In part one of this series of entries about why I trust the authority of scripture, I explained how important wisdom is. God doesn’t want us to be uninformed about the legitimacy of His claims, who He is or the implications all that has for our lives. This time, my goal is to show you why I trust that what we have is what God intended us to have.
The Bible is reliable. It has not changed. It has not been tampered with. We could just go to Matthew 24:35 and stop there, but we can go beyond that and check out the claim. To cut to the chase, we can go to the Dead Sea Scrolls. Their discovery put to rest all of the unfounded conspiracies about what was originally documented in comparison to what we have in our bibles today. This brief video sums up what you need to know.
There’s a lot to be said about translation techniques and why there are different “versions” of the bible. At the end of this article, I’ll link some more indepth information about that for you budding scholars to dig into at your own leisure. There are answers to your questions. Remember: knowledge is important to God! He wants you to know that you can trust His word. For now, we’re going to touch base on another issue concerning reliability: archaeology.
There have been thousands of digs concerning claims that have been made in the bible. Not just a couple thousand (as impressive as that is in and of itself), but over 25,000! These excavations have confirmed the existence of biblical figures and places thought to have been lost to time or to have never existed in the first place. Talk about your extensive corroboration! For the sake of brevity, I’ll list just a few figures and places we’ve found relics of.
- Herod the Great
- Herod Antipas
- Tomb of the Patriarchs
There’s an extensive list of things confirmed and corroborated through these digs that I will also reference to at the end of this article. For now, I just want you to understand that yes, these figures and places in the bible are indeed historical and not allegorical. There are even speculations about the site of the famous sister cities, Sodom and Gomorrah. They come complete with evidence of going up in a blaze of heat exceeding 2000 degrees.
The arguments that (insert biblical figure here) never existed, especially Jesus, are unfounded, ignorant and downright willful stupidity. We have way too much evidence to the contrary for such a lazy and unsubstantiated claim. Right in the face of all these artifacts that have been found, examined and dated, there are still people foolish enough to simply say it was made up. This brings us back to one of the points of the first article. It’s not about what’s going on in the head, it’s the heart. I digress.
The last point of this entry is a vital one. There is unity within the diversity within scripture. The holy book was written by 40 men of different stature (from priests, to prophets to kings) in three different languages (Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic) over the course of roughly 1,500 years that tell one cohesive story from beginning to end. There’s nothing else of antiquity or otherwise that can not only begin to make the lofty claims the bible does, but scratch the surface of such a grandiose and unique composition.
TL;DR: The bible is a reliable collection of historical documents. We have verified many people, places and events through archaeology. There have been digs in the thousands that have not disproved but proved the claims of God. The text has not been tampered with or changed. The text we see today is the same text Jews were reading thousands of years ago. It was the same text Jesus read during his earthly tenure. This sacred text of many books written by many men separated by space, time and language tell ONE story that all begins and ends with Christ.
This is a graphical representation of the Bible’s cross-references. The bar graph along the bottom represents all of the chapters in the Bible, with number of verses represented by length. Books alternate in color. Each of the Bible’s 63,779 cross references is represented by an arc. The color of the arc reflects the distance between the two chapters. This puts to shame the grotesquely ignorant claim that the bible was just “made up”.
I guess all the people that just “made everything up” somehow duped thousands upon thousands of eye witnesses and did some time traveling to get corroboration from people separated by time, class, occupation and geography.
Biblical Archaeology (Website)
10 Archaeology Discoveries (Video)
40 Archaeology Discoveries (Video)
Jesus and The Dead Sea Scrolls (Lecture)
How Can We Be Sure We Got the Right Books? (Short Video)
The Inspiration, Canonization and Transmission of Scripture (Lecture)