Truth and Reliability
The question of the truth and reliability of the Bible is actually two questions. A writing can be reliable and untrue at the same time. The writings of Karl Marx are reliable in that we know with certainty that Marx is the source, but the writings themselves are full of untruths.
The following are facts that point to the reliability of the Bible.
- The Bible is a collection of 66 books written by 40 different writers over a period of about 1,500 years and yet the continuity is quite remarkable.
- The Bible stands out from other works of antiquity in the number of manuscripts in existence. For example, there are only 643 copies of Homer’s Iliad while there are 5,839 Greek New Testament manuscripts and more than 15,000 manuscripts in other ancient languages.
- The Bible has been meticulously copied by scribes over hundreds of years with very little variations or omissions.
While the Bible stands head and shoulders above every other ancient work, that in and of itself, does not prove that the Bible is true. It only shows that we can rely on it’s authenticity and accuracy.
We can say with confidence that the Bible is reliable but is it true? The following are facts that point to the truth of the Bible.
- Hundreds of prophecies recorded in the Bible have come to pass historically. With the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth alone, 28 biblical prophecies were fulfilled. [reference[
- Hundreds of archeological sites have yielded thousands of artifacts. Many of these artifacts have confirmed the accuracy of the Bible. For example, in Nuzi (northeastern Iraq), an entire cache of Hittite legal documents from 1400 B.C. confirm many details of Genesis & Deuteronomy including the siring of legitimate children through handmaidens, oral deathbed wills as binding and the power to sell one’s birthright for relatively trivial property. [reference]
- The Bible’s compatibility with known science. While the Bible is not compatible with all scientific theories, it is compatible with many scientific facts. For example, in the past, doctors believed that many diseases could be cured by bleeding the patient. No one knows how many died needlessly from that cure but today doctors no longer believe this. However if they had chosen to believed what the Bible said about blood, this sad chapter in medical science could have been avoided. – “…the life of the flesh is in the blood” [Leviticus 17:11].
More Than “Just the Facts”
All these facts point the the reliability and truth of the Bible, however, to know that the Bible is the true word of God takes more that facts. It takes belief – it takes faith. No amount of analytical scrutiny can prove that the Bible is true. Only reading it with an opened mind and with an opened heart will do so. After all if the Bible is really communication from God; He, Himself, is more than capable of confirming that the Bible is true [2 Timothy 3:16].