Is the Bible True?
This fall, I have the privilege to teach an Apologetics class to some high school students that are connected to the Homeschool Co-op that my family and I are members. These classes have been great as we spent the last several months talking about the reliability of the Bible. Maybe you have questions and doubts about the Bible. Questions like: “How do we know that the Bible is true?” “Isn’t the Bible just a bunch of fairy tales?” “Isn’t the Bible a man-made book like all the other religious books?” There are many other questions that people ask and try to disprove the Bible. But the main question that all these questions stem from is this, “Can we trust the Bible?” I believe that the Bible can be trusted and that what it teaches is 100% accurate. Here are just four reasons why I can say this with confidence.
First reason is because of how the Jewish scribes were meticulous in copying the original Hebrew manuscripts. Before the invention of computers, copying machines and even the printing press, if a person wanted to make a copy of a document, they had to copy it by hand. The Hebrew scribes did this copying work with great care and precision. As they began to copy the Hebrew Bible, which is what we call the Old Testament today, they knew that this was a sacred task that they were to take seriously. They put in place checks to make sure that the new document was exactly the same as the old document. They figured out how many words were in each book of the Bible and they would count the new document to make sure the word count was correct. They also figured out the number of letters in the books of the Bible and they counted the letters to make sure that there were the same amount of letters. They were meticulous. But what would happen if the new document didn’t match the old document? The Jewish scribes would destroy it and start the process again. This is why when the Dead Sea scrolls were first discovered in 1946, when the scholars compared the Biblical scrolls to the Masoretic Text, the Hebrew Bible Text, they agreed 99% of the time. That 1% was spelling changes in words, changes in geographical names, and word order.
The second reason why I am confident the Bible can be trusted is because of the amount of New Testament manuscripts that archeologist have found. In the Early church, some of the scribes were not as meticulous as the Hebrew scribes, but when we have about 5,800 manuscripts of the New Testament, we can compare them, and we can be confident that the Greek New Testament that scholars use to translate the New Testament into different languages is 99.9% accurate. Again, less than 1% is word order or spelling. The reason why we must rely upon the copies of the New Testament is because we do not have the original documents that John, Paul, Peter, Matthew, etc. wrote. But, we can be confident that the manuscripts we have enable us to reconstruct the original documents because some of the manuscripts date to within 20 years of the apostle John’s death, who was the last apostle to die.
The third reason why I am confident that the Bible can be trusted is because the Bible claims to be the very words of God. This is an important fact. The Bible doesn’t claim to contain the words of God. The Bible claims to be the very words of God. Even though the Bible has human authors like Moses, David, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Matthew, Mark, Paul, Peter, John, etc. the Bible claims that the true source is God Himself. 2 Peter 1:20-21 makes this clear. Peter tells us that, “Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” God is the true author of the Bible, which is why even though there are over 40 different human authors that cover over 2000 years, there is a unity in the Bible. God is the author who used the human authors to write down His Word.
This leads me to the fourth reason. Because God is the true source or author of the Bible, we can trust the Bible because of who God is. According to Romans 3:4, “…let God be true but every man a liar.” God cannot lie. Even if every single person in the world is saying something opposite of what God says, it will not change the fact that God is true. God cannot lie. If this is who God is, then His Word, the Bible, is true and does not lie either.
This is why the Bible is so important in our lives. This is why the Bible is unlike any other book that has ever been written in the history of mankind. The Bible claims to be the very words of God. If we want to know what God’s will is for our lives, all we must do is read the Bible. If we what to know how we are supposed to live in a way that is pleasing and honoring to God, all we must do is read the Bible. If we what to know more about God, then all we must do is read the Bible. This is why daily Bible reading is so important. Psalm 119:11 says, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” The Bible is true, and I am confident that we can trust the Bible in everything it teaches because it is the very words of God.