Watch ‘Can the Bible Be Trusted?’
Listen To ‘Can the Bible Be Trusted?’
Can the Bible be trusted? What a complex question! Yet, it is a question worth exploring at length as a believer living in a post-Christian and postmodern world.
At MegaVoice, this question is of utmost importance to us. We’re a ministry that strives to equip all people with the tools they need to engage with God’s Word in their heart language. Our beliefs about Scripture must sustain and undergird our work, and the work of all people who are passionate about missions.
This broad question also has many sub questions:
• Can I trust the Bible contains true historical accounts?
•Do the versions and translations of the Bible available to me and the global Christian church communicate the original authors’ intentions accurately?
• Can I trust the authors themselves communicated their Creator’s intentions accurately?
• Ultimately, can I trust the Bible to guide me in my personal decisions and dilemmas?
Many other questions could be asked. However, our goal in this article is to outline why we at MegaVoice believe the Bible is not just trustworthy, but also worth study, celebration, and honor.
How Reliable is the Bible?
“Yes, the Old Testament is reliable, but it only tells us so much about the history it recounts, the means by which the various authors composed it, and how it was passed down to us so that we have it today. The rest we leave in God’s hands, as we seek to live faithfully for him in our world.”
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
Above all, the Bible is a narrative about God and humans.
What does it mean for a narrative to be reliable?
Scholars through the centuries have examined the historical details communicated in the Bible, looking for extant evidence to support the timelines, political events, and people groups described in Scripture. While much promising evidence has been uncovered supporting the Biblical narrative, some also remains a mystery.
In addition, the truths communicated by the literary portions of the Bible (poetry, prophecy, and parables) can’t be evaluated by hunting for historical evidence. They raise related philosophical and metaphysical questions that are complex yet exceedingly important.
The Gospels convey stories from Jesus’ lifetime, written by eyewitnesses and confirmed by people society traditionally belittled or mistrusted, including women and tax collectors. They had reason to lie – to protect their already limited social capital. And yet they told of a God-man with the power to raise the dead, give the blind sight, and eventually, to break the bonds of death itself.
- From the perspective of scholarship and historicity, we have good reason to believe the accounts of Jesus in Scripture represent trustworthy eyewitness data.
- As a faithful Jew, Jesus Himself trusted, respected, and quoted from the Torah (Old Testament).
- Consequently, we can rely on what Jesus is quoted to have said both about Himself and the Holy Scriptures.
Is the Bible Really the Word of God?
“It is an eternal book. It is an unchanging book. It is the anvil in the old story of the man pounding the hammers, the blacksmith, and after many years the anvil stood, but many hammers had been destroyed. The hammers that have hit the Scripture lie in the rubble; the Scripture still stands.”
While the phrase ‘the Word of God’ or ‘God’s Word’ includes the Bible, it also has a much bigger and richer definition.
• Jesus is the Word of God – the summation and embodiment of God’s message to humans. (John 1:1)
• The Bible is the Word of God – a collection of humans’ words about God, divinely inspired by God and written, collected, edited, and translated over a period of many centuries. (2 Peter 1:20-21)
• God continues to communicate with His people through His spoken Word. He also communicates with us in the present through His Creation, Scripture, the Holy Spirit, and through Jesus!
By studying the Scriptures and enjoying communion and fellowship with God, His people, and His world, we can experience all the ways God speaks to us!
How Can I Trust the Bible If It Was Written By Man?
“Inspiration – the process by which God directed individuals, incorporating their abilities and styles, to produce His message to humankind.”
– J. Scott Duvall and J. Daniel Hays
Many people struggle to make peace with the Bible’s human authorship. However, when we understand the unique aspects of its composition, we will discover why it remains a reliable and profound spiritual text.
The Bible’s credibility lies in the concept of divine inspiration. Christians believe that while humans physically wrote the Scriptures, they were guided and inspired by God’s wisdom and revelation. This divine influence ensures the accuracy and reliability of the Bible’s message, transcending mere human authorship.
Additionally, the Bible’s historical reliability also bolsters its trustworthiness. Many accounts of people, places, and events found in the Bible have been verified through external historical and archaeological evidence.
