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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Don Stewart :: Why Is the Bible So Special?

Don Stewart :: Are There Other Written Sources of Religious Truth Apart from the Bible?

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Are There Other Written Sources of Religious Truth Apart from the Bible?

Why the Bible Is So Special – Question 19

No. While there are many other religious writings that claim to reveal “ultimate truth,” the Bible clearly says that it is the sole written source of our knowledge about the one true, living God. It is the only written revelation that He has given humanity. The following points need to be considered:

1. The Bible Commands Not to Add or Subtract from God’s Revealed Word

There are warnings contained in Scripture not to add or subtract from what God has revealed. Moses wrote:

You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you. (Deuteronomy 4:2 NKJV)

In the Book of Proverbs, we read something similar. It says:

Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar. (Proverbs 30:5-6 NIV)

The Book of Revelation closes by giving this warning:

I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone of you adds anything to them, God will add to you the plagues described in this scroll. And if anyone of you takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from you your share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this scroll. (Revelation 22:18-19 TNIV)

God’s Words are important to Him; no human being should add or subtract from them. Since He is the only God that exists, His words alone are the final standard of right and wrong.

2. All Other Ways to God Are False

The Bible warns its readers of false prophets and false teachings. John wrote to the readers of his day about such. He said:

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1 NASB)

Jesus warned of those who offer other ways to approach God apart from Him. We read the following in the gospel of John:

Those who heard Jesus use this illustration didn’t understand what he meant, so he explained it to them. “I assure you, I am the gate for the sheep,” he said. “All others who came before me were thieves and robbers. But the true sheep did not listen to them. Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. Wherever they go, they will find green pastures. The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give life in all its fullness.” (John 10:6-10 NLT)

The Apostle Paul warned about false teachers who claimed to speak for Christ. He wrote the following to the church at Galatia:

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—not that there is another gospel, but there are some who are confusing you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should proclaim to you a gospel contrary to what we proclaimed to you, let that one be accursed! As we have said before, so now I repeat, if anyone proclaims to you a gospel contrary to what you received, let that one be accursed. (Galatians 1:6-9 NRSV)

Only the gospel, or the good news, that has been revealed in the New Testament is the true gospel—all other so-called gospels are false.

The Bible says that there are also false apostles who preach a different Jesus. These types of people were around in Paul’s day. He warned the Corinthians about them. He wrote:

I hope you will be patient with me as I keep on talking like a fool. Please bear with me. I am jealous for you with the jealousy of God himself. For I promised you as a pure bride to one husband, Christ. But I fear that somehow you will be led away from your pure and simple devotion to Christ, just as Eve was deceived by the serpent. You seem to believe whatever anyone tells you, even if they preach about a different Jesus than the one we preach, or a different Spirit than the one you received, or a different kind of gospel than the one you believed... These people are counterfeit apostles, dishonest workers disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. There is nothing astonishing in this; even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11:1-4, 13-14 NLT)

The Corinthians seemed to believe the message brought by these false teachers. Paul rebuked them for this. That is why it is essential that we know and understand the content of the genuine message that the Lord has given to humanity.

3. The Faith Has Been Delivered Once and for All to Humanity

There is something more. The Bible says that the faith has been once and for all delivered to believers. Jude wrote about this. He said:

Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints. (Jude 3 NASB)

The faith has been delivered in the Scriptures and nowhere else. It is the only source of authority to which one can go to discover God’s truth.

Conclusion: the Bible Alone Is the Only Infallible Source of Truth about God

Consequently, the Bible is the only written revelation that God has given the human race. There is only one God who exists, and He has chosen to reveal Himself through one written source; the Scriptures. No other source of divine truth should be consulted because no other source is divine. The Bible alone is the one guide for all humanity.

Summary – Question 19
Are There Other Written Sources of Religious Truth Apart from the Bible?

It is clear that the Bible does not present itself as one of several options for religious truth. It claims to be God’s authoritative Word. The Bible consistently maintains that any work, religious or otherwise, which teaches anything, to the contrary is, at that point, wrong. As far as the Bible is concerned, it is all or nothing. If we accept it, we must accept it as ultimately authoritative. It must be the standard by which we judge all other writings that attempt to convey spiritual truth.

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