Do you trust the Bible as the authority for your life? If so, you’re in the minority.
According to a survey by the Pew Research Forum, only 31% of Americans believe that the Bible is the Word of God and should be taken literally. That means 69% of Americans don’t trust the Bible. They reject it. They don’t recognize its value for today and eternity.
Even if you do embrace the Bible as God’s Word and authority, you may not know how to communicate why you do. Perhaps others have questioned your commitment to the Bible and you weren’t sure how to answer them.
The Bible teaches – and I believe it – that the Bible was given to us by God. (See 2 Timothy 3:16 and 2 Peter 1:19-21.) Scripture reveals God to us. It shows us God’s character, His purposes, and His ways. It points the way to eternal life through Jesus Christ.
If you’re still reading this post, you likely believe that too. This post will help equip you with some further evidence. Here are three of the many reasons you can believe, trust, and submit to the authority of the Bible.
# 1: The Bible’s Miraculous Preservation through History
There is more physical evidence to support the reliability of the Bible than any other ancient document. For a New Testament example, consider Homer’s Iliad. Only 643 copies of the Iliad exist today with 5% variation between these copies. In comparison, more than 24,000 complete and partial copies of the New Testament exist today. Among those copies there is only a mere .5% variation – one-half of one percent.
The Old Testament’s reliability is just as impressive. The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947 confirmed God’s miraculous preservation. Before 1947, the oldest copy of the Old Testament that existed, known as the Masoretic Text, was dated about A.D. 900. Then, in a cave near the Dead Sea, a young shepherd found a collection of large clay jars filled with papyrus and leather scrolls. These scrolls were full and partial copies of Old Testament books. The oldest scrolls dated back to about 150 B.C., making them about a 1,000 years older than the Masoretic Text. When scholars compared the Dead Sea Scrolls to the Masoretic Text they found a 95% accuracy rate. According to biblical scholars that 5% discrepancy is due to spelling differences and other minor variations. God preserved His Word through eleven centuries of copying!
Isn’t that amazing!! Through the centuries, God has miraculously preserved for us today what He divinely inspired millennia ago. We can trust that what God gave is what we have now.
You may also enjoy: “The Reliability of the Bible: 4 Quick Thoughts”
# 2: The Bible’s Consistent Message
The Bible was written over roughly 1,500 years, by more than 40 different, God-inspired human authors, and in three different languages. (See also “Who Wrote the Bible and Why Does it Matter?” ) And yet, the Bible contains one, consistent message. All the individual books and stories within the Bible join together to tell us one big story. From Genesis to Revelation we read the golden thread of God’s rule, reign, and redemptive purposes. Jesus is present from the first story until the last. We call this God’s Big story or the “meta-narrative” of Scripture. The presence of this meta-narrative proves God’s design, control, and intent. It shows us that we can trust what God has preserved for us.
# 3: The Bible’s Life-Changing Impact
The Bible makes some pretty big claims about itself. For instance:
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
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
God says His word not only teaches us what is right, but that it also corrects us when we are headed down a wrong path and trains us to live godly lives. God uses His Word in our lives like a surgeon with a scalpel to get down to the heart of every issue. To reveal our sinful attitudes and motivations and make us more like Jesus. (See also: “4 Ways to Apply Scripture to Your Life” and “3 Attitudes We Need When We Read the Bible.”)
I have personally experienced the transformative power of God’s Word. Everything His Word promises He has done and is doing in my life. What other book can do that?
The Bible is God’s inspired Word. We CAN trust ourselves to its authority. We CAN trust that God will use His Word in our lives for His good and our glory!
What have you heard about the Bible from friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers? What range of ideas do they have about the reliability of God’s Word?