Have you ever told a lie? Of course you have, and so have I. Lying is one of the easiest of all sins, and a trap that many of us have fallen into many times in our lives. But have you ever told a lie to someone who already knew the truth? This is a lot harder to do! Voddie Baucham tells a story in a sermon titled Why I Choose To Believe the Bible, where his son touches a light socket after being told he wasn’t supposed to do that. He asks his son if he touched the socket, to which he replies “No. I didn’t touch it.” Baucham then says, “I’m going to ask you again, and this time I should let you know that I saw what you did. Now, did you touch the light socket?” This time his son replies only with a few tears and an “I love you!”
It’s so much harder for us to lie to people when we know that they already know the truth. It was no different for the apostles and early church leaders when they wrote what was to become the New Testament. When Peter wrote his 2 letters to believers throughout “Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia” (1 Peter 1:1), one of the things he discusses is when he, John, and James were eyewitnesses to the glory given to Jesus on the mountain, when He was transfigured before their eyes (see 2 Peter 1:16-17, Mark 9:1-12). Now, this event was already well recorded – in the gospels of Matthew (ch. 17), Mark (ch. 9), and Luke (ch. 9) – but Peter would not have been able to boldly proclaim it as a true event if it were not so. I’m not 100% sure about James, but John was still alive at the time that Peter wrote this, and would have been able to refute it had it been a lie.
This isn’t the only example – the entire New Testament is written by eyewitnesses or by those who received their information firsthand from eyewitnesses, all while other eyewitnesses were still alive. It would have been much harder for these writers to lie or even embellish about the events of the life of Jesus when so many other people who knew the truth firsthand were still around.
The only other objection that people can make, then, is that the Bible has been changed since it’s original writing. Baucham calls this the “zealous monk theory,” because so many people claim that zealous monks made changes to the New Testament to make it better match up with the Old Testament. To show how ludicrous this theory is, Baucham explains the magnitude of such an undertaking in his book that this study is based on, also titled The Ever Loving Truth:
First, we would have to ignore the fact that there are over 5000 Greek manuscripts and that any monk wishing to change the Bible would have to collect at least a majority of them. Second, this zealous monk would have to make sure that all of the early translations were gathered and destroyed. Third, he would have to eliminate the writings of the early church fathers, and finally, he would have to single-handedly spread his doctored documents throughout the world, returning them to the museums, monasteries, churches, and individual collections from which he stole them. Please! That would be a bigger feat than parting the Red Sea!
It’s hard for some people to believe the Bible, but I am starting to see that the reason for this is not that the Bible has an unbelievable story or unbelievable beginnings. It’s because they don’t want to have to live up to the standards that it sets. I don’t blame them, really – I don’t really want to live up to those standards either. But we all have a choice, and because I know the Bible is true, I can’t help but want to make the choice it says is best for me – Jesus.