I mentioned last week that the first leg of the three-legged “Who Can I Trust” stool is the great cloud of witnesses that confirm there is salvation in Jesus Christ alone.
This mirrors our daily experience.
Last year I went to Lowe’s to buy a lawnmower. I asked the sales person which one was their number one seller–and bought it because most people preferred it. Same with the cloud of witnesses. Truth is often found in numbers (confirming something to be true).
But there’s an even greater confirmation than people’s choices.
It’s found in the most incredible book ever written.
Here’s why I trust the Bible.
Why I Trust the Bible
I grew up in church but never read the Bible personally. I heard it each week in “Readings” from the pulpit. It seemed somewhat old-fashioned and irrelevant to my life (which was pretty narcissistic at the time).
At age fifteen I bowed my head and asked Jesus Christ to forgive my sins and become the boss (Lord) of my life. From the moment I became “born again,” God changed my Bible appetite and gave me a hunger for the truth.
In 1972, some wise mentors taught me to have a personal “quiet time” every day for prayer, worship, and Bible reading. They even supplied a booklet called “Twenty Minutes a Day with the Bible” that helped me read it cover-to-cover (1200 pages) over twelve months.
I’ve continued to read the entire Bible for 47 straight years. Every day its wisdom and insights speak to me, answer questions, give comfort and encouragement, and lay out a pathway for wise living.
The Bible is our life GPS–our map. The Holy Spirit is our personal guide–speaking to us about the past, what to do in the present, and where hope lies in the future.
There is NO book in all the world like the Bible. It towers above every other piece of literature giving evidence of direct inspiration from God. There are many religious texts in the world, but the Bible is absolutely unique.
You can trust it implicitly.
Here’s the evidence (then you make the call).
The Bible stands unique in its continuity. It was written over a 1600-year span (60 generations) by forty plus authors from every walk of life. That’s humanly impossible. The only other major religious book–the Koran–records the “recitations” of one man over a period of three weeks—written forty years after his death.
I’ve read the Koran twice. Compared to the Bible, it’s like equating kindergarten to a PhD. Believing the Bible and the Koran are “equal” is the epitome of fake news.
The Bible is also unique in its circulation. It has been read by more people and published in more languages than any other book. The first major book to be published was the Latin Vulgate (Old Testament). The first book produced on the Gutenberg Press was the entire Bible (Old and New Testaments).
The Bible is unique in its translation – It was the first book ever translated (Septuagint c. 250 B.C.) The Bible has been translated, re-translated and paraphrased more than any book in existence.
Many Muslims don’t want the Koran in other languages because of poor grammar, historical errors, jihad portions and lack of readability. The Bible will be translated into every language on earth by 2020. We want its beauty to be heard in every person’s heart language.
The Bible dwarfs other literature in its survival. Bernard Ramm says, “There are over thirteen thousand manuscripts, complete and incomplete, in Greek and other languages that have survived from antiquity. No other work from classical antiquity has such attestation.”
The Bible also stands unique in its prophecies, its accuracy about history, and its influence on other forms of literature. It contains some of the most beautiful poetry, wisdom literature, stories and parables ever written (think Psalm 23, the Beatitudes, and 1 Corinthians 13).
But the Bible makes the most unique contribution of all by telling us how God came to earth in Jesus Christ to reveal his heart and to redeem human beings from their sin. The most known verse of the world’s most known book says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
No greater revelation can be made than by coming in person. Mariasusai Dhavamony reminds us, “God has left traces of himself and of his salvific plan in the other religious traditions. They have some insight into God, truth [and] spiritual riches but only partly rather than wholly. Hence Christ fulfills them and brings them to perfection.”
The Bible reveals the only Savior of the world.
Francis Schaeffer agrees to the Bible’s importance in revealing God when he says, “Man can know both truth about God and truth about the things of creation because in the Bible God has revealed himself and has given man the key to understanding God’s world.” Scripture is a very special communication from the One who desires “none to perish” (2 Peter 3:9). God pursues human beings out of love.
The Bible tells me so.
The Bible continues to be the most widely read and trusted religious text ever written. It contains a library of sixty-six books–a GPS for all of life., The Koran rambles. The Vedas (Hindu scriptures) contradict each other. As I point out in River of God: Where Religion Began and Why Grace and Love Will Triumph, there are no other significant written sources for the world major worldviews.
The Bible was the first text taken into outer space (on micro-film); and it remains the world’s number one best seller.
Professor M. Montiero-Williams, a professor of Sanskrit, spent forty-two years studying Eastern religious texts, and said this in comparing them with the Bible:
“Pile them if you will on the left side of the study table; but place your own Holy Bible on the right side—all by itself, all alone—and a wide gap between them…There is a gulf between it and the so-called sacred books of the East—a veritable gulf which cannot be bridged over by any science of religious thought.”
The Bible has no equal in the history of literature or religion. And here’s the clincher:
It claims to be the “inspired word of God” (2 Timothy 3:16).
You have a choice to make.
When I made the Bible my life compass, it answered my questions more than any other source, including:
- God – Who’s in charge of the universe and what’s He like? God is love.
- Sources – Is the guidebook reliable? Only ONE among all religions.
- Origins – How did we get here? Some atheists believe that aliens planted “seeds” on earth billions of years ago. How’s that for blind faith?
- Organization – What’s the structure (order) of the cosmos? The Kingdom of God.
- Human Beings – What is our nature and calling? Spirit, soul and body.
- Morality – What’s the basis of right and wrong? The Great Commandment.
- Sin – Why is the world a mess? Mankind’s fallenness makes sense.
- Salvation – How can the world be made right? Changed lives through Jesus Christ.
- Earth – How should human beings treat it? As good stewards and pilgrims.
- Heaven – Is there a future and a hope? Yes! Yes! Yes! for those who know who to believe.
I love the Bible and trust its veracity because the overwhelming evidence shows it is a special book put together by the God of the universe.
But it doesn’t save me. It reveals the one who can–our ultimate source of trust.
Next week: Why I Believe in Jesus Christ.