Can We Trust The Bible?
What makes the Bible the best-selling book in the world? Billions of copies have been printed, even though it has endured more opposition than any other book ever had.
Answer: The Bible was written by God! Sometimes this was by dictation. Exodus 24:4 says: "Moses then wrote down everything the Lord had said to him." And over 2'000 times in the Old Testament alone we read words like "And God spoke to..." or "The word of the Lord came to...".
At other times God inspired men by putting into their minds the things that he wanted them to write, yet in their own styles. 2 Peter 1:21 says, "Men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit."
The Bible actually contains 66 books, 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament. God used over 40 different men to write these books over a period of 1600 years.
The Holy Spirit guided the authors so that, there were no mistakes in anything they originally wrote. As 2 Timothy 3:16 says, "All Scripture is inspired by God...". This applies to the words and even to the letters (Matthew 5:18) of the whole Bible, and not just to the ideas.
The Bible is thus completely trustworthy, including what it says about science and history.
The first five books of the Old Testament were written by Moses. They tell us that God created the earth and the universe and that the first man, Adam, rejected God's word to him. So sin and all the bad things we see around us, like sickness and suffering and death, entered the world.
Despite this, God promised salvation through a special descendant of Adam and Eve. We can be saved through God's Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. That's why the Bible is all about Jesus (Luke 24: 27).
The rest of the Old Testament (from Genesis 12 on) tells how God prepared the nation of Israel for the coming of Jesus. In the New Testament, the gospels tell us about the virgin birth and sinless life of Jesus, His death on the cross for our sins, and His resurrection.
Then we read about the beginning of the church and of the missionary work of the first apostles. The last book in the Bible is called Revelation. It tells us about the future judgement of those who reject God's rule and refuse the forgiveness He offers to everybody though the death and Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Bible is a gift from God. It tell us all the things that God wants us to know about Himself, like how He loves us and wants us to love Him and know His Son, the Lord Jesus, who died, then rose, to be our Saviour.
It tells us of this great thing that God has done to bring us to Himself, and how we should live in response.
In the past 100 years, archeology has verified many of the places and much of the history recorded in the Bible. Archeologists have discovered the site of the Pool of Siloam in Jerusalem, were Jesus healed a blind man (John 9:7); it was built by King Hezekiah (2 Kings 20:20; 2. Chronicles 32:30). Skeptics, who have long said it didn't exist have been proved wrong - yet again. John's Gospel, like Genesis tells accurate history. Similarly, a clay tablet from the time of Nebuchadnezzar has recently confirmed historic details recorded in Jeremiah 39:1-3.
Over such archeological finds have confirmed there were indeed rulers named Belshazzar (Daniel 5) and Sargon (Isiah 20:1), and the Hittites not only existed but had a vast empire, and so on. Luke, who wrote acts, has never been proved wrong in any of his geographical or historical details.
Only God can reveal the future, because only he knows what will happen in the future. The Bible contains hundreds of fulfilled prophecies about the scattering of the people of Israel, as well as about the gentile nations of Babylon, Egypt, Moab, Edom and others. But most important of all, it contains scores of prophecies about the coming of the Messiah, and about His suffering, death and Resurrection, all of which were fulfilled in Jesus.
Attempts to destroy the Bible
Over the years, some men have hated the Bible's message of God so much that they have tried to destroy the Bible. All have failed.
In The year 303 the Roman emperor Diocletian ordered the destruction of all copies of the Bible. But 25 years later the new emperor, Constantine, commissioned the production of 50 hand-copied Bibles at the expense of his government.
After Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press in 1440s, the Bible could be mass-produced. From then until the 18. century many thousands of Bible were destroyed at the orders of various European rulers. This included the burning of 10'000 copies by Ferdinand II of Rome in 1600. But the Bible lived on.
The French atheist, Voltaire, who died in 1778 , boasted that within one hundred years of his death there would not be a bible on the earth. Two hundred years later, Bible Societies were printed over 200 million copies every year. Today it (or substantial parts of it) are available in 2'500 languages.
Man still rejects God today. The theory of evolution claims that we evolved from animals and were not made in the image of God. This is just one more way that people try to destroy the Bible's message. They want to shake off God's rule over them.
The Bible has survived 2000 years of attack and is still the best known, most widely read, the most influential and the most loved (and hated!) book that has ever been written.
Are you reading it? Why not begin today, because the Bible is indeed the trustworthy Word of God.
Extracted from the Creation Magazine Vol. 34 No. 4 2010