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Noon's avatar

Is there any other reason, besides faith, to believe in the bible?

Asked by Noon (1900points) September 19th, 2008

This question assumes that we are rational critical thinkers. Keeping that in mind are there any other reasons to believe the christian bible is the word of god other than faith. Before this thread becomes a series of bible quotes, please keep in mind that the bible can not reference itself as the world of god. Are there any outside references that make the christian bible more likely the word of god than any other religious text.

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64 Answers

augustlan's avatar

None that I can think of.

osullivanbr's avatar

None whatsoever. The bible is a very very human book written by different people for different audiences in different places at different times. No more. No less.

I’m not going to go on about it because a few of you have had to endure my biblical rants before and I don’t want to subject you to that again.

fireside's avatar

I think if you really look at the different religions, you will find that all of the major prophets throughout humanity have been passing on the same spiritual lessons. They also pass on cultural messages for their time, but truly study the words of Abraham, Moses, Christ, Muhammad, Krishna and Buddha.

They all speak of the need to love others more than yourselves and they all recognize that God’s truth will be spread by messengers through the ages. Check out the flash file and mouse over the different religious icons to view some of their similar words.

You can also find a great searchable database of holy texts at:

When you can find consistencies in teachings from different parts of the world and different periods in Man’s history then you have probably found God’s word.

That’s not to say that man hasn’t been the interpreter and may have distorted the message a bit from time to time.

But to specifically answer your questions, I don’t know of any Bibliography of God other than the Holy texts and the reflections of those truths that can be found in speeches, songs, books and movies for as long as history has recorded Man’s thoughts.

Many times God’s knowledge is referred to as an Ocean, so I guess the Pirate theme is a good one for this answer.

tinyfaery's avatar

In my college history classes, my professors always referred to the Bible as a primary document. It does have a lot of factual history in it; youjyst have to get past the interpretation.

tooRew2btrue's avatar

Like the bible itself, this question requires some assumptions before it can be “answered.” A lot of this hinges on one’s interpretation of “believe.” Personally, I believe the bible is as much the word of God as any other major theological text. But my “belief” is predicated on assumptions that archetypal metaphor and timeless myth are equally indicative of God – that is to say, they are representatives of man’s quintessential consciousness.

So like so many theological questions, you can’t answer this without looking at how you define God (and God’s word), faith, and belief itself. Even if you are as dogmatic and doctrinal as they come, this is a question of supremely personal nature.

cheebdragon's avatar

Do you believe everything you read….?

grayreason's avatar

Yes for the comfort it gives before death and in difficult situations.

blastfamy's avatar

There is a significant amount of history to the bible. Roughly speaking, Genesis is an accurate description of the coming of earth. Once you get past the literal interpretation of the “days,” the bible makes a lot of sense!

shilolo's avatar

@Blastfamy. Can you elaborate more on this statement “Genesis is an accurate description of the coming of earth”?

b's avatar

To gain votes.

jdb's avatar

The same cultural mechanisms that promote facts within society also promote myths. We aren’t born with any way of knowing which is which. Hence, we’re naturally credulous whenever we’re met with any idea that’s presented with great authority unless it contradicts another idea we’ve already accepted.

People present many reasons for trusting scripture: traditionalists and literalists point to portions purported to prophesy; others claim Bible books harmonize with one another in ways that human writers would be incapable of; others find odd verses and interpret them in ways that could speak vaguely of more recent scientific discoveries. These cold reading techniques could be applied to any historical text, but are applied to the Bible so consistently and with such authority that they’re often accepted. Thus, the Bible has become an icon in our culture, and Bible myths are used as reference points even when we discuss history and science; inadvertently solidifying people’s faith in it by associating its stories with actual historical events.

As we grow older, we start to compare new information against ideas we’ve already accepted, and develop a healthy skepticism. But that only works within our field of experience. If we’re presented with an idea outside our field of experience, we have nothing against which to compare and contrast it, and thus no barrier of skepticism. Whether or not the ideas we’ve already accepted are ontologically correct, we are partial to them because they form a part of our worldview, and we’re reluctant to see that worldview shattered.

That’s why we believe in things, and it’s why it’s sometimes hard to convince us we’re wrong.

