Fair question. A lot of people are asking it these days and let’s face it – there are some really strange things in the Bible!
But, to answer the question – I believe the Bible is true because of its external evidence and its internal evidence. Here’s a quick explanation of what that means.
First, let’s look at the external evidence. If you have never read the Bible…like ALL of the Bible…you really should. Here is a great plan that is a 5-day plan, which is nice because we all miss a day here or there. But what this plan also does is seek to keep it in (somewhat of a) chronological order.
So, if you were to read the Bible, hopefully you would see a storyline emerge. The “big story” of the Bible can be said to play out in four parts:
So back to the external evidence for how I know the Bible is true….I look around the world and I see an amazing, complex, and beautiful Creation. I see oceans and sunsets, babies being born, incredible animals and the power of nature in a hurricane. This had to come from somewhere and it had to have a Designer. The Bible explains that God created the world and everything in it to reflect his wisdom, beauty, power and many other qualities.
Second, I look around the world and I see things aren’t what they are supposed to be. I see evil. Sin. Pain. Sickness. Natural disasters. Why? Because of the Fall. The Bible explains that all of that was unleashed on the world because of our first parents turning from God and rejecting him as King, and making themselves kings of their own lives. Isn’t it evident to anyone that things aren’t the way they are supposed to be?
Third, we all want to know how to fix it. To make things right. To see justice. To fight for the oppressed. To medicate ourselves into comfort. The Bible is the only worldview with an answer and it’s a person – Jesus. He is the way of redemption. Eventually, we realize while we can get temporary relief, a root problem still remains – isn’t that evident to anyone?
Last, the Bible talks about a day that will come when all things will be made right. This is the ultimate hope when Jesus returns and brings his kingdom with him to restore all things.
This is the Biblical worldview and this is played out everyday right before our eyes – the external evidence for why the Bible is true.
But what about internal evidence? This is slightly more complicated, but if you are thinking that I’m just going to say that the Bible is true because it says that it is true, you are partially right. [Side note: this actually isn’t defeated because it is ‘circular reasoning’ as we all use circular reasoning every day.]
The internal evidence that the Bible is true is that the Bible is not like any other book, it is “God-breathed” – it is God’s Word – and because of that it has the power to create, to convict, to cut, and give life. Anyone who has ever read the Bible for any length of time can tell you there are moments when it feels as though the words jump off the page and smack you in the forehead with a 2×4.
In the Bible, the book of Hebrews talks about this very thing:
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” (Hebrews 4:12–13 ESV)
The Bible cuts us to the core, with the very Words of God himself. I can remember it happening to me. This is why we read it, study it, meditate on it, memorize it and our church preaches it…and then we apply it.
So here is my challenge – if you haven’t read the Bible, but maybe only heard it is not true, read it for yourself. All of it. Ask God, if he is there, to show you. See what happens…
8 thoughts on “Why do you believe the Bible is true?”
Most if not every religion makes the same claims as the bible, that the universe is evidence for their god. Alas, not one of you can show this to be true.
The same things goes for the nonsense of the “fall”, myths invented by humans on why there is bad things happening to them predicated on the baseless claim that there is some benevolent god.
Since there is no evidence of any “fall”, the claims of redemption are a cure for a problem that doesn’t exist.
No, we don’t always use circular reasoning. That is a false claim made by you to excuse your circular reasoning fallacy that you must use for your bible. I’ve read the bible as a Christian and as not. There is nothing special about that set of books at all. Nothing magical about them. Muslims make the same baseless claim about the qu’ran.
Welcome back, Miss SchadenFreude!
What evidence would convince you that the Almighty God actually exists? How far would he have to bow to your own ideas and your definition of truth and realty? Asking for a friend.
If you can’t see sufficient enough evidence for God’s existence in the beauty and complexity of creation; or the depth of evil, sin, and suffering is this world due to the realities of the fall, than you are a person of greater faith than I!
Also, what Bible did you read? The one that the historic orthodox Protestant church has been grounded on for 2,000 years makes claims that no other religion on the planet does. Please try reading the Bible again and separating the truth from whatever cheap substitute you were taught in church previously. That clearly wasn’t solid biblical theology.
Well, Mike, this god should know exactly what evidence I would accept. How about a burning bush? How about you healing amputees and burn victims? The bible promises that any baptized believer in Christ as personal savior can do that.
I have no problem believing in somethign with evidence. Worshipping it is an entirely different matter, considering your god is less moral than I am.
