The Bible Focuses On Eternal Truth
It was many years ago but I remember the statement like it was yesterday. I was in Bible college and sitting in the class of one of my favorite teachers.
I loved his nature. He was a straight shooter, never mincing words. If he believed something was true there was no flinching. Everything was absolutely right or wrong and I identified with that mindset. I wanted a clear line demarcating all the good from the bad.
But don’t get the wrong idea. Though adamant, he was gracious. And in his usual quiet but straightforward way, he made the following remark, which made a lasting impression on me.
All the Bible is true and all truth is in the Bible
I love words, especially when used to make a point rhythmically so his remark stuck. But that wasn’t the only reason it resonated. I was emotionally in tune with this statement. It was a very bold line drawn between everything in the Bible and everything else. It was a buy-in for me.
All of that happened a very long time ago – I won’t say how long. Since then I’ve grown, matured, learned a few things, and done a lot of thinking so I’m not so sure about the accuracy of that statement anymore.
Don’t get me wrong. I still believe everything in the Bible is true but I realize now that not every truth can fit in the Bible. All the most important truths are there, the ones that influence eternity, but there isn’t enough room in any one book to include every possible truth.
Not All Types Of Truth Are Equally Important
Just a quick glance at the many kinds of truth and you realize they aren’t all equal. Each type is important, yes, but they aren’t all equal. For example:
- Individual truth (I have blue eyes)
- Temporary truth (It’s a sunny day)
- Moral truth (Its wrong to gossip, lie or steal)
- Psychological truth (people prefer short reading lines but read longer
- Medical truth (diet effects your health)
- Mathematical truth (2 plus 2 is 4)
- Physical truth (law of gravity)
- Historical truth (Israel inhabited Canaan after the Exodus)
- Eternal truth (God is love, heaven is real)
The Bible does make statements that broadly relate to each type of truth, and what it says about each issue is true, but that is very different to saying it records every truth.
- It talks about the remarkable way each person is created – we are individually distinct – but it says nothing about my blue eyes.
- The Bible records variations in weather patterns (Noah’s flood) but says nothing about today’s forecast.
- The Old Testament is filled with laws that imply an understanding of medical issues but it says nothing about open-heart surgery or different blood types.
- The Bible includes a lot of ancient history and influenced the way modern history unfolded but provides no historical details following the first century AD.
If you’re curious and would like to read further, Dr. S. I. McMillen has written a great book, None of These Diseases, which shows how Old Testament law reflected a very advanced understanding of many medical issues without actually stating every individual truth associated with each condition. The book can be purchased very inexpensively at Amazon.
God has paid humanity a great compliment by not giving us every piece of truth and every answer to every question. Realizing that, leads us to another truth implied in the Bible but not clearly stated. The truth that God created us with an insatiable desire to understand more truth and the tools to pursue it.
It may feel disloyal to say “not every truth is in the Bible” but once you realize that every truth is God’s truth wherever you find it and that God has gifted us with the art of discovery, it begins to make a lot of sense. And remember. Finding a truth is much more rewarding than having it handed to you on a platter.