Have you ever thought about why the Bible is the world’s bestselling book? What is it that makes the Bible such an accurate source? If you are anything like I used to be, then you would have said, ‘Well, because my church believes it’ or ‘so and so has looked into it and they say it’s accurate.’ In fact, most of my life I just took ‘other peoples’ word for it. What I have come to realize, though, is that taking their word for it left doubt in my mind. I mean, if we, as Christians, claim this as our main source to seek out Christ and to receive answers, how accurate is it?
“All Scripture is God‑breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV
The Bible is made up of 66 different books that were written over 1600 years (from approximately 1500 B.C. to A.D. 100) by more than 40 kings, prophets, leaders and followers of Jesus. The Old Testament consists of 39 books that were written approximately 1500-400 B.C. The New Testament consists of 27 books that were written approximately A.D. 45-100.
There is much evidence that supports that the Bible we have today is remarkably true to the original writings as well. Take the manuscripts for example; there are more than 5,600 Greek manuscripts from the New Testament alone. This number does not even include the manuscripts written in other languages. If we include the 8,000-10,000 Latin Vulgate manuscripts and the 8,000 Ethiopic, Slavic and Armenian manuscripts, that makes the total around 24,000 in existence today. This does not even take into account the 99 fragment pieces of papyrus containing passages of the New Testament. These manuscripts of the Bible are better preserved than any other writings that exist today. Making it a solid legitimate source!
I have often wondered about other documents besides the Bible and if there were any other documents that exist today that have manuscript counts similar to that of the Bible? In fact, upon doing my research I found, rather shockingly, that there are none. The closest document that is in existence today is Homer’s Iliad, which is the Bible of the ancient Greeks. It contains fewer than 650 Greek manuscripts altogether. Compare that to the manuscripts of the Bible and you haven’t even scratched the surface! The New Testament has not only survived in more manuscripts than any other book, but it has survived in a 99.5 percent purer form!
“Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” 2 Peter1:20-21 NKJV
Have you ever thought about the contradictions of the Bible and whether they make the Bible an inaccurate source? In college, I can remember battling my roommate about this very topic. She would always claim that the Bible was not accurate because it had a few contradictions; however that is not the case. You see, there are a few things to think about when bringing up this issue. Take the gospels, for example. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John each have individual authors composing their story of the same event. Each writer basically had their own form of writing and while there are discrepancies in each, it actually shows that they were all independent narrators of the same great transaction. You see, the core of each of the stories is the same, even if there are a few differences concerning the names of women or the exact time of day and so forth. These are, however, considered ‘secondary discrepancies’ to a historian, and it wouldn’t even bother them. In fact, all contradictions can be explained with Scripture and by studying the information.
If you and four other friends witnessed a series of events and each of you were to write a book about it, do you think all of your stories would match up one hundred percent? I would guess not. While you may find certain events more important, you may not think twice about the person’s name, the time of day or exactly how many people were there. You would focus more on the actual event; the other information is irrelevant. This is the same concept with the disciples.
God left us His message, His word. He has left it in an orderly, accurate form. I do not believe that God expects us to believe in Him without any evidence of His existence here on earth. That is why it is so easy to look around and see that God is all around us if you just open your eyes and seek him out. His word is readily available to all those who want to accept it and accept what is inside of it. But most of all, God considers it praiseworthy to have a faith that does not require evidence.
Love you all!