This god had no problem in “bowing down” to human ideas in the bible to show it existed, so do explain why it supposedly has a problem in doing so now.
Most if not every theist makes the exact same claim as you do Mike, that the universe is evidence for their god and their god alone. Problem is that not one of you can show this god to exist and be the creator that you claim it is. How do you propose to show that your version of the Christian god is the right one?
Same with the “fall”, that story is in most, if not all religions’ mythos. Again, show that your story is the right one. Humans love to invent “reasons” for things, even if there are none to be found.
I have read a couple of different bibles the entire way through, the KJV and the NRSV. Your mention of “what bible” underlines another issue, that this god evidently can’t decide what it “really meant” since all translators and all Christians have claimed that one or the other is the “real” one.
There is no “historic orthodox Protestant Church”. There are many many sects of Protestanism that claim to be the “true” version. How is one to know which baseless claim is the true one, if any?
Every Christian makes this claim too, Mike, “Please try reading the Bible again and separating the truth from whatever cheap substitute you were taught in church previously. That clearly wasn’t solid biblical theology.” Again, which Christian can do the things Christ supposedly promised them to show that they are the TrueChristians? You all insist that your version is the only “solid biblical theology”, and you can’t even convince each other that this is the case. Your god is strangely absent in giving any of you its stamp of approval.
Jesus said that God’s word is truth. The does not claim that the entire bible the inerrant word of God and that every of it it is truth. We have a story when God commands Abraham to sacrifice Issac as a test, but in Jeremiah God says that he never said such a thing neither did it enter into his mind, and technically that is true. It’s a bit of a contrived translation from the Hebrew to say that God is telling Abraham to sacrifice Issac. But in these two passages the bible is contradicting itself and if you insist that it is the inerrant word of God, it just isn’t. That isn’t to say the bible dosen’t contain truth, it most certainly does, but I believe that God is hoping that we will approach it with a more discerning mind than simply accepting every word it is as true without searching or questioning. So far in my own searching, the bible meets it’s own standard for establishing itself as true, at least historically, and where Jesus is concerned the evidence is overwhelming if one can accept that the gospels are witnesses to the events.
Thank you for your comment. If God exists and is perfect and his Word is the Bible, than it has to be inerrant, right?
Please supply the reference in Jeremiah you mention. That’s a new one for me. Thanks!
Jeremiah says it in two places I think, similar wording, Jeremiah 19:5.
God never says “I’m putting all these words in this book and this book will be taken as my absolute word and it shall be completely free from error”. This is nowhere in the Bible. God’s word is the Truth. You speak God’s word when you speak the truth. Hence it would be right to say the Bible contains God’s word, but not right to say every word of it is God’s word. It’s an ancient book, and it been copied many times, and while it is very well preserved, there are mistakes in translation. There might be addition here and there that were not in the original, perhaps not everything that the stiffnecked people who God knew would not obey him was God’s will.
Scribes make errors, translators male errors, people make errors. Believing the bible is without error is a trap. Your belief rests on a miracle and when you get into an argument with someone trying to convince you that the bible untrue they will present an absurd proposition, that is if any part of the Bible is in error then the whole thing must be false. And when you agree to it, they will open up the bible to where the dietary laws are and point to where it says don’t eat rabbits because they chew the cud but don’t part the hoof, but hares don’t chew the cud, and then you will think this translation error is some kind of indication that God does not exist, because your faith was intertwined with the notion that bible is completely free from error..
Not sure where to start here, but I’ll give it a shot.
Your reference to Jeremiah 19:5 is way out of context. God is talking about his prohibition of child sacrifice to Baal…not what he did to Abraham as a test. Two completely different things.
Likewise, your definition of inspiration sounds like microwaved Neo Orthodoxy. The Bible itself tells us that it is theoneustas – the breath of God. [2 Tim 3:16-17]. Of course we don’t have the originals and of course scribes made errors, this is well established and why we have seminaries to train people in the field of textual criticism. Scribal errors in copying the manuscripts are not mistakes from God. Again, two totally different things. Thankfully, God preserved thousands of copies of his Word so that we can compare them all and see what it says clearly.
Any of the “mistakes” are mere differences between manuscript copies and they have little to no effect on the core doctrine of the Bible – the gospel. The bad news that we are sinners separated from God, but the good news that he reconciled the situation in Jesus for those who repent and believe.