Should Christians Study the Books of Other Religions?
There is some benefit for Christians to study the books of other religions because it helps them gain knowledge in what other people believe, in comparison to the light of God’s Word. In order to share the truth with those who believe in other faiths, it is beneficial to have an idea about their beliefs and how to reach them. But Christians should read the religious books of other faiths prayerfully. They should seek the Lord for discernment and wisdom to be able to see clearly right from wrong (James 1:5).
As for those who are simply curious about studying other religions thinking that such knowledge will help them grow somehow, the face trouble. When tempting Eve, Satan mixed truth with falsehood to try to confuse the mind of Eve, in order to make it difficult for her to distinguish between God’s words and his (Genesis 3:5). God’s faithful Christians should remember that the devil is like a roaring lion ready to deceive God’s people when they expose themselves to error (1 Peter 5:8). Therefore, Christians should steer away from unholy grounds. The Bible says, “Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines” (Hebrews 13:9).
Focus First on the Word of God
The Bible admonishes Christians to first focus on studying God’s truth. Paul teaches, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). The truths of the Bible must be rightly interpreted so that no part of the God’s Word will be set contrary to the picture presented by the Bible as a whole.
Moreover, Christians need to know how to defend their faith. “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (1 Peter 3:15). A serious, never-ending study to learn the will of God is the Christian’s only road to character development. We are to “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18; Ephesians 4:13; Philippians 1:9). People should expect believers to be able to present their beliefs in an intelligent, convincing manner. Truth is reasonable and does not fear the presentation of facts.
The Bible is like no other book because “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). It promotes higher principles and encourages elevated standards that are not found in other religious books.
The Bible Versus Books of Other Religions
The Bible was written to reveal to people how they may be saved from their evil ways. There are many so-called religious books in the world, but only the Bible safely shows the road to man’s salvation. The great world religions, such Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism, have “holy books,” but these cannot make anyone “wise unto salvation.” Only the Bible clearly shows how people may break the ties of sinful habits and find forgiveness from God.
Consequently, man’s first duty should be to understand the Bible for himself. Studying these divine standards should be the first goal of every believer. The apostle Paul wrote, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8). The Bible concept of truth comes from an understanding of the nature of God and Christ, who are the authors of all that is true (John 17:3,17).
In His service,