is real and what is logical. In addition, truth requires a mind because truth is a concept.
So, when we're looking at the Bible and asking if it's true, we are inquiring about the validity of statements about the Bible regarding actuality, logic, morality, etc. Furthermore, the answers to the questions are largely dependent on what you believe to begin with. If you are an atheist, then the Bible as a whole cannot be true because your presuppositions do not allow it. If you're a scientist who believes that all truths are subject to the scientific method, then the Bible cannot be demonstrated to be true or false because it falls outside of that scope of the examination. If, however, you just want to know if the Bible really is from God, then read it. Read the Gospels and learn about Jesus, His words, His deeds, His death, and His resurrection. See if the words resonate as true.
Whether you believe the statements about Jesus are true or not will depend largely on your assumptions. Therefore, you have to ask yourself if your assumptions themselves are true. Do you believe God exists? Would you believe Jesus is God in flesh? Are miracles possible? These questions deal with worldviews, preferences, emotional commitments, etc. All of these are factors to take into account when considering what you consider to be true and ultimately whether or not you can believe the Bible is true.
But, the Bible is true. It is a historically accurate document. It is full of great wisdom--just consider the Proverbs. It claims to be the inspired Word of God, and this is substantiated by the Old Testament prophecies fulfilled in the New Testament. But, ultimately, you will have to read through it and study. See if you can discern whether or not it is from God. It would be important for you to know. After all, eternity is a long time to be wrong, especially about Jesus.