The BIG IDEA
The Bible is God’s word and we can trust it.
We can be tempted to view the Bible as a bunch of legends or myths and not see that it is true and completely trustworthy.
Trust the Bible as the authority in our lives.
Why THIS MATTERS
Christianity is built on the Bible. If we can’t trust it, all we believe about God and Jesus falls apart. As our culture claims that the Bible is outdated, not relevant to our lives, and has been changed over time, we need to counter those lies with the truth about its trustworthiness. When we learn to trust God’s word, we will be better able to apply it to our lives and see God change us.
I WANT MY STUDENTS TO:
- KNOW: We can trust that the Bible we have in our hands today is God’s word to us.
- EXPERIENCE: Confidence in the trustworthiness of our Bible.
- DO: Live with confidence that the Bible is God’s word.
The idea box is a place where you can find some creative ideas for leading this study. You might find videos, activities, or great illustrations that really bring the main point home. The ideas come from small group leaders like you, so if you have an idea that isn’t in there, click below to share it with the community!
As students are entering the room, or as you start the study, build a house of cards together. At some point consider bumping the table which will reinforce the value of having a firm foundation for our study today.
*WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Kadarius and Terence were walking around the city looking for a birthday gift for Terence’s girlfriend Candice. She wanted a really nice watch, and he had been saving up for months to get the brand he knew she liked. They had been shocked to see the prices at the big-name department store and decided to get a hamburger and talk about it. On their way to the restaurant a man approached them and opened a case full of expensive watches. They couldn’t believe the bargain prices, and Terence snapped one up right away. “Candice will love this,” he told Kadarius. He was right. Candice did love it until the day after her birthday when it quit working and the watch band fell apart. Where did Terence go wrong?
• Why is it important to have a firm foundation that doesn’t shake when you’re building a deck of cards?
• Why is it important (like with the watch story) to be able to tell the real thing from a fake?
Today we are talking about how we can trust the Bible, like the real watch, not the fake one. The goal is to build our faith on a firm foundation of truth instead of a shaky house of cards.
WHAT DOES GOD SAY ABOUT THIS?
- Let’s play a game to help us learn how we can trust the Bible. Read the verses. Then match them with the description that fits best.
- Explains that the Bible is inspired by God, which literally means “God-breathed.”
- Shows that the author got his facts about Jesus through careful research and from eye-witnesses to his life.
- Human authors wrote the Bible as God’s Spirit directed them.
- Jesus’ words will never pass away.
- Jesus’ return from the dead proves he’s God and that everything he says—including his words about the reliability of the Bible—are true.
HOW DO WE APPLY THIS TO OUR LIVES?
*2. Why would it matter to your faith whether the Bible is trustworthy?
Allow the group to discuss.
*Determining whether the Bible is something we can trust isn’t a science question that you can test in a lab. It is more of a courtroom question where you weigh evidence and decide what is most reasonable. On the next page, we have a few pieces of the many evidences for the Bible’s trustworthiness. We hope that helps you become more confident that you can trust the Bible.
*3. Look at the “Evidence” list. There are eight pieces of evidence listed there that help us trust that the Bible is God’s Word. Below the line are eight sentences that tell why each evidence is valuable to us. Match the evidence to the meaning by writing the number of the evidence in the box.
Do your best to make sure everyone participates. If it is appropriate, and you have time, feel free to have a little discussion about any of the evidence that you feel is especially important. Help the students understand why it points to the trustworthiness of the Bible.
*4. Which piece of evidence do you think is most important for your friends to understand and why?
Allow the group to discuss.
*5. If this were a game show and I was going to give you a million dollars to know the right answer to the question, “Can I trust the Bible?”, what would you say?
- Would you research it to find out more?
Allow the group to discuss. Explain that much more than a million dollars is at stake. If the Bible is true, then our eternities rest on what it says about how to connect with God. It’s well worth our time to wrestle with this question.
A short study like this can only scratch the surface of this topic. The evidence about the trustworthiness of the Bible is overwhelming. If you have questions about the trustworthiness of the Bible or want to dig more into this topic, here are a few great places to start…
- BOOK – Josh McDowell’s More than a Carpenter
- VIDEO – https://youtu.be/DYdR0HBzk1o
- WEBSITE – WHY YOU CAN BELIEVE THE BIBLE – article from EveryStudent.com
Leader: Read each evidence one by one and ask your students to tell you which meaning goes with it. In their copy the Evidence and Meanings are not paired up so they will be trying to match them.
Evidence: At least 10 non-Christian writers living around the time of Jesus also talked about him, and what they said was consistent with what the Bible says.
Meaning: This shows that Jesus was a real historical person and that he was well-known at the time even by non-Christians.
Evidence: The Bible was written by over 40 authors in vastly different walks of life (poor shepherd, fisherman, king, prisoner, etc.) over the span of 1,500 years, but has one consistent message.
Meaning: Any human book written like this would have drastically different views and contradictions. The fact that the Bible is consistent in its view throughout points toward the Bible as a divine book, shows that it is written by God through these men.
Evidence: Scholars continue to prove the Bible by finding physical evidence (archaeology) of the stories in the Bible. Not a single find from the world of archaeology has conflicted with what the Bible records. In fact, many archaeologists have been aided in their search by the descriptions in the Bible.
Meaning: This gives us more confidence that the stories in the Bible actually happened in real places as we find evidence of them still today.
Evidence: Some people claim that the Bible is full of contradictions but, when asked, they can’t name any. When they do bring them up, a closer look at the Bible shows that the contradiction was really just a misunderstanding of what the Bible was really saying.
Meaning: Knowing that the Bible doesn’t contradict itself gives us confidence that it is true and worth reading and applying to our lives.
Evidence: There are 24,000 ancient manuscripts of the New Testament compared to 643 of Homer’s Iliad, and only 7 copies of Plato — many more than any other ancient writing.
Meaning: Manuscripts are really, really old copies of these books. If we trust our copies of Homer’s Iliad and Plato to be accurately translated over the years, we should also trust the New Testament that has far more, and more reliable, manuscripts than any other ancient writing.
Evidence: There are over 140 details in the Gospels that only eyewitnesses would have known or written down.
Meaning: These details point to the fact that the Gospels in the New Testament were written by people who were actually there, not written years later by someone making it up.
Evidence: The writers of the Bible include very embarrassing stories about themselves that make them look bad.
Meaning: If someone were making these stories up about themselves, they would have left out the parts that make them look bad. The fact that they left them in makes it more likely that they were writing the truth about what happened.
Evidence: The writers of the New Testament were killed by rulers who wanted them to admit that they were lying about what they wrote. These writers would not admit to lying. They decided to die instead.
Meaning: No one would die for a lie. If they made up the stories about Jesus and the early church, they would have chosen to admit that before they were killed, but every one of them chose to die instead. This is evidence that what they died for is true.
Our review cards are an excellent way to review your past lessons with your students before each study. Not every lesson has one yet but if we have them, you can find them on the PRINT page. Check them out and use them each week to help your students grab hold of the truths in these studies.
What ideas do you have that could improve this study? Are there creative things you do to bring this topic home to your students? Please share with the community clicking the FEEDBACK button or leaving a comment below.