Why do I believe in an ancient book that some say is a book of legends, myths, fables, and ancient history? Of what benefit or gain is it to me to say that I believe the Bible?
This same book has shaped the destiny of many people to a large degree, over many centuries of time, and it continues to do so today. And yet to many, it remains a book on the shelf, gathering dust. A book that is seldom opened, and a book without any relevance to today’s living.
But to me, that same book is vital, completely relevant to today: exposing the weaknesses of our present times, setting out the remedies for the world’s many ailments, and accurately forecasting the path of the future world to be established in the foreseeable future.
Why do I believe the Bible? For several reasons.
Because I believe that it is a book uniquely written by the inspiration of God. I have many reasons for believing this to be so, and I shall elaborate a little later on this aspect.
Because the Bible has a message that is an important one to us today, in establishing an honest, decent, caring, and pleasing lifestyle from which each one of us can benefit in real terms. A life style unaffected by the concerns around us of environmental catastrophe, global mismanagement, or threat of nuclear warfare.
Because the Bible has a message of the future: an assurance of a far, far better environment of the future, when all aspects of war, of violence, of fear, of moral decline will cease, and the world will be a perfect place to spend what would be an eternity of time.
On the first aspect, what is it that makes me believe that the Bible is a book with a true and vital message? Perhaps in common with many other people, I find that there is not just a single reason, but a number of reasons. Each reason in itself is able to provide sufficient evidence in itself in order to support the proposition that the Bible is truly believable, but the ability to gain these evidences from completely different starting points, considering completely different aspects, fuse together to re-inforce one’s confidence in the Bible. We need this confidence, for when we possess it, then the key to the Bible’s message is available to us, and we can benefit directly now, and infinitely more so in the future age to come. You see, if the Bible is just another book written by a variety of people, then it is limited by the knowledge and skills of those who wrote it. But if it can be demonstrated that the writers of the Bible had a higher source of information, then the relevance of their message becomes altogether vastly more important.
The Word of God.
It is true that the Bible claims to be the Word of God. It makes this claim in several ways:
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” 2 Timothy 3:16 [All quotations are from NIV unless otherwise stated.]
“For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” 2 Peter 1:21
But neither of these quotations prove that the Bible is the Word of God, as they are merely claims made in the Bible that the Bible is the Word of God.
Similarly, the Old Testament writers made the claim that God spoke to them, and they wrote what was demanded of them. On hundreds, perhaps thousands of occasions, the writers made exactly this claim.
Take, for instance, the prophet Ezekiel at the beginning of chapter 29:
“In the tenth year, in the tenth month on the twelfth day, the word of the Lord came to me: ‘Son of man, set your face against Pharaoh king of Egypt and prophecy against him and against all Egypt. Speak to him and say: “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: ” ‘ ” Ezekiel 29:1-3a
This again does not, in itself, contribute towards making the Bible believable: anyone would have been free to make a similar claim, and who would be able to refute it, especially a long time later?