The Bible has become a significant source for secular archaeology, helping to identify such ancient figures as
Sargon (Isaiah 20:1)
Sennacherib (Isaiah 37:37)
Horam of Gazer (Joshua 10:33) Hazar (Joshua 15:27)
The Hittite Nations (Genesis 15:20)
The biblical record, unlike other “scriptures,” is historically set, opening itself up for testing and verification.
Two 20th-century archaeologists, William F. Albright and Nelson Glueck, both lauded the Bible (even though they were non-Christian and secular in their training and personal beliefs) as being the single most accurate source document from history.
The Bible has been found to be accurate in its places, dates, and records of events. No other “religious” document even comes close.
The 19th-century critics used to deny the historicity of the Hittites, the Horites, the Edomites, and various other peoples, nations, and cities mentioned in the Bible. Those critics have long been silenced by archaeologist’s physical evidence, and few critics question the geographical and ethnological reliability of the Bible today.
The names of over 40 different kings of various countries mentioned in the Bible have all been found in contemporary documents and
inscriptions outside of the Old Testament, and are always consistent with the times and places associated with them in the Bible. Nothing exists in ancient literature that has been remotely as well-confirmed in accuracy as has the Bible.
There is more evidence for the Bible’s authenticity than for any literature of antiquity. Textual analysis begins with historical investigation, beginning with the latest documents and working backward.
The New Testament was written in the first century A.D. There are some 20,000 manuscripts in existence. The earliest textual evidence was copied 100 years after the original. In contrast:
Caesar’s Gallic Wars was written in the first century B.C. There are only 10 manuscripts in existence.
Aristotle’s Poetics was written in the fourth century B.C. There are only 5 manuscripts in existence. The earliest textual evidence we have was copied 1,400 years after the original.
There were millions of man-hours spent in cross-checking the manuscripts. There remains only 1 percent of all New Testament words about which questions still exist; no questionable passage contradicts any Bible teaching.
The Old Testament has been more accurately transmitted than any other ancient writing of comparable age. The textual evidence is greater for both the Old and New Testaments than any other historically reliable ancient document. The ancient scribes were very meticulous. There were only 1,200 variant readings in A.D. 500.
The Masorites produced an official text in A.D. 500. There are other versions that confirm the accuracy of the Masoritic Text.
Samaritan Pentateuch: 400 B.C.
Septuagint Greek: 280 B.C.
Dead Sea Scrolls: 0 A.D.
Latin Vulgate: 400 A.D.
The New Testament accepts the Old Testament as authentic, confirming the traditional authors, quoting from at least 320 different passages, and confirming the supernatural events cited in the Old Testament.
There are over 3,000 different religions in the world, all of which claim to teach the way to eternal happiness. It has often been said that each of them provides a different path to the same end, and that men are free to choose the path that best suits their own disposition and culture.
The Word of God is insistent that this is not so!
The Bible insists that the God of the Bible is the only true God (Isaiah 44:6; 45:5-6) and that Jesus The Christ is the only way to God (John 14:6).
All other religions, while stressing their “paths,” would allow for some other contingency.
The Bible insists that it is the only true revelation, that its words are not to be changed (Proverbs 30:5-6; Revelation 22:18-19), and that its words are the basis of all judgment (John 12:47-50).
The Bible has a unique account of origins (Genesis 1-11). All others are either evolutionary or pantheistic, with eternity of matter as the “beginning.”
The biblical account of origins is unique in both quality and quantity of information.
The Bible has a unique historical basis. Other religions are based on the subjective teachings of their founders. Biblical teachings are based on objective and demonstrable facts: creation, the fall, the flood, the life and work of redemption of Christ.
The Bible teaches a unique plan of redemption. It reveals a unique Savior.
He was born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18-25).
He lived a sinless life (Hebrews 4:14-16).
He taught as no other man taught (John 7:46; Matthew 7:28-29).
He died a unique, volitional death (John 10:17-18; Luke 23:46).
He had unique victory over death (Acts 17:31; 1 Corinthians
The Bible demands a unique salvation.
Perfect holiness is required (Romans 3:10-18, 23; 6:23).
Substitutionary atonement is the only means of reconciliation
(Hebrews 10:4-14; Romans 3:24-26).
Grace is the only measurement (Ephesians 2:8-10; Romans
Other religions require some form of works or participation.
Many would suggest that the Bible is an antiquated religious book, filled with scientific fallacies and mistakes. Others believe that the Bible is a book of true religion, but dealing solely with spiritual subjects, with any matters of science and history to be interpreted spiritually or allegorically.
Either the Bible is wholly reliable on every subject with which it deals, or it is not the Word of God.
The Bible contains all the basic principles upon which true science is built. The Bible references nature and natural processes, and thus frequently touches on the various sciences. For instance, there are many passages that deal with principles of hydrology, geology, astronomy, meteorology, biology, physics, cosmology, and the grand principles of the space-mass/energy-time continuum.
If the God revealed in the Bible truly exists, then everything that He reveals would of necessity be true.
One often hears of mistakes or errors in the Bible. Seldom, when confronted, is there an example provided. When such “errors” are cited, they fall into three kinds of alleged mistakes: 1) mathematical rounding, 2) relative motion, or 3) miracles.
Obviously, mathematical rounding is both scientific and in constant use today, as is the use of relative motion for all sorts of navigation and distance calculations. To deny the miraculous is to assume that one is omniscient.
Just as the Bible has become a source book for history and archaeology, so it is also a source book for the foundational principles of science. Those who ignore the information of Scripture will be “ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7).
The Bible, like many books, was written by eyewitnesses (Luke 1:2; 2 Peter 1:16) to the events and circumstances that they recorded. That they were trustworthy witnesses is only to be expected, since God inspired them to co-author their respective portions of the Bible. But some ask: how can we know if the Bible’s human co-authors were really reliable eyewitnesses?
The following eyewitness traits are the ones emphasized in common law, in law school, and in the Rules of Evidence.
A reliable witness will evidence honesty by his/her sincerity of speech, and be clearly motivated by a drive to speak the truth. The quality of a witness’s observations can be observed by accurate memory, evidenced often by access to accurate records. The competency of his/her communication will be demonstrated by an ability to recall and describe observations, with accurate information and relevant details. Testimonial consistency is also a key factor in reliability.
Though each witness will provide idiosyncratic differences (due to different perspectives and interests), all Scripture has perfect evidentiary consistency. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, Moses, Daniel, Jude, and all of the other Bible’s co-authors qualify as impeccably reliable eyewitnesses. Many of the Bible’s writers suffered cruel treatment, even death, for their stand on their witness.
To the obvious credibility of their writings is added the unshakeable belief that their testimony was so true that it was worth suffering and dying for.