Who do you trust? Does the list include yourself? The other day, I was in a conversation with several friends discussing which TV network could be trusted for correct reporting of the news. Eventually, the chatter drifted to which politician did we trust, and then which sportscaster, weatherman, etc. Like the old saying goes, “I don’t trust anyone but you and me, and sometimes I wonder about you and me!”
There was a time when clergy and presidents headed the list of the most trusted people in America. In the 60’s, many polls listed President John F. Kennedy, Billy Graham, and Astronaut Buzz Aldrin as the most trusted Americans. But a recent poll by Reader’s Digest and The Wagner Group discovered that the top three people Americans trusted most were Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock, and Denzel Washington. Actors. How can you trust an actor?
I am a book guy. Reading has been a passion since my childhood. It was in my later teens when I realized that just because something was in a book, that did not make it true. All books are categorized as either fiction or non-fiction. Books of fiction present information that is made-up by the author. However, books of non-fiction are supposed to be factual, but often are not as they appear.
Non-fiction books are assumed to contain information that can be verified and documented. But that is not always true. As an example, a biography of Mickey Mouse may be listed as non-fiction, it is probably fiction because Mickey is a fictional character. Still with me?
So, the question is, where can we go for the truth? How can we find what is entirely correct and totally factual, as opposed to what is made-up or partially fiction? We want that which is equal to sworn testimony in court that requires a witness to “tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help me God.”
Can we trust books of law to be truthful, accurate, and complete? I asked several attorneys what book of law they would recommend that would be the most precise. While several books were suggested, they all mentioned the Dictionary by Henry Campbell Black that was originally published in 1891.
At the library, I obtained the eighth edition of Black’s Law Dictionary. On page xiii, I discovered that Law dictionaries have a centuries-old tradition of apologizing in advance for errors, mistakes, and omissions! In his law dictionary in 1732, Jacob Giles apologized for any errors in his book by saying, “Where there is great variety of learning and abundant quantity of nice matter, with the utmost care, there must be some faults and failings to be pardoned by the reader.”
If you cannot trust the books of law, where do you turn? The Bible! I believe in the inerrancy (lack of error) of the Word of God. The Scriptures, both the Old and New Testaments, are verbally inspired of God, and are the revelation of God to man, the infallible (incapable of error), authoritative rule of faith and conduct (2 Timothy 3:15-17; 2 Peter 1:21).
Nowhere in the Bible will you find an apology for any discovered mistakes. Indeed, consider Psalm 12:6 (NIV) – “And the words of the LORD are flawless, like silver purified in a crucible, like gold refined seven times.” In the Hebrews 5:12 (ESV), “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
Sir Isaac Newton said, “There are more sure marks of authenticity in the Bible than in any profane history.” Trust God’s Word and live. Read God’s Word and live in victory.