Can we trust the Bible? Is the Bible really God’s word? Those are just a couple of questions that more and more people are asking in today’s ever-changing world.
There are numerous denominations out there teaching many different doctrines based on the same scriptures. They can’t all be right, so that means most of them are wrong. Then you have all these different modern “translations” presenting different messages that contradict each other. Can you imagine what the worship service would sound like if there were several different translations of the hymnal at your church? It would be chaos. That’s what has happened because there are so many newer translations.
I wouldn’t be opposed to a modern English Bible translated from the original text where the translators were not worried about having to make it different from other English Bibles for copyright purposes. Many of these newer versions are actually not much more “modern” than the King James Version, because the translators have to make sure their version doesn’t actually have the same exact words as another version, or they may get sued. This makes some of the newer versions even more difficult to understand in some places. No wonder there’s so much confusion. No wonder so many people don’t trust the Bible.
On the other hand, there are people who have no idea what the Bible even says because they have never even bothered to read it for themselves. Some are too busy to be bothered with it. Some don’t think they can understand it, while others don’t believe it has anything to offer them. Does it? Is the Bible really the road map to heaven? Is it really God’s word? Can we put our trust in such a controversial book? Was it really inspired by God? There are people all over the world who would answer “Yes” to all these questions, but the number of those who don’t believe is rapidly growing, and it’s not that difficult to understand some of the reasons why.
The Bible is a great book to read for so many reasons. It’s the number one selling book of all time and has been for many years. It was originally written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, by over forty authors, across three continents, over a period of fifteen to sixteen hundred years. It contains all the elements of the popular books of our day. There are stories about war, murder, adultery, prostitution, lust, rape, heartache, heartbreak, lies, betrayal, revenge, sea monsters, gods, the supernatural, demons and demon possession, witches and witchcraft, sorcery, curses, devil worship, both animal and human sacrifices, and just about every other bad thing you can imagine.
On the other hand, there are stories involving every good thing you can think of as well. It talks about things like love, hope, trust, kindness, honesty, faithfulness, truthfulness, victory, personal sacrifice, lifetime friendships, marriages that lasted until death, and all the beauty and happiness that the human race lives for, and longs for.
By October 2016, the complete Bible had been translated into 636 languages, according to the Wycliffe Global Alliance. They also report that the New Testament has been translated into 1,442 languages. There are also 1,145 languages where only portions of the Bible have been translated. So there are over 3,000 languages in which some, or all of God’s word can be read.
The Bible has proven to be a great, and accurate history book, as well as a roadmap to a brighter future. It contains the basic building blocks for our governmental system here in the United States, and the origin of many of our laws can be traced back to the Holy Bible.
Sadly, many of God’s people have a hard time agreeing on everything it teaches. That’s why it’s so important to study the Bible without denominational blinders on. We need to take the book for what it says, and if it disagrees with our preconceived ideas, or even what our church teaches, we need to drop those beliefs and hold on to the truth of God’s word. Let’s take a few minutes and examine a few things in the Bible, to see if we can trust this book, or not.
In 2 Timothy 3:16, and 2 Peter 1:21, the Bible claims to be inspired by God.
2 Timothy 3:16
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is
profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction,
for instruction in righteousness:
2 Peter 1:21
21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the
will of man: but holy men of God spoke as
they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit inspired, or impressed, holy men of God with what to write, and they wrote it down in their own words. The Holy Spirit also inspired Paul to write the next verse we’re going to look at from 1 Timothy 4:1.
1 Timothy 4:1
1 Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times
some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to
seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
Today, “Bible Scholars” are saying the Bible is not the inspired word of God. Even some seminaries are teaching their students that “the Bible is not to be taken literally. It is, at best, just a history book, not the inspired word of God.” These students then go out and become ministers and pastors who don’t even believe that the word of God is true. Then they pass that disbelief on to hundreds, maybe thousands of others, and it is having a tremendously negative effect on our world today.
In many Bibles, there are introductions at the beginning of each book, placed there by the publishers. I’ve read several of these introductions over the years that say something to the effect that the writer either had to have been there to witness what he was writing about, or he got his information from someone who was there, or he copied from another writer, and on, and on, and on. I’ve heard preachers saying these same things in their sermons.
Saying things like that casts doubt on the power of God, and denies that the Bible is inspired by his Holy Spirit. These accusations are subtle, but they are slowly eroding people’s faith in God’s word. These are some of the doctrines of devils that Paul wrote about in his first letter to Timothy. Don’t be fooled by them. Take God’s word for what it says, and hold on to those precious truths that it holds. The Bible is definitely the word of God, and here are just a few examples to prove it.
There are hundreds of prophecies of the Messiah in scripture that Jesus fulfilled. I haven’t counted them but it has been reported that there are more than three hundred. Most of them were written hundreds of years before he was even born in the little town of Bethlehem. Also, King Cyrus was foretold, by name, to overthrow Babylon about a hundred and fifty years before his birth (Isaiah 45-46).
In Daniel chapter 2, King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream about a statue. God told Daniel what the dream meant. It spelled out, in great detail, the four world empires that would directly affect God’s people, from Daniel’s time, all the way down to the end of the world. Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. Babylon was ruling when God gave Daniel the interpretation of the king’s dream. The other three nations arose to power just as God had predicted many years before it actually happened.
In Daniel chapter 9 we have another prophecy of four hundred and ninety years. This time period stretched from the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem, all the way down to the time of the Messiah. It foretold that he would die for others, and he did. This prophecy tells the exact year of the death of the Messiah. Jesus fulfilled this prophecy in every detail over five hundred years after it was written down. By using this prophecy, and the gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, along with the dates of the Jewish feast days, we can pinpoint the exact year, month, day and hour that Jesus died. He died around 3:00 pm on Friday, April 3rd, AD 33.
The Bible has also been proven to change the lives of those who read it. There is Power in the pages of this holy book. Simply put, a supernatural force accompanies the Bible. We know that it’s the Holy Spirit of God. He brings the Bible to life and invites the reader to have a close personal relationship with Jesus. When you read about Jesus, and get to know him, by spending time with him every day, you grow to love him. The proof is in the millions of people around the world who testify that their lives have been dramatically changed, for the better, by reading the word of God.
So, without a doubt, the Bible can be trusted. It has been proven time and time again, not only by fulfilled prophecies, and by its power to change people’s lives, but by Archaeology as well. Plenty of proof for the accuracy of the Bible has been unearthed over the years. Every year more and more proof is unearthed to show the accuracy of the Bible, yet so many still refuse to believe. I don’t know who originally said it, but this is a profound statement:
“For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For
those who don’t believe, no proof is enough.”
Now, that doesn’t mean we have blind faith. There had to be something to make us believe in the first place. Much of our faith in God and his word comes from our experiences with him, but what we read about him in the bible is part of what draws us to him in the first place. It’s sad that so many have chosen to disregard God’s word. Naturally, you can better understand the Bible if you have the Author to help you. So many don’t, and that’s one of the reasons they refuse to believe, no matter what proof is unearthed. There will always be those who scoff and put us down for following God, but look what Jesus said in Matthew 24:13.
13 But he that shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved.
So, can we trust the Bible? Is the Bible really God’s word? The answer to both questions is, YES. It is the word of the living God. Read it daily, study it religiously, and be changed by it, eternally.
Wycliffe Global Alliance