Is everything in the Bible true? The answer is a definitive, NO!!! Yes, that’s right, NO!!! Not everything in the Bible is true. I know shocking. If you are prone to religious hysteria your blood pressure is already rising and your thinking about how a Bible teacher could possibly give such an answer. Thoughts of heresy, false doctrine and accusation of being of a reprobate mind may already be streaming through your head. The reason a Bible teacher could give an answer like that is because it is absolutely true and anyone who believes the Bible will attest to the validity of the statement. To believe the Bible you must believe what it reveals about itself. Now do not misunderstand, the Bible is absolutely truthful. It is absolutely truthful in what it records regarding events, people, places, what was said and who said it. Let me share with you some examples.
After God had created Adam and Eve, Lucifer (Satan, the Devil) manifests himself to Eve as a serpent. He asks her about what God had said to them and then the scripture records his statement to her. “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:” (Gen. 3:4 KJV). This was a lie. It was not true. It is a truthful record of what the serpent said, but it was just not true. The Lord had told them, “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (Gen. 2:17 KJV). That day when Eve and then Adam ate of the fruit, they plunged their descendants into spiritual death and so physical death would also follow. The Apostle Paul in speaking of the unregenerate man refers to them as “dead in trespasses and sins;” (Eph. 2:1 KJV). He tells us in Adam all die. In Romans 5:12 Paul tells us, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” So, you see, what the serpent said in the Bible is not true, although it is a truthful account of what he said.
Wicked King Ahab of Israel wanted Jehoshaphat, the King of Judah to go to battle with him at Ramothgilead against the Syrians, but Jehoshaphat was hesitant to go up unless they enquired of the Lord first. All of Ahab’s prophets had told him that if he went up to battle at Ramothgilead that he would be victorious. (2 Chr. 18:11 KJV) “And all the prophets prophesied so, saying, Go up to Ramothgilead, and prosper: for the LORD shall deliver it into the hand of the king.” They lied to him. What they told him was not true. The Lord revealed through the Lord’s prophet what was going on. (2 Chr. 18:22 KJV) “Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil against thee.” Ahab believed the lying spirit in the mouth of his own prophets and was killed in battle even though he had disguised himself and had Jehoshaphat dress in his robes. The enemy had instructed their soldiers to kill Ahab the King of Israel, but when their soldiers pursued Jehoshaphat, thinking he was the king of Israel, the Lord helped him and they realized it wasn’t the king. One of the enemy soldiers haplessly shot an arrow into the air and it struck Ahab between the shoulder blades. He would die that day and not see victory. Now, the Bible’s record is a truthful account of what happened and what was said, but what the prophets of Ahab told him was a lie. It was not the truth, even though it’s in the scriptures.
Jeroboam, the king of Judah, was hosting a feast and offering up sacrifices to false idols. The Lord sent a young prophet to deliver a message to Jeroboam with specific instructions. Jeroboam tries to get him to stay and the prophet tells him the specific instructions that the Lord had given him. (1 Kings 13:8–9 KJV) “I will not go in with thee, neither will I eat bread nor drink water in this place: For so was it charged me by the word of the LORD, saying, Eat no bread, nor drink water, nor turn again by the same way that thou camest.” As the young prophet was leaving town he happened to stop to rest under an oak tree, and an old prophet came riding up to him. The old prophet invited him to his house to eat. The young prophet told the old prophet what the Lord had told him, so he couldn’t go with him. But then the old prophet responded. ”He said unto him, I am a prophet also as thou art; and an angel spake unto me by the word of the LORD, saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water. But he lied unto him.” (1 Kings 13:18 KJV). The old prophet lied. What he said was not the truth. He actually lied about what the Lord had said. Now, the Bible is truthful in it’s record of the account and what was said, however, what was said was not true. It was a lie. Someone can truthfully say that the Bible contains lies and they would be correct. Even as I say that, I am certain that the overly spiritual brethren are recoiling in their seats for such a statement to be uttered.
Let me give you one more example and this one I think is very important because it demonstrates you have to be careful in quoting scripture. If the scripture you quote records something someone said and it was not true, it still is not true even if you quote it as scripture. In the Book of Job, we have recorded some events in the life of Job when the Lord allowed Satan to put Job to the test. Part of that test was for Job to listen to the counsel of his three friends. They went on verse after verse explaining to Job why he was in the situation he was in and instructing Job about the Lord. For thirty-seven chapters this continued, as Job tried to make sense of what was happening to him and defending himself against the berating of his “friends” as they sought to instruct Job about what God was like. Finally, in chapter 38 the Lord decides enough is enough. (Job 38:1–2 KJV) “Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?” Can you imagine? Job’s friends had said a lot of things about God in those thirty-seven chapters. But the Lord’s summation of what they said was, “words without knowledge.” This is an important lesson that even though some people talk about God, it doesn’t mean they know what they are saying. So, the Lord finally decides he’d speak for a while in chapters 38, 39, 40, 41, and 42. And when he was done talking with Job, he turned his attention to Job’s friends. “And it was so, that after the LORD had spoken these words unto Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath.” (Job 42:7 KJV). The Lord’s testimony was that what they had spoken about the Lord, was not right. It was not true. Yes, the Bible contains a truthful account of the events and what was spoken. However, the things that Job’s friends said regarding God were not right. Can you see how you would need to be careful using verses found in the book of Job about the Lord to be sure what was said is right?
I could give more examples where the Bible, the scriptures, reveal that not everything in the Bible is true. So if you are a Bible believer, you must believe what the Bible reveals about itself and that not everything recorded in the Bible is true, even though it is truthful. Yes, the Bible is absolutely truthful, but it records many statements that are not true at all. Knowing that people often mis-represent God and say things that are not right about him or they even put words in God’s mouth, but they’re not being truthful should be a wake up call. This is why it is so important to be a student of the word of God and not just quote scripture lest you find yourself quoting the scriptures that are the untrue statements that have been recorded in the Bible as if they were true.