PART 1: GOOD REASONS TO READ THE BIBLE
1. The world’s bestselling book
The Guinness Book of Records acknowledges the Bible as the world’s best-selling book.
“It has been estimated that between 1815 and 1975 some 2.5 billion copies of the Bible were printed … Since 1976 combined global sales of Today’s English Version … have exceeded 118 million copies.” (Guinness Book of Records)
These sales are for only one of the many versions of the Bible available.
If you are a person who thinks the Bible is an outdated book just sitting unread on bookshelves, think again!
2. Biblical faith is based on a historical event
The faith described in the Bible involves believing the truth about an event that has already taken place. Because the New Testament is the most reliable ancient historical manuscript (see reason 14) we can trust what it says. Jesus did in fact rise from the dead.
“The Son of Man must suffer many things … be rejected … he must be killed and after three days rise again” (Mark 8:31).
Josh McDowell was a man who was sure Christianity was worthless and who focussed his energies on discrediting the resurrection of Jesus. In the process of trying to destroy the faith of Christians, he came to see the New Testament was an accurate history book.
3. Jesus was a real person
“The persons commonly called Christians … Christus, the founder of the name, was put to death by Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judea for the reign of Tiberius…” (Cornelius Tacitus, Roman historian, 112 A.D.)
Our time scale is based on BC (Before Christ) and AD (Anno Domini) that means “in the year of our Lord”. The birth of Jesus is a very solid historical fact.
4. Believing in the Bible message changes lives
People have been rescued from the darkest, most hopeless situations when they have put their trust in Jesus. Some people try to downplay the power Jesus has to change lives by saying; “It seems that only people in desperate situations turn to God.” It is true that many times God has to do something to get our attention but this does not prove that God is not real but simply that people are generally very stubborn when it comes to change! It is also true that many people who have never been confronted with a major crisis have a strong faith in God. God has already sent Jesus to die for our sins and He is waiting for our response.
People have been rescued from:
5. Filled with real people and real places
“In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar – when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea …”
(Bible, Luke 3:1).
“While Paul was … in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols”
(Bible, Acts 17:16).
William Ramsay is regarded by some as one of the greatest archaeologists of all time. He was once skeptical that the Bible was a reliable historical book but after he carefully researched the Book of ‘Acts’ he changed his mind and concluded: “Luke (writer of the Bible book called ‘Acts’) is a historian of first rank …”
6. Jesus has dramatically affected history
“This Jesus of Nazareth, without money and arms, conquered more millions than … Napoleon; without science and learning, He shed more light on things human and divine than all philosophers and scholars combined … He spoke such words of life as were never spoken before or since … Without writing a single line, He set more pens in motion … than the whole army of great men of ancient and modern times.” (Historian Philip Schaff)
“I know men and I tell you that Jesus Christ is no mere man. Between him and every other person in the world there is no possible term of comparison. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and I founded empires. But on what did we rest the creations of our genius? Upon force. Jesus Christ founded His empire upon love; and at this hour millions of people would die for Him.” (What Napoleon Bonaparte himself said about Jesus)
“Everything in Christ astonishes me. His spirit overawes me, and His will confounds me … I search in vain in history to find the similar to Jesus Christ, or anything that can approach the gospel.” (More of what Napoleon Bonaparte said about Jesus)
“All the kings that ever reigned put together; have not affected the life of mankind on earth as powerfully as that one solitary life.”
(From One Solitary Life, by an unknown author, written about the life of Jesus.)
One of the reasons the Bible is the world’s bestselling book is because it gives people real hope and truth.
7. Brilliant people believe it to be true
“To God’s will I submit myself.” (George Frederic Handel)
“To God alone, the glory.” (Johann Sebastian Bach)
Bach would frequently initial his blank manuscript pages with the marking, ‘J.J.’ (‘Help me, Jesus’) or ‘I.N.J.’ (In the name of Jesus).”
“I offer all my praises to Almighty God … Each day I prayed to God to give me strength.” (Franz Haydn)
“God, be my Rock, my light, forever my trust.” (Ludwig Van Beethoven)
“May God be with you.” (Felix Mendelssohn)
“Through Christ alone … salvation comes to us.” (Franz Liszt)
From the book, “The Spiritual Lives of the Great Composers” by Patrick Kavanaugh, Sparrow Press, USA, 1992.
