Dr. Willis Newman, Esmeralda Newman, bible-teaching-about.com
Bible teaching about absolute truth is as vital today as it has been since humanity emerged on this earth. It has been a bloody and boisterous battle field beginning with Adam and Eve.
At least three views exist. First, there is no such thing. Second, if there is humans cannot know it. Third, it does exist, and humans can know it. Which is true? I take the third position. God has given to humanity plain facts in clear straight forward propositional form. We can see it in nature, and in the Bible.
The First Problems
This issue of absolute truth started out in the Garden of Eden. It was a challenge by crafty Satan to Eve. God had told Adam and Eve a very clear absolute truth, “from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, lest you die’” (Genesis 3:2, 3).
Satan, however, called God a liar and deceiver, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” Again, “You surely shall not die!” (Genesis 3:1, 4; cf. v. 5). He deceived Eve, according to Paul (2 Corinthians 11:3).
Satan denied and distorted absolute truth by casting doubt upon God’s words and character. He manipulated and twisted the truth by deceit. It still happens today. Eve bit the bait, swallowed the hook, and died. Humanity still falls for Satan’s same old trick.
The Bible is crammed with clear language that communicates absolute truth in the form of propositional terms. By propositional I mean a formal statement regarding something that is held to be true as opposed to false. That God has communicated such to us is obvious from the following statements.
There are over 3,800 times in the Old Testament where phrases occur with a formula similar to, “the word of Jehovah came to….” Consider Moses who wrote, “And the tablets were God’s work, and the writing was God’s writing engraved on the tablets” (Exodus 32:16).
Paul referred to the Bible as, “the sacred writings…the holy scriptures…the oracles of God” (2 Timothy 3:15; Romans 1:2; 3:2).
Jesus said, “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth” (John 16:13). Paul sources his information in God, “For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ (Galatians 1:12). John wrote, “for the witness of God is this” (1 John 5:9).
I hope from these few examples it becomes clear to you that the Bible is intended to be taken as absolute truth. But, the question becomes, “How can I be sure?” Good question. I go there next.
Proof of Absolute Truth
I can turn the question to this, “How can we know the Bible is telling the truth?” Now we are getting down to where the rubber meets the road! In my book, You Can Believe The Bible, I explain some 13 reasons to trust the Bible as the Word of God. Here I offer just a few.
Miracles and Fulfilled Prophecy
Miracles and fulfilled prophecy are two reasons. There are over 300 Old Testament prophecies that deal with the first coming of Jesus Christ. The New Testament writers used these facts to prove their statements.
Paul said, “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried and He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; cf. Romans 1:1, 2; 1 Peter 1:10-12; Acts 2:24-31; Matthew 1:22, 23).
Testimony of Jesus
Our Savior declared the Bible to be absolute truth. Here I offer three examples.
•He said, “to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken)”
•Again, “For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away,
not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the Law” (Matthew 5:18).
•Finally, in crystal clear language, “Thy Word is truth” (John 17:17).
And as to the truthfulness and credibility of Jesus, He offered His miracles and resurrection as proof of His words (John 21:30, 31).
Character of God
The character of God gives powerful evidence the Bible is inspired by God as absolute truth. The argument goes like this. God is holy, just, righteous, and perfect in every way.
It is impossible for Him to lie or deceive. Paul writes, “which God, who cannot lie” (Titus 1:2; cf. John 17:3; Romans 3:4; Hebrews 4:18). Paul did not say God “would” not lie, but that He “cannot” lie. It is against His basic holy character. God would be as likely to lie as a rock would be to sing the national anthem.
If God cannot lie, then the question of the absolute truth of the Bible rests upon the character of God. If one questions the Bible, then one accuses God of having a bad character. Calling God a liar is what Satan did to Eve. A very bad choice.
Here is another angle to this argument. We would expect a perfect God to give us revelation (absolute truth), and that when He did it would be flawless, understandable and recognizable as being from Him. We would expect Him to demonstrate in some way that the truth was from Him.
No other document in history has the marks of Divine inspiration as does the Bible. No other document has been given the proofs of credibility as has the Bible. God used the testimony of Christ, and backed that testimony with mighty miracles (John 17:8; 20:30, 31). We may conclude that, based on God’s character, the Bible is from Him, and is absolute truth – which it claims.
John Wesley's Argument
Here I give one last attempt to demonstrate there is absolute truth, and that it is contained without taint in the Bible. I use Wesley’s words.
•The Bible must be the invention either of good men or angels,
bad men or devils, or of God.
•It could not be the invention of good men or angels;
for they neither would or could make a book, and tell lies all the time
they were writing it, saying “Thus saith the Lord,” when it was their own invention.
•It could not be the invention of bad men or devils; for
they would not make a book which commands all duty, forbids
all sin, and condemns their souls to hell to all eternity.
•Therefore, I draw this conclusion that the Bible must be given by divine inspiration.
Good argument! With this, Esmie and I agree with Jesus: there is absolute truth. God bless you as you pursue to discover that genuine reality for yourself in the Holy Bible.
Dr. Willis and Esmie Newman
BIBLE STUDY QUESTIONS
1. How does Hebrews 1:1, 2; 2:1-4 relate to the discussion of fixed certainty?
2. What was Peter’s attitude toward the Bible (2 Peter 3:15, 16)?
3. What did Peter say about the Bible (2 Peter3:2)?
4. What did Paul say that some people would do with absolute truth
(Romans 1:18, 19)? What did he mean? Can you give an example?
5. Do you think absolute truth exists? What difference would it make in your life?
6. What was Luke’s attitude about what he wrote
in the Gospel of Luke and Acts (Luke 1:4)?
7. What was Jesus’ attitude about the Old Testament (Luke 24:27, 44, 45)?
8. What was Jesus’ attitude about creation (Matthew 19:4, 5),
and the story of Jonah (Matthew 12:40, 41)?
9. What is your attitude about absolute truth? Explain.
10. What stands out to you the most in this Bible teaching
about absolute truth? Explain.
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