I watched “God’s not dead, 2” few days ago and when the homicide detective was called to give his witness, it reminded me of an argument I had with someone.
According to that someone, he believes in God and knows God is real but he doesn’t think the Bible is it. Why? Because of the discrepancies.
See I know a lot of people talk about the conflicting facts in the Bible and I don’t claim to know everything (you would probably ask me a question that would make me stutter) but I have come to an understanding that it is because they read the Bible out of context, they don’t read it as a whole book or they lack understanding of the times.
People have issues with the fact that the Old Testament is different from the New Testament of the Bible. I say they should be different because they operated on different time, season and dispensation. The law was given in the Old Testament and they related with God based on the law. The law was mainly given to show the people their need for a saviour. The Old Testament was filled with stories of the people’s struggle to keep the law and God’s anger when they didn’t and His mercy when they ask for forgiveness. Succinctly, the Old Testament was a pointer to the reason why the saviour is needed.
And the New Testament recorded the life we now have in Christ, which created a whole new kind of relationship with God where the Father no longer relates to us as people trying so hard to meet His standard but as people who have met His standard because of what His son has done.
I have also heard many people talking about how Paul’s teaching completely contrasts that of Christ. It is simple, Christ related with the people based on the dispensation that they were in. He had not died so He couldn’t possibly be teaching them as Paul did; it was not time for it. He taught them based on their dispensation while preparing them for the time to come.
“Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, THE HOUR IS COMING WHEN YOU WILL NEITHER ON THIS MOUNTAIN, NOR IN JERUSALEM, WORSHIP THE FATHER … BUT THE HOUR IS COMING AND NOW IS, when the TRUE WORSHIPPERS WILL WORSHIP THE FATHER IN SPIRIT AND TRUTH; FOR THE FATHER IS SEEKING SUCH TO WORSHIP HIM.” John 4: 22-23
From the above passage, Jesus was clearly preparing her for the hour, that hour where we can now worship the Father without restriction because that is what the Father ever desires. He demonstrated that when He created the first man and always fellowshipped with him before man fell.
Also, Jesus Himself told them to expect more teachings through the Holy Spirit because He KNEW they wouldn’t understand just yet if He told them then.
“I still have many things to say to you but YOU CANNOT BEAR THEM NOW. However, when HE, THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH, HAS COME, HE WILL GUIDE YOU INTO ALL TRUTH; FOR HE WILL NOT SPEAK ON HIS OWN AUTHORITY, but whatever HE HEARS HE WILL SPEAK; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, FOR HE WILL TAKE OF WHAT IS MINE AND DECLARE IT TO YOU.” John 16: 12-14.
Those things that the Spirit has declared after Christ’s death is what culminates the books of the Apostles, including Paul.
When the someone also told me for instance about the differences in the Books of the gospel, I was thinking why on earth he was expecting them to be the same. The fact they have differences is actually what augments their authenticity.
Let me explain
The Books of the gospel were not written by angels, they were eye-witnesses accounts written by human beings like you and I, who have memory lapse, who have prejudices and what not.
So expecting them to write the same thing is terribly unrealistic, not to mention, it will be unreal. If three people recount the same incidence to you, there is no how they will tell you the exact same things but they would also confirm one another’s story.
For instance, Matthew was a tax collector, Luke was a lawyer, thus, it would surprise me terribly if Luke’s story was not more comprehensive than that of Matthew because it comes with the territory of a lawyer to write more than a tax collector. John on the other hand, wrote more about Jesus’s words than the events, not so surprising if you consider the fact that he called himself the “disciple whom Jesus loved” and he mentioned how he was always with the master and even lay on His bosom, so it is normal that he would have heard more of what Jesus was saying.
The Bible was written by different people like I said earlier from different calibre, social strata, educational background, period and even century but their message is clear – JESUS CHRIST.
Also, as I explained earlier, the Old Testament opened our eyes to why we need Christ, God also in different ways prepared people for the coming of Christ (Abraham called to sacrifice his son, Isaac for example). The New Testament showed us Jesus in all His love and glory and the rest of the New Testament shows us the life we now have in Christ after His death.
At the end of the day, they were written from different perspective but they all found a meeting point … Jesus was born to Mary in an extraordinary birth, He lived as an ordinary man doing extraordinary things, He died an extraordinary death and more importantly, He loves with an extraordinary love.