Noon's avatar

I’m not really sure I can follow the “All holy books are the word of god” rational. How can a book that claims to be the ONLY word of god be joined with other books that also claim to be the only word of god. Of course this won’t apply to all religious texts as some of them do allow for the inclusion of other books, but this the bible specifically forbids it as do other texts.

chutterhanban's avatar

In thousands of archaeological digs, it hasn’t ever been proved to be wrong.

I understand that that’s not enough to cause some people to believe in it, but does a lack of faith necessarily mean someone shouldn’t believe.

charliecompany34's avatar

wow, tried to answer this with deep thought earlier, but that piratespeak was messing with my groove. sorry.

fireside's avatar

@ Noon – I guess the fundamental question is where does the bible state that it is the only word of God?

If you are referring to the 10 commandments which state that “Thou shall have no other God but me” do you also realize that quote came from a Jewish holy book?

Krishna’s deity said that he would appear throughout the ages in different forms.
The God of Moses said, through Moses, that he will come again.
The God of Christ said, through Christ, that he will come again – as a thief in the night.
The God of Muhammed said that he would come again.

In fact, the Koran recognizes the legitimacy and holiness of the Bible which, by incorporation, recognizes the legitimacy and holiness of the Torah.

What’s wrong with a timeless God telling different people at different times that there was no other God but him?

The Question is this: If I and my friends are staring up at a mighty tree, does that mean that my tree was made – or is any better – than the tree behind me that other people are staring up at?

I believe that we are all in the same forest and that we all worship (or don’t) the same light which has been reflected throughout the ages.

Bri_L's avatar

@ chutterhanban – I don’t understand this statement “In thousands of archaeological digs, it hasn’t ever been proved to be wrong.” I was wondering if you could explain it to me. Thank you in advance.

augustlan's avatar

I was wondering, too BriL…in thousands of archaeological digs, it hasn’t ever been proved, period.

shilolo's avatar

C’mon, there’s the famous Shroud of Turin, and the Crown of Thorns. Those prove it, right…right?

augustlan's avatar

You know shi, I know you’re being facetious, I’d never say none of it happened, but that doesn’t mean it all happened, or that it was God’s doing, eh?

eyeguy's avatar

yes people often believe in things because they just want to usually because doing so offers them something such as hope or freedom or an escape from death. Unfortunately, believing in it won’t actually make it true nor will you actually escape death

Skyrail's avatar

Decide for yourself. No one should tell you otherwise. Let people believe in what they want, sure it may be unnerving if a group of people went around believing in the tooth fairy, but we let people go around telling us they’ve been abducted or that there are divine deities (or singular), or that they can read the future. Sure, you may not believe them, but who’s to say who is right?

You interpret life how you want, and you can do the same for whatever else, including the bible.

Bri_L's avatar

@ chutterhanban – I litterally don’t know what is mean’t by that

chutterhanban's avatar

sorry, didn’t fluther at all last night…

My point was that there have been countless archaeological digs in the “holy lands” or whatever, as well as all over the world, and none have been able to prove the Bible to be wrong. In other words, I would challenge someone to find factual evidence that the Bible is indeed wrong. I say this because of the common belief that the Bible can’t be true because there’s no factual evidence (@ shilolo’s clever sarcasm… lol).

I’m just asking people to look at it from both sides. Whether someone believes the Bible is what it says it is or not, it still happened a long time ago. It’s tough to prove anything. I completely agree that most of it is far fetched and almost entirely unbelievable, but that’s part of what makes it cool for me—I mean, God wouldn’t be who he says he is unless he managed to do some things that are practically impossible! In addition, I can feel good about believing it’s true because there’s nothing that factually tells me that it’s false.

Bottom line of the post: If no one can prove it’s validity or it’s fallacy, then maybe it’s not so crazy to believe in it!

Bri_L's avatar

@ chutterhanban – thank you for sharing your point. I think the most important thing is that you feel good believing and that is it.

I would say there are lessons in it. There are perhaps historical hints at natural events in our history as well.

fireside's avatar

Here’s a great string based on a question someone asked about how Science would prove the existence of God:

Noon's avatar

@ chutterhanban – well I guess it depends on what you mean by “disprove” and how literally you interpret the bible. We have no record of a mass flood, does no record then mean that we have no proof it didn’t happen? I think in this case no proof does in fact prove that it didn’t happen. Also you perked my interest and I did a Google search for historical inaccuracies of the bible. Apparently there are many dates that are off, as well as confusions of who was ruling what at the time. I can only assume these dates and rulers are found through archaeological finds. So I think that brings us back to faith, and faith alone.

chutterhanban's avatar

@ Noon: Using the Internet doesn’t prove anything.

