Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
December 8, 1949

Bible Knowledge The Answer To Skepticism

J. Early Arceneaux, Lovelady, Texas

Some one has said that the Bible does not need defending so much as it needs teaching. Many people who are skeptical and unbelieving would be convinced if only they had any adequate knowledge of the book.

One of the outstanding features of the inspired volume is the growth of doctrine throughout it, from Genesis to Revelation. Take for instance, the theme of sin and redemption. From the beginning of Genesis, and with a steady development right on to the end of Revelation, this doctrine grows in breadth, height, and depth, until it occupies almost the whole stream of revelation. The same is true of any other fundamental subject of Bible concern—man, God, sin, sacrifice, the priesthood, salvation, or related and kindred themes. You will find each of them growing with a constant increase and development right through the book. In the Old Testament we have promise, type, shadow, prophecy; in the New Testament, fulfillment, substance, reality. Just a general knowledge of these facts, it seems to me, ought to make any man see that the one who wrote this book was not a mere human.

Reveals Man To Himself

The Bible is not only a Revelation of God to man; it is also a revelation of man himself. This is another striking evidence that the one who wrote it knew all about us. Jesus knew what man was, and what was in Man. He needed no one to tell him. And that perfect knowledge of man is shining forth on page after page of the Bible from beginning to end.

The experience of the race has shown how accurate and how true are the judgments and the estimates of man which the Bible holds forth. Consider, for example, such teachings as these: "There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked." Could anything be truer than that? If one is in doubt about it, let him try it. Let him engage in sin and wickedness, and he will soon know. "The wages of sin is death." Who could put an eternal truth into fewer words? Sorrow, heartache, despair are all the result of sin. "Be sure your sin will find you out." "He that being often warned, hardeneth his neck, shall be suddenly destroyed, and that without remedy." (Prov. 27:1.) "The wicked fleeth, when no man pursueth." "What the wicked feareth will come upon him." "Every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed. Lust when it hath conceived, bringeth forth sin; and sin, when it is full grown, bringeth forth death." What a genealogy! — lust, sin, death. Clearly the author of statements like these knew what was in man; he knew his nature, his weaknesses, and his possibilities.

If the skeptic can be made to recognize and to understand such fundamental knowledge as being in the Bible, he will need little else to convince him that it is a book of divine origin. Christ does not need to be defended so much as he needs to be preached.

The Answer To Modern Doubt

The final question between infidelity and Christianity is, What think ye of Christ? Whose Son is he? This is more fundamental than the question of the authenticity and inspiration of the books of the Bible. For we could even grant (for the sake of argument) that the men who wrote the gospels were not inspired, still they did write accurate records of what happened—and they wrote those records within a very few years of the time of the events recorded. Even if we should discount the fact of inspiration, we certainly could not discount the fact of the church, of Christianity, and of Christ. How account for these things? How account for the influence of Christ at a time so very near to the actual years of his life? The skeptic has no satisfactory reply.

The Christ as presented and pictured in the four gospels is the final answer to modern doubt. It was simply impossible that these Jewish writers could have "invented" such a Christ. And if he was not invented, he was real; and if real, then divine!

Modernists, although they reject Christianity's textbook, object to being called infidels. Thomas Paine, the early American Infidel, objected to being called such. He said he believed in God; that he wasn't an atheist, and didn't want to be called one. Well, all atheists are infidels, but not all infidels are atheists. If men are called atheists, when they say they believe in God, the name is not quite accurate; they are infidels, not atheists.

Few men today are going over the country like Tom Paine and Bob Ingersoll once did, lecturing nightly as opponents of Christianity. These men received thousand; and thousands of dollars for their denunciations of the Bible and of Christianity. But the devil doesn't need such popular lecturers in our day; he has more effective servants. The preacher in church pulpits today are doing exactly what Paine and Ingersoll did on the lecture platforms. They are saying the same things Paine and Ingersoll said, making the same charges they made. These men are modernists; they do not represent Christianity. They neither believe nor preach what was believed and preached by those men who were the first disciples of Christ.

Growth Of A Myth?

It is clearly demonstrable that belief in the proposition that Christ rose from the dead goes back to the very earliest days of Christianity. Modernists, of course deny this. They say that Christ was deified after his death—many years after it, in fact. They declare he was just a man like we are, but was glorified and deified began to be worshipped and made into a "Christ" only after he had been dead some hundreds of years.

That such a myth could never have been developed in the few years before we find Christ being worshipped as God is evident to every Bible student. Even modernists admit that it could not have been developed in the first century. That is why they try to date all the New Testament books in the second, third, and fourth centuries. But what are the facts?

The facts are that Paul's epistles were written before the gospels (modernists admit this); and Paul's epistles it is clearly evident that both the writer and those to whom he wrote had no doubt at all concerning the resurrection of Christ. There was unanimous belief that he had risen from the dead, and that he was the Son of God. And all this, mind you, within thirty years of the time of his death. It does the modernist no good to give a late date to the gospels; they cannot give a late date to Paul and Paul completely explodes the "growth of a myth" theory.