When your eternal destiny is at stake, you can’t afford to base your acceptance or rejection of the Bible’s message on secondhand opinions. Maybe you were raised in church and are familiar with the more popular Bible stories. Or maybe you have sat under skeptical scholarship in a religious education class or the Discovery Channel. Here is your opportunity to start considering the testimony of eye witnesses of Jesus and the disciples teaching, miracles, and ministry.
The Role of Faith
“Miracles,” you say? Doesn’t that automatically place the Bible in the category of myth or legend? It may surprise you that many of the most respected scientists–before and after Darwin–accept the Christian, supernatural worldview as logically consistent, biblically verifiable, and practically relevant. A closer look at secular philosophy reveals that skeptics like David Hume did not disprove miracles; he just redefined them as out of the realm of possibility. When you hear scholars of equal intelligence on both sides of this debate, it becomes obvious that one’s presuppositions are the crucial factor in what evidence is accepted and how it is interpreted. This is why a first hand, open-minded reading of the Bible is of such importance for you.
The Bible’s portrayal of the supernatural is different from any other book. When one compares the Genesis account of creation with the creation story of other ancient people (such as Babylonians, Greeks, or Hindus), the contrast is blatantly obvious. Verifiable science and archeology do not undermine the Bible, but substantiate it.
Every viewpoint, whether naturalistic, or religious, whether Christian or non-Christian requires faith. “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6). Biblical faith may add to reason, but it does not contradict it. There are convincing lines of evidence that give believers a satisfied mind and a solid foundation. Briefly stated, God has not left Himself without witness.
1. The Witness of Creation
Astronomers confirmed in the 1900s that the universe had a beginning. Was the origin of all things caused by a cosmic accident, or by a Creator? Is the apparent design of the sun, the earth, the human body, and the animal kingdom just coincidental, or providential? The New Testament affirms, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20). And David observed 3,000 years ago, “The heavens declare the glory of God, And the firmament shows His handiwork” (Psalm 19:1).
2. The Witness of Conscience
The voice inside you is an evidence of your spiritual nature. “[Non-Jewish people groups, who did not yet have access to the Scriptures] show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them… in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ…” (Romans 2:15,16). In Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis demonstrated that this universal concept of morality is more than a social convention.
3. The Witness of Jesus Christ
Our western calendar is divided into B.C. and A.D., marking the significance of this Person. Even His opponents could not deny His miracles; they rationalized them as coming from demonic power. Yet virtually everyone concedes the moral excellence of the one who gave the ethic of unconditional love, consistent honestly, and godly devotion. C.S. Lewis is known for restating another observation about Jesus:
“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: “I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.” That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic – on the level with a man who says he is a poached egg – or he would be the devil of hell. You must take your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse.
You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.” 
The question every person must eventually answer is, What is your response to the person, work, and claims of Jesus?
4. The Witness of the Bible
“If only I could see a miracle, then I would believe!” Many have supposed this would be their deciding factor. Yet, as you read the New Testament you will discover that people can be presented with irrefutable evidence of miracles, but still harden their hearts. Nevertheless, miracles have been presented to encourage faith. If you invest time in studying the Bible with a receptive heart you will see a miracle first hand–the miracle of how forty human authors, over 1500 years, in a variety of settings and cultures could record a cohesive, unfolding revelation of the true and living God.
Peter was a disciple and eye witness of Jesus who was eventually imprisoned and martyred for his faith. He wrote two New Testament epistles. Although he could have reveled in his experience, he magnified the revelation in the Bible:
“And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:19,20).
In my 45 years of Bible reading and study I have been increasingly amazed by the intrinsic witness of Scripture, including the accurate transmission of the manuscripts, fulfilled Bible prophecies, and its power to transform lives and culture.
Does everyone who reads the Bible accept its claim for divine inspiration (2 Timothy 3:16)? Does every religious teacher interpret its message in harmony with its context, wording and grammar? Regrettably, no. But even this danger is warned against:
“Consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation–as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures” (2 Peter 3:15).
So, this brings us back to the importance of your first hand reading of the Scripture with a receptive heart.
You are invited to read the New Testament books of Luke, John, Acts and Romans, not as a replacement of the whole Bible, but to whet your appetite for the rest of it. Moses counseled the people, “So He [God] humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna … that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord” (Deuteronomy. 16:3). The Heart of the New Testament is echoing the invitation seekers have accepted for thousands of years:
“Taste and see that the Lord is good.
Blessed is the person who takes refuge in him” – King David (Psalm 34:8.)
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I m gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” – Jesus (Matthew 11: 28-30).
” …Let him who hears [the gospel] say, ‘Come!’ And let him who thirsts [for meaning, forgiveness, and hope] come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely” – the Apostle John (Revelation 22:17).
So, now is the time begin–or resume–your journey in discovering the heart of the matter, which is a matter of the heart.
This article is from the preface of The Heart of the New Testamant. Editor, John Woodward. Available as a Kindle ebook on Amazon.com
 Lewis, C.S., Mere Christianity, Book 1 https://www.lewissociety.org/mere-christianity-outline/
 Mere Christianity, London: Collins, 1952, p54-56. (Book. II, Ch. 3).
For additional resources about reasons to believe, visit www.rzim.org and www.probe.org