The Bible, comprising the Old and New Testaments, holds a central place in the lives of Christians. It serves as a guide and a source of spiritual nourishment. However, one may wonder, “How can we trust the Bible? How did we get this book of books?” In this article, we’re going to look into the origins and reliability of Scripture and discover that the centerpiece of it all is Jesus.
The Old Testament, Confirmed by Jesus
When examining the origins of the Bible, we start with the Old Testament. The Old Testament contains accounts of ancient events and the teachings of the Hebrew people. Skeptics often question the accuracy and reliability of these texts. However, the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947 shed light on the preservation of the Old Testament throughout history.
The Dead Sea Scrolls, dating back to 300 BC, provided tangible evidence of the Old Testament’s historical preservation through history. The meticulous preservation of these ancient manuscripts astonishes scholars. The scrolls validate that the Old Testament we have in our hands today closely aligns with the texts from centuries ago. Numerous archaeological findings further support the events described in the Old Testament, bolstering its credibility.
“Numerous archaeological findings further support the events described in the Old Testament, bolstering its credibility.”
Central to Christians’ belief in the Old Testament’s trustworthiness is Jesus’ view of the ancient Scriptures. Jesus, who had an intimate knowledge of the Old Testament, affirmed its authority and inspiration. His teachings often reference the Old Testament narratives and teachings, showcasing the historical accuracy of these accounts. Here are a few examples:
- Matthew 5:17-18 (NIV)– “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.”
- Matthew 19:4-5 (NIV) – “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’?”
- Mark 12:24 (NIV) – Jesus replied, “Are you not in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God?”
- Matthew 4:4 (NIV) – Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
- Luke 20:42-43 (NIV) – David himself declares in the Book of Psalms: “The Lord said to my Lord: ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.’”
Jesus’ statements regarding familiar stories, such as Sodom and Gomorrah (Luke 10:12) and Jonah (Matthew 12:40), solidify their historical occurrence. He interpreted the Old Testament with authority, offering a deeper understanding of God’s intentions and plans. By embracing Jesus as the definitive interpreter of the Old Testament, we can approach the Scriptures through his teachings.
“His teachings often reference the Old Testament narratives and teachings, showcasing the historical accuracy of these accounts.”
The New Testament: A Record of Jesus’ Teachings
As we transition to the New Testament, we encounter the teachings of Jesus recorded by his disciples. These teachings became the foundation of the New Testament. The disciples, guided by the Holy Spirit, documented Jesus’ words and commandments, ensuring the accurate transmission of his teachings.
Jesus’ teachings hold immense significance and authority. He proclaimed that his words would be the basis of judgment at the end of time (John 12:48). By adhering to Jesus’ teachings, believers demonstrate their faithfulness and commitment to God’s will. Therefore, the New Testament serves as a reliable guide, providing spiritual insight, moral guidance, and the path to eternal life.
“By adhering to Jesus’ teachings, believers demonstrate their faithfulness and commitment to God’s will.”
Implications for Faith and Other Beliefs
Understanding the origins of the Bible and its teachings has implications for our faith and how we interact with other belief systems. Certain beliefs, such as those found in the Quran and Mormonism, contradict the teachings of Jesus and Scripture.
The Quran, while revered by Muslims, diverges from the Christian perspective. It presents different views on Jesus, denying his crucifixion for our sins, his divinity, and his place in the Trinity. These contradictions highlight the irreconcilable differences between Islamic and Christian beliefs.
Mormonism, with its unique theological stance, also deviates from orthodox Christian doctrines. Mormon beliefs assert the existence of multiple gods, the potential for human beings to become gods themselves, and a different interpretation of Jesus’ birth. These discrepancies underscore the need for careful discernment and a commitment to the truth found in the Bible.
“Understanding the origins of the Bible and its teachings has implications for our faith and how we interact with other belief systems.”
The journey of understanding the origins and reliability of the Bible is crucial for establishing the foundations of our faith. Through exploring the historical reliability of the Old Testament, embracing Jesus’ view of Scripture, recognizing the authority of Jesus’ teachings in the New Testament, and understanding the implications for faith and other beliefs, we can confidently trust in the Bible as God’s inspired word.
The Bible provides us with a deep understanding of God’s character, his plan for salvation, and the pathway to eternal life. As believers, it is vital to approach Scripture with reverence, diligently study it, and apply its teachings to our lives. The Bible remains the living Word of God, guiding us in truth, wisdom, and the abundant life found in Jesus Christ.
This article is based on a Scripture in Black and White podcast episode by Bobby Harrington & Anthony Walker called “How Did We Get the Bible, Part 1” (click here for the full episode). This article was made possible by church.tech.