I grew up hearing the Bible. I remember being deeply impacted by the Jesus film - the Bible in video form. As soon as I could read, I read the Bible. I read it because I loved the stories, and because many trustworthy people said it was the inspired Word of God, and therefore totally true. You don't get much that is totally true in this life, so I figured I should go for it.
In the past few years, my reasons for belief have changed. I live my life for God because He has given me belief, convicted me of sin, and brought me to repentance. He has opened my eyes to the truth of His existence. He has provided ample support for my faith in Him. Now my life is a constant search to find out more about God, who He is, how He works, how I can live according to his plan.
A key part of that search is the Bible. For years I have read it as an insider. Each time I opened it, I assumed it was true. The basis for this assumption was primarily the testimony of my parents. Over the years they have given me excellent reasons to believe what they say, but my mind demands that I find things out for myself. For the past few years I have done my best to take a new look at the Bible - as through the eyes of someone who never read it before. I want to find out what is said in the Bible, and if it is totally true. I urge you to do the same - take a new look at the Bible.
Our search will (hopefully) lead us to one of two possible conclusions:
1. The Bible is full of inaccuracies and falsehoods, and contradicts sources of truth outside of the Bible, and itself. God is not speaking through the Bible, and so it is not reasonable to believe what the Bible says.
2. The Bible is totally true. It agrees with history, science, and itself. It is reasonable to believe what the Bible says.
There are three criteria we will look at to determine which of these two is the case:
1. Accurate/Inaccurate Transmission. Has the Bible been accurately transmitted to us from its original form?
2. Internal and External Accuracy: Does the Bible agree with what we know to be true? Does the Bible agree with itself?
3. Miracles and Prophesy: Are miracles possible, has Biblical prophesy been fulfilled?
If I were to do an exhaustive work on these things, it would be several volumes of very large books. That is not my intent. I will provide a readable summary of what I find, and point you to large books (and other sources) that you can read if you wish.
As I research these things, I hope you'll follow along with a critical mind. I encourage you to comment to mention things I may have forgotten or points I forgot to make.
NOTE: I will link Bible references to an online Bible - click them to read the verse online. For example: John 8:32