A huge controversy has broken out over stolen “originals” of the Gospel of Mark falsely dated back to the first century in the days of Christ. Many atheists and scoffers have used this controversy as an opportunity to make a mockery of the scriptures. They say that this once again proves the lack of “originals,” proving that the Bible has been tampered with by the hands of man. The issue with this is that as believers, we realize the validity of scripture amidst the eyes of critics. We understand that we don’t need a degree from Oxford in papyrus inspection and textual criticism. As believers, we understand some important truths that prove our Bible and it’s teachings to be true. These truths make Obbink (the leading expert) a liar but not our Bible!
Truth One- The Fulfilled Prophecies
2 Peter 1:21 – “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake [as they were] moved by the Holy Ghost.”
Scripture is full of prophecy (foretelling of events) from the birth of Christ throughout the Old Testament, Christ’s death is Psalms, to Israel becoming a nation in Amos. The Bible is full, not just prophecy but of fulfilled prophecy. This reminds us that the God who speaks His words can bring His Word into being. And despite the lies of a first-century manuscript or the put down of textual critics, those things cannot be unchanged! No mortal man can see into the future so exactly as scripture, proving the Bible not to be an earthly book but a Heavenly one!
Truth Two- The Experience of Salvation
Romans 10:9 – “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”
One of the greatest proofs of scripture being real (for me) is the work of Salvation that happened in my own life! I’ve seen the truth that if a man will put his faith in Christ and what He did on the cross as the only thing that saves, that Christ coming to dwell and the Holy Spirit changing their life as the work of sanctification is done. Seeing this work in my own life has brought to life texts like Romans 8 and 2 Corinthians 5. I know these verses are true because I have experienced them! I have experienced God, as Psalm 34:8 tells me about, and this proves verse after verse to me! So as the critics tear down, I’m built up by the reality of the scripture being effectual in my life.
Truth Three- The Command of Christ
Matthew 28:17-20 “And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
The command of Christ has become my cause, my heartbeat, and my mission in life! This command is something that by faith, I believe, and I watch come true every day. The Christian, who is wholly devoted to Christ’s main task of evangelizing the world, is one who has no problem believing the Bible. This is the one that is using the Bible for its task (the task of discipleship), so a lying expert doesn’t shake his faith because why doubt a tool that he sees working? If you want to deepen your faith in the work of God, find someone to disciple! It will deepen your love and faith for the Bible.
With these three truths in mind, let us study the Bible to see it to be a miraculous book proven true by its many fulfilled prophecies. Let us think of our faith in Christ and strengthen our experience with God to know the Bible is effectual. Let us get to the work of evangelizing the world that the higher critics shake not our faith.
Let us not be known as textual critics but as men and ladies of the book, on task to the Gospel to the entire world. I know that no matter what the dating of a papyrus and no matter the controversy over critical experts, that the Bible is the word of God to be believed in its entirety with no fine print.
It is to be studied and understood literally as truth not allegorically, as the liberal, so-called preachers of our day are saying. I know that a sword that hangs on the mantle is good to no soldier, so let us grab the word of God and get busy for Christ by telling this world about Jesus!