Is the Bible really from God? I just did a workshop on this very topic for about sixty 5th and 6th graders at Bayside Church in Granite Bay, CA. I wanted to help Christian kids talk about this stuff with their friends. But I knew it had to be simple to get and easy to remember. We ended up having a ton of fun with games, activities, stories, and illustrations that helped these ideas to stick.
After each session, parents told me how much they appreciated the lesson. Just another reminder that adults appreciate “simple,” too.
In this post, I’ll show you a quick way to work through the question, “Is the Bible really from God?” and I’ll also give you a little memory device to help you remember 3 reasons skeptics should pay attention to the Bible. But first, you need to know that when it comes to the Bible, there are only two ways of looking at it.
Only 2 Options
The Bible says that it’s God’s message to us (2 Tim 3:16-17). That’s either true, or it’s not. So is there any reason to think the Bible’s more than just a book written by men? What kind of book is the Bible? We’ve only got two answers here:
- It’s just a bunch of stories and ideas about God, written by people.
- It’s actually the Word of God, given to people.
Here’s how I opened up this segment for the kids:
- Mikel:“How many of you have read a book you really enjoyed this summer? Shout out the name of an author you like.”
- Students:(Various answers, including Agatha Christie, J.K. Rowling, C.S. Lewis, etc…)
- Mikel: Now do you think all these people would have the same views on the things adults say you’re not supposed to talk about at parties: politics and religion. Do you think they’d all agree?
- Students: No.
- Mikel: Of course not. No big surprise there, right?. No, the big surprise comes when you look at the Bible…
3 Reasons Skeptics Should Pay Attention to the Bible
Picture a UPS truck delivering Bibles, because the letters U, P, and S can help you remember 3 reasons skeptics should pay attention to the Bible. These are 3 simple talking points you can share with a friend or even your own kid.
Think of it in terms of cause and effect. The Bible’s an effect. What’s the cause? If the Bible was just a book written by men, it would be pretty tough to explain these:
- Its Unity
The “U” can help you remember the word, unity. The Bible is surprisingly unified. When you hold the Bible in your hands, you’re holding a collection of 66 ancient documents. They were originally written in 3 languages: Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. We’re talking about 40 different authors, writing over a span of 1,500 years! Imagine these guys writing in different times, places, languages, and cultures.
Still, each author agrees with the others on highly controversial, ethical and religious topics. More importantly, they’ve all got 1 unified message about God.
- Its Prophecy
The “P” can help you remember the word, prophecy. The Bible records accurate predictions of the future that came true. A couple of examples are specific prophecies about Jesus and Israel.
Predictions about Jesus
The Old Testament prophets said the Messiah would be from the tribe of Judah (Gen. 49:10), in the line of King David (2 Samuel 7:12-13), born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). 700 years before Jesus was born, the Jewish Prophet Isaiah predicted very specific things about the Messiah (Ch. 53). For example:
- He’d be flogged
- He’d die with wicked people
- He’d be buried like a rich person
Over 1,000 years before Jesus was born–King David predicted the Messiah’s hands and feet would be pierced, but not even one of his bones would be broken (Psalm 22). All of this came true about Jesus, the Messiah.
Predictions about Israel
Isaiah also predicted the Jewish people would return to their homeland a 2nd time (11:11-16). The 1st time they went back in was in the 6th century with Ezra and Nehemiah. But Israel was kicked out again in A.D. 70 when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem. This second return happened when Israel became a nation in 1948. I told the kids:
This is real stuff some of your grandmas and grandpas might have seen! If not, their parents definitely saw this on the news.
- It’s Still here!
The “S” can help you remember that the Bible’s still here! Why’s this a big deal? Because people have tried to eradicate the Bible from the face of the earth and it just won’t go away. Not only that, it’s still the world’s number one bestseller.
These are just the beginning. If you really take the time to look into this, you’ll see we’ve got a good reason to believe that the Bible isn’t just ideas about God, written by people. The Bible is the Word of God, given to people.
Fact or Fiction:
Can I Trust My Bible? This workshop was based on lesson 4 from my Accessible Apologetics curriculum for youth and adults. Includes games, illustrations, PowerPoint and more. Download a free lesson from the series.
Original Blog Source: http://bit.ly/2s4MSyH
Free CrossExamined.org Resource
Get the first chapter of "Stealing From God: Why Atheists Need God to Make Their Case" in PDF.