J.C. Ryle on the Cure for Doubts about Scripture

Ryle Practical Religion

Do you struggle with doubts as to whether or not the Bible is truly the Word of God? If that is the case, allow me to offer one simple solution by way of the pen of the great 19th century Anglican preacher J.C.Ryle. In his book, Practical Religion, Ryle writes,

Oh that men who are troubled with doubts, and questionings, and sceptical [sic] thoughts about inspiration, would calmly examine the Bible for themselves! Oh, that they would act on the advice which was the first step of Augustine’s conversion, – ‘Take it up and read it! take it up and read it!’ How many Gordian knots this course of action would cut! How many difficulties and objections would vanish away at once like mist before the rising sun! How many would soon confess, ‘The finger of God is here! God is in this book, and I knew it not.’ (p.94)

It often seems that those who doubt the Bible most are the very same people who have spent the least time actually reading it.  And while many people allow their doubts to prevent them from reading the Scriptures in the first place, reading those same Scriptures is often the very cure for the doubt or skepticism that ails them. As Ryle notes elsewhere in the same chapter of his book, “the book itself [the Bible] is the best witness of its own inspiration” (p.93).

Tolle lege – Take up and read!


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