1, 2. What illustration shows the need for a standard for deciding religious matters?
HOW can we come to know God? Is it necessary to examine all the teachings of the many religions? That would be impossible. Even if we could do that, how would we know which teaching is correct?
2 Surely, in view of all the different ideas about God, we need a way to know what is true, a standard that people can agree on. To illustrate: Suppose that there is an argument at the market about the length of a piece of cloth. The seller says the cloth is three yards (3 m), but the buyer thinks it is less than that. How can the matter be resolved? By measuring the cloth with a yardstick.
3. Why was the Bible written?
3 Is there a yardstick, a standard, for deciding religious matters? Yes, it is the Bible. God had the Bible written so that people everywhere could learn the truth about him. Billions of copies have been printed. It has been translated, in whole or in part, into over 2,100 languages. Just about everybody can read the truth about God in his or her own language.
4. What information does the Bible contain?
4 The Bible is a precious gift from God. It explains things that we could otherwise never know. It tells about those who live in the spirit realm. It reveals God’s thoughts, his personality, and his purpose. It tells of his dealings with people over thousands of years. It talks of things that will happen in the future. And it shows how we can find the road to everlasting life.
Why You Can Believe the Bible
5. What example shows that the Bible is in harmony with science?
5 There are many reasons why we can believe that the Bible really is the Word of God. One reason is that the Bible is in harmony with science. In ancient times people throughout the world thought that the earth rested on something. In West Africa, for example, people once believed that the earth was supported by a coiled snake, with 3,500 coils above the earth and 3,500 coils below. Yet, in harmony with science, a Bible writer wrote over 3,500 years ago that God is “hanging the earth upon nothing.”—Job 26:7.
6. What is the greatest proof that the Bible is from God?
6 The greatest proof that the Bible really is from God is its perfect record in foretelling the future. Unlike human oracles, God truly knows the future; everything he says always comes true.
7. What are some Bible prophecies that were fulfilled in the past?
7 Hundreds of Bible prophecies were fulfilled in ancient times. For example, 700 years in advance, the Bible accurately said that Jesus was to be born in the town of Bethlehem, and that is what happened. (Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:3-9) In addition to many other prophecies about Jesus, the Bible also foretold that he would be born of a virgin and would eventually be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver. Those prophecies also came true. Surely no human could have foretold those things!—Isaiah 7:14; Zechariah 11:12, 13; Matthew 1:22, 23; 27:3-5.
8. What are some Bible prophecies being fulfilled today, and what do they prove?
8 Many Bible prophecies are being fulfilled in our time. Here are a few of them:
“Nation will rise against nation [in warfare], and kingdom against kingdom; and there will be great earthquakes, and in one place after another pestilences and food shortages.”—Luke 21:10, 11.
There would be an “increasing of lawlessness.”—Matthew 24:12.
“In the last days . . . men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, . . . disobedient to parents, . . . without self-control, fierce, without love of goodness, . . . puffed up with pride, lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God.”—2 Timothy 3:1-5.
Do you not agree that these things are happening now? The truthfulness and accuracy of Bible prophecy show that the Bible is no ordinary book. It is the inspired Word of God!—2 Timothy 3:16.
Has the Bible Been Changed?
9, 10. What shows that God has not allowed men to change the Bible?
9 Suppose that you were the owner of a factory and that you posted a list of rules for your workers. If some enemy changed what you had written, what would you do? Would you not correct what had been changed? In the same way, God does not allow people to change the truth of his Word, the Bible.
10 Those who have tried to change the teachings of God’s Word have not succeeded. When we compare the Bible that we have today with ancient copies of the Bible, they are the same. This shows that the Bible has not been changed over the years.