I was brought up to believe that the Bible was
the Word of God. In early life I accepted it as such upon the authority
of my parents, and never gave the question any serious thought. But
later in life my faith in the Bible was utterly shattered through the
influence of the writings of a very celebrated, scholarly and brilliant
sceptic. I found myself face to face with the question, Why do you
believe the Bible is the Word of God?
Reasons Why I Believe The Bible Is The Word Of God
I had no satisfactory answer. I
determined to go to the bottom of this question. If satisfactory proof
could not be found that the Bible was God's Word I would give the whole
thing up, cost what it might. If satisfactory proof could be found that
the Bible was God's Word I would take my stand upon it, cost what it
might. I doubtless had many friends who could have answered the
question satisfactorily, but I was unwilling to confide to them the
struggle that  was going on in my own heart; so I sought help from
God and from books, and after much painful study and thought came out
of the darkness of scepticism into the broad daylight of faith and
certainty that the Bible from beginning to end is God's Word. The
following pages are largely the outcome of that experience of conflict
and final victory.
I will give Ten Reasons why I believe the Bible is the Word of God:
on the ground of the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Many people accept the authority of
Christ who do not accept that of the Bible as a whole. We all must
accept His authority. He is accredited to us by five Divine
testimonies: by the testimony of the Divine life He lived; by the
testimony of the Divine words He spoke; by the testimony of the Divine
works He wrought; by the Divine attestation of the resurrection from
the dead; and by the testimony of His Divine influence upon the history
of mankind. But if we accept the authority of Christ we must accept the
authority of the Bible as a whole. He testifies definitely and
specifically to the Divine authorship of the whole Bible.
We find His testimony as to the Old
Testament in Mark 7:13. Here He calls the law of Moses the "Word of
God." That, of course, covers only the first five books of the Old
Testament, but in Luke 24:27 we read, "And beginning at Moses and all
the  prophets, He expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the
things concerning Himself," and in the forty-fourth verse He said, "All
things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses and in
the prophets and the Psalms." The Jews, divided the Old Testament into
three parts--the Law, the Prophets, and the Psalms--and Christ takes up
each of these parts and sets the stamp of His authority upon it. In
John 10:35 Christ says, "The Scripture cannot be broken," thereby
teaching the absolute accuracy and inviolability of the Old Testament.
More specifically still, it possible, in Matt. 5:18, Jesus says, "One
jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law till all be
fulfilled." A jot is the smallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet--less
than half the size of any other letter, and a tittle is the merest
point of a consonant--less than the cross we put on a "t,"--and Christ
here declares that the Scripture is absolutely true, down to the
smallest letter or point of a letter. So if we accept the authority of
Christ we must accept the Divine authority of the entire Old Testament.
Now, as to the New Testament. We find
Christ's endorsement of it in John 14:26, "The Holy Ghost, whom the
Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things and bring
all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." Here
we see that not only was the teaching of the  Apostles to be fully
inspired, but also their recollection of what Christ Himself taught. We
are sometimes asked how we know that the Apostles correctly reported
what Jesus said--"may they not have forgotten?" True, they might
forget, but Christ Himself tells us that in the Gospels we have, not
the Apostles' recollection of what He said, but the Holy Ghost's
recollection, and the Spirit of God never forgets. In John 16:13, 14,
Christ said that the Holy Ghost should guide the Apostles into "all the
truth," therefore in the New Testament teaching we have the whole
sphere of God's truth. The teaching of the Apostles is more complete
than that of Jesus Himself, for He says in John 16:12, "I have yet many
things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit, when He,
the Spirit of truth is come, He shall guide you into all the truth."
While His own teaching had been partial, because of their weakness, the
teaching of the Apostles, under the promised Spirit, was to take in the
whole sphere of God's truth.
So if we accept the authority of Christ
we must accept that of the whole Bible, but we must, as already seen,
accept Christ's authority.
on the ground of its fulfilled prophecies.
