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Why Should I Believe The Bible?

Isn't the Bible just made up stories and moral teachings? Why do people think it is a message from God? What does an ancient book mean to people in modern times?

These are fair questions, in fact God expects you to ask questions, otherwise you could believe anything, including the wrong thing. Jesus said, "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened." (Matthew 7:7-8) If Jesus gave us permission to ask and search, let’s do it!

If the Bible is a supernatural book that came from God, it must be correct and consistent. Anything that is correct and consistent should be easy to test. Here is a simple test: if the Bible is correct about the Earthly things it discusses (things we can verify), that should give us confidence about the spiritual things it discusses (things we can’t test in a lab). Then we can discuss evidence to go from confidence in spiritual things, to believing.

Verifying Earthly Things Discussed In The Bible

History: The Bible is full of details, historical details. So much so, that readers might wonder why they are there. But to an investigator, details are the means by which history can be verified. For example, Genesis Chapter 14 records a battle between four kings from the Persian Gulf area with five kings in the land of Canaan, where the patriarch Abraham lived. The details of this campaign found in the Bible, including the names these kings, such as Amraphel, have proved to be a source of confirmation for the book of Genesis. In fact, “For quite a few years, the critical, radical scholars rejected this, saying that these men’s names do not appear in secular history at all and this is a rather ridiculous story. But did you know that the names of these kings have been found on monuments and tablets, showing that they did exist? In fact, Amraphel is now known to be the Hammurabi of other secular history.”1

The fallacy of assuming that people and nations mentioned in the Bible were fictional unless they were mentioned in non-Biblical sources, has fooled a lot of people. However, thanks to archeology, many civilizations that were lost to recorded history outside of the Bible have been rediscovered. For example, the Bible mentions a powerful people called Hittites who were lost to the world and unknown for thousands of years except for the Biblical text. In 1906 Hugo Winckler, the German archeologist, discovered the remains of the mighty Hittite capital, complete with a library and tablets with details about the lost civilization.2 Many such discoveries have caused serious scholars to dismiss as a silly notion the idea that the Bible did not record actual history.

Science: Even though the Bible is not a textbook on science, since it is supernatural, it should be accurate when it speaks of scientific things. In fact, the Bible has been correct long before science was capable of knowing it. Here are some examples:

... 1) The English physician, William Harvey, discovered the full circulation of blood in the human body in the 17th century.3 Yet the Bible recorded thousands of years before, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” (Proverbs 4:23)

... 2) Many people are familiar with the old idea of the flat earth. Well that did not come from the Bible. In fact the Bible declared the Earth was round. “It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.” (Isaiah 40:22) Did you notice the second half of that verse? It states that God stretches out the heavens (or space). Scientists have told us today that the universe is expanding—exactly what the Bible said!

... 3) A final example of the Bible providing new scientific knowledge for us is found in the book of Psalms. It mentions things “that pass through the paths of the seas.” (Psalm 8:8b) How can there be a path in water? Matthew F. Maury, an American Naval Officer of the 19th century, “believed if God said there were paths in the seas, it should be possible to find them.”4 Maury examined ships logs from around the world and discovered the paths in the seas—the ocean currents. He is recognized as the founder of the modern sciences of hydrography and oceanography because he took God at His Word!5

Dr. J. Vernon McGee summarized thoughts about the Bible and Science when he said, “In the Book of Proverbs (and this can be said of the entire Bible) you will find no unscientific or inaccurate observation.”6

Prophecy: One of the most convincing evidences for believing the Bible is its prophecies that have been fulfilled. God even told people to use prophecies as a test for His messengers. “When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.” (Deuteronomy 18:22) If you study Bible prophecy, you’ll find that God usually gave local and distant prophecies by the same messenger. That way the people who heard the local prophecy and saw it come true, would know that they could trust the distant prophecy as well. Here are some examples:

... 1) Prophecy of Cyrus: Isaiah the prophet lived in the 700s B.C. and foretold the coming of a great king. “Thus says the LORD to His anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have held—to subdue nations before him and loose the armor of kings, to open before him the double doors, so that the gates will not be shut.” (Isaiah 45:1) Cyrus the Great of Persia was born between 590 and 580 B.C., conquered, and ruled nations from the Aegean Sea to the Indus River.7 Lest you think the prophet made a lucky guess, he gave more specifics, “Who says of Cyrus, ‘He is My shepherd, and he shall perform all My pleasure, saying to Jerusalem, “You shall be built,” and to the temple, ‘Your foundation shall be laid.’” (Isaiah 44:28) This coming King Cyrus would give the orders for Jerusalem to be built and the foundation of the temple to be set. This prophecy was fulfilled when “Cyrus II, founder of the Achaemenian dynasty of Persia and conqueror of Babylonia, in 538 B.C. issued an order allowing exiled Jews to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple.”8

... 2) Prophecy of Babylon: Jeremiah predicted the destruction of Babylon and that it would never be inhabited again. “Because of the wrath of the LORD she shall not be inhabited, but she shall be wholly desolate. Everyone who goes by Babylon shall be horrified and hiss at all her plagues.” (Jeremiah 50:13) Jeremiah lived around 650 to 570 B.C. when Babylon was the capital of the most powerful empire in the world and his message was hard to believe. Yet his prophecy has been fulfilled—Babylon was destroyed and no one has lived there since.

