Why Should We Trust the Bible?

      Recently Journey did an event that we called Skeptics Welcome.  At the event non-Christians were invited to come and ask their questions about the Christian faith.  One of the questions that was asked in various forms by those who attended was “Why should we trust the Bible?”
      No one can deny that the Bible is a widely popular book.  It is the library that is the intellectual foundation for the largest religious worldview in human history.  In one survey 84% of Americans believed the Bible is a sacred text (How Can I Know?, Robert Jeffress, 32). The Bible is not just a best seller but THE best seller of all human history.  It has been translated into more languages than any other book.”   (Honest Questions Honest Answers, David Faust, 177).  The Bible claims about itself:  All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.  (2 Timothy 3:16-17).   Christians take this idea of the Bible being “God breathed” to mean that it is inspired, written by God and therefore has no error in the original autographs.  That is quite a claim!  In essence Christians claim that the Bible is the most trustworthy book or technically collection of books in human history.
      Here are some reasons why I believe the Bible is trustworthy.
Here are a few examples:
Excavations of the city of Jericho done from 1930-1936 show that the walls of the city fell down outward.  Walls don’t fall outward.
For many years critics of the Bible would attack it because it mentioned the Hittites and archaeologists had never found extra-Biblical evidence of the Hittites.  Yet eventually the archaeologists caught up with the Bible and found evidence of the Hittite civilization.  
In the Hebrew Scriptures King David get lots of ink.  But it was not until the Tel Dan Inscription that was discovered in 1993 that archaeologists had extra-Biblical confirmation that King David was a historical figure.
In regards to Jesus:   “Overall, at least seventeen non-Christian writings record more than fifty details concerning the life, teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus, plus details concerning the earliest church.”  (Why I Am A Christian, Edited by Norman Geisler & Paul K. Hoffman, “Why I believe the New Testament is Historically Reliable,” Gary R. Habermas, 150)
In summary of this point: “Dr. Nelson Glueck, a respected authority on Israeli archaeology, writes, ‘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.”   (How Can I Know? , Robert Jeffress, 59)
      We can trust that the history presented by the Bible is accurate and reliable.
It is remarkable that such an ancient book is full of scientific wisdom.  Here are a few examples:
The first book of Bible indicates that the stars are uncountable. (Genesis 15:5)
Another early text, Job 26:7, speaks of the earth being suspended in space.
Isaiah 40:22 mentions the circle of the earth.
Today we know how blood circulates water, oxygen, and nourishment to the cells of our bodies, but centuries ago God’s word states, ‘The life of a creature is in the blood’ (Leviticus 17:11 v.14)”
(Honest Questions Honest Answers, David Faust, 42)
From the ancient Greeks until the 1960’s science taught that the universe was eternal.  Christians quoting the Bible were the lonely voice saying that the universe had a beginning.  But today science has changed its mind and embraced the idea that the universe had a beginning.
For decades modern science taught that once a human reached maturity the brain was basically set.   This belief contrasted with the teaching of the Bible that taught that we could grow and change, that in Christ we could be a “new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17) and that our minds could be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2).  Today the concept of neuroplasticity, the ability of the brain to grow and change, is considered the scientific consensus.  This is yet another example of science catching up to the Bible.  
While the Bible is not about science, when it touches on scientific areas it is always accurate.  As our scientific understanding of the world moves forward the Bible looks better and better.
I think a person can come to a saving faith in Jesus Christ reading the Bible simply as a good history book. Of course, I personally believe it is the infallible, inerrant word of God.   A person who believes the gospels are an accurate description of the teachings, life, death and resurrection of Jesus could meet Him and commit to Him. Once a person accepts Jesus as Savior and Lord then how Jesus views the Bible become definitive.  Jesus clearly relied on the Bible when tempted in the wilderness.  When Jesus was asked questions, He quoted the Bible as God’s word.  He said that the Scripture cannot be broken (John 10:35b) indicating that it is without error in all it teaches.  Therefore, the testimony of Jesus is another reason I trust the Bible.      
The Bible contains detailed predictions about specific individuals, nations and events.  So far every prediction whose time has come has been perfectly fulfilled. In contrast: “No other religious books such as Quran, the Analects of Confucius or the Book of Mormon contain specific prophecies that be independently confirmed, yet hundreds of such prophecies can be found in the Bible.”    (How Can I Know?   Robert Jeffress, 47)   As an example, about 700 B.C. Isaiah predicted the nation of Babylon—a  small player at that time—would conquer Judah and take her captive.  About 100 years later in 586 B.C. Babylon prevailed over Judah.  Then Isaiah looks beyond that defeat and sees that Babylon would be conquered by another nation, Persia (Isaiah 21:9)   This is fulfilled 150 years after Isaiah made the prophecy.  He even predicted by name the king who would allow Judah to return from her exile in Babylon to rebuild Jerusalem.  Isaiah 44:28 says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd and will accomplish all that I please; he will say of Jerusalem, “Let it be rebuilt,” and of the temple, “Let its foundations be laid.”  Cyrus, King of Persia, did conquer Babylon in 539 B.C. and in 538 B.C. King Cyrus decreed that the Israelites could return to their homeland.  All of this is shockingly, supernaturally accurate. Another example is the prophet Ezekiel who predicted numerous details about the downfall of the city of Tyre long before it happened (Ezekiel 26).  And to me the most impressive are the many prophecies about Jesus:  Place of His birth (Micah 5:2); Time of His birth (Daniel 9:25); Miracle of his birth (Isaiah 7:14); His betrayal for 30 pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12); Manner of his death (Psalms 22:16); and His burial in a rich man’s tomb (Isaiah 53:9); His resurrection from the dead (Psalms 16:10).
In contrast, a weatherman is only right occasionally and political pundits are often wrong when they try to predict elections that are only months away, not events centuries in the future.  The accurate predictive prophecies found in Scripture leave no doubt that the Bible is the true word of God, trustworthy in all it says.  
Finally, the incredible unity of the Bible looks to be of divine origin.  The Bible is a library written on three continents over 1,100 years by about 40 different authors and yet it is unified.  It tells the great story of God, mankind and redemption.  It covers hundreds of individual subjects and yet the authors do not contradict each other.  There is an incredible harmony that points to the Bible ultimately written by one divine mind, the mind of God Himself.  Years ago, I read about an image that I think is helpful here.  Imagine trying to build a beautiful Cathedral.  Parts of the building are made in different places and shipped to the location over 1,100 years.  Instructions were written in a couple different languages.  And yet when it came time to put it all together everything fit together perfectly.
      I find these five reasons compelling reasons to trust the Bible.  I encourage you to explore these and other reasons Christians find the Bible to be a reliable guide to life, the ultimate guidebook to faith and practice.
FOR FURTHER STUDY CHECK OUT:                                    
Honest Questions Honest Answers  by David Faust,
Why I Am A Christian,  Editors Norman L. Geisler and Paul K. Hoffman
Has God Spoken? By Hank Hanegraaff
How Can I Know?   By Robert Jeffress

Pastor Derek Dickinson
Journey Christian Church