Reliability of The Bible
Author: Byron Pulsifer © 2017
There are numerous articles and books that suggest or directly challenge
the reliability of the Christian Bible. For many of you, you may have seen
or attacks either in articles, magazines, books, on the
Internet or even directly expressed to you or to others around you.
To answer these doubts, challenges or questions about the
Bible, the following information should give you reason to believe
the reliability of the Bible.
The antiquity and history of the Bible has been supported
by many archaeological and historical discoveries so that today
it stands as the most vindicated ancient book in the world. In addition,
the study of God and rational investigation of questions about existence
and knowledge of the Bible is woven within the reliability of its historical
Defense of Historical Fact
The question becomes who can and will defend the historical facts as
described in the Bible? The answer is the defense is undertaken by a
person known as a Christian Apologist. The meaning of the word
"apologist" comes from the Greek word meaning to mount a defense.
Apologist, by the way, has no meaning related to the English word "apology".
And when we refer to the term 'Christian Apologetics', we are talking about
a particular branch within the study of God
that specifically addresses the question 'is Christianity believable?' Since history
is more tangible, more able to be proven than philosophical arguments,
the Christian Apologist can use historical information in defense of the Bible.
The word "Canon" means a measuring rod; a collection of information
which becomes the standard by which everything else is measured
and it is the word Canon that is commonly used to refer to the books
of the Bible.
Accuracy of Canon
Even though the numerous claims have been made by various people who
have argued that there are upwards of 66,000 errors in the Bible, these
have been adequately and completely refuted by Christian scholars.
However, despite these false claims having been eliminated, their claims
are still often repeated.
And given that the historical data of the Bible is sound, the theology within
the Bible is also sound under the direct influence and control of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, all the information within the Bible is free from any kind of error.
The text was preserved and transmitted through professional scribes ensuring
that each copy was flawless. However, because of the wide dispersal
of the Jews in Babylonian times, the spoken Hebrew language gradually
diminished. The need to preserve the proper meaning of old Hebrew
texts lead to the development of a group of experts known as the
Massorates who developed and introduced vowel marks so there
was no confusion about what a certain Hebrew word meant.
The text produced by this group was called the Massoratic Text (MT) and
it was this text upon which the Old Testament of the King James Version
was based. When the Dead Sea Scrolls where discovered dating
1200 years older than the Massoratic Text, a comparison showed that
the Massoratic Text was unusually accurate. The purity of the Old Testament
was easily demonstrated again.
Integrity of Canon
Attacks against the Bible not only were directed towards the accuracy
of the Bible but against its integrity. It was argued by critics that
not all books in the Canon (Bible) were the inspired
word of God and many books that should have been included were not.
While there was no need to fix or determine Canon before 400 BC because
people knew which books were divine, it became imperative after the last
book of the Old Testament was written. The reason for the need to set
canon was due to the time gap between generations. And, when non
Canonical books started to claim divine authorship this forced the
Jewish fathers to demonstrate which books were Canon and which were not.
The main point here is to note that Lord Jesus and the Apostles honored
the Canon, referred to many scriptural passages, which clearly demonstrated
that the Jewish fathers were spiritually competent to recognize what was
canon and what was not. Simply stated, the fact that Jesus and the Apostles
referred to verses contained in the Old Testament showed they confirmed its
accuracy and validity otherwise there would have been absolutely no
references made to its content.
When Was Old Testament Written?
The Old Testament Canon was written 1400 years before Christ while
the last book Malachi was written 400 years before Christ.
With the advent of the writing of many false books claiming divine authorship,
the Jewish leaders were quick to realize that these writings were not from
God; they were not the inspired Word of God.
Transmitted Without Any Error
Inerrancy of the Bible means that the original manuscripts written by
sacred authors guided by the Holy Spirit were transmitted perfectly,
without error and exactly what God wanted recorded for all humankind.
And since the Word of God is infallible, it cannot err and therefore,
contains no errors.
Non-believers know the implications if they can show that the
Bible contains errors and this is why different groups of people today
continue to spend time casting doubts upon God's Word whenever they can.
And, since inerrancy is at the core of belief for an evangelical Christian,
every apologist, in fact, every Christian, should fully understand as well
as defend the fact that the Bible contains absolutely no errors.
When looking at the Bible's testimony to its complete lack of errors,
it should be noted that Christ specifically confirmed the whole
Old Testament was true. Christ consistently based His arguments
on the Old Testament Scripture thus authenticating its' wholeness and
Extent of Biblical Inerrancy
While it is true that points of view and expressions vary between some books
of the Bible, inerrancy does not mean uniformity in all details. If there
were not minor variances in details or in expressions, it could easily
be concluded that parts of the Scriptures were written through collusion
of authors. Thus, it could be stated that the details were more a reflection
of the personality of the author rather than each author being a mere
robot by reciting the exact same words, details and expressions.
As well, inerrancy does not mean that some style of language used cannot
incorporate symbols or figurative language thereby expressing prose,
poetry and symbolic expression wherein each can appeal to the varied
imagination of mankind. In other words, some people understand more
clearly to the written word, others understand poetry more clearly
while others like a combination of different styles of writing.
Nor does inerrancy mean that what was said in ancient scientific terminology
has to conform to modern day usage nor does it have to claim foreseeable
modern science. Simply stated, ancient authors used the language of their
times expressing themselves without error in regard to fundamental principles.
Nor does inerrancy mean that modern day critics can argue with the accuracy
of historical time lines especially since the time lines of the Old Testament
was written and recorded without the benefit of a fixed, universal calendar.
For example, the exact reign of Kings was counted differently in different
cultures that had differing calendars.
In addition, Jesus Christ used historical incidents in the Old Testament in a
manner which demonstrated His complete confidence in the accuracy
of these Scriptures thereby authenticating the events as factual history as,
for example, He acknowledged that Adam and Eve were created by
God as two real living beings; the flood of Noah's day actually took
place; God's destruction of Sodom was real; and the story of Jonah and
the great fish actually happened.
Preservation of Conviction And Belief
Humankind all needs to feel that what they believe
in worthwhile, is true and that it has meaning as opposed to believing
in something that is unworthy or unproven. For many years, and
probably for many more, there will be all types of people who will attack
the Bible arguing that it contains many errors and cannot be proven historically.
But, we know that the Bible is without flaws or errors and that it has
been proven to record accurate history.
So, for those who may have doubts or for those who feel the Bible contain
s errors can be assured that this is not the case. Every person can verify
the total lack of errors in the Bible and verify its' accuracy and historical
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