I enjoy reading mysteries in which the detective always solves the case and the good guys always win. Others enjoy books in which the author takes literary license as he or she weaves a fictional story through actual historical events. Some people approach the Bible like a mystery, a purely fictional story. Others categorize it as historical fiction.
Two of the men who spent the most time with Jesus were John and Peter. Each of them made it very clear that their accounts of life with Jesus were NOT fabrications or stories contrived in their imaginations. John began one of his letters by saying, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.” He is stating as clear as possible that Jesus was an actual living human being. John heard Jesus. He saw Jesus. He touched Jesus.
Peter makes a similar claim. In his second letter, he refers back to the time when Jesus led him and two others up a hill. There at the top, to their amazement, Jesus was transfigured. That means that for a short time He allowed His blinding-white glory to manifest through His clothing. Years later Peter wrote, “We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to Him from the Majestic Glory, saying, ‘This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.’ We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with Him on the sacred mountain” (2 Peter 1:16–18). He was there. He was witness to the Lord’s glory. He heard the Father’s voice.
You and I can have confidence when we read our Bible that it is true and accurate. The one thing that gives me the greatest assurance that the Bible is God’s Word is that Jesus wholeheartedly believed the Old Testament. He also said that His apostles would write the New Testament with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. If you’d like to read more about the inspiration of the Bible, I’d recommend The Case for Christ or The Case for Faith by Lee Strobel.
There is overwhelming evidence that the Bible is from God. In fact, I think that is one reason some people reject it. They don’t like the fact that its pages point out their thoughts and actions that displease Him. They don’t yet know that God loves them and wants the best for them. They don’t know God is a merciful and forgiving Father. Sadly, they view the Bible as only a “rule book.”
Those who have come to know Christ, however, view the Bible as God’s “love letter,” reminding us of His love, most clearly demonstrated through Christ. An important verse is Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” The Bible’s main theme is God’s love for us and His provision for the complete and lasting forgiveness of our sin.
It is a mystery that God could love us so much, but it is not historical fiction. I hope this encourages you to recognize God’s love more and more as you read your Bible.