Faith, Criticism, and the Bible!

Hebrews 11:6 reads…

Without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him (ESV).

We must have faith to approach God. How do we get this faith?

Romans 10:17 reads…

Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

Since faith comes from reading the Bible, we should not be surprised that the Bible is attacked more than any other book. I’ve read accusations of the Bible as myth, with historical inaccuracies, culturally deficient for modern times, and originating from men, not God.

But those who attack the Bible can’t deny that it exists, so they must explain the origins of Scripture. Below are two attempts. 

Caution: Mind-numbing words and concepts to follow.

Historical Criticism

Have you ever heard someone ask, “How do we know that the events recorded in the Bible are true? Or “How does understanding first-century culture help us interpret the Bible?”

Both questions are a form of historical criticism. And both questions can come from the perspective of either doubt or faith.  

Do we approach the Bible with skepticism which magnifies any seeming discrepancy in the differing Gospel accounts of Jesus? Or do we seek an understanding of culture in the first century for better application?

Just a little faith and a little history moves from foe to a friend of the Bible.

Source Criticism

When reading the resurrection stories in each Gospel, it’s quickly noted they are different.

Doubt could say, “Since they are different, where did they get their information? Did they copy from one another and other documents? And, if the Gospels were copied from differing manuscripts from the first century, is the doctrine of inspiration suspect?”

Faith would say, “Perhaps each Gospel writer has a differing perspective. Maybe they included what they thought most important while leaving out details reported in the other Gospel accounts.”

Just a seed of faith, and we find an easy solution for differing accounts.

Pastor Grant’s Criticism of Criticism

Does using “criticism” to study the Bible start with doubt rather than faith? Why not believe in Scripture and let it prove itself by changing our lives?

It’s comical hubris for modern scholars to think that they know more about the historicity of the Gospels than those who wrote the Scripture two thousand years ago.

The Gospel of John says…

This is the disciple who is bearing witness about these things, and who has written these things, and we know that his testimony is true (John 21:24, ESV).

We should be skeptical, not of the Bible but of those who criticize it.

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