Why can we trust the bible


#1

I’ve been looking for reasons to trust the bible. My atheist friends think that the Bible has no credibility and I was looking for reasons to trust it to build my own faith. A big reason they do not trust is is because of the story of Noah’s flood. They say it is a lot like the flood in the epic of Gilgamesh which was a flood story told many years before genesis. They also say there is no evidence of a world wide flood and that there is even evidence against it. It is said that there have been trees found that were at least 9000 years old. Bibical cronology would show you that the flood only happened 4000-5000 years ago.

If you can give any other strong reasons to believe in the bible, please help me out.
Thankyou! God bless


#2

Read the prologue to St. John’s Gospel…the Bible is the Word of God, the Word is God, the Word was incarnate as Jesus, and we certainly trust Jesus…therefore we trust the Bible.

Peace and all good!


#3

If you read the entirety of the bible literally then atheists are correct. You will find that it has a lot of seeming contradictions. This is most common with the old testament and the reason why, even in the time of Christ, people had to be trained in the proper meaning of the scriptures. Reading them straight through like a history book is not how it is meant to be done.


#4

More than 5000 fulfilled prophesies.

-Tim-


#5

The bible is not a science book, a history book or a biographical work though it does contain some elements of each topic (excepting science). If you think that every word from Genesis to Revelations is literally “true” or “real,” then you have already stumbled out of the gate. I think you would do well to find a good guide or commentary to help you understand exactly what you are reading. The bible is not a book; it is many books, written by many different authors in different times and different cultures in different literary styles and for different reasons. It truly is amazing how protestant fundamentalism has impacted Catholics in America in regards to the bible.


#6

When people say can you trust the Bible, that depends what you want from it.

The flood is like a the epic of Gilgamesh, and in fact many ancient cultures have a flood myth. What that tells us is something like that happened.

Does it matter if there was no evidence of a world wide flood? Only if you think certain words and terms must be read literally. It was the whole world to Noah. It is unlikely he thought of the world much beyond his immediate environment which was the world to him. Did floods not happen when Ice caps melted?

On Bible chronology, I don’t know of any Bible chronology that says the flood happened 2-5000 years ago. Does ‘Bible Chronology’ not hinge on the 7 creative days being 24 hrs long? Not many think the 7 days creative days were intended to be interpreted as 24 hours.

If you are an atheist, to me the value of the Bible is anthropology. It the roots of belief in God, how that developed.changed and that people grappled with values, law, monarchy, even political theory in the foundation of civilization in light of that belief. I like anthropology and literature as does my atheist friend, but if your a 'fact and nothing but fact’unimaginative individual whose not interested in anthropology or ancient cultures the Bible would be of no great importance.


#7

The problem is that atheists will ask how we can trust what the Bible says about Jesus.

From a logical perspective you can’t prove that the Bible is trustworthy by simply stating what the Bible says about itself. That’s circular reasoning.


#8

I like this approach and would simply add the Bible should be trusted for theological truth with regard to salvation. Point being, what did the flood story signify to the Jews (a cleansing of man because of sin) and to early Christians (the figure of baptism, i.e. 1 Pet. 3:20-21, involving water, and the superior cleansing of personal sin). If they don’t read the flood story and ascertain that, then they have not grasped the theological truth.

To put it in another analogy, take the story of the tortoise and the hare where the hare brags about how he will beat the tortoise and we know how the story ends up. The point of the story is to teach persistence. But some obtuse reader unaware of the literary genre might reject its truth because tortoises and hares can’t talk, therefore the story is bogus and without truth. The story “can’t be trusted,” they might say. Right? But such a reader would have missed the point because of a specious demand imposed on a text not concerned with scientific detail.

All that being said, there are some arguments to be made for a real flood enveloping what would have been the “world,” to the Jews, but my point here is not to worry about the magnitude of said flood because to do so is to miss the point of the story.


#9

The same reason why St Augustine trusts in the Bible…because the Catholic Church said so :wink:


#10

Good point,obviously the answer I gave came from the perspective of a believer, because to us, faith is the answer…if you are looking for a logical explanation of faith, quite simply, there is none.

