I appreciate your question and am glad to answer it. The Bible tells me to be ready always “to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear" (1 Peter 3:15). I certainly need to be able to tell why I believe the Bible is true. I will give several reasons for this faith.
The first reason I give is very personal. I believe the Bible because of what it means to me. Simply put, it has worked in my heart and soul. Through the Bible, I have received assurance of eternal salvation. It tells me of many things that cannot be known in any other way; things about eternity past, the future, the reasons things are as they are, things of heaven, things beyond death, and much more.
The Bible has been a continual delight to me for many years. At the least, I have averaged ten to twenty hours a week with this precious Book for the last thirty-five years. If my math is correct, I have spent over 25,000 hours of my life in reading, meditating on, memorizing, writing, studying, teaching, preaching, or hearing the teaching or preaching of the Bible. It is more rich and precious to me today than it was years ago. I find more new truths in the Bible today than I did then.
The Bible has continually molded and changed my life. Through following its precepts (though weakly at times), I have had a very wonderful and fulfilling life. I have not had a great deal of the things of the world in comparison to others, but my life has been truly blessed. Recently, my father passed away a much loved man after 61 years of marriage to my mother. My three brothers have all been married for many years with no divorce. My wife and I just celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary this summer. My two children continue to serve the Lord and we are all close even though they are in their twenties. Beyond this there is the fulfillment of heart that God has given me and many other blessings. I attribute all of this to the power of the Bible and the God of the Bible.
Throughout the Bible, it claims to be the words and the word of God. The exact phrase "Thus saith the Lord" occurs 415 times in the Bible. But the same claim is made in many different ways in the Bible. Much of the law of Moses claims to be quotations from God. 72 verses have the exact same wording: "And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying." Jesus claimed that His words were given to Him by the Father: "the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me" (John 14:10) and "My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me" (John 7:16). In Genesis chapter one in the Bible account of creation we read, "God said" a total of ten times. There are truly hundreds of other examples. This creates a watershed for those who approach the Bible. If they do not take its claims seriously, then it must be a foolish Book to make this claim so many times. If they take it seriously (as I do), they must accept it as it claims to be: the written word of God. The Bible itself does not allow for middle ground.
It is true that over the centuries men have used false forms of Christianity and isolated texts of scripture to justify cruel hatred and unjust wars. But that is true of any set of beliefs. Over the last century, many more people have been killed in the name of godlessness than in the name of God. Stalin, Hitler, the Khmer Rouge of Cambodia, and Mao killed millions upon millions in the name of godlessness. Others have been killed in the name of false gods. But few have been killed during this time in the name of the God of the Bible. And those who have done so in earlier centuries were usually making false claims on the God of the Bible.
But through the centuries it has been known that the most gentle and upright citizens in many countries have been those who believed the Bible with all their hearts and attempted to obey its precepts. The Bible makes good citizens, good men and women, good families, and good societies: the best this earth has known.
But it also changes individuals. I was saved as a child and cannot claim the transformation of many. But many have been delivered from the midst of wickedness by the redeeming power of the truth taught in the Bible. We recently had a man come and preach to us who was saved while in jail because of the preaching of the gospel as found in the Bible. He had lived a life of wickedness as a high ranking member of a major motorcycle gang. He was into all kinds of sin, but when he trusted in the God of the Bible, he experienced a total transformation. He has been serving God for many years now without returning to his earlier way of life. He has a wonderful family and continually serves the Lord. Similar incidents have occurred thousands and thousands of times. Multitudes have been redeemed from lives of prostitution, drunkenness, and all kinds of wickedness to live a clean life for the Lord. This is another reason I believe the Bible is true.
UNITY OF THE BIBLE
The Bible was written over a period of about 1600 years and was the work of 40 or so human authors. Logically, this should create an extreme level of disunity in the Bible. But, although there are differing styles and kinds of writings in the Bible (as poetry, history, etc.); there is an amazing unity and continuity in the Bible. It is truly one Book!
