This week’s Bible Q&A is like a “part 2” to last week’s question. Six years ago, I had to write a letter proving that God exists. The follow-up assignment was “OK, now you’ve convinced ‘Agnostic Agnes’ that God exists. Now write her a letter proving that the Bible is inspired.”
This letter may make you chuckle, but hopefully it will also show you that showing the Bible is from God isn’t as hard as you might think. And in case you wondered, “Aunt Agnes” isn’t a real person. Enjoy!
Dear Aunt Agnes,
I heard about the confrontation you had with your science teacher at college. I never dreamed that you would share my last letter with him. Grandpa said you wouldn’t sit down until he read the letter and answered the arguments for the existence of God. It amazes me that he didn’t even try to argue. Good job! Has uncle Bubba’s toe healed yet? He needs to be more careful with that post-hole digger.
I am happy that you have come back to realizing that God truly exists. I do disagree with you, however on one thing. You said in your last letter that there is no proof that the Bible is really from God, and I am just taking it on blind faith. That’s really not the case. I’ll see if I can explain what I mean.
Could Junior have written a book like “Gone With the Wind”? Of course not. Junior’s not smart enough to have written that book. That proves it was written by someone more intelligent than him. It’s the same way with the Bible. If we can look at the Bible and see things in it that are beyond the capacity of human beings, it must have come from someone more intelligent than any human. That someone would be God. By the way, that is another way you can prove to someone that God exists.
For example, in Isaiah 40:22, it speaks of the circle of the earth. The word there actually means a sphere, like a ball. That’s not much of a surprise to us today, but when that was written (over 2,000 years ago), everyone thought the earth was flat. If you remember, that was still the common belief when Columbus sailed to America just over 500 years ago! But somehow the Bible knew it before anyone else.
Also, I learned in elementary school that there are currents in the oceans. If you saw that movie Finding Nemo, you’ll remember that the dad fish and the turtles rode the East Australian Current. That is one of them. They were discovered less than 150 years ago. Before that, no one knew about them. Well, no one except for the Bible. Psalm 8:8 speaks of the paths of the seas. This was around 3,000 years ago!
How could the Bible contain things that humans have only discovered in that past few hundreds of years? There is only one possible explanation: it was given by God. The people who wrote the books of the Bible were given what they were supposed to write straight from God.
If the Bible was just something that a group of men came up with, how could it have endured for thousands of years when people have tried and tried to destroy it? Even in the Bible, there were people who attempted to destroy all traces of God’s word. There was a wicked king named Jehoiakim who heard God’s word read to him and he got so made after only a few pages that he cut it up and burned it. That’s in Jeremiah chapter 36. If you read further, you will see that God just had Jeremiah’s secretary write it again. So, even the king could not destroy it.
Over 2,000 years ago, there was a somewhat insane ruler named Antiochus who tried to destroy all traces of Jewish worship. He even went so far as to burn every copy of the Old Testament that he could find, and kill all the people he found that possessed copies of it. This man was the ruler of the empire at the time, and yet the Old Testament still exists and we have many copies of it. He’s dead, but the Bible lives on.
Many people since then (including some rulers of the entire Roman Empire) have tried to physically destroy the Bible. Some extremely powerful people have done everything that they could to keep all copies of the Bible out of the hands of the common people.
Still others have tried to destroy the Bible intellectually. Many people who did not believe in God stated that the Bible would be completely forgotten in their lifetimes. But they keep dying; the Bible lives on. How do you explain the fact that the Bible has endured more persecution than any person or book in history, yet it still lives on in abundance? There are literally millions of Bibles printed every month. God gave us the Bible, and He is making sure we always have it.
Do you remember hearing a few years ago about them finding another ancient city that was mentioned in the Bible? That happens quite frequently nowadays. The archaeologists keep digging up more things that confirm that the Bible is correct. There have been many people mentioned in the Bible that skeptics say never really existed, but time after time, evidence keeps proving them wrong. There was an entire nation of people in the Bible, called the Hittites, that some people said did not ever exist, but archaeological evidence has proven that they existed, and that they existed exactly when the Bible says they did.
