Does the complexity of the Bible mean it can’t be true?

A criticism of the Bible is that it is complex and many haven’t read it all, so how can it be true?  A commenter at another blog wrote:

If even theologians can not agree what is in the bible and what is the will of the god of christians, how could the general christian population, let alone us who are not christians be expected to?

If a god expects humans to make critical decisions on their lives based on some old religious tome (and not on pop lyrics), it is an exercice bound to fail.

But consider the criminal on the cross (Luke 23), the woman at the well (John 4) or the Philippian jailer (Acts 16 — “What must I do to be saved?”) as just a few examples.  They were saved with the most basic knowledge and approach: Trusting in Jesus.  I doubt would they have won any Bible trivia contests.  They hadn’t been to seminary, taught Sunday School, etc.  But they were saved for eternity.

The key themes of the Bible are plain, but as you might expect with the most serious and important topic in the universe, there are complex matters as well.  That does not diminish the truth of the Bible at all.  I tend to agree with the saying that the plain matters of the Bible are the most important and the most important matters are plain.

And the Bible is much more clear than it is made out to be by skeptics.  For example, there are over 100 direct and indirect claims that Jesus is the only way to salvation. Are verses like this not clear? 1 John 5:12-13 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. 1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. 1 John 2:23 No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also. John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

6 thoughts on “Does the complexity of the Bible mean it can’t be true?

  1. There are many in today’s society who are looking for ways to doubt the Bible. From “lost” gospels to supposed contradictions to all sorts of reasons why we should not trust the Bible. The fact is that those reasons boil down to one thing, a desire to manipulate and change God to be more in their likeness, rather than change their own lives to conform to God. When they stand in judgment, what are they going to tell God, that they chose not to follow because someone wrote a book or said something on the the internet that caused them to doubt? Will that be their excuse? Good Post!

    http://ginzotalk.wordpress.com/2011/04/28/are-you-doubting-thomas/

  2. Why, no.
    Anyone thinking they can grasp the Bible beyond its physical text without the Holy Spirit has already lost.
    This is not to say the Bible is irrational.
    Rather, its Truth is super-rational.

  3. This seems to be another instance where the Bible is criticized for being two opposite things simultaneously – on one hand it’s ‘too complex’ to be of use as a moral guide, and yet ‘too simplistic’ to give us the range of ethical knowledge neccesary to live in the modern world.

    Realizing this, ones must conclude like Chesterton that the problem is not with the Bible, but her critics.

  4. Jack’s last line says it all.

    Personally, I find few parts of the Bible to be hard to understand. But some wish to hang on to what their fallen nature finds pleasing and this desire mandates that there simply must be gray areas or complexities that don’t quite cover their particular issue.

So, what do you think?

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