Is the Bible All True?
Jim Burns answers your questions
I believe the Bible is God's Word, but there's a lot of stuff I can't understand-like people who live to be 600 years old. Is it all true?
The Bible is to be read, memorized, lived by and loved by Christians. But this doesn't mean it's all easy to understand.
God doesn't expect us to just accept everything in the Bible without thinking. Believers aren't unintelligent. In fact, some of the most brilliant thinkers in history were and are Christians who believed the Bible is the Word of God. I'm always encouraged when I hang out with people well-educated in biblical issues.
I know they've thought through my questions and can help explain them to me. I would suggest you ask questions to your pastor or someone else with a great deal of Bible knowledge. You might also want to read Why Believe the Bible? by Gary Burge, Understanding the Bible by John Stott or the student edition of The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel.
As you talk to knowledgeable people and as you read helpful books, you may have many of your questions answered, but probably not all of them. In some cases, you may even come away with more questions! The truth is, we just have to take some parts of the Bible on faith. Our human minds will never be able to comprehend everything about our supernatural God or his Word. People today don't live 600 years, but in the early days of the Old Testament apparently some did. I don't understand it either.
You also need to remember that the Bible uses literary devices like metaphors, similes and hyperboles. So when the Bible calls God a rock, it isn't telling us he's a piece of hard gray stone. It's telling us he's solid, strong, protective. That can get confusing sometimes. You also have to remember the historical and ethnic context of the writings. They were written in a different time by people with different understandings of the world. This doesn't mean the Bible isn't God's inspired Word. It just means we need to try and understand how to apply the Bible's cultural and historical context to our own lives in the 21st century.
Evangelist Billy Graham once struggled with doubt about the Bible being completely true. He got on his knees and prayed, "Almighty God, I don't understand everything written in the Bible. But in faith I will commit to believe that the Bible is your written Word to the world." This was a real turning point for the respected evangelist. His commitment to the Bible as truth led to increased faith, helped him grow as a Christian and made it possible for him to serve God in some pretty powerful ways. I hope as you investigate the Bible, Graham's prayer will be a good prayer for you, too.
Due to the volume of mail, Jim cannot answer every letter.