Harry Pickup, Sr.
No book in all the world has been so consistently attacked as the Bible. Men who are honest (and some who are dishonest) have criticized it from Genesis to Revelation. Some people who are willing to accept the fact that Jesus Christ lived on the earth, still cannot believe that this volume is the divine Word of the living God. They accept it as “inspired” only in the same sense that Shakespeare and other outstanding men were inspired. They ask us how we can prove its credibility and its authenticity.
Sincere, honest investigation of the subject is always invited; but most of the findings (?) of the average critic bent on disproving the Bible are mere assertions, unfounded theories, and wild guess-work by men who are unworthy of respect as scientists. Such men are pseudo-scientists, with no real ability or standing at all; but because they have jumped on the bandwagon of Bible criticism, some people think they are smart.
Of course there are honest and competent men who are scientists indeed. The very word science means “to know” and certainly no true lover of the Bible would deny one single established fact. It is true, however, that the book markets of our land are flooded with books which are written and sold with but one motive—financial gain. And it has been found that the field of carping criticism against the Bible is one lucrative field. Hence, much of the trash that is being sold is based upon the findings (?) of men who no competent scholar on earth would accept as worth anything at all.
If the sincere student of these matters will thoroughly analyze the modern theories, or the ancient so-called solutions, which contradict the Bible account of things, it will be found that these opinions present a far more difficult problem than the simple explanation of God’s word which they contradict.
The Bible presents the most reasonable explanation of the origin of things and of the scheme of life. The Bible account of creation begins with a First Cause. It follows this with a clear recognition of the principles of physics—time, space, matter, force, motion, etc., principles which were not formulated by scientists until the last century or so. The Bible is not a treatise on science but its laws, description of things, history and promises do not violate one single point of true science, and do not conflict with one single fact that man knows.
Some of the exegeses and hypotheses which present man’s origin are more radical than others, but, generally speaking, they are all based upon the assumption that things just happened by chance. This is neither reasonable nor exegetical! How could this universe come by chance into its present cosmic orderliness, and into its perfect control from center to circumference? And how could this orderliness just happen to stay by chance through millions of years? That, beyond a doubt, would be a miracle. What a headline: “Universal Chaos By Chance Gives Birth To Universal Order!” The idea is ridiculous, and yet it is the basis for the theories of practically all who contend that the Bible is not true. How many times do you suppose you would have to throw up a font of printer’s type into the air for the same font to form itself into one of the complete plays of Shakespeare? How many monkeys do you suppose it would take, and how many years would it take them, pecking away upon how many typewriters to finally happen upon one of the same Shakespearean tragedies? And even then they wouldn’t know what the words meant—and so would be right back where they started! All of this is too unreasonable, remote, far-fetched and ridiculous; yet it actually forms the structure of the material out of which men build their case against the Bible.
The word of God presents a reasonable, feasible, understandable plan. It begins with God (the First Cause) and proceeds to a normal explanation of all things thereafter. It must of necessity do it this way: for it was produced by God, and God has adopted the Book, as he made it, to the needs and desires and the mind of man as he made him.
Your mind cannot grasp the idea that nature could produce anything without a Power behind her. The Bible explains exactly how all things came to be. Thus the Book is the product of an Intelligence greater than man. Without that plan, directed by God, nothing comes out right in origin, composition, or explanation.
Concerning Internal Evidences
The Bible presents internal evidences which are too strong to be refuted. Consider only one simple case. There are two identical chapters in the Book—2 Kings 19 and Isaiah 37. Well, you say, this could easily have been brought about by one man copying the other. No, such is not the case. Every student of Bible history knows that the writer of 2 Kings lived and died 300 years before Isaiah was born. But, one may say, perhaps Isaiah had access to his writing. This seems next to impossible, for the places where both lived were far removed the one from the other and there was little contact between them. But suppose Isaiah had a copy of 2 Kings in his own library, if he had a library, which he didn’t. What reason could he have had for copying word for word this old account written by an earlier writer? No, it was not an accident, any more than the world was an accident, accidentally thrown off as a nebular mass from some distant planet or the sun. God directed this writing just as he directed all else in this Book which satisfactorily explains all in the scheme of human affairs. There are dozens of similar internal evidences which testify to the inspiration of the Book which we have neither time nor space to consider.
Concerning its Enemies
The Bible is true because all the attacks of its enemies have been unable to prove it false. In any trial the defendant is accounted innocent until proved guilty. The burden of proof invariably rests upon the one who is prosecuting. For nearly 2,000 years this volume as we have it today, with its 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, has stood against the attacks of skeptics, agnostics, infidels, and atheists. The last generation has produced a few who have built upon the works of skeptics and unbelievers of other days, but the pattern of the attack has changed but little. The vicious circle goes round and round, but the arguments continue to have a bark that is strangely similar to the howls of yesteryear.
If its enemies cannot destroy it in as many years as they have tried, and if it continues to be the best seller on the book stands throughout the world, then it must have more than the mere human background which its enemies claim for it. Yea, it does! This Book is the Word of the living God. That is the only explanation possible for any reasonable man.