Is Bible God’s Word?
Is the Bible God’s Word? Is it reliable? Can the Bible be trusted? These are some of the questions that will be addressed by doing a comparison of ancient literature to the Bible as evidence for authenticity. There are examples for continuity of message with uniqueness of the Bible which no other book can or will ever share. There is archaeological finds that back up historical accounts and customs in the scriptures. We will start with the Bible writers.
Can we trust the Bible written by sinful men?
Yes. The Bible is written by Holy men of God as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. It did not come by the will of men and is of no private interpretation (I Peter 1:21). All of Scripture is inspired by God (2 Timothy 3:16). The Word inspired means that God breathed out. The Lord’s Apostles with first hand accounts penned the Scriptures. Jesus personally called Paul as an Apostle. Most of the New Testament was written by these men called by Jesus Himself. Acts 1:21-22 says, “Wherefore of these men which have accompanied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.” The Lord in the Old Testament gave the Law to Moses on the mountain of Sinai. Amos 3:7 says, “God did nothing unless He revealed His plan to His Holy Prophets.” The Prophets were given messages directly from God Thus says the Lord. The Bible says that the Spirit of God was speaking through the Prophets. God states that He put the words in the mouth of the prophets. God watches over His Word to preserve it. It has survived persecution, banning and burning.
Luke 24:44-48 confirmed that Jesus fulfilled the law and prophets. Hebrews 1:1-2 says, “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son.”
The Twelve Disciples walked with Jesus for His ministry, death, burial, resurrection and for the 40 days. Jesus told them that they would be inspired by the Holy Spirit to remember what Jesus taught to pen it. John 14:25-26 says, He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me. These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
John 21:24-25 says, “This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true. And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written.”
Why is the Bible authentic?
How does the Bible compare to other ancient documents that are highly esteemed? This is a test that takes ancient literature while comparing them to one another. The ancient literature’s that will be compared are the New Testament scriptures and the Homer (Iliad).
In Josh McDowell’s book, “A ready defense” the evidence is given in a chart to compare the two literature’s, as well as research from Geisler and Nix. Here is what the research shows. The New Testament scriptures were penned from A.D. 40-100. The earliest copy of the New Testament that exists today is from A.D. 125 which is a 25 year gap between the original and the earliest copy existing today. There are 40 lines that are in question which equates to 400 words. The words in question are mainly the misspelling of words, nothing which affects the content of the message of the scripture.
The Homer (Iliad) was written in 900 B.C. The earliest copy of the Homer (Iliad) that exists today is from 400 B.C. which is a 500 year gap between the original and the earliest copy existing today. There are 764 lines in question which equates to five percent of the (Iliad) being in question in comparison to half of one percent of Scripture. There is question of Homer (Iliad) message being affected as a result (p.45-46).
The New Testament has 5,686 Greek manuscripts and 19,284 manuscripts in other languages which total 24,970. The Homer (Iliad) has 643 manuscript copies that exist today. There is no other ancient book that has any number of copies that come close to the Homer (Iliad) that is why the Iliad is the only book that can be used as a comparison (Leach, OBHWGI p.145).
There is no other book in existence that has the amount of ancient manuscript as the New Testament scriptures. All 24,970 manuscripts when compared to one another is evidence for the preservation of the scriptures through the CENTURIES. This also ensures the world that what the Scriptures say what it said when it was originally penned.
Why Bible is authentic in message?
The Bible has 66 books that were penned over 1,500 years with all of the books having the same message. God used more than 40 different Holy people from all walks of life to pen His message through 40 different generations of time. These Holy men penned the scriptures under the best and the harshest of circumstances. The scriptures were penned during stays in palaces, wilderness wanderings, dungeons and prisons. The scriptures were penned during times of peace, exiles and war. These vessels of God express every emotion and mood that man can experience in life expressed within the scriptures. The scriptures were written on three different continents. The three places were Asia, Europe and Africa. The scriptures were written in three different languages which were Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek (McDowell and Wilson, ARD. P. 27-28).
There is no other historical piece of literature that has ever existed that have a sum of 66 books, that were written over 1,500 years that speak concerning a variety of issues concerning God and mankind without contradiction one another. The central theme of all of the books in the Bible is Jesus. It is important to note that the 39 books of the Old Testament point to the cross, and the 27 books of the New Testament point back to the Cross with Jesus being the central focus of it all. The most powerful point of it all is the historically factual Resurrection of Jesus.
Here is historical evidence that the scriptures were penned over 1,500 years. The mass exodus of Egypt was around 1476 B.C. and Israel spent 40 years in the wilderness. This is when Moses received the Law on Mount Sinai and penned the Pentateuch known as the first five books of the Bible. Job is the oldest book in the Bible which means it was penned before the Pentateuch. The New Testament books were completed by A.D. 100. There is no other book besides the Bible that will ever exist that is over a thousand years in making with continuity of message.
