Can we believe the Bible?

    Who wrote the Bible? Several of the sacred writings in the world's religions claim to have been written by divine revelation. As they 

    contradict each other, they simply cannot all have been written by Divine revelation. How can we know which of these sacred writings to

    believe?

    The test of divine authorship: Imagine spending 1,500 years criss-crossing the world. On randomly selecting one or two people in various

    countries you ask each one, until you have a total of around 40, to write a chapter of a book. You don't tell them what the book is about or

    who it is about. About 2,000 years after starting the project you collect all the chapters, put them together and find a story that has a

    common theme throughout, makes complete sense and at no point contradicts itself. Impossible!

    1. Unity:  The Bible contains 66 books,
            it was written over a timespan of around 1,500 years,
            it had at least 40 different authors, 
including kings, prophets,

            shepherds and fishermen - educated and uneducated people from several different countries.
            Despite all this, the Bible tells just one story from beginning to end.

            The 66 books are, in fact, 66 chapters of the one book.
            This unity is evidence of its divine authorship.

 

    Such coherence is impossible unless God is the author who inspired those who actually put pen to paper.

    On the other hand, the Koran and all the other major sacred writings were written by just one man, in the course of a few years of his life

    and, allegedly, based upon the words that God gave to him and to no other human being alive.

    Such is the evidence for the Bible's divine inspiration and the contrast with all the other books that claim divine authorship.

    2. Prophecy: Taking into account the different writers responsible for writing the Bible and time span across which the Bible was written,

    the amount and detail of prophecy contained in the Bible demonstrates the divine nature of its authorship. Moses, David, Micah and

    others are all historical figures who can be placed in time. Yet they wrote of events hundreds and hundreds of years in their futures, which

    were fulfilled with stunning accuracy.

    At least 11 books of the Old Testament (nearly 30%) contain at least 44 prophecies that were specifically fulfilled in Jesus.

 

    3. Salvation emphasis:  The Bible alone declares men to be lost in sin. All other religions state that men can work towards spiritual

    achievement - which is the message that man wants to hear. The Bible contains, in some respects, a very unwelcome message - the

    "offence of the cross," the message that mankind needs a Saviour. Man would not create such a message, for written without God's

    authority the message of the Bible leaves man hopelessly lost and damned.

 

    4. The Bible's own claim: Many of the writers of the Scriptures, independently of each other, claim that the words they wrote were

    inspired by, or spoken by, God. Once again, this common claim indicates an author other than the actual men who wrote the words.

    5. Historical integrity:  Of all the sacred writings in the world, only The Bible is so firmly rooted in historically verifiable events. So much

    of what is written in the Scriptures can be traced as actual, real time, historical events. God's dealings with man, as recorded in the Bible,

    can be traced and verified through history. No other religion in the world can do this with its sacred writings.

    6. Archaeology:  As with historical events, so archaeology supports what is written in the Scriptures. Excavations across the Middle East,

    still going on today, have confirmed the accuracy of what is written in the Bible.

    7. Scientific integrity: Science supports what is written in the Bible, from the very beginnings of creation. Ordinary men of that age could

    not have had the scientific knowledge to write such things, for example the correct order of creation, when science has only recently made

    such discoveries. Such scientific understanding could at that time only have been held by the Creator.

 

    8. Accuracy of the Bible text: Papyri - the ancient equivalent of paper - exist dating back to within one generation of the actual writing of

    the last writings of the New Testament - John's writings. A wealth of papyri exists covering Matthew (3rd century), Mark (3rd century), Luke

    (4th century), John (2nd century), Acts (3rd century), Romans (3rd century), 1 and 2 Corinthians (3rd century), Galatians (3rd century),

    Ephesians (3rd century), Philippians (3rd century), Colossians (3rd century), 1 and 2 Thessalonians (3rd century), Hebrews (3rd century),

    James (3rd century), Revelation (3rd century). There is papyri covering most of the New Testament dating back to just a couple of hundred

    years after Jesus lived on earth. No other event from the history of that time is so well documented.

 

    9. Bible revelation of God's covenant: Amongst all sacred writings only the Bible contains a clearly laid out covenant (agreement)

    between God and man. In both the Old and New Testaments God invites man into a relationship with Himself and He defines and explains

    the nature of that relationship. So only in the Bible can certainty in man's relationship with God be found, no other writings speak with this

    authority on God's behalf.

    Summary
    There are many, many reasons why we should believe the Bible. This piece provides an overview of some of those reasons.

    The coherence of the Biblical revelation, written by so many authors over such a great time span, speaks plainly of divine authorship. The

    accuracy of the prophecies contained in those writings confirms divine authorship, as does the emphasis upon man's need for a Saviour.


    The trustworthiness of Biblical revelation is supported by history, archaeology, science and ancient, and extensive, surviving papyri.


    If you have any doubts about the truth of the Bible, examine the evidence until you are sure. If it truly does contain God's message to

    mankind it is the most important book ever written, and the most precious gift ever given. As such, it cannot be ignored and we are so

    much the poorer if we do ignore it.

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