(1) The Testimony of Scripture. The
Bible itself, claims to be the truly inspired word of God. "All Scripture is
given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof,
for correction, for instruction in righteousness" (2 Tim. 3:16). The term
"inspiration" comes from the Greek, THEOPNEUSTOS, which means "God
breathed." Elsewhere, the scripture says, "For prophecy never came by the
will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy
Spirit" (2 Pet. 1:21).
(2) The Testimony of Jesus. Jesus
endorsed the reliability of the scriptures by repeated claims that God was
the author, that they were authoritative, and continually quoted from them
(Matt. 19:4,5, Matt. 24:37-38, Luke 4:1-13, Luke 17:28-31, John 6:49, Luke
24:27). If one has confidence in Christ's infallibility, one must also bring
an equal weight of confidence to the credibility of the Bible from which He
based His teachings.
(3) The Bible's Harmony. One of the
most unique characteristics about the Bible which shows a divine origin, is
its unity despite its diverse, composite structure. It was composed by
dozens of different authors who lived hundreds of years apart, who spoke
different languages and lived in different cultures. Yet the Bible speaks
with complete harmony from Genesis to Revelation, and conveys one consistent
theme throughout: God's redemption of man.
According to Christian apologist, Josh McDowell,¹ this
remarkable trait of scripture is retained throughout, even though it was:
(a) Written during a span of 1,500 years.
To illustrate the phenomenal harmony of scripture,
McDowell tells the story of his encounter with a sales representative of the
"Great Books of The Western World," a series of writings by some of the
great philosophers of ancient and modern times. He challenged the
representative to take just ten of the authors, all from the same walk of
life, the same time period, the same place, the same language and pose to
them one controversial subject. Would they agree? The gentleman paused, then
replied, "No! You would have a conglomeration." However the Bible is far
more complex and does agree. It is a harmonious book covering many intricate
and controversial issues. This fact points to an all knowing, all powerful
God behind its construction and composition.
(4) The Survival of Scriptures. There
is no other literature in history that has been more of a target of
destruction than the Bible. Yet, it has miraculously withstood every
challenge to its survival — unquestionable evidence of divine preservation.
The Bible has been attacked by atheistic philosophies, higher criticism,
modernists, liberal theologians, rationalists, humanists, scientific
skeptics, communists and every conceivable brand of critic. And not only has
it survived the determined and aggressive assaults, it has consistently
triumphed over all its enemies.
The noted theologian, Bernard Ramm, writes in his
book, Protestant Christian Evidences; "No other book has been so chopped,
knifed, sifted, scrutinized, and vilified. What book on philosophy or
religion or psychology or belles letters of classical or modern times has
been subject to such a mass attack as the Bible? with such venom and
skepticism? with such thoroughness and erudition? upon every chapter, line
and tenet? ... Yet the Bible is still loved by millions, read by millions,
and studied by millions."
An example of the way the Bible outlives its critics:
during the 18th century, the French infidel Voltaire confidently boasted of
the eventual extinction of Christianity and the Bible. However, only fifty
years after his death the Geneva Bible Society actually used his own press
and house to produce scores of Bibles.
In 303 A.D., Roman Emperor Diocletian issued an edict
pronouncing the obliteration of Christianity. "... an imperial letter was
everywhere promulgated, ordering the razing of churches to the ground and
the destruction by fire of the scriptures, and proclaiming that those who
held high positions would lose all civil rights, while those in households,
if they persisted in their profession of Christianity, would be deprived of
their liberty." And yet it was his successor, the emperor Constantine the
Great, who issued the "Edict of Milan" only 10 years later, which ordered
the cessation of persecution against the church (and the Bible) and
(5) Enduring Acceptance. The Bible
continues to be the best selling book in history. No other piece of
literature can compare to its widespread acceptance. It has managed to
survive the continual attacks of critics, and its popularity has not been
eroded by time or persecution. The Latin Vulgate Bible was the first major
book printed on the Gutenberg press in the 1450's, and since then more than
seven billion copies have been printed. No other book comes close to its
popularity and circulation. It has been translated, entirely or in part,
into nearly nineteen hundred languages or dialects.