Why Bible is authentic in prophecy?
There are a total of around 2,500 Bible prophecies. There have been 2,000 prophecies fulfilled of those 2,500 predictions. There are still end time prophecies that are to be fulfilled. There are a large portion of prophecies concerning Jesus’ birth, life, death and resurrection.
Here are a couple of prophecies that are unique. These prove to have a high probability of one individual would fulfill these five alone.
If you want to determine a time frame for when prophets lived and worked, look at what kings were reigning at that time to give the approximate time frame. Here are five prophecies concerning Jesus.
1.) The One who is from everlasting shall be born in Bethlehem given around 735 B.C. to 710 B.C. (Micah 5:2).
2.) He shall be Immanuel (God with us) given around 740 B.C to 680 B.C. (Isaiah 7:14).
3.) Born of a virgin given around 740 B.C to 680 B.C. (Isaiah 7:14).
4.) Seed of Abraham given around 1906 B.C. (Genesis 12:2-3).
5.) In the House of David shall come a branch of righteousness Given around 600 B.C. (Jeremiah 23:5).
Fulfillment: These five prophecies were fulfilled in Jesus’ birth in 1 A.D. Just these prophecies were prophesied 700 to 1900 years before they were fulfilled.
1.) Jesus was born in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:1).
2.) A Virgin shall bear a Son and He shall be called Immanuel (God with us) (Matthew 1:23).
3.) Mary was found with the child of the Holy Spirit before Joseph came together with her. Joseph did not know her until after she conceived her firstborn Son through virgin birth. His name is to be called Jesus for He shall save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:18-21).
4.) The genealogy shows that He is the son of Abraham. Jesus is the seed of Abraham. (Matthew 1:1; Galatians 3:16).
5.) Jesus, the Son of David shown in the genealogy (Matthew 1:1).
There are eight other prophecies that are given about Jesus’ birth, betrayal, details of death, people’s reaction and burial. A probability statistic was done on those eight prophecies being fulfilled in one person with results. Here were the findings of those results.
In the book “evidence that demands a verdict” there’s an illustration of probability given. The eight selected prophecies in this study covering Jesus’ birth to His death being fulfilled by Him would be like having silver dollars two feet deep spread across Texas. Take one of those silver dollars put a mark on it to drop it back into the whole pile. After the silver dollar is in the pile, shuffle it through the whole mass of silver dollars that are spread across Texas. Then blind fold a man allowing him to wander across the whole pile of silver dollars. The blindfolded man can stop where he chooses to pick up that one marked silver dollar saying that this is the one that is marked.
The chances of this blindfolded man finding the right marked silver dollar would be the same chances of the prophets writing these predictions in their own wisdom. Then having one man come along to fulfill all eight of those prophecies from the time they were written to the present day (p.193).
Jesus fulfilled these eight prophecies and all the others concerning Himself. There are predictions about people, places and events that have all come to pass. The evidence of fulfilled prophecy alone testifies to Bible authenticity.
Why Bible is authentic in Archaeology?
The Book, “a Ready Defense” records archeological findings that serve as evidence from ancient times of old. In the book of Genesis chapter 14 there is a list of five ancient cites listed in a particular order. There was an archeological find from the Ebla kingdom from around 2300 B.C. One of the 17,000 tablets found from 1968 to 1974 has the same 5 cities listed in the exact same order as Genesis 14 records them. The Deuteronomy laws that are in the Bible are very similar law codes used by Ebla kingdom as their judicial codes lists on those Ebla tablets.
From 1933 to 1936 was a discovery of the Mari tablets from 1700 B.C. confirms historical records that provides proof of Bible patriarchs backgrounds. The 1947 finding of the Dead Sea scroll which were 1,000 years before the earliest manuscripts that were previously discovered. When the Dead Sea manuscripts were compared to the ones that were a 1,000 years later they were completely accurate (P.98-99, 106).
There is a large amount of archeological findings that confirm the accuracy of the Old and New Testament scripture already discovered in present day existence. There are secular sources of ancient literature that provide similar accounts for Biblical geography, accounts of rulers, circumstances and an array of other Biblical records. Do your own research and be amazed at the accuracy, reliability and authenticity of the Scriptures.
There is no greater evidence for the Bible than the Power of a transformed life once a Believer is born again.
. McDowell, Josh. The best of Josh McDowell: A Ready Defense/ Compiled by Bill Wilson, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1993
. Leach, Charles. Our Bible: How We Got It. Chicago: Moody Press, 1898
. McDowell, Josh. The New Evidence That Demands A Verdict. Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1999