As Christians, we are always to be ready to give a defense of the hope that is within us (1 Pet. 3:15). The basis of this hope is our confidence that the Bible is God’s Word. It is trustworthy and sufficient. I’ve put these five points together as something of a quick reference notecard for why I believe the Bible. They can serve as a quick reference for personal evangelism or devotion. That is, they can help you to tell others why you believe the Bible while also reminding you (amid seasons of doubt) why you believe it.
(1) The Biblical Argument
By this, I only mean that the Bible claims to be God’s Word. This claim is not just in a remote passage or book but throughout. We read in 2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” The source of the text, the Word, is God himself. There is no flinching on this fact from Genesis to Revelation. The fact that the Bible claims to be God’s Word and proves to be so throughout history needs to be on my mind when dealing my doubts or a skeptic’s.
(2) The Historical Argument
In short, the people and places in the Bible show up in history. When we read of descriptions of times and events we often find these same things in extra-biblical history. Further, when archeologists dig and uncover ancient artifacts it often shows us that biblical events that were not previously discovered were in fact true. And finally, the history of events from within the Bible concerning prophecy, they happen. Consider the Babylonian captivity, King Cyrus, and the details concerning the life of Christ. Within the canon of Scripture, it unfolds with historical consistency.
(3) The Empirical Argument
Personally speaking, I have experienced a substantial change. The day I was converted I walked out of my house cursing God, and then I came home praising him. How does this happen? My experience tells me that this is not some ordinary book. I’ve been moved to tears reading other books, but this book actually reads me, wrecks me, and rebuilds me. What’s more, I’ve seen and experienced this same thing with other people. This change is not limited to gender, ethnicity, geography, or even time. This book claims to change lives, and it actually does.
(4) The Logical Argument
There is a single, coherent theme throughout the book that the glory of God is paramount. If God were to write a book, this is how he would write it. If man were to write a book, this is not how he would write it. It has the “ring of truth” as C. S. Lewis would say. Man would tend to diminish his defects and exaggerate his virtues; the Bible seems to do the opposite. It maintains the dignity of humanity but also shows its brokenness. Here we see the glory of God on display. This brings me to another aspect of this argument. If you survey world religions, most will agree that there is a problem, and they exist to help us with this it. However, only biblical Christianity actually maintains a God who does not compromise. Every other plan of salvation has God bending his righteousness to show love. Man and God partner together to achieve salvation. However, with the Bible God does not compromise. He maintains and demonstrates his righteousness while showing forth his love! On the cross, God is both the just and the justifier (Rom. 3:26). This means that he does not compromise. Think about this: the Bible maintains that all of God’s attributes are intact, no dimples, defects, or deflation! However, without the cross (and outside of the Bible) you have a god who compromises something to bring salvation. This reminds me of God’s infinite wisdom, love, mercy, and grace—as well as his authorship of the Bible.
(5) The Christological Argument
This one seals the deal for me. Here it is a nutshell: since Jesus rose from the dead he is God; therefore, his view of the Bible is the right one. Jesus believed the Bible was divinely inspired (Mt. 4:2; Mt. 22:31-32), authoritative (Lk. 4; Jn. 10:34-36; 12:47-48); powerful (Mt. 5:17-18; Jn. 6:63; Jn. 17:17); and about him (Lk: 24:25-27, 44-47; Jn. 5:46-47). Furthermore, he believed the Bible was historically accurate. “In the Gospels we see Jesus reference Abel, Noah, Abraham, Sodom and Gomorrah, Isaac and Jacob, manna in the wilderness, the serpent in the wilderness, Moses as the lawgiver, David and Solomon, the Queen of Sheba, Elijah and Elisha, the widow of Zarephath, Naaman, Zechariah, and even Jonah, never questioning a single event, a single miracle, or a single historical claim. Jesus clearly believed in the historicity of biblical history.” (DeYoung, Taking God at His Word). Having Jesus’s bibliology is never a bad idea.
After all of this, we must remember that there is nothing wrong with the Bible. It is perfect and clear. Our problem is with our reception; we are fallen.
I was reminded of this recently during a discussion with a waiter during a lunch meeting with some friends. As we got to talking with the gentleman, we came upon the subject of the Bible. In time he let us know that he didn’t accept the Bible, because he couldn’t be sure that it was God’s Word. He didn’t trust it ultimately. In another round of conversations, our waiter began telling us about his cat. Without blinking, he relayed how his cat talks to him and how he can understand it. We clarified to be sure he meant actual words, and in fact, he did. He was sure that his cat was speaking to him in a clear, understandable way.
The effects of sin are pervasive and persistent. However, God can and does use his powerful Word to bring us to faith in him. It is this Word that we must be ready to share and even defend with others.