Proving That the Bible is True - Daily Devotional
How many of you can explain to a non-believer or skeptic of the bible why you believe it in? If you say anything that references any part of the Bible then it doesn’t prove to someone who doesn’t believe in the bible that is true. The fact of the matter is not many Christians can articulate what makes the bible true or why they believe in the bible more than any