“The Bible is just a very old book full of make-believe stories.”
A Christian response...
The Bible has sold more copies than any other book in history. Some have argued that it is simply a hotch-potch of stories that were cobbled together by some religious folk a very long time ago and which has no real relevance today. Its historical records are, however, confirmed repeatedly by external texts and accounts from the period in which it was written. Its contents, too, have a coherence and depth that are easily missed by superficial reading.
At first glance into certain parts of the Bible, however, it is understandable why some people find its contents difficult to relate to. In spite of this, the Bible describes itself as the inspired word of God and millions of Christians throughout the ages have discovered that claim to be true. In light of this, the following points are worth considering:
God’s word is truth
The Bible describes God himself as truth. This means that God is true by nature and whatever he says is true. The Bible also describes itself as inspired by God and as one of the principal means by which God reveals his divine truth to the world. Christians believe therefore that, insofar as something is genuinely consistent with the Bible, it can be regarded as true. Conversely, if something contradicts the Bible, it cannot be true.
We also believe, however, that the Bible needs to be interpreted carefully in order to avoid misunderstanding what God seeks to communicate through it. So, for instance, where symbolic, poetic language is used in some parts of the Bible, we need to avoid confusing its meaning with other parts of the Bible where straight prose is used. This kind of Biblical interpretation involves prayer and careful study.
Everything in the Bible is true, but not everything that’s true is in the Bible
Christians believe the Bible is entirely true and, therefore, a reliable basis for our Christian beliefs. We do not believe, however, that the Bible is concerned with listing absolutely everything that’s true in all creation. This means that statements such as, for instance, 1 + 1 = 2 can still be considered true even though they’re not stated explicitly in the Bible.
The central aim of the Bible is to reveal Jesus Christ as God’s ultimate revelation and the Saviour of humanity.
God helps us to understand the Bible
God promises to give his holy Spirit to reveal his truth to who seek him through reading the Bible. It’s as if his Spirit somehow enables us to see beyond the written words on the Bible’s pages to the spiritual truth that lies behind them. This means that we should always approach the Bible with humility before God and open minds and hearts to see what he may reveal to us through it. Countless Christians have been inspired, challenged and amazed by how God has spoken to them in this way, revealing Jesus’ truth to each new generation.
What do I believe the Bible is?
Read the following verses in the Bible: John 14 v 6; John 17 v 17; 2 Timothy 3 v 16.
Am I prepared to seek revelation of Jesus Christ through reading the Bible?