Why Trust the Bible?

by Mad Sweeney 69 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Mall Cop
    Mall Cop

    Perry and BTS. The historical background of how the Bible came to be does not establish that God used men and women to record that history and hence proves that whoever has the cornerstone and foundational claim to the current present day various translations of the Bible out there are in touch with God/Jesus and will receive Eternal Life because of it.

    Because to me that's what it is all about, eternal life, and how to get it. If I make the claim that I have the true writtings from God/Jesus and follow it through some organization that I believe is the one that God/Jesus is using i.e, Catholic Church or other Church I will be rewarded with eternal life.

    So, to me the end result for an individual that is a believer is how do I get to that eternal reward. Is it by following "The Bible?" Living a moral life? Being Born Again? Having Faith?

    If we own up to it, death anxiety plagues us all. The way around that is to latch on to words written down that promises an eternal life in a better place with a God/Jesus. And maybe, just maybe we get a personal experience that convinces us that we are on the right path.

    So many have this faith and realization and so many do not.

    I am Catholic and do not believe, I have my doubts.

    Blueblades/Mall Cop

  • Perry

    The successors to the original Apostles received the authority and responsibility conferred to them by these apostles.

    Please show where an Apostle conferred Apostleship onto another.

    Episkopos were consecrated by the laying on of hands. We see this clearly with Timothy and Paul. If you also read early Christian writings, such as the Apostolic Fathers, who were the first generation of leaders after the passing of the Apostles you will see that this is the case. To think otherwise, would be to believe that that entire first generation of successors to the original 12 taught a lie, despite the fact that all of them were taught directly by the apostles themselves, and despite the fact that many of them were martyred for the faith. In short, this thesis has no validity. It is anti-historic.

    There are ONLY three terms used in the Greek New Testament to describe the roles of church leadership. We can't understand one without also understanding the other two, since they all work together to provide leadership over Christ's sheep. What's the difference between a pastor, an elder, an overseer, and a deacon?


    This word episkopos (from which we get Episcopal) is used a total of 5 times in the New Testament, always in reference to someone who has authority to lead in ministry. It is usually translated "overseer" or "bishop." Clearly, it is a position of leadership, most commonly thought to refer to the position of pastor. The dif?culty in understanding the full meaning of this word comes when we try to compare it to the second word used in scripture for leadership: presbuteros.


    The word presbuteros occurs 72 times in the New Testament, and it has a range of meanings. The majority of the time (57 times) it is translated "elder" and means a position of leadership in the church, like a pastor or other member of church leadership. Importantly, it differs from episkopos in that it also assumes the quality of old age. In other words, elders are leaders, in part, due to the wisdom and spiritual maturity they have obtained through a life-long walk with Christ. In fact, the word presbuteros is also translated at times to mean "older man" (10 times) and even once as "older woman" (1Tim 5:2).

    But there is yet still another term for leadership in the Bible we must consider: diakonos.


    The word diakonos means “one who serves in ministry” or more generally, "servant." The word appears 29 times in the New Testament. Of those 29 times, it is translated (by the NASB) as "deacon" three times, as "minister" seven times, and as "servant" 19 times. Consequently, the best de?nition of the duties of a diakonos is one who ministers to the church through their service.

    Considering how Paul uses the term in Phil 1:1 and in 1Tim 3, it's fair to say that he viewed diakonos as playing a leadership role in the church, albeit a lessor role compared to epsikopos or presbuteros. For example, Paul expected that the determination of who may serve as diakonos would fall to the other leaders in the church (1Tim 3:10), clearly suggesting that diakonos answer to the other two positions.

    Nevertheless, diakonos are part of the leadership within a church, and they express their leadership primarily through acts of service for the bene?t of the entire congregation (including other leaders). The best example of the appointment of diakonos within the church is found in Acts 6 where Stephen and six other men are appointed to positions of service by the primary leaders in that church.

    Notice that several of these men eventually became evangelists themselves (e.g., Stephen, Philip), demonstrating that those who begin ministry in positions of service as diakonos are not precluded from eventually taking other roles in leadership. To summarize then, diakonos are lessor leaders focused on service, while episkopos and prebuteros are primarily pastoral leaders over a congregation.

    Still, several questions remain: what is the difference between episkopos and presbuteros, especially in regard to their roles, and what is their relationship to the diakonos? There are three places in scripture we need to consult for the answers to these questions.

    The ?rst passage is Acts 20:17–28. In that passage, the Apostle Paul is nearing the end of his ministry, when he gives a ?nal word of exhortation to the church in Ephesus. He begins in verse 17 by addressing the presbuteros (elders) of the church, yet a few verses later in the passage, Paul refers to these same men in verse 28 as episkopos, or overseers. By describing the same group one time as presbuteros and a second time as episkopos, Paul seems to consider the two words to be synonyms for church leaders.