Scores of great historical figures have accepted and
staked their honor upon their confidence in the Bible. The great scientist,
Sir Isaac Newton, wrote, "There are more sure marks of authenticity in the
Bible than in any other profane history." The father of our nation, George
Washington, wrote "It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God
and the Bible." Abraham Lincoln said, "I believe the Bible is the best gift
God has ever given to man. All the good from the Savior of the world is
communicated to us through this book." And another notable president,
Woodrow Wilson, made this profound statement: "When you have read the Bible,
you will know it is the Word of God, because you will have found it the key
to your own heart, your own happiness, and your own duty."²
The uniqueness of the Bible's long-standing acceptance
by millions, both great and common, and its durability throughout the
centuries attests to its divine origin and preservation.
(6) Manuscript Accuracy. The Bible
has more manuscript evidence supporting its reliability and accuracy that
any ten pieces of ancient literature combined. According to McDowell, there
are over 5,300 known Greek manuscripts of the New Testament, over 10,000 of
the Latin Vulgate, and at least 9,300 other early versions, and we have more
than 24,000 manuscript copies of portions of the New Testament in existence
No other document of antiquity even comes close to
such numbers or attestation. In comparison, another ancient writing, Homer's
Iliad, is second with only 643 manuscripts that still survive. The accuracy
of translation and the massive amount of manuscripts in existence, gives
tremendous credence to the divine authorship and preservation of the Bible.
(7) Scientific Accuracy. Despite
efforts to the contrary, no fact or discovery of science has ever disproven
any of the claims of the Bible. In fact, the progress of science only
continues to confirm the scriptures' accuracy.
For example, long before man knew anything about
bacteria, God commanded the Israelites to remove human waste and bury it
outside the camp (Deut. 23:12-13). This prevented the spread of deadly
disease. Had this direction been followed by the people of Europe in the
middle ages, the infamous black plague, which spread from the open sewers
flowing freely in the city streets, would not have killed thousands.³
As we know from history, it was 15th century explorers
that discovered that the world wasn't flat as had been thought, but the
Bible had already declared that the earth was round (Isa. 40:22).
Before the invention of the telescope, gazers tried to
count the number of stars that filled the skies, such as Ptolemy who
established the number at 1,056. Today, we know that such estimates were
futile, but as far back as 600 B.C. the prophet Jeremiah revealed that the
number of stars were innumerable (Jer. 33:22).
Perhaps one of science's most amazing testimonies of
its interface with the Bible is contained in a document found in the
Bodleian Library of Oxford, England. The following statement was signed by
eight hundred of Great Britain's scientists: "We the undersigned, Students
of the natural sciences, desire to express our sincere regret that
researchers into scientific truth are perverted by some in our own times
into occasion for casting doubt upon the truth and authenticity of the Holy
scriptures. We conceive that it is impossible for the Word of God written in
the book of nature, and God's Word written in Holy scripture, to contradict
(8) Prophetic Accuracy. The
fulfillment of Bible prophecy is one of the greatest proofs of the
authenticity of God's Word. There are hundreds of prophecies in the Bible
which list specific detail in regard to persons, places, events and times,
and history has repeatedly shown such prophecies relating to the past were
fulfilled in the most exact of terms (as they will also for future events).
An example of such involves the 6th century B.C.
prediction of the overthrow of the city of Tyre (Ezek. 26:1-21). Seven
specific things were predicted, and each were later fulfilled to the letter
during the 4th century B.C. The mathematical probability of this happening
by mere chance has been calculated to be 1 in 75,000,000.
Perhaps the most amazing series of prophetic
fulfillments involves the numerous Messianic predictions concerning Christ.
The Old Testament contains 332 specific prophecies which were fulfilled by
Christ. These not only bear proof of His divine authenticity, but they also
help substantiate the divine authorship of the Bible.
