I am convinced that we can trust the Bible: trust it as the true revelation of God. The pluralism of “revelations” calls for the exercise of the law of non-contradiction. The modern relativistic, pluralistic mood looks at the Bible as another “truth”. But the fact is that there can never be an absolute infrastructure for relative truth. They always differ in their infrastructure though the superstructure might appear to be the same. The trustworthiness of the Bible is a very important issue, since it addresses issues of ultimate concern: Theology, Cosmology, and Teleology (purpose, salvation). And it supercedingly differs from other “revelatory” sources. Either the Bible is true or false; it is either trustworthy or non-trustworthy. How do we know if we can trust the Bible, then?
- The Philosophical Test of Internal Consistency. In depth study shows that the Bible is never self-contradictory or self-defeating. As a matter of fact, though the books of the Bible were written over a time span of more than 1000 years by different men of differing intellectual status, economic status, and cultural background etc, yet the Bible is indubitably seen to be strewn together by one theme—redemption. It is internally consistent.
- The Correspondence Test. The accounts and statements of the Bible factually correspond to the truth of history (archaeology) and science. The prophecy of Scriptures also corresponds with its fulfillment in history.
- The Cosmological Test. The writers of the Biblical books were genuine, truthful men—many of them ready to give their lives for the truth (e.g. Jeremiah, John, Paul, Peter…). They could never have been deceivers. The Bible itself speaks of them as being moved by the Spirit. Concerning whether they were perpetuating falsehood, the philosophical and the correspondence test has examined the claims and accounts.
- The Community Test. The Bible has never done any harm to any society which could trace the vindication of its actions to the Biblical principles themselves (the Crusaders couldn’t trace their moral concepts to the principles of the Bible). The community has always benefited by the principles of the Bible. The modern clarion for equality of men and women, freedom of rights, justice, non-violence, can be best traced to the teachings of the Bible alone. The Bible has transformed whole peoples, clans, and tribes.
- The Pragmatic Test. The Biblical truth works. It is still working. The Gospel truly is powerfully changing the lives of thousands daily. Voltaire said that a hundred years from his time, the Bible would be extinct. Voltaire is dead and gone, his thoughts and philosophy known by a mere few; the Bible is still the best selling, far-reaching Book of all books. All the philosophies of all philosophers in history put together couldn’t change the nature of one man. Ironically, this Book that the philosophers disdain at has turned the world upside down.
In conclusion, the Bible is the most trustworthy Book in the world. Even science books are not always trustworthy—they indulge much in theories of convenience. Can we trust the Bible? Why can’t we? There are enough proof for the authenticity and reasonability of this Book on the basis of which we can place faith and trust in its revelation of God Himself and also the end and salvation of the universe.
© Domenic Marbaniang, Sept. 21, 2000.