Do We Really Believe the Bible?

Roy E. Cogdill
Houston, Texas

Most people are sincere in thinking that they believe the Bible. They would certainly be very much offended if they were accused of not believing it. Yet there are very certain indications many times that we do not have the faith in the Bible as the Word of God that we need and must have, if we stand approved before God. What does it mean to really believe the Bible to be the Word of God?

If we really believe the Bible to be the Word of God, we must accept it as the infallibly inspired revelation of God to man. This is what the Bible claims for itself, and if it is not so, the Bible is not worthy of believing at all. Moreover, the individual who does not accept it as such has no foundation upon which to rest his faith in anything that it teaches.

When one admits to himself that there might be a single mistake in the Bible, he has destroyed the possibility of believing what the Bible says about anything. If it contains one mistake, how may we discover what that mistake is? Could it be in the existence of the one true and living God that the Bible is wrong? or could it be in the fact that Jesus Christ is the Son of God that the Bible is mistaken? Is it possible that the Bible is wrong in its teaching that man has an eternal spirit in the image of God Himself? A soul that needs to be saved? Maybe the Bible is wrong, if there is any mistake at all in it, in the doctrine of sin and salvation from sin or the hope of eternal life in the world to come! How would we learn what the mistake is, if there should he one in the Bible? We would have to depend on the wisdom of man to discover that mistake, and in that case the wisdom of man would sit in judgment on the Word of God. Besides, if God has made one mistake, how do we know that He has not made many others? Moreover, if God is subject to mistakes, He cannot be the God of the Bible, who is infallible and all-wise, so the end result would be no faith at all.

When the testimony of a witness is impeached relative to one matter, then it is, rejected with reference to all things. If the Bible is to be believed at all, we must be willing to believe all of its testimony. If we impeach its testimony in one point, then we must reject it in its entirety or be guilty of inconsistency in our attitude toward it. The fact is, if we do not believe all of the Bible, then we do not believe anything just because the Bible says it, but we accept just what suits us and that is no faith in anything except our own wisdom and judgment.

June 24, 1971