Why do people have difficulty trusting the Bible?

The Bible is an ancient book.

It was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic by prophets, kings, tax gatherers, fishermen, and scholars. In various genres narratives, poetry, songs, apocalyptic literature, promises, stories, commands, wisdom literature, history (although not exhaustive), and letters. R. Laid Harris adds about the historical setting of the Bible,

Its historic setting changed from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age to Roman times. Its events occurred in Canaan, Egypt, Greece, and Asia Minor. No wonder it has puzzled some readers. These supposed difficulties are the result of ignorance of Bible lands, customs, and languages. Most problems fade away under deep, earnest, and prayerful Bible study.[1]

Christians do not believe that the Bible dropped out of the sky or was dictated to men who scribbled down furiously to catch every word from God. Christians believe that the Bible is both fully inspired by God and fully written by humans. Christians believe that Bible is inerrant in its original manuscripts, not the copies and translation. Christian doctrines of the Bible allows for the human elements of style to be present in the writing process and accounting for the inevitable human error that occurs in textual transmission. Some of the supposed contradictions are because of obvious copying errors. But many of the contradictions are because many skeptics or contradiction seekers do not seem to know the basics of how to read an ancient text.

The Bible is a strange book.

It is different from all other books. It deals with spiritual things that cannot be understood “naturally.” Spiritual things are “spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14–16). Unfriendly critics and skeptics, therefore, discover problems even where no real problems exist. Nicodemus exclaimed to Christ, “How can these things be?” (John 3:9). People unwilling to accept the Bible’s spiritual message cannot understand it. So we must help them find answers through wisdom, spiritual discernment, and godly character.

People have a difficult time trusting the Bible because it is ancient and strange. But that is not what makes it most unbelievable. What makes the Bible most difficult to trust is what it says about God redemptive plan and that God calls you to believe it. The message of the Bible might just change your life, and for some self-ruled people that is too hard to swallow.

[1] R. Laird Harris, Exploring the Basics of the Bible, Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books, 2002), 72.


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