Despite the Bible’s ancient origins, its transmission and preservation over centuries further substantiates its trustworthiness. Meticulous copying techniques and the sheer number of manuscript copies available provide scholars with a wealth of textual evidence for comparison and verification not equaled by any other ancient historical document. This careful preservation process ensures that the Bible we have today is remarkably faithful to its original content.
Can the Bible Be Trusted? The Answer is Yes (4 Reasons)
Precious Bible! What a treasure
Does the Word of God afford!
All I want for life or pleasure,
Food and Medicine, shield and sword;
Let the world account me poor—
Christ and this, I need no more.
– John Newton
These are the top four reasons the Bible can be trusted! Each point on this list opens a unique journey into Bible study, listening, reading, prayer, and learning. Take your time with them. God is big enough to hold your doubt, fear, confusion, curiosity, and even ambivalence. Lean into His love.
#1: Divine Inspiration.
In 2 Timothy 3:16, the apostle Paul writes, “All Scripture is inspired by God.” This verse affirms the belief that the Bible’s content is not merely the product of human imagination, but rather guided and inspired by God Himself.
#2: Historical Reliability.
The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947, including the famous Isaiah Scroll, provides tangible evidence for the historical reliability of the Bible. The Isaiah Scroll, dating back to around 125 BCE, closely matches the later Masoretic Text, affirming the accurate transmission of the biblical text over centuries.
#3: Meticulous Transmission and Preservation.
The Codex Sinaiticus, an ancient handwritten copy of the entire Bible dating back to the 4th century CE, showcases the meticulous transmission and preservation of the biblical text. This manuscript, discovered in the mid-19th century, provides a valuable source for scholars to compare and verify the accuracy of modern Bible translations.
#4: Enduring Impact and Consistency.
Furthermore, the enduring impact of the Bible is evident in its influence on literature, art, ethics, and the formation of Western civilization. For example, numerous literary works by authors like William Shakespeare and John Milton draw heavily from biblical themes and narratives, demonstrating the enduring presence and relevance of the Bible in cultural and intellectual spheres.
A Fifth Reason the Bible Can Be Trusted
Personal Testimonies and Lives Transformed
Perhaps the strongest case for “can the Bible be trusted?” is in the millions of personal testimonies of lives transformed by Christ. From a religious zealot who persecuted believers to the point of death but went on to become the author of nearly half the New Testament, to the thousands who are persecuted for owning a Bible today, we have access to millions of powerful testimonies.
Take a few minutes and read the life stories of the Apostle Paul, Saint Augustine, Martin Luther, Blaise Pascal, John Newton, C.S. Lewis, Malcolm Muggeridge, and Josh McDowell to name a few. At MegaVoice, we get to hear real life stories of transformation through God’s Word every day.
Struggling to Know Whether the Bible Can Be Trusted? Try This Simple Exercise.
If you have enduring doubts and questions about the Bible’s trustworthiness, try this simple mental exercise:
Think of someone you trust. It could be a parent, friend, or coworker.
Now, think about how much time you’ve spent together. Odds are, it can be measured in years! You’ve likely shared different seasons, life transitions, celebrations, and struggles together. You call them when you’re happy and listen when they’re sad. You work through your disagreements and frustrations instead of walking away.
While your relationship isn’t perfect, but you can say without hesitation that you trust them.
What would it look like to participate in that same degree of relationship with God (and by extension, His Word)?
Have you given the Bible, and the God of the Bible, time to prove their trustworthiness? Trust is a product of intimacy over time. Start investing that time today. Here are 5 simple steps you can take right now:
1. Listen to God by listening to His Word, the Bible, with an open heart.
2. Read the Bible with a heart that is willing to obey.
3. Pray. Talk to God and ask Him to speak to you.
4. Find an opportunity to serve others, including the poor.
5. Participate with a local church community.
God will meet you where you are and speak to you through His Word as you faithfully invest time in your relationship with Him.
“Come close to God and He will come close to you.” James 4:8
Please share this article with others you know who may be struggling with trusting the Bible.
At MegaVoice, we equip our Partners to fulfill the Great Commission so all people may engage with the Word of God in their own language.
There are many ways you can Partner with us in this mission!
- Sponsor an audio Bible each month for a person in need of hope.
- Purchase audio Bibles for your own use and distribution.
- Donate to a fundraising project through our nonprofit, MegaVoice International.
- Pray for our global team as they work to serve God.
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