The Bible Speaks for Itself

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, September 30, 2014 0 comments

by Bill Seng

“A voice says, ‘Cry out.’
And I said, ‘What shall I cry?’
‘All people are like grass,
and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field.
The grass withers and the flowers fall,
because the breath of the LORD blows on them.
Surely the people are grass.
The grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of our God endures forever.’” - Isaiah 40:6-8

Penn Jillette, a famous atheist, comedian, and magician, once said that the best way to become an atheist is to read the Bible. This assertion comes from the idea that the Bible is full of contradictions, is scientifically inaccurate, is full of absurdities, and tells the story of a god who is full of anger and rage against everyone and is just waiting to punish people for the slightest offense. This is reflected in Richard Dawkins’ statement in The God Delusion: “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully” ( Now, for someone who is uninformed, this statement might seem witty and intelligent. But for someone who is actually educated in understanding the Bible, it is absolutely maddening.

Both Mr. Jillette and Mr. Dawkins suffer from the same ailment. They may have read the Bible sometime in their lives, or even multiple times, but they were never serious about finding answers to their questions. Now that they are rich and famous they have the luxury of hiring “Bible scholars” that agree with their point of view to promote the nonsensical understanding of Scripture that they themselves possess. Is the God of the Old Testament really evil or, for that matter, any different from the God of the New Testament? The answer is obvious for the person who actually reads the Bible and studies its content.

The Bible speaks for itself. Even for the person who is not trained to read the Bible, in the English language (and I am assuming in others) the Bible is very easy to understand. When a person reads the Bible and merely puts a little bit of thought into what is being read, there are no contradictions or absurdities. The Bible is a very consistent book and mostly details historic events where extravagant miracles are not necessarily present but the hand of God is. Does God wipe out entire nations? Yes. But that does not make him an ethnic cleanser; it means that he is judge over what is good and what is evil. In the Old Testament, God brought righteous judgment against many nations through Israel. What is more, God at times brings judgment upon Israel through their enemies when they go astray from the Lord’s commands. God is just and deals with evil no matter who commits it. What is incredible is that God’s love for humanity is exemplified all through the Old Testament; his longing for Israel and his plan to extend his grace out to all people who would call on his name (Isaiah 65:1-2). These are exactly the same sentiments that God has for humanity in the New Testament. If you do not believe me, read Romans 10:11-13. (For an even more exact example, read Isaiah 65:1 and then read how Paul uses it in the context of Romans 10 and 11.)

But I have not even gotten into how a more advanced reader of the Bible views the so-called “trouble verses.” We have to remember that the Bible, although it is written for all people to understand, was written 2,000 years ago. Not only was it written 2,000 years ago, it was written in three different languages in cultures that are totally different than ours. Often times if something does not make sense to us today, that is precisely the reason why. Also, the things that are clear in Scripture are given an additional layer of awesomeness when they are understood in their fullest context. There is so much to appreciate about the Bible that is just waiting to be revealed to the person who is interested in actually studying it on a deeper level.

For the person who is uncertain about whether it is worth it to invest in reading the entire Bible, it will enhance your faith in a way that few other activities can accomplish. Do not heed the words of the skeptics who try to discourage believers from reading the Word or who mock its content. They are only repeating other people’s ignorance. True scholars don’t merely report on what other people have said, they form an opinion for themselves. If you wish to do this you must read the Bible.