Summary: I briefly look at some of the main reasons why people don’t read the bible then show why those reasons aren’t valid. I conclude with three things the bible will help a person do.
What Does The Bible Offer That I Need?
Two of our greatest presidents said some pretty important statements about the Bible. George Washington said, “It is impossible to righteously govern the world without God and the Bible.” President Ronald Reagan said, “Within the covers of one single book, the Bible, are all the answers to all the problems that face us today—if only we would read and believe.
How many of you here today own at least one Bible in your home? How many of you have more than one Bible in your home? If you asked most Americans today you would find that the majority of them own at least one Bible. As a matter of fact 93% own at least one Bible. Even though it has been on the bestseller list for quite some time it is the book most likely to stay on a bookshelf. Pollster George Gallup Jr. found after numerous surveys that only 4 in 10 Americans know that Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount. A majority of citizens cannot name the four Gospels of the New Testament. Only 3 in 10 teenagers know why Easter is celebrated. Two-thirds of Americans believe there are few, if any, absolute principles to direct human behavior. These beliefs are not held just by those who do not profess a faith in Jesus Christ. Nearly have of “born again” Christians deny the existence of the Holy Spirit and a real Satan. One in five Christians denies Jesus’ resurrection and believes he was a sinner.
So why is the Bible a best selling book but no one wants to read it? Here are some common reasons why Christians and non-Christians aren’t interested in reading the Bible.
1). It can’t be trusted
How can we trust a Bible that has been around for thousands of years? How do we know we can trust what it says to be accurate and some scribe didn’t just get mad one day and write his own opinion about what he thought about God? We need to do a quick history lesson at this point. The Biblical writer wrote down what God revealed to him. In some instances this didn’t occur until a few years after it happened. But when the scripture was copied down it was transmitted in one way—hand copied. They didn’t have printing capabilities until 1453 A.D. So the writings of scriptures were preserved in a painstakingly way by copying word for word on scrolls or parchment. In 1453 with the invention of the printing press it was now possible to print more copies in much less of the time. So, how do we know that the scriptures we have today have been preserved and are the same scriptures that were on the first manuscripts? We have over 20,000 copies of New Testament manuscripts in existence today. These were manuscripts copied no more than 2 hundred years after the life of Christ. Compare this to the literary writings of Caesar when he composed his history of the Gallic Wars between 58 and 50 B.C. The manuscripts we have of that today were written 1,000 years after his death. There are only 9 or 10 manuscript copies. What does this mean? We can trust that what we have today is reliable. The evidence is astounding.
2). It isn’t relevant for us today
Most people who use this as an argument against the Bible have probably never read it. What will one find when they read the Bible? You will find romance when you read the Bible. You will find out how to handle your finances in the Bible. You will find out about the purpose of your life in the Bible. You will find out how to treat your kids. You will find out how to treat your parents. You will find out what to look for in a spouse. You will find out what to look for in a friend. It is relevant. But we have to look at the Bible as a road map. A map tells you how to get to a certain destination. But just looking at a map won’t automatically get you to Albuquerque or Albania. Getting to those places requires effort and investment on your part.
3). There are mistakes in the Bible
Again this is another argument or excuse people use because they might have heard it from someone else. My question is if there are mistakes in the Bible show them to me. We can’t read the Bible like a piece of fiction or American piece of literature. We can’t always read the Bible through 21st century eyes. Many times we have to know what was going on at that time. We need to know the customs of the Hebrews. We need to know their understanding of God.