How to Respond to Questions About Bring Your Bible to School Day
Check out this conversation guide on how to respond to possible questions about Bring Your Bible to School Day in a loving, respectful way.
Are you excited to share your faith with your friends, but are unsure of where to start? Or are you concerned that someone will respond negatively to you? Check out our conversation guides for tips and tricks on how to start conversations or respond to challenges in a loving, respectful way.
Conversation Guide: Responding to Questions
While most interactions during Bring Your Bible to School Day should be positive, it’s possible that when you express your beliefs about the Bible, you could be verbally challenged—and maybe even encounter angry reactions. If that happens, it’s important to remember an important guiding principle—that we should reflect the spirit of Christ in our interactions with others. The goal of this event is to demonstrate Christ’s love and respectfully communicate a Biblical perspective, not to engage in debates and confrontations. So even if someone becomes angry with you or is rude, it’s important to remain respectful and loving—while at the same time, remaining confident and bold in communicating your perspective and standing firm on your First Amendment right to share it. Below are tips for responding to some of the most common challenges that you might encounter…
How do you know what the Bible says is really from God? Didn’t a bunch of people just like you and me write it?
You can tell the person asking you that this is an important question. Yes, human beings physically wrote the words of the Bible—but those words did not come from their own mental abilities or imaginations. The Bible itself addresses this question. Verses like 2 Peter 1:21 explain that “no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” In short, men were divinely directed by God when writing the books of the Bible—but God chose to work through individual people with unique personalities, jobs, and life stories to communicate his message about the story of humanity and the earth.
Just because God chose to use human beings—inspiring them with His thoughts and ideas—to compile the Bible, it does not mean that the Bible can’t be trusted. In fact, there is plenty of strong evidence of its reliability and accuracy. Just to mention one of these evidences: Even though the Bible was written over approximately a 1,500-year time span by about 40 different authors—amazingly all of those authors are consistent in their communications about our sinful nature and our need for God’s grace through Jesus Christ. Furthermore, the Bible contains hundreds, even thousands, of prophecies that have been fulfilled, including detailed descriptions of events that would later happen to the Jewish people and surrounding nations, as well as prophecies about the life and death of Christ. This cannot be said of any other religious book claiming to contain truth from God.
Why would you put your faith in the Bible?
As far as responding to questions about why people choose to put their faith in what the Bible says, Dr. Gary Burge, a Professor of New Testament at Wheaton College, had these thoughts to share in an interview featured in Christianity Today:
Ultimately, we all face the question of whether we believe there is a God—and whether He communicated a personal message to us in the Bible. You can invite your friends to consider the evidence for themselves.
Aren’t there are a lot of inaccuracies in the Bible?—I mean, it’s been translated so many times that it has to be full of contradictions.
First, you can thank the person for sharing their thoughts with you and explain that, at first glance, certain sections of the Bible can appear contradictory, but further research usually resolves apparent contradictions. You can also mention that it’s important to understand the context of the passage both in light of other Scripture verses, as well as in the time and history in which it was written.
It also might help to ask the person if there is a specific contradiction or inaccuracy they have in mind. Then, it’s important not to be defensive about the apparent contradiction the person mentions. While some may just be trying to argue, others may have genuine questions or confusion. If you don’t know the answer, then it’s alright to respectfully explain that you’d like more time to look into that question for yourself.
It’s also worth noting that the Bible has the highest accuracy of translation standards and historical documentation of any literature from ancient times. There are thousands of well-preserved New Testament documents and copies, for example—far more documentation than exists for any other ancient literature. As a result, researchers have pointed out that if the manuscripts that comprise the New Testament were rejected, then other ancient literature, such as Plato’s writings or Homer’s The Iliad would also have to be rejected—since they have far less documentation than the New Testament. Likewise, the Old Testament has been more accurately preserved than any other ancient literature of equal age.
Maybe I believe in Jesus and what the New Testament says, but what’s the deal with the Old Testament?
It’s difficult to fully grasp the New Testament’s reliability without understanding the Old Testament’s direct connection to it. For instance, the Old Testament has more than 300 prophecies that point directly to the details of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. This is truly phenomenal—and points to God’s inspiration of the Scriptures, especially considering that the Old Testament was written several hundred years before Christ’s birth. In the New Testament, Jesus himself repeatedly affirmed the reliability and relevance of the Old Testament. Just to give a few examples:
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them,” Jesus said in Matthew 5:17.
Also, Luke 24:27 tells us that Jesus explained Old Testament prophecies about himself to the disciples: “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.”
We also have historical documentation of the high standards used by scribes who recorded Old Testament documents. They meticulously compared new copies with original copies. If lines of paragraphs, letters or word counts did not match up or errors were found, the new copy was destroyed and the whole process begun again.
The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls—ancient documents that had remained hidden in caves near the city of Jerusalem for about 2,000 years—also provide strong evidence of the Old Testament’s accuracy. The scrolls contain fragments or complete copies from every Old Testament book except Esther and provide proof of the consistency between current translations of the Old Testament and those that existed thousands of years ago.
You can’t talk about religion in a public school, right?
Your can thank the individual or school official for sharing their concerns with you and assure them that you really do want to communicate your viewpoint in the most peaceful and respectful way possible. Politely remind them that the U.S. Constitution and rulings from the Supreme Court have backed your right as a student to communicate your viewpoint before and after class in a way that doesn’t create a substantial disruption. You can explain that you are engaging in private, voluntary speech as a student and that your communication is not part of a school-organized or government-endorsed program.
This is a voluntary, student-led initiative. As a result, you and others participating in the event have a First Amendment right to engage in free speech conversations—even if those conversations and communications happen to reflect your personal, faith-based perspective.
You can visit the Student Rights page for more information.