The Bible is the defining handbook of Christianity. Others may say that they are Christians without believing the Bible, but that is a strange argument. If you don’t agree with the foundational ideas of the book, why do you claim affiliation with it? For many, not all, but many, it’s so they can find all the good and beneficial things and ignore anything they don’t like or find offensive. That’s not really believing the Bible, though. That’s believing yourself and collecting things which agree with you, including a few things from the Bible. It can be difficult to believe in the Bible, especially in today’s doubt filled days.
Let’s start off by defining what we mean when we say “Do you believe in the Bible?” When we say, “Do you believe in Santa Clause?”, we’re asking if you expect to find a jolly man in a red suit living way north in the cold making toys. We’re asking if you believe Santa exists. However, that doesn’t make sense when we think about whether or not we believe in the Bible. Of course it exists. What we’re really asking when we ask about the Bible is, “Do you accept that this is from God and should be used to influence your choices?”
Breaking that question down, it consists of two things: is it from God and should we live by it? The first question is really one of faith. You can use evidence from archaeology or study the prophecies, or any other intellectual pursuit to try to parse out the book. However, in the end, it all boils down to one question, a faith question: Do you believe this book is God’s guidance to us? You have to choose whether or not you think it’s a divinely inspired book of writing or a trumped up book of history.
The second part of the question is whether or not you believe that the Bible should influence you. It’s good to know if you believe it’s from God, but that’s only half the equation. The next piece is are you willing to change based on what you read there? If not, what have you gained by reading it? You may have more understanding about history or religions as a result, but have you changed as a person? If not, then how is that different than any other historical book?
I would challenge you that authentic Christianity that pursues the truth of God must be changed by the Bible. If you are the same person today that you were before you started studying the Bible, then I would question the depth of your walk, or, if nothing else, the level of understanding. That may sound harsh, but the Bible claims to have life-altering powers if you connect with God. That’s a powerful statement.
If you have read the Bible and say that nothing life-altering happened from it, I return with this: Did you believe it to be the divine word of God, or did you just curiously look at what it said? Take this situation to God and ask Him about it. Expect that He will teach you about His word and how to live it. God is there and real and will help teach you about His Word and its truth.