Why should I accept the bible


#1

as

i) a historical text?

ii) God’s word?


#2

Like Father Benedict Groeschel on EWTN says, even if you are an atheist, PRAY. Pray often. Pray for divine assistance, and I will pray for you also.

Perhaps you should read the Bible and carefully consider its message. I too don’t know everything I want to know about the Bible.

Read the accounts of Jesus’ baptism. and Read what Jesus recommends. “Repent and believe.” <---- and do it in that order.

Faith is a gift and you should pray for it. Faith is not a knowledge that corresponds to scientific certainty, but scientific certainty is wrong often enough, too. Surely you know that.

And may I suggest that you probably want to believe, but you have intellectual reservations. Consider what it costs to be a believer. No one but you can understand what it will cost you. So, consider if that cost is so great and whether it is too great.

Maybe you should write down your objections to believing and give yourself a year to really look into the faith. You might want to read other books, such as Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. Then, after a year, look at your objections again and see if they mean the same thing to you.

Keep in mind that no one can save you or convert you except God. Don’t dare him. Invite him.


#3

Thanks for your answer.

However, your answer presupposes a faith in Christ. This is not a faith issue.

How would you answer this if say … a Muslim asked this question?


#4

[quote=Inquirer]Thanks for your answer.

However, your answer presupposes a faith in Christ. This is not a faith issue.

How would you answer this if say … a Muslim asked this question?
[/quote]

I once asked this question myself. Good question!! :wink:

You don’t have to if you don’t want to, but then again, Eve didn’t have togo with the whole “fruit if the tree” business either. My suggestion is this. We can choose to freely accept salvation or not. If heaven and hell are in fact both realities, then that must meen there is more than dirt and worms after death. If an etertinity in paridise is offered freely by our Creator, then shouldn’t we find out who the Creator is and what this whole salvation thing is about as well?

To use your analogy of a Muslim asking the question, they also believe in God and heaven and hell. So, this would be an obvious conversation like on which would be between a catholic and protestant. Muslims have their own “bible” the koran. Why should I believe the koran over the bible?

Hope this helps.
Rich


#5

In answer to your original question. lol Sorry!

BOTH! Anythign to atleast open the book. :slight_smile:

Rich


#6

[quote=Inquirer]Thanks for your answer.

However, your answer presupposes a faith in Christ. This is not a faith issue.

How would you answer this if say … a Muslim asked this question?
[/quote]

#1 Have him pray about it. Muslims can know God too.

#2 Look at the gospels, it doesn’t get much more reliable than this.

#3 Establish Jesus, than the Church. The Bible will follow suit after this. (For help, view this thread. RyanL does a wonderful job.)

I suggest reading Hanbook of Christian Apologetics by Dr. Peter Kreeft and Father Tacelli.


#7

In a nutshell, as a Catholic, we take the books of the Bible as historical documents. We inspect them as to their veracity, are they true authentic witness to this man Jesus in the first century. They have been proven to be reliable witnesses, judged not only by Christian sources, but by non-Christian ones as well.
Once it is ascertained that they are reliable historically accurate documents, we study them to see what this man Jesus said and taught.
We discover that he came to save mankind from sins, to set up a Church that would last till he comes again, that this Church would be infallible.
It is then this Church that tells us what books of the many floating around in the early centuries were inspired Scripture. :thumbsup:


#8

[quote=Inquirer]as

i) a historical text?

ii) God’s word?
[/quote]

Your question is a very important question for those who do accept the bible. Because for a person who has no first hand experience of Jesus the answer is “There is no reason at all. It is just words on paper.”

A living witness is essential if someone wants to share the Word of God (as detailed in the Bible). When Jesus shared the Good News with others, he also healed the sick, fed the hungry, and generally modeled the love of God that he was sharing in his words. He instructed his disciples to do the same when they carried the Word of God to others.