What you say about the flood is exactly what I’m talking about. You’re saying that because there’s no proof, there was no flood. If that logic were true, then the lack of CONCRETE PROOF that the Bible is wrong would make it true as well.

I understand that there are confusions—but find some 5,000-year-old (and more) event anywhere that doesn’t have some discrepancies. Those discrepancies are not proof.

osullivanbr's avatar

Since it looks like Blastfamy isn’t going to explain what he means by the literal interpretation of “days” in the Bible.

This is going to seem a wee bit wierd but try and stay with me on this.

In Genesis Chapter 1 Verse 4–5 (I think) you have God creating light and calling the light day and the dark night. So in the context of this verse a Day is 12 hours.

You still with me…

Now, move onto verse 8, you have God dividing the firmament from the waters, and calling the firmament Heaven, and that was the 2nd day. Some people who study the Bible, regard this second “day”, as a 24 hour period. So in the context of that verse, a day is 24 hours (Different from the first reference of a day being 12 hours).

Getting a bit much now really isn’t it…

Finally in Genesis, Chapter 2, verse 3 or 4, it says something along the lines of “This is the history of the creation of the Heavens and the Earth in the day that God made them.” So, now the third reference to day in Genesis refers the a day as being 6 days.

So the word day is not 24 hours in Genesis. The context in which you find it determines the meaning.

Yeah, figure that one out for yourself. Mad isn’t it!

tinyfaery's avatar

(((((Shakes head)))))

osullivanbr's avatar

I know. I know.

Noon's avatar

@chutterhanban—how can you claim that using the internet doesn’t prove anything?

But what would you need for disproof of the flood if not evidence that there was never a flood? Would you need evidence of the lack of evidence? It is not the responsibility of those who say “there is not” to prove anything, it is the responsibility of those who say “there is”.

But back to the real matter at hand, is your problem just the way I’m stating it? What if i were to say. “There is CONCRETE PROOF that there was rainfall around the world, and this did not move enough water as to cause a world wide flood” Now that it is phrase as a positive statement does it make it any more valid?

Anyway, this is not the point. There are plenty of bible passages that have been proven wrong. The bible says that the earth is flat and immobile. It says that the rabbit chew their cud. That PI = 3 (at the time of the writing of the bible PI had been figured out to several digits). And there is the whole earth being 6,000 years old.

So I go back to the question, is there any reason to believe in the bible other than faith?

fireside's avatar

Peer Pressure.

By the most recent figures that I have seen, there are approximately 5.5 billion people on the planet who believe in the Bible. Since there aren’t quite 7 billion people on the planet, this is pretty significant.

Taking Faith out of it completely, I’d say that belief in the Bible would make it easier to be a part of more communities than disbelief.

tinyfaery's avatar

What does “believe in it” mean? Jews use the old testament, but by no means utilize the “new testament”. Muslims consider the Hebrew and Christian god, the same as their god, and view the bible as the background of their religion. But to say they believe in it, is a little misleading.

fireside's avatar

Ok, fair enough.

Muhammad believed in the teachings of Moses and the teachings of Jesus.
In essence, he believed in parts of the Bible which really just leads me back to my first response
“When you can find consistencies in teachings from different parts of the world and different periods in Man’s history then you have probably found God’s word.”

And, I’m not really one for peer pressure, so it would have to be Faith for me anyways…

tinyfaery's avatar

What you have found is the Indo-European influence on all of the cultures that did/do exist on the Eurasian continent.

cheebdragon's avatar

Just keep in mind, that all of the “events” in the bible, were written in a different language then translated from one language to another over the years.
Have you ever played that game telephone? Where someone whispers a couple words in the ear of the person next to them, and it keeps going from one person to the next, until it gets to the last person and more often than not, it’s not the same words anymore…..
The bible is kind of like a giant game of telephone that has been going on for a really long time. Example: For centuries, people have thought 666 was the “number of the beast”....... turns out it was translated wrong and the actual “number of the beast” is in fact 616…...

