Refuting aspersions cast on biblical integrity.
Instances which cause the most exasperation for Christians at every level of spiritual maturity are often those which stem from assaults on the historicity and authenticity of Scripture. There are a myriad of new-fangled, scholarly hypotheses which propose to explain the differences in style and structure that exist within the biblical texts, specifically those which constitute the Pentateuch, by the presence of multiple archaic sources which were then edited to produce the Scriptures as they now appear. However, as one examines these theories, one quickly recognizes the biases in which these hypotheses are formulated, precipitating doubt in or even departure from the “faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” (Jude 1:3)
One of the primary ways in which Christians are able to refute such biblical aspersions is by noting the apparent fragility of arguments held by those who refuse to accept traditional scriptural authorship, let alone inspiration. For example, those who hold to the Documentary Hypothesis (DH) of the Pentateuch contend for a view of those texts which is tenuous at best. Proponents of the DH have consistently “lacked consensus . . . as to the nature, extent and relative dating of the sources,” notes D. W. Baker in his article on “Source Criticism.”1 That there is debate and disagreement on the antiquity and validity of the sources themselves ought to indicate what drives theories such as the DH — namely, human wisdom over and above the authority and sovereignty of God.
The attempt to undermine Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch is a thinly veiled referendum of disbelief in the veracity of Scripture and one’s responsibility in light of it. Such skepticism reveals the intellectual snobbery by which some endeavor to evade the truth of God’s Word as a whole, vaulting human expertise above divine power. But as the apostle Paul succinctly avers, “Let God be true, even though everyone is a liar.” (Rom 3:4) The Christian’s confidence in Scripture ought to be derived from a firmly held belief that God is absolutely sovereign in and authoritative over the delivery of his Word to his children. Man’s explanations, then, are merely excuses to oppose God himself.
D. W. Baker, “Source Criticism,” Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch, edited by T. Desmond Alexander and David W. Baker (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2003), 804.