Can we believe the Bible?
A Personal testimony of an informal nature given at a Youth Rally in London, by Charles H. Welch, the late
Principal of the Chapel of the Opened Book,
52a Wilson Street, London, EC2A 2ER.
Why do I believe that the Scriptures are the Inspired Word of God? I know that you are beset with
many problems and difficulties, and that you find it increasingly difficult to reconcile modern teaching
and modern claims with so antiquated a belief that the Scriptures are the Word of God. I would have you
understand that I sympathize with you in this matter, and that I have neither come here to lecture you, nor
to preach at you, but that I desire to help you if I may over one or two of the preliminary obstacles that lie
across your path. Before I deal with evidences that can be assembled, it might help you if I gave my own
personal testimony, which is so true to me that it makes all outside evidence of secondary value. I had no
Christian upbringing, and not until I was nearly twenty-one did I come under the influence of the Gospel.
At the preaching of the Word such a revolution took place in my whole life and outlook as to constitute in
itself an all sufficient evidence that the Word which contains such creative power, could not be anything
less than Divine. Like the man whose eyes had been opened, who had been born blind, I am compelled to
say `One thing I know, whereas I was blind, now I see'. If I were surrounded by a group of blind men
who seriously challenged the existence of light and colour, I should pity them, but should not waver in
my own conviction, so, if you should say to me `I do not see', I should pity your blindness, but I should
not admit that your inability to see, was any reason that I should doubt the evidence of my own sense of
Coupled with this is the uncompromising testimony from cradle to cross, from grave to glory of the
Christ of God, but these are evidences to those who acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, and cannot be
I therefore would step down from this high ground, to a plane upon which we may all meet, whether
professing Christian or not.
And I appeal first to the testimony of Archaeology.
The Deluge, a fact? Dr. C. L. Woolley exhibited in the British Museum a diagram of his
excavation in Ur of the Chaldees where he showed a deposit, varying from eight to eleven feet in
thickness which intervened between one great civilization and another, and said `The flood which
deposited it must have been of a magnitude unparalleled in local history', and Dr. Stephen Langdon,
Professor of Assyriology at Oxford said, `We had obtained confirmation of the Deluge of Genesis, there
is no doubt about it now'.
I HAVE SEEN the Black Obelisk which mentions by name `Jehu the son of Omri', a king anointed by
Elijah. I HAVE SEEN the Cylinder inscribed at the bidding of Sennacherib in which he speaks of Hezekiah,
shut up in his royal city Jerusalem like a caged bird. I HAVE SEEN the Moabite Stone which confirms the
record of 2 Kings 1 to 3. I HAVE SEEN the name `Belshazzar' of Daniel 5 written on a Cylinder. I HAVE
SEEN the stone pillar upon which Amraphel of Genesis 14 engraved his code of laws. Coming to the New
Testament, I have read the inscriptions found in Thessalonica and in Ephesus, which prove the accuracy
of Luke as an historian, and I have assembled enough archaeological testimony to the accuracy of the
Scriptures to occupy four or five hours in a series of lantern lectures devoted to the subject. From my
own investigation I know that the Bible is historically accurate.
But let me come closer to the problems which you and I have to meet and solve. Let the first one be
the insuperable difficulty that any scientific person has today in believing that:
(1) Heaven and Earth were created in six days.