That’s one hell of a mistake, don’t you think? If we can’t even get 1 number correct, how much of the bible did we really get correct?

Noon's avatar

@ fireside Where did you get those statistics? I find it hard to believe considering some of the most densely populated countries (ie. China, India) are not christian countries.

Also the Christian religions stand apart as a religion that emphasizes missionary work.

fireside's avatar

@ Noon

China – Because of Mao’s revolution the country has been predominantly Taoist for decades with very little outside influence allowed in. From the outside, it seems as if things are loosening there now, but I’m not in a position to know. I’m sure it is hard to get accurate numbers out of there, so there’s really no way of knowing for sure unless you live in the country and have traveled extensively.

India – India is predominantly Hindu as far as I know.

By Religion
By Country
With Map
With Pie Chart

fireside's avatar

Also, I guess it depends on your definition of Missionary Work.
Many people from religions around the world are interested in spreading God’s message of love, they just go about it in different ways:

Bri_L's avatar

@ cheebdragon – I happen to really subscribe to that notion my self and I am a christian. and a catholic. Excellent point.

fireside's avatar

Bri L – I agree completely and was also raised catholic.

The fact that the stories can change through the interpretations is why it is necessary to find the timeless truths and follow those as a code of living, regardless of how you want to practice showing that faith.

Humanity should focus on; living with an attitude of service towards others, connecting with their inner divinity, honoring truth and unity over divisiveness and lies, being tolerant of people’s differences, and acknowledging that they were insignificant in the light of a higher power

Believing that this can be accomplished is what takes Faith.

Noon's avatar

@fireside——Using your links, I’m finding Christianity at 33% world wide which would make your 5.5 billion people statistic GROSSLY inflated. and actually more like 2.22 billion. Considering that this question specifically asks about the Bible, I don’t think you should be able to deflate three different religions with three different holy books into one statistic.

And please explain why “Humanity should focus on;......connecting with their inner divinity,.....acknowledging that they were insignificant in the light of a higher power” (Also curious about the use of the past tense “were”. We were insignificant and now are not?)

fireside's avatar

I should clarify that I did incorrectly state that 5.5 billion number as tinyfaery and Noon called me on.

I really meant that those 5.5 billion follow the teachings of Abraham who was one of the first to have a personal relationship with a singular God. I guess I would call that the “Friend of God” line of Faith. Each one progressively built upon the foundations of the teachings of the other.

I’ve also heard that Socrates may have traveled to Syria to study with the early Hebrew mystics who were following Moses teachings. If that is true, then the grandfather of “rational western thinking” may have been influenced by these very same principles.
As for the “were” – I did a tense change while writing my post (i.e. lived to living, connected to connecting) I must have missed were.

I fully believe that we humans will always be insignificant in the vastness of a timeless and infinite God.

Bri_L's avatar

@ Fireside – Thanks for the nod. I find it hard not to agree with someone who says lets get a long.

With so many people out there spending their time arguing over who’s religion is right or wrong and trying to convert others or kill them. It is refreshing.

I am comfortable enough with what I feel to just be at peace with it.

blastfamy's avatar

The order of the things “created” in Genesis follow commonly held scientific theory:
“let there be light” – stars forming
“let there be land masses” – planets forming

Plants came, followed by animals.

Genesis says that this happened in a week. This is scientifically incorrect, but when interpreted as a metaphor the timelessness of the bible, it makes perfect sense: each “day” is an era of formation. Such, is a serious parallel between science and religion.

sorry for the late response, I was busy…

osullivanbr's avatar

@blastfamy A day in Genesis is never any longer than 6 days.
Depends on your interpretation I guess too though. Not to worry, it’s all just a bunch of symbolic hoo ha anyhoo

blastfamy's avatar

Yes, but the writers were human, and to put the bible into human contexts, the term “days” was used…

my interpretation

VoodooLogic's avatar

1> The Trinity is unique to most people’s intellectual barriers which seems to be singularity and duality. example: Beware of man who thinks he is wise, for there is more hope for a fool than he. the wise, the fool, and the prideful fool.

2> Psalms. For the quote above and.. No man is wise, except he who seeks wisdom.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

I’m going to disagree with everyone, and say YES!

