If you compare the Bible with the myths of ancient Israel's neighbors, the differences are striking. Read Enuma Elish alongside Genesis 1; both describe creation in similar mytho-symbolic language, but the former is ridiculously elaborate and implies theological propositions that simply cannot be maintained, while the latter is simple and profound. Or read Gilgamesh alongside the biblical historical books; both include miracle stories, but while the first is dramatically exaggerated--turning its hero (the first king of Babylon) into a superhuman--the latter seem to go out of their way to emphasize the ordinariness of their heroes.
Though important, biblical miracle stories are surprisingly few and far between, compared to most ancient “histories” (including early non-biblical Jewish and Christian works). Further, the fact that so many embarrassing stories are retained in which central Jewish figures explicitly violate Jewish law, gives us good ground for placing higher epistemic value on these histories than those others.
There are problems with the text, to be sure (which is why I do not subscribe to plenary verbal inspiration), but they are too often exaggerated. Most supposed “contradictions” evaporate with a modicum of scrutiny, and few of those that remain have any impact on the central themes of the Bible.
The remarkable thing is not that there are scattered tensions, historical inaccuracies or exaggerations and unfalsifiable myths--the Bible was written in the language of the ancient world, after all--but that these diverse books, written over the course of at least 1000 years, present such a consistent and engaging historical and theological message at all. The Koran was written over a handful of decades by one man and can’t even get its theology, morality or history straight.
But all of that is window dressing. I don’t trust the Bible because its historical claims are beyond dispute (they aren’t) or because it contains no apparent errors (it does); I trust it because its consistent teachings about human nature and what it takes to live in community, the kind of world that we live in, the kind of God we have access to, and much more, are logically coherent and continually confirmed by my daily experience.
When the Bible says humanity is inherently prone to sin I don’t have to accept that on faith, I can see it for myself every day (it’s the modern claim that “humanity is basically good” that doesn’t stand up to scrutiny). When the Bible says there is healing and freedom in Christ, I don’t have to accept that blindly, I have experienced it myself and know many others who have as well. Ultimately, I trust this book above all others because I find that the harder I work to live in line with its teachings, the better a person I become and the more of God I experience. I would not be the person I am today if it were not for the Bible.
And what of the other religions? I have no reason to deny that they also express a great many truths as well, and I am happy to affirm them when they do. I don’t see any particular reason to claim that only Christians have ever experienced real miracles or revelation, even if not all such claims can be trusted. I don’t even have any a priori reason to deny that other gods exist or that my God has spoken to others (though since I trust the Bible, I must affirm that any such “gods” are secondary beings).
But I also see many aspects of the history and theology of other religions (and sometimes, other Christians) that are not consistent with my experience, or are down right incoherent (some of which I mentioned in a previous comment). Thus, I have no problem at all rejecting such claims where I see them. I don’t embrace “my particular brand” of Christianity because I think everyone else is wrong, but because it is as close to right as I have yet discovered.
But most importantly, I embrace Christianity over all other religions because the central claim of Christianity--God on a cross--makes all other religious claims pale in comparison. If the creator of the universe truly did take human form and die to bring us life, then nothing else could possibly be more important.
Some might object that such a claim is unfalsifiable and therefore meaningless, but that is where I must part ways with them. God on a cross might be unfalsifiable, but it is not meaningless. Rather, it is the most meaningful thing that has ever happened. In his definitive study on the subject, The Crucified God, Jürgen Moltmann insists that the cross is the beginning and end of all Christian theology, yet itself resists all interpretation: The cross is how I know that God is good, how I know what true humanity is, how I know what it means to live fully, how I know that the universe has not yet arrived at its eschatological goal, and how I know that one day it will. Some of these truths are open to a degree of falsification, others are not, but I have found that reality as a whole makes the most sense when viewed from the vantage point of the cross. That is why I am a Christian.
As someone once put it: “I believe in the cross as I believe in the sun; not because I can see it, but because by it I can see everything else.”