Is the Bible true? Why should I trust it?
We can trust the Bible because it is not merely a book of philosophy, history and beautiful literature. It is God’s personal message to us.
The Bible is God’s thoughts, written down by men who lived close to God.
This is divine inspiration. “Inspiration” means “breathing in”. The words of the Bible were “breathed in” to the spirits and minds of the writers.
Why are Christians sure of this? There are many reasons. In this post we will outline two of them.
This post is part of a series on the Bible
♦ 2 Reasons To Believe The Bible: Its Harmony and Accurate History – This post
♦ Another Reason to Believe the Bible: Its Accurate Science
♦ A Further Reason to Trust the Bible: Its Accurate Translation
♦ Evidence that the Bible is Inspired by God: Fulfilled Prophecy
♦ More evidence that the Bible is Inspired by God: Its Miraculous Protection
♦ Why the Bible is worth reading today: Its Relevance and Supernatural Impact
♦ What is in the Bible and Why?
♦ The Books Not in the Bible : The Apocrypha and Gnostic writings
We can believe the Bible is inspired by God because of the Unity of Authors
- There were 40 writers involved.
- It was written over a span of 1600 years.
- They had different educational backgrounds.
- Their careers were different. Some were farmers or fishermen. Some were soldiers, others were court officials.
- They came from different countries and cultures.
- And each one had his own way of expressing himself, his own personality.
Because of all these differences, and especially the time difference, they couldn’t possibly get together to discuss what they were writing down. Yet they all agree in everything they wrote.
They agree on:
- their record of history
- their idea of what God is like
- their principles for living
- their view of man’s sinfulness
- their prophecies of the future
How can so many writers from so many backgrounds agree in so many details?
It is because there are many writers, but one author – God himself!
2 Peter 1:20-21 says: “no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet’s own understanding, or from human initiative. No, those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke from God” (New International Version).
As they wrote, the Holy Spirit was with them, and helped them to write exactly the words he wanted. So Christians believe that the messages, promises and warnings in the Bible are from God himself.
The Bible is no ordinary book.
By following the instructions God gives us in it we can experience God himself,
working in our lives – changing us, helping us, guiding us.
We can believe the Bible is inspired by God because it is accurate
The Bible has never yet been proven to be incorrect. It is accurate. No matter how closely the Bible is examined, there are no errors!
Sometimes, people have thought the Bible has had mistakes or contradictions. But later, scientists or historians have been able to prove, through some new discovery, that what the Bible said was indeed true.
The Bible is not in error: it was our knowledge or understanding that was lacking!
There are three main areas of proof that the Bible is accurate – history, science and translation. In this post we will cover the Bible’s historical accuracy.
Archaeology has proven the Bible record to be true. Here are some examples:
The Bible mentions a nation called the Hittites. It suggested that they lived 4,000 years ago. (Genesis 23:10).
For hundreds of years archaeologists and historians said: “The Bible is wrong. It cannot be God’s book because it is not trustworthy. There is no evidence of there ever being a people called the Hittites.”
They had found no buried cities, no documents mentioning them, nothing at all. Because there was no evidence about the Hittite people, they didn’t believe that the Bible could be right. Even the Encyclopaedia Britannica had nothing to say about Hittites.
Then, archaeologists discovered objects like idols. They also found ancient stone slabs in Turkey with writing and carving. They mentioned a war-like nation of people called Hittites! The Bible was right! More details on these discoveries can be found here.
The Jewish people were slaves in Egypt. The Pharaoh forced them to make bricks with clay and straw. Then he made it harder by letting them use only stubble, small left over pieces of straw, with the clay. Finally, they were allowed only clay and nothing else. With less straw or no straw to hold the clay together, the bricks would, of course, crumble.
For a long time, some people claimed that this part of the Bible never happened at all, that the slavery in Egypt and the story of Moses was just a legend. But archaeologists proved that even tiny details, like the story of the bricks, were true. (In 1883, Naville, and in 1908, Kyle)
They discovered an ancient building in Egypt, in the city of Pithom. (Exodus 1:11 mentions this city.) The bottom of the walls of the store houses used proper bricks, made of clay and straw. Further up the wall, middle layers were of bricks with clay and stubble. The archaeologists discovered that some of the stubble had been torn up by the roots! That is just what might have happened if a slave was rushing to make the quota of bricks that day. The top layers of bricks had no straw at all. They were just clay – exactly as the Bible recorded it!
The Bible tells how God, by a miracle, made the walls of Jericho fall down. Archaeologists have discovered that the ruins of Jericho prove that the walls fell down – but not inwards, as if the army had battered them in.
The bricks and rubble show that the walls fell outward! That was a miracle! No people would want to push their own city walls down from inside the city!
The archaeologists also found, inside the ruined city, pots full of grain. That proved that the city was not besieged and the people were not starved into defeat. The only explanation is that the Bible is right! The collapse of the walls and the defeat of Jericho were sudden and miraculous.
Sir William M Ramsay
There are many details in the Book of Acts about places, famous people of the time, journeys, and so on. For a long time, some believed that the book of Acts was full of mistakes; that is was historically inaccurate.
One of these people was Sir William Ramsay (1851-1939). He was a very well respected archaeologist and Bible scholar. He had earlier been taught by men who doubted the accuracy of the Bible, but he wanted to find the truth for himself.
In New Testament times, the Bible lands were occupied by Roman forces. Sir William Ramsay researched three aspects where people criticised the Book of Acts, saying it was inaccurate.
- The structure of Roman government during the Bible years
- The titles and names of individual Roman officials
- The location of certain cities
He travelled in the lands mentioned in the Bible, visiting cities. He studied other ancient books and documents. He looked for the truth.
At the end of all his study and travels Dr. Ramsay saw that all the evidence proved the Book of Acts to be an absolutely correct record. There were no mistakes. Here is his report, in his own words:
Further study … showed that the book could bear the most minute scrutiny as an authority for the facts of the Aegean world, and that it was written with such judgement, skill, art and perception of truth as to be a model of historical statement…I set out to look for truth on the borderland where Greece and Asia meet, and found it there [in Acts]. You may press the words of Luke in a degree beyond any other historian’s and they stand the keenest scrutiny and the hardest treatment…’
(The Bearing of Recent Discovery on the Trustworthiness of the New Testament, p. 85 and 89)
Much of the Bible was written by people who were actually there at the events they described. They were eye witnesses.
Peter mentioned this in his second letter: “We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eye-witnesses of his majesty”(2 Peter 1:16).
Luke tells us that if the writers were not themselves witnesses of the events, they did fully check out the facts before recording them.
Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eye-witnesses . . . Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you. . . so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught (Luke 1:1-3).
We can be sure the Bible is 100% truth. It is good to know not only what we believe, but also why we believe it.
In this post we have seen how united the authors of the Bible were in every way. Also, the Bible is accurate in its record of history.
In other posts in this series we’ll see how the Bible is also accurate scientifically, in its translation and in fulfilled prophecies.
This material is very suitable for your kids or youth.
But there’s no need to confine it to them!
Many adults have benefited from this series, both for their own information and also as a help in telling others the reasons for their trust in the Bible.
What will I get in the download?
A PowerPoint with 21 clear, colourful and attractive slides introduces various opinions on the validity of the Christian scriptures, and Presenter’s notes, covering the contents of this post and extra notes on William Ramsay’s work.
Right-click on the links below and save the files to your computer.