Christians have the Bible; Buddhists have the Tripitika; Hindus have the Vedas (among others); Muslims have the Quran; Jews have the Tanakh; and Mormons have the Book of Mormon (among others).
Our culture is dominated by pluralism and postmodernism. It is popular to say, “All religious books are basically the same. One may be true for you, but another is true for me.”
How can that be? These books disagree with each other over important matters. They have very different teachings about topics such as God, salvation, and the afterlife. So how can they all be true at once?
Common sense and logic tell us that they can’t. Only one contains religious truth; all the rest are false. Instead of trying to please everyone, we should pick the most reliable book and put our faith exclusively in it.
Questioning the Bible
The Bible is the most widely read religious book. It is also the most influential. However, it has come under serious attack during the past two centuries. Scholars ask questions like:
- Are there mistakes in the Bible?
- Has it been corrupted by copying and translation?
- Why does it only include 66 books?
- Is it full of myths, legends, and superstitions?
- Was it actually written by its claimed “authors”?
- Does science disprove its miracles?
These are tough questions! Some of them are difficult to answer. But our faith in the Bible should remain firm, because its reliability has been and continues to be proven.
Evidence for the Bible
There are multiple lines of evidence that support the Bible’s reliability:
It is Reliable Textually
We do not have any of the Bible’s original writings (“autographs”). So how do we know if our Bible is the same as the original?
From the earliest times, copies of the Bible’s books were carefully made. Many of these copies (“manuscripts”) have been discovered. By comparing them, we are able to accurately reconstruct the original text of the Bible!
It is Reliable Historically
The Bible speaks of ancient people, places, and events. How do we know if its facts are correct?
Archaeology (“study of ancient stuff”) has verified the Bible’s historical claims on multiple occasions. It also provides historical background for reading and understanding the Bible. Ancient historians corroborate the Bible’s facts as well.
It is Reliable Theologically
We must ask: If the Bible is reliable in matters that can be tested, isn’t it also reliable in matters that can’t be tested? This includes anything attributed to God – miracles, prophecy, inspiration, etc.
This question can only be answered by faith. But if we can trust the Bible’s history, it is reasonable to assume we can also trust its theology.
The Bible shows signs of being a supernatural book. It confirms itself as the Word of God through:
Unity of Its Message
The Bible was written by 40 authors over a period of 1500 years in 3 different languages. In spite of this, its overarching message is unbroken and uniform.
Fulfillment of Prophecy
The Old Testament makes predictions about historical events, Jesus’ life and ministry, and the church. The rest of the Bible records their fulfillment. In addition, some Old Testament people, events, and institutions have correspondences in the New Testament.
How can these features be explained apart from a divine origin?
What most convinces you that the Bible is God’s Word? Leave your thoughts with a comment below!
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