“The Bible contains truth found nowhere else. Human reason may discover certain truths about God. But the revealed truth of the Bible exceeds these so as to defy comparison. One may exhaust the meaning of the contents of other books, but not that of the Bible.”
- Herschel Hobbs
- Herschel Hobbs
The question still lingering in the hearts of the unbeliever, doubter or the
just-don’t-know-ers is… ‘How do you know the Bible is true?’
The answer to that question is that we can trust the accuracy of the Bible, through research and study, we can hold up a variety of witnesses as evidence to confirm biblical content.
There are four major facts that we will look at that solidify and confirm that the Bible is true and reliable and applicable for today.
FACT #1 –Manuscripts
There are more manuscripts, earlier manuscripts, and more accurately copied manuscripts of the New Testament than any other book from the ancient world!” Dr. Norman Geisler
This statement is valid for the Old Testament as well.
Great numbers of manuscripts enable scholars to have a more accurate reconstruction of the biblical text by cross-referencing.
- There are 5700+ Greek partial and complete manuscripts of the New Testament
-There are 10,000 Latin manuscripts
-There are 19,000+ non-Greek manuscripts including Coptic, Syriac, and other Middle eastern and European languages.
For comparison sake, we can look at a number of surviving copies of other ancient manuscripts
-Homer’s lliad=1, 757
-Writings of Herodtus (the father of history)=83
-Tacitus (the greatest ancient Roman historian, also a contemporary of Jesus) Annals and Histories =31
Based on all this historical and archaeology evidence, experts tell us that the entire New Testament, except for 11 verses, can be reconstructed just from the writings of the early church Fathers.
FACT # 2 - Archaeology
Archaeology is considered one of the external tests for Biblical Reliability. It is one of the strongest evidences that clearly confirm that the Bible is inspired by God and is predictive prophecy with multitude specific predictions that have been fulfilled or points to future fulfillment. The New Testament has been cited by over 30 non Christian writers through historical documents and/or confirmed by archaeological research. There are over 60 confirmed historical details in the Gospel of John and over 80 confirmed historical details in the book of Acts. Not to mention the historical resources of: Tel Gezer, Ebla Tablets, Ipuwer Papyrus, Jezebel Seal, Silver Bowl of Artaxerxes I . And the historical and biblical accounts of Nazareth, Jesus’ hometown, Crucifixion Victim ,The Nazareth Decree
Gallio and Plato’s Inscription
There are two types of prophecy found in the Bible
Specific Non-Messianic Prophecies that do not relate directly to Jesus but to
God’s overall nation and people and then specific Messianic prophecies that relate to Jesus Christ and His position as Savior of the world. The history of this Israel nation, was prophesied throughout the authors of the Old Testament writings about the ancient Jewish nation. One specific event was how they would be conquered twice and that God’s people would be carried off as slaves each time. This prophecy, to this day is completed to fulfillment over 3500 years of history.
The fact of prophecy is one of the strongest evidences that clearly confirms that the Bible is inspired by God with multitude specific predictions as evidence that have been fulfilled or points to the future fulfillment.
Specific Messianic Prophecies deal directly to Jesus Christ our Messiah and Savior and Lord. They are many and I encourage you to do an extensive study on them all. But due to a limitation of space, here are a few prophecies of Jesus Christ;
Seed of the women (Genesis 3:15), Offspring of Abraham (Genesis 12:3) Tribe of Judah (Genesis 49:10) From the house of David (Jeremiah 23:5-6) Son of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14) Jesus Christ would be proclaimed as King (Zechariah 9:9) and Jesus Christ would rise from the dead (Psalm 16:10)
For comparison sake let’s look at the Mathematical Probabilities of the prophecies of Christ The probability of 9 prophecies coming true of Christ is 1/10 to 76th power.
1/10 to 76th power is like picking the same grain of sand four times in succession.
According to the whole universe, there are only 10 to 60th power atoms
FACT #4-Science and Scripture
Hailed as one worthy of many prizes in science, Herbert Spencer greatest achievement in his field was his discovery determining that everything exists into one of five categories.
Spencer said, “Everything fits into one of these categories, time, force, action, space, matter,” and was hailed by the scientific community.
In the Bible, the very first chapter and verse gives us all these five categories long before Herbert discovered them in 1903.
Genesis 1:1 contains the five areas of Science.
Time: “In the beginning…”
We can see through the pages of the Bible both Old Testament and New Testament,
scripture after scripture as evidence of this science
1 Corinthians 15:41 - “There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory.”
We can research and find that there are no two stars alike, not to mention the uniqueness of the sun and moon.
The list goes on and on:
Job 36:27-28 - explains the water cycle and rain
Amos 9:6 - explains oceanic evaporation.
Isaiah 40:22- describes the roundness and circle of the earth,
2 Samuel 22:16 - discusses the ocean floor called “oceanic trenches”.
Genesis 17:12 – gives the important number of days a newborn boy should be circumcised Based on vitamin K and the important blood clotting element.
Will you rely on the Reliable One?
It is vital to your eternal life for you to see that the Bible IS a reliable source.
It is a source that you can take and receive as truth.
So will you? I hope and pray that you do.
The International Society of Women in Apologetics
Dr. Joseph Holden
Dr. Norman Geisler
Answers in Genesis
NOTE: Firm Foundations article is published every first Wednesday of the month in Rim Review newspaper
About the Author:
Simone Lake is a Christ follower, bride of Pastor Dr. John Lake, Bible teacher and a passionate pray-er. A graduate of Golden Gate Theological Seminary, Simone holds a Master’s degree in Theology Studies and Apologetics Certificate from BIOLA University.