Billy Graham’s Preaching Bible
Through Billy Graham’s 60-plus years of preaching the Gospel around the world, he preached from the Bible alone. He has said of Scripture, “The only place we can find a clear, unmistakable message is in the Word of God.”
This artifact, on display in The Journey of Faith tour at the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, N.C., is one of Billy Graham’s preaching Bibles.
In his 1997 autobiography, Mr. Graham recalled how he wrestled with God about the truth of Scripture. “I had no doubts concerning the deity of Jesus Christ or the validity of the Gospel, but was the Bible completely true? If I was not exactly doubtful, I was certainly disturbed,” he wrote in Just As I Am.
During this point in his life, he had reluctantly accepted an invitation to speak at the annual College Briefing Conference that met at Forest Home. It was there that God spoke to him through Scripture in a new and inspiring way that would change his ministry and impact millions.
Mr. Graham wrote in his autobiography, Just As I Am:
As that night wore on, my heart became heavily burdened. Could I trust the Bible? With the Los Angeles Campaign galloping toward me, I had to have an answer. If I could not trust the Bible, I could not go on … I would have to leave pulpit evangelism …
I got up and took a walk. The moon was out. The shadows were long in the San Bernardino Mountains surrounding the retreat center. Dropping to my knees there in the woods, I opened the Bible at random on a tree stump in front of me. I could not read it in the shadowy moonlight, so I had no idea what text lay before me. Back at Florida Bible Institute, that kind of woodsy setting had given me a natural pulpit for proclamation. Now it was an altar where I could only stutter into prayer.
The exact wording of my prayer is beyond recall, but it must have echoed my thoughts: “O God! There are many things in this book I do not understand. There are many problems with it for which I have no solution. There are many seeming contradictions …”
I was trying to be on the level with God, but something remained unspoken. At last the Holy Spirit freed me to say it. “Father, I am going to accept this as Thy Word—by faith! I’m going to allow faith to go beyond my intellectual questions and doubts, and I will believe this to be Your inspired Word.” … In my heart and mind, I knew a spiritual battle in my soul had been fought and won.