Is the Bible True?
Read John 17:17 (ESV)
“Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.”
Is everything in the Bible true?
Yesterday, we established that Jesus considered Scripture to be the Word of God. As Christians (Christ followers), we believe the same. Today’s verse shows us that Jesus also viewed Scripture as truth. Not a truth. Not one of many truths. But THE truth. For that reason, we affirm that the Bible is infallible and inerrant. But what does that mean exactly?
2 Timothy 3:16 confirms that Scripture is God-breathed or “inspired.” Because Scripture comes from God and God does not make mistakes, it follows that His Word is without error as well. God inspired the speech and text of the authors of Scripture which ensured that, despite their humanity, they were kept from making mistakes. In His sovereignty, God made sure the authors wrote what He intended for them to write. They wrote the very truth of God.
Does that mean that everything in the Bible is true? Not necessarily. A better understanding of inerrancy would be to say that Scripture is without error in everything that it affirms. For example, in Genesis 3, Satan lies to Adam and Eve and those lies are recorded in Scripture. But God’s response clarifying those falsehoods is also recorded in the Bible. Additionally, some of the language in the Bible is figurative and we know that Jesus sometimes taught truths about God in the form of parables. The Bible is 100% true in the sense that it truthfully records historical events and information communicated about God. We can count on Scripture to give a historically accurate account of events, conversations, and doctrinal teaching.
In today’s verse, Jesus was praying for His disciples on the night He was betrayed. He knew that He would be leaving them soon. He prayed that they would be “sanctified” or “set apart” for God’s purposes by truth. Jesus confirmed that the truth is God’s Word. As believers, we also become sanctified by truth when we read and study the Scriptures. Jesus revealed to the apostles all that the Father wanted us to know about God and those truths are recorded in Scripture.
Friends, we can trust that God’s Word is true. It is infallible and inerrant. It faithfully records all that God intended for us to know about Him and the history of His church. Jesus trusted the truth of Scripture. We can too.
Jesus, thank You for revealing the truth of God to me through Your Word. As I read the Bible, sanctify me with Your truth. Amen.