There are two classes of prophecies in
the Bible--first, the explicit, verbal prophecies, second, those of the
In the first we have the definite
prophecies concerning the Jews, the heathen nations and the Messiah.
Taking the prophecies, regarding the Messiah as an illustration, look
at Isaiah 53, Mic. 5:2, Dan. 9:25-27. Many others might be mentioned,
but these will serve as illustrations. In these prophecies, written
hundreds of years before the Messiah came, we have the most explicit
statements as to the manner and place of His birth, the manner of His
reception by men, how His life would end, His resurrection and His
victory succeeding His death. When made, these prophecies were
exceedingly improbable, and seemingly impossible of fulfilment; but
they were fulfilled to the very minutest detail of manner and place and
time. How are we to account for it? Man could not have foreseen these
improbable events--they lay hundreds of years ahead--but God could, and
it is God who speaks through these men.
But the prophecies of the types are more
remarkable still. Everything in the Old Testament--history,
institutions, ceremonies--is prophetical. The high priesthood, the
ordinary priesthood, the Levites, the prophets, priests and kings, are
all prophecies. The tabernacle, the brazen altar, the laver, the golden
candlestick, the table of shewbread, the veil, the altar of incense,
the ark of the covenant, the very coverings of the tabernacle, are
prophecies. In all  these things, as we study them minutely and
soberly in the light of the history of Jesus Christ and the church, we
see, wrapped up in the ancient institutions ordained of God to meet an
immediate purpose, prophecies of the death, atonement, and resurrection
of Christ, the day of Pentecost, and the entire history of the church.
We see the profoundest Christian doctrines of the New Testament clearly
foreshadowed in these institutions of the Old Testament. The only way
in which you can appreciate this is to get into the Book itself and
study all about the sacrifices and feasts, etc., till you see the
truths of the New Testament shining out in the Old. If, in studying
some elementary form of life, I find a rudimentary organ, useless now,
but by the process of development to become of use in that animal's
descendant, I say, back of this rudimentary organ is God, who, in the
earlier animal, is preparing for the life and necessities of the animal
that is to come. So, going back to these preparations in the Bible for
the truth that is to be clearly taught at a later day, there is only
one scientific way to account for them, namely, He who knows and
prepares for the end from the beginning is the author of that Book.
on the ground of the unity of the book.
This is an old argument, but a very
satisfactory  one. The Bible consists of sixty-six books, written
by more than thirty different men, extending in the period of its
composition over more than fifteen hundred years; written in three
different languages, in many different countries, and by men on every
plane of social life, from the herdman and fisherman and cheap
politician up to the king upon his throne; written under all sorts of
circumstances; yet in all this wonderful conglomeration we find an
absolute unity of thought.
A wonderful thing about it is that this
unity does not lie on the surface. On the surface there is oftentimes
apparent contradiction, and the unity only comes out after deep and
More wonderful yet is the organic
character of this unity, beginning in the first book and growing till
you come to its culmination in the last book of the Bible. We have
first the seed, then the plant, then the bud, then the blossom, then
the ripened fruit.
Suppose a vast building were to be
erected, the stones for which were brought from the quarries in
Rutland, Vermont; Berea, Ohio; Kasota, Minnesota, and Middletown,
Connecticut. Each stone was hewn into final shape in the quarry from
which it was brought. These stones were of all varieties of shape and
size, cubical, rectangular, cylindrical, etc., but when they were
brought together every stone fitted  into its place, and when put
together there rose before you a temple absolutely perfect in every
outline, with its domes, sidewalls, buttresses, arches, transepts--not
a gap or a flaw anywhere. How would you account for it? You would say:
"Back of these individual workers in the
quarries was the master-mind of the architect who planned it all, and
gave to each individual worker his specifications for the work."
