Evidence the Bible is True

I know that everybody here believes the Bible is the true word of God, but why? I’m not trying to start a debate or anything, just give facts that can back up the claim of the Bible. Here is some information that was given out at our church. Please feel free to add your thoughts and other evidences.
Seven steps that answer why we know the Bible is true.
Step One: Is the Bible a historically reliable document?
Step Two: Can the Bible be proven based on what it says, or is this circular reasoning?
Step Three: What is the Critical Claim of the Bible? What actually needs to be proven?
Step Four: What are the claims of the eyewitnesses?
Step Five: Is there any corroborating internal evidence?
Step Six: Is there any corroborating external evidence?
Step Seven: What important conclusions can we draw from this?
Step One: Is the Bible a historically reliable document?
There are 24,000 + manuscripts (handwritten ancient copies) of the New Testament. The earliest known manuscript was found in 125 A.D. and was written from 40-100 AD. These 24,000 documents all agree with each other. There are not any conflicts within them.
Special proof exists for the New Testament, since Christians were strongly persecuted by both the Jews and the Roman government. If the New Testament writings were false, these two groups would have produced a great deal of evidence to stop the growth of this “sect.” None exists. Further, the New Testament writings (before they were assembled into the “book” we call the New Testament) circulated during the lifetimes of thousands of people who had actually seen Jesus’ miracles and other historic events. No one ever refuted the New Testament writings as “fairy tales.”
There are other historians who lived around the time of Christ who wrote about him too. Josephus, in his book The Antiquities of the Jews said this about him:
quote:


“Now, there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works”€a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ; and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.” (emphasis mine)


It is amazing that those who where closest to him did not turn and forsake him, even though there was a tremendous amount of pressure against them. If Christ did not rise from the dead, then why did they go to their death defending him? Would you die for something that you know is false? But that is a topic for a later time, to get back on subject…
In 115 AD, P. Cornelius Tacitus wrote the following passage that refers to Jesus (called “Christus,” which means “The Messiah”) in book 15, chapter 44 of The Annals:
quote:


“Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind. Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths. Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly illumination, when daylight had expired.”


Of all these manuscripts and external sources, none of them go against what the New Testament says. Since the New Testament says the same thing as these other historical documents we can logically conclude that the New Testament is a historical document.
The rest of these I’m going to briefly go over and look up the details for them when I have the time.
Step Two: Can the Bible be proven based on what it says, or is this circular reasoning?
I found this on-line…
quote:


You cannot use the bible as proof of itself. If you are trying to prove the bible is true, then everything in it automatically must be excluded from evidence, because it’s the thing in question. Secondly, the bible is in no way a properly documented living history, it is a book, made by a church, with chapters/books they felt like including at the time according to the beliefs of that time period. Some books were rejected; others made it in, that is well documented, and also quite an interesting read


It does sound like circular reasoning to say that we know the Bible is the Word of God because the Bible says so…. but is that really circular reasoning? Let’s look at the facts. We are not using the Bible to prove itself true, we have already proven that the New Testament is true by outside works. What was discussed in Step one already proved this. Since we know that the works of the New Testament are true, let’s look at what the New Testament is.
The New Testament is a collection of letters from eye witness accounts of what happened to Jesus and his ministry. When using the Bible to quote that it is true, really, we are only comparing eye witness accounts. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John all agree in what they saw in Jesus and they all wrote it down. So we are not using the New Testament to prove that the New Testament is true, we are using two or more eye witness accounts to prove the same point. Just because they were consolidated into one book does not mean that they lose their validity.
Each author can be considered separately as a separate source.
Step Three: What is the Critical Claim in the Bible? What actually needs to be proven?
Paul claims in 1 Corinthians 15 that the ultimate claim is the resurrection of Jesus Christ. If this fact is false, then all faith and hope is worthless.
Step Four: What are the claims of the eyewitnesses
The four gospels, when examined carefully, paint a full and complementary picture of the resurrection. The critical claim in the NT is in 1 Corinthians 15, which was written before the four gospels were completed. The testimony of Paul, himself, illustrates the dramatic truth of the Resurrection.
Step Five: Is there any corroborating internal evidence?
#1-Prophecy
#2-Unity of 40 authors over many centuries of writing
#3-The pictures and foreshadowing of Christ in the OT
#4-The unashamed truthfulness of the writers: it doesn’t read like a cover up or a glorification
Step Six: Is there any corroborating external evidence?
#1-Archaeology!
#2-There is ancient sources outside of the Bible that speak of Christ’s life, death and resurrection and support the details mentioned in the Bible.
#3-The existence of the church and the continued transformation of lives
that people experience today.
#4-The uniqueness of the Christian message: it is quite unlike anything man would naturally think up.
Step Seven: What important conclusions can we draw from this?
#1-Jesus’ claims are true because of the resurrection
#2-Jesus believed the OT was true
#3-We don’t have to argue about the authenticity of the OT: we can, and it bears up under scrutiny as the NT does, but it isn’t necessary! It is proven because of the NT and Christ’s claims.
#4-Jesus claimed his disciples would have the same authority as the prophets of old. They claimed it as well in their writings. (John 14:25, John 16:13-15, John 17:20, 1 Peter 1:16-21 )
I hope that this helped you out. I am sorry that it is long reading, but it is really interesting. Please post your notes, and expand on the points that I had to briefly fly through.
I used notes from church and this website to help me prepare this article.

One thought on “Evidence the Bible is True

  • January 27, 2011 at 8:38 pm
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    ~;: I am really thankful to this topic because it really gives great information `:’

    Reply

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