FAKE NEWS OR GOOD NEWS

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Fake Good News?

We hear a lot of news every day, but we always have to ask “is this fake news?” Can we rely on the news media? Can we even rely on ourselves? How can we know what is going on if we can’t see for ourselves?

We would find a lot more confidence in the major world events if we could see them for ourselves. As much as we would like to verify every single thing we see on the news, the life of Jesus is the most important event that has happened on this planet. Can we know what really happened? Can we trust what we read in Scripture?

 

Can We Trust Our Bibles?

It is important for us to remember that Jesus’ disciples really saw him. “At the very outset, it’s important to understand that the Gospels in our Bibles claim to be based on eyewitness testimony. If you open your Bible and read any of the Gospels, therefore, you can read a firsthand account of Jesus’s story written by those who saw him with their own eyes, heard him with their own ears, or conferred with those who did.”[1] If you want to know who Jesus really is, you can and should read the Gospels. The men who wrote the four Gospels were with Jesus.

You may see men like Bart Ehrman on television or in their popular books claiming that we can’t trust our Bibles. These liberal scholars try to emphasize the human authorship of the Scriptures and deny divine authorship. Of course, these scholars, they are eager to present their version of Jesus made in their own image. Conservatives need not deny the marks of the human authors. God worked with and through these human authors to compose his book.  B. B. Warfield described the situation this way:

When the Christian asserts his faith in the divine origin of his Bible, he does not mean to deny that it was composed and written by men or that it was given by men to the world. He believes that the marks of its human origin are ineradicably stamped on every page of the whole volume. He means to state only that it is not merely human in its origin. If asked where and how the divine has entered this divine-human book, he must reply: “Everywhere, and in almost every way conceivable.” Throughout the whole preparation of the material to be written and of the men to write it; throughout the whole process of the gathering and classification and use of the material by the writers; throughout the whole process of the actual writing,—he sees at work divine influences of the most varied kinds, extending all the way from simply providential superintendence and spiritual illumination to direct revelation and inspiration.[2]

We should be thankful for conservative scholars who work diligently to defend the Biblical doctrines of inspiration and inerrancy. We should be most thankful for the God who gave us the Bible which we can trust. As a quick response, we should remember that these scholars will soon be lost to abandoned libraries while the Scriptures will continue to survive attacks on all fronts until faith is removed by sight.

We find our Bibles to be trustworthy documents because as David said, “the Law of the Lord is perfect” (Ps. 19:7). Historians, biblical scholars, theologians, and even some critics have seen the perfections of Gods word. One scholar said, “If the Bible is the Word of God; if it stands on an infinitely exalted plane, all alone; if it immeasurable transcends all the greatest productions of human genius; then, we should naturally expect to find that it has unique credentials, that there are internal marks which prove it to be the handiwork of God, that there is conclusive evidence to show that its Author is superhuman, Divine.”[3]

The Bible is perfect when it speaks of history, geography, and science (even facts which the authors could not have been aware of). The Bible is perfect in its prophecies of events before they occurred. The Bible so prophetically amazing that critics say the prophecies were actually records written after the events. Most importantly, the Bible is perfect in its prophecies of Christ. Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament and every prophecy about him. The fulfillment of these prophecies not only prove Jesus is the Messiah, they also prove the inspiration of Scripture because there is no way the prophecies could have been made and fulfilled without God. The Bible is perfect. The Bible is beyond human production.

The focus of this study is not a textual study of the Bible to demonstrate its trustworthiness. There have already been several excellent studies on this matter. The purpose of this study is to link our trust in Scripture to our trust in God. If God is trustworthy, then his book—the Bible, must be trustworthy as well.

 

We Can Trust Our Bibles Because of our God

We can trust our Bibles because it is as perfect as the God who gave it. Peter himself said, “no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God” (2 Peter 1:21). He could have claimed some honor for himself by claiming he was responsible for the words he wrote. He could have claimed a prominent position by affirming his own part in the materials he wrote. Instead, he chose to honor God and confess God’s supreme role in the composition of Scripture.

The goodness of God’s Word flows from the goodness of God himself. When he made mankind for himself, he was unwilling for us to remain ignorant of his existence and nature so he left us evidence of himself in nature and the revelation of himself in his Scriptures. We can see, not only the goodness of the Scriptures but also the necessity of the Scriptures, for the preservation of God’s message, the vindication of God’s message, and the furtherance of God’s message.[4] Turretin went on to say, “It was necessary for a written word to be given to the church that the canon of true religious faith might be constant and unmoved; that it might easily be preserved pure and entire against the weakness of memory, the depravity of men and the shortness of life; that it might be more certainly defended from the frauds and corruptions of Satan; that it might more conveniently not only be sent to the absent and widely separated, but also be transmitted to posterity.”[5]

 

We Can Trust Our Bibles Because We Can’t Trust Ourselves

The Scriptures are the exclusive spring of theology. Some hold to the sufficiency of human reason to investigate and develop true theology. This simply will not suffice. “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jer. 17:9). When we recognize our own weak finite creatureliness before the perfect and infinite Creator, the revealed Scriptures are a most welcome sacred guide. One theologian with a most awesome name, François Turrettini (or Francis Turretin), wrote “the revelation of the word of God to man to be absolutely and simply necessary for salvation. It is the “seed” of which we are born again (1 Pet. 1:23), the “light” by which we are directed (Ps. 119:105), the “food” upon which we feed (Heb. 5:13, 14) and the “foundation” upon which we are built (Eph. 2:20).“[6]

 

Trust the Good News

We can trust our Bibles because of God’s nature, the eyewitness testimony, the perfections of Scripture, and because Scripture has proven to be reliable despite human mistakes. But if we trust the Bible, then we have to trust the Gospel. We have to live with the reality of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection which ushered in a new world of faith, hope, and love. Anxiety, sin, and hopelessness can’t be a part of our lives. We believe in the Bible and we believe in the Gospel and we believe we can have hope in Christ.

This hope we have in Christ is continually strengthened and refreshed through the Scriptures. Unlike other books, the Bible never grows old and has never went out of demand. As Pink said, “a first-hand acquaintance with the Bible is necessary to appreciate the fact that its contents never become commonplace.”[7] This is true because the divine Author continues to speak to us in his sacred Scripture.

Just as a fresh supply of manna was given each day to the Israelites in the wilderness, so the Spirit of God ever breaks anew the Bread of Life to them who hunger after righteousness; or, just as the loaves and fishes in the hands of our Lord were more than enough to feed the famished multitude—a surplus still remaining—so the honey and milk of the Word are more than sufficient to satisfy the hunger of every human soul—the supply still remaining undiminished for new generations.[8]

The continual freshness and application of the Scriptures is further evidence of its divine inspiration and therefore its trustworthiness. In these awkward and changing times, we should be all the more thankful that we can trust God and his Word.

 

[1] Andreas Köstenberger, The Jesus of the Gospels, (Grand Rapids: Kregel Academic, 2020), 14.

[2] Benjamin B. Warfield, The Works of Benjamin B. Warfield: Revelation and Inspiration, vol. 1 (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2008), 429.

[3] Arthur Walkington Pink, The Divine Inspiration of the Bible (Swengel, PA: Bible Truth Depot, 1917).

[4] Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology, ed. James T. Dennison Jr., trans. George Musgrave Giger, vol. 1 (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 1992–1997), 58.

[5] Ibid., 58.

[6] Ibid., 55.

[7] Arthur Walkington Pink, The Divine Inspiration of the Bible, n.p.

[8] Ibid., n.p.

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