Some people have even gone so far in their efforts to discredit the Bible that they say Moses couldn’t have written the first five books of the Bible because there was not any written language back then. Yet, archaeologists discovered that there was a written language around 3500 BC, which was about 2,000 years before Moses was born. How is it that the “greatest” historians have to keep re-writing their histories as new evidence comes up, but the Bible is always right? It can only be that the Bible is from God; that is why it is 100% accurate.
Another thing that proves the Bible came from God is the fact that even though it was written by around 40 men over a period of about 1600 years, they all agree with each other. The writers of the Bible came from far different backgrounds and educations, yet they are all united in their presentation. There were kings, shepherds, a doctor, and even a tax collector that all wrote what God said to write. Have you ever wondered how all these people could have known what to write, and to make it in perfect harmony with the rest of the Bible? You could not get 40 people who knew each other to sit in the same room and write on the same subject and all be in agreement. How is it that the Bible accomplished just that? God told them what to write!
I bet you’re probably thinking “but the Bible does not always agree.” You probably think that there are contradictions in the Bible. I once heard someone say there were thousands of contradictions in the Bible. That is simply not true. While we might not completely understand everything involved in a supposed contradiction, most of them are easily explained. For example, suppose you were speaking with aunt Rex and Uncle Blondie and asking them who they saw in the grocery store. Rex says she saw Kacie and Rick, but Blondie just tells you they saw Rick. Is one of them lying to you? No, Rex is just telling you a more complete version of it.
A large chunk of the supposed contradictions involve similar scenarios. Matthew 8:28 speaks of two demon-possessed men healed by Jesus, while Luke and Mark both only mention one. Well, Matthew simply mentions all of them, the others only mentioned one of them. That is not a contradiction. The same type of “contradiction” appears in how many angels were at the tomb of Jesus. Matthew and Mark each mention one angel, but Luke mentions two. Luke gave a fuller account of what happened there. There is no contradiction. One great writer once said that a contradiction cannot exist unless it is impossible for both accounts to be true. If there were two angels, it is obvious that there was at least one angel there. The records of the Bible are complimentary.
Sometimes, there are totally different things mentioned in the same story. Well, Agnes, why do they always call so many witnesses in trials? Isn’t one witness good enough? You know better than that. One person sees things from a different angle, and may relay different parts of the story from another. The same is true with the Bible. Over the four gospel accounts (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), there are seven different things said by Jesus while He was on the cross. Is one of them untrustworthy if he doesn’t mention all seven things? Are they contradictory if they mention some, but not others? Of course not. You must have read twenty different biographies of Elvis, but do all of them say the same thing that the others do? No, they all add different information that the others leave out. It all depends on what the author was wanting to focus on. When you read them all, you get a fuller idea of who Elvis was. In the Bible, there are four different books about the life of Jesus; when you read all of them, you get a fuller idea of who Jesus really was. You get the whole story that way.
One of the things that a lot of people point to as a contradiction is the genealogies of Christ. There are two of them given in the New Testament. One of them is in Matthew, and the other is in Luke. There are almost no similarities between them, except for just a few names. Let me ask you something before I go any further: is your mother’s family line the same as your father’s? Of course not. One of the genealogies was from Jesus’ mother, Mary’s side of the family, and the other was from His adoptive father, Joseph.
So you see, there are some things that seem at first glance to be contradictions, but when you look at them, there is a logical explanation for each of them. Sometimes, we don’t know the answer, but when you have a reliable witness, you take it on faith until you find the evidence to prove it. That might seem odd to say, but remember old aunt Sue? You could take her word for anything; she never told a fib. If she told you something that sounded outlandish, you would still believe her, right? That’s because she has been completely trustworthy and reliable on everything else. You should treat the Bible in the same way. As I’ve mentioned throughout this letter, the Bible has been proven reliable and accurate over and over again. There is no reason to doubt anything that it says!
Well, I guess that’s about it for now. Remember, you can always call me if you have any questions about this stuff. I’m no expert, but I’ll do my best to talk with you so that we’re both on the same page. Have a nice week!