“Overwhelming strong proofs of intelligent and benevolent design lie around us … the atheistic idea is so non-sensical that I cannot put it into words.” (Lord Kelvin)
“I am a Christian … I believe only and alone … in the service of Jesus Christ … In Him is all refuge, all solace.” (Johannes Kepler)
“Order is manifestly maintained in the universe … the whole being governed by the sovereign will of God.” (James Prescott Joule)
“There are those who argue that the universe evolved out a random process, but what random process could produce the brain of man or the system of the human eye?” (Werhner Von Braun)
“Almighty Creator and Preserver of all things, praised be all Thou has created.” (Carl Linnaeus)
“I am a believer in the fundamental doctrines of Christianity.” (Sir Joseph Lister)
“The more I study nature, the more I stand amazed at the work of the Creator. Science brings men nearer to God.” (Louis Pasteur). Pasteur strongly opposed Darwin’s theory of evolution because he felt it did not conform to the scientific evidence.
Robert Boyle believed in Jesus Christ’s “Passion, His death, His resurrection and ascension, and all of those wonderful works which He did during His stay upon earth, in order to confirm the belief of His being God as well as man.”
Sir Isaac Newton said, “Atheism is so senseless. When I look at the solar system, I see the earth at the right distance from the sun to receive the proper amounts of heat and light. This did not happen by chance.” and also “The true God is a living, intelligent and powerful being.”
Michael Faraday was careful to “Thank God, first, for all His gifts.”
From the book, “21 Great Scientists Who Believed the Bible” by Ann Lamont published by Answers in Genesis, P.O. Box 6302, Acacia Ridge D.C., Queensland, 4110, Australia, 1995.
Present day PhD. scientists speak out
“The evidence points to an intelligent designer of the vast array of life, both living and extinct, rather than to unguided mindless evolution.” (Nancy M Darrall, Speech Therapist at the Bolton Community Health Care Trust in the UK. She holds a PhD in Botany from the University of Wales.)
“Evolutionary theories of the universe cannot counteract the above arguments for the existence of God.” (John M Cimbala, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Pennsylvania State University. John holds a PhD in Aeronautics.)
“We have already seen that no such system could possibly appear by chance. Life in its totality must have been created in the beginning, just as God told us.” (John P Marcus, Research Officer at the Cooperative Research Centre for Tropical Plant Pathology, University of Queensland, Australia. John holds a PhD in Biological Chemistry from the University of Michigan.)
“I … have no hesitation in rejecting the evolutionary hypothesis of origins and affirming the biblical alternative that ‘in six days the Lord God created the heavens and earth and all that in them is’. (Dr Taylor is senior lecturer in Electrical Engineering at the University of Liverpool. Dr Taylor has a PhD in Electrical Engineering and has authored over 80 scientific articles.)
“I believe God provides evidence of His creative power for all to experience personally in our lives. To know the Creator does not require an advanced degree in science or theology.” (Timothy G Standish is an Associate Professor of Biology at Andrews University in the USA. Dr Standish holds a PhD in Biology and Public Policy from George Mason University, USA.)
“At the same time I found I could reject evolution and not commit intellectual suicide, I began to realise I could also accept a literal creation and still not commit intellectual suicide.” (AJ Monty White, Student Advisor, Dean of Students Office, at the University of Cardiff, UK. Dr White holds a PhD in the field of Gas Kinetics.)
“In the words of the well-known scientist, Robert Jastrow, ‘for the scientist who has lived by faith in the power of reason, the story [of the quest for the answers about the origin of life and the universe] ends like a bad dream. he has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.” (Jerry R Bergman, Instructor of Science at Northwest State College, Archbold, Ohio. He holds a PhD in Evaluation and Research from Wayne State University and a PhD in Human Biology from Columbia Pacific University.)
From the book “In Six Days (why 50 scientists choose to believe in creation)” edited by John F Ashton PhD, New Holland Publishers, 1999.