Without a living witness, with no experience to understand the meaning of what it contains.the Bible is a collection of papers with scratch marks on it. If we wish to share the message with others we must do it with our living as well as our talking.

peace

-Jim


#9

[quote=Inquirer]as

i) a historical text?

ii) God’s word?
[/quote]

You should believe the testimony of the eyewitnesses who spoke not merely with their mouths, but with their lives right up to the point of death. These were not “radical” people with an agenda, they were very ordinary people who’s lives were transformed by the Christ.
Normally - ie, historically - when the leader of such a group is killed, the followers don’t even last a generation before they disband into obscurity. There are many examples of this. But that is not at all what happened: these people were EMPOWERED by the risen Lord and lived their lives completely devoted to Him. Some faced the most brutal death rather than renounce their faith in Him - why? Because he rose from the dead and they KNEW it without doubt. These are the very same people who wrote the bible(NT) as a tribute to Him. The bible and the entire reality of Jesus Christ is accepted based on the reality of the reliability of the eyewitnesses to the events surrounding the life of Jesus of Nazareth.

Phil


#10

[quote=Inquirer]as

i) a historical text?

ii) God’s word?
[/quote]

For the first part, (i), we need to take the scientific approach, with no presupposition of faith. The Bible is just a collection of ancient manuscripts that go back many centuries. Scholarship has revealed that these manuscripts fell into various literary genres much like we do today. Some of these are actual, true history, while the others are parables, poetry, and allegories.

Scholars must use advanced critical methods to determine these genres, and identify the actual historical books, and corroborate them with archaeological, anthropological, and other historical research.

Such research has yielded the truth of the historical books of the Bible, where history is indeed intended (not Genesis 1:1, but rather the books of Judges, Kings, Chronicles, Maccabees, etc), especially the Gospels. Moreover, the truth of the Gospels is further confirmed by the martyrdom of the witnesses who lived in the earliest centuries of the Church. Rather than deny the truth of what happened, especially the Resurrection, they chose death instead. Again, this has nothing to do with fanaticism. The earliest Christians were people who loved life, and hid from persecution, but when faced with overwhelming odds, and the choice to offer a pinch of incense to pagan deities, they shed their blood. No one dies this way for a hoax. Because of this we can attest to the truth of the Gospels.

One must be aware, though, that not all of the Bible is intended to be history.

(ii). How do we know the Bible is the Word of God? Because if we can accept the truth of the words of the Gospel from textual criticism, we can trust the words as recorded in the Gospels. Jesus made many outrageous claims to be God and the Son of God and the Messiah. There are only a few possibilities: he was insane and deluded, he was sane and a liar, or he was telling the truth. Again we look to the witness of the early Christian martyrs. When offered the option to renounce Christ, they chose death. They would not offer the worship due to Christ to Caesar or anyone else. And they believe this because they attest to the truth of the Resurrection. Again, no one chooses such a death, even today, except to witness to the truth (nope, not even the Muslim suicide “martyrs”).

If Jesus indeed rose from the dead, then he had to be who he claimed to be: God. And if he was God, then God, who can neither be decived nor deceive, spoke the truth. And one of the statements he made was that he would establish a Church against whom the gates of hell would not prevail. He also promised to send the Holy Spirit to guide it into all truth. He gave to Peter and to the apostles the power to bind and loose. He promised to be with the Church even until the end of the age. In other words, he gave the promise of an indestructible, infallible Church to protect the Gospel of salvation.

It is this Church that finalized the Canon of the Bible at the Council of Carthage in AD 397.

That’s why we accept it as the Word of God.


#11

Inquirer,

Let me know if this article helps…

Proving Inspiration
catholic.com/library/proving_inspiration.asp


#12

[quote=porthos11]For the first part, (i), we need to take the scientific approach, with no presupposition of faith. The Bible is just a collection of ancient manuscripts that go back many centuries. Scholarship has revealed that these manuscripts fell into various literary genres much like we do today. Some of these are actual, true history, while the others are parables, poetry, and allegories.

Scholars must use advanced critical methods to determine these genres, and identify the actual historical books, and corroborate them with archaeological, anthropological, and other historical research.

