I’ve got a good friend who’s probably a lot like you. He loves the Bible and does his best to read it and live it every day. There’s one problem. Some of his friends say the Bible isn’t true, and he’s not always sure how to respond. So I’ve created a list of the best arguments I can find for the credibility of the Bible. Interested? Okay, here are my Top 10 Reasons the Bible is True. (If I missed any that are important to you, please add them in the comment section below. I’d love to hear from you.)
- Manuscript Evidence. There are way more copies of the biblical manuscripts, with remarkable
consistency between them, than there are for any of the classics like Plato, Aristotle and Socrates. “There is no body of ancient literature in the world which enjoys such a wealth of good textual attestation as the New Testament.” F.F. Bruce, The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable?
- Archaeological Evidence. Again and again archaeological discoveries have verified the accuracy of the historical and cultural references in the Bible. The more they dig, the more it confirms the Bible. “It is important to note that Near Eastern archaeology has demonstrated the historical and geographical reliability of the Bible in many important areas.” E.M. Blaiklock, The New International Dictionary of Biblical Archaeology.
- Eyewitness Accounts. The Bible was written by people who witnessed the events it describes; many were persecuted or martyred but never changed their story. Would you die for something you knew was untrue? “It is no moderate approbation of Scripture that it has been sealed by the blood of so many witnesses, especially when we reflect that they died to render testimony to the faith …with a firm and constant, yet sober, zeal toward God.” John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion.
- Corroborating Accounts. There are plenty of references in non-biblical sources to the events described in the Bible. The Jewish historian Josephus, born in 37 AD, “provide(s) indispensable background material for the student of…New Testament history. In them, we meet many figures well known to us from the New Testament. Some of his writings provide direct commentary on New Testament references.” J.D.
Douglas, ed., The New Bible Dictionary.
- Literary Consistency. The Bible contains 66 books written over 1,500 years by 40 different writers but it tells one “big story” of God’s plan of salvation that culminated in Jesus Christ. You can’t even pass a secret around a circle of 12 people and get the same message at the end. “There is indeed a wide variety of human authors and themes (in the Bible). Yet behind these…there lies a single divine author with a single unifying
theme.” John R.W. Stott, Understanding the Bible.
- Prophetic Consistency. There are over 300 specific prophecies in the Old Testament that are fulfilled in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ in the New Testament. “The very dimension of the sheer fulfillment of prophecy of the Old Testament Scriptures should be enough
to convince anyone that we are dealing with a supernatural piece of literature….God has himself planted within the scriptures an internal
consistency that bears witness that this is his Word.” R.C. Sproul, Now That’s a Good Question.
- Expert Scrutiny. The early church had extremely high standards for what books were judged to be authentic and therefore included in the Bible. A book had to have been written by an Apostle or someone in their immediate circle, had to conform to basic Christian faith and had to be in widespread use among many churches. This was a careful process of “the people of God in many different places, coming to recognize what other believers elsewhere found to be true”; these writings were truly God’s word. G.J. Wenham, J.A. Motyer, D.A. Carson and R.T. France, The New Bible Commentary.
- Leader Acceptance. A majority of the greatest leaders and thinkers in history have affirmed the truth and impact of the Bible. “I believe the Bible is the best gift God has ever given man. All the good from the Savior of the world is communicated to us through this book. But for it we could not know right from wrong.” Abraham Lincoln.
- Global Influence. The Bible has had a greater influence on the laws, art, ethics, music and literature of world civilization than any other book in history. Can you think of one that even comes close? “Christianity”, as set forth in the Bible “is responsible for a disproportionately large number of the humanitarian advances in the history of civilization—in education, medicine, law, the fine arts, working for human rights and even in the natural sciences….” Craig L. Blomberg, in Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith.
- Changed Lives. From St. Augustine to Martin Luther to Joni Eareckson Tada to countless everyday men, women and children, the words of the Bible have transformed lives unmistakably and forever. “As unnamed masses of Christians down through the ages have shown us, the Bible is the most reliable place to turn for finding the key to a life of love and good works.” T.M. Moore, The Case for the Bible.
I hope this list helps you become more confident about the Bible. But don’t forget: whenever you have an opportunity to defend God’s Word, be sure to “speak the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15). No one listens to an angry Bible reader. (If I missed any reasons that are important to you, please add them in the comment section below. I’d love to hear from you.)