Monday, August 31, 2015

Why Believe The Bible?

            Have you ever wondered or has anyone asked you why you believe the Bible? This fundamental question requires an answer from every Christian.

            Christians believe that the Bible is the only authentic word of God – divinely inspired, inerrant and infallible. There are also the so-called Christians who believe in Christ but they do not believe the Bible entirely. These are not Christians, for Christ is revealed in the Bible as a whole, and partial belief in the Bible is not a belief at all.  

            Beware of savage beasts from within, prowling to maul gullible and naïve Christians. As a conservative Christian, if you believe the Bible to be divinely inspired, inerrant and infallible word of God or if you believe in “sola scriptura” (Scripture alone), you are then a prey to these savage beasts a.k.a. the asinine postmodern / liberal Christians, who would blissfully brand you as a Bibliolater. 

            Bibliolatry alludes to the worship of Bible. But well-meaning Christians do not worship the Bible. They worship the God of the Bible.

            Given this backdrop, here are a few reasons to believe the Bible as divinely inspired, inerrant and infallible Word of God.

Entailments Of Divine Revelation

            God should reveal HIMSELF to man, for the finite man to comprehend the infinite God. Nature reveals God’s existence. But God ought to reveal HIS attributes, mind, and salvific plan to man.

            God’s revelation to man should reach the many generations of mankind. So God chose the print / written mode over the oral transmission to reach out to mankind.

            The written mode demands a timeframe for the revelation to begin and end. God’s self-revelation need not be ongoing since God is immutable (God is changeless). Thus a onetime revelation from God was adequate.

            Evidently, the written mode of transmission required men to write about God. So, human authorship was necessary. This entails God’s self-revelation to human authors, who then would communicate their knowledge of God to fellow mankind. Therefore, divine inspiration of God’s Word is an entailment of divine revelation.

            Since God is perfect and cannot lie, the divinely inspired Word of God ought to be inerrant and infallible. Since man is fallible, errors could creep into his comprehension and communication. So the sovereign God should prevail upon human authors to ensure truthfulness of HIS Word. Consequently, inerrancy and infallibility of the Bible are corollaries of divine inspiration.

            Succinctly stating, God who ought to reveal HIMSELF to HIS creation deployed human authorship and written mode of communication to transmit HIS onetime revelation to mankind. Divine revelation thus entails divine inspiration, inerrancy and infallibility. 

The Only Credible Salvific Plan

            Why believe the Bible over other religious documents?

            Every worldview ought to answer four basic questions of life: origin, meaning, morality, and destiny.1 The Bible offers the most convincing answer to these questions:

            Origin (Where did I come from?): God creates man.

            Meaning (What’s the purpose of my life?): Man is to know, enjoy, and glorify God always.

            Morality (How do I define right from wrong?): Christians obey God’s commands to do the right.

            Destiny (What happens to me when I die?): Those who believe in Christ will be with God in heaven forever.

            The central theme of the Bible is the Lord Jesus Christ – the Savior of those who believe in HIM. The Old Testament prophesies about Christ and the New Testament reveals Christ.

            The perfect atoning sacrifice and the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ to the benefit of all who would believe in HIM is the keystone Christian teaching on mankind’s salvation. Christ’s sacrifice negates “salvation by works” principle (salvation of man through his good works) propagated by many leading religions.

            The biblical assertion of man being inherently evil and a perennial sinner is inconsistent with “salvation by works” doctrine. Hence, man, who by nature has a propensity to do evil, ought to be saved by the grace of God manifested through the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. So a man who repents, believes in Christ and remains in HIM is eternally saved.

            Salvation is only through Christ, not through any other means, says the Bible. Those who believe in the Bible believe only in the Lord Jesus Christ.          

Internal Evidence

            The Bible claims to be God’s Word (2 Timothy 3: 16-17). The Bible claims to infallibly reveal the very words and mind of God. There are 3000 inferences of divine authority in the Bible.

            There is a fascinating unity and consistency without any contradiction between the 66 books of the Bible written by 40 authors of varying backgrounds and locations in 3 languages over 1500 years.

            The Lord Jesus affirmed the Old Testament (Matthew 5: 17-18) and fulfilled 300++ prophecies from the Old Testament.

            Almost 2500 prophecies are in the Bible, about 2000 of which have already been fulfilled e.g. prediction of Daniel 2 about the next three world empires. The odds for the fulfillment of these prophecies by chance and without error are less than one in 1020000 (1 with 2000 zeros written after it).2

External Evidence

            Archaeological discoveries continuously validate the Bible (discovery of Hittite empire, house of Nebuchadnezzar, inscription of King David’s reign etc.).

            Historicity of Jesus Christ was affirmed by Roman historian Cornelius Tacitus, Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, and by other sources (Thallus - The Samaritan-born historian, Pliny the younger, Lucian of Samosata, Suetonius, Mara Bar-Serpaion and Talmud citations). So Christ did exist.  

            Moreover, historical evidence for Christ’s resurrection – the bedrock of Christianity – is overwhelming.3

Contradictions in Bible?

            The detractors of Historic Christianity appeal to the alleged contradictions in the Bible. However, Christian scholars have debunked every alleged contradiction with highly reasonable explanations.

            When the infinite God communicates with the finite man, God uses the language of man [with its innate limitations] to communicate to the mind of the man [that is sufficiently inadequate to comprehend an infinite God]. That which God created was good in its creational intent but not perfect. Hence, both the mind and the language of man are imperfect in their creational architecture.

            These imperfections are sufficient to misunderstand divine truths. The only means to comprehend divine truths is to possess an open, humble, and a submissive mind. Man, by submitting to God, should ceaselessly strive to understand God’s words.

Power to Change Lives

            God’s Word changes lives, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4: 12, NIV).

            God, through HIS Word, changes the life of every man who believes in HIM. When man offers his life to Christ, he is a new creation – a changed person. A believer’s eternal status changes from death to life in Christ.

            To conclude, the key to a successful Christian life is to remain in Christ and grow in HIM. Outside of prayer, reading and studying the Bible is the only other means to grow in Christ. Those who believe the Bible as God’s authentic word will read and study it to grow and remain in Christ forever so to eternally secure their life.





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