Can I believe in Jesus while not believing some of the Bible stories?

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Question / Comment - Can I believe in Jesus while not believing some of the Bible stories? 


So, I really love Jesus and God but sometimes I think I might be tricking myself into believing. But sometimes some of the stories from the bible confuse me and it kind of gets me skeptical that they happened. like Noah’s Arc and such. But I pray every night, and I love Jesus, and I want to be close with him, but sometimes I believe that *some* stories from the bible are fake, is this normal? Do I fully believe in Jesus if I'm a bit skeptical of some of the stories????


JPN Reply:

Hello!! : )

I'm pleased to hear that you love Jesus. You asked if you can be a believer when confused/skeptical of some of the Bible stories. So...

The Gospel we believe

Firstly, we should be clear that we are called to believe the gospel for salvation. This is defined by the Apostle Paul in 1 Cor 15 as follows:

1Co 15:1-4 Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. (2) By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. (3) For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, (4) that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.

So we believe that Jesus was the Savior, that He died for our sins, was buried and rose on the third day. You will note that all of this was 'according to the scriptures'. We'll come back to that later. So the Bible doesn't tell us to believe in Noah's Ark or Jonah in the great fish or Joshua's long day or other stories that some may find challenging, for salvation. We are to believe what it says above and in other scriptures about the person and work of Jesus on our behalf for salvation. 

The 'But' to the above

But... the same scriptures that give testimony about the life and work of Jesus also speak of the flood in Noah's day or Jonah's three days in the belly of the great fish, or whatever else one may not understand. In the passage quoted above I pointed out that the Gospel is 'according to the scriptures'. This is speaking of the Old Testament prophecies concerning the Messiah. These same scriptures speak of these other events. So while you can 'believe in Jesus' and that is what the Lord asks of us for salvation, you will not grow as a believer, and will be very confused, if you are picking and choosing what you believe from the Bible. Now I should be clear - you mentioned both being 'confused' and 'skeptical' of certain stories. Those two things are quite different. The first can be normal as we grow and learn more. There are things that God has miraculously done which we don't understand. We can be confused about those while maintaining the attitude that if God said it happened, I believe it, even if I don't get it. That is different to being skeptical over whether the event took place. This is moving into the area of unbelief and saying that what God has said in His word is not true. You asked whether believing that some stories in the Bible are fake is normal. No, it's not normal. As mentioned it can be normal if we don't understand how some stories came about. But it is not normal to think they are fake. That even undermines your belief in the person and work of Jesus as well as we shall see.

The biblical testimony about the scriptures

Here are a few verses about what Jesus and others in the Bible taught about the scriptures. 

Jesus had an incredibly high view of scripture saying that not even the smallest stroke of the pen (the jot or yod) would . 

Mat 5:17-18 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. (18) I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.

As the Believers Bible Commentary states on this verse:

The jot, or yod, is the smallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet; the tittle is a small mark or projection that serves to distinguish one letter from another, much as the bottom stroke of a capital E distinguishes it from a capital F. Jesus believed in the literal inspiration of the Bible, even in what might seem small unimportant details. Nothing in Scripture, even the smallest stroke, is without significance.

Paul was emphatic about all scripture having come from God

2Ti 3:16-17 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, (17) so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Peter was equally sure that the prophets who wrote the Old Testament, were lead directly by God through His Holy Spirit

2Pe 1:20-21 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation. (21) For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

So to say that you are skeptical about a particular story is to say that God's testimony is not true. Again, there is a lot of difference between not understanding how a story could have come about to saying it didn't actually happen or is fake. Doing that means you don't trust all those that said it is true - and quite often that is a lot of people including Jesus! Let's look at the example you mentioned.

An example - Who believed in Noah's ark/flood?

The example given that you are skeptical about is Noah's ark and the flood. So who wrote about that and believed it to be true? Here are a few examples:

Moses - He wrote Genesis and recorded it as fact giving tremendous detail over multiple chapters (Gen 6-9).

Isaiah - He prophesied the word of the Lord saying 'To me this is like the days of Noah, when I swore that the waters of Noah would never again cover the earth. So now I have sworn not to be angry with you, never to rebuke you again.' (Isa 54:9). 

The writer of Hebrews (likely Paul) - 'By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.' (Heb 11:7)

Peter - 'if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others...' (2Pe 2:5)

And Jesus Himself - 'As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. (38) For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; (39) and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.' (Mat 24:37-39)

If you doubt that the flood and Noah's ark actually happened, you then have to doubt all these people, including Jesus who spoke of it as an actual event and fact (as do all the Bible writers). This obviously undermines trust in the scriptures. Yet 'God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind.' (Num 23:19). His 'word is truth' as Jesus said (Joh 17:17). It is Satan that casts doubt on God's word saying 'Has God really said...' (Gen 3:1). This was his playbook right from the beginning and it continues today.

I hope this helps. I would encourage you to pray and ask God to confirm His word and help you with the parts that you don't understand. Here are a few resources if you want to look into some of the reasons to believe the Bible's account concerning the flood. 

God Bless. 



There are resources on these pages that I'd encourage you to read and think about.