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What Does the Bible Say About..Reasons to Believe?

I was reading your response to the Muslim girl about "why" you believe in the Bible vs. the Quran. I'm a bit curious though since you didn't really give a reason WHY you believe rather just another affirmation as to WHAT you believe. WHY do you believe the Bible is God's word? What evidence or experience or presentation or anything else can you base your belief on? What kind of reasoning have you used to come to a conclusion in your mind that the Bible is from God and not just a bunch of manuscripts written by people who were trying to influence others to their point of view and then selected and filtered by people trying to increase their power? The Bible is certainly not the complete set of manuscripts and it certainly has inconsistencies. So WHY is the question. WHY do you believe? WHY do you believe the Bible is God's word?

Answer

Please see What Does the Bible Say About..Writing the Bible? and What Does the Bible Say About..Authenticating the Bible? for partial answers to why I believe the Bible to be true.

The least important reason I believe in the Bible is that it is safest to do so. Since it is the only book that promises forgiveness of sin, it just seems safest to follow it.

Beyond that I fall back on what scholars call external and internal evidences. This would include the evidences I mention in the previous answers to which I referred above.

External evidences are those things outside the Bible that prove it to be reliable. They canít prove the whole Bible, but they can prove that parts of it are reliable, or could prove that parts are not if that were so. Basically these would be historical and archaeological evidences. These abundant evidences consistently show that what the Bible says is reliable. There is nothing that has yet been discovered that can show conclusively that anything in the Bible is historically inaccurate. This would also include the idea that some of the Bible was written at a time when people could testify against what was written, but they did not do so. For instance, in 1 Corinthians 15 Paul writes about the resurrection of Jesus. He points out the number of witnesses to that resurrection, and adds that most of those witnesses were still alive at the time he wrote that. If somebody wanted to try to disprove the resurrection, Paul says, they would have to impeach most of five thousand witnesses. It did not happen.

Internal evidences have to do with what the Bible says, and what it says about itself. Among the primary internal evidences is that the Bible was written over thousands of years, in various places, and by numerous people (some writing at the same time and independently), and yet it is internally consistent. It is hard enough for a single author to maintain consistency within a series of books. The chances of that happening with up to sixty authors over such a long period of time are considerably more telling.

Yes, there were other manuscripts, particularly written in the second and third centuries AD, that were rejected as not being part of the inspired word of God. In some cases they did not claim to be inspired, but uninspired commentary on what was accepted. In other cases their claims to inspiration failed to meet the tests of internal consistency or consistency with those things that were commonly accepted as part of what we now call the Bible. When something clearly disagreed with those who were in a position to know the truth (such as the apostles who had lived with Jesus for at least three years), it was rejected. This may sound like it is enforcing an artificial consistency. It really is not. When three gospel writers, writing in different locations at approximately the same time, could agree, then someone who significantly disagreed with them is probably the inaccurate witness. That principle is even used in courts today.

This is only a brief statement of why I believe that the Bible is the word of God. I commend you for noticing that the other answers about why I believed did not give a good answer. Thank you for reading what I wrote closely, and calling my error to my attention.