Does the Bible even claim to be true?


"There is no absolute knowledge. And those who claim it, whether they are scientists or dogmatists, open the door to tragedy."

- Jacob Bronowski

"He only employs his passion who can make no use of his reason."

- Cicero

Does the Bible claim to be true? Does it claim to have the authority of God over the way we live our lives?

If not, Christian apologists would be wasting their time trying to prove the Bible to be something it doesn't claim to be. However, the Bible does make that claim. The Bible clearly declares itself to be the revealed will of God in five distinct ways:

1. The authors testify that what they are writing is true. They purposefully intended their writings to be received as fact, not as fiction:

Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile an account of the things accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word have handed them down to us, it seemed fitting for me as well, having investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write it out for you in consecutive order,... (Luke 1:1-4 NASB)

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched-- this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. (1 John 1:1 NASB)

We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. (2 Pet 1:16 NASB)

2. The authors testify that their work comes to us from God
- not of their own origin. That is, they are communicating 'do not honor the message because of the messengers, mere men, honor it for its true author - God':

I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ. (Gal 1:11,12 NASB)

Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. (1 Pet 1:20,21 NASB)

3. The authors often provide the historical context
of names, places and events which are useful for verification:

In the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the year Evil-Merodach became king of Babylon, he released Jehoiachin from prison on the twenty-seventh day of the twelfth month. (2 Kings 25:27 NASB)

4. The authors frequently appeal to their readers' own knowledge.
They often referred to the readers as actual eyewitnesses to the events. This is important considering the wide circulation and reverence the writings received:

You yourselves know the thing which took place throughout all Judea, starting from Galilee, after the baptism which John proclaimed. You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good, and healing all who were oppressed by the devil; for God was with Him. (Acts 10:37,38 NASB)

5. Lastly, the writings plainly state their authority:

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. (2 Tim 3:16,17 NASB).

Clearly the Bible claims to be telling the truth. With that question out of the way, we must next determine whether or not the Bible actually is telling the truth.



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NEXT: How can we tell whether or not the Bible is telling the truth?

See also:

What is truth?

Doesn't "believe" mean hold as true without proof or logic?

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If the Bible doesn't claim to be true, then there is no point in pursuing the degree of its truthfulness.