So in this marvelous temple of God's
truth which we call the Bible, whose stones have been quarried at
periods of time and in places so remote from one another, but where
every smallest part fits each other part, we are forced to say that
back of the human hands that wrought was the Master-mind that thought.
on the ground of the immeasurable superiority of the teachings of the
Bible to those of any other and all other books.
It is quite fashionable in some quarters
to compare the teachings of the Bible with the teachings of Zoroaster,
and Buddha, and Confucius, and Epictetus, and Socrates, and Marcus
Aurelius Antoninus, and a number of other heathen authors. The
difference between the teachings of the Bible and those of these men is
found in three points--
First, the Bible has in it nothing but
truth, while all the others have truth mixed with error. It is true
 Socrates taught how a philosopher ought to die; he also taught
how a woman of the town ought to conduct her business. Jewels there are
in the teachings of these men, but (as Joseph Cook once said) they are
"jewels picked out of the mud."
Second, the Bible contains all truth.
There is not a truth to be found anywhere on moral or spiritual
subjects that you cannot find in substance within the covers of that
old Book. I have often, when speaking upon this subject, asked anyone
to bring me a single truth on moral or spiritual subjects, which, upon
reflection, I could not find within the covers of this book, and no one
has ever been able to do it. I have taken pains to compare some of the
better teachings of infidels with those of the Bible. They indeed have
jewels of thought, but they are, whether they knew it or not, stolen
jewels, and stolen from the very book they ridicule.
The third point of superiority is this:
the Bible contains more truth than all other books together. Get
together from all literature of ancient and modern times all the
beautiful thoughts you can; put away all the rubbish; put all these
truths that you have culled from the literature of all ages into one
book, and as the result, even then you will not have a book that will
take the place of this one book.
This is not a large book. I hold in my
hand a copy that I carry in my vest pocket and yet in this one 
little book there is more of truth than in all the books which man has
produced in all the ages of his history. How will you account for it?
There is only one rational way. This is not man's book, but God's book.
on the ground of the history of the book, its victory over attack.
This book has always been hated. No
sooner was it given to the world than it met the hatred of men, and
they tried to stamp it out. Celsus tried it by the brilliancy of his
genius, Porphyry by the depth of his philosophy; but they failed,
Lucian directed against it the shafts of his ridicule, Diocletian the
power of the Roman empire; but they failed. Edicts backed by all the
power of the empire were issued that every Bible should be burned, and
that everyone who had a Bible should be put to death. For eighteen
centuries every engine of destruction that human science, philosophy,
wit, reasoning or brutality could bring to bear against a book has been
brought to bear against that book to stamp it out of the world, but it
has a mightier hold on the world to-day than ever before.
If that were man's book it would have
been annihilated and forgotten hundreds of years ago, but because there
is in it "the hiding of God's power," though at times all the great men
of the world have been against it, and only an obscure remnant for it,
still it has fulfilled wonderfully the words of Christ, though not in
 the sense of the original prophecy, "Heaven and earth shall pass
away, but my word shall not pass away."
on the ground of the character of those who accept and of those who
reject the book.
Two things speak for the divinity of the
Bible--the character of those who accept it, and, equally, the
character of those who reject it. I do not mean by this that every man
who professes to believe the book is better than every man that does
not, but show me a man living an unselfish, devoted life, one who
without reservation has surrendered himself to do the will of God, and
I will show you a man who believes the Bible to be God's Word. On the
other hand, show me a man who rejects the Divine authority of that
book, and I will show you a man living a life of greed, or lust, or
spiritual pride, or self will.
Suppose you have a book purporting to be
by a certain author, and the people best acquainted with that author
say it is his, and the people least acquainted with him say it is not;
which will you believe? Now, the people best acquainted with God say
the Bible is His book; those who are least acquainted with God say it
is not. Which will you believe?
Furthermore, as men grow better they are
more likely to accept the Bible, and as they grow worse they are more
likely to reject it. We have all known  men who were both sinful
and unbelieving, who by forsaking their sin lost their unbelief. Did
any of us ever know a man who was sinful and believing, who by
forsaking his sin lost his faith? The nearer men live to God the more
confident they are that the Bible is God's Word; the farther they get
away from Him the more confident they are that it is not.
