Monday, February 12, 2018

How to Teach Your Kids To Trust The Bible

The following is from a project that I'm working on to help parents disciple their kids.  I'm taking each question from the Home Discipleship Catechism and writing a short lesson that parents can read to their kids.  The bold text is the question; the underlined portion is the answer from the catechism, followed by the explanation.  At the bottom you will also find Questions for Discussion and verses For Further Study.  I hope to post a new lesson every Monday.

Question 2:  Why can we trust the Bible?

God is the author of the Bible, and He does not lie.

Why do we believe that God is the author of the Bible?  First, this is what the Bible claims for itself.  The Old Testament authors refer to their writings as the words of God over 2,000 times.  2 Timothy 3:16 says that all Scripture is inspired by God.  This is why we believe in the plenary verbal inspiration of Scripture.  “Plenary” comes from the Latin word plenus, which means “full.”  It means that the entire Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, is inspired by God.  “Verbal” comes from the Latin word verbum, which means “word.”  It means that even the very words of the Bible are inspired.  The doctrine of the plenary verbal inspiration of Scripture means that every part of the whole Bible is inspired by God. 

Also, Jesus believed in the inspiration of the Old Testament.  He said that He came to fulfill and not abolish the Old Testament (Mt 5:17).  In fact, Jesus said that the entire Old Testament was about Him (Lk 24:25-27; Jn 5:39).  Jesus commanded that the Old Testament must be obeyed (Mt 5:18-19).  He often referred to Old Testament persons and events as historically accurate (Mt 5:12; 12:40; 24:37).  When Jesus had theological discussions, He used the Old Testament as His authority (Mt 19:1-6).  Jesus quoted the Old Testament to resist temptation (Mt 4:1-11).  He even quoted Scripture as He was dying on the cross (Mt 27:46).

The New Testament also claims to be God’s Word.  In 2 Peter 3:16 Peter puts Paul’s epistles on the same level as the Old Testament.  In 1 Timothy 5:18 Paul quotes the Gospel of Luke (10:7) and calls it Scripture.  In 1 Corinthians 14:37 Paul claims that his writings are from God.  It should not be surprising that Jesus’ disciples wrote Scripture.  In John 14:26 and 16:13 Jesus promised His disciples that after His departure He would send them the Holy Spirit who would remind them of everything He taught them and would guide them into all the truth.

There are other reasons to trust the Bible.  For example, the Bible is historically accurate.  No historical or archeological discoveries have disproved the Bible; instead, each new discovery affirms the Bible’s reliability.  As well, the Bible contains many prophecies that were fulfilled hundreds of years later.  For example, the Old Testament contains 300 prophecies about the coming Messiah that were all fulfilled in Jesus Christ.  Micah 5:2 names Bethlehem as the birthplace of the Messiah 700 years before Christ was born in the manger.

As well, the Bible passes all three archeological accuracy tests.  It passes the internal test because it does not contradict itself.  It passes the external test because it does not contradict other documents from that time.  And it passes the bibliographical test because we have many ancient manuscripts of the Bible that were copied not long after the originals.  For example, we only have seven ancient copies of the works of Plato, and the oldest was copied 1,200 years after the original was written.  But we have 24,000 ancient copies of the New Testament, and several of them were made only 50-100 years after the originals.  In fact, we have an entire New Testament manuscript that goes back to 300 years after the original was written.

There are more reasons to trust in the Bible than any other ancient book.  If someone does not believe in the Bible, it is not because the Bible is not trustworthy, but because if they accept the Bible as true, then they will have to obey its Author.

Questions for Discussion:
  1. Why can we trust the Bible?
  2. What would you say to someone who claims that the Bible is full of contradictions and errors?
  3. Can you think of any other reasons why we can trust the Bible that were not mentioned in this lesson?  
  4. Why do some people disbelieve the Bible?
  5. Is there any part of the Bible that is hard for you to believe?  Explain.  

For Further Study:
  1. Psalm 12:6
  2. Proverbs 30:5 
  3. Isaiah 53
  4. Titus 1:2
  5. Hebrews 6:18

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