Topic(s): Bible Authority
The question of the truth of the Bible does not depend on the faith of those who believe it. Since it is a document rooted in history, its claims, its predictions, and its very words may be examined for accuracy and truth, even by those who do not want to believe it or live by its principles.
The Bible claims its own trustworthiness. Paul told Timothy, 'All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works' (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Thus God Himself is the very source of Scripture (the Bible). Jesus indicated that even the smallest letters must be true: 'Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled' (Matthew 5:18).
The Bible does not contain the Word of God. It is the Word of God. For that reason it is inerrant, or wholly true and without mistake-and not just in 'religious matters,' but as it applies to history, science, and other realms of life. If it is only partly true, how can we know what is truth and what is fiction?
Two major areas to judge the Bible's truthfulness are the internal evidence (what it says about itself and how its parts harmonize) and the external evidence (what history, archaeology, science, and other fields tell us about its truthfulness).
The internal evidence clearly proves that although many different inspired human writers produced the sixty-six books of the Bible over a long period of time, God is the true author. Skeptics have vainly sought to prove internal errors and contradictions in the Bible. For example, the wording of each of the four gospel writers about the superscription over Jesus on the cross is all slightly different (Matthew 27:37; Mark 15:26; Luke 23:38; John 19:19). Very likely, the superscription was very lengthy, and as John notes (John 19:20), it was written in three different languages.
The slightly different wording may indicate different sections of the superscription, or the wording in the three different languages. Thus the differences are easily harmonized. Other similar apparent contradictions are always resolved when logic, proper rules of evidence, and understanding of the text and the culture are applied.
The external evidence for the truth of the Bible is very strong. Many times in the past critics have denied certain Bible characters existed, only to be proven wrong by archaeological and historical discoveries. The historical accuracy of the Bible has been vindicated again and again, because the Bible lists numerous details that can be checked. It is not written in a 'once upon a time' style. The Bible also agrees with proven science fact, although it may not always agree with theories that come and go. Because the claims of the Bible can be tested, we can know that it is true.