Is the Bible True?
The Bible remains one of the most controversial books in history. It is one of the books that has had more said about it, either good or bad. The Bible encompasses many different styles of writing such as fiction, description, prophecy, poetry, law and history. In fact, it is regarded as the foundation of Christianity in that it comprises God's holy word. However, some people strongly criticize the Bible as textually false, historically unreliable, scientifically wrong and ethically regressive. Most of the individuals who grew up accepting the Bible as factual reaches a point where they ask questions about it, doubt its teaching and even reject it. Until now, there has been a wide range of evidence in support of and against the reliability of the Bible.
It is impracticable to try to validate every detail of the Bible or to justify all of its statements. Nevertheless, there are very good reasons certainly to be confident that whatever comprised in the Bible is true and reliable. The Bible is the description of God's deeds in the world, and His determination to all creation. In it, people learn about the human condition, the need for salvation, God's plan through Jesus Christ, and the eternal life that awaits those who trust in Him. The authors who wrote it were inspired by God and this means that whatever encompassed in the Bible is from God; hence, it is true and flawless in everything it addresses. For that reason, this paper argues that Bible is true and whatever contained in it is reliable. The paper will briefly describe what the bible is and how it came about, before presenting the arguments to support the thesis.
Before answering the question whether the Bible is true or not, it is essential describing what it means. The Bible is a compilation of the work of different authors, who lived in diverse continents and wrote in different periods. In particular, the Bible contains sixty six books written by over forty authors, from three different continents, in three dissimilar languages, and for about 1650 years (Simmons, 2015). This collection of books includes a broad range of fictional styles, illustrating many accounts about the existence of virtuous and wicked individuals, about the work of the early church, and concerning the entire life of Jesus Christ. Besides, the Bible teaches about forgiveness of sins, and how Christian can seek and maintain salvation. It is worth noting that the Bible is presented in form of dialogues, accounts, stories, proverbs, metaphors, songs, and prophesies. As Robinson (2003) asserts, the descriptions in the Bible were not largely inscribed as they happened, but instead they were narrated continuously and examined through the decades, before finally being written down.
Some books in the Bible re-count what God did in people’ lives, while other books demonstrate God speaking directly to His people through the voice of a prophet. Precisely, the Old Testament is an account of God's relations with His chosen people while the New Testament describe the life and ministry of Jesus and the challenges experienced by Christians in the modern world. In light of this, some people maintain that it is not possible to consider the Bible as a book conveyed once by God and written by its authors through divine inspiration, because the authors were influenced by their eras and consequently their understanding of divine truth was socially inclined. Simply, they consider Bible as nothing more than fairy narratives. Nonetheless, as this paper attempts to argue, the Bible comprise great truth and wisdom and it has been proved throughout history as being precise. Its historical descriptions are perfectly true. Moreover, archaeology regularly shows the exactness of the biblical accounts regarding happenings and locations encompassed in the Bible.
By the same criterion that is used to evaluate other historical works, it is worth mentioning that the Bible is true and more reliable than other writings. Truth is regarded as the result of accurate compilation, one that reveals the exactness of a specific issue. By comprehensively evaluating a historical work, one is able to know what the authors intended, how they wanted to communicate the message, how truthful they were as well as how precise they may be for whatever they describe. Basically, works that are historically and truthfully precise, and realistically preserved over time would be regarded reliable. McDowell and Sterrett (2011) emphasize that a measure is said to be reliable if it presents consistent and true results. It is through the better confidence in communication, uniqueness, and appropriate historical and scientific confirmation that can help to determine whether a writing is worthy to be trusted. By these measures, this paper can attest that Bible is true and reliable.
First of all, the Bible is unique in terms of how it is written, organized, translated, and preserved. As noted above, it was written over a period of 1650 years by numerous authors who were inspired by God. Compiling the different books in one volume would indeed be a distinctive phenomenon, much more than just dealing with a controversial subject like religion. There is no other book in the history that has ever been written in the same manner as the Bible. The book is translated each year in different languages, becoming one of the best-selling books. Without no doubt, this means that people believe in whatever is contained in the Bible, illuminating its truthfulness and reliability. Regardless of the criticisms and the hostilities from different realms, the Bible still exist. It is notable how this book has been preserved for thousands of years, even before Jesus Christ came to reveal its genuine significance. Its message and influence make it a unique writing, portraying that it is a good book (Robinson, 2003). From the beginning to the end, the Bible demonstrates a message of hope, faith, kindness and love. Many people, from illiterate individuals to the brightest minds in the world, have found intellectual knowledge and spiritual fulfilment in the message of this unique book.
The Bible is historically accurate, meaning that whatever contained in it is true. This has been confirmed through archaeology. Most of the locations, traditions and events mentioned in the Bible have been confirmed by researchers in the Middle East. In particular, Associates for Biblical Research has widely excavated Jericho (Sheler, 1999). The city of Jericho is said to have walls that seem to fall outward, attesting the accounts in the Bible as regards to the fall of Jericho walls. Besides, in the 1940s, Scrolls were discovered in Qumran Caves near the Dead Sea. The scrolls were said to be 800 years older than any other existing manuscripts and were comprised in the Hebrew Bible Canon. The scrolls provided a better than 99 percent confidence as far as the originality of content in the New Testament is concerned. Archaeologists have also found manuscripts copies of the works of Julius Cesar, historian Herodotus, and Homer; the earliest from 1,500 years after they wrote (Robinson, 2003). These manuscripts demonstrate a meticulous approach to communication and history of the Bible, once again adding the confidence that what the Bible represents is original. The existence of the archaeological materials and sites give objective reasons to consider the Bible true and reliable.
Moreover, there is adequate evidence indicating the fulfilment of prophecies as included in the Bible. Most prophesies that were included in the Old Testament came to pass. As indicated in Deuteronomy 18:20-22, the test for a prophet during this era was a hundred percent truthfulness and the punishment of prophesying falsely was death. With this in mind, a number of prophecies comprised in the Old Testament were fulfilled in the New Testament. For instance, the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Messiah) came to happen as prophesied in the Old Testament. The precise timing of the Messiah's arrival was specified in Daniel 9:24-26. The scripture emphasizes how Jesus would come in the city and put an end to sin, to bring in eternal righteousness, and to spread the word of God. This happened as Jesus was born, and began spreading the gospel in all cities, before later being crucified and dying. Besides, most of the Old Testament prophesies involving ancient cities such as Babylon, Jerusalem, Sidon, Samaria, and Nineveh, came to happen (Robinson, 2003).