Have you ever been asked, “Why do you trust the Bible?” Here is a situation for you. Say you walk out of church and are walking to your car. Then a man suddenly walks up to you and asks you a question. The man asks, “Why can you trust the Bible?” You do not exactly know the reason why, but you come up with one saying, “Jesus referenced from it hence we can trust it.” Sure that might work for you, but the man questions further saying, “That is not a good reason. Are there any more reasons?” With your answer having been dismissed and asked to come up with another answer, you then think even harder about different reasons why you can trust the Bible, but the man continually refutes or dismisses them. Eventually, you might come to the conclusion that the Bible is not trustworthy. To prevent this from happening, I will tell you some reasons why you should trust the Bible. You can trust the bible archaeologically, through the manuscripts, and through the authority of the Bible.
One of the reasons you can trust the Bible is through archaeology. Archaeology is the study of the remains of human behavior in the past. The aim of archaeology is to discover, record, observe, and preserve the remnants of antiquity and to use them to help reconstruct ancient life. Archaeology can confirm what the Bible says historically. The Bible says in 1 Kings 14:25-26, “In the fifth year of King Rehoboam, Shishak king of Egypt came up against
Jerusalem. He took away the treasures of the house of the Lord and the treasures of the king’s house.” People have discovered that it is true because men have found the Bubastite Portal built by Shishak which states his victories and that was one of them. People studying archaeology have also found that the Bible’s description of the location of Jacob’s Well (John 4:6) is very accurate. People have also found that the Bible’s description of Samaritan worship on Mount Gerizim (John 4:20) is also very accurate. Therefore you can trust the Bible archaeologically. You can also trust the Bible through the manuscripts. The definition of a manuscript is a book, document, or piece of music written by hand rather than typed or printed. Manuscripts were used to help remember the text and to reference the text. If the Bible was memorized, then it could be forgotten overtime, or people could change the meaning because they do not remember it correctly. Manuscripts are used to communicate authority. An authoritative manuscript would be the Ten Commandments which was located in the Ark of the Covenant (Exodus 25:16, 21), and another authoritative manuscript was the Book of the Law (Deuteronomy 31: 24-26). The manuscripts, because hand written, could have errors in it (as in things being misspelled and accidently copied wrong), but when scholars calculated the possible errors, they discovered that if it does have any, then it is actually pretty close to the original form. The Bible is also collection of manuscripts. The clarity of the Bible might also be a problem, but 1 Corinthians says “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.” It is saying that the people who have an open mind and are willing to receive the Bible’s teachings will be able to understand it but if they try to resist it them they will not be able to understand the Bible. Therefore, through the manuscripts the Bible is trustworthy.
Last, but not least, the authority of the Scripture is also how we can trust the Bible. The authority of the Scripture means that all the words in Scripture are God’s words in such a way that to disbelieve or disobey any word of Scripture is to disbelieve or disobey God. In the Old Testament, the scripture says many times “Thus says the Lord”. In fact, the prophets say it a lot because God sent them to deliver messages to the people of the land. An example of this would be in Numbers 22:38 which says, “Balaam said to Balak, ‘Behold, I have come to you! Have I now any power of my own to speak anything? The word that God puts in my mouth, that must I speak.’ ” The New Testament also says that it is authoritative. 2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness”. 2 Peter 1:21 says, “For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” In both of these verses the Bible says that the words in the Old Testament come from God himself. Therefore, the Bible is authoritative.
The following reasons are the reasons that one can trust the Bible. You can trust the Bible through archaeology. You can trust the Bible through the manuscripts, and the manuscripts clarity. You can also trust the Bible through the authority behind the Bible. Now, back to the situation mentioned before. If a man comes up to you and asks why you can trust the Bible, you will be able to answer him. One will be sure of what they are saying instead of racking their brains for an answer, one can say through archaeology, through the manuscripts, and through the authority of the Bible.
ESV Study Bible, English Standard Version. Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway, 2008.
Grudem, Wayne. Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1994.