What makes the Bible trustworthy?
People want many evidences to confirm that the Bible is reliable or trustworthy. Reliability itself is a test of the Bible. I will present several arguments for the trustworthiness of the Bible with one caveat.
I will provide a few avenues of human studies that will help to verify that the Bible is trustworthy. First, the Bible agrees with human history. The people mentioned in the pages of the Bible existed in history at the time that the Bible references them.
As we research human history as recorded in external sources, we will notice that these people show up on the scene in history at the times the Bible mentions. They are also contemporaries of the people mentioned in the Bible.
Archaeology continues to prove over and over that biblical accounts of history and the people involved in the Bible events truly did exist. Archaeologists as they did up history are finding compatible evidence that the times of the Bible and the people there, the cultures and societies in the Bible at those times, are accurate and real. We find evidence of these civilizations as we dig in the earth.
Another form of evidence that verifies biblical truth and makes the Bible trustworthy is a discipline called textual criticism. Especially helpful in the New Testament, this discipline compares the thousands of Greek manuscripts to verify the accuracy of the original documents we don’t have anymore.
As scholars compare these manuscripts, they are finding that the Bible is 99.75% accurate between the comparison of these texts. This proves that the Bible does have today in the New Testament especially is accurate to the one that was written originally in the first century AD. This shows that God preserves his Word throughout time.
Scholars also talk about intertextuality. This is the study of how the Bible interacts with itself between books. What I mean by this is that the Bible has been written over 1600 years by 40 different authors in several different cultural contexts throughout history.
Each book carries what is called a metanarrative, an overarching account that is accurate when referenced between the books. One book can refer to something in another book accurately. It’s astounding to most scholars that throughout so much time with so many different authors the Bible could be so consistent.
Finally, the little snag that presents itself to anyone who does not believe in the trustworthiness of God’s Word. The Bible presents facts along the way. Everything we’ve talked about from historical facts to scientific facts (current with the time of the author) present external and internal evidence of the trustworthiness of the Bible.. But it is primarily a book of faith.
Every part of the Bible from beginning to end expects faith from its reader. Even with the opening verse of the entire Bible, Genesis 1:1, requires faith to continue reading. It says, “In the beginning God created…” Right at the start it requires belief in a supernatural being called God who is outside of creation and decided to create everything.
Book after book is written within history and culture but requires faith to believe that God intervenes in human history. You can talk about how trustworthy the Bible can possibly be in use all kinds of external evidence.
But it will always fall short because the Bible requires belief and faith, a trust in the Bible itself. It’s a trust in the claims of Scripture. And if faith leads to trust in the God of the Bible, faith also leads to trust in the Bible as God’s Word spoken to human beings who recorded it throughout time, culture, and history. I can provide evidence that the Bible is trustworthy, but in the end it comes to faith.