Such research has yielded the truth of the historical books of the Bible, where history is indeed intended (not Genesis 1:1, but rather the books of Judges, Kings, Chronicles, Maccabees, etc), especially the Gospels. Moreover, the truth of the Gospels is further confirmed by the martyrdom of the witnesses who lived in the earliest centuries of the Church. Rather than deny the truth of what happened, especially the Resurrection, they chose death instead. Again, this has nothing to do with fanaticism. The earliest Christians were people who loved life, and hid from persecution, but when faced with overwhelming odds, and the choice to offer a pinch of incense to pagan deities, they shed their blood. No one dies this way for a hoax. Because of this we can attest to the truth of the Gospels.

One must be aware, though, that not all of the Bible is intended to be history.

(ii). How do we know the Bible is the Word of God? Because if we can accept the truth of the words of the Gospel from textual criticism, we can trust the words as recorded in the Gospels. Jesus made many outrageous claims to be God and the Son of God and the Messiah. There are only a few possibilities: he was insane and deluded, he was sane and a liar, or he was telling the truth. Again we look to the witness of the early Christian martyrs. When offered the option to renounce Christ, they chose death. They would not offer the worship due to Christ to Caesar or anyone else. And they believe this because they attest to the truth of the Resurrection. Again, no one chooses such a death, even today, except to witness to the truth (nope, not even the Muslim suicide “martyrs”).

If Jesus indeed rose from the dead, then he had to be who he claimed to be: God. And if he was God, then God, who can neither be decived nor deceive, spoke the truth. And one of the statements he made was that he would establish a Church against whom the gates of hell would not prevail. He also promised to send the Holy Spirit to guide it into all truth. He gave to Peter and to the apostles the power to bind and loose. He promised to be with the Church even until the end of the age. In other words, he gave the promise of an indestructible, infallible Church to protect the Gospel of salvation.

It is this Church that finalized the Canon of the Bible at the Council of Carthage in AD 397.

That’s why we accept it as the Word of God.
[/quote]

Awesome post.


#13

This question, the veracity of the Bible as the word of God, has lain at the heart of my struggles with God over the years - struggles which are far from over. I have wanted very much to be able to put aside my doubts in this regard, but they are nagging, persistent and long-standing. So many of the arguments in favour of this ring hollow in my ears.

[quote=porthos11] The earliest Christians were people who loved life, and hid from persecution, but when faced with overwhelming odds, and the choice to offer a pinch of incense to pagan deities, they shed their blood. No one dies this way for a hoax. Because of this we can attest to the truth of the Gospels.
[/quote]

This argument particularly falls flat, I find. The same argument can be applied to early Mormons. Joseph Smith died for his beliefs as did many of the early LDS.

The famous trilemma - Lord, liar or lunatic also fails on the simple basis that the Gospels were written by others and we cannot be certain what Jesus actually said about himself. He may simply be misrepresented.

Even within the Gospels, Jesus is anything but clear about his identity. I was sorely disappointed with the chapter on Jesus’ divinity in Strobel’s The Case for Christ. It is far and away the weakest portion of a book that doesn’t hold up well under contrary argumentation. Everything Strobel cites as evidience of Jesus’ self-concept as Divine could also be explained by the Messiah being a human with a unique relationship with God; a special annointing of power to act on God’s behalf without necessarily being God.

Try as I might, I simply cannot find reason to accept the Bible as having any more spiritual authority than any other body of cultural mythology. I had such high hopes for Strobel’s book as a place to turn to address my intellectual doubts and I was very disappointed.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to discredit the Bible, I want to believe it is God’s word. I wish I could believe it, but it really is a great struggle of faith for me, one that lies at the very heart of Christianity. If the Bible isn’t God’s word, then Christianity isn’t God’s faith. This is my root struggle and what keeps me from returning to the Church I long for.

I pray regularly, “Lord, I want to believe. Help my unbelief!” For some reason to this point His answer has been, “No.”


#14

In which case, I can do no more for you.

[quote=Lapsed]This question, the veracity of the Bible as the word of God, has lain at the heart of my struggles with God over the years - struggles which are far from over. I have wanted very much to be able to put aside my doubts in this regard, but they are nagging, persistent and long-standing. So many of the arguments in favour of this ring hollow in my ears.

