PART 2: GOOD REASONS TO READ THE BIBLE
8. Fulfils our deepest needs
When you think about it, there are not many places that even claim to have answers to our questions about life. The Bible supplies the answers to our deepest needs.
To find love
“We love because God first loved us.”
To know truth
“In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth …”
To know God
“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'”
To overcome the fear of death
“Jesus … by his death … came to free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death”
To find forgiveness
“To Jesus who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood … to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.”
To find peace
(Jesus says) “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.”
To find freedom
“So if the Son (Jesus) sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
To find joy in life
“… and you are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.”
To find security
“I believe that neither angels nor demons, neither present nor the future, neither height nor depth. nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
9. The world’s most widely distributed book
The whole Bible has been translated into 405 different languages and the New Testament into 1034 languages.
This indicates that many people think the Bible is a very important book worthy of our most serious consideration.
10. Packed with the most exciting events
These include human emotion (love, joy, peace, exhilaration, pain and disappointment), miracles like people rising from the dead, people receiving their sight and walking on water, suspense, battles and the supernatural (God and demons).
11. What the Bible says makes sense
There must be a Creator
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”
There is good and evil
“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter”
We have trouble doing what is right
“‘For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out'”
There will be a judgement for what we have done
“When he (the Holy Spirit) comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regards to sin and unrighteousness and judgement”
We need forgiveness
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and purify us from all righteousness”
12. Many people have died for their faith
Countless numbers of people over the centuries have been prepared to die for their belief that the Bible is accurate. This included the disciples (Peter, John etc.) who were with Jesus when he lived and died. They were so convinced that Jesus rose from the dead that they were prepared to die for their faith.
The disciples would only have only been prepared to die for their faith if they were totally convinced that Jesus had indeed risen from the dead on the third day. If Jesus had not actually risen from the dead, the disciples would have known it. Many people have been prepared to die for a belief but the disciples would have died for something they knew was false and this is inconceivable!
Many of these people (like Paul the apostle) were sworn enemies of the Christians and Christianity, until God changed their lives. Then the arguments they held dearly to didn’t seem so convincing!
13. Has survived the most sustained attack
When a French monarch proposed the persecution of Christians, an old statesman said to him, “Sire, the Church of God is an anvil that has worn out many hammers.”
14. The Bible is historically reliable
Test 1: The Bibliographical Test – Number of copies & closeness to the original
Compared to its closest ‘rival’ the “Iliad”, written by Homer, the New Testament has far more existing copies. It also has a much shorter time interval between when it was written and the earliest existing copy we now possess.
Test 2: The External Test – Agreement with other historical manuscripts
What the Bible says
“When Pilate heard this, he bought out Jesus … ‘Here is your king’, Pilate said to the Jews. But they shouted, ‘Take him away! … Crucify him!’ ‘Shall I crucify your king?’ Pilate asked. ‘We have no king but Caesar’ … Finally Pilate handed him over to be crucified (Bible, John 19:13-16).
“In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar – when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother…” (Bible, Luke 3:1).
“The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch” (Bible, Acts 11:26).
What other historical documents say
“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.)
“They were in the habit of meeting on a certain fixed day before it was light, when they sang in alternate verse a hymn to Christ as a god and bound themselves to a solemn oath, not to any wicked deeds, but never to commit any fraud, theft, adultery, never to falsify their word…” (Pliny the Younger, Governor of Bithynia in Asia Minor in A.D.112 writing to emperor Trajan seeking counsel as how to treat the Christians.)
Even people who were enemies of Christianity confirm many of the basic historical details of the New Testament!
Test 3: The Internal Test – Closeness of writers to the action
The writers of the gospels were either eyewitnesses (Matthew and John) or people like Luke who received the story from eyewitnesses. These writers were very close to the action!