Book review - Can I really trust the Bible, by Barry Cooper, published by The Good Book Company

Can I really trust the Bible is part of the Questions Christians Ask series of little books published by the Good Book Company. When I say little books, I mean that it has just 72 pages. This is not a major volume on the Inspiration and Authority of the Scriptures, but a little handbook for reading on the train, the bus or the tube.

But truth and helpfulness is not measured by the pound, and though the book is short it is very helpful. Using perhaps the slightly frivolous illustration of Winnie the Pooh examining a jar of honey to check if it the real thing, the book si divided into three parts :

1. Does the Bible claim to be God's word? (Does it say honey on the jar?)

Here he begins with a brief look at Psalm 19 and at 2 Timothy 3:15, before very helpfully considering Jesus' attitude to the Bible. "he is completely captivated by God's word. It is written, it is written, he says".

The book has small sections of information to describe the contents of the Bible, and also considers the object that to claim Biblical authority is a circular  argument by noting that finally all arguments that appeal to authority are circular, whether it is to reason, to religion, to anything.

2. Does the Bible seem the be God's word?

The Bible's amazing internal consistency is considered, along with fulfilled prophecy and the question of who decided on the Bible's content, the canon. This section ends with a helpful discussion of translations and transmission.

3. Does the Bible prove to be God's word?

This was my favourite section, especially for the illustration of the 7-year-old lad at Banstead Baths. It then ends with the story of Barry Cooper's conversion to Christianity, which involved a student worker who every week met to discuss a passage of the Bible with a somewhat bemused student. After some months of coffee and bible-focused chat Cooper had experienced the power of the Bible to transform his life.

It's not an academic book, though it covers most of the bases. It's rather a very helpful little book for those who are questioning, floundering, wondering or who simply want to help others think through their relationship with the Bible.

Buy a copy. In fact buy two. One to read then lend out and the other to give away.

I received this book free from the publisher in electronic format through the Cross Focused Reviews book review programme. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Oh yes - and it's a very nice shade of yellow :


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