How do you know the Bible is real?
Immediately after my conversion, I assumed that the Bible would require me to set my scientific/logical thinking aside and believe the Bible against all evidence!
What a thrill (and relief) it was when I was advised to read the Gospel of John chapter
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.
I was amazed that the Bible seemed at first glance to way above anything I was expecting or even hoped for!
How were your own first interactions with the Bible?
Sooner or later you will be sharing your faith with someone who will challenge your belief in the authority of the Bible. They will ask how we can accept the Bible which is an ancient book and be willing to allow it to direct our lives. New believers might be a bit flummoxed by this although they have usually realized since their conversion that the Bible is true. At this point do not fret because God has given us a solid foundation for our belief in the Bible as God’s word.
Here is what you need to know.
1 Peter 3:15, KJV: "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:"
This scripture tells us that we should always be ready to explain why we have faith for salvation because our hope is in Jesus Christ. Please note we are required to explain our faith with gentleness and respect even if our faith seems irrational to our enquirer! In such a situation we ought to neither be condescending nor angry with the person.
We have all met people who have the attitude of ‘do not confuse me with the facts! No one likes to hear such a response, because Christians should not be the kind of people who have made up our minds without considering the facts of the matter! Sure we may not have all the answers, but we are willing to address genuine questions about our faith. We usually come to faith and then begin to understand the Bible but the enquirer about the Bible has not yet had that experience.
By way of some background, have you heard the story about the three cats, two of which are very short-sighted on the garden wall?  Three cats — named Fact, Faith, and Feelings (or experience) — walk along a high garden wall. If Faith follows Fact (the clear sighted one), and Feelings follows Faith, all is well. But if the cats get the order wrong, all three take a tumble. The message is clear: feelings must come last, and facts first and so with our Christian walk.
The point of the story is that our Bible is full of facts and it is facts that keep us on the wall. The Bible is a mainly historical document filled with factual details including long lists of genealogies of people who lived in history, Surely, any rational person will agree that the Bible is or looks like a historical document and as such ought to be taken seriously.
A good starting point with the Bible, is to find a scripture that you do believe to be true in your own experience e.g. Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
This can be a foothold into a wider belief that the Bible is true and is the Word of God.
In our next short study 'How do we know the Bible is real 1'(b)', we consider ‘Possible objections to the authority of the Bible’ and ‘What do we believe about the Bible’?
 The last of three felines on a wall by Martyn Percy The Church Times, 21 June 2011
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