It is regrettable that so few people actually read the Bible. The Bible is the most well-known and most widely- distributed book, while being the least understood and comprehensively-mastered manuscript. Have you ever thoughtfully and studiously read through it?
As a very young man, I bought a Bible to read so that I could learn about it. At the time, I was still an unbeliever, but I wanted to see what the Bible actually taught. Taking time to research it purposefully, I began reading, and to this day, after 24 years, have not stopped! It is a wonderful book! I found God and my Savior in it and became a truly fulfilled person through it. I have read the Bible many times, and I still read it today with great benefit and pleasure. Oh, if only every person would read the Bible carefully and studiously before judging it! Many would come to a very different conclusion about it.
Jean Jacques Rousseau, the most influential French writer of the 18th century (1712-1778), said of the Bible: “I confess that the majesty of Scripture fills me with wonder; the holiness of the Gospel speaks to my heart. Behold the books of the philosophers with all their pomp; how insignificant they are in comparison! Is it possible that such an exalted and at the same time straightforward book should be the word of men? Is it possible that the One whose story it tells is only a person? It would be much more incomprehensible if some people had united to write this book than that there was One who offered the material for it. Also, the Bible, the Gospel, has elements of truth so great, so astounding, and so matchless, that the Inventor of it would be more admirable than its hero.”
Wolfgang v. Goethe (1749-1832) said: “May the human mind expand as it will – it will not get beyond the majesty and moral culture of Christianity, as it gleams and shines in the Gospels… I consider all four of the Gospels to be absolutely genuine, because the reflection of a majesty in them is evident, emanating from the person of Christ and in such a divine way as only the Divine has ever appeared on earth. If anyone asks me whether it is my inclination to offer Him adoring reverence, I say: By all means! I bow before Him as the revelation of the highest principle of morality!”
Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), the great philosopher from Königsberg, Prussia, once confessed: “All the books I have read have not given me the comfort which the word in the Bible from Psalm 23:4 gave me: ‘Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me.’” To the author Jung-Stilling, he wrote: “You do well to seek your reassurance in the Gospel, for it is an inexhaustible source of all truths which, when reason has measured out its whole field, is nowhere else to be found.”
Napoleon I (1769-1821) said: “The Gospel is not a book but a Living Being with exertion and power which overrides everything that opposes it. – The soul enraptured by the beauty of the Gospel no longer belongs to itself. God takes complete possession of it. He directs its thoughts and its faculties; it completely belongs to Him.”
Heinrich Heine (1799-1856), a scoffer from whom one should expect little reverence for the Bible, wrote: “I have already spoken about the transformation which took place in my mind regarding divine things. I owe my enlightenment simply to the reading of a book. – A book? Yes, and it is an old, very old book – and this book is called, in short, The Book, The Bible. With justification it is also called the Holy Scripture. Whoever has lost his God can find Him again in this Book. And who never knew Him, the breath of the divine Word blows here… I owe the reawakening of my religious yearnings to that Holy Book. It became a source of salvation for me as an object of the most devout admiration. Strange! After having spent my whole life on the dance floors of philosophy, indulging in all orgies of the spirit, courting all kinds of systems without being satisfied – now I suddenly find myself on the simple standpoint of the Bible. What humiliation! With all my science I am no further ahead than Uncle Tom, the poor ignorant slave, who scarcely learned to spell.”
The famous historian A. Menzel (1815-1905) said: “The Holy Scriptures equate the Book of Books, the source of eternal life, of comfort and strength, for all the unfortunate and the challenged. It is a shield and armor of virtue, an awakener of the spiritually asleep, a guide out of the labyrinth of sin, as well as a righteous final judge to those who persist in sin. It is a book like no other on earth, whose contents, like the gaze of God Himself, penetrate so deeply into the soul, which is so thoroughly true, wiser than all law books, richer than all textbooks, more beautiful than all the poetry of the world, more heart-penetrating than a mother’s speech, with such depth of spirit that even the cleverest cannot exhaust it. Yet, it can still uplift and purify the simple-minded, the most educated, and the most elevated. It is the Word of the hereafter, before which Belshazzar quaked and trembled, and before which Paul himself became mute and was blinded. This Word binds, loosens, and slays, but also brings to life.”