I promised last week that I’d write about what my church is thinking of doing for our next Bible study. I’m not in the mood right now to write extensively about this subject, and so I’ll write a series, in which I’ll write a little post each day (or whenever) about our search.
We just finished A Fragile Stone, Peter: Jesus’ Friend with Michael Card. This is one of the Daylight Bible Studies, and it is associated with the Day of Discovery television program. We were considering doing another Daylight Bible study, and the pastor was telling us what was in the catalog. One of the studies was entitled The Bible: Why Does It Endure? See here. The description said the following: “Hear from biblical scholars and researchers who uncover results that point to the Bible as the inspired Word of God. From the ancient scrolls, historical proof, and accurate manuscripts, you’ll discover why the Bible endures.”
This was a turn off to me. In my opinion, there’s no way to prove that the Bible is the “inspired Word of God”. Even if you believe that the different manuscripts are not significantly different, that there’s a way to approximate what the original manuscripts said, that the Bible gets a number of historical details right, that the Gospels may be based on eyewitness testimony, and that biblical contradictions can somehow be harmonized—-and all of these are debated issues—-none of that proves that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. There are all sorts of non-biblical historically-accurate writings, reliable manuscripts, and eyewitness accounts (even of miracles) out there, and I doubt that even most evangelical Christians would consider these things to be the inspired Word of God. Regarding contradictions, I wouldn’t be surprised that, if one worked hard enough, one could iron out a number of apparently inconsistent documents, using all sorts of mental gymnastics or nuancing. That wouldn’t mean that those documents are the inspired Word of God.
(UPDATE: In the second video of the series, Daniel Wallace says that the resurrection of Jesus from the dead means that God approved of all that Jesus said, including Jesus’ belief in Scripture. But, aside from the critiques that have been made against conservative Christian arguments for the historicity of Jesus’ resurrection, one could ask why Jesus’ resurrection means that God affirms all that Jesus believed. Why is there a necessary connection between the two?)
More on this later. I will say this: We’re not going with that particular Bible study!