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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Don Stewart :: False Views of Scripture

Don Stewart :: What Is the Mythological View of the Bible’s Authority?

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What Is the Mythological View of the Bible’s Authority?

False Views of the Bible – Question 8

The “mythological view” of the authority of Holy Scripture is similar to the “encounter view.” It believes that a person can encounter God through the Scripture. However, the mythological view does not believe that the supernatural events that the Scripture records actually occurred.

Claim: the Bible Contains Mythological Stories

The mythological view basically says that the supernatural events that are recorded in the New Testament never occurred—they are myths. The job of the interpreter is to strip away the mythology to discover who Jesus really was and what He really said. Once this is done, then the person can have an encounter with God.

Response to the Mythological View

We can respond to this view in a number of ways. They are as follows:

1. Why Study a Mythological Bible?

The problem one immediately has with the mythological view of divine inspiration concerns the purpose for studying the Bible. Why should the Bible be taken seriously if it is nothing but a group of myths? Why should anyone waste his or her time studying something that claims to be the Word of God, but in reality, is nothing but fiction?

Furthermore, if the Bible contains a bunch of myths, then why should anyone believe in the God of the Bible? On what basis can we contend that He really exists—especially if the Bible is nothing but a fanciful book? Preaching that the Bible is nothing but myths is a quick way to empty the churches.

2. Why Would God Reveal Himself in Such a Way?

In addition, why would God, if does He exist, reveal Himself in such a way? It does not make sense that a God who created the universe with such precision and order would reveal Himself in a hopelessly contradictory and mythical book. Consequently, the mythological view does not encourage any real study of Scripture or give any real basis of trust in the God of the Bible.

3. The Writers of Scripture Denied They Were Following Myths

The writers of Scripture personally testified that they were not following myths when they related the events in the life of the Lord Jesus. Peter wrote:

When we told you about the power and the return of our Lord Jesus Christ, we were not telling clever stories that someone had made up. But with our own eyes we saw his true greatness. God, our great and wonderful Father, truly honored him by saying, “This is my own dear Son, and I am pleased with him.” We were there with Jesus on the holy mountain and heard this voice speak from heaven. (2 Peter 1:16-18 CEV)

Bible-believing Christians are not lovers of myths or superstition. We do not wish to be deceived. Therefore, we welcome an honest and open investigation of the Scriptures. We are not afraid of the truth because we follow the One who said that He is the Truth. Mythology and superstition have no place in Christianity.

Summary – Question 8
What Is the Mythological View of the Bible’s Authority?

In some circles, it is popular to see the Bible as nothing but a bunch of myths. Consequently, it is contended that these myths need to be stripped away from the Bible before one can experience God.

Yet, the mythological view does not take the claims of the Bible seriously. It assumes that it is like any other book—with the exception that God can somehow be experienced through this book of fables.

The mythological view certainly does not encourage any faith in the God of the Scriptures. If the Bible is mythical, then why should anyone believe anything that it says? However, the mythical view is not the correct view of the Bible. Nowhere do we find the writers of Scripture promoting myths.

Indeed, we find that the writers of Scripture emphatically denying that they were spreading myths or fables. They were relating what they saw and what they heard. They knew the difference between myths and reality and they were insistent in saying that they were telling the truth. Thus, the mythological idea of the Bible does not fit what the Bible says about itself.

What Is the Encounter View of the Bible’s Authority? (Barthian, Neoorthodox) ← Prior Section
Is There a Secret Code in Scripture That Proves Its Divine Authority? (The Bible Code) Next Section →
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