How to Explain Difficult Bible Stories to Non-Believers
Written by Jenn Arman | October 8, 2011
There are some things in the Bible that can be difficult to explain to non-Christians. Some of the more obvious ones are the following:
- Noah’s Ark
- The walls of Jericho
- Jonah in the belly of the giant fish
- People living for eight hundred years
There are many others. So how do we explain “difficult to believe” Bible stories to others?
There isn’t an easy answer to this question. The truth is that we believe in a God who works miracles. God is the creator. God designed the laws of time and space. God designed the laws of physics and He understands those things better than we do. An important thing to remember is this: God created science, so God can explain science completely but science can’t completely explain God.
From my own experience, the best way to explain these things is to start with humility. Be honest. If you don’t know the answers, admit that you don’t know. I’ll admit, I have no idea how Noah fit all the animals on the ark or how Jonah survived inside a fish for three days. Just because I can’t explain something, doesn’t mean that it isn’t true and it doesn’t stop me from believing it. Offer to ask your pastor to explain these things to you so that you can give your friends an explanation.
Tell them from the beginning that some things in the Bible require at least a little bit of faith. That doesn’t mean that the explanations of hard-to-believe Bible stories aren’t ever logical. It means that there may be a combination of logic and faith in the explanation.
Be kind and patient. If you become angry when people ask you to explain things that you can’t explain, they may assume that there is no good explanation. If they don’t believe your explanations, don’t get mad. Lashing out and telling them that they’re going to Hell or deciding not to be their friend anymore won’t help. It’s okay if they don’t believe what you believe. The important thing is that they are asking questions. A little patience and kindness can go a long way in persuading people to share your point of view.
Here are some points to help when you are in a conversation about a difficult Bible topic:
- As Christians, we believe in one God who created everything; not just things we can see and touch but science and thought, too.
- We believe that God has always existed; no one created Him.
- We also believe that it goes against the nature of God to lie; God is truth so He can only speak truth.
- We believe that the Bible is the literal word of God spoken to men through the Holy Spirit and then written down by those men.
- Because we believe that God is truth and the Bible is His word; we believe that the things written in the Bible are true.
These points can help people understand where you are coming from when discussing those hard-to-believe Bible passages.
“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness” – 2 Timothy 3:16