Yesterday I was enjoying a book and the late summer sunshine on campus when two girls approached me. The conversation went like this….
“Hi! We have a Bible study here on campus and we were going around asking people to see what they know about the Bible. Do you believe the Bible is true?”
“Yes, I do!” In my life, the Bible is 100% truth, infallible, and the guide for living our lives and a way in which God speaks to us. The Holy Spirit brings the God-inspired words to life.
“What if we told you that in the Bible it says….”
For an hour we went through the Bible together (it was the New International Version; I asked) and these girls tried to convince me of things not accepted by mainstream Protestant doctrine by using Scripture out of context. I asked them if they had looked up certain things in the Greek or Hebrew, and they told me that “Well, no, but it’s pretty much the exact same thing in English.” While I agree that we have some amazing translations of the Bible in English, in order to get the absolute entire picture, we need to cross-reference these verses with the original languages in which they were written. Even comparing other English translations can shed light onto tough passages of Scripture.
I’m by no means a Bible expert. However, just in the past few years, I really started studying more and learning how to debate (thanks Petr and Gabi for your Christ-centered debate group!!). By God’s grace, I stumped these girls on the issues they were trying to convince me of. They were like robots; they had many verses highlighted with Post-It strips indicating where to go next if the person being interviewed posed a certain question.
My purpose for writing this is not to nit-pick every issue we talked about, nor is it to bash other people or denominations. It’s to illustrate how important it is for us to know what we believe, why we believe it, and where to find it in the Bible.
If you stand for nothing, you’ll fall for anything. Even a Christian who attends church and reads the Bible can be swayed by tactics such as these. Do you know where you stand on issues such as creation? Sin? Salvation? Heaven? Hell? The divinity of Jesus? The oneness of the Trinity?
Debating these issues can get heated and sometimes offensive, but I thank God for the grace He gave me and I hope these girls could see what I was showing them out of love. Above all, this is what is important:
“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you
to give the reason for the hope that you have.
But do this with gentleness and respect..” I Peter 3:15
“But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed,
but of those who believe and are saved.” Hebrews 10:39
One thought on “Defending our faith”
Great post. I had a professor say the same thing about translations, that the real meaning is in Greek/Hebrew and can be lost in translation.