Can I Trust That the Bible Is True?
One might ask, how can you trust anything is true? Because there is credible and sufficient evidence to support the proposition. The same with the Scriptures.
For anyone with an open mind who cares to investigate the veracity of its internal claims to be the written word of God, there is a whole academic discipline known as ‘apologetics’ (it concerns the defense of the faith) that one may consult. Therein anyone with an open mind (an intellectual asset one finds in short supply in skeptics of all colors) will shortly discover that trusting in the Bible as God’s written word is by no means a blind faith that lacks any substantial foundation in fact.
However here is something that one needs to understand in the study of apologetics. As strong as the case may be, in all things pertaining to Himself, God never creates a faith-free zone. He will never make the case so compelling that the willingfully blind will see and one walk by sight and not by faith. He always gives faith ample reasons to believe while at the same time He makes sure to leave unbelief ample room to rationalize and make self-condemning excuses. God insists on faith in approaching Him, for “without faith, it is impossible to please God. . .” (Hebrews 11.6)
So, if anyone is demanding a response to this question that makes a slam dunk case that is indisputable by the skeptical, that is not going to happen. God does not work that way. His way is for man to believe and see, not see and believe.
This is fundamental where our question above is concern. In principle Jesus went right to the nub of it in John 7:47 when his Jewish enemies where grilling and challenging Him, skeptical of His teaching as being the revelation of God:
“If any man is willing to do His [God’s] will [this is God’s gracious work], he will know [recognize] the teaching [of Jesus and the word of God generally], whether it is of God. . .” [brackets mine]. (John 7:17)
Jesus also declared “He who is of God hears the words of God.” Immediately he explained to his enemies who could not find a way to trust Him, “for this reason you do not hear them [as the words of God], because you are not of God.” (John 8:47) [explanatory brackets mine].
Notice the bottom line here. Jesus taught us that if there is in the heart a compliant disposition toward God, then it is a given that one recognize intuitively its divine source. The truth [i.e. God revelation] will have that compelling ring of truth that captures human submission to it. Where that is lacking in the equation, the recognition will not happen and no amount of apologetic arguments will pull the wagon over the hill.
So, how can you trust the Bible? Be willing, absolutely unconditionally willing to do God’s will, whatever it is. If that compliant spirit is in your heart, you will recognize the Scriptures for what they are. Start there and everything else will take care of itself.
Jesus’s skeptical enemies, as religious in a traditional Jewish way as they were, really didn’t have a heart in them that was willing to obey God. Because of that resistance, they didn’t recognize the word of God when it was spoken through Jesus. And for the same reason men today don’t recognize the Bible for what it is and trust its teachings as the revelation of God—they lack a heart complaint to God. Hence they remain blind and no regimen of apologetics can cure that.