[/quote]


#15

Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m just a simple layman, and as far as I’m concerned, the blood of the first centuries speak louder than any than even these Forums. So I just trust the Church knowing that her founder will always protect her.

Beyond that, I know nothing. Sorry.

[quote=Lapsed]This question, the veracity of the Bible as the word of God, has lain at the heart of my struggles with God over the years - struggles which are far from over. I have wanted very much to be able to put aside my doubts in this regard, but they are nagging, persistent and long-standing. So many of the arguments in favour of this ring hollow in my ears.

This argument particularly falls flat, I find. The same argument can be applied to early Mormons. Joseph Smith died for his beliefs as did many of the early LDS.

The famous trilemma - Lord, liar or lunatic also fails on the simple basis that the Gospels were written by others and we cannot be certain what Jesus actually said about himself. He may simply be misrepresented.

Even within the Gospels, Jesus is anything but clear about his identity. I was sorely disappointed with the chapter on Jesus’ divinity in Strobel’s The Case for Christ. It is far and away the weakest portion of a book that doesn’t hold up well under contrary argumentation. Everything Strobel cites as evidience of Jesus’ self-concept as Divine could also be explained by the Messiah being a human with a unique relationship with God; a special annointing of power to act on God’s behalf without necessarily being God.

Try as I might, I simply cannot find reason to accept the Bible as having any more spiritual authority than any other body of cultural mythology. I had such high hopes for Strobel’s book as a place to turn to address my intellectual doubts and I was very disappointed.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to discredit the Bible, I want to believe it is God’s word. I wish I could believe it, but it really is a great struggle of faith for me, one that lies at the very heart of Christianity. If the Bible isn’t God’s word, then Christianity isn’t God’s faith. This is my root struggle and what keeps me from returning to the Church I long for.

I pray regularly, “Lord, I want to believe. Help my unbelief!” For some reason to this point His answer has been, “No.”
[/quote]


#16

[quote=Inquirer]Thanks for your answer.

However, your answer presupposes a faith in Christ. This is not a faith issue.

How would you answer this if say … a Muslim asked this question?
[/quote]

You are setting a very high standard. Why would anyone accept Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, etc. from external causes? Sorry, but the evidence in the NT itself is that even the gentiles accepted the Gospel from its preaching, seldom if ever from external arguments.

Your standard is too high. How could anyone accept Christianity without appealing to its internal elements?

I suppose you decline all medical therapy because you would have to be convinced from the cooling of the earth onward that it was safe and effective with no possible side effects and no risks whatsoever. And, truly, no such level of confidence is possible.

And, I suppose that you don’t use public transportation or thoroughfares, because of doubts about these. And, you don’t drink from public water supplies, because, after all, the water comes in from underground pipes, right?

You have no faith, no faith in anything. By your standard, you have no reason to have any such faith.

What would such persuasion about the Bible look like to you? What is your point?


#17

Let’s take another example. Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War. This the only contemporary account of this war and we have much less bibliographic evidence for it than we do Scripture. Yet most people (and scholars) believe that this is a reasonably accurate account of the events. In other words, we believe it is an acceptable historical text because there is no good reason not to. This points out the problem of radical skepticism: it is willing to cast doubt on everything except radical skepticism. It is a form of special pleading in that it requires the very faith to believe in it as other views it complains about.

I’ll let others handle the divine part except to throw in a paraphrase of Chesterton.that people single out the bible for skepticism because it talks about miracles. But this is circular. “Why reject the Bible because there are miracles?” “Because the people writing it were superstitious, ignorant, or deceived.” Why were they superstitious, ignorant, or deceived?" “Because they wrote about miracles.” And so on.

Scott


#18

If you read the Bible, and its teaching seem reasonable to you, then try them out. If they transform and improve your life, and bring you into a closer realtionship with the divine, then you should accept them. Because to reject that which ultimately serves is unreasonable.

I would never accept something so important on someone else’s word alone.

cheddar


#19

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