For a long time, I would have said the former in the title of this blog post. Afterall, salvation comes by believing in Jesus, not the Bible. We call the Gospel the Gospel of Jesus Christ, not the Gospel of the Bible. Jesus is Lord whether the Bible was ever written or not, whereas the Bible, if accurate, depends on Jesus. Christianity is mainly about Jesus, not the Bible many Christians may say. One the one hand I certainly believe that the Bible is true because of Jesus, therefore, believing in the Bible because of Jesus. There is good evidence that He rose from the dead and I’ve experienced the Triune God in my life, so the Bible I take to be true as well. On the other hand, I think the proposition that I believe in Jesus because of the Bible can and should be defended as well. In other words, I think we can say both, that we believe in the Bible because of Jesus and we believe in Jesus because of the Bible. I mentioned why I take the former to be true above so now I turn to the latter.
How do we mainly know about Jesus? Well, the answer would be the Gospels. Are there writings outside the New Testament that mention Jesus? Yes, there are. Yet, our main information we receive comes from the Gospel accounts. So I mainly know who Jesus is from the Bible. It is also good to be reminded that when we mention the word Bible we are not just talking about facts about Jesus. When we mention the word Bible we are referring to a story. So Jesus and what we learn of Him from the Gospels only makes since in the larger story of God and his relationship with Israel in what we call the Old Testament. The New Testament continues this story. God is still the main character, but now He is fully revealed in Jesus Christ. Israel still is very important in the story, but God is doing things differently than what they imagined.
I love that there are good historical reasons for believing that Jesus rose from the dead. Yet, who is this Jesus that is risen from the dead? It is the Jesus revealed in the story of the New Testament that is a continuation of the story of the Old Testament. The Jesus we believe in we mainly know through a story and this story is all put together in something we call the… Bible.
So because of the fact that I believe Jesus has risen from the dead and is Lord and King, I also believe the Bible to be trustworthy and true. While saying that, I can also say I believe in Jesus because of who His story reveals Him to be. In His story, He is revealed as being Yahweh. This story that reveals Jesus as Yahew is the Bible; therefore I believe in Jesus because I believe in the Bible.