by Jefferson David Tant
Sometimes in talking with people, I ask if they believe the Bible is true. I then give three options:
- It is inspired by God, and all true;
- It is just a collection of writings by men through the centuries; or
- The original writings were God-inspired, but men have added and changed things through the years.
The response is often #3. My next question is, “How do we know which part is true, and which we don’t have to pay any attention to?” I sometimes get the “deer in headlights” look, signifying they don’t know, and never thought about it. Then the question, “Does it matter? Does it make any difference?” It matters a great deal. It is a question of significant importance.
Suppose I have a serious illness, and I see a doctor. Since the illness is rare, the doctor consults scientific research on this disease. He takes a book and says, “This book deals with this disease, but I am not sure how much of it is true. I have confidence in some of it, but I am not sure which part is really correct. Do you want to proceed with treatment?” How would you respond? I am quite confident that you would want a better solution.
Now, back to the question about the Bible. There is overwhelming evidence that it is inspired by God, and that it is all true. This evidence includes science, history, archaeology, and prophecy. Consider a few examples.
Medical science has made great discoveries in recent centuries. One treatment for illness centuries ago was to take a person’s blood, as the thought was it was poisoned, so it needed to be drained. My understanding is that when George Washington was sick, they took his blood four times one day. “Bleeding” was done either by cutting a wrist vein or putting leeches on the arm to suck the blood. No wonder the poor man died. We understand the vital role blood has in supplying oxygen and nutrients, as well as in combating infections. But this was not known in medical science in Washington’s day.
It is interesting that Genesis 9:4 prohibits the eating of blood: “Only you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.” Then in Leviticus 17:11: “For the life of the flesh is in the blood.” Moses wrote this 4,500 years ago. How did Moses know this eons before medical science understood this? Could it be that our Creator revealed this to him?
Archaeology is a fascinating study and has significantly contributed to confirming the Bible’s accuracy. In 37 Old Testament passages, the Hittite people are mentioned. Bible critics cited this as an example of the inaccuracy of the Bible since there was no record of Hittites. But in the early 1900s, the German archaeologist Hugo Winkler was digging in Turkey and found the Hittite capital along with clay tablets in the Hittite language. Further proof was found in Egyptian clay tablets telling of a battle between Egypt’s Ramses II and the Hittites around 1287 B.C. There are pictures of Hittites drawn by Egyptian artists. Once again God's Word was proven true, and the critics proven wrong.
Historical accuracy is important to understanding the past. Obviously, the Bible's record is history, but it is more than simply a record. There are historical records that contribute to understanding the Bible’s accuracy. In Acts 18:12, Luke writes that “Gallio was proconsul of Achaia.” Discoveries have shown the amazing accuracy of this. Gallio was proconsul only one year, about 52 AD. The discovered Delphi inscription reads “As Lucius Junius Gallio, my friend, and the proconsul of Achaia….” Critics claim Luke’s gospel is second-century writing, not the first, but a second-century writer would have been unaware of the recently discovered Delphi inscription.
Prophecy and fulfillment present evidence that cannot be denied by open minds. There are prophecies about nations, cities, and people. There is not one prophecy that has not been fulfilled in its appropriate time, and some prophecies were made hundreds of years before their fulfillment.
The Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecy lists 23,274 separate predictions — 10,127 in the Old Testament and 13,274 in the New Testament. Some studies have shown 365 prophecies about Jesus Christ, including his genealogy, the time and city of his birth, his manner of life, his trial, his crucifixion, and his resurrection.
Today, the Bible and Christianity are vigorously attacked. Many educators have declared their aim to destroy the faith of their students. Therefore it behooves us to know the evidence that we might be able to defend our faith. Jesus said, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free” (John 8:32). If the Bible is not completely true, then we have no hope. That’s why we need to know. “Now faith is a well-grounded assurance of that for which we hope, and a conviction of the reality of things which we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1 WNT). True faith is not blind, but a faith based on evidence.