The Bible is the starting point for Christian apologetics. While natural revelation clearly has a place in apologetics, even this natural revelation must be interpreted through the “spectacles of Scripture.” Natural revelation tells us there must be a God, the Bible tells us what kind of God He is. The written Scripture is how God has chosen to reveal Himself to humankind.
The Bible contains sixty-six books written in three languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek) by thirty-nine authors over a period of one thousand eight hundred years (1700 BC to 100 AD). The authors of these books include shepherds, prophets, kings, priests, poets, students, musicians, philosophers, fishermen, a tent maker who was trained as a theologian, and a doctor. It is full of poetry, proverbs, letters, laws, histories, prophecies, philosophy, and stories.
Despite being written by many different men and over a long time period, the entire Bible has remarkable unity. Imagine gathering five people in a room and asking their opinion on almost any subject. What are the chances that all five would agree? Probably very low. The chances of dozens of authors agreeing over a period of one thousand six hundred years is astronomical. The one thing Bible authors agree on and that unites their different writings is the theme of salvation for humanity through Jesus Christ.
The reason for the unity within the Bible comes from the fact that the Bible really has only one author: God. While specific people throughout history wrote the books of the Bible, each person was inspired by God to write the words they did. “All Scripture is God-breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16 NIV) writes the Apostle Paul. The Word of God “never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21 NIV). So, while different men held the pens used to write the Scriptures, each man was guided by the Holy Spirit as he wrote.
If one does not believe the Bible is authoritative, then there is not much reason to refer to it in Christian apologetics. Christians do not read the Bible in the same way that other books are read. When people read the Homer or Shakespeare they read their books as literature. But the Bible is God’s word to humanity. Before you can grasp the Bible, you must choose to believe it. If you are not willing to kneel when you read the Bible, you will never fully understand it.
There are many reasons why you can feel confident that the Bible is true…
First, the Bible claims that what it says is true
The Bible claims to be a source of ultimate truth. The author of the Bible is none other than the all-knowing God himself. If a book is written by God, one would expect to find that claim to be found within the book. On this point the Bible leaves its readers with no doubts, and it assures readers that, the Author being who he is, they can trust what is written. Here are a few things that the Bible has to say about itself as the Word of God:
God’s Word will last forever. “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever” (Isaiah 40:8 NKJV). “But the word of the Lord endures forever” (1 Peter 1:25). Newspapers change, scientific opinions change over time, but century after century, God’s Word endures the tests of time.
God’s Word is pure. “The words of the Lord are pure words” (Psalm 12:6). The Bible is inspired by the Holy Spirit. There is no hidden agenda or malice to be found in God’s Word. It is pure and good for purifying the soul.
God’s Word is useful. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). The Bible is useful for many things. It teaches us about God and about ourselves.
God’s Word is powerful. “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). Nothing can change a human heart faster than the Bible. God’s Word is like a mirror. When we hold it up to our faces and look, we see ourselves as we truly are. God’s Word reveals our sinful nature and points us to a forgiving God.
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About the Author: Dr. Daniel King is a missionary evangelist who has traveled to over seventy nations in his quest for souls. His goal is to lead 1,000,000 people to Jesus every year through massive Gospel Festivals, distribution of literature, and leadership training. Because of his experience and research on evangelism, he is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading experts in mass evangelism. As an evangelist, he has a deep interest in using apologetics to convince skeptics that God is real.