Why read the Bible? Many will state, “Why should I believe the Bible any more than some other book?” Or … “If God is love, it doesn’t matter whether I know what the Bible says as long as I show love to others.” Or … “I’m not interested in all the rules in the Bible. I live the way I want and I’m an otherwise good person.” Or …put your own reason down.
However, the Bible has been around for thousands of years. It took many hundreds of years to complete from the first prophet whom God called until the book of Revelation was finally written by John, the last surviving apostle of Jesus Christ. Is there a legitimate reason for the existence of the Bible?
For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. – Romans 15:4, NKJV
The reason why we should read the scriptures of the Bible is because they give us hope for a relationship with God, hope for internal happiness, hope for eternal life. But it’s hard for people to see why the Bible is what’s necessary to understand the truth about our Creator and the purpose of our existence. My two favorite verses in the Bible are as follows:
16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. – II Timothy 3:16,17, NKJV
20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. – I Peter 1:20,21, NKJV
Those verses tell us why we should trust the Bible. God, our Creator, inspired the prophets of the Old Testament and the apostles of the New Testament with the words He wanted them to speak and record for the rest of humanity. God’s intent was to have His Word to mankind preserved for generations to come so we will be prepared to do His works on earth.
The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. You shall keep them, O Lord, you shall preserve them from this generation forever. – Psalms 12:6,7, NKJV
He remembers His covenant forever, The word which He commanded, for a thousand generations. – Psalms 105:8, NKJV
Proof God inspired the prophets and apostles to speak
Indeed, the Lord God does nothing without revealing His counsel to His servants the prophets. – Amos 3:7, HCSB
God has always been at work in the earth, long since the Creation. He didn’t just create things and let us do with it as we will. He works through people to perform His purposes, and He reveals His will and the future to the prophets ahead of time. That’s why we should read the Bible. So we know what God’s plans are. Knowing God’s plans for both the present and the future is what brings hope and confidence into our lives when we submit to our Creator.
Most of us can’t say that we have regular conversations with God that we clearly understand and that direct our lives on a daily basis. But the prophets of God had a special purpose. From Moses to David to Jeremiah to Daniel to Paul the apostle, these men encountered God in a special and powerful way. They were the carriers…the transmitters of God’s divine words to humanity.
And it came to pass, when Moses entered the tabernacle, that the pillar of cloud descended and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the Lord talked with Moses. …So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. – Exodus 33:9-11, NKJV
1 Now these are the last words of David. Thus says David the son of Jesse; Thus says the man raised up on high, The anointed of the God of Jacob, And the sweet psalmist of Israel: 2 “The Spirit of the Lord spoke by me, And His word was on my tongue. – II Samuel 23:1,2, NKJV
4 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: 5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” 6 Then said I: “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth.” 7 But the Lord said to me: “Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’ For you shall go to all to whom I send you, And whatever I command you, you shall speak. 8 Do not be afraid of their faces, For I am with you to deliver you,” says the Lord. 9 Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me: “Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. – Jeremiah 1:4-9, NKJV
As for these four young men, God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams. – Daniel 1:17, NKJV
11 But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. 12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ. – Galatians 1:11,12, NKJV
For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe. – I Thessalonians 2:13, NKJV
The result of reading the Bible is that it effectively works in those who believe. But we can’t apply the Bible to our lives without reading it for ourselves. We can’t understand what God expects from us without learning what God commanded to be written down for future generations.
Proof God inspired the prophets and apostles to write
So God inspired the prophets and apostles to prophesy and preach His words to humanity, but He also commanded them to write down His holy Word. That is why we can read the Bible today.
And the Lord said to Moses, “Cut two tablets of stone like the first ones, and I will write on these tablets the words that were on the first tablets which you broke.” – Exodus 34:1, NKJV
Most of us have heard the story of the Ten Commandments that God Himself engraved on stone tablets. When Moses came down from the mountain with the tablets the first time, many Israelites had become impatient and began to worship false gods. Moses threw the tablets off the mountain and they broke. So God engraved the tablets a second time.
Besides the Ten Commandments, Moses wrote the rest of God’s commands and history down on scrolls. After Joshua became a prophet, he added the words that God gave to him to “the Book of the Law of God” which Moses had started. This pattern would continue throughout the recordings of the Old Testament.
