Explore new horizons of a living faith

These pages are designed to aid study or investigation for Christian discipleship through individual Bible study, Cell groups, Home groups, or meeting one to one.  The questions could be used alone allowing each person to use their own Bible.

Copyright © 2012 by Derek Leaf . Not to be copied for commercial purposes.  Permission is granted to copy the unaltered, attributed page for non commercial purposes. beingrecreated.org

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17

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To begin reading the Bible one does not need to believe that it is God’s inspired word.  It is enough to know that the people who were writing were close enough to the events that happened to be trusted to write an accurate account.  

You can approach the historical passages with some degree of certainty that you are reading an honest account written by people who wanted to tell what happened from their perspective.

Another perspective is that the Bible is God’s word intended to be understood as such: God’s words, without fault.  This perspective is considered in The Bible - Jesus’ View.

Bible Zone

Writer’s Intention

Let us look at this in a bit more detail through some Bible passages -

  1. According to the following passages, what was the intention of the writers?
  2. Do you accept that these writers were doing what they said they were trying to do?

 Luke 1:1-4  1 Many people have set out to write accounts about the events that have been fulfilled among us.2 They used the eyewitness reports circulating among us from the early disciples.*3 Having carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I also have decided to write a careful account for you, most honorable Theophilus,4 so you can be certain of the truth of everything you were taught.

1 John 1:1-4   1 We proclaim to you the one who existed from the beginning,* whom we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is the Word of life.2 This one who is life itself was revealed to us, and we have seen him. And now we testify and proclaim to you that he is the one who is eternal life. He was with the Father, and then he was revealed to us.3 We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.4 We are writing these things so that you may fully share our joy.*

Writers Honesty

There is no hesitation from the writers in terms of how they understood what they wrote.

  1. What did they claim about their message?

John was one of Jesus’ closest followers and wrote this gospel - John 19:35 and 21:24

John 19:35 (This report is from an eyewitness giving an accurate account. He speaks the truth so that you also can believe.*)

John 21: 24 This disciple is the one who testifies to these events and has recorded them here. And we know that his account of these things is accurate.

Peter was one of Jesus’ closest followers.  He wrote two letters, and is considered the key source to the writing of Mark’s gospel.  2 Peter 1:16

2 Peter 1:16-18 For we were not making up clever stories when we told you about the powerful coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. We saw his majestic splendor with our own eyes17 when he received honor and glory from God the Father. The voice from the majestic glory of God said to him, "This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy."*18 We ourselves heard that voice from heaven when we were with him on the holy mountain.

Writers Character

Can we trust what the writers are saying?  Evaluating whether to trust a writer comes down to the writer’s character and integrity.  At what price will a person hold to the truth?  The following are texts that highlight the importance of truth to the first Christians.  Colossians 3:9, 2 Corinthians 4:2 and Ephesians 4:14-15.  A historical text.

  1. What standard of integrity did they uphold?
  2. How important was truth to these early Christians?

Colossians 3:9   Do not lie to each other. You have left your old sinful life and the things you did before.

2 Corinthians 4:2  2 We reject all shameful deeds and underhanded methods. We don't try to trick anyone or distort the word of God. We tell the truth before God, and all who are honest know this.

Ephesians 4:14-15  14 Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won't be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth.15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.

Pliny the Younger, Governor of Bithynia (AD 112), wrote to the Emperor Trajan seeking advice on how to treat Christians.  He explained that he had been killing them as a matter of course, but was perplexed as to what they were guilty of.  He told how they regularly. . .

'. . . bound themselves to a solemn oath, not to any wicked deeds, but never to commit any fraud, theft, adultery, never to falsify their word, not to deny a trust when they should be called upon to deliver it up.'  (Epistle, Pliny the Younger X:96 8)

  Were they lying?  Were they deceived?  Or were they telling the truth?

SCRIPTURE - writers believed

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Writer’s integrity.