The Subject Of The Book
Is the Bible true? Many arguments about whether or not people should live a life devoted to Christ involve a question as to the Bible's authenticity. They will argue that if the Bible isn't true, then there is no God or Christ, because that's where our information about God and Christ come from. But if you lived in the time of Christ, that argument holds no water because Jesus was here, living on earth, and the story of His life had not been written yet. Secular history records much about the life of Jesus, so we know he is not a fictional character.
Our understanding of Him and the basis for our faith in Him runs hand in hand with what the Bible says because that's our confirmed account of Him and His life and His teachings. Something we don't think about often when we claim Christianity, is that we aren't Christians because the Bible says we should be. It does, and its teachings are true, but our faith isn't in the book. Our faith is in the actual Word of God, the book simply contains His teachings. God's Word was around, His teaching were taught, He had laws and rules and Christ had a plan of salvation established long before the assembly of verifiable documents became "the Bible".
People were following Jesus, being baptized into Him for remission of sins, and living for Jesus, long before there was a Bible. The Bible didn't exist when "The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch." (Acts 11:26). Acts hadn't been written yet, and letters to churches from the Apostle Paul were futuristic, because Paul was still in the beginning stages of being the murderous persecutor of the church named Saul. When Christ was here, and shortly after He ascended to Heaven, what is now history was still in the making, there was no Bible. That didn't happen until the canonical texts began to be evaluated and assembled, most scholars indicating around 400 A.D.
With that in mind, we choose to follow Jesus, and the Bible is our written record of His life, His ministry, and sacrifice. Christ came to earth, lived and taught, and died for us, and yet if that is all that ever happened, it would really just be a good story about a good man. The fact that Jesus rose from the dead, was seen by hundreds, and proved beyond any doubt that He was in fact the Son of God is why we are Christians. His fulfillment of thousands of years of prophesy that we also have a written copy of today is why we believe in Him. That is the story we put our faith in. The Bible we preach from simply records all of this, from the time of creation, to the events surrounding Jesus' life, and the early years of the church He established. He was (and is) the Messiah the world was waiting for.
If you lived 2000 years ago, you got all of that by word of mouth, there was no Bible to read. There is a Bible today because there was a Messiah, and as time went on, Christian historians assembled early writings and historical accounts of Jesus' life into the collection of documents we call "the Bible". But Christians have been around ever since the first Gospel message was preached by Peter on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2), long before there was a Bible and any argument over its origin or authenticity, and they were practicing what we read about in the Bible before there were any written directions to follow. What we read today is an account of what they did, and they practiced what was taught by eye-witness Apostles and disciples of Jesus.
I know we know all of that, but do we stop sometimes and consider that what we believe in is Christ, and we only believe the Bible because it tells the accurate story of Him. Yes, we believe the Bible because it is a God Inspired account of Jesus and the early church and it's where we learn what we know about Him and His purpose for the church. But the only reason we build our faith based on the book is because of the subject of the book, Jesus the Christ, the Son of God.
It's certainly correct to say we believe the Bible, we do. It's likewise correct to say our faith rests on the Word of Christ, it does. Let us go that one step further and convince the world that we have a book that guides our path because it is a historical account of a Messiah named Jesus, and not that we have a story about someone named Jesus because someone else wrote a good book.