The Bible says some crazy things. There are miraculous events with powers and, for lack of better terms, magic that is not seen or experienced in our day-to-day lives. There are hundreds of laws. There are passages that conflict with one another. So, how can we trust the Bible?
Well, trusting the Bible doesn’t need to be easy. And it doesn’t mean there cannot be any struggle with it. In fact, the Bible’s messiness is exactly what makes it so relatable and trustworthy for many people. Let us explain.
The Bible is written by people for people
You often hear that the Bible is God’s story and that’s that. Yes, it’s true that the Bible is a compilation of stories concerning God and His followers, but it’s always important to remember that it’s written by people for people. As such, it will have human input.
Different authors in the Bible have different perspectives and opinions. Take Paul’s words against women teaching in the church, for example. In his first letter to Timothy (1 Timothy 2:12), Paul writes that women shouldn’t teach in the church. For years, people took this to mean that this is what Paul thinks of all women in all churches. However, when you break it down, it starts to make more sense.
Paul is very likely referring to specific women in the specific church Timothy belongs to. In this region at the time, a heretical version of the Gospels was being shared, particularly by women who were teaching that women were created before men. According to Genesis, man was created first, and whether or not that matters to us today, it mattered to Paul and their community, which is why he said those women shouldn’t teach. We don’t have to agree with Paul here, but we can understand where he’s coming from, and we can understand that this doesn’t apply across the board. Especially because Paul himself worked with women leaders in the church!
So, what does this all mean? It means that the Bible is a living, complicated text that we can interact with and wrestle with. We don’t take its word blindly. We read it and engage with it. We bring ourselves into the equation and look for the repeated truths and how we can adapt them into our lives.
Should the Bible be trusted as a science book? For many Christians, the answer is no. But can it be trusted as a source of truth about God and people? Absolutely.
Listen to Unfiltered Radio to discover what it’s like to try to be an authentic follower of Jesus in the modern world
At Unfiltered Radio, we’re all about exploring what it means to authentically follow Jesus and wrestle with the hard questions in life. Check out our podcast to listen to daily episodes about personal growth, spiritual growth and talking about hard questions about God.