Did you know that the Bible is the world’s ultimate number one best seller. There have been more copies produced and bought than any other book in history. The Bible is one book made up of lots of books. The name, “Bible” comes from both the latin and greek word for “book”. The Word “Bible” is not used in the Bible – instead it uses phrases like “the Scriptures” or “the Word of the Lord”
The Bible is a collection of 66 books written by about 40 authors, in 3 different languages, on three different continents, over a period of time of about 1600 years. The Bible claims to be from God and that it has no mistakes in it. The Bible you can buy in a shop today is a translation from the original God inspired writings which were written in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek.
The Bible contains many different styles of writing such as poetry, narration, story, history, law, and prophecy. It describes how we were designed to know God, why we need someone to come and rescue us, who that person was, what that person did, how we can know God, and what is going to happen in the future. The Bible points us to Jesus. Jesus said, “You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me! Yet you refuse to come to me to receive this life.” (John 5.39-40)
Some people think that the Bible is just a book of myths and legends but it’s historical accounts are extremely reliable and archaeology regularly proves the Bible can be trusted as true. Whenever the Bible can be tested it is found to be accurate, so when it talks about spiritual things, that are much harder to test, it is reasonable to expect that it is also accurate and reliable about those things too.
Here are some reasons why you can trust the Bible as containing God’s words to you. It’s His instruction book for your life and His way of introducing Himself to you.
Has the Bible been changed and corrupted? Can we trust the Bible?
The original manuscripts of the Bible have been lost but when they were still around they were copied many times, and these copies were then copied etc. The method used to copy was so careful and precise that the New Testament is 99.5% pure and most of these 0.5% discrepancies can be seen to be “typos” or a word repeated, or missed out due to a copying error. The variants are very minor and none of them effect any of the main teachings that the Bible contains. The Bible has been so carefully copied that it makes every other ancient writing look poor in its reliability in comparison – Homer, Plato, Aristotle etc are all much less well preserved than the Bible.
When we are able to test the Bible’s historical accuracy we find it is reliable. As archaeologists discover more about Bible times we discover that town names & places, tribal & individual names and customs all match with the Bible. In it we find an accurate description of daily life and the history of the time. If it’s reliable on the things that we can prove maybe we should trust it on the things that we can’t prove.
The Bible makes predictions about the future. Some of these are about our future and others have already been fulfilled. eg. The prophet Isaiah predicted that a king called Cyrus would give permission for the temple in Jerusalem to be rebuilt. However, when Isaiah said this the temple was already built! 100 years later it was destroyed and a King named Cyrus then came into power and gave the orders for it to be rebuilt!
The Bible is not a book about how things work, it is a book about why things are here. However, it does talk about things that science discovered to be true a long time after the Bible said it. eg. The earth is suspended on nothing (Job 26.7). At the time when this was written most people believed the earth was held up by pillars or people or animals. eg. The stars are similar in number to the sands of the sea. (Gen 22.17) Up until quite recent years it was thought that this obviously wan’t true because there were not that many stars!
The Bible describes many of it’s heroes with plenty of faults. Some of it’s heroes doubt God, are fearful when they face battle, argue and make mistakes. A book that is truthful about it’s heroes, and doesn’t just show them in a good way, can be trusted more than one that doesn’t tell us their mistakes.
The Bible seems like it must have been written by one person. The Bible was not written by 1 person but by 40 authors from many different walks of life, over about 1,600 years and yet it all agrees and ties up as if it is written by one person.