Disclaimer: I copied and pasted many lines straight from Lee Strobel’s book, The Case For Christ. I didn’t want to take away from the story and distract the reader with multiple citations and references. Therefore, I simply put the page number in parentheses right after each sentence, quote, or phrase that I took from his book. Please read the preface in the full PDF version.
But if the bible was written by man, how can we believe everything in it?
“Where did that come from?”
“I don’t know. I’m just thinking.”
The bible was indeed written by men, but it was inspired by God. Do you know how it all came together? It’s incredible and almost unbelievable. Stories and letters that make up the bible today were found in all different parts of those early countries, from all different people completely unrelated to each other, and sometimes hundreds and hundreds of years apart.
You can trust that it’s real based on the reliability of eyewitness testimonies, like the four Gospels. The four Gospels are Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Most of these guys didn’t even know each other.
Three of them were unlikely characters too. No one would have had motivation to lie by claiming these guys wrote the gospels. Mark and Luke weren’t even among the twelve disciples. Matthew was, but he was a hated tax collector. John was the only one that was extremely prominent. He wasn’t just one of the disciples, but one of Jesus’ inner three, along with James and Peter. (Page 23)
These guys worked hard to preserve Jesus’ teachings and miracles. It wasn’t like it is today. They didn’t have the technology to save information. They had to memorize stories and facts exactly as they happened. It was common practice and extremely hard work.
But remember, they had nothing to gain except criticism. They certainly had nothing to gain financially. If anything, this would have provided pressure to keep quiet, deny Jesus, to downplay him, even to forget they ever met him—yet because of their integrity, they proclaimed what they saw, even when it meant suffering and death. (48)
We can be assured that the events they recorded are based on either direct or indirect eyewitness testimony. (25) It’s significant to note the consistency of their accounts too. There is enough discrepancy to show that there could have been no previous concert among them; and at the same time such substantial agreement as to show that they were all independent narrators of the same great transaction. No one can discount them or disprove them. (46)
“Has anyone proved the bible wrong?”
Out of all the discoveries over time and the scientists and archaeologists that have lived to disprove the bible, it still stands the test of time. No one can disprove it. The bible remains as the number one selling book each year for a reason. Over 2,000 years later Jesus continues to save people’s lives. No one in history has ever had this powerful of an influence.
“What do you mean they were inspired by God?”
There are times when you can say things you never thought you could say. You could write things you never thought you could write. You can do things you never thought you can do. Something is guiding you. It’s divine intervention.
God used regular people and sometimes the people you would least expect. I have no doubt he used them to get these words on paper. It would be easy to believe in Him if he somehow scribed them on a tablet himself and left for others to find. He doesn’t want it to be easy. Following God isn’t. He wants serious candidates only. And serious candidates fight hard to discover Him, and share the good news of Him.
The church was very careful selecting which gospels made up the New Testament. They weren’t ‘gung-ho,’ sweeping in every last document that happened to have anything about Jesus in it. This shows deliberation and careful analysis. (69)
The New Testament was reliably preserved. Benjamin Warfield put it this way, “If we compare the present state of the New Testament text with that of any other ancient writing, we must declare it to be marvelously correct. Such has been the care with which the New Testament has been copied—a care which has doubtless grown out of true reverence for its holy words…The New Testament is unrivaled among ancient writings in the purity of its text as actually transmitted and kept in use.” (70)
Off subject but not, here’s another fun fact. The early biography accounts of Jesus started spreading within just a few years of His Resurrection, many believe 2-5 years. In comparison, the two earliest biographies of Alexander the Great were written more than four hundred years after Alexander’s death in 323 B.C., yet historians consider them to be generally trustworthy. (33)
“I know another fun fact dad.”
“The fact that when talking about dates we say B.C., before Christ, and A.D. We learned that in Latin it means “anno domini,” in the year of the Lord.”
“That is awesome Gio.”
I could see his eyes starting to fade.
“Alright. I’m starting to get sleepy now. I just don’t want people to lie to me when I grow up.”
They will. Sometimes intentionally, sometimes unintentionally. You know how many things I learned in history class that were wrong or inaccurate? Later on in life I discovered that a lot of facts that we learned from textbooks weren’t necessarily facts.
People are people and they will misconstrued the truth. Books, videos, articles, stories, research, are all someone’s opinions. If it was created by humans, you have to constantly analyze the facts for yourself to decipher what’s truth and what’s not. That’s why we say things like listen to God’s word not the world’s.
“The world? What does that mean?”
You’ll hear this a lot in life. The world in a sense is all those who reject God and His ways. We are all sinful by nature. But Christians are supposed to break that cycle (1 John 5:4-5). Many people don’t, non-Christians and even Christians alike. If you look around at our society and witness how most people live, it’s selfish, self-destructive, hostile, and harmful to the environment and others.
You can’t think like the majority, you can’t act like the majority, and you can’t talk like them. You need to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and live self-controlled, upright and godly lives. (Titus 2:12). Your challenge in life will be to be in this world and not of it. (John 17:16)
I realized it was silent. Gio’s eyes were half closed. But I was rolling now. I had to finish this comment out.
There are not many absolute truths in life. If you jump, you’ll come back down. The sun rises in the east and sets in the west. You’re born and then you die. Besides facts like this, many things aren’t so black and white. The only source of truth is the bible.
I used to not understand what that meant. But it basically means, people will come up with their own opinions, philosophies, and ways of doing things. The world will create all types of corrupt ideologies, messages, and morality that can persuade your mindset. But there is only one true Way that will stick and will last when applied to your life. That’s God’s Word, the bible. It’s your blueprint. Always resort to that before anything else.
Gio’s breathing relaxed. It seemed like he was sleeping but then, he popped out one last question.
“But how will I know?”
You have to feel it. Sometimes things aren’t possible to put into words. No matter what you hear it won’t make sense until you feel it.
You now know the facts that Jesus was real. But if you really want to know, you have to feel Him. You have to have a relationship with him. You’ll start to feel His presence working in you and around you. Then you’ll know.
He was out cold. I’m not sure how much of the last statement he heard.
I pulled his sheets over him and finished with what I always tell him before bed.
“You’re an amazing kid Gio. You’ll do amazing things in life. God has big things planned for you. I’m proud of you and so is He.”
Interestingly, I was more awake now than before this conversation started. Since I couldn’t fall asleep, I decided to go downstairs and open up my computer.
That’s when I wrote this story.