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Archive for Saturday, December 18, 2004

Faith forum

December 18, 2004

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Is everything in the Bible historically accurate? Does it matter?

Christians accept inerrancy of God's word by faith

The Rev. Dan Nicholson, pastor, Lawrence Christian Center, 416 Lincoln:

The psalmist wrote in Psalm 119:160, "All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal."

Proverbs 30:5 tells us, "Every word of God is flawless ..."

Apostle Paul tells us in II Timothy 3:16, "All Scripture is God-breathed ..."

For Bible-believing Christians, the Bible is authoritative in all areas of life, including science and history. Understandably, though, not all people believe that. But for Christians, it's a matter of faith.

By faith, we accept God's word as inerrant, and in so doing, God always proves himself to be true and trustworthy.

In the days of Christopher Columbus, most people believed that the world was flat. Columbus was convinced that the world is round after reading in Isaiah 40:22, "He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth."

Personally, I know of no incidences in which science or history have ever factually proven the Bible to be inaccurate. On the contrary, many critics of the Bible have set out to prove the Bible to be in error, and, after much research, have themselves become believers.

Finally, I do believe it matters that people understand the Bible to be historically accurate. The Bible is the history of the fall of mankind and God's wonderful plan of salvation through his son, Jesus Christ.

If a person feels safe in accepting the historical accuracy of the Bible, then that same person also can find security in trusting the Bible in matters of salvation. The whole premise of faith is trusting in something that you don't fully understand.

Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, and the Bible is "His-story." The Bible is historically accurate, and it does matter to you.

Send e-mail to the Rev. Dan Nicholson at lawrencechristiancenter@juno.com.





Few discrepancies do not detract from Bible's purpose

The Rev. Don Miller, senior pastor, Immanuel Lutheran Church and University Student Center, 15th Street and Bob Billings Parkway:

The Bible is written in different styles under the inspiration of God, such as narrative, history, poetry, parable and revelation.

The quick answer is that everything in the Bible is not historically, scientifically or medically accurate by our understanding today. Such inaccuracies are often due to the limited knowledge of the writer. However, most of the biblical information is historically accurate, and many of the locations and events have been confirmed in archeological discoveries. Historicity is important in confirming that Christianity is a religion based in the reality of our world.

Though there are some apparent discrepancies, they do not detract from the purpose of the Bible. Every book must be read for its purpose. For example, a math book is not used to teach English. The same is true of the Bible. Under God's inspiration, St. Timothy writes, "All Scripture is God-breathed (inspired) and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness." (II Timothy 3:16)

The disciple John writes, "Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name." (John 20:30-31)

God provided the Bible for us to know about our relationship with him. Luke writes in Acts 4:10-12 "It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead (by whom) salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men through whom we must be saved."

Though there are a few inaccuracies, they are not essential to the purpose of the book: To bring people into a living relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

Send e-mail to the Rev. Don Miller at pastordon@ilcusc.org.

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