Why believe the Bible?
"Prove all things; hold fast that which is good."
1 Thessalonians 5:21
THE BIBLE CANNOT BE PROVED FALSE!
All the developments of modern thought and technology have combined to establish that the Bible records are true. Many enemies of the Bible, including some very clever men, have tried to prove it wrong, but they have all failed. Since truth cannot contradict itself, we should naturally expect the Word of God to be in harmony with observable scientific knowledge.
A further evidence of the authority of the Bible is the way in which it has been preserved over the centuries. The Bible has withstood every effort of man to overthrow it. It has been suppressed and withheld from the common people; whole editions of it have been burned and many books have been written in attempts to disprove it. No other book has been subjected to such continuous and determined opposition: the Bible still stands, immovable and unconquerable.
The great antiquity of the Bible, its preservation and influence upon the human race, are factors which cannot be ignored. The evidences of archaeological discoveries by such people as Rawlinson, Layard, Smith, Woolley and Kenyon, in Egypt, Nineveh, Assyria, Babylon, Ur, Syria, Lebanon and Israel are all striking confirmations of the truth of Bible history. Exhibits in museums all over the world clearly demonstrate this. The inscriptions of nations which fought against Israel confirm the Bible accounts both of events and of ancient customs and local habits. Present-day archaeology continues to add material supporting our reasons for believing the truth of the whole Bible.
Even the criticisms relating to the care taken by the Jewish copyists of the original writings are discounted with the discovery of ancient manuscripts. The remarkable discovery in 1947 of the Dead Sea Scrolls has provided yet more valuable evidence of the accuracy of the Bible. These manuscripts are some of the earliest available, dating back to the second century B.C. Despite their age, the slight variations that do occur are only in respect of spelling and do not affect the doctrine, prophecy or historical facts.
So the work of the archaeologist confirms in a remarkable way the truth and reliability of the Bible and thus, indirectly, that it is the production of Divine inspiration.
PROPHECY PROVES THE BIBLE TRUE
God himself has chosen prophecy as a great proof of His infinite superiority over all other beings (Isaiah 46:9-10; Isaiah 42:9).
The Bible speaks from time to time of events that would come to pass hundreds of years later. In Matthew 2 it is recorded that the wise men came to Jerusalem and asked, "Where is he that is born King of the Jews?" When Herod asked the chief priests this question, they at once replied, "In Bethlehem of Judaea" because hundreds of years before it had been prophesied in one of the books of the Old Testament (Micah 5:2).
In addition to prophecies about Jesus Christ, there are many relating to ancient nations and, in particular, to the Jews. Many of the ancient nations have disappeared from world affairs, but the Bible said that the Jews would survive. The Jewish people still survive today in spite of many efforts to destroy them (Jeremiah 30:10-11). If the Bible had been of mere human production, at any time in history such a declaration could have been found false. The Jews are still with us today with their own state, Israel, and its capital city, Jerusalem, now in their complete control.
The Bible gives us the reasons for these facts. This is a powerful proof that the Bible is Divinely inspired and therefore infallible.
SUMMARY OF SOME OF THE REASONS FOR BELIEVING THE BIBLE TO BE INSPIRED
- The unity of its message in spite of the number of writers who wrote over a great period of time.
- Its miraculous preservation.
- The evidence of the discoveries of the archaeologist.
- The fulfilment of Bible prophecies - (see Prophecy).
CONDITIONS TO BE MET
If we are to understand the Bible, Jesus said we must become teachable as little children, Matthew 11:25. We must want to find out for ourselves the truth and wisdom of God's Word (Proverbs 2:3-6). We must believe that God will reward us in our search (Hebrews 11:6).We must be willing to bring our lives into harmony with God's commandments.
Jesus said, "If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them" (John 13:17) and, "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 7:21). The Apostle Paul wrote, "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling" (Philippians 2:12).