Can the Bible be Trusted? (Pt. 1)
It’s the most widely read book known to man and it has sold more than 5 billion copies worldwide, according to The Guiness Book of World Records. It has the power to inform us, transform us and reform us, and it’s a book that has stood the test of time. Despite all of that, one in four Americans believe that the Bible is the actual word of God.¹ For various reasons, many unbelievers argue that the Bible is untrustworthy, even though it has been fact-checked many times over by scholars and skeptics alike. Ian McKellen—you may know him as “Magneto” from the popular X-Men franchise—once said, “I’ve always thought that the Bible should have a disclaimer in the front saying, ‘This is fiction.’” What’s more, best-selling author Mark Twain had this to say about the Bible, “It is full of interest. It has noble poetry in it; and some clever fables; and some blood-drenched history; and some good morals; and a wealth of obscenity; and upwards of a thousand lies.” These statements couldn’t be further from the truth! In this article, we’ll note three reasons why the Bible can be trusted based on textual evidence. We will look at the archeological evidence connected to the Bible’s trustworthiness in part two of this article. So, here are three reasons why the Bible is a trustworthy book:
The primary reason why the Bible is a trustworthy book is because it comes from a reliable source. 2 Timothy 3:16 tells us that all scripture is “God-breathed” (NKJV), meaning, God’s word came directly from Him and Him alone. The Holy Spirit inspired (or instructed) more than 40 authors to pen the books contained in the Bible. Jason Jackson from the Christian Courier wrote,
“When Paul said that ‘every scripture’ is inspired of God, he affirmed that the Law, the Prophets and the Psalms-the Lord’s three-fold designation of the Old Testament (Lk. 24:44)-were all from God.”²
But some would have us to believe, dear reader, that the Bible is a product of man and not from God. Dan Brown, author of Da Vinci Code, opined,
“The Bible did not arrive by fax from heaven. The Bible is the product of man, my dear. Not of God. The Bible did not fall magically from the clouds. Man created it as a historical record of tumultuous times, and it has evolved through countless translations, additions, and revisions. History has never had a definitive version of the book.”³
Are we to believe a statement such as this when the apostle Peter affirmed that holy men were led in the writing of the Scriptures by God and not on their own accord (2 Pet. 1:20-21)? Since the Bible comes from God, and He cannot lie, we can be confident that it is a trustworthy book (Titus 1:2).
Because it has perfect unity. The Bible is a library of 66 books written by 40 different authors in three different languages on three different continents and written at various times during a period stretching over about 1500 years! Scholars agree that the common theme of the Scriptures is Jesus Christ coming to save mankind from their sins. Now, if we were to put 40 different people in a room today and told them to write about the same subject, do you think they would have perfect unity in their writing? I think not! Reason being, the words revealed in the Bible are divine. Even the most prolific writers have made errors from time to time, and that’s because humans are fallible—we are prone to make errors. But God is a being who makes no mistakes (Psa. 18:30). Since He makes no mistakes, it's easy to understand how He could direct multiple men to write the Bible and it be perfect in unity. Books such as the Quran and the Book of Mormon claim divine inspiration but they contain many mistakes and the primary reason is because they were written by men. Neither of those “sacred texts” can hold a finger (metaphorically speaking) to God’s inerrant word.
Because it contains no errors. How many times have you heard or read that the Bible is full of contradictions, and therefore it should not be regarded as the standard of truth? Take this quote from the American Atheists for example:
“What is incredible about the Bible is not its divine authorship; it’s that such a concoction of contradictory nonsense could be believed by anyone to have been written by an omniscient god. To do so, one would first have to not read the book, which is the practice of most Christians; or, if one does read it, dump in the trash can one’s rational intelligence — to become a fool for god, in other words.” (see "Biblical Contradictions").
To say that the Bible contains contradictions is a sad claim skeptics and unbelievers have made for hundreds of years. When an honest Bible student studies the scriptures, they will find that the perceived contradictions were actually nonexistent. Writers from the Apologetics Press say, “In truth, the ‘contradictions’ that the Bible writers supposedly made are actually mere presumptions or misinterpretations on the part of the reader.” (Butt, Defending the Faith Study Bible). Some biblical passages are not as clear regarding their meanings, so sometimes the reader has to dig deeper than what's on the surface so that he or she can pull out the treasures that the Word is trying to reveal to them. Many people don’t take the time to do this, which is why you often have a group of skeptics who misinterpret the message that God is trying to convey to them. The psalmist wrote, “The entity of Your word is truth. . . .” (Psa. 119:160); when one claims that the Bible is full of errors and inaccuracies then they are calling God a liar, which has grave consequences in and of itself.
In conclusion, there is a clear reason why the Bible has sold more than 5 billion copies worldwide! The words revealed in the Scriptures is God's way of communicating with man today (Heb. 1:1-2). Millions of people rely on God’s word because it is TRUTH—are you one of those people, dear reader? I hope you are looking forward to part two of this topic where we will examine the archeological evidence linked to the Bible’s trustworthiness.
¹Saad, Lydia. “Record Few Americans Believe Bible Is Literal Word of God.” Gallup.com, Gallup, 14 Jan. 2021, news.gallup.com/poll/210704/record-few-americans-believe-bible-literal-word-god.aspx.
²Jackson, Jason. “What Is Bible ‘Inspiration’?” Christian Courier, www.christiancourier.com/articles/1158-what-is-bible-inspiration.
³Brown, Dan. The Da Vinci Code. Anchor Books, 2006.
“Biblical Contradictions.” American Atheists, 2 June 2017, www.atheists.org/activism/resources/biblical-contradictions/.
Butt, Kyle. Defending the Faith Study Bible. Apologetics Press, 2019.