Is the Old Testament reliable?

Do you think the Old testament consists of historical facts or fictional stories? Indeed, it’s not easy to believe that these stories in the Old Testament are historical story because these stories have a lot of miracles that we cannot see nowadays such as: The huge Ark of Noah and the deluge, the giant Goliath was killed by a young boy David, Israel went through the Dead Sea,… So to answer the question, I want to you to know these things:

The Old Testament is a part of Israel’s history – a real people and still alive in the world.

We can see all the stories that had been written in the Old Testament are about Israel. And because of that, we can find these stories are a part of Israel’s history. Israel is a real nation on the earth. Moreover, The Old Testament was copied very carefully. It means nobody could add something in or remove something out. We can know the process of copying the Old Testament by Jewish scribes following this link: http://www.scottmanning.com/content/process-of-copying-the-old-testament-by-jewish-scribes. Therefore, the Old Testament that we read today is the Old Testament that was written in the beginning.

The Old Testament had been quoted by Jesus and His disciples in the New Testament.

According to “New Testament Use of the Old Testament,” in Revelation and the Bible ed. Carl F.H.Henry, we know that Jesus and the New Testament authors, who were Jesus’s disciple, quote various parts of the Old Testament over 295 times. [(London: Tyndale Press, 1959), pp.137-41].

Nevertheless, we may believe that Jesus was Jewish and others in the Old Testament also were Jewish who were the ancient Jewish at that time. But we don’t believe that these stories in the Old Testament are true. So maybe the Jewish just pretended and wrote their thoughts and they became a big story, a myth. The question with that perspective is why all the predicts of the prophets in the Old Testament became true and how can the Jewish thought that they will be destroyed by other nations instead of talking about a good vision for their country? How can a mythical book affect a lot of people who read it and even change their life through many centuries in many countries? Why would many people die to protect their beliefs from the myth book?…

In conclusion, through the things above I think you know my answer to the first question. The Old Testament or the whole Bible is the greatest book ever written in the world that you should try at least one time in your life to read. And I just want to remind you that we are so small to the universe to understand happened or what is happening in the world. In the same way, you cannot understand God who revealed Himself through the authors in the book by your thought. Don’t try to understand all that is beyond your reaching.

 

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Is studying theology still relevant today?

When many companies started to appear in Vietnam, at that time accounting major become a “hot major.” Because of that, so many candidates decided to study accounting. But later on, when they realized that accountants were jobless and so many foreign companies needed translator. Many candidates decided to study English. Therefore the candidates will choose a major that they think they can get a job after graduation. In other words, they will follow a major that is still relevant at that time. How about theology major? Is studying theology still relevant today?

I think to answer the question: “is studying theology still relevant today?” we need to know what is theology and why we should study theology?

What is theology?

Just searching on google we will see so many definitions about theology from many sources. The longest theology definition is from Webster’s dictionary:”The science of God or of religion; the science which treats of the existence, character, and attributes of God, his laws and government, the doctrines we are to believe, and the duties we are to practice. . . the science of Christian faith and life.” And the shortest is from Millard Erickson, a modern Baptist theologian:“the study or science of God.” (Christian Theology [Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2001], 22). And according to theology’s name that comes from Greek, it simply means: “words about God” or “the study of God”.

Why we should study theology?

When we look at the universe, we may have a lot of questions about what did we see and even what we could not see but we can feel it. We may have a lot of questions about God who created the amazing world. Even nowaday, when science is developing, we still have something that science could not explain or could not reach to. In the other hand, we cannot know about God, his character or what do God want us to do or something like that just through science. Especially as a Christian, we want to understand and follow what Jesus told us in the beginning. But what will happen if we cannot distinguish right from wrong? What will we do if we ourselves face to someone who convinces us don’t believe in Trinity? What will we do if our disciple follow heresy and we don’t know how to explain clearly to them what is wrong in that heresy? What did Jesus tell us about these things in the Bible?…

We only can answer or understand these things when we study theology. Of course, theology also cannot show us all about God because how can we use a cup to measure an ocean.

In short, God never changes from the beginning to the end. And studying to know Him also never become obsolete because we need to know Him, to follow Him, and to keep our belief in God not for our job but for our life. Whenever we stop living we will stop studying about God.

Studying theology is still relevant today and tomorrow.

 

Expectations as I embark on a study systematic theology.

Jesus Christ is my beloved. Jesus Christ is my Savior. Jesus Christ is my best friend ever. My parents may forget me and my husband may stop loving me. A few years later, my children will have their own family. So my dear family may leave me behind or even hurt me. But my Lord will never leave me or hurt me. He is one that I really desire to learn deeply about Him. Like the lyrics of the song “I want to know you more,” one of my dreams has come true when I start to study systematic theology. That is also one of my expectations as I embark on a study on systematic theology.

Besides, I can answer some questions like: Who is the Holy Spirit? Is there a hell? How can we be saved? How should we treat each other? What does it mean to be called a righteous people? Where did the Bible come from? How has the Bible been written?… Furthermore, I want to know how I can live to fulfill his will in my life. I will have more knowledge about Trinity and another truth that the Lord revealed to us through His words so that I can realize some wrong doctrines that doctrines didn’t come from the Lord but from Satan. Nowadays, a lot of heresies appear with many doctrines that seem like the truth but actually not. We are close to the doomsday. That means we have to be more careful because apostle Paul already warned us about “hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.” (I Timothy 4:2). To answer these questions and to have that knowledge, my expectations will be sastisfile in systematic theology not in biblical theology. The human mind cannot help us find out these questions but the answers come from God’s revelation to us.

Let’s enjoy on systematic theology.