Why Trust The Bible?

Why Trust the Bible?

Christians trust the Bible because, first and foremost, it is God's Word. We believe that it is God-breathed, that God worked through inspired believers to deliver an accurate revelation of who he is and what he has done, is doing and will do in the world. But, this can sound like circular logic right? It isn't a great argument to say "The Bible is the Word of God because the Bible says so!" Of course, as believers, that is precisely what we mean, but I remember being a skeptic and thinking that this was just not good enough an answer for me at the time. I wanted to know how we could trust a document that had been translated and handled by so many people, churches and monks over the centuries. I wanted to know if the stories in the Bible, especially the ones that talk about miracles and supernatural things, had any scientific leg to stand on. I wanted know why I had heard that there were contradictions in the Bible.

These questions are important for many of us. We have lots of resources you can check out to get deeper answers, but let's briefly look at some of the reasons that is makes sense to trust the Bible.

It is important to start by recognizing the incredible impact the Bible has had on human culture and history. You can't look at a map of any Canadian province without seeing cities and towns with names like St. Thomas or St. Albert. Schools and hospitals bear the names of saints or biblical characters or locations. Hospitals, universities and orphanages all sprung from the hearts, minds and acts of people who were convinced that the Bible was true. From legal codes to moral codes, the Bible has influenced human culture more than any other book. We could chalk that up to ignorance or luck, but that is pretty far fetched. So, we should at least be willing to give the Bible a hearing because it has influenced your life more than anything else has.

But, isn't the Bible riddled with errors thanks to generations of being subject to the "telephone game"? How can we know that the Bible that we are reading now is the same one that people read 2,000 years ago? Did you know that we have literally thousands of fragments and copies of the Bible dating back as early as 125 AD (see the John Rylands fragment (P52)). By comparison, we have only a handful of copies of ancient texts written by men like Plato or Julius Caesar, and the accuracy of these less substantiated documents is never questioned. When we take these ancient manuscripts and compare them to the Bibles we are reading today, we find roughly 99% consistency between them.

When we look to archaeology, we find similar consistency. The further back in time we go, the harder it is to find archaeological evidence of anything in history simply because our ancestors didn't produce books, monuments and, quite literally, garbage, as we do today. But, where archaeology does reach, there is a remarkable amount of consistency with what we read in the Bible. For instance, we find that the writer of the Book of Acts accurately recorded the names of city officials that the early church engaged with in the Greco-Roman world. You can read more about the historical accuracy of the biblical account here.

So much more could be said, but you can check out the various resources we have available here. The very best way to see what the Bible says is to read it. If you are going to reject Jesus and the Bible, then you should at least read the Bible so that you know what you are rejecting. I know that most of the objections I had to the Bible were objections that I heard from other people and just parrotted. It was not until I set out to learn for myself what the Bible said that my assumptions were really tested.

Carl Santos