Question: "Is the Bible a fairy tale?"
Answer: The charge that the Bible is nothing more than a fairy tale or a book of nice stories is not new. The Bible is undoubtedly the most impactful book the world has ever known, transforming innumerable lives. Why, then, would the question whether or not the Bible is a fairy tale be a legitimate one in the hearts of many around the world?
From the book of Genesis to the book of Revelation, we read the story of God’s eternal design to redeem a fallen world. With God as its inspiring Author, the Bible is the world’s greatest work of literature, and throughout the ages multitudes have spent their lives proclaiming its truth. Many, in fact, have made the ultimate sacrifice so that others may simply hold in their hands a copy of its pages. Nevertheless, there has never been a book that has been as viciously attacked as the Bible. The Bible has been banned, burned, mocked, ridiculed and defamed. Many have been put to death for simply possessing a Bible. But still the idea that the Bible is a fairy tale persists.
The “prince of this world” has been blinding people to the truth since the beginning of time. He began his “work” on earth by calling God’s words into question (Genesis 3:1-5), and he has been doing so ever since. Everywhere we look, false teaching is rampant—on television and radio, in books and magazines, in our schools and universities, and sadly, even in our churches and Christian colleges, the very places where the truth of God’s Word should most vigorously be defended. When children are taught that our ancestors crawled out of the ocean eons ago, have we not relegated creation and Adam and Eve to fairy tale status? It’s the same thing when scientists and academicians tell us we are wasting our time searching for the “mythological” Noah’s Ark.
In fact, when many in the church, in order to placate the academic world, allow for a reinterpretation of the book of Genesis to accommodate modern evolutionary thought, the message sent to the world is that the Bible, apparently, means something other than what its simple, ordinary words convey. When the supernatural events of the Bible are dubbed as allegory by naturalists, it is understandable how those who have never studied the Bible can be confused as to its truth. For those who have never availed themselves of the truth of God’s Word, how likely are they to believe in a talking donkey or a fish swallowing a man and spitting him out on the shore or a woman turning into a pillar of salt?
However, the Bible is most assuredly not a fairy tale. In fact, the Bible was “God-breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16), and this essentially means God wrote it. Its human authors wrote from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21). That’s why this divinely woven text of nearly three quarters of a million words is perfect in harmony from start to finish and contains no contradictions, even though its sixty-six books have forty different authors from different walks of life, written in three different languages and taking nearly sixteen centuries to complete. How possibly could we have this amazing congruity if it wasn’t for God guiding the authors’ hands? We could not; it’s that simple. A righteous God would never inspire error. A just God would not call error-filled Scripture “holy and true.” A merciful God would not state that His Word is perfect if it were not, and an omniscient God could write it so that it is as relevant today as it was thousands of years ago.
Time and again, the historicity of the Bible has been confirmed by biology, geology, and astronomy. And although the Bible may not always agree with naturalistic hypotheses, it is not in conflict with any true, established scientific facts. In archaeology, the last one hundred years have brought to light a treasure trove of biblical truths that scholars have questioned or doubted for centuries, such as the Dead Sea Scrolls, the basalt stone containing the “House of David” inscription, a 7th century BC amulet scroll bearing the name of God, and a stone bearing the name and title of Pontius Pilate, the Judean governor who ordered the execution of Jesus Christ. The Bible is without doubt the best documented book from the ancient world, with more than 24,000 whole or partial biblical manuscripts in existence. No other document of antiquity has nearly as much evidence to confirm its reliability.
Another attestation to the Bible’s divine authorship is the vast number of detailed biblical prophecies that have come true exactly as foretold. We see the psalmist, for example, telling of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ nearly a thousand years before it occurred (Psalm 22), and hundreds of years before crucifixion was even invented! Simply put, it would be impossible for human beings to have seen so far into the future with such precision and accuracy hundreds of times. Indeed, it would be completely illogical to believe these proven prophecies are anything other than the work of God. Incidentally, and amazingly, probability experts tell us the mathematical odds of just forty-eight prophecies regarding one person (i.e. Christ) coming true as foretold are one in ten to the 157th power!
But the greatest proof that the Bible is not a fairy tale is the countless number of lives that have been transformed by the truths contained in its pages. Used by the Spirit of God, the holy truths of the Bible have turned millions of sinners into saints. Drug addicts have been cured by it, homosexuals set free by it, derelicts and deadbeats transformed by it, hardened criminals reformed by it, sinners rebuked by it, and hate turned to love by it. No amount of reading “Cinderella” or “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” can effect such change on the soul of man. The Bible does possess a dynamic and transforming power that is only possible because it is truly God’s Word.
In light of the foregoing, the greater question, then, is how could someone not believe in these convincing, God-breathed, error-free, life-transforming truths? Unfortunately, the answer is actually an easy one. God has said that if we do not open our hearts to Him, He will not open our eyes to the truth. Jesus promised the Holy Spirit would teach us (John 14:26) and guide us into truth (John 16:13). And the truth of God is found in the Word of God (John 17:17). Thus, to those who believe, these sacred words are life itself, but, to those without the Spirit, the Bible is nothing but foolishness (1 Corinthians 2:14).