LIVE@5 – Friday, May 6, 2022

John 20:30–31; John 21:24–25 (NKJV)

30 And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.

John 20:30-31

24 This is the disciple who testifies of these things, and wrote these things; and we know that his testimony is true.
25 And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen.

John 21:24-25

These verses may not contain historical or narrative data for the reader, but they tell a great truth. Scholars have identified many literary genres in the Bible. The history of Israel, the poetry of David and others in the psalms, the narrative of the book of Acts, all examples of known or accepted types of writing. However, the gospels have puzzled scholars until they came up with a brand new genre: the gospels. The first four books of the New Testament as we have them in the canon of Scripture are not just history or narrative, but are something beyond that. They do not attempt to provide and exhaustive account of the life of Christ, but rather are a book of faith, a salvation history if history, good news if reporting, and spiritual stories if narrative.

Because of these distinctions, some have criticized the gospels (or the Bible as a whole) for omissions and presumed inconsistencies, declaring them to be books of contradiction and legend. However, the Bible, and especially the gospels, is not designed to be a book of exacting history, but a book of salvation history. It is a book of faith rather than a book of facts. We do not see a travelogue of every act of Christ. We do not have a record of the Twitter log of each disciple. The Bible was never meant to be exhaustive, but rather representative of the core teachings and exemplary of the miracles and demonstrations of Jesus’ power on earth. In that goal, the Bible is full and rich and perfect. There is no need for any other record. We have what we need to believe. The perceived inconsistencies are due to looking at the Bible through literary eyes rather than through the eyes of faith. There is so much to know about God, so many events that may have happened in the three years of His ministry about which we may never hear. But that is okay. God breathed the word so that we might believe. When men attempt to dissect and examine God, the mind of man cannot comprehend the ways of God. It is not ours to master the knowledge of God. It is ours to embrace the knowledge of God, and believe.

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