The charge that the Bible is nothing more than a fairy tale or a book of nice stories is not new. However with God as its inspiring Author, the Bible is the world’s greatest work of literature and its message has transformed for the better, innumerable lives. However it is a book that has been as viciously attacked, banned, burned, mocked, ridiculed and defamed or treated as a fairy tale.
How do we know that the Bible is true?
- 2Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable …” Some would say that God would say that in the Bible. But God would say it in His Word, the Bible, because if He did not say that how would we know that the book was really from Himself? If the Bible is not from God then it is not valid.
- Some will say “But only men wrote it and so it cannot be reliable”. 2Peter 1:21 “for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” The men were called “holy men of God” and so first of all they were believers in God and Christ. Also they did not speak or write because it was their own will/decision to do so but because they were “moved” meaning “borne along” by the Holy Spirit. So these men were enabled by God the Holy Spirit to speak/write the Bible.
- There are thousands of parchments or parts of parchments that support the truth of the Bible. The New Testament has been conserved in more manuscripts than any other ancient work of literature. There has been catalogued over 5,800 complete or fragments of Greek manuscripts, 10,000 Latin manuscripts along with 9,300 manuscripts in other ancient languages including Syriac, Slavic, Gothic, Ethiopic, Coptic and Armenian. So 25,100 manuscripts assure us of the truth and validity of the New Testament. Then there are the Hebrew manuscripts of which small collections were discovered over the centuries. Discoveries in modern times are those of the Cairo Geniza (about 1890 AD) when amidst 260,000 Hebrew manuscripts, were located 10,000 Biblical manuscripts and with the Dead Sea Scrolls (1947) were found 200 Biblical manuscripts. These assure us about the Old Testament. An expert, Norman Geisler, reckoned that 95% of the manuscripts agree about the truth. That means for every 20 manuscripts written 19 of them agree. Also where they disagree are all about minor points.
- There are many archaeological diggings that have happened over the recent decades and they have all supported the truth of the Bible. Not one of them has found the Bible to be unreliable.
- The life of the Lord Jesus. The Lord Jesus fulfilled many, over 100, prophecies that were written about Him sometimes about 700 or even 1,000 years before His birth. The facts of the Lord Jesus are also confirmed in historical sources outside the Bible e.g. the Roman leader and historian called Tacitus.
- The Bible does not have any contradictions in it. The seeming contradictions arise sometimes from sloppy reading of the Bible and also a lot because people do not take things in their context and at times because we do not know all the facts. Also do you really think that God who loves us, but not our sins, and Who knows that the eternal existence after death is involves either His judgment for our sins or His abundant blessings, would inspire a book to be written that could be genuinely ridiculed for mistakes? Psalm 119:140 “Your word is very pure; Therefore Your servant loves it.” God’s word is absolutely pure and so free from any kind of distortion, error or contradiction.
In the Bible God reveals Himself and the truth about our past, present and future. It does not always make for comfortable reading but it always does tell the truth. It tells us about our sins and their everlasting consequences. However it also tells us of the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for our sins and that if we, as individuals, trust that He suffered for us then we shall receive the forgiveness for all our sins, the gift of everlasting life and many other good things as well.