How can anyone believe that the whole Bible is literally the “Word of God”?
The Bible contains some strange stories that make it difficult to believe. To tackle this difficult question, it might be best to start with what is clear and then work toward trying to understand what is not clear. As I have stated in previous posts, the four gospels gives us a reliable historical portrait of Jesus. With certainty, we can say that there was a Jesus who lived, died and rose from the grave. We must conclude with what the Roman centurion said in the Bible that this man was certainly the Son of God.
It is clear that the Lordship of Christ is the most compelling reason to accept the Bible as God’s Word. Jesus pointed to and clearly taught that the Old Testament was God’s Word. He commissioned his disciples to teach God’s Word with the same authority as He. Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would come to help them do, say, and write in such a way that others would believe in him. It is the Bible that clearly reveals that Jesus is Lord.
Since God’s Word teaches the central truths about faith and salvation, we can take comfort that all of God’s Word is inspired because God doesn’t make mistakes. However, I will freely admit that even though the Bible is God’s Word, I do not understand all of it. There are aspects of my faith that my feeble mind simply cannot grasp. There are parts of the Bible that are unclear and are left unexplained. Yet, reason doesn’t have to take a back seat in this issue. Briefly consider the following points; 1) There is a great deal of prophecy in the Old Testament that was fulfilled perfectly; 2) Archaeological evidence continues to support the Bible; and 3) There is a unity in the entire Bible that points to God’s loving pursuit of humanity and man’s redemption through Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah.
Even though I can’t explain the whole Bible, my faith remains strong in God’s promises. Why? Salvation is not about believing in a talking serpent who deceived a woman, how a sea parted or how water changed into wine. Salvation is recognizing our need for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ and believing in him. The evidences of a transformation of a new life in Christ are too strong to be overturned by occasional bewilderment.
If you don’t believe me, start to read the Bible anyway. What have you got to lose?
** This question and answer was inspired from the book, “Letters from a Skeptic” by Dr. Gregory A Boyd and Edward K. Boyd, Chariot Victor Publishing, 1994.