This question is deceptively simple. It’s certainly a question we should ask and be able to answer. If the Bible isn’t trustworthy, neither I nor anyone else could offer God’s answers to your questions! And yet, we must not rush into answering this question. Or, to say that another way, we must ask this question along with a host of other questions. “Is the Bible trustworthy?” must occur right alongside “How is the bible trustworthy?” “What questions does the Bible answer?” “Is the Bible silent on anything?” “Why do we have the Bible?” and “why should we care if the Bible is trustworthy or not? – who needs the Bible anyway?”
John 6:67-69 begins to answer the question, “Is the Bible trustworthy?” So Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”
Peter says to Jesus, “You have the words of eternal life…” Notice all that Peter does not say. He does not say, “Jesus, you’ve taught us every law of science and physics!” He doesn’t say, “Jesus, you’ve made known to us the answer to every last question we’ve ever had. You’ve exhausted our boundless curiosity. You’ve cleared all our objections, and now we’re ready to believe.” No. Peter says, in so many words, Jesus, you alone offer eternal life, and we believe you’re the Holy One of God – which means, among other things, you can’t be lying.
That gives us a place to start when it comes to the Bible. It’s not an encyclopedia. It’s not a science book. It’s not a database or a search engine. It’s God’s revelation of Himself in which He answers the greatest questions. Not the questions we might have, but the questions we should have. The Bible is a book about the Savior and the sinners He came to save. It’s a book that teaches the forever-dying how to attain life forever, how sinners can attain righteousness, how enemies of God can become God’s friends. And God doesn’t get sidetracked. In the 66 books of the Old and New Testament, God tells the story about Himself. The story is fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ who is God Himself & God with Us (Emmanuel, Matthew 1:23), the One who will save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21).
Perhaps these words from some of the poets of our own day can help. In Coldplay’s masterful song “The Scientist,” Christopher Martin sings,
Questions of science
Science and progress
Do not speak as loud as my heart
God in the Bible doesn’t get sidetracked by questions of science & progress. From Genesis to Revelation, God focuses in on the louder questions, the questions of the heart. And when we go to the Bible to get answers to the questions of the heart, we find solid answers because the Bible is trustworthy.