    The second passage of scripture to consider is Titus 1. In verse 5, Paul reminds TItus that he left him in Crete with instructions to appoint presbuteros (i.e., elders) over every city. In this context, an elder is clearly a position of leadership over a church, yet just a few verses later Paul begins to describes the quali?cations for an elder using the word episkopos (i.e., overseer) to describe this same group. Once again, Paul seems to use these two words for leader interchangeably.

    It seems fair to conclude from these two passages that scripture makes no clear distinction between a prebuteros (elder) and an episkopos (overseer) in terms of their role in leadership. Therefore, we should consider these two terms to refer generally to leaders over a church, whether they serve as a pastor, an elder or both.

    This fact also suggests that Paul was not especially concerned over the particular organizational form that church leadership assumed, though he does make clear he expects a plurality of leadership (i.e., overseers, elders) rather than just a single leader.

    Before we conclude this examination, we need to consider one ?nal passage in 1Tim 3. In this chapter, Paul begins in verse 1 by stating the quali?cations for an episkopos (i.e., overseer). Later in the chapter, Paul switches to describing the quali?cations for a man to serve as a diakonos (1Tim 3:8). By these verses, we learn an important additional piece of information. We can see that Paul envisions a clear break in leadership between overseers/elders on the one hand and deacons on the other hand. While both groups are considered leaders in the church, the ?rst group (e.g., overseers/elders) appoints and rules over the second group (deacons).

    In conclusion, a classic New Testament church ought to be led by a plurality of overseers, including older, more mature elders who guard the ?ock, together with a cadre of secondary leadership called deacons focused on serving the body. Though churches often depart from this ideal form, that certainly doesn't preclude God from working through those churches nonetheless, as every church has its ?aws and God accomplishes His work through us in spite of our form, not because of it.

  • PSacramento

    Mall cop, nothing wrong with having doubts my friend, nothing at all.

  • AK - Jeff
    AK - Jeff

    One thing about Perry - no one can run in circular thought as well.


  • BurnTheShips
    So, to me the end result for an individual that is a believer is how do I get to that eternal reward. Is it by following "The Bible?" Living a moral life? Being Born Again? Having Faith?

    There one Way, Truth, and Life. The other things are details.

    I am Catholic and do not believe, I have my doubts.

    I am not immune either. If our heart loves good, we'll all find the way, eventually.


  • Mall Cop
    Mall Cop

    BTS, If our heart loves good, we will all find the way.. Even with my doubts, I have always felt that "THE WAY" you speak of is found in the two greatest commamdments uttered by Jesus, if you believe it. Love God and your neighbor, with all your heart! For if one follows this you will not do harm to your neighbor and the love for God will attach yourself to him forever.

  • Perry

    Your heart is wicked Blueblades, just as mine is. Get over it. Don't put your trust there.

    John 10 - Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber....Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep (notice the singualrity)

    It is really important to get this right folks. Before, we trusted Jesus and the WT. That didn't work.

    Look closely at this witnessing card (scroll between the two). Then ask yourself these two questions:

    1. Is the Catholic Church really any different than the Watchtower in these three quotes?

    2. Does any of these doctrines agree with Jesus words above in John 10?

  • wobble

    Earlier in this thread, which after all is entitled "Why trust the Bible", Perry asserted that prophecy found within it proves it to be "true".

    Another poster pointed out that these "prophecies" were written after the event, and that is true of nearly all that I can see. Except another method is used, equally spurious

    For example "Matthew" picks on passages from the Hebrew bible and makes them fit events in Jesus life, or writes stories about Jesus' life that fit the scriptures, not very convincing, not even to the owners of the Hebrew bible, the orthodox Jewish religion.

    I do not know of a"prophecy" in scripture that is beyond doubt.

    So, why should we trust the Bible ?

  • Black Sheep
    Black Sheep
    Why, based on clear and logical thinking and reasoning, should one trust the Bible as the inspired and inerrant Word of God?

    Sorry mate, but I can't think of a reason.

    It's tough realising that everything your parents taught you might be complete and utter bullshit, but if that is what it is, we have to get over it and move on.

    There is no way that, living in NZ, either of the biblical flood stories appear to be innerant, or the words of a god .... and that is just one very small problem.

    Jesus killing a fig tree for no better reason than a vandal blowing up my letterbox to show off to his mates is either a bullshit story about the son of God or a story about a human being who abuses his magical powers, or a fabrication.



  • PSacramento
    Jesus killing a fig tree for no better reason than a vandal blowing up my letterbox to show off to his mates is either a bullshit story about the son of God or a story about a human being who abuses his magical powers, or a fabrication.

    Uh, it was a metaphore for the Hebrew people.

    Jesus sought out "food" from the "fig tree" and there was none for him ( he was rejected) so he "cursed" the "tree" so that it would never "bare fruit again".

    The fig tree being the Hebrew nation that rejected God's word and love.

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