In the book, Science Speaks, Professor Peter Stoner
used the mathematical principle called "the Law of Compound Probability," to
assess some of the prophecies relating to Christ. Simply stated, this law is
used to calculate the odds against a "chance" fulfillment of such
predictions when compounded by a specific set of conditions, requirements,
or qualifications. His findings were carefully evaluated by the American
Scientific Affiliation, and were found to be sound and convincing. By this
method, he was able to show evidence that would rule out coincidence, chance
or human manipulation in the fulfillment of biblical prophecy.
Stoner started by calculating the probability of one
individual who could precisely fulfill only eight prophecies relating to
Christ. He computed the odds at 1 in 10 (17th power), the same as 1 followed
by 17 zeros. This is the equivalent of covering the entire state of Texas 2
feet deep in silver dollars, specially marking one of them, and instructing
a blindfolded man to pick the right silver dollar on the first try.
Dr. Stoner then computed the odds of one individual
that could fulfill just 48 prophecies relating to Christ. He calculated the
odds at 1 X 10 (to the 157th power) — or 1 followed by 157 zeros. This
figure is astronomical and beyond human comprehension, but Christ fulfilled
over 300 distinct prophecies, proving the divine authorship of scripture
beyond any doubt.
(9) Archaeological Evidence. The
discoveries of archaeology have consistently, and continually verified the
reliability of the Bible. There has never been a discovery which has
contradicted a scriptural reference, and to this day, ongoing research
continues to show that the Bible was correct about its references to
historical figures, civilizations and cities. Nelson Glueck, the renowned
Jewish archaeologist wrote, "it may be stated categorically that no
archaeological discovery has ever controverted a biblical reference."¹
During the excavations of Jericho archaeologist John
Garstang found something so starling that a statement of what was found was
prepared and signed by himself and two other members of his team. In
reference to these findings, Garstang said, "As to the main fact then, there
remains no doubt: the walls fell outwards so completely that the attackers
would be able to clamber up and over their ruins into the city." Why so
unusual? Because the walls of cities do not fall outwards, they fall
inwards. And yet in Joshua 6:20 we read "...the wall fell down flat, so that
the people went up into the city every man straight ahead, and they took the
(10) Sacrifice of Martyrs. Millions
have laid down their lives in defense of the Bible. Foxes Book of Martyrs
describes scores of believers who historically endured banishments, torture,
confiscation of property, and imprisonment rather than to deny their
confidence in the Holy Scripture. William Tyndale was tried as a heretic,
strangled and burned to death in 1536 for translating the Bible into the
language of ordinary people. John Hus was burned at the stake in 1415
because he taught that the Bible was the only inspired and reliable message
from God to man. If the Bible was a mere book, without the attestation of
such remarkable internal and external proofs, persons would not have been
willing to throw away their lives for a book of fairy tales. Among other
evidence, the Bible has spoken to men's hearts and changed their lives,
therefore they know it is true and have been willing to die for it.
(11) The Resurrection of Jesus.
Christ's resurrection confirmed that Jesus is who He claimed to be, and that
His own statements regarding scripture are reliable. The fact of the
resurrection can be proven by many "infallible proofs" (Acts 1:3). The
appearance of Christ after the resurrection was verified by more than 500
eyewitnesses (1 Cor. 15:6) who touched, spoke to, and ate with him. The
number of witnesses, together with the circumstances and various appearances
provide powerful proofs that the resurrection was not a hoax or plot. These
witnesses were of high moral integrity and many were executed for their
defense of the resurrection. Authorities claim more evidence of the
resurrection than any other event in history.¹
(12) Personal witness and Transformation.
When one reads the scripture, it speaks to the heart and bears witness to
our inner, spiritual man. This attests that it is a communication of God
designed to speak to the heart of man — and that message changes and
transforms lives. The Bible has produced the same life changing effect upon
the lives of millions all over the world, despite whatever differences of
sex, age, nationality, culture, social class, vocation, intellect, or
religious background. Millions of born again Christians are a testimony of
the transforming power of God's Word.
¹ Evidence That Demands A Verdict, Josh