To many, the Bible is a book of legends and myths passed down through the ages. To say you inherently believe in the Word of God is generally viewed as ignorant, naive, and even foolish. So how do we know the Bible is reliable? To take it further, how do we know the Bible is the absolute truth? And if we don’t look to the Bible for truth, where do we look and how do we know a source is trustworthy? Now, more than ever, I think these are good questions to ponder.
People have been questioning truth and God’s Word since the beginning of time. In the garden of Eden, the serpent (Satan) planted doubt about God’s Word by saying to Adam and Eve “Did God really say…?” (Genesis 3:1); and then Pontius Pilot asked Jesus Himself, “What is truth?” This was after Jesus said that He came to be a witness to the truth (John 18: 37-38). Francis Bacon said of Pilate, “What is truth? Said jesting Pilate, and would not stay for an answer.”
People seem easily swayed into believing certain viewpoints based on popular opinion, convenience, media, articles, and books but are not really interested in finding the underlying truth in it. “If there be no God, then what is truth but the average of all lies?” Robert Brault
The popular notion right now in our society is that truth is relative: what is true for you might not be true for me. Defenders of this way of thinking see it as the answer to tolerance and having an open mind especially concerning religion and morals. But there are certain questions that seek a concrete claim. Even though we may differ in our judgement about what is true, that does not affect the matter of truth itself.
“Is the Bible true?” is one of those questions that seeks a concrete claim. For followers of Christ, we need to be convinced that the Word of God is absolute TRUTH, otherwise our faith is in vain. Christians have chosen a Biblical world view, meaning how we interpret and interact with the world around us comes from what we know to be true about God and His Word. If Scripture is God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16), it must be the ultimate source of truth and thus superior to all other books. “All Scripture is God breathed and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness.” 2 Timothy 3:16
Let’s start with the fact that the Bible is the most unique, sold, read, printed, circulated, translated, talked about, written about, prophetic, persecuted, studied, sustainable, and inspirational book in all of history. This might not prove the reliability of the Bible but it definitely shows its superiority to all other books. Theodore Roosevelt said “A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education.”
Thankfully there is more evidence of the Bible’s reliability today than ever before. With over 25% of the Bible as prophecy (telling of future events), most of them have already been fulfilled (over 80%)! The ones remaining reach into the future to unfold as the days go by. The odds of all these prophesies being fulfilled by chance without error is less than one in 10 to the 2000 (that is 10 with 2,000 zeros behind it), basically impossible!
In addition to fulfilled prophesy, the Bible is historically trustworthy. It passes all the tests for the reliability of ancient literature such as, number of ancient manuscripts, accuracy of translation, length of time between actual events and the first written autographs of those events, accuracy of places and events, and evidence from archaeology. Unfortunately, many want to apply a different standard to test the Bible’s reliability compared to secular literature. When using the same test, we can boldly state that not only is the Bible trustworthy and historically reliable but the New Testament has the best-attested manuscript transmission of ANY ancient document.
And then I would add that nothing in the Word of God has been disproven. The Bible has not changed its content and message to be politically correct or to win the approval of the masses. Many other holy books, history books, and science books have been corrected and updated to remain relevant and reflect the latest discoveries (truths). The Bible is as true and relevant today as the day it was written.
Greater than the physical evidences for the Bible are the testimonies of transformed lives. Throughout history, people who have believed in and followed God’s Word, experience radical change, and positively impact the environment around them. Men and women have given their lives to defend and spread the Word of God after discovering the treasure which lies within. People don’t willing give up their lives to defend a lie. “For the word of God is alive, and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12
For those who want to search for truth, who wouldn’t want to read and study the book that has drawn more attention and changed the course of history more than any other! Instead of just learning about truth, you can know Truth as a person, Jesus Christ. His story (History) is woven through the pages of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. “The WORD became flesh and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, the glory as the only Son of the Father, full of grace and TRUTH.” John 1:14 “I am the way, the TRUTH, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6