There are certainly rational reasons to believe some things from the bible.

For example, when leviticus talks about sacrificing, eating, feeding (etc) sheep, doves, pheasants, or other particular types of animals, then one can make a fair guess (dare I say assumption) that in the region/society in which the author lived, these types of animals actually existed. if it doesn’t

if the bible talks about a given man having more than one wife, then that society was probably accepting of polygamy.

If it says the people ate millet, they probably did.

The bible is FAR from the perfect historical guide, but it is a useful tool.

Noon's avatar

Right, that is great for using the bible as a historical text. I mean, we can say the same thing about any text. But this doesn’t make it “The Book” the “Word of God” the “Only Way to God”.

So after this question being up for such a long time and no one really bringing up any other reason than faith. Then why should we accept people using the bible to defend their beliefs if it all boils down to “You have chosen to believe that this mythological book is true, and others have chosen to believe in other books” This means that there is nothing that makes one book more valid than another.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

Noon, I never said it was “The Book” the “Word of God” or the “Only Way to God”.
In fact, I don’t think I even said the word “God”. I said it was a useful tool for historical pursuits.

It’s a valid point.

You didn’t say anything in your question (and it was a great question) about what ideas from the bible. I think it’s a great historical text, and the same can NOT be said about any text. I was assigned to read a book called Happy Hour at Casa Dracula for a literature class recently. It’s horrible. It’s not well written literature, nor does it give me any information about any historical groups of people. The bible is interesting literature AND gives tidbits of historical background if you can suss them out, just like the Aneid and the Illiad.

I don’t know if you’re talking directly to me, or to a general “you” but if you’re talking to me you’re making a lot of assumptions about me, buddy. You need to lighten up.

chutterhanban's avatar

@ chica: Even though I disagree with you that the Bible isn’t the Word of God, I have to say you’ve done a great job in your argument… it was very well thought out. That stands to be admired around here!

La_chica_gomela's avatar

Thank you! I admire your open-mindedess! That stands out around…the whole world!

cheebdragon's avatar

Happy hour at casa Dracula?

La_chica_gomela's avatar

What’s the question Cheeb? Yes, that’s what the book is called. It’s by Marta Acosta, and I think it sucks so far, but I haven’t finished it yet. What’s the problem?

Noon's avatar

Sorry, my punctuation should have been better. The first sentence was a nod in your direction for making the point that it can be viewed as a historical text. Everything else after that was a point to the general ‘you’ audience, not the you La_chica you.

But to clarify, the explanation does clearly state that we are talking about the concept of the judeo christian bible being the word of god.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

You’re right – There at the very last sentence. I missed it. My apologies.

Noon's avatar

Second sentence out of 4. That would be the middle.

XrayGirl's avatar

final judgement and destiny are 2 good reasons, but the benefits while still on this earth are fantastic and should be considered as well. Life is great with God. The Bible does reference itself as the Word of God. My question is: why, if one doesn’t believe the Bible calls itself the Word of God, why, then would you believe it if a different book referenced the Bible as the Word of God. The Bible stands on its own and states that as well.

Noon's avatar

@XrayGirl…ummmm… no’. Just plain ‘no’
to answer your questions:
1. I did not call it the word of god, I’m asking if there is any way of proving it is.
2. Yes, if there were several books that referenced the bible as the word of god from all over the world, from different cultures. If there was hard evidence that proved the words of the bible, then yes, I would be more likely to believe it. Why wouldn’t I?

As for final judgment and destiny. They require the bible being true to even apply, hence back to the question why believe in the bible other than Faith?

XrayGirl's avatar

God and His Word are alive and active in MY life. I am all I can speak for. I hope you find an answer you approve of , XRay.

p.s. I didn’t interpret your asking if there is any way to prove the Bible is true in your question above. I interpreted that you were asking if any other book could persuade one that the Bible is true. thanks for posting a ? about the Almighty Father. peace…unsubscribed from ?

texasescimo's avatar

Bible prophesies such as the arival of the Messiah. “You should know and have the insight that from the going forth of the word to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Leader, there will be seven weeks, also sixty-two weeks.”—Daniel 9:25
Archaelogy discoveries –

Austinlad's avatar

This article is worth a read.

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