The topic for this week's STLS is: write about whatever you want!
Feel free to follow up on an earlier STLS post, choose a new topic, or respond to something written by someone else in a previous week. All I ask is that you stay true to the general idea of "Seeking The Lord". I can't wait to see what you all decide to write about!
And a reminder: the topic for the week can always be found in my left sidebar by about Tuesday, so you have plenty of time to think, pray, and write. You don't have to wait for my post to learn what the topic is.
This week, I feel compelled to write on a pretty big topic: Is The Bible Really The Very Word Of God? I think that those of you who participate in this meme each week already believe that the Bible is The Word.
But what about the folks who stop by and maybe aren't so convinced about the credibility of the Bible? I thought this might be a good forum to share some of what I learned and experienced when I was seeking to know if the Bible was Truth.
With that, I'll just jump right in.
Let's all take a trip back to the time before I really believed that the Bible was God's Word...
I asked many a "believer" about the Bible, and how they know that the Bible is True. Not just a good guide, or an interesting story...but the very TRUTH of GOD Almighty, Himself. I typically got a really irritating answer. It went something like this:
"I know the Bible is true because the Bible says that all Scripture is God-breathed. It says so right there in 2 Timothy 3:16. There you go. That's how you can know that the Bible is true!"
Excuse me...what? Huh? If I don't believe that the Bible is true, then you can't tell me that the Bible is true because the Bible says so! I'm gonna need more than that! I need some logic, some data, some hard proof!
Here are some of the questions I asked as I was searching:
1. When was the Bible written, and by whom?
2. How does the Bible compare to other "holy books" of different religions? Don't all religions really just teach the same general stuff anyway? What's different about the Bible?
3. How do we know that the Bible hasn't been changed through countless translations over time?
4. Can the claims of the Bible be backed up with modern science?
5. The Bible was written over many years. Given that, is it consistent? Doesn't it contradict itself?
6. The story of Jesus was written by many different people. How do we know that they were telling the truth? Didn't they just write what they wanted to write to serve their own purposes?
7. Jesus was God in human form? How do we know? And if it's true, what am I supposed to do with that information?
I wrote this list of questions with every intention of sharing the answers I found with you. Therefore, I wrote this list, stared at my computer for a REALLY long time, not knowing where to start or which end was up. Hmmm. Maybe I should choose a different topic? Something a bit simpler?
And then I found this website: Everystudent.com. It has so many of the answers! If you are searching, I strongly encourage you to click over there right now and just explore every page it has.
I especially like the page called "Why You Can Believe The Bible". The questions answered on that page include:
1. Does ancient history agree with the Bible?
2. Are the gospel accounts of Jesus reliable?
3. Has the Bible changed and become corrupted over time?
4. Does archaeology support the Bible?
5. Are there contradictions in the Bible?
6. Who wrote the New Testament? Why not accept the apocrypha, the gospel of Judas, or the gospel of Thomas?
7. Why did it take 30 to 60 years for the New Testament Gospels to be written?
8. Does it matter if Jesus really did and said what is in the Gospels?
But I think my favorite part is waaay down on the bottom of the page, where there are several charts. These charts compare the Bible to other ancient writings, they list specific archaeological finds, and they list some common charges made by critics and answer those charges with archaeology.
Can I just say...Thank you, God, for EveryStudent.com!!! Look at how that page answers my questions! (I promise...I wrote my questions and THEN found this website!) I can't remember if it was a website that I looked at when I was searching or not. There are some other resources I used though...ones I still have on my bookshelf, and so can refer you to:
The Case For Christ by Lee Strobel
Essential Truths Of The Christian Faith by RC Sproul
101 Scientific Facts & Foreknowledge put out by Eternal Productions (fascinating!)
Christianity, Cults & Religions put out by Rose Publishing
and NIV Study Bible by Zondervan (I didn't get this until after I believed, but it sure is packed with great info)
Here are some more great websites:
Great chart on Biblical Accuracy from DoesGodExist.org
And now for the most important piece of information you'll need if you are searching for the truth of God:
I strongly recommend that you ask God for help. Even if you don't believe in Him yet...a simple prayer that goes something like:
"I'm not sure if I believe in you or the Bible. Honestly, I'm not sure if I even want to know more about you! But if you're there and you have something for me, open my heart and my ears to hear you. Please help me know your truth."
We don't have to be fancy or formal to address God. All we have to do is be honest. Brutally honest. And we don't have to fix anything in our lives before we come to God. He'll take us just as we are right at this very moment. If you are truly seeking for Him, I promise...You'll find the Truth.
Well, this post is a perfect example of how some things don't turn out the way we expect them to. I fully intended on beginning a several weeks-long series on knowing if the Bible is true, and detailing all sorts of data for you right here. Instead, I referred you to a website and a bunch of books that have already done that work, and encouraged you to pray.
I feel self-conscious publishing this post. I am not a Bible scholar or even a terribly "old" Christian! But I do love God, and I do love His Book.
I procrastinated writing this post all week long because I had no idea what to write about! But this morning, while on a (rather agonizing) run, I prayed about it. This is the topic that I feel was given to me, so this is what I'm doing.
I hope that someone...even one person....who is truly searching for God, will find this and be guided in the right direction.
|1. Home with Amy|