Where is the stronghold of the Bible? In
the pure, unselfish, happy home. Where is the stronghold of infidelity?
The gambling hell, the drinking saloon and the brothel. If a man should
walk into a saloon and lay a Bible down upon the bar, and order a
drink, we should think there was a strange incongruity in his actions,
but if he should lay any infidel writing upon the bar, and order a
drink, we would not feel that there was any incongruity.
on the ground of the influence of the book.
There is more power in that little book
to save men, and purify, gladden and beautify their lives, than in all
other literature put together--more power to lift men up to God. A
stream never rises higher than its source, and a book that has a power
to lift men up to God that no other book has, must have come down from
God in a way that no other book was.
I have in mind as I write a man who was
the  most complete victim of strong drink I ever knew; a man of
marvelous intellectual gifts, but who had been stupefied and brutalized
and demonized by the power of sin, and he was an infidel. At last the
light of God shone into his darkened heart, and by the power of that
book he has been transformed into one of the humblest, sweetest,
noblest men I know to-day.
What other book would have done that?
What other book has the power to elevate not only individuals but
communities and nations that this book has?
on the ground of the inexhaustible depth of the book.
Nothing has been added to it in eighteen
hundred years, yet a man like Bunsen, or Neander, cannot exhaust it by
the study of a lifetime. George Müller read it through more than
one hundred times, and said it was fresher every time he read it. Could
that be true of any other book?
But more wonderful than this--not only
individual men but generations of men for eighteen hundred years have
dug into it and given to the world thousands of volumes devoted to its
exposition, and they have not reached the bottom of the quarry yet. A
book that man produces man can exhaust, but all men together have not
been able to get to the bottom of this book. How are you going to
account for it? Only  in this way--that in this book are hidden
the infinite and inexhaustible treasures of the wisdom and knowledge of
A brilliant Unitarian writer, in trying
to disprove the inspiration of the Bible, says: "How irreligious to
charge an infinite God with having written His whole Word in so small a
book." He does not see how his argument can be turned against himself.
What a testimony it is to the divinity of this book that such infinite
wisdom is stored away in so small a compass.
on the ground of the fact that as we grow in knowledge and holiness we
grow toward the Bible.
Every thoughtful person when he starts
out to study the Bible finds many things with which he does not agree,
but as he goes on studying and growing in likeness to God, the nearer
he gets to God the nearer he gets to the Bible. The nearer and nearer
we get to God's standpoint the less and less becomes the disagreement
between us and the Bible. What is the inevitable mathematical
conclusion? When we get where God is, we and the Bible will meet. In
other words, the Bible was written from God's standpoint.
Suppose you are traveling through a
forest under the conduct of an experienced and highly recommended
guide. You come to a place where two roads diverge. The guide says the
road to the left is the one  to take, but your own judgment
passing upon the facts before it sees clear evidence that the road to
the right is the one to take. You turn and say to the guide,
"I know you have had large experience in
this forest, and you have come to me highly recommended, but my own
judgment tells me clearly that the road to the right is the one we
should take, and I must follow my own judgment. I know my reason is not
infallible, but it is the best guide I have."
But after you have followed that path
for some distance you are obliged to stop, turn around and go back and
take the path which the guide said was the right one.
After a while you come to another place
where two roads diverge. Now the guide says the road to the right is
the one to take, but your judgment clearly says the one to the left is
the one to take, and again you follow your own judgment with the same
result as before.
After you had this experience forty or
fifty times, and found yourself wrong every time, I think you would
have sense enough the next time to follow the guide.
