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The Reliability of the Bible

posted Mar 8, 2016, 10:05 AM by First Baptist

 

 

Why are you a Christian?

 

Many different responses could be given, but foundationally, we believe in Christ because we accept what the Bible says about him, especially the four Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

 

That’s great . . . but how do you know the four Gospels are true and not fabrications about the supposed Savior of the world? After all, didn’t the first Christians have a powerful incentive to embellish his life?

 

This is precisely the argument of many who are opposed to biblical Christianity. They insist the four Gospels are not historically accurate, but instead are a bunch of “tall tales” concerning the one called Jesus of Nazareth.

 

How would you answer the skeptics? And what about your own doubts? At some point, the faith passed on to us by our parents must stand up to scrutiny.

 

Difficulties

 

The historical accuracy of the Gospels has been called into question for five primary reasons:

 

1.      The events took place hundreds of years ago.

2.      Many of the events are the stuff of legends – e.g., walking on water, raising the dead, etc.

3.      The Gospels weren’t written as straight-forward biographies, but as theological documents by persons biased toward Christianity.

4.      There are inconsistencies in the Gospel accounts. (Some would use the word “contradictions.”)

5.      There are few other sources to corroborate the Gospels.

 

In fairness, we need to acknowledge these five things. They definitely make the job of proving the reliability of the Bible more difficult – but not impossible!

 

Plan

 

What I’m going to do over the next several articles is present evidence for the reliability (or historical accuracy) of the Gospels. In other words, I’m going to make the case that the events recorded in the Gospels really happened.

 

The manner of proving this will be similar to that of proving any historical event. For example, do you believe Abraham Lincoln was assassinated at Ford’s Theatre in 1865? Of course. And yet, you weren’t there, so how do you know?

 

This gets to the nature of proof. In proving the historical accuracy of the Gospels, we’ll want to go about it the same way a historian would prove the assassination of President Lincoln.

 

I’m hopeful this series will strengthen your faith. I’m also hopeful it will increase your confidence in interacting with skeptics, who are often quite sophisticated in their objections. Our goal is to turn skeptics into seekers and seekers into followers of Christ.

 

 

Pastor Dan

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