Skip to content

November 27, 2007

8

Why do Christians claim the Bible is the only true holy book?

by Dave Malnes

We currently live in a culture where all truth is relative. Absolute truth is dismissed as being “out of touch.” As a result, there becomes a growing interest in the various assortments of religious thought.   

Many people throughout the world believe that all religions are basically the same. It is true that other religions have written teachings that may contain kernels of truth. Their definitions of a god and the way to find a god attempts to soothe human reasoning. 

The Christian faith is entirely based on the truth found only in Jesus Christ. The truth is founded on the authority of the Bible and its transforming power to bring people to faith and be declared righteous before God. Based on these fundamental points of the Christian faith there becomes an obvious contradiction with other religions. Both cannot be right. Therefore, we must make the conclusion that both writings or holy books cannot be considered the Word of God.

How do we know which holy book is true? The inherent interest of religious thought points to the fact that people are hungry for the truth. Other religions point to what we can do to achieve inner peace, better our future life or how to please God. It is only the Christian faith that boldly proclaims in the Bible what has already been done for us. Through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the promised Son of God, we are declared right or perfect in the eyes of God. Our eternal future of peace and paradise is secured.   

When you test and compare all claims of revelation, along with the historical fact that Christ was resurrected from the dead, the Bible stands alone as the definitive “Word of God.” All other works may have wonderful literary and philosophical insights, but do not communicate the true way to salvation which is found only in Christ Jesus.  

** This question and answer was inspired from the book, “Letters from a Skeptic” by Dr. Gregory A Boyd and Edward K. Boyd, Chariot Victor Publishing, 1994.   

8 Comments Post a comment
  1. hokku
    Nov 27 2007

    Merganzerman wrote:
    When you test and compare all claims of revelation, along with the historical fact that Christ was resurrected from the dead, the Bible stands alone as the definitive “Word of God.”

    I think only rather fundamentalistic Christians will see it that way. Others do not find the claims of revelation at all convincing, nor do they consider the resurrection a “fact,” given that there is really no evidence outside Christian belief to support it, and the biblical evidence for it is so discrepant as to make it rather useless for anything but a history of the development of Christian belief.

    Like

    Reply
  2. merganzerman
    Nov 27 2007

    Hokku, nice to hear back from you again. We seem to be re-visiting the same topic we have gone back and forth on before — the existence of a historic Jesus and whether or not a resurrection occurred.

    I would agree with your comment in that it is a matter of faith. I happen to belief the testimony given in Scriptures by Peter, John, et al, that what they say about Jesus is true. I trust or believe their account to be true. I guess this where we differ as you do not “find the claims of revelation at all convincing.”

    I don’t think I will be able to put together a reasonable argument that will lead you to faith, nor is it even possible. My hope is that the posts in my blog would at least give you an opportunity to consider that what the Holy Bible says is true. THe danger is, as I stated in this post, is that both of us can’t be right. One of us is wrong. If you are right, nothing really happens to me. I just dissolve, decay and become nothing. No big deal, for I am nothing. However, if I am right….. that there is a God, there is an eternity, well….

    That is why we have the Holy Bible as the only source of truth — all other writings are man’s attempt to justify themselves as being good and right on their own. And, the historical fact of the resurrection, as stated in a previous post, is the centerpiece to verify this as so.

    Like

    Reply
  3. Nov 27 2007

    merganzerman,

    Amen and Amen! I love your post! God bless you!

    Like

    Reply
  4. hokku
    Nov 27 2007

    You wrote:
    “I would agree with your comment in that it is a matter of faith. I happen to belief the testimony given in Scriptures by Peter, John, et al, that what they say about Jesus is true. I trust or believe their account to be true. I guess this where we differ as you do not “find the claims of revelation at all convincing.”

    This is actually very in much in keeping with the theory that people tend to believe what they want to believe, in spite of evidence to the contrary. But for those who require evidence, it is not at all persuasive.

    Personally, I think that the great discrepancies in the Bible preclude its being taken as historical fact, as well as the obvious evidences of editing and revision among the gospels.

    It is the same with Christianity as with any other religious belief (and even many non-religious beliefs); if someone wants to believe it enough, they likely will. But that believe will also generally prevent them from seeing what is so glaringly obvious to others — the lack of a sound foundation for those beliefs. So if Christians want to convince non-Christians, the evidence must be dealt with on a realistic, factual basis, not on wishful thinking.

    I think one of the most useful things anyone interested in the Bible can do is to compare the gospels of the NT line by line to see where they agree and how they differ. To the objective mind, this makes it quickly obvious that these are human accounts that have been revised and edited, not original, eye-witness testimony.

    I do not think any of the gospel writers ever saw or knew a Jesus. And Paul seems to have known him only from visions.

    Like

    Reply
  5. Reynvaan
    Nov 28 2007

    So essentially what this posts claims is that the Bible is the true word of God, simply because it says so. The Qur’an says so too. So do the Vedas and the Avesta and many of the books excluded when the Bible was officially canonized around CE 400. The Bhagavad Gita adds that it is a selfish fool who claims that his scripture of choice is God’s exclusive word.

