Validity of the Bible
Many spiritual seekers wonder why there is not more historical evidence to verify the birth, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus. Here is something to consider. There is no need for more evidence because the Holy Bible itself is historical evidence. he Old Testament has over 60 prophecies about Jesus that were fulfilled. The Bible has the Four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) that document Jesus' life. The balance of the New Testament has references to Jesus. There are 66 books of the Bible. Almost every single book of the Bible has either a prophecy about Jesus or verses that point to the Gospel message. There are over 24,600 manuscripts of the New Testament and over 24,000 original manuscripts of portions of the New Testament.
Why would there need to be more historical evidence? Because some would argue
that the Bible can't be trusted, the
manuscripts may not be trustworthy, or the Bible is not
accurate. We will explore these concepts and prove the Validity of the
Bible Can Be Trusted
Autobiographies obviously have some bias because they are written by individuals about themselves. They certainly could misinterpret some of their experiences, but how many readers would toss out an autobiography as not a trustworthy book about the author? So, why toss out portions of scripture that are autobiographical?
Many biographies are written by people who loved the person they are writing about, but we do not question their validity. Yes, we may see some prejudices or favoritism in a biography, but we can overall trust most biographies, because if they were inaccurate there would be an uproar from others. So, why toss out portions of scripture that are biographical? Unless we have proof they are inaccurate, we need to give them the same trust we would a modern day biography.
There are certainly books about history written by those who have had prejudices. We see much more of that in recent years. But again, if someone was to write a very distorted view of something historical, don't we believe others would not be silent? However, regarding the history written in the Bible there was overall silence by those who were alive when the Bible manuscripts first appeared. It has only been in recent years that there has been a challenge to the historical validity of the Bible. What is interesting is that more and more there is archaeological proof to the historical accuracy of the Bible.
There is something that is unique about the Bible compared to any
autobiography, biography, or history book - the Bible is the inspired,
infallible Word of God. This means it was God breathed. The authors of the Bible
wrote what God had them to write. Yes, they wrote with their style of writing,
but the accuracy of what they wrote was based upon being inspired by God. We
know, as a spiritual seeker you may not believe this. That is ok. We are going
to provide more evidence for the Validity of the Bible.
To determine the accuracy of the manuscripts, we can compare the Bible manuscripts to manuscripts of other literature. If we are going to be fair, we should not require more of the Bible than we do other literature, but the Bible will hold up to even more scrutiny.
The chart below lists some documents, how many known original manuscripts, and the time span from the first known manuscript and when the document was authored.
After looking at the chart above, which document do you believe is the most trustworthy in being accurate regarding being closest to the original? Homer's Iliad does not even come close to the New Testament. Time span is critical when determining if the manuscript is close to the original. The longer the time span, the more of a chance of error. The first New Testament manuscript has only a 25 year span compared to 500 years for Iliad. Yet many of our readers would read Iliad as the gospel before the Bible.
We should also mention that of the 24,000 New Testament manuscripts they are 15 different languages and they all are accurate in their translation.
Let's look at one more point regarding the accuracy of manuscripts. It is the concept of textual variations and textual corruption. We will compare Iliad with the New Testament. The Iliad has about 15,600 textual line variations compared to the New Testament which has about 20,000 textual line variations. Not bad considering there are over 23,000 more manuscripts of the New Testament than the Iliad.
The Iliad has 764 lines of textual corruption whereas the New Testament only has 40 lines of textual corruption. So, which is the more accurate document?
*This data is from "Evidence that Demands a Verdict" by Josh McDowell 1979.
There is a newer edition of this book which probably has even more powerful
proof of the validity of scripture. As time allows we will update this page,
better yet, why not get the book and read it yourself.
Archaeology and Science is continuously proving the Bible to be accurate. Over and over again, archaeological digs are finding artifacts that prove the various stories that are in the Bible. Read More.
One of the ways to prove the Bible is accurate is to explore the concept of prophecy. There are over 60 prophecies in the Old Testament that speak about Jesus. Every one of the prophecies were fulfilled in the life of Jesus.
There are also many prophecies in the Old Testament that have been fulfilled in history. Yes, there are some prophecies that have not been fulfilled. Some were conditional and the conditions were not met so they will never be fulfilled. Others are speaking of events yet in the future.
The Bible was written over a 1,500 year span so there is no way that many of
these prophecies could have just been 'predicted' by the authors. There were
over 40 authors so there is no way they could have conspired with each other.
Here is a quote from the Encyclopedia Britannica concerning
the testimony of the many independent secular accounts of Jesus of Nazareth:
Jesus is recorded as a fact, as is His death, burial and missing body in the Reader's Digest Book of Facts, 1989.
It should be noted that Christianity is a
religion based upon relationship, not knowledge. It is a religion of faith not logic. The
information provided is to help answer questions, but ultimately you must believe in the
gospel accounts of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ because you believe in
the claims of Jesus that we are sinners and we need a savior.
Note on Graphic:
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