Then Joshua wrote these words in the Book of the Law of God. – Joshua 24:26a, NKJV
Take a scroll of a book and write on it all the words that I have spoken to you against Israel, against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spoke to you, from the days of Josiah even to this day. …Then Jeremiah called Baruch the son of Neriah; and Baruch wrote on a scroll of a book, at the instruction of Jeremiah, all the words of the Lord which He had spoken to him. – Jeremiah 36:2-4, NKJV
In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream and visions of his head while on his bed. Then he wrote down the dream, telling the main facts. – Daniel 7:1, NKJV
Then the Lord answered me and said: “Write the vision And make it plain on tablets.” – Habakkuk 2:2a, NKJV
It was the disciples and apostles of Jesus who wrote the New Testament. We have an example regarding the apostle John below.
24 This is the disciple who testifies of these things, and wrote these things; and we know that his testimony is true. 25 And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen. – John 21:24,25, NKJV
John, speaking in the third person, declared that his written words were the truth about who Jesus Christ was and what His purpose for coming to earth was. He even emphasizes that there is so much about the life of Jesus that we don’t even know. Jesus’ impact was tremendous and we could never read all that He accomplished during His time here with us.
Proof God inspired the prophets and apostles to preserve the scriptures
You might wonder how in the world were all the words of these prophets preserved for hundreds of years. Remember, God had every intention for every human in every generation to have access to His revelations. He created everything that is. It’s not hard for Him to have a method for preserving scripture.
21 You shall put the mercy seat on top of the ark, and in the ark you shall put the Testimony that I will give you. 22 And there I will meet with you, and I will speak with you from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are on the ark of the Testimony, about everything which I will give you in commandment to the children of Israel. – Exodus 25:21,22, NKJV
24 So it was, when Moses had completed writing the words of this law in a book, when they were finished, 25 that Moses commanded the Levites, who bore the ark of the covenant of the Lord, saying: 26 “Take this Book of the Law, and put it beside the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, that it may be there as a witness against you.” – Deuteronomy 31:24-26, NKJV
Samuel explained the laws concerning kingship to the people. He wrote the laws on a scroll, which he placed in front of the LORD. – I Samuel 10:25a, GW
God commanded the construction of an earthly throne called the Ark of the Covenant. It was there that He commanded Moses to keep the Ten Commandments, the Book of the Law, and all the scrolls that He would continue to inspire prophets to write.
Over centuries of time, many of God’s people, including the priests, would worship false gods,. The scriptures had been disregarded for many years, but were found intact in the temple during the reign of King Josiah.
2 The king went up to the house of the Lord with all the men of Judah, and with him all the inhabitants of Jerusalem–the priests and the prophets and all the people, both small and great. And he read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant which had been found in the house of the Lord. 3 Then the king stood by a pillar and made a covenant before the Lord, to follow the Lord and to keep His commandments and His testimonies and His statutes, with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people took a stand for the covenant. – II Kings 23:2,3, NKJV
We know from history that scribes have since meticulously written copies of the originals to continue their preservation to this day.
Now as the apostles of Christ wrote the New Testament, they were not added to the Old Testament until the church later combined copies of the Old and New Testaments together to create the Bible. Originally, the words they wrote down were circulated to different churches so that the early church could grow in their knowledge of God’s word.
I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read to all the holy brethren. – I Thessalonians 5:27, NKJV
When the apostle John wrote the book of the Revelation, he stated it was a “revelation of Jesus Christ.” John was commanded to write the commandments and prophecies down and have them sent to seven different churches in Asia.
1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants–things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, 2 who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw. 3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near. …9 I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, 11 saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia.” – Revelation 1:1-3,9-11a, NKJV
One thing that is an especially important reason why we should read the Bible is because God wanted to prepare us for the end days, which may be closer than we even realize. To repeat: “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.” (Rev. 1:3, NKJV) God wants humanity to get in a right relationship with Him and watch how prophecy will unfold before the return of Christ. He wants us to be aware of the deception and terror that will come. He wants us to be prepared, but we have to read the Bible to understand how the end days will play out and what we can expect as believers.
What’s it mean for us?
So…why read the Bible? It is God’s primary method for us to gain the faith necessary to believe that God is our Creator and Jesus Christ is the only way to have a relationship with Him (John 14:6).
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. – Romans 10:17, NKJV
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. – Hebrews 11:6, NKJV
Hopefully, by reading a few examples from scripture as to why we should believe the Bible, you will consider the importance of reading the Bible for yourself, and more importantly, believing in Christ alone for salvation.
Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. – Acts 4:12, NKJV
Be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior. – II Peter 3:2, NKJV