Our world is filled with Christians who love, the Bible, God’s word and try live their lives as Christ-like as they possibly can. As a Christian myself, it is not easy, but then again, anything that comes to easily you won’t appreciate as much as something that has challenges along the way.
On the other side of the coin, the flip side, there’s skeptics, many of them, with titles of their own – atheist, agnostic, etc. And these skeptics will try poke holes in the Bible and mock the Christian faith either to understand why or to deliberately sabotage a believers faith journey.
How do you answer them when they question the Bible or the Christian faith? Or why you believe what you do?
My prayer today is that this post will help you respond wisely to those questions.
Why believe the Bible?
What is the Bible?
The English word Bible is derived from Koinē Greek: τὰ βιβλία, romanised: ta biblia, meaning “the books” (singular βιβλίον, biblion). The word βιβλίον itself had the literal meaning of “scroll” and came to be used as the ordinary word for “book“. (Logos 9, word defintions).
Secondly, The Bible is a compilation of 66 books and letters written by more than 40 authors during a period of approximately 1,500 years. Its original text was communicated in just three languages: Hebrew, koine or common Greek, and Aramaic. The Old Testament was written for the most part in Hebrew, with a small percentage in Aramaic. The New Testament was written in Greek. The sections – the Old and New Testament–the Bible contains several more divisions: the Pentateuch, the Historical Books, the Poetry and Wisdom Books, the books of Prophecy, the Gospels, and the Epistles.
The Bible itself is the inspired Word of God, or “God-breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21). It unfolds as a divine love story between the Creator God and humankind. In the pages of the Bible, we learn of God’s interaction with humans. We discover his purposes and plans from the beginning of time, throughout history and the future.
“Why do you believe the Bible?” the skeptic asks. “Because it’s God’s Word,” the Christian replies. “Says who?” the skeptic responds. “Says the Bible,” the Christian answers.
Ir is easy to see why the logic that Christians love might not persuade a skeptical person. The reasoning seems as unpersuasive as the parent who responds to their kid’s question with, “Because I said so!”
Thankfully, there are powerful arguments to back up our belief in the Bible. One of my favorites is how the Old Testament prophets knew what the New Testament apostles saw. Take Isaiah, for example. Isaiah knew that God’s chosen Messiah would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7). He knew that the Christ would come from the family of King David (Isaiah 11). He knew that the Savior would be pierced for sins, suffer silently, be buried with the rich, and see the light of life again (Isaiah 53). How in the world did Isaiah, living seven hundred years before the birth of Jesus, know all that?
The apostle Peter has a reason:
“For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit”. 2 Peter 1:21
The Old Testament prophecies were indeed written by humans. But those humans had help. The Holy Spirit. That’s how they knew things no human could know. The prophets’ knowledge, given by the Holy Spirit, is one of the persuasive reasons that we Christians believe in the Holy Bible.
Why Believe In Jesus?
Has anyone ever called you crazy for believing in Jesus Christ? “Wait, you actually believe that Jesus was born from a virgin, died on a cross, and then came back from the dead? Seriously?”
The apostle Paul defended his faith, our faith, perfectly, in front of two skeptical politicians during his trial in Caesarea:
“Festus interrupted Paul’s defense. ‘You are out of your mind, Paul!’ he shouted. ‘Your great learning is driving you insane.’ ‘I am not insane, most excellent Festus,’ Paul replied. ‘What I am saying is true and reasonable. The king is familiar with these things, and I can speak freely to him. I am convinced that none of this has escaped his notice, because it was not done in a corner’” Acts 26:24-26.
I love that logic. Paul pointed out that Christianity didn’t happen in a corner. There were real witnesses of the real things that happened in a real place on our real planet. The early Christians didn’t rely on how they felt or what they believed in their hearts. Rather, they put their faith in what they had seen, heard, and witnessed—the words and works of the Savior, who was seen alive publicly after his death by hundreds of witnesses (1 Corinthians 15, Acts 2, Acts 13)!
Their faith, just like ours today, is true and reasonable.
My Favorite Reason To Believe
My favorite reason to believe in the Bible is, admittedly, not all that logical. It’s much more personal and emotional. It might not be persuasive enough to change an unbeliever’s mind, but I still hope it tugs at an unbeliever’s heart. That reason is Jesus’ uniqueness.
There’s no one like Jesus. There’s no god, no philosophy, and no religion that offers what Jesus offers. Listen to how the prophet Isaiah described him: “He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed” Isaiah 53:5.
I’ve been asked what I thought of other religions that, like the Bible, teach us to love one another. I reply, “I agree with that, but what do they offer me when I fall short of love? What can they promise me when I sin?” Many spiritual people and religious paths can tell us how to love, but only the Bible proclaims a Savior who loves the unloving. Only one Scripture gives us grace, full and free, to you and me.
Yes, the Old Testament prophecies are persuasive. Yes, the New Testament apostles give compelling testimony. But, in the end, it’s the uniqueness of Jesus Christ that wins over Christian hearts and compels us to trust the Bible that Jesus trusted.
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