We are coming back to a mind-engaging series called Defend the Kingdom, looking at different areas of Christian apologetics. This time we are going to look at whether or not we can logically trust the Bible. Did the people in the Bible really exist and events truly occur, or is this an ancient book similar to Greek mythology? How do we answer this? Let’s defend our faith with reason. Let’s engage our minds to defend God’s Word not because we blindly trust it, but because it truly is most logical that the words in the Bible are historical facts, scientific, actual, spiritual truth. (Disclaimer, with that said, this is a mind-melter and there’s a LOT of info - but stick with it, because its all good stuff that we should know and desire to study!!).
Before we dive into evidences, real quick: what exactly are we defending? The Bible is the best selling, most quoted, most published, most circulated, most translated, most influential book in all of history. No one can or would argue that because there is no close second. It is actually 66 different books compiled together, written by about 40 different authors over a span of 1,500 years in three different original languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek). In a single word, this book is about Jesus. The OT sets the stage for Jesus, predicts Him, and shows the need for Him. It is in the New Testament that we read about Jesus, His arrival, who He was/is, the things He did and taught, and what we do with it all.
There is a lot riding on knowing if the Bible is trustworthy or not. If this Bible is in fact true, we confidently know and trust that our sin separates us from a perfectly holy God, ultimately to eternal separation. But we are graciously forgiven if we trust in Jesus’ perfect life, death, and resurrection. Those are big claims - our eternity really depends on whether or not we can trust these words! The question is: can you trust it?
First evidence to show the Bible is trustworthy: Fulfilled Prophecy. People try to predict the future and fail constantly - weathermen have technology to predict the future’s weather, and they’re still wrong much of the time. The Bible is full of hundreds of prophecies and hundreds of them passed with total accuracy (some, still to come!). If you just look at the 300+ prophecies of Jesus in the Old Testament, you read in the New Testament they were all fulfilled to accuracy. He was indeed born from line of Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3, 22:18), from the tribe of Judah (Genesis 49:10), from line of David (2 Samuel 7:12), in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2), and born of a miraculous virgin birth (Isaiah 7:14) Heopened the eyes of blind, unstopped the ears of the deaf, caused lame to walk (Isaiah 35:5-6). He was rejected by His own people (Psalm 118:22). He died at the precise time in history He was prophesied to die (Daniel 9:24-26), and in the way He would die (Psalm 22:16-18; Isaiah 53; Zechariah 12:10), and also rose from the dead like the OT said He would (Psalm 16:10). The odds of one person fulfilling just eight of those prophecies with accuracy is a staggering 1 in 100 quadrillion - not the greatest of odds… Now to all of this, you could ask “how do we know the disciples, who wrote about Jesus, were telling the truth?” Totally fair question! My apologies for the brutal cliffhanger, but we’ll be answering that in the coming weeks. In my opinion though, it'd be harder to believe the disciples lied than to believe those prophecies weren't fulfilled...
Second evidence that shows the Bible to be a trustworthy document: Archaeological Evidence. Archaeology has proven to be strong evidence to the Bible’s historical reliability. Don’t just take it from me, here’s a quote from Mr. Nelson Glueck, considered to be one of the greatest archeologists of all time:
“No archeological discovery has ever controverted a Biblical reference. Scores of archeological findings have been made which confirm in clear outline or in exact detail historical statements in the Bible. And, by the same token, proper evaluation of Biblical descriptions has often led to amazing discoveries.”
And don’t just take it from Glueck either, here’s another thought from James Mann, who has uncovered more than 1,500 ancient sites in the Middle East:
“A wave of archaeological discoveries is altering old ideas about the roots of Christianity and Judaism — and affirming that the Bible is more historically accurate than many scholars thought.”
Okay, I don’t want to over quote, but this is too good! This last one is Dr. Clifford Wilson, former director of Australian Institute of Archaeology:
“It is remarkable that where confirmation is possible and has come to light, the Bible stands investigation in ways that are unique in all literature. It’s superiority to attack, it’s capacity to withstand criticism, it’s amazing facility to be proved right after all, are all staggering by any standards of scholarship. Seemingly assured results ‘disproving’ the Bible have a habit of backfiring. Over and over again the Bible has been vindicated.”
Time and time again, and the more discoveries that are made, the Bible’s historical integrity only gets stronger and stronger. There are so many examples of discoveries proving the legitimacy of the Bible, here’s a few examples: 3,000 year old inscription proving David as King of Israel, extra Biblical accounts of a catastrophic flood (confirming Genesis 6-8), Jericho wall that fell flat at same time Israel crossed into Canaan (Joshua 6), Hezekiah’s tunnel that was built to channel water into Jerusalem (2 Kings 20:20), etc. I could literally keep going, but this is already getting too lengthy of a blog, haha.
Third evidence that strengthens Bible’s reliability: Internal Consistency. From start to finish, Genesis to Revelation, the Bible isn’t just coherent - it remains perfectly consistent and is woven together beautifully. Harry Potter is an internally consistent series, but that doesn’t mean Hogwarts happened - so why does this prove the Bible’s trustworthiness? Because the fact that it was written by 40 different people ranging from scholars to blue collars with vastly different experiences and backgrounds, written over a span of 1,500 hundred years in three different languages — to me, that is strong evidence that it was divinely inspired. It’s hard to imagine the Bible being even close to coherent, let alone perfect, without full direction from God. This consistency is not possible without divine direction, and if it truly is divinely inspired, to me that certainly points to an element of trustworthiness.
That’s it for this week, I know that was A LOT - but stick with it! Let’s continue to really use our minds and looking at the facts to prove that God’s Word is totally reliable and trustworthy! We’ll be back with more next week.