How Do We Know the Bible Is True?
Written by Phylicia Masonheimer | October 14, 2017
If you’re attending a secular university, or if you’re engaged with culture at all (as we should be!), you’ll eventually have to give a defense for your faith in Christ. Part of that defense will likely have to do with the accuracy and inerrancy of Scripture. Christians believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God: a compilation of manuscripts written by men according to the leading and inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
To secularists, this sounds absurd. And before discussing this topic with them, it’s important to remember it’s not your job to convince them of Scripture’s truth! But the Holy Spirit may use your words to lead them deeper into research and understanding of the Bible’s teaching.
To defend Scripture, we must know why we believe it. The following three points are only a few of the arguments in defense of Scripture’s accuracy, and I encourage you to do further research into the topic! This article is a much deeper look into this discussion and will fill in the gaps not covered in today’s post.
So how do we know the Bible is true? Here are three ways.
1. Eyewitness Testimony
The Bible—both Old and New Testaments—was written by eyewitnesses of the events it includes, or at least people who were close to the eyewitnesses (such as Luke, the author of The Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles). The events we read about were directly experienced by the authors, and their testimony gives credence to the message.
But what about differences in the narrative? In some books, such as the gospels, the same story is being told—but by four different people. One of the best analogies to explain these different narratives is the example of four witnesses to a car accident, each standing at a different corner of the intersection. From one person’s view, the accident would have specific details based on his location and what he was prone to observe. But the person across the street would have a different perspective and thus a different narrative—not any less true than the first.
2. Historical Evidence
When people struggle with the different narratives in the Bible, they often forget that we have historical evidence for much of what we read. Archeologists are continually finding proof of the Bible’s accuracy from the fall of Jericho to Jesus’ trial. This historical evidence, while not necessary to believe the Bible, certainly supports what is contained within it. The Bible is a historical book revealing God’s redemptive plan for mankind from creation to final day.
The Bible also contains dozens of prophecies about the future—both specific to Israel and to Jesus. We can follow these prophecies to their fruition and see how God’s Word has been fulfilled in history. This is an incredible testament to the Bible’s trustworthiness.
Click here to read more about the Bible’s prophecies and how they have been fulfilled in history.
3. Consistency of Doctrine
Lastly, the Bible is consistent in what it teaches across thousands of years—and even into present day. God’s redemption of man has been called the “scarlet thread” woven throughout the biblical narrative. We see God’s purpose from Genesis 3, when man first rejected Him and required a Savior, to John’s Book of Revelations, when the Savior of man returns to put everything right once again.
The problem many people encounter when reading Scripture is “face value” reading. They don’t study Scripture in its historical and literary context, so they don’t understand what the author actually intended by his words. Because so few believers know how to study the Word, they have a hard time believing and defending it. This should motivate us to learn the lifelong skill of Bible study, to understand the doctrines of our faith and to equip ourselves to defend it in today’s culture.
Why Does It Matter?
If the Bible is inspired (2 Timothy 3:15-16), it leads to consistent teaching and wisdom. This is the foundation of our faith in Jesus, which in turn leads to works of faith (1 Thessalonians 1:11) and the outworking of our Christ-won righteousness. As we work out our faith, we are sanctified from sin and glorify God with our lives. But all of this begins with Scripture! It is the Bible that equips us for a life change—a life change that gives evidence for our faith. This matters enormously, and it can start with you today!