Several years ago the HuffPost ran an article titled, “Is the Bible Literally True? No, of Course Not!”, written by Dr. Steve McSwain. (https://www.huffpost.com/entry/biblical-literalism_b_4966852).
It is heartbreaking to read Dr. Steve McSwain’s article, where he tries to reconcile his disbelief in the veracity of the Bible while still claiming that there is value in it. That’s like stating the November 23rd, 1963 report in “The Dallas Morning News” of President Kennedy’s assassination is worth reading but should it be taken literally true? No, of course not!”
The Apostle’s were eyewitnesses to the ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus, and the subsequent outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Please read the following excerpts from the first chapter of Acts.
Acts 1:22b (NIV), “For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection.”
Acts 1:12-13 (NIV), “Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day’s walk from the city. When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying.”
Acts 2:6-11 (NIV), “When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs.”
Acts 2:32 (NIV), “God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it.”
In each of these passages, it is evident that from the very beginning of the Church, it was essential to keep things real, to use eyewitnesses, and to provide details that witnesses naturally include in their accounts. As examples, we have reports of “a Sabbath day’s walk,” “parts of Libya near Cyrene, visitors from Rome and both Jews and converts to Judaism,” and “God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it.”
As Peter wrote in 2 Peter 1:6 (ESV), “For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.”
You believe President Kennedy was assassinated, yet you weren’t there. The films from that event may be helpful, but they certainly aren’t conclusive. No, you didn’t witness the assassination, yet you believe because you have read first-hand accounts as well as testimonies from trustworthy people.
The Bible is far more trustworthy than the “Dallas Morning News”, in part, because there are more eyewitnesses, more trustworthy people, distributed across a much more extended period of time, all of whom attest to the same thing: God is real, Jesus did what the Bible says, the Holy Spirit has been poured out, as promised, for believers.
Here’s my thought for today. If I have no anxiety in saying to anyone, in any social setting, that President Kennedy was assassinated shouldn’t I be the same way with the ministry, miracles, and mediation of Jesus?
There are too many voices in our society that say, without apology, “Is the Bible Literally True? No, of Course Not!” We need more voices in our society that state, without apology, “Faith in Jesus is the only way for anyone to end up in heaven.”