With all the criticism and doubt in the Bible I've seen in the past couple of months, I decided to write an article on the topic. Should you believe the Bible? Isn't it historically inaccurate? Doesn't it constantly contradict itself? Why should we hold Bible as the only source of truth?
Let's begin with some facts and history. The Bible was completed around 70 A.D. Its 66 books were written over a period of around 1600 years by about 40 different authors from different cultures and civilizations. With that being the case, the different books of the Bible constantly refer to each other, and seem to follow the same spirit. It is officially the most popular book in the world, and the most hated book in the world. There are around 7.5 billion copies of the Bible in circulation worldwide as of 2007. The Bible has been the most attacked book in history, whether it was through attempts to physically eliminate the copies of the Bible, prevent its printing, or challenge its accuracy. Its laws and commandments were incorporated into the constitutions of most modern countries, yet the book itself is despised by most political institutions. The Bible was the first printed book, and, in fact, gave rise to the printing press. Billions of people around the world have used its teachings as a blueprint for their lives.
The Bible was attacked by both atheistic and religious institutions. Atheists attacked it because they hated it. Religious institutions attacked it because they thought ordinary layman wouldn't be able to understand it correctly. Today's attacks come from both atheists and religious institutions as well. Atheists would attack it by claiming that it's scientifically inaccurate. The whole secular science community makes every attempt to instil public perception that the Bible and science cannot coexist together. But how do churches attack it? Well, as science was becoming more and more prominent in our society, Christians didn't know how to deal with the rising tide of challenges posed by scientific research. Some have chosen to ignore it. Some have chosen to avoid reading scientific books. Some attempted bridging the two together.
Bridging together of Bible and modern science led to a new branch of theology, called "liberal theology". Proponents of this movement decided to reinterpret Biblical text in-light of the newest scientific theories. The first chapter of Genesis, believed to be a historical narrative throughout the history of Christendom, was now demoted to a philosophical/mythical narrative. Supernatural events recorded in the Bible were now interpreted as allegories. Regarded as completely inerrant and unquestionable before, this book was now considered more of a "good moral read", rather than a historical document.
Did that approach help us keep the Bible afloat in our scientific age? On the contrary. If some parts of the Bible are not true, why should you believe the rest of the book? This approach gave rise to a Christianity that does not even know what it believes in. You get a church that is fragmented into so many different denominations, a church where everyone preaches their own opinion, a church that confuses people. You can trust an atheist to be an atheist. You can trust a communist to be a communist. But what is a Christian?
Did you know that most new Islam converts in America are former Christians? I think I know why. Because Islam gives you a set of standards you can live by. Christianity no longer has any standards. When preachers don't trust their own textbook to be true, they start inventing their own theories on what is true. And which of those opinions should an ordinary layman listen to?
What is ironic is that people are willing to toss away the Bible that worked for 2000 years, and would rather believe a 2-year-old scientific theory. An average scientific theory lasts seven years, before it's dis-proven or modified with new research. Moreover, in more and more cases when the Bible and a scientific theory were placed against each other, the Bible won. Just pay attention to scientific development for a few years, and you will realize that. The Bible has been doubted throughout history. No other book has withstood so much scrutiny. Yet it somehow continues to be the most printed book in the world. Try finding the most respected scientific journal you could find and put it to the amount of scrutiny the Bible faced for centuries, and see what happens to it.
We are not the first generation of Christians who have to deal with a tide of philosophical and scientific challenges. If you read the writings of the apostles, you will notice that they spent a great deal of time instructing churches to not follow the philosophies of the Roman world, because they knew that if they mix Christianity with those philosophies, Christianity will be killed in its infancy. It was for that very reason of Christianity being so different from the surrounding philosophies that it took over the Roman Empire ideologically. All the other philosophies simply failed. The Roman government had to implement Christianity to continue governing its empire, because that was the only thing left.
Is it really that important for people who call themselves Christian to believe only the Bible, and not Koran, and not evolution, and not some other religious text or philosophical thought? That goes back to the biggest philosophical question of our time. Is there only one truth, or are there many truths that lead to the same source? Well, what kind of a society do you get, when it believes in many truths? You get our society. A society where there is no truth. A society where every individual is hectically searching for truth and happiness, but is hopelessly lost. A society with so many voices that it drives people crazy. A society where people no longer have any perception of what is right and wrong. A society where suicide rates beat anything in history, because people don't see any point in life.
If Bible is so scientifically inaccurate, and contradicts itself so much, try finding another value system you could base your life on. Our generation is not the first time people have doubted the Bible. Yet, somehow, it just managed to remain the most read book to date. Could it be because, eventually, people realize, that once you remove the Bible, there is nothing left?
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Your article is very sound and I wish other people out there would have an opportunity to read it. People just cannot believe that God can do such supernaturally wonderful deeds and prefer to believe what they hear or read or been indoctrinated into. Thanks for sharing this insightful and well-written article.