This Is Why The Bible Is Supernatural
Before I was afflicted, I went astray, but now I obey your word. Psalm 119:67
If the Bible really is a supernatural book, then should it not follow that the Bible has a unique and distinctive flavor to it? Something that rings different from the flood of inane books that have been written? Even something that distinguishes it from the classics that have been recognized down through the centuries?
For many years J. B. Phillips was a scholar of the classics at Cambridge and, accordingly, had a rather low view of the Bible. Phillips, like so many today, had never taken time to analyze it, or even study it from a literary point of view, but that changed when he began to study it–thinking about the task of a modern translation. In his own words, Phillips had a “rather snobbish disdain” for this Book, but that changed.
“I found myself,” he said, “provoked, challenged, stimulated, comforted and generally convicted by my previous shallow knowledge of the Scripture.” He found the Bible was “strangely alive; it spoke to my condition in the most uncanny way. I say ‘uncanny’ for want of a better word, but it was a very strange experience to sense, not occasionally, but almost continually, the living quality of those assorted Books…. Inspired words took on a new, and so to speak contemporary, authority. Indeed, so great was this sense of the contemporaneous that we constantly had to remind ourselves of the different conditions of those early days.”
What was Phillips’ conclusion? “It is my serious conclusion that we have in the New Testament words that bear the hallmark of reality and the ring of truth.” Phillips’ words cannot help but remind you of the late C.S. Lewis, who was agnostic before his conversion, but through a slow process as he began to examine the evidence for Christianity, his agnosticism gave way to reasoned faith.
Also, the British journalist and author, Malcolm Muggeridge, came to the conclusion that the Bible is a supernatural Book. The path that brought Him to God was a long, winding, circuitous one. He was a socialist, agnostic and skeptic. He described Christianity as “a load of rubbish.” But eventually he did an about face. It was not so much that he found God, but God found him, and following his conversion he wrote this of the book he had previously disparaged: “The truth is that the light which shines in this incredible Book [the Bible] simply cannot be put out. How beholden to the Bible were Bunyan, Milton, Blake, so many writers and among the greatest! Is Bach’s music conceivable without the Bible?” he asks, “or Chartres Cathedral? In how many different ways its words have been embellished! In melodious song, in masonry and statuary, in marble and rich paint and delicate books of ours, in solemn liturgy and joyful songs of praise.”
A letter arrived today, postmarked “Dawson City, Yukon Territory, Canada.” A friend wrote, “I do not hesitate to say that it was you who put me on to the right track in receiving and believing in Jesus Christ. This happened on a Guidelines you gave about seven years ago, when you stated that a good place to get started reading the Bible was in the Book of John.”
There you have it–a plethora of individuals who blend their voices in saying, “Yes, the Bible has a distinctive ring to it. It is different! It meets my needs in a unique way.” And friend, the Bible will do the same thing for you!
Resource reading: Psalm 89:1-8