“First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world.” -Romans 1:8

It is a common argument among non-believers to cite that the Bible cannot be regarded as trustworthy due to how many people were responsible for its authorship. Current estimates state that the number of authors number somewhere around 40. According to their argument this necessarily means that the Bible is unreliable. I find this not to be the case at all. Rather, the more people the Bible had write it, due to the lack of contradiction, adds to its credibility. In fact, Hollywood can scarcely produce a sequel without some contradiction being evident in the overall story line. Sometimes these inconsistencies even occur in the same film. So with approximately 40 authors, the Bible should be full of such irreconcilable contradictions, but we find this not to be the case. If it was just written by man and not God-breathed, than we could indeed expect it to be. Therefore, it is clearly seen that God directed the pen of the authors of Scripture.

Note Mysterious, Unexplained T-Shirt Color Shift

This verse not only contains an exhortation to the church in Rome, but also shows us the important role Christ fills between us and the Father. Romans 1:8 states, “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you.” The statement, “through Jesus Christ,” shows us that Christ serves as the mediator between us and God, which is a point echoed in 1 Timothy 2:5, “For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Jesus Christ.”

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It’s an important thing to remember when reading the letters of Paul is that they are to specific churches. I only bring this up because it seems to be easily forgotten by some who find themselves particularly distracted by paradox. There is certainly plenty of paradox in the letters of Paul, but one would be wise to look to whom it is Paul is writing. Although the concrete truths of the gospel of Christ are contained throughout Paul’s letters, it’s helpful to remember Paul is also writing to a specific church and place, each with their own struggles, hindrances, and scope of focus.

Concerning the lack of technology in those times, one cannot help be amazed at how in touch Paul was with all the churches throughout the Mediterranean. Although he sometimes couldn’t visit due to God’s will for him to be elsewhere, he nevertheless was keenly aware of each church’s state and their trials. Again, with the lack of communication and technology, this in itself seems almost miraculous and reflection on this may provide a some perspective concerning church leadership.

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