Question: Recently, I have been reading a number of books on the Bible that seem to question whether it was really written by God. I am eager to learn as much as I can, but I want to avoid false teaching in the process. What is the best way to proceed?
Response: I think it is admirable that you are being careful about what and whom to believe; we Christians are exhorted by our Lord to be harmless as doves, yet shrewd as serpents when it comes to the clever deceitfulness of the devil and his servants (Matt.10:16; cf. Rom.16:19; 1Cor.14:20). On the issue of writings which question the veracity and accuracy of the Holy Scriptures, I can only say, "have faith - all your questions will be answered if you persist in trusting God".
One of the problems is that all these fine critics of the Bible often do not have a clue about what the Bible really is - the Word of God. I study from the Greek and Hebrew, with a knowledge of the history, culture and society that produced these sacred writings and from a firm base of orthodox systematic theology. Without any one of these three elements, even the true seeker of God is bound to run into many questions and difficulties for which he/she has no immediate answer. God understands this - He wants us to persevere in our search, trusting in Him that it all DOES make sense, that it all DOES work, that there really are NO inconsistencies, when the day comes when we see it all clearly. This takes much work and much study; for those without the gift of teacher, it also takes the patience and humility to locate someone to help with the languages, history and theology. But if we do stick with it, God does provide answers, not only to the questions we have now, but to even more important questions that do not even occur to us to ask at this present moment. If we want to follow Jesus, be like Jesus, and serve Jesus, we have to walk as He walked - in truth. Truth is found in only one place: the Bible. Just as Jesus studied, memorized, and, most importantly, understood and BELIEVED scripture, so we too must make the Bible our number one priority, that is, understanding it, believing it, and walking according to those beliefs, if we would grow spiritually and be the kind of servants our Master wants us to be. This is an involved subject, and I invite you have a look at the Peter's Epistles series which is largely dedicated to the goal of spiritual growth. Please see the link: Peter's Epistles. You may also find some of the following links helpful:
Read your Bible: Protection against Cults
Walking the Path of Faith
How Can we Know that the Bible is True?
How can we know whose interpretation of the Bible is right (Part 2)?
How can we know whose interpretation of the Bible is right (Part 1)?
Yours in Christ,