How do I know that the Bible is true?
Since the Bible makes some very exclusive statements about itself as the revelation of the Creator God, many people wonder, “How can you know that the Bible is true?” Since God’s call on human lives is exclusive and involves a total commitment, it is understandable when people say they want to be sure; they want confidence in their faith. It is heartening to know that the evidence to support the truthfulness of the Bible is overwhelming. Below is a sample of this evidence.
The evidence of authority: The Bible claims to be the word of God, a true revelation of the Creator for the people of this planet to hear, believe and obey. Its pages ring with the authority one would expect if the Creator of the Universe spoke with finality. This by itself is no proof that the Bible is God’s word, but it is an important starting point. Imagine the difficulty of demonstrating the divine authority of a book that does not claim to be divine. The Bible does claim to be authoritative, as the following biblical references reveal.
The evidence of textual accuracy: Unlike other ancient religious literature, the Bible retained it accuracy despite being translated from original manuscripts that date back to 1400 BC. We know that the copies we have today are 99.5 percent accurate, and the tiny percentage of textual corruption that has been discovered affects no major doctrine of the faith. This remarkable preservation of the Bible’s text can only be appreciated in contrast to other ancient writings, which have suffered significant textual corruption over the centuries. For example, few people dispute the accuracy of the Greek philosopher Aristotle’s writings today despite the fact that we have far fewer manuscripts from which to translate his works than we do the Bible. God had a hand in preserving his Word to guarantee a consistent revelation of himself.
The evidence of predictive prophecy: The Bible records hundreds of predictions made by God’s prophets, predictions that have been clearly fulfilled. Not only have these predictions been confirmed by later biblical writers, but by archaeology and non-Christian historians. The prophecies regarding the coming of Christ alone should be enough to convince the skeptic of the Bible’s truthfulness.
The evidence of historical verification: As an ancient record of the past, the Bible is unmatched. Archeologists have discovered a tremendous amount of material evidence that confirms the Biblical account. With every shovel full of dirt in the Holy Land and in the ancient Near East, the accuracy of the Bible is affirmed.
The evidence of objectivity: Everyone is leery of propaganda or “spin” when asked to recall an event for posterity. This is easily demonstrated in courtrooms every day. Eyewitnesses can report different interpretations of the same event. It is easy to hide the facts with well-turned phrases and selective memories. Witnesses can make events or people look good or bad. However, the Bible makes no attempt to hide the shortcomings of its characters. Even its heroes of the faith are described accurately, warts and all. Only Jesus is revealed as the perfect human being. All Bible personalities are depicted objectively, recounting the good and the bad - moral failures and humiliation, inconsistencies and loyalties, treachery and mercy, human failings and God’s grace and mercy.
There are many other reasons why the Bible can be trusted. Its indestructibility throughout the ages, despite attempts to eradicate it, is certainly one reason. Others are its explanations for origins that scientific evidence supports, its intellectual integrity and coherence, its power to transform the lives of those who believe its message and a host of others.