Have you ever been misled about a person? Maybe you heard others talk about him or quote him. You expected to dislike him—only to find, on getting to know him, that he had been misrepresented. Many have had such an experience regarding the Bible.
More than a few educated people take a dim view of the Bible. Can you understand why? That book is often represented or quoted in such a way that it sounds unreasonable, unscientific, or just plain wrong. Is it possible that the Bible has been misrepresented?
In the course of reading this brochure, were you surprised to learn that what the Bible says is scientifically accurate? Many people are. They are equally surprised to learn that the Bible does not say some of the things that many religions claim that it says. Some say, for example, that the Bible teaches that God made the universe and all life in it within six 24-hour days. In fact, there is nothing in the Bible that contradicts scientists’ various estimates on the age of the universe or the earth. *
Furthermore, the Bible’s brief outline of how God brought life into being on this planet leaves ample room for scientific inquiry and theory. The Bible does state that God created all life and that living things are made “according to their kinds.” (Genesis 1:11, 21, 24) These statements may be at odds with certain scientific theories, but not with established scientific fact. The history of science shows that theories come and go; the facts remain.
There are many people, though, who hesitate to investigate the Bible because they are disillusioned with religion. They look at organized religion and see hypocrisy, corruption, warmongering. But is it fair to judge the Bible by the behavior of some who claim to represent it? Many humane and sincere scientists have been horrified by the way that some violent bigots have used the evolution theory to support their racist aims. Would it be fair to judge the theory of evolution on that basis? Surely it is better to investigate the theory’s claims and compare them with the available evidence.
We urge you to do the same with the Bible. You may be pleasantly surprised to learn how profoundly its teachings differ from those of most organized religions. Far from promoting wars and ethnic violence, the Bible teaches that God’s servants must repudiate war and even the hatred that leads to such violence. (Isaiah 2:2-4; Matthew 5:43, 44; 26:52) Far from advocating fanaticism and belief without evidence, the Bible teaches that evidence is essential to genuine faith and that the power of reason is an indispensable aid to serving God. (Romans 12:1; Hebrews 11:1) Far from squelching curiosity, the Bible encourages us to probe some of the most fascinating and challenging questions that humans have ever faced.
For example, have you ever wondered, ‘If there is a God, why does he allow wickedness?’ The Bible addresses that question, as well as many others, in a satisfying way. * We urge you to pursue your quest for truth. You can find answers that are fascinating, thrilling, reasonable—and based on convincing evidence. And that is no accident.
^ par. 9 See chapter 11 of the book What Does the Bible Really Teach? published by Jehovah’s Witnesses.