The Bible has made a profound influence on my life. I have no doubt that I would be completely different if it weren't for the reading, studying, and teaching of the Bible.
While that may make you think I am biased on the subject, I have to be honest in say that I still have struggled with the Bible quite a bit over the course of my life. I've wrestled with many of the questions that all of us wrestle with.
So in response to this, we will take some time to wrestle with this question - can we trust the Bible? God makes it clear in His Word (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:16, 21) that we can trust His Word as it was presented in the Scriptures, but it's one thing to say that the Bible is the Word of God based what is written inside it. It's a completely different thing to say we can trust the Bible is the Word of God based on outside evidence!
We can trust the Bible based on more than just the Bible.
Let's take a look at eight realities concerning God's Word. (Thanks Harold Wilmington for pointing these out!)
- The Bible has amazing unity. From Genesis to Revelation, it is all unified. It cycles all the way through time as we know it and is still unified. Now, consider that this unity has occurred over 1,500 years, written by some 40 men of some 19 different vocations from various geographical locations utilizing different languages and a plethora of writing styles.
- The Bible is indestructable. It has suffered a number of different persecutions and yet still stands. When Diocletian thought he had destroyed every Bible in the Roman empire, only to find that there were plenty still hidden, it survived political persecution. When the Catholic church tried to keep it from being put in a language everyone could read, persecuting translators, yet still is readable today, it survived religious persecution. When multiple historians, artists, and political pundits tried to say it wouldn't last, it survived philosophical persecution.
- The Bible is historically accurate. Archaeology has helped us determine how immensely accurate the Bible's history is. The Garden of Eden is confirmed since it has been long established that the Tigris-Euphrates River Valley was considered the "cradle of civilization. Many non-Hebrew historical accounts share the records of the fall of man. Sodom and Gomorrah were confirmed by relics found in the southeast corner of the Dead Sea revealing a dense population ending abruptly around 2000 BC by earthquake and explosion. The Walls of Jericho were discovered to have fallen outward away from the city, which proves only God could have done it since an attack would have surely made the walls fall inside the city. Etc.
- The Bible is scientifically accurate. Consider that the Bible confirmed the earth is a sphere around 700 BC in Isaiah 40:22, yet most held that the earth was flat until the 1400s AD. Consider also the Bible confirmed that the earth is suspended in space around 1500 BC in Job 26:7; scientists didn't agree upon this until Sir Isaac Newton pushed the idea in 1687 AD. Also, the Bible shared that the life of the flesh is in the blood in Leviticus 17:11, yet blood letting plagued mankind all the way up to the 1800s AD.
- The Bible's prophecies have come true! Over 3,200 Scriptures contain fulfilled prophecies that have concerned Israel, various other nations, specific cities, and particular individuals.
- The Bible has influenced humanity's direction. Consider that Western civilization was founded directly on Scripture. Our world calendar and most holidays stem from the Bible. It has impacted fine art - literature, paintings, music. The law of the Western world stems from the Bible. Early attempts of governing forms such as the English common law, the Bill of Rights, the Magna Carta, and our own Constitution are all rooted in the Ten Commandments.
- The Bible is completely honest. It does not sugar coat the unfortunate realities of sin, nor does it hide some of the more difficult truths of our faith. It is not a sales pitch, but truth.
- The Bible transforms lives. The early Christians were willing to die for it. Millions upon millions of people have professed faith in Christ including simple sinners, criminals, murderers, proponents of other religions, and the faith's staunchest opponents! It has even transformed my life.
SO HOW SHOULD WE RESPOND TO THE BIBLE IN RESPONSE TO THIS?
- Have it!
- Read it!
- Study it!
- Hear it!
- Live it!