Ask the Preacher
Sender's name: James
How do we know the Bible is true when there are so many religions out there claiming truth?
This is a very good question, and is one that is too long to deal with in any detail in this forum. So what I will do is spend some time pointing out some good points related to this question, some principles, and some resources.
First of all, every religion has some truth in it. For instance, some elevate the importance of compassion, others point out that man is more than his physical being; still others stress the need to increase in insight. However, many religions have things in them that are false and even unhealthy. For instance, some religions put an emphasis on the need for you to engage in practices with the goal of improving your condition. This sounds good on the surface, but as history has demonstrated, this self-centered perspective leads to atrocities such as Auschwitz So the question is this.
There is a difference between truth and "the" truth. One is partial, the other is all-inclusive. "The" truth encompasses all reality. It is the one things from which all truths flow. Obviously, "the" truth is the creator. Jesus said that he is "the" truth (John 14:6). He didn't say merely that he merely teaches truth. He didn't merely say that he has all truth. He said is "the" truth. Jesus could say this only because we understand that Jesus himself is not just a man, but he is God that has come to earth as a human (John 1:1-3, 14). Truth has been translated into human form so that we can perceive it in a way that we can related to, learn from, understand, and live out. Jesus is the ultimate expression of truth. His lifestyle, his ethical views, his teaching, everything about him is the only correct and trustworthy expression of truth.
Because Jesus is "the" truth, only he can make the claim, "no one comes to the Father but through me (John 14:6)." Since Jesus himself is God, and because he is God is the ultimate and only accurate expression of truth, then knowing truth is to know him.
Jesus entrusted truth to his disciples, who in turn has passed it down to us by committing it to writing. They point out that Jesus demonstrated not just the character of God through his righteousness, compassion, and love, but also the power of God through freeing people from oppression to sin, sickness, and even death. Jesus rose from the dead, demonstrating a power that no one else has on this earth, the power over death. The eyewitnesses who saw him testified that they saw him (1 Cor 15:3-8), ate with him, and watched him ascend into Heaven (Acts 1). Jesus' disciples, whose faith had been crushed, became renewed after seeing Jesus alive, and went about teaching the truth of Christ, and all of them except for one ended up giving their life for this truth and hope which changed their lives.
When they preserved this truth for future generations through writing, they were communicating the honest truth of God. Notice these passages:
"…for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God" (2 Pet 1:21).
"All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness" (2 Tim 3:16).
These writings are not merely human productions, they come ultimately from God and are profitable. Nevertheless, there is the recognition that there is false truth that will lead ultimately to destruction rather than life. Notice this passages:
"But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves" (2 Pet 2:1).
"I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! (Gal 1:6-9)"
Jesus left ample evidence for the truth that comes from him, more than even a court of law requires. Proof beyond the shadow of a doubt is not only impossible, but undesirable. Jesus calls for us to have faith in him. We do have "reasonable" proof, however. We are not called to accept him blindly, but to accept him on faith in what he has revealed to us in his person and in what his disciples preserved in scripture.
Some resources I would recommend include:
My series of articles related to this subject:
The book: Reasonable Faith, by Winfried Courdan; The Case for Faith by Lee Strobel; or Evidence that Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell.
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