I grew up in a Christian home. My parents loved Jesus and the Bible. My dad read the Bible to me and my siblings. My mom played dramatic Bible audio for us at night as we slept. I still have vivid memories of the man in Paul’s dream crying out over the CD player in the room, “Come over into Macedonia and help us” (Acts 16:9). Needless to say, the Bible became second nature to me.
I never doubted Its divine authority. That is, until I went to Morocco on a mission trip. It was in a cafe in Tangier, that I met a group of Muslim students. They believed in the Koran as much, if not more, than I believed in the Bible.
We all chatted in broken English and Arabic, as we sipped on tea that matched their faith: very hot, very pepperminty, and very sweet. That is what trouble me. One student would quote from the Koran’s pages with the same passion that I would quote John 3:16. Another student pointed me to the historical and scientific accuracies of the Koran. I was even shown a picture of a tree in Indonesia that bowed perfectly toward the “Holy City” of Mecca.
Fun fact, more Muslims live in Indonesia than in any other country in the world.
I went out and bought a Koran. Of course, it is considered blasphemous for the Koran to be copied into any other language, except Arabic. However, I was able to find a copy that offered both the holy Arabic text and the unholy English text. I began to read. I think I put it down after a few chapters. Too confusing.
I left Morocco six weeks later. My faith was still in tack, but I had questions. Then, one of my cousins left the Christian faith. This sadden me, but again it caused me to doubt. I began to follow her posts. I watched the YouTube videos that she would reference. I read the blogs. Everything suggested that my Bible was complete rubbish: historically false, scientifically inaccurate, and totally mythological.
These documents, videos, and blogs almost convinced me that the existence of Batman was more likely than the existence of a sovereign God.
Thus, I made an incredible discovery. For every proof that I raised to confirmed the validity of the Bible; the internet resurrected one hundred other “proofs” that completely destroyed the divine authority of the Bible. So, I stopped reading the Bible, right? Wrong.
You may find this surprising, but I still read the Bible. I read it everyday. Why? What about all the “proofs” against the Bible? Why not the Koran? Why not the Book of Mormon? Why do I believe the Bible?
Let me give you three reasons.
First, we should establish the context. The Bible claims to be the Word of God (2 Peter 1:21). It is a bold claim, but how can we possible fact check this claim? Some say that science backs this claim up. Others disagree. Some point to history as proof that the Bible is God’s Word. But the other side also points to history as proof that the Bible is trash. With all this disagreement, how do we clear the air?
The other day, I received a friend request on Facebook from my dad’s business partner. I accepted the friend request.
Two minutes later, I received a message asking me, “How’s it going?”
I messaged back, “Great, just finished praying with a group of guys at our church.”
Then, my dad’s friend and business partner asked me about money grants. Scammer! So, I asked the scammer a simple question, “What’s my dad’s name?” Within seconds the scammer left the conversation. Why did he or she leave? The scammer did not know the answer to my simple question.
So, let’s ask the Bible a few simple questions about ourselves. If the Bible is God’s Word, the Bible should know the answer, right? This leads to reason number one.
REASON # 1: I believe the Bible, because the Bible is right about me.
Anyone can put the Bible to the test by simply asking the Bible, “Who am I?” Then, get ready for a load of honesty.
Romans 3:10-18 “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understands, there is none that seeks after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that does good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
I do not like this. I also cannot deny that it is an accurate description of not just me, but of the world around me. It is as though the Bible has not just been reading my mail and surveying my internet history, but the Bible has been in my head. It knows my thoughts (Hebrews 4:12-13). We may fool a million people around us, but we will never fool the Bible. How can it speak to my nature and the nature of the human race with such accuracy, unless it is the world of God.
I have never read another book that describes me with such honesty. Many discredit the Bible, because it is too narrow, too raw with human failure, and frankly too gross. However, these are the very details that give the Bible validity. Perhaps it would be nice to read a book that described humans as wonderfully kind and good individuals, who cared for one another and never argued or quarreled. But for those of us who have lived, such a book would fall into the category of fairy tale. The Bible is the only Book that says, “You are dead and disgusting. And you need God” (Ephesians 2:1-10).
This brings me to another reason that I believe the Bible.
REASON # 2: I follow the Bible, because the Bible is right about life.
The Books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes serve as some of the greatest evidences confirming the divine authority of the Bible. If you do not believe me, at least read through these Books and ask a second question: “Is the Bible right about life?”
Proverbs tells us about wisdom and foolishness, hard work and laziness, friendship and bribery, saving and debt, hate and love.
But again, the Bible gets it right. “The debtor is servant to the lender” (Proverbs 22:7). Yep.
“Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith” (Proverbs 15:17). Yep.
“A foolish son is a grief to his father, and bitterness to her that bare him” (Proverbs 17:15). If you are a parent, you know that this is true.
Then, one reads in Ecclesiastes “I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit. That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and that which is wanting cannot be numbered.” Wow! Someone knows how life works.
Ecclesiastes continues, “And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit. For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increases knowledge increases sorrow” (Ecclesiastes 1:14-18).
Many religions are right about one area of life. However, when one begins to look at the Bible, It is right in every area of life. Forget “dear Abby,” and start asking, “Dear, Bible?”
The Bible knows who we are on the inside. The Bible knows life. Last reason.
REASON # 3: I submit to the Bible, because the Bible is right about God.
If God does exist, it is reasonable to conclude that God is beyond us, outside of us, unlike us.
This is not to say that we are not like Him. God made us in His image (Genesis 1:26). However, if you read about a god that you understand, then you are probably not reading about God.
So many people ask questions like, why would God allow this? Why did God command that? Why did God die for us? Why does God allow Satan to walk free?
If you can understand Him, He is probably not God. The fact that we ask questions, means that we are like God (Isaiah 1:18). But, the fact that we do not know all the answers, means that we are NOT God. This is why I submit to the Bible.
The Koran presents me with an angry perfectionist. I’ve met a few of those before. The Book of Mormon gives me a ruler, who doesn’t seem to mind if you break the rules. I’ve met a few of those, as well. The Hindus give me the fair system god. I’ve met humans like that too. These gods I understand. Thus, they are not God.
Then, there is the Bible. God is holy, spotless, perfect, just, sovereign over all, all-knowing, all-powerful, all-wise, humble, loving, sacrificial, merciful, gracious, without ever justifying the ungodly. Every other god demands my service, but only the God of the Bible served me (Mark 10:45). Every other god demands my life, but only the God of the Bible gave His life for me (John 3:15). Now there is a God that I cannot comprehend, but that I will worship for all of eternity.
I do not read the Bible, because it is supported by the internet. I believe the Bible, because when I ask the hard questions, the Bible gives me the hard answers.
“While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18).
By James Parks