Updated: Apr 19
Why should I read the Bible?
When Christians read the Bible, we assume that it is the authoritative Word of God by which God can speak to the bible readers. In other words we have assumed that God inspired the writers who recorded the 66 books of the Bible. On this basis most of what has been taught so far in our first study has been full of scripture. Last time we saw that the Bible is self-consistent giving one overall message throughout its 66 books. Secondly, we defined what most fundamentalist Christians believe about the Bible, which is that we believe in the verbal, plenary, infallible, inerrant inspiration of the Bible in its original texts.
However in this study we are going to perform a U- turn and instead of looking out from the Bible we are going to focus in on the Bible itself. Whenever we meet someone who thinks the Bible is merely an ancient book then we need to know how to present our evidence that the Bible is much more than that!
In this study and the next we hope to give answers to the following two questions.
Is there any internal evidence in the Bible that it is the Word of God? We will then consider some of the science in the scripture that was known to the writer ahead of any scientific discovery.
How did God give the bible to us? How did God give the scriptures to the human writers such as Moses, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Paul etc?
Turning to our first question, what evidence is there that the Bible is not just an ordinary book just like any other ancient book?
There are two standards of evidence required to convince people that the Bible is a communication from God and indeed the very Word of God. The first standard of evidence (internal evidence) should be enough to convince a believer. The second standard of evidence (external evidence) is that needed to convince an unbeliever.
Internal evidence: in Mark 12 Jesus acknowledges a human author but goes on to say there was a divine author working through the human author.
Mark 12:26 And as touching the dead, that they rise: have you not read in the book of Moses (Exodus), how in the bush God spoke to him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?
27 He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: you therefore do greatly err.
Jesus quotes Moses as the author of the scripture in Exodus but indicates here that it was God who was speaking through Moses.
Jesus (quoting from Psalm 110) said in Mark 12: 36 For David himself said by the Holy Ghost, The Lord said to my Lord, sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool.
Notice that although Psalm 110 was written by David it was inspired by the Holy Spirit.
Paul in Acts 28:25 And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spoke the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers, quoting Isaiah 28:25.
Paul indicates that although Isaiah wrote the passage in Isaiah 28 that it was God the Holy Spirit who spoke the words through the prophet Isaiah.
There are many other examples in the both testaments where a human author is inspired by the Holy Spirit e.g.
Hebrews 2:11-13 and Psalm 22 2, and Isaiah 8:18
God spoke through the ancient writers, so the scriptures were penned by the human authors as they were inspired by the Holy Spirit.
As believers we believe this internal evidence of the scripture informing other scriptures. However if we present this evidence to an unbeliever, they will probably say that all the major religions have a holy book, and all believe that their God gave them their holy book. So what is so special about the bible?
In our next study ‘Why should I read the Bible part 2b, we will see that the Bible contains many statements given thousands of years ago that have only recently been verified by modern science.
Full text for printout, video version, and access to other parts of About the bible