1. The Bible Claims It’s True
Although this by itself does not prove that the Bible true, we could immediately doubt the truth of the Bible if it never made this claim. The fact is that the Bible claims that it is written by God and thus keeps open the possibility that it is true:
- All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. (2 Tim. 3:16)
- Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:20-21)
2. Jesus Claims It’s True
Even if you think Jesus is just a great teacher, that fact that a great teacher makes such a claim about the Bible must count as a testimony for the Bible’s truth. Jesus claimed that “Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35), “until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished” (Matthew 5:18), and “O foolish men, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken...” (Luke 24:25-27). Jesus also used the Bible as a weapon against Satan in Matthew, 4:1-11. And He kept appealing to the Bible, knowing it had authority, by saying “it is written” seventy times.
3. The Bible Is Morally, Ethically, and Linguistically Superior
My college English professor (a non-Christian) at the University of California, Berkeley, encouraged us to read the book of Ecclesiastes, claiming that it was a remarkable piece of literature. The Bible’s superiority has often been acknowledged even by unbelievers and is denied by few who have actually read and studied its pages.
4. The Bible Has the Power to Affect Us
When some people read the Bible, they claim to “meet God.” In the 1500's, one man, Martin Luther, the great father of Protestant churches said, “My conscience has been taken captive by the Word of God.” I too have been “taken captive” by the Bible. I didn’t fully believe that the Bible was true until one evening, when I was 19, I started reading the Bible, beginning in the books of John and Matthew. Beginning with the first evening, the Bible so captivated me that I couldn’t put it down. I started to read it ten minutes a day, then 15, then 20, then 30 minutes a day. I was so moved by what I read that I committed my life to Jesus Christ.
5. The Bible Has Extraordinary Unity
The Bible is composed of 66 parts, or books, written over a period of approximately 1,500 years (from about 1450 BC to about 90 AD) by over 40 different people. These writers were all different from each other. Some were rich, some poor, some young, some old. Some were priests, some prophets, one was a tax collector (Matthew), one was a doctor (Luke), a tentmaker (Paul), and a fisherman (Peter). Yet they all wrote about the same man who claimed to be God - Jesus Christ. On the surface, there might seem to be disagreement between the writers, but if you study deeper, you will find that they all agree about Jesus Christ, God, the Holy Spirit, the Bible, the end times, salvation, heaven, hell, etc.
Other religious “scriptures” cannot claim this feature. The Koran was entirely written through the revelations of one man, Mohammed. The Book of Mormon was entirely written through one man, Joseph Smith.
6. The Bible Is Historically Accurate
Luke, the writer of Acts and the gospel of Luke, is one example. His details about Roman officials such as “Sergius Paulus of Cyprus,” “Gallio, the proconsul of Achaia,” “Herod the Great,” “Pontius Pilate,” and “King Agrippa,”are all confirmed by ancient Roman historical records and archeology. Even unbelieving scholars agree that King David, King Solomon, the Philistines, and countless other persons mentioned in the Bible were real people, and that such cities as Ephesus, Philippi, and Thessalonica were real places. The Mari Tablets, 25,000 tablets written in 1,900 B.C., mention the names of Abraham, Jacob, Nahor, Dan, Levi, Benjamin, and Ishmael, found in the book of Genesis. The Mesha Stele from the 9th century B.C., mentions the kingdom of Israel ("house of Omri"). Also a Canaanite bronze calf was discovered years ago and reported in the New York Times, confirming the Bible’s account that pagan nations worshiped calves.
7. Bible Prophecies Are Fulfilled
Jesus Christ, for example, fulfilled numerous prophecies. Read Isaiah 53 (the entire chapter), Micah 5:2, Daniel 9:25-27, and Jeremiah 23:5-6, and Psalm 16:8-11. In these few Old Testament prophecies, made several hundred years before Christ, we are told the exact time of Jesus’ coming, the exact place of His birth, the family of which He would be born, the condition of His family at the time of His birth, how He would be received by people, the method and details of His death, how He would be buried, and His resurrection. These predictions were all fulfilled with great precision in Jesus Christ. Click here for more on Bible prophecies fulfilled by Jesus.
8. Bible Has Been Extraordinarily Preserved
The Bible is very old. Its oldest book is almost 3,500 years old. Yet, somehow, more than any other ancient writing, the Bible doesn’t seem to change over time, even over thousands of years. For example, ancient scrolls of parts of the Bible (e.g. book of Isaiah, Psalms) written around 100 B.C. were found in the 1940's near the Dead Sea in the Middle East. When compared to the next oldest biblical scrolls, the Masoretic Texts, written around 900 A.D., there are virtually no significant differences that would change the theological meaning and message of the texts.
As for the New Testament, there are about 25,000 ancient manuscripts (i.e. copies), dating as early as 120 A.D., or in other words, just 30 years after the last book of the New Testament was written. Compare this to Homer’s Iliad, of classical Greek literature (which you might have studied in junior high), of which there are only 643 ancient manuscripts, dating only as early as 500 years after its writing. There are only 193 manuscripts of the works of Sophocles, 49 of Aristotle, and only 7 of Plato’s Tetralogies, dating as much as early as 1,200 years after its writing. In short, the Bible is perhaps the most well-preserved book in the world.
9. The Bible Writers Endured Great Persecution for What They Saw
They were eyewitnesses to Jesus’ resurrection or His existence and held to their story even under great persecution. If the events in the Bible were false, no writer in his right mind would endure such torture for a lie. Matthew was slain with a sword in Ethiopia. Mark died by being dragged through the streets of Alexandria. Luke was hanged on an olive tree. John was banished to prison in Patmos. Peter was crucified upside down. Jude was shot to death with arrows. Paul was beheaded at Rome by Emperor Nero.
10. The Bible Changes Lives
Prostitutes have been reformed. Drunkards have become sober. The prideful become humble. The weak become strong, when they read the Bible. And in my own church, there are hundreds of testimonies of drug addicts who came clean, violent men who became gentle, alcoholics who became sober, atheists who became believers, troubled marriages that became happy ones, because they read the Bible and what it said about Jesus Christ.
FOR FURTHER READING