... 3) Prophecy of Jerusalem: Jesus predicted that Jerusalem would be destroyed. “For days will come upon you [Jerusalem] when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.’” (Luke 19:43-44) This detailed prophecy was fulfilled when the Romans fought against Jerusalem in 70 A.D.

... 4) A prophecy by Jesus: Jesus prophecy about the destruction of Jerusalem and other events came true. So you can reasonably expect His future prophecies to come true. One that is still future is, “For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.” (Matthew 24:21:22) How can you prepare in case this happens during your lifetime? Only the Bible can tell you that…

This is a small sample of the Earthly evidences you can check for yourself which testify to the accuracy of the Bible and give confidence in it. So, how can you verify the Spiritual things the Bible discusses?

Spiritual Evidence For Believing The Bible

Transformed Lives: “Only the Bible can turn a sinner into a saint.”9 The Word of God has changed many people from miserable, selfish, or just plain evil individuals into people that you’d want as close friends in a time of crisis. If you go to any church that believes and teaches the Bible is God’s Word, you’ll find such people. Here are a few well known examples:

... 1) John Newton: “John Newton (1725-1807) sought lustful pleasures throughout his early life. He was also a man of extreme violence and was a ruthless slave-trader.”10 When he came to a point of misery, he called out to God for salvation. Today we remember John Newton as the writer of the famous hymn “Amazing Grace” because he was completely changed.

... 2) Chuck Colson: He was one of the most powerful men in America under President Richard Nixon, but after the Watergate Scandal, found himself in jail with common criminals. There he came to know Jesus as his Savior. Today “Chuck Colson no longer seeks power over other men. Currently, he not only spreads the gospel, but also leads the fight for prison reform throughout the world.”11

... 3) Franklin Graham: The son of the famous evangelist, Franklin turned into a rebel at a young age. He stated, “I just wanted to have fun drinking the beer, and going out to the parties, and running around with different girlfriends.”12 Things changed for him in 1974 after a talk with his father. “That night instead of going to the bar for a couple of beers, I found myself alone in my room reading through the gospel of John.”13 Franklin Graham has since spent many years helping the poor via the organization Samaritan’s Purse and is now proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus.

God making the Bible real to You: You’ve seen the evidence that the Bible is a supernatural book. What is left to prove to you that it is God’s Word? God Himself must make the Bible real to you. Ask Him to show you that the Spiritual claims of the Bible are true, that it is His Book. He will take you from simply knowing facts about the Bible to being able to believe the Bible. As one writer said, "O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man who trusts in Him." (Psalm 34:8) Give God a chance, you have nothing to lose.

The evidence shows the Bible is a book of actual historical events. That’s nice, but why should you believe what the Bible says about spiritual things? The Book speaks for itself, “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name." (John 20:30-31) Believe the Bible because it tells you of Jesus and offers eternal life through Him. It is how you get to know God and how God speaks to you.

1 McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee, Vol. 1, Thomas Nelson, Inc. Nashville, Tennessee, p.63.
2 “Hugo Winckler”, (2009), Encyclopedia Britannica Online, http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/644954/Hugo-Winckler
3 “William Harvey”, (2009), Encyclopedia Britannica Online, http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/256397/William-Harvey
4,5 Morris, Henry M., Men of Science Men of God, Great Scientists Who Believed the Bible, Master Books, El Cajon, California, p.49.
6 McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee, Vol. 3, Thomas Nelson, Inc. Nashville, Tennessee, p.20.
7 “Cyrus II”, (2009), Encyclopedia Britannica Online, http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/148758/Cyrus-II
8 “Temple of Jerusalem (Judaism)”, (2009), Encyclopedia Britannica Online, http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/302895/Temple-of-Jerusalem#ref27389
9 McGee, Vol. 1, p.xii.
10,11 http://www.biblicaldefense.org/Writings/transformed_lives.htm
12,13 http://www.cnn.com/CNN/Programs/people/shows/graham/profile.html

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