The Christian faith rests upon the truthfulness of the Bible. If it could be shown that the Bible is false in its claims, then the Christian faith would be discarded on the trash heap of history. However, the Bible has stood the test of time and continues to withstand the continual attacks of modernity, and for very good reason.
Christians believe the Bible is true, first and foremost, because the Bible claims to be the Word of God. Second Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness…” Second Peter 1:20-21 says, “Knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” Many have pointed out that the Scripture’s claim to be the Word of God is a circular argument. No doubt this is true, but if the Bible is the Word of God, to what higher authority can one appeal? When one arrives at an ultimate authority, there is no higher authority, so all appeals to an ultimate authority must necessarily be circular. However, there are other reasons why Christians believe the Bible to be true.
The Bible has been under such scrutiny in modern times that very few stop to consider what an amazing book it really is. It was compiled over sixteen hundred years and written by over forty different authors. The historical circumstance of each writer differed greatly, yet there is a unity and common theme that runs through the whole Bible that is nothing short of miraculous.
The Bible is also a book of prophecies. No other religion in the world even attempts the amount of prophecies found in the Bible, and certainly no religion can match the amount of accurately fulfilled prophecies. The fulfillment of predictive prophecy was one of the early church’s greatest apologetics, the premise being that only God can perfectly predict the future. We hear this apologetic at work in the New Testament. In Acts 3:18 Peter said, “But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled.” In 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 Paul wrote, “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures…”
Other evidence concerning the truthfulness of Scripture includes the evidence from archeology, the enormous amount of ancient biblical manuscripts available, and the millions of changed lives and transformed societies throughout history.
Theologian John Stott gave an excellent answer to this question in a lecture given at Wheaton College some years ago. He asked, “Why do we believe the Bible to be the infallible Word of God?” He answered very simply, “Because Jesus did and taught that we should.”
Billy Elkins is the pastor of Trinity Church. He is a graduate of Chickasha High School, has a B.A. in Fine Art from the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, and a Master of Divinity with Biblical Languages from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, FT. Worth, TX. He is currently in the final dissertation phase of a Ph.D. in Apologetics and Philosophy from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY.