How confident are you that the Bible is the Word of God?
Most people, even Christians, do not give God, or the Bible, much time or thought as long as things are moving along great. But, when life changing events cause us to reevaluate our purpose and destiny we can be catapulted into a dark place of thinking. If we are not grounded by the knowledge of what is true and what is false we will find ourselves in the shadows of hopelessness and despair.
Nabeel Quereshi, Christian Apologist and former Muslim, shares strong words of encouragement and trust in God even though he is going through an unimaginable situation in his young life. His life testimony, especially now, should inspire all of us to know that we can get to the place of complete confidence and assurance in the Christian God and His Word found in the Scriptures of the Bible. Listen to Nabeel, in this 14 minute video, give solid reasons for us to have that kind of faith:
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. –Hebrews 4:12
How Do We Know The Bible Is The Word Of God?
In our culture today we often have to put the reliability and truth of the Bible up against a courtroom test, like lawyers. Learning some of the things that will be presented here over the next few posts will give you greater trust and confidence that the Bible is truly the Word of God. There are multiple lines of evidence that support the Bible’s trustworthiness and by keeping this theme of investigation, we will begin our ‘case-making’ for the Bible using evidence from the following categories:
Category #1 External evidence: Physical evidence outside the Bible that is confirmed in historical records.
- Manuscripts: Historical and literary facts, transmission, translation, canonization, textual criticism, eyewitness and corroborating non-Christian accounts
- Archeology: Physical evidence from artifacts, evidence from geographically confirmed locations, and uncovered historical records of people, places and events that corroborate the Bible
Category #2 Internal evidence: Evidence inside the Bible that is confirmed in historical records.
- Prophecy: Historical and Messianic (fulfilled)
- Scientific: Authenticity confirmed in areas of medicine, nutrition, cosmology and biochemistry
Category #3 Outside testimony as evidence:
- Saved lives: Personal testimonies over the centuries of drastically changed lives (for the better)
Here’s a great example of personal testimonies by some young Christians and what they think about the veracity of the Bible, watch this 7 minute clip by the Veritas Project:
Category #1 External Evidence:
Historical and Literary Facts about the Bible:
The Bible meets and exceeds all historical and literary requirements for excellence based on scholarly academic standards:
- The Bible is made of 66 individual books, 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament, written by 40 authors, living in 10 different countries, over a period of about 1,500 years.
- The Bible has a cast of 2,930 characters depicted in 1,551 places.
- The Bible’s human authors (inspired by God) came from various stations of life: Kings, peasants, poets, herdsmen, fishermen, scientists, farmers, priests, pastors, tentmakers, tax collectors, doctors and governors.
- The Bible was written in extreme places like the wilderness, dungeons, palaces, prisons, on lonely islands and in military battles.
- The authors wrote on various subjects, including the unknown future.
What would we expect to see in this type of book? A real mess of information, various views, personal beliefs? Not at all! We get a seamless story! Amazingly the books of the Bible are so united in their historical and narrative themes, and so remarkably linked to one main storyline that begins in Genesis and ends in Revelation, that the Bible is considered by most scholars to be A Literary Masterpiece!
- There are more early manuscripts of the Bible available for verification than any other ancient document.
- The Bible is a primary source document and contains multiple eyewitness accounts of events.
- The New Testament accounts of the life of Jesus and the early Church were written within the lifetime of the people involved in the events (completed by the mid to late first century).
- Archeology and extra Biblical sources have confirmed over 25,000 people, places and events in the Bible.
A great example of the Bible’s literary excellence and historical reliability comes from Luke, the author of the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts. He is said to be one of the greatest historians to ever write. His historical accounts have always been confirmed and the details he gives allow both Biblical and non-Biblical scholars, historians and archeologists to uncover historical truths and artifacts based on his records.
There are over fifteen confirmed historical, political and geographical facts just in the first four verses of Luke chapter three:
In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar—when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip, tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene—during the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet.
Watch this 15 minute video clip called “Why I Should Trust the Bible?” by Impact Video Ministries. It gives a great visual overview of some of the best evidence for the reliability of the Bible:
He has made His wonders to be remembered; The Lord is gracious and compassionate. –Psalm 111:4 (NASB)
The word “remember” appears in the Scripture 227 (1 Chronicles 16:15, Psalm 111:4, 119:52, Isaiah 46:9, Malachi 4:4), and the word “written” 251 times (Deuteronomy 28:58, Joshua 1:8; 8:34, Psalm 102:18, 1 Kings 2:3, Ezra 3:2, Nehemiah 10:36). The high use of these words indicate that God is stressing something important for us to know. He wants us to remember our past, both good and bad, and has made sure that his chosen authors have written down these things so that we would remember over time and generations.
One of the most important things to consider when studying the history and reliability of the Bible is that it claims to be the Word of God. This is the claim that is foremost to consider because if God exists and miracles are possible (which we have covered in previous posts) then it would be easy for God who wants us to “remember” what is “written” to make it possible for us to have transmitted over time.
Join us next week as we investigate how the Scriptures were passed down over time, and how we know we have the right ones, as we look at the “transmission, translation and canonicity” of the Bible.
SPECIAL NOTE: PLEASE JOIN ME IN PRAYING FOR NABEEL QURESHI AND HIS FAMILY, FOR GOD’S HEALING ON HIS BODY AND THE PEACE THAT PASSES ALL UNDERSTANDING FOR HIM AND HIS LOVED ONES (PHILIPPIANS 4:6-7). IN JESUS’ NAME!
You will not find this material in the public school curriculum even though it is based on solid evidence and grounded in research. It is ironic that following the evidence to where it leads stops at the door of our public schools as they will not let a “Divine footprint” in! Join us as we examine evidence for Christianity and learn how to become a thoughtful defender and ambassador of your faith.
Click into the resource page of this website to view many of the top Christian thinkers and apologists along with some of their work; connecting to these types of resources is essential in your Christian growth.
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