Question: How can we trust the Bible?
As a new Christian I have a lot of doubts regarding this subject. How can we trust that the Bible still carries the message our Father sent to us? The Bible has gone through many editions and translations by the hand of the Catholic church, who are known to keep a lot of stuff from us, the Vatican’s archives are a perfect example, so how can we know that the Bible we all have access to isn’t missing some very important information or that the church didn’t alter God’s or Jesus’ words? I hope this doesn’t offend anyone, I have a lot of doubts but my faith in our Father is stronger than ever.
Your concerns are justified. If we wish to be objective, then honesty will prompt us to regard the bible as a compilation of imperfect but insightful and profound human accounts. Worded this way, our approach is more grounded and we save ourselves from error and confusion.
The statement “Word of God” is clear enough in its meaning. It implies only what directly comes out of God without any human intermediaries is Holy and thus “of God”. The moment any inspiration from above has to pass through the imperfect human mind then, no matter how enlightened and pure the said soul is, it immediately becomes an account subject to interpretive imperfection and error. Why? Human beings have free will and can exercise their personal understanding during the process of interpretation of any insights received. Then there is the different translators over centuries who bring their own agendas, interpretations influenced by their limited understanding, and cultural contexts. This then creates a medley with gaps that any human being can easily see and today is meant to pass as Divine Truth. Put together then, you cannot objectively call any of this the “Word of God”, but at best human words and accounts that speak of God.
The bible is a wonderful work, so it should be approached with respect. But only when we experience it for what it is: a collection of human accounts and insights meant to inspire others towards a greater spiritual understanding. Being human accounts and insights, there will naturally be imperfections and errors. But this is for us to intuitively perceive. When this happens, we should be bold enough to seek other sources that might come closer to our inner understanding.
I wish you well on your journey.
Response (by another person):
Why does the bible claim to be the inerrant word of God? Wouldnt what you’re saying be considered blaspheme? Don’t mean to offend, as I actually agree with you, but its hard to justify that when the Bible claims inerrancy, let alone letting other people know your belief/stance on it.
Would really appreciate a response on this topic.
My response (to the person):
The bible is not an entity or a person that can speak, therefore the bible itself cannot claim anything. It is only people who interpret the bible that ascribe sacrosanctity to it! Hence the idea of it being the infallible Truth comes only from human opinions who interpret it as such. Furthermore, we should be aware that the authors of the individual books did not know what a “bible” was, nor did they intend it. They only wrote their individual accounts expressing their personal understanding that other people later on then gathered into a collective work and called “bible”. What books were included or excluded, and how the included ones were edited and manipulated was again based on human choice. So, if we wish to be honest, how can we gloss over all these irrefutable facts and carelessly call it the “Word of God”?
Since what I speak here is the unassailable truth, it cannot be blasphemy! Truth is never blasphemy. It can only be considered blasphemy because it does not agree with what the religious leaders and representatives choose to believe about the bible. Facts are facts, no matter how hard they are to swallow and accept. And speaking of blasphemy, wasn’t Jesus Himself, the Word Incarnate, accused of “blasphemy” because His teachings did not harmonize with what the religious heads taught the people in order to maintain control over them? Upset by this, they then lobbied and accused the Truth of blasphemy just to protect their earthly power and safeguard their influence! Finally, they even murdered the Son of God in cold blood against God’s Will (thou shalt not kill), but today celebrate it as something good! “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do!” implies something wrong and against God’s Will is happening, for you never need to forgive what is right! “In Him was life ; and the life was the Light of men. And the Light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended It not” [John 1:4-5]; that is, men who choose the darkness of error comprehended not the Word, and thus opposed and crucified It! Today this opposition and crucifixion happens in the form of perpetuating distorted concepts that contradict Truth. Thus, how is it any different today? Because you speak truth that makes people uncomfortable, they want to call it blasphemy just so they can maintain their system of control and distorted ideas.
We must speak truth and be honest! Boldly facing any consequences that arises , for it is time to speak frankly and honestly about these things! Nothing rash should be done, nor should we argue or proselytize, or try to influence people. But we should hold our ground and stick to facts when necessary. We should surely respect the bible and use its wonderful inspirations and insights to mature, but we should not ascribe to it the perfection that belongs to God alone. The bible has many truths, but it is not the Truth, and consequently there are other good sources of insights we must open ourselves to. Howbeit, we should do so carefully, selectively, and with a sharp intuition.
Thanks for your question and the opportunity for reflection it provided me. I hope this answers your inquiries and is a help to you!
~Ikenna Q. Ezealah