Your gracious Majesty, I present you with this Book, the most valuable thing that this world affords.…” What was this priceless object handed to Queen Elizabeth at her coronation by the Archbishop of Canterbury? What did he give to this woman who owned enormous estates and treasures of diamonds, rubies, gold, and silver? What was it she received gratefully, acknowledging with a nod of her crowned head that she agreed with the prelate’s assessment of the volume? It was the Holy Bible. The Queen knew from her upbringing that the Word contains what no amount of money could buy—the secret of eternal life.

In spite of the Church’s official estimate of the Scriptures, the Queen’s valuation of the Book, and the inspiration and comfort millions of persons find daily in its pages, the Bible has never been more fiercely attacked nor its contents so dogmatically labeled myths and legends than it is today—and much of this from men sworn to be “defenders of the faith.”

We are living in times of incredible scientific achievement. We have penetrated outer space and have split the atom. Therefore, says modern man, we have matured; we do not need God any more. His Word is full of error; we cannot accept it.

No one rejoiced in the accomplishments of science more than Winston Churchill; yet he maintained his belief in the Bible. He declared:

I believe that the most scientific view finds its fullest satisfaction in taking the Bible story literally. I remain unmoved by the tomes of “Professor Gradgrind” or “Dr. Dryasdust.” We may be sure that all these things happened to people not very different from ourselves, and that the impressions they received were faithfully recorded [Thoughts and Adventures, 1932].

John Foster Dulles acknowledged the wonders of science also; yet he too leaned on the Scriptures. He never left on a peace-making mission without seeking strength and guidance from the Word, and a favorite promise of his was: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Phil. 4:13). Sir Stafford Cripps and Lord Halifax were firm believers in the Bible as the inspired revelation of the Lord. Woodrow Wilson believed in it to such an extent that he wrote a message about its power to purify and guide in the flyleaf of the New Testament he presented to all the American troops in the First World War.

Dr. R. A. Torrey might have been writing for these times when he stated:

The truly wise man is he who always believes the Bible against the opinion of any man, any scientist, any scholar, any council of theologians, any congress of philosophers, or savants. If the Bible says one thing and any body of men say another, the truly wise man will say: This Book is the Word of Him who cannot lie [Daily Meditations, 1963].
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Thomas Carlyle, the sage of Chelsea, said:

The Bible is the truest utterance that ever came by alphabetical letters from the soul of man, through which, as through a window divinely opened, all men can look into the stillness of eternity, and discern in glimpses their far-distant long-forgotten home [quoted in Pocket Bible Handbook, by Henry H. Halley, 1946].

Many Presidents apart from Wilson endorsed the divine origin of the Bible. John Quincy Adams insisted that his veneration of the Bible was so great that “the earlier my children begin to read it, the more confident will be my hope that they will prove useful citizens.…” Lincoln reckoned it the “best gift God ever gave to man.” Washington was convinced that it was impossible to govern the world without God and the Bible. The late John F. Kennedy valued its precepts so much that in his inaugural address he quoted a verse that had been a strength to him all through his life: “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isa. 40:31).

Those who contemptuously classify the Scriptures with Greek mythology and Grimm’s fairy tales may dismiss lightly the opinions of the great, but what can they do with the internal evidence of the Word itself? The Bible begins with “In the beginning, God …” and ends with “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.…” Between these two points there is an amazing continuity of thought on God, on the sinfulness of man, on the rewards of the righteous and the punishment of the wicked, and on the meaning of life lived for God.

No other holy books—the Upanishads and the Vedas of the Hindus, the Koran of the Muslims, the Granth of the Sikhs, the Tripitaka of the Buddhists, the Avesta of the Zoroastrians, or the Analects of the Confucians—give such an exalted view of God and life as does the Bible. And considering that some thirty-five or forty authors combined to produce the Old and New Testaments, men of all professions—kings, prophets, priests, farmers, fishermen, and a publican—the oneness of purpose running throughout the Book is impressive. Kings and fishermen alike bore consistent witness to a God who hates sin and who has the power to redeem the soul. And in no other books do the authors make such claims as these: “The Lord spoke through me,” “Thus saith the Lord …,” and “God spoke unto me saying.…”

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He spoke; the wind went dead;

disciples caught their breath.

“Where is your faith?” he said.

Then silence fell like sudden death.

They looked, their faces gray.

How far the great calm lay!

Long after on their stormy ways

they would recall again

the hushing of the hurricane;

and they, remembering, would raise

their heads in sudden, silent praise,

their hearts grown strong and warm!


But while modern man may reject the testimony of a Moses or a Daniel, surely it takes arrogant conceit to scorn the claims of the greatest authority of all, the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus uncompromisingly endorsed the Scriptures of the Old Testament all through his ministry. He quoted Moses and referred to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. In drawing a homely parable from the flowers, he compared their beauty to “Solomon in all his glory.” And he authenticated such a controversial event as Jonah’s three days and three nights inside a great fish, when he compared it to his own impending experience in the tomb.

Christ’s mind and heart were saturated with Scripture. Talking to the two disciples on the way to Emmaus after his resurrection, he taught them out of the Old Testament that he was the Messiah, “beginning at Moses and all the prophets.…” He had no parchments in his hand; yet he was able to quote verbatim all the prophetic statements made about himself by a variety of seers. So convincing were his words that the disciples’ doubts quickly disappeared and a warm glow filled them. “Did not our heart burn within us as he talked with us by the way?” they exclaimed joyously, when relating the incident to “the eleven.”

In his prayer for his disciples just before his arrest and crucifixion, Jesus said something that should settle forever any doubts we might have about the authenticity of the Holy Bible. He prayed: “Sanctify them through thy Word; thy Word is truth.…” Since God cannot lie, we may rest assured that his Word is beyond all question true.

No, the Bible is not “on the way out.” Isaiah’s prophecy finds its fulfillment today: “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the Word of our God shall stand forever.” True, there is much we do not understand in the pages of Scripture, and there is some to accept which takes all our courage. But once we begin to doubt, the enemy comes in like a flood and sweeps away all our defenses. God has seen fit to conceal many things from our view, “but when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.” Although we now see “through a glass, darkly,” some day we shall know as we are known. In the meantime, we shall continue to step out boldly on the promises of God, finding them just as valid as when they were uttered, just as applicable to twentieth-century Christians as to men of God in the centuries before Christ, or in the early years of the new era. The Christian who has failed to take God at his word and test his promises has missed one of the greatest of joys. Thousands have found with Livingstone that God’s Word is the “word of a gentleman” and that God’s promises can never be broken.

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Perhaps one explanation of the skepticism of so many today is that they are looking at the Bible through worldly eyes. “The unspiritual man,” said Paul, “simply cannot accept the matters which the Spirit deals with—they just don’t make sense to him, for, after all, you must be spiritual to see spiritual things” (1 Cor. 2:14, Phillips).

How easy it is to slip into Christian service without a change of heart, without experiencing the miracle Christ spoke of as being “born again.” While one must hesitate to judge individual cases, surely Christ’s words, “By their fruits ye shall know them,” apply to those who are causing terrible confusion to God’s people by destroying confidence in the Scriptures.

Four wonderful words echo and re-echo in the believer’s mind when doubts creep in. They are the words of him who had the mind of God: “Thy word is truth.”

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