Do you believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God, or are you a “liminal” believer? That is, someone like the man with the demon-possessed son? 

Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

Mark 9:24 (NIV)

We see in the verse a person whose belief in the power of God is moving from a state of unbelief to a state of belief. I argue that such a person believes but doesn’t know it yet. Otherwise, what would be the point in asking to overcome his unbelief? If I ask the Lord to help me, I must believe that he can and will help me. Right? After all, I don’t pray to anything or anyone else and expect them to help me. Do I? Yet, some people “spread” their hopes and prayers around. Such people are double-minded and unstable in everything they do. They shouldn’t expect to receive anything from the Lord. 

I see a difference between a liminal believer and someone who knows their belief to be true. All of us struggle with doubt and fear. Even if those struggles last only a moment, they are there, and if you’re willing to admit to that, fantastic! It’s terrific because it’s a sign of maturity in Christ. I wonder about someone who claims to have never had any doubt or fear since they’ve been saved.

While we’ve all struggled with doubt and fear, there’s doubt and fear and unbelief. Unbelief: an area where one might doubt the word of God. The inerrancy of the Bible. That, when you pick up your Bible and read it, some of the Scripture might not be the inspired word of God. Someone else put those words into the Bible, and that’s why they are there. 

While reading the seventh chapter of John today, there’s a note right before John 7:53 that tells me John 7:53-8:11 aren’t in “many of the ancient witnesses.” Indeed, some verses from John 7:53-8:11 are included in other manuscripts in different places, such as after John 7:36, John 21:25, Luke 21:38, or Luke 24:53 (NIV). This isn’t anything new to me. Every time I read through John, I see the same note, and often, I’ve explored them as I did today. 

I thought about writing about John 7:53-8:11. I thought about why the story of the adulterous woman not being condemned by Jesus is important. I thought about explaining why those notes are there, why some people say those verses shouldn’t be in the Bible, and why others say they should. If you’re interested in reading those arguments, nothing stops you from searching for them online. They are everywhere, and the arguments on both sides are very compelling!

However, amongst all of the arguments about why or why not those verses should or shouldn’t be in the Bible, I didn’t read one that covers “my reasoning.” Those verses are in my Bible. In fact, amongst the 27 different Bible translations, I daily consult, not one of them doesn’t have John 7:53-8:11 in them. Except for the Good News Translation that moves John 7:53 to John 8:1. I searched online for a reference to a Bible translation that doesn’t have those verses in them and found little except for references to the ancient texts that don’t contain them. 

Hence my argument. If those verses are in every Bible translation available to me right now, then that is God’s will. While some translations print those verses in special text or have footnotes or brackets explaining they might not be authentic, they wouldn’t be there if they weren’t supposed to be there. However, this is where I return to my original question.

Do you believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God, or are you a liminal believer? 

My concern is that there might be people on the fence. Liminal believers who have not been wholly persuaded that the word of God is perfect and true. If such a person turns to the Bible, believing that 99% of it is authentic, that’s not good enough. Although Paul was talking about anger in Ephesians 4, he had this to say.

And do not give the devil a foothold.

Ephesians 4:27 (NIV)

Anything less than a Bible that is 100% true provides a foothold where doubt about the sovereignty of God can creep in, and anyone pointing out that the original manuscripts, which have been unavailable for a thousand years or more, are unflawed and the actual word of God, where the “copies” we have today are not, is feeding the flames of doubt that linger in the hearts and minds of those who are liminal in their belief. Furthermore, such a heretical ideology is dangerous to all who have yet to believe. 

Such is the reason why I made the time today to write about John 7:53-8:11. When I told the Lord I wasn’t as educated as those I’ve read today and that I couldn’t explain it very well, he put it on my heart to write what you have read today. Hopefully, I have done justice to what the Lord gave to me. Thank you for stopping by.

Do you know God? God knows you, and he loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, and he wants you to know him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, freed from death, and live eternally with him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that you died on the cross, were buried, and on the third day, God the Father raised you from the dead. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart and receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.