Supported by the Bible

Daily Reading for April 9 • Dietrich Bonhoeffer, 1945

In a few days it will be Easter. That makes me very happy. But do you think that either of us by ourselves could believe or would want to believe these impossible things that are reported in the gospels, if the Bible did not support us in our belief? Simply the Word, as God’s truth, which he vouches for himself. Resurrection—that is not a self-evident idea, an eternal verity. I mean, of course, resurrection as the Bible means it—as a rising up from real death (not sleep) to real life, from life without God to new life with Christ in God. God has said (and we know this through the Bible): “Behold I make all things new.” He made that come true at Easter. Must not this message appear much more impossible, distant, unreal than the whole story of King David, which, by comparison, is quite harmless?

There remains, then, only the decision whether we will trust the Bible or not, whether we will allow ourselves to be supported by it as by no other word, in life and death. And I believe that we can only be happy and at peace when we have made that decision.

From “The Bible Alone: A Letter to Dr. Rudiger Schleicher” (Bonhoeffer’s brother-in-law and good friend), quoted in Meditating on the Word by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, translated and edited by David McI. Gracie, second edition (Cowley Publications, 1986).

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