Q & R: Greg Albrecht – The Bible and the Gospel
Some people tell me they don’t believe the Bible because some old books were left out. I believe the Bible and tell them they have to listen to God’s still small voice. What else can I tell them?
My sense of this discussion is that it is focused on a topic upon which we may differ as Christians and still be brothers and sisters. Of course there are those who might deny any of the Bible to be true and edifying, but then there are folks who deny the existence of God as well. The Bible and its original documents, transmission, preservation and translation is a huge conversation and a massive study and there are a variety of conclusions to which one might come and still be a faithful follower of Jesus. Another connected study speaks to the topic of which books were chosen to be canonized within what Christians today know as the Bible and which were not. It also depends on which books were “left out” according to the people to whom you refer. That may be accurate because not all books originally considered to be part of the Bible were included.
The message of the gospel invites us to believe in and trust Jesus – nothing is said about believing a book. The Bible is helpful for instruction and direction and inspiration – but it is not the focus of our faith as Christ followers. Jesus alone is on the throne and he does not share it with a book. It’s a cart before the horse issue. The Bible does not precede Jesus, Jesus precedes and is vastly more important than the Bible. Of course, the Bible helps us know of God, who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, but we do not worship the Bible. So the real issue, the critically important issue is not about a book and whether it is complete and perfect and infallible, but about Jesus. That would be the discussion I would desire to have rather than about a book.
Hope that helps – we have many articles about the Bible among the free resources on our home page, and we have recently published one that might further give you some food for thought on the topic about which you ask – you can find it online on the August 2019 issue of CWRmagazine – “The Bible’s True Purpose” by Dr. Peter Enns.
For more answers to tough questions, check out our book:
Between Religious Rocks and Life’s Hard Places—101 Answers to Tough Questions About What You Believe.