Skeptics Annotated Bible A Response

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#48 - Should we believe everything?

Response by Dave Marr

The skeptic's hesitancy:

We should believe everything.
"Believeth all things." 1 Corinthians 13:7

We should believe only when the evidence warrants belief.
"The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going." Proverbs 14:15
"Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." 1 Thessalonians 5:21

Essentially, 1 Thess. 5:21 is the correct approach for believers in Jesus when confronted with new information. In this verse, “things” pertains to all knowledge. Yet, generally, “things” is a non-descript, vague word that depends on the context in order to extract its meaning. Such is the case with the mention of “things” in 1 Cor. 13:7. Chapter 13 is a book which describes Christian charity, or love. The passage is directing a believer on how to love from the vantage point of their faith. The whole of verse 7 is: “Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.”

In this verse, we can see that there are different types of “things”. “Things” in the case of “beareth” and “endureth” means “trials”. That doesn’t then mean that we must “believeth all trials”. That doesn’t make much sense; trials happen to us directly and visibly- only the insane would not believe that they are happening to them. Therefore, another meaning for “things” exists in this verse.

In order to find it, we must use our usual method of interpretation, and back up a verse to get a better context. Here is verse 6[speaking of charity]: “Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;” From this passage, Christian charity “rejoices in the truth”. Thus, Christian love is rooted in the love of the truth. If all of Chapter 13 pertains to a true faith in Jesus Christ, as I stated above, then “believeth all things” and “hopeth all things” accurately translates as “believeth all things of the faith” and “hopeth all things of the faith”, just as we are to “endureth all things pertaining to the faith”. As previously expressed, this believing and hoping stems from a spirit of rejoicing in the “truth” = the Gospel message. 1 Corinthians 13 is speaking to Christians who were already grounded in the knowledge of God, but they needed some help expressing God’s love through Christ.


Response by Wendell Leahy

This is basically a philosophical question....... I like to use this example:

Knowledge brings belief.....
Belief brings faith...
Faith brings Wisdom and Understanding....