How do we know that the Bible can be trusted?
Every week, the Bible has a central place in our worship together. It inspires the lyrics to our songs, directs the way we pray, and is the source of the messages that I and others bring. And, our desire is that the Bible has a central place in our daily life, guiding us to know and follow Jesus. How do we know that this bestselling book of all time—translated into nearly 2,500 languages—can be trusted?
Evidence #1: The testimony of a resurrected Jesus
Jesus believed the Bible was God’s Word. He said to his Father, “Your word is truth” (John 17:17). And, he affirmed: “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God’” (Matthew 4:4,7,10; 5:17).
Evidence #2: Eyewitness accounts
The writers of Scripture were concerned for accuracy: “…handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything…” Luke 1:2-3; also 2 Peter 1:16
Most New Testament books were written by the 80s A.D. That’s within the lifetime of hostile eyewitnesses who would have served as a corrective if false teachings about Jesus were going around.
Evidence #3: Fulfilled prophecies
There are hundreds of prophecies in the Bible that have been fulfilled (e.g. Micah 5:2; Zechariah 11:12-14; Psalm 22:6-18; 2 Peter 1:19-21).
Evidence #4: Meaningful narrative
Though written by over 40 authors over 1500 years, there is an amazing unity of message from Genesis to Revelation. The Bible tells the incredible story of how God is in the process of restoring us—and this broken world—to what he always intended.
Evidence #5: Manuscript evidence
• There are more manuscripts than any other ancient book (24,633).
• There are earlier copies than any other ancient work (from AD 125).
• There are fewer distortions due to copying errors (.2%).
Evidence #6: Changed lives and the test of time
Countless people and societies have been influenced by the Bible. Abraham Lincoln once wrote, “The Bible is the best gift God has ever given to man. All the good from the Savior of the world is communicated to us through this book.”
The Bible shows us how to get right, and to live right, with God. “The [Scriptures] have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus… Scripture…teaches us to do what is right.” 2 Timothy 3:15-16