CAN WE TRUST THE BIBLE?
This brief article is to show that the Bible is truly God's Word. It is a book inspired by God and passed down through the generations for us to read and learn more about God and how he relates to mankind. It tells the story of how a savior came down from heaven to live as a human so people can see what he is really like. He came to earth knowing he would have to die for our sins. Knowing of the cruel way he would have to die and how he would be treated before his death he came anyway. That is pure love.
But even with all of that going on in the Bible some people don't read it, and many don't believe in it at all. In fact some people have said some rather nasty things about the Bible over the years. To give you an example, the writer Thomas Paine said "Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and tortuous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we called it the word of a demon, than the word of God. It is a history of wickedness that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind; and, for my part, I sincerely detest it, as I detest anything that is cruel." Strong words from Paine, huh?
John Marco Allegro, a humanist professor and Hebrew language scholar said, "The Bible is a literary work - and not a religious or historical work. It's got to be accepted on that basis. If you can lay bare the real purpose behind the Old and New Testament stories, then the whole foundation of the church must be shattered. They'll have to think again. Figures like David and Solomon, Samson and Delilah, are just myths. The very possibility that Jesus ever existed is open to question."
Many people throughout the centuries have denied the Bible its rightful place in our society. So have you ever asked yourself, "What is the Bible? Why should I read it? Can I trust it?" Don't be ashamed if you have. It is not a bad thing to be skeptical sometimes. But, let me give you some evidence that I think is pretty impressive in favor of the Bible. Please consider the following points carefully.
*God speaks to people today through the Bible, motivating them to take some action or refrain from acting.
*In places it is possible to test its historical accuracy we find that the Bible is accurate. Archeologists have studied societies mentioned in the Bible and made comparisons with other sources and found that town names and places, tribal names, individual names, and customs all matched.
*The protestant Bible is actually 66 books written by many authors over a period of approximately 1500 years, but it all comes together beautifully as one book. If you think about it that is pretty amazing.
*Many things predicted in the Old Testament actually happened in the New Testament.
*Jesus quoted from the Old Testament and referred to it as scripture.
*Peter referred to the writings of Paul as scripture.
*But most of all the Holy Spirit speaks to my spirit and tells me it is trustworthy.
And if all that is not enough to convince you perhaps you will be impressed by some quotes from some pretty impressive people from the past.
It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible. --George Washington
I am profitably engaged in reading the Bible. Take all of this Book that you can by reason and the balance by faith, and you will live and die a better man. It is the best Book which God has given to man. --Abraham Lincoln
I have always said that a studious perusal of the sacred volume will make better citizens, better fathers, and better husbands. --Thomas Jefferson.
So great is my veneration for the Bible that the earlier my children begin to read it the more confident will be my hope that they will prove useful citizens of their country and respectable members of society. I have for many years made it a practice to read through the Bible once every year. --John Quincy Adams
The New Testament is the very best book that ever was or ever will be known in the world. --Charles Dickens
The existence of the Bible, as a book for the people, is the greatest benefit which the human race has ever experienced. Every attempt to belittle it is a crime against humanity. --Immanuel Kant
The Bible is no mere book, but a Living Creature, with a power that conquers all that oppose it. --Napoleon
The Bible is not an end in itself, but a means to bring men to an intimate and satisfying knowledge of God, that they may enter into Him, that they may delight in His Presence, may taste and know the inner sweetness of the very God Himself in the core and center of their hearts.-- A. W. Tozer
Personally I think all of this evidence is convincing, but I know some will never be convinced. How about you? You've seen evidence and heard from some famous and intelligent people from the past. They were totally impressed with the Bible. Can you call them fools? Were all those people mentioned above wrong? I could have given many more quotes from others but I believe I have stated enough evidence to make the case. Anyone still doubting after all this evidence cannot be convinced by words. But, perhaps the Spirit of God will still convince you someday. I pray that is the case.
I do acknowledge that nothing I've said here proves the Bible is the Word of God, and it does not prove it is infallible. No such proof exists, but neither can anyone prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that the Bible is useless and fake either. I suppose in the end it all comes down to faith. As I stated above, the Spirit of God has convinced my spirit that the Bible is a valuable resource for me to learn about him and to hear from him.
I try not to get into debates with anyone about the infallibility of the Bible. Some say it is perfect and some say it is totally a work of fiction or simply a literary work, but one thing I know for sure - God speaks to me through the Bible and I trust it for my guidance and inspiration. I accept it on faith because it seems right to me to do so. I realize not everyone can do that, but I believe those who God has chosen will realize sooner or later that the Bible is God's Word for us today. We can trust its words and concepts, its doctrines and lessons. We can draw closer to God through Bible study and prayer. Like Abe Lincoln said, "Take all of this book that you can by reason and the balance by faith, and you will live and die a better man." Well said, Abe, well said.