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Lesson 4

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Today’s lesson continues to focus on the issues surrounding the authority of Scripture in the life of the church and the believer. This week’s lesson does not ask a question, but makes an important statement – the Bible is reliable. While few Christians would disagree with this statement, what does it really mean? In what sense is the Bible reliable? Is it a reliable guide to bridge building, or for reconstructing the history of the ancient Egyptians and Greeks, or for mapping the ancient world? The answer to these questions is, obviously, no. The Bible makes no such claims. When we talk about the reliability of the Bible, we are talking about the basic question of its message. Can we be relatively certain that the words we have in our Bibles today are what was originally written? Can we be relatively certain that the Bible is not just a bunch of clever stories invented by a handful of creative Jewish authors? Do the stories in the Bible make sense together, or do they disagree and conflict with each other? It is to these types of questions that this week’s lesson is directed.