Let me illustrate this unusual unity. Hebrews 4:15 states that Jesus was "in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." In Luke 4:1-13, we can read one account of the temptation of Christ. There were three particular temptations given to Him by the devil. In 1 John 2:15-16, we are warned against the things that are in the world. They are identified as "the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life." Again, notice that there are three points of temptation. Then, in Genesis 3:6 we read of the reasons why Eve took of the forbidden fruit thereby bringing sin into the world. The passage clearly mentions three reasons she gave in to the temptation. That is, there are three points of temptation. It seems that all temptation can be summarized in three points. But there is more.
The first kind of temptation mentioned in 1 John 2:16 is "the lust of the flesh." This is the drawing power of our fleshly desires. The first temptation the devil gives to Christ in Luke four is to turn stones into bread to satisfy His hunger after fasting for forty days. This is definitely a temptation to the lust of the flesh. Then, in Genesis 3:6, the first reason given for Eve eating of the forbidden fruit was "that the tree was good for food." This also is the lust of the flesh.
The second kind of temptation in 1 John 2:16 is "the lust of the eyes." This is the temptation to covet and desire what we see. The second of Christ's temptations in Luke four is when the devil takes Him to a high mountain, shows Him all the kingdoms of the world, and promises them to Jesus if He will just fall down and worship the devil. Clearly, he deals with the lust of the eyes. In Genesis 3:6, the second reason for taking the fruit was "that it was pleasant to the eyes." The connection is obvious.
The third temptation in 1 John 2:16 is "the pride of life." This is the temptation brought on by our sense of our own importance and our desire to be important and lifted up. In the third of Christ's temptations, the devil takes Jesus to the pinnacle of the temple and dares Him to jump so that the angels would catch Him. The devil even quotes a scripture to show that the angels are committed to keeping Him from harm. Why would Jesus do this? To show that He was indeed the Son of God. It would have been an act of pride. And, finally, the third reason given for Eve's sin was that the tree was "a tree to be desired to make one wise." The devil had promised her that she would be as the gods if she ate of the tree. She took of it because of the pride of life.
Now, this teaching comes from four different human authors writing over a span of about 1600 years. The wording and descriptions are fully different to the degree that they are clearly not copying one another or building their texts on one another. Yet, with some study the records come together in a miraculous way. The hand of the divine is clear. True, if this were an isolated case, we might suspect simple coincidence. But students of the Bible know that this kind of "coincidence" is found hundreds and hundreds of times in the Bible. Only God could or would put together such a Bible!
The Bible is the only sacred book of the world religions that constantly and continually establishes its integrity on its ability to predict the future. The Bible states that God will preserve the Jews to the end of time and they are still here while hosts of other nations have ceased to exist. And this is in despite of the numerous attempts to destroy them. The Bible prophesied that Jesus would come and He did. And in doing so, He fulfilled dozens of very specific and particular prophecies about Himself. Much Gentile history is told in Daniel and it came about as it was prophesied. Daniel even prophesied when Jesus would come and his prophecy was true. Much prophecy in the Bible remains to be fulfilled, but we can trust that it will be kept as so many other prophesies have.
The Old Testament is so full of types that are fulfilled in the New Testament that they give students of the Bible hundreds of more reasons to believe in the hand of God on the Bible. The richness of Christ being our Passover (1 Corinthians 5:7) or of the five major offerings and their meanings (Leviticus 1-5) are just too full to even begin to explain here.
BIBLE AND SCIENCE
The Bible has proven to be ahead of science many times. It speaks of the ocean currents (Psalm 8:8; Isaiah 43:16), the hydrological cycle (Ecclesiastes 1:7), the jet stream (Ecclesiastes 1:6), mountains under the sea (Jonah 2:5-6), the earth hanging on nothing (Job 26:7), individual fingerprints (Job 37:7), light as always moving (Job 38:19), the earth as being round (Isaiah 40:22), the springs in the sea (Job 38:16), air pressure (Job 28:25), and many other things. The Bible speaks of these things long before they were discovered by scientists.