Gleanings of Wheat: A Blog dedicated to cooking, kids, and Christ

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

If we can't trust the New Testament, what can we trust?

There is a ministry in my area that produces a newsletter about every other month and then they drop off a few copies at my job. We don't hand them out, first it was just because we're not authorized to do so by the owners but now we don't hand them out for the fact that they're just not Biblical. The first newsletter I read essentially said that the genealogies of the New Testament were inaccurate, and worse the New Testament itself had been corrupted and "doctrines of men" had been introduced. They gave their reasons why they didn't believe the genealogies to be authentic, but offered absolutely no evidence as to their other claims.

This newsletter, and its follow up which sought to prove that Christians are disobeying God by not keeping the Law, irritated me to say the least. I've heard the arguments before, there is never any compelling evidence and what passages of Scripture that are used are almost always taken out of context.

What struck me, however, is that at the core the issue really is whether or not God is supreme enough to preserve an accurate representation of His inspired Word. The fact that we only have have translations is often brought up - usually by atheists, and more recently by some emergents - to prove that we have no way of knowing what the original documents of the New Testament said. So, what it comes down to is this...Is God supreme? Does God seek to be known by mankind? If so, does it not stand to reason that He would preserve His message? Because it seems to me that if He didn't preserve it then we have no idea what was really said and done in the New or Old Testament and therefor have no way to actually know God. If we call into question the New Testament we lose the authority of the Old and have nothing sold to base our faith on. If God didn't preserve His Word, how can we say that we're right? We can't. The preservation of Scripture is absolutely vital to our faith.

If the New Testament has been tampered with, then it stands to reason that the Old Testament may be corrupt as well. After all, they are both translations. And if such is the case then we have no way of knowing if any of the teachings found in the Bible are accurate and thus have no unchanging way to measure our doctrine by. We have no way of knowing what Christ actually taught, or if Moses really did lead the Israelites out of Egypt. We have no way of knowing anything if we do not believe we have access to an accurate representation of what God inspired those men to write. How do we interpret the Bible, God's Word, if we cannot trust it to be accurate? How does God teach us if we have nothing to measure teachings up to? After all, Satan can seem to be an angel of light so it is reasonable to think that he would seek to teach us falsehood while masquerading as God. Without a constant, objective measure how are we to fulfill John's exhortation to test the spirits (1 John 4:1)?