    If the Bible’s own claims to authenticity are enough to prove it to be the true Word of God, then the same honor should be afforded to other religious texts which make the same claim.

    Like

    Reply
  6. merganzerman
    Nov 28 2007

    Thank you all for your comments.

    The Holy Bible is all about how God promised and carried out a plan of salvation for all people through Jesus Christ. His death served as a substitute, in that he took on the punishment for all our sins. If the story ended there, then I guess it would fall under all the other stories of martyrdom for a religious cause. However, what makes the Holy Bible and Christianity set apart is in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. An accepted, historical fact. Without the resurrection of Christ, there is no Christianity, and the claims of the Holy Bible can be null and void. With the resurrection, the Holy Bible is the word of God and the absolute truth.

    I can understand why people will want to go to great lengths to deny the resurrection, the truth of God’s Word or even if Jesus really existed or not. To give consideration to what Jesus really says, and to deny it, would be far more painful than to pretend its all foolishness — especially when you consider the consequences the Bible proclaims to those who hold on to stubborn unbelief.

    Like

    Reply
  7. hokku
    Nov 28 2007

    Reynvaan wrote:

    “So essentially what this posts claims is that the Bible is the true word of God, simply because it says so.”

    I would not grant it even that much. It claims the Bible is the true word of God simply because the writer of the post says so. The Bible itself NOWHERE claims that it is the “true word of God” in its entirely, because the Bible was not originally a single book about which such a claim could be made. The Bible NOWHERE identifies its contents book by book (remember that it is an anthology of documents written over a vast period of time), nor does it ever speak of itself as a single book, because its existence as a single book is something that happened long after all the documents were written.

    And even today there is controversy over what should be included in the Bible, just as there was in early Christianity. And in spite of some overall agreement among Christians on a selection of books comprising the Bible, there are still today differences on some of the books, so that there is a generally-accepted Protestant Bible, and there is a Catholic Bible, and there is an Eastern Orthodox Bible, and there is an Ethiopian Bible, all with some differing contents.

    So the Bible nowhere identifies itself by name (how could it?), nor does it identify what is “scripture,” nor does it claim (again, how could it?) that all the documents it contains are the “true word of God.” That is all the doing of Christians, not of any deity.

    Now let’s get to the real heart of the matter — the fallibility of the biblical documents. I challenge you, Merganzerman, to post a document here in which you successfully combine all that is reported about the events from the burial of Jesus to his ascension in the four gospels and in Acts and 1 Corinthians, leaving no detail out, and putting it in chronological order. That will quickly demonstrate both to you and your readers that the resurrection accounts are so discrepant that they could not possibly be historical. This is your chance to demonstrate the correctness of what you say — or, of course, its error.

    Like

    Reply
  8. merganzerman
    Nov 30 2007

    Dear Hokku:

    I want to finally respond to your challenge regarding the chronology of the New Testament accounts.

    Before I make that answer, I think it will be important to note that the central point of our discussion is the validity or reliability of the historical accounts as told in the New Testament. I think it is important to note that when you apply the criteria needed to validate a historical event, the resurrection story holds up quite well. In fact, the evidence is as strong, if not stronger, than any other historical event. I lay this all out in a previous post on November 14th in the category of Answers to a Skeptic.

    Now to your question. First of all, when you apply all of the resurrection accounts in the New Testament, they are not exactly alike or there are “difficulties” when trying to harmonize the accounts chronologically. This is all pointed out in the famous “Wolfenbuttel Fragmente” which points out the supposedly irreconcilable divergence in the Gospels. These authors point to illusions or hallucinations or visions on part of the disciples.

    However, what is interesting is that there is no mention by these authors of how these unbelieving disciples came to this faith.

    First of all, it is clear that all the evangelists agree that Jesus really rose from the dead—which is the main point. All of the other details really are incidental, so it’s really unfair that because a writer omits every reference to an incident, that this event (Jesus risen from the grave) did not occur. I think that the lack of harmony on the accounts of the Jesus’ resurrection is not the reason of not accepting it as true, but a preconceived prejudice against the trustworthiness of the Gospel record.

    When considering the accounts of the resurrection, it is very apparent that “each evangelist has a special end in view and that each knows full well the object and purpose of his presentation” (Godet). Matthew was trying to reach the Jews, Luke to the Gentiles, and John on the progression of faith to those who believed. This would play a factor in their accounts. Furthermore, these evangelists were addressing people who were already familiar with the story of the Gospel through oral testimony. The purpose of writing them down was to strengthen their faith.

    I know this is very brief, but I attempted to put things in a nutshell. I could go on and do an account by account explanation, but many other more capable people than myself have already done so. It would not be too difficult to find on the internet and there are numerous books – some sitting here in my library – that go into great detail for the purpose of bringing harmony to the resurrection story and accomplish the purpose for which the event was recorded – to strengthen our faith.

    Like

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Note: HTML is allowed. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to comments

%d bloggers like this: