“Because the Bible is the Word of God, and God never lies” is the answer. Next question: how do we know the Bible is the Word of God? “Because it says so,” we answer.
If you don’t find that answer satisfying, we understand. The Department of Motor Vehicles or the ticket agent at the airport doesn’t believe that I am who I say I am just because I say so. They want proof, and the proof has to come from somebody other than me.
It’s understandable that people expect the same from the Bible. Especially since, throughout the centuries, lots of people have claimed to have spoken or written words that came straight from God. They can’t all be telling the truth. How do I know that the Bible is?
First, there is much more evidence that the Bible is true than most people think. For instance, the Bible was written over a period of 1400 years by more than 40 authors. And yet, this book tells one story and has one message–one that people of all times, places, and cultures have found meaningful. Notice also what a “survivor” the Bible has been. Not only has it survived thousands of years of history. It has also been the most violently attacked book of all time. And yet, every year it tops the best-seller list by a wide margin.
Then there are the Bible’s fulfilled prophecies. In the Old Testament you have a large number of predictions about what the Messiah would do. In the New Testament you find them all fulfilled in the ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. Read, for example, Isaiah 53 (written in the 8th century before Christ) or Psalm 22 (tenth century before Christ). You can’t help but be amazed at how these prophecies tell the whole story of the death of Jesus centuries before it happened.
Finally, not even this will convince somebody who wants corroboration from an outside source. And that’s really the problem. When we ask for an outside source to vouch for the Bible, we’re really looking for a higher authority than the Word of God. And there is no higher authority. For instance, who could corroborate the God’s account of how the world began? Nobody else was there!
That’s why, ultimately, the reason we believe the Bible isn’t because we can use objective, external evidence to prove that it’s true. It’s because the Bible’s message has conquered our hearts. In the Bible, we’ve found a book by people we’ve never met, but who somehow seem to know us better than we know ourselves. And we find a message that meets our deepest need: the need for a Savior from our failings and guilt.
That’s why we say that the Bible is “self-authenticating.” Read it for yourself, and we think you’ll see what we mean.