An atheist may not accept that, but that’s what makes them an athiest!


#11

Exactly and then add that the Church’s authority is then witnessed to by our authentic Miracles studied by atheists, non-Christian and non-Catholic scientists who had to agree that there was no scientific / medical explanation for the miracle before it could be approved as a miracle.

And then point out that there are thousands of approved miracles: James Fulton, Lanciano, Buenos Aries 1996, Gemma de Giorgi Etc etc etc.


#12

I disagree entirely that there is no logical explanation of faith. Or at least with this particular wording of the sentiment.


#13

There many things in Biblical teaching where other religions are similar in which it may appear that Scripture may have drawn from them. But John Henry Newman explained it as in times past God spread his seeds of truth abroad, and those divine truths took root in some places yet in an imperfect way, but those who were open for truth got those truths sometimes fragmented and sometimes more. So in other words those things that predate WRITTEN Scripture that contains things that are parallel with Christian truth come from our Christian God in an obscure way, because those truths are older than the written word. God did choose a people to reveal his full truth, and eventually had to send Christ down to fulfill it and establish Church to deliver the truth in its fullest manner.

Those obscure and scattered truths in other religions are also God’s dealing with man.


#14

I learned to just give Scripture the benefit of the doubt and try not to speculate too much into details of the literal meaning such as time tables. The details in Scripture such as genealogies and so on are oftentimes summarized and should not be used to precisely assume dates. Science changes and develops constantly so it rarely effects my religious beliefs. There are so many times when science has discovered that the Bible was right after all about something that scientists once thought proved against the Bible.

For I struggle more philosophically than scientifically when it comes to doubts.


#15

:thumbsup:

To the original poster

the Bible is a collection of books. Many of those such as Geneses are themselves a collection of writings.

Perhaps a better question would be how can we trust the different books and writings are truth?

A further question is what kind of truth?

So for example the book of Psalms is a book of songs from the Jewish people to God. King David is said to have composed some of them. Is truth in this case that every song line and chorus must be true? Is truth that these indeed were songs used by the Jewish people? Is truth that some of these songs are God’s way of prophesying the future?

Similarly with the book of Leviticus which is the book of Jewish law. Does truth mean that what is written was Jewish law? That what is written comes from God? That what is written applies to us today?

I think you have to take each writing separately and discuss what you mean by truth.

We have to be careful that we don’t fall into the trap of accepting a reasoning that goes like this:

there is no evidence that the Jewish people visited Mt Sinai
therefore the Bible is unreliable
therefore there is no evidence that Jesus was the Messiah who rose from the dead
therefore you shouldn’t be Christian

In the last few decades this bad reasoning seems to have been accepted by too many.


#16

Regarding the Flood:

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=13142950#post13142950


#17

We can talk about Noah’s flood if we want but that’s a very small portion of the Bible.

No other religious document in the world can boast what the Bible can - over 5000 fulfiled prophecies, many of which are historically verifiable.

-Tim-


#18

Don’t take this the wrong way but in light of the OP, didn’t they (the Church et al) select what was to be put into the Bible? Why would they include bad predictions or things that were rampant at the time such as Greek mythology? So yes, almost by definition, the Bible will contain only favorable predictions and prophecies and your statement can’t be disputed.


#19

Karl Keating addressed this in the opening of his debate with a Baptist pastor.

youtube.com/watch?v=stS4eveIbQQ

-Tim-


#20

Thanks. I only made it through almost 17 minutes and, while much of it dealt with debate procedures, Karl did make some good points.

But in the end, we don’t have anything that was unreadable and/or untranslatable in the Bible, do we? (I can think of the Vetus Latina as a possible example.) But then I guess a case could be made that it wasn’t really inspired by God if it couldn’t survive time among other things.

Maybe to further illustrate my point, I have Shakespeare’s Complete Works. It’s considered complete even though it contains totally blank pages, which at least they were being honest to admit unreadability or lack of authentication or something.

BTW, I do have the place marked in case you tell me to keep watching the video, which I might get to later. :slight_smile:


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