That is just my experience with the
Bible. I received it at first on the authority of others. Like almost
all other young men, my confidence became shaken, and I came to the
fork in the road more than  forty times, and I followed, my own
reason, and in the outcome found myself wrong and the Bible right every
time, and I trust that from this time on I shall have sense enough to
follow the teachings of the Bible whatever my own judgment may say.
on the ground of the direct testimony of the Holy Spirit.
We began with God and shall end with
God. We began with the testimony of the second person of the Trinity,
and shall close with that of the third person of the Trinity.
The Holy Spirit sets His seal in the
soul of every believer to the Divine authority of the Bible. It is
possible to get to a place where we need no argument to prove that the
Bible is God's Word. Christ says, "My sheep know my voice," and God's
children know His voice, and I know that the voice that speaks to me
from the pages of that Book is the voice of my Father. You will
sometimes meet a pious old lady, who tells you that she knows that the
Bible is God's Word, and when you ask her for a reason for believing
that it is God's Word she can give you none, She simply says:
"I know it is God's Word."
You say: "That is mere superstition."
Not at all. She is one of Christ's
sheep, and recognizes her Shepherd's voice from every other voice.
 She is one of God's children, and knows the voice which speaks to
her from the Bible is the voice of God. She is above argument.
Everyone can have that testimony. John
7:17 (R. V.,) tells you how to get it. "If any man willeth to do His
will, he shall know of the teaching, whether it be of God." Just
surrender your will to the will of God, no matter where it carries you,
and you will put yourself in such an attitude toward God that when you
read this book you will recognize that the voice that speaks to you
from it is the voice of the God to whom you have surrendered your will.
Some time ago, when I was speaking to
our students upon how to deal with sceptics, there was in the audience
a graduate of a British University who had fallen into utter
scepticism. At the close of the lecture he came to me and said:
"I don't wish to be discourteous, sir,
but my experience contradicts everything you have said."
I asked him if he had followed the
course of action that I had suggested and not found light. He said that
he had. Stepping into another room I had a pledge written out running
somewhat as follows:
"I believe there is an absolute
difference between right and wrong, and I hereby take my stand upon the
right, to follow it wherever it carries me. I promise earnestly to
endeavor to find out what the truth is, and if I ever find that Jesus
Christ is the Son of God, I promise to accept Him as my Savior 
and confess Him before the world."
I handed the paper to the gentleman and
asked him if he was willing to sign it. He answered, "Certainly," and
did sign it. I said to him:
"You don't know there is not a God, and
you don't know that God doesn't answer prayer. I know He does, but my
knowledge cannot avail for you, but here is a possible clew to
knowledge. Now you have promised to search earnestly for the truth, so
you will follow this possible clue. I want you to offer a prayer like
this: 'Oh, God, if there be any God, and thou dost answer prayer, show
me whether Jesus Christ is thy Son, and if you show me He is, I will
accept Him as my Savior and confess Him before the world.'"
This he agreed to do. I further
requested that he would take the Gospel of John and read in it every
day, reading only a few verses at a time slowly and thoughtfully, every
time before he read asking God to give him light. This he also agreed
to do, but he finished by saying, "There is nothing in it." However, at
the end of a short time, I met him again, and he said to me, "There is
something in that." I replied, "I knew that." Then he went on to say it
seemed just as if he had been caught up by the Niagara river and had
been carried along, and that before long he would be a shouting
A short time ago I met this gentleman
again, and  he said to me that he could not understand how he had
been so blind, how he had ever listened to the reasoning which he had;
that it seemed to him utterly foolish now. I replied that the Bible
would explain this to him, that the "natural man receiveth not the
things of the Spirit of God," but that now he had put himself into the
right attitude towards God and His truth, everything had been made
plain. That man, who assured me that he was "a very peculiar man," and
that methods that influenced others would not influence him, by putting
himself into the right attitude towards God, got to a place where he
received the direct testimony of the Holy Ghost that this Bible is
God's Word; and, any one else can do the same. 
* Ten Reasons Why I Believe the
Bible Is the Word of God" was first published by Fleming H. Revell
Company in 1898.