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Saturday, November 22, 2014


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The Truth About God And The Bible
By Robert Roberts


Above all, think of the perfect candour of the Bible narratives, which is never characteristic of human histories. David's crime is chronicled in sober and merciless truth, although he was king when the record was written. So with the fathers before him. The naked truth is told. The very things that the enemies of the Bible make use of against the Bible, are in this respect one of the highest evidences of its genuine character, for had the Bible been written by king-flatterers and sycophants, there would have been a suppression of things that do not stand to the credit of those for whom they are supposed to have been written.

Matthew records that at an interview with Christ after his resurrection, some of his disciples "doubted" (Matt. 28:17). A bolsterer-up of a pretended revelation would never have written this. It is written because it is true; and the fact that some doubted is an element in the self-evident truthfulness of the narrative, for it is just what would happen with real living men who, not expecting Christ to die, had seen Christ crucified and now saw him alive. In their partly-enlightened state his death was a puzzle and his resurrection a puzzle also, and "doubt" the natural consequence.

Had there been no further evidence, the doubt of the "some" might have continued. But their doubt did not continue; all doubt vanished with the outpouring of the Spirit and display of miraculous gifts. The fact that they previously "doubted" made their subsequent confidence all the more reliable, because it shows the reason of their doubt had disappeared.

We read concerning Christ, that at a certain time "many of his disciples went back and walked no more with him." This is a candid record of a fact which there could be no object in publishing, but rather in suppressing, as the fact itself was capable of causing a damaging effect. Its record is an evidence of truth. At first sight, it might seem strange that anyone having seen the miracles of Christ should leave him and walk no more with him. But men get accustomed to anything. Marvels cease to be marvels when they are of common occurrence. It is easy to understand that men, drawn after Christ in the first instance by the sensational attraction of his miracles, would easily become disaffected when doctrines unpleasant to human nature were propounded for their acceptance. It is human nature to the life. A fictitious writer would never have imagined it possible for any human being to desert the Christ of his narrative: he would be certain to represent every one as awe-struck and spellbound for ever. And even if he could have imagined another possibility, he would have been careful to conceal it from a narrative intended to create confidence in a Christ who never existed. The record that many ceased to be his disciples is one among many strong proofs of the genuineness of the narrative. There are many such candid statements throughout the scriptures.

We have left to the last the notice of the literary character of the Bible, as evidential of more than a human authorship. Its diction is chaste, dignified, vigorous, free of redundancy or irrelevant details. It is unlike all other books in the nature of its historic narratives. It never puts on record the kind of occurrences that come under the category of story and adventure. It never shows any regard for the curiosity of the reader. It never ministers to the taste that finds pleasure in the mere knowledge of what happens. It confines itself to matters having relation to the main purpose in hand. If it ever diverges from its condensed historical style, and enters into personal particulars, it is because those personal particulars have a bearing on some subsequent event of public importance, or to illustrate the operation of some truth important to be known. The story of Amnon and Tamar is an example: it led up to the rebellion of Absalom. The story of David and Uriah is another: it led to a public revolution in the punishment of David. The story of the Ephraimite and his concubine is another: the episode nearly led to the extirpation of a tribe, and brought about the slaughter of multitudes in Israel in punishment of their sins. In no case is a story told for its own sake.

Finally, the character and precepts of CHRIST as displayed in the New Testament are themselves conclusive evidence of the divinity of the Scriptures. No man could have imagined such a character; no man could have invented such precepts, least of all such men as those who wrote the gospel narrative -- poor fishermen, "unlearned and ignorant men." The only way such a narrative could come to be written (even if men who were called "learned" had been the writers) is its truth. But when we consider that it is the product of "ignorant and unlearned" fishermen, we are enabled to realise that even with facts as their guide, it is nothing short of a literary miracle that in language so simple and without any attempt at praising Christ, but by the mere record of what he said and what he did, they should have been able to have placed before the world such a personation of character in Christ as it never entered into the heart of man to conceive.

CHAPTER 13: "That They Should Seek The Lord" (Acts 17:27)