Before I went to college, I worked for one year at the Step Truck Factory in Union City, Indiana. I had an atheist friend named Mike, who worked at the factory. Mike and I had lots of honest conversations about God, about life, about meaning and purpose. I’ll never forget one conversation – “How can you trust the Bible? How do you know some old guy didn’t smoke some peyote, sit down under a tree and make the whole thing up?”
And that is exactly the question I hope to answer in my next series of blogs. Here’s what the Bible says about its own reliability and trustworthiness.
“From infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures. They have the power to give you wisdom so that you can be saved through faith in Christ Jesus. Every Scripture passage is inspired by God. All of them are useful for teaching, pointing out errors, correcting people, and training them for a life that has God’s approval” (2 Timothy 3:15-16 GW).
I realize it’s not logical to try to prove the reliability of a book by the book itself, so I’ll share other sources that help me to trust in the reliability of the Bible with you.
First, the Bible is historically accurate.
The Bible is not a history book as such, but it contains many references to historical events, and none of them have ever been disproven or shown to be false. Historians must use very exact standards in order to prove the authenticity of any historical document. What are they?
- There must be other eyewitness accounts: (not hearsay)
- Were there other writers of that era who can authentic this story?
Take the Gospels as an example. The gospels were written by men who were eyewitnesses of Jesus life, teachings, and miracles. Two of Jesus closest associates were John and Peter.
John wrote; “From the very first day, we were there, taking it all in—we heard it with our own ears, saw it with our own eyes, verified it with our own hands. The Word of Life appeared right before our eyes; we saw it happen! And now we’re telling you in most sober prose that what we witnessed was … the Life of God Himself, and it took shape before us” (1 John 1:1-2 MSG).
In that same vein, Peter wrote, “We didn’t base our message on clever myths that we made up. Rather, we witnessed his majesty with our own eyes. For example, we were eyewitnesses when (Jesus) received honor and glory from God the Father. God spoke these words to him: ‘This is my Son, whom I love and in whom I delight.’ We heard that voice speak to Him from heaven when we were with (Jesus)” (2 Peter 1:16-18 GW).
And there were many, many other eyewitnesses who themselves recorded the things they both saw and heard (see Acts 1).
You can listen to this message here in it’s entirety on Lakeview’s podcast.