Is the Bible reliable?

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1 Comment on "Is the Bible reliable?"

  1. There are two questions people often ask regarding the reliability of any ancient book: (1) Is it what was originally written? and (2) Is it true? Regarding the first question, people naturally wonder if the words in the Bible have been altered over the centuries due to transcription errors or if the words have stayed consistent over time. This is where the Bible stands out. The Bible has far more source manuscripts than any other ancient writing. For comparison, consider the writings of Julius Caesar. Only ten copies exist, the oldest being written about 1,000 years after Caesar’s original work. In the case of the Bible’s New Testament, there are over 5,000 manuscripts, with most early copies ranging from 200 to 300 years later, and some less than 100 years later.
    Regarding the second question, archaeological and historical evidence provide extensive support for the veracity of the people and events mentioned in the Bible. For example, evidence for the existence of Israel’s ancient enemy, the Hittites, was found in 1906, when archaeologists discovered the ruins of Hattusas, the ancient Hittite capital at what is today called Bogazkale, Turkey. Among many other notable archaeological discoveries are the following: House of David inscription, Hezekiah’s tunnel, Pool of Siloam, the city of Bethsaida, Caiaphas’s ossuary, the Pilate stone, and the Galilee boat.
    In addition to archaeological discoveries, the historicity of the Bible is supported by the extensive detail provided within the text, such as this detail from the crucifixion account: “And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. And they led him out to crucify him. And they compelled a passerby, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross. And they brought him to the place called Golgotha, which means Place of a Skull” (Mark 15:20-22). First-century readers of the Gospel of Mark could check the facts in this account, especially in regard to the three people named.
    Throughout history, from ancient times to the present day, people have looked to the Bible for guidance and inspiration. At his inauguration in 2013, President Obama held his hand on two Bibles, one owned by Martin Luther King Jr. and one by Abraham Lincoln. He ended his oath of office with the words, “So help me God.”

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