I love it when Christians answer this question this way: “Of course the Bible is accurate! The Bible says so!”
Oh come on! Give me a break. Even I hate to give that answer. I think we as Christians need to do a better job saying why we believe the Bible is the word of God.
I offer my argument for all to consider. I welcome comments to this.
The Accuracy of the Bible being considered
To argue the accuracy of the bible, one must define what the bible is. This sounds silly but it’s true. Because if a person is at a place that believes that the bible is simply a couple of stories put together by a society, then there is no reason to prove the bible to be true. There’s no point. However, if the bible were true, if it really were the word of God, then proving the accuracy of the bible would be incredibly important.
But I’ll be honest here. Do I care that the bible is accurate? No, I don’t think I do.
Because I don’t think that’s the question. I think the heart of this question of “Is the bible accurate?” is “Can a god really do all of the things that the bible claims?” Or maybe the better question is, “Can I really trust what has been written, regardless of knowing whether it is fiction or not?”
For argument sake, let’s say that the bible is not accurate, that it was written by a bunch of aliens with nothing better to do.
That would mean that I was mislead to believing what I believe, right? That would mean my paradigm is based on a faulty misconception of something that was simply created to make people “good,” right?
Yeah, it does.
So the question to ask is, “Would I still believe this ‘story’ even if I knew it was false?”
And I think that’s the idea behind faith. Every theory, every concept, by it’s very definition, has faith behind it. Every scientific experiment has a theory before an experiment takes place. The experiment takes place to prove the theory wrong. The very fact that the person does an experiment shows that they have faith that their theory is proved right.
You might be saying to yourself, “Scientists change their theories after an experiment proves their theory incorrect.”
Copernicus was renowned in the late 16th century of having a crack-pot theory about the earth revolving around the sun. This was such a radical theory that the church labelled him a heretic and scorned him.
Can you imagine how much Copernicus had to believe in his theory that he risked his life for this crazy theory?
Eventually Galileo proved his theory accurate mathematically. But during that time that Copernicus couldn’t, I wonder what went through his head. During the time, I’m sure that the church was proving to him that the earth was, indeed, flat.
Did that shake Copernicus? I honestly don’t know. I had to think it did. I can’t imagine myself being faced with “irrefutable” proof that the earth was the center of the universe and how I would feel to think otherwise.
The point is even if the bible was written by some aliens breathing too much anti-matter fumes, how can it be proved? Even scientifically, the accuracy of the bible is hard to do. (Granted, some of it has been done, but I’m disregarding this for discussion purposes.)
Ultimately, the question is about faith. Do I believe? That’s the question. I can give the scripture to say “this is true” or “do this because of that.”
But beneath all of that lies the heart of a man. I believe this because of the life around me.
Now the question to ask the person that believes that the bible is fiction is, “What if it were proved true?” See, this poses another interesting question, “If God really said these words, do I have to believe in him/her/it?” Which then poses the even bigger question: “If God exists, do I have to get to know him/her/it? Will I have to interact with him/her/it? Do I have to get to know him/her/it?”
I can’t answer these questions. The point that I’m trying to make is this: behind every question is a person asking it. Behind the person beats the heart of the man. And this heart wants to make sense of the world. Ask the hard questions. They deserve good answers.
…trying to make sense of the world, one person at a time.