“The Bible says…” – that’s how Billy Graham began many of his statements during his evangelistic Crusades, media interviews, and meetings with world leaders. He always pointed back to what the Bible, God’s Word, had to say about a subject.
In his autobiography,Just As I Am, Rev. Graham recounts when a friend told him he couldn’t trust the authenticity of the Bible.
“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… 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. There are some areas in it that do not seem to correlate with modern science. I can’t answer some of the philosophical and psychological questions Chuck and others are raising.”
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 question and doubts, and I will believe this to be Your inspired Word.”
When I got up from my knees at Forest Home that August night, my eyes stung with tears. I sensed the presence and power of God as I had not sensed it in months. Not all my questions were answered, but a major bridge had been crossed. In my heart and mind, I knew a spiritual battle in my soul had been fought and won.
Throughout the rest of his ministry, Billy Graham always pointed back to what the Bible had to say as the inerrant Word of God. He once said, “One can approach the Bible with a cold, rationalistic attitude, or one can do so with reverence and the desire to hear God speak.”
Billy Graham’s most-used preaching Bible gifted to him by longtime friend and pastor Dr. W.A. Criswell shown on a stump from Billy Graham’s home in Montreat, North Carolina.
Through June, the Library lobby will showcase a special exhibit, The Eternal and Unchanging Word of God, featuring many never-before-seen Bibles from the Graham family. One such Bible is Billy Graham’s most-used preaching Bible displayed on a stump gathered from his home in the mountains of North Carolina. Make plans to visit the Library today. Admission is always free.