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If we lose the Bible we lose everything. Yes, God reveals Himself in nature, through innate knowledge, and our consciences, and yet it is through the Bible—special revelation—that God reveals Himself most fully. That is why we begin here in looking at some of the big apologetic issues of our day. If we lose the Bible, we lose Christianity.
But the great news is that we have every reason to believe and know that the Bible is God’s Word. Below I will give you five reasons to believe the Bible is God’s Word, and then ultimately come to know that it is. Of course this post is just touching on some of these truths so it is not at all exhaustive, but these truths can be used of God to help the doubting Christian or the seeker.
Reason one: Historical Reliability of the Bible
The first reason we can believe the Bible is because it is a book of reliable history.
Take for instance the third chapter of the gospel of Luke. Luke does not shy away from the historical setting, or simply overlook it because he is trying to write a “gospel” that appears historic but is not. He names people, places, and times which can be researched and seen in other histories. He writes
Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene, Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zachariah, in the wilderness (Luke 3:1-2).
Luke, like so much of the other parts of the Bible, is speaking about real history, and not only real history, but historical settings that can often be identified and known about through other sources.
The Bible’s reliability can also be seen through archaeology. There are so many finds that help support the Bible’s claim to being a reliable source of truth. Was there really an ancient Israel that existed at the times of the powerful reign of Egypt, the Egypt the Bible speaks of? Yes. The “Merneptah Stele,” also known as the “Israel Stele,” is a rock like figure that tells of pharaoh destroying the seed of Israel in Canaan. This is the oldest archaeological find where the name “Israel” is found, written in Egyptian, and dated to around 1210 B.C. This would be a period of time where Israel would have been in Canaan and over 200 years after they left Egypt. You have the “Tel Dan” inscription, also known as the “House of David” inscription, which speaks of one of the Aramean king’s victory over the “king of the house of David,” and is dated around 800B.C. The particular King of Judah is not mentioned, but he is called “king of the house of David,” which clearly points to the biblical figure King David, who lived around 1000 B.C.1
Many more helps or proofs could be given. Many of the Biblical authors claim to be eye witnesses of what they speak of and show through their writings that they were. There is fulfilled prophecy, the riches of ancient manuscripts and fragments of the New Testament, and the historical truth for the resurrection. But we will stop here on our first reason we should believe the Bible.
Reason Two: The Bible Answers the Questions of Life
This may surprise you, but out of the five reasons that I am giving for believing the Bible, the historical reliability is the least powerful of all five, especially when it comes to “knowing” the Bible is God’s Word. Don’t misunderstand me. The Bible is very historically reliable, and that truth is very powerful. God can use that to bring people to believe the Bible. And yet, the other four reasons are even more powerful.
Not only is the Bible historically reliable, but it answers the questions of life. We hear much today about “human rights,” and rightfully so, though even this can be misapplied at times. But where do these “rights” come from? Are they merely social constructs, made and given to us by other people? If so, it is hard to see how these “rights” are real rights at all, seeing that if others gave you these rights, they can also take them back. Is sex-trafficking wrong? Yes, says a large portion of America, and rightfully so! But is it always wrong? How could it be, if our rights are given to us by others. What if those who declare sex-trafficking to be wrong, later declare it to be right? Does sex-trafficking then become something morally acceptable? The thought is as outrageous as it is wicked. No, we know that sex-trafficking is wrong, and the Bible tells us why. The Bible tells us that we are made in God’s image. That every single person, no matter age, gender, color, ethnicity, or place of birth, is special in God’s eyes and matters to Him. Because of that reason, we have human rights.
Where did we come from? How should we live? What is a man and what is a woman? Why are things so bad in our world? Do I have purpose in life? What happens when I die? Can my life change? Can I be forgiven? Is there a next life? How can I be right with God? All these questions, and more, are not answered by society, philosophers, or anything else. They are answered in the Bible and in the Bible alone. The Bible answers the questions of life, as well as gives a true picture of reality. Therefore, believe the Bible.
Reason Three: The Bible Tells Us of the Person of Jesus Christ
Why should you believe the Bible? Because it tells us of the greatest Person to ever live, Jesus Christ. You could not write of a more perfect, glorious Person. If one tried to make a fictional character that would surpass the Person of Jesus Christ told of in the Holy Scripture they would fail terribly in their attempt. There is simply not another person like Jesus, not even one close to Him. And where do we come to know about this Person from? From the pages of the Bible.
He is so gentle and loving that children wanted to be with Him. Yet so bold that He denounced the religious leaders of His day, and made a whip and drove out people from the temple. His wisdom that He showed in speaking with people is unmatched, silencing His opponents. He, though sinless, prayed in such away that His disciples wanted Him to teach them to pray. He is prophesied of thousands of years before He came in the flesh and fulfilled all the predictions that were to be completed in His first coming. The sinless Son of God, the One who would receive all authority, is submissive to His earthly parents. Bareing the wrath of God on the cross while at the same time showing forth the greatest demonstration of God’s love. Who is this Man? The One who calms the seas and gives perfect peace in life’s greatest difficulties. He is the God-Man, Jesus Christ. We read of Him from the Scriptures. Believe the Bible.
Reason Four: The Bible is Self Attesting
We know our Creator’s voice. The Bible says every person knows about God, though He is rejected (Romans 1:18-21). We know about God, we know His voice, and we hear His voice in His Word, the Bible.
Now, I suppose this claim is not unique to Christianity. Many religions and cults would make a similar declaration. And yet making a declaration and actually providing God’s Word are two different actions. Put the Bible up against any other book in existence, and add to that an honest heart searching for truth, and by the grace of God His Word will shine far above all the others.
John Calvin said
As to the question, How shall we be persuaded that it came from God without recurring to a decree of the Church? it is just the same as if it were asked, How shall we learn to distinguish light from darkness, white from black, sweet from bitter? Scripture bears upon the face of it as clear evidence of its truth, as white and black do of their colour, sweet and bitter of their taste.2
How do we know the Bible is true? Well, how do we know the differences of the colors, and tastes? We just do. And the Bible, in a higher way, will make itself known as the very Word of God to those who have open hearts.
Reason Five: The Holy Spirit Convinces Us
Reason five is similar to reason four. Every reason that has been given is very important. And yet when it comes to knowing the Bible is God’s Word, only the Holy Spirit can give us this assurance. The historic reliability of the Bible is so important. And yet as wonderful as it is to know that the Bible can be trusted when it comes to history and other important truths, the only way you can know that the Bible is God’s Word is by the Holy Spirit. He works in our hearts. He gives us assurance.
What About You?
Where are you at when it comes to your belief in the Bible? A Christian going through a struggle? Others have too and God has seen them through. A seeker looking for truth? A skeptic? Where ever you are, if you really want the truth, God’s promise to you is that you will have the truth. Are you committed to be honest in your search? Are you committed to do whatever God asks of you, even those things you don’t know of yet, but your heart belongs to God? Are you committed to obey the truth once you find it? Then continue seeking and God will help you. Jesus said, “If any man wills to do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself” (John 7:17).
1Others have used these examples, and many more archaeological finds could be mentioned.
2John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, trans. Henry Beveridge, v. 1 (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1964), 69.