WHY I BELIEVE THE BIBLE
Two fundamental reasons why I believe in God are: Nature and the Bible.
My reasons for believing in God because of nature are the four well-known traditional arguments: The Cosmological, The Teleological, The Anthropological, and The Ontological.
My reason for believing in God because of the Bible is simply this: The Bible affirms that “in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth”—Genesis 1:1. I believe that God is, simply because the Bible says so! However, to the man who does not believe the Bible, this is no good reason at all. Therefore, before one can convincingly use this argument, he must first demonstrate the integrity, reliability, and validity of the Bible, which demonstration is the burden of this article. Also, when I shall have stated my reasons for believing the Bible to be the word of God, I shall have presented, at the same time, a supplement to, and a continuation of, Why I Believe in God.
I think it very appropriate that we make our transition from the argument of nature, to the argument of the Bible, by first studying the analogies that exist between these two: nature and the Bible. My first reason, then, for believing the Bible to be the word of God is the several Biblical analogies which so beautifully correspond to those of nature, two of which we shall now study.
Like nature, the Bible is both simple and complex. In nature, the air that we breathe and the water that we drink are utilized by, and are essential to, the well-being of an infant as they are to the adults. And though they are so simple that the child can, and does, use them, yet they are so complex that they have challenged our scientists through the centuries. In like manner, there are things contained in the bible that even the little child can understand and use, yet the same book contains other matters which are so complex that some of our greatest scholars have never been able to fathom their depths!
Another example of this simplicity and abstruseness may be seen in the formation of the Earth. The soil of the Earth, which is the most important for man’s practical use, has been placed upon the earth’s surface, where it is accessible to all, and its uses are capable of being understood and applied by the meanest capacity. Yet he who has the capacity to proceed into the otherwise locked chambers of the earth’s bosom will find there, as it were, first the coarser metals, then the more precious, and finally the jewels and the precious stones most rare. In like manner, the Bible has, as it were, upon its surface, such as can be understood and used by all, and yet he who has the capacity to proceed further into its otherwise locked chambers, will find there those jewels of truth most rare. “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God!”
Again, the Bible is like nature in its harmonious unity. Nature is a unit, one example of which natural history presents. Here we see the vegetable is closely related to, and based upon the mineral, and the mineral in turn is closely related to, and based upon the vegetable, and then the vegetable is the basis and support of the animal, and the animal, again, is the basis of mental, which relationship suggests that the maker of the minerals is also the creator of vegetables, animals and souls. But the Bible is also a unit; for though it was written over a period of about sixteen hundred years, by about forty different men who were related to all walks of life, who lived in different countries and ages, and who spoke different languages, yet when it was brought together and compiled into one volume, it constituted one consistent whole! The Bible is a unit, and weak indeed is the mind of that man who will argue otherwise.
Though I am aware that the Bible is not a text book on science, yet when it treats upon a scientific subject, it is always scientifically correct. This, therefore, is my second reason for believing the Bible to be from God. Some examples of this scientific accuracy are: In the realm of the astronomical the Bible declared with unerring accuracy that the stars are innumerable (Genesis 22:17; cf. Hebrews 11:12), yet for a long time this was contested by our scientists. How did Moses and Paul know this? Again, Job says: “He . . . hangeth the earth upon nothing.” –Job 26:7. How did Job know that? Still further, Isaiah declared: “He sitteth upon the circle of the earth.” – Isaiah 40:22. How did Isaiah know that? Another example in the realm of the psychological is: the Bible locates the intellect in the head (1 Corinthians 12:12-27; cf. Colossians 1:18), but the ancients located it in the blood, the abdomen, the chest and the stomach. How did Paul know to write this? Then, in the realm of the biological the Bible locates the life in the blood. – Deuteronomy 12:23. This, however, our scientists did not know for hundreds of years after Moses wrote. How did Moses know? Surely, these men could not have written with such unerring accuracy without the divine aid of an all-wise God. To believe otherwise is to create a far greater difficulty than to simply believe that God wrote the Bible. I, therefore, believe the Bible came from God.
My third and final reason for believing the Bible, is contained in its marvelous prophecies. Though the Bible is filled with such prophecies, yet, in order to be brief, I am going to confine myself to one prophecy, because of the living proof we have with us to this day. This prophecy, or rather, this series of prophecies concern the Jews. God prophesied that a nation would come against them from afar—Deuteronomy 28:49. This was fulfilled by the Roman Army. God said that during the terrible famine the parents would eat their own children—Leviticus 26:29. Josephus affirms that they did—Wars of the Jews, book 6, chapter 3, section 4. God said He would scatter the Jews among all the nations—Deuteronomy 28:64. Need we argue this point? Though scattered, yet the Jews were not to be destroyed—Jeremiah 30:11. The Jews remain with us today. The destroyed have outlived their destroyers! Indeed, the Jews are a living monument of the integrity, reliability and validity of God’s prophetic word, and for these prophecies I firmly believe the Bible to be the word of God.
I therefore believe the Bible to be the word of God because of its analogy to nature, its scientific accuracy, and its infallible prophecies, not one of which has been embellished in this brief article, but all of which have been introduced, with the hope that they may inspire my reader to search for himself that abundant storehouse of Christian evidences, the result of which, it is hoped, will be an unfaltering faith in both the existence of that Being from whom all blessings flow, and the inspiration of that book through which He has revealed Himself to man.—Amen.
R. C. Oliver (1918-1998) was a Christian educator. He received his training at Freed-Hardeman College, Akron University, Marietta College, East Tennessee State University, Michigan State, and The University of Mississippi. He taught in the Bible and English departments at Freed-Hardeman from 1965 until his retirement in 1982. Oliver was an accomplished English grammarian. He was a Gospel preacher and polished debater. His rational, conversational pulpit delivery was powerful. He was blessed with a natural ability to “think on his feet.” He was not contentious or mean-spirited. He did not delight in religious controversy, but as Paul, “was set for the defense of the Gospel” (Philippians 1:17).