I remember a woman in one of my Bible studies in Japan who approached me, puzzled, one day. She said, “I don’t know what to do with the Bible. It contains stories that are so remarkable that they can’t be true. But it’s not written like any of our legends or myths. It reads like a collection of eye-witness accounts and historical records. How am I supposed to read it?” She was actually asking a very profound question. Whether people read the Bible or reject it, they often do so without considering what the Bible says about what kind of book it is. The Bible makes the following five claims about itself.
I remember a conversation I had with someone I had been studying the Bible with and they said to me, “I don’t know what to make of the Bible.” Before they had started reading it, they assumed the Bible was a book of legends – amazing stories intended to communicate spiritual truths. But as they began to read, they realized that the Bible contained too much detail and first-hand witness to read it as a fable. It seemed like a collection of letters, speeches and historical accounts. The problem they had was that it also spoke of things they found too remarkable to be true. And so they were at a loss to know how to read the Bible. I think a lot of people have drawn similar conclusions.