by Mike Gendron
Are you prepared to give a persuasive answer to a skeptic who asks you that question?
Just 10 years ago, it was only the non-Christians who were asking if the Bible was truly unique, but now we've got many professing Christians within the Emergent Church Movement who are asking, "Why should anyone believe the Bible?" The reason is because they deny the authority of God's Word. They say that truth is subjective, it is relative, and anyone's truth is just as valid as another person's truth. How would you respond to these misguided comments? We are hearing them more and more as this movement is invading the Church of Jesus Christ.
The Bible is what God says, religion is what man says God says. I am really tired of people listening to what man says God says. We need to direct people back to the source for truth — the Word of God. So, when a person looks out on all the religious books that there are, we ask, "What religious book is the best authority for truth?"
The world is picking up many different religious books. I want to share with you what I believe are ten ways that the Bible stands alone, that the Bible is unique when it comes to all the religious books of the world.
1. Divine Origin
The first way that the Bible is unique is in its divine origin. The authors claim that their words were inspired by God. We see that in 2 Timothy 3:16, "All Scripture is God-breathed..." Keep in mind that it is the Word of God that is inspired, not the writers. And so, when you read the Bible, you are reading one voice. It is the voice of God. In fact, the authors even claimed that they spoke for God. The phrase, "thus says the Lord" occurs almost 500 times throughout Scripture. With these claims we would expect then that the Bible would meet or exceed the highest standards for accuracy.
2. Unique in Unity and Harmony
God commissioned 40 different authors from all walks of life, over a period of 1500 years on three continents to write the 66 books of the Bible. From Genesis to Revelation, the writers are united in truth to reveal a complex drama about God's redemption of man from eternity past to eternity future. Think just how incredible this is! Here you have these 40 men separated by 1500 years all agreeing in unity and harmony on what the word of God is.
3. Popularity and Influence
The Bible is the most circulated book in history. It has been read and studied and quoted by more people than any other book. No other book has impacted society and culture so impressively or has changed lives so dramatically.
4. Reliability of Transmission
A shepherd made the greatest discovery of manuscripts in history in 1948 near the Dead Sea. Complete manuscripts such as Isaiah, the Psalms and Deuteronomy were copied over 2,000 years ago and found in these caves near the Dead Sea. These ancient manuscripts are essentially the same as our modern copies. This proves that they were transmitted over the years with extraordinary precision.
The Bible has withstood intense scrutiny by thousands of skeptics and survived continuous attacks by emperors, kings and dictators. They all failed in their attempts to silence the message. God's Word will stand forever! We know that heaven and earth will pass away, but God's Word will stand forever.
6. Message of Salvation
Did you know that the Bible is also unique in its message of salvation? The Bible proclaims salvation is offered as a free gift of God's grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. All other religious books declare that man must merit salvation through works, religious rituals, and/or law keeping. No other religion offers the Savior. Christianity stands alone.
7. Historical and Geographical Accuracy
Archeologists continue to unearth evidence of ancient people, places and cultures that are all described in the Bible. The descriptions have always proven to be completely reliable and accurate.
8. Painfully Honest
The Bible is unique in that it is painfully honest in the accounts of its heroes. The Bible shows that Jacob, one of the fathers of God's chosen people, was a deceiver. It shows Moses, the Lawgiver, as a murderer. It shows David, Israel's most loved king and spiritual leader, as an adulterer. It shows Paul, who wrote over half the New Testament, as the worst of sinners. And, it shows Peter as a betrayer of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is another indication that the Bible is inspired. You look at any other books written by authors and all they do is boast in their accomplishments and they hide their shameful and sinful activities.
9. Scientific Accuracy
Scientific references about the physical universe recorded in the Bible thousands of years ago were not discovered until modern times using modern technology. The God who created the universe and set in motion the laws that govern our world is the same God who inspired the writers of the Bible to record these fascinating mysteries. The Christian faith is not a blind faith. It is based on verifiable evidence.
10. Bible Prophecy
The last and maybe the most compelling reason for the Bible being unique is its Bible prophecy. It is prophetic in the sense that over 30% of the Bible actually contains scriptures predicting future events. The Bible contains over 1,800 prophecies that foretell specific details about the Messiah, about Israel, about individual nations and certain cities. As prophecy is being fulfilled, it is clear evidence that the Bible was inspired by a sovereign God who controls all things.
The author of the Bible is indeed the God of Wonders who knows the end from the beginning, and we should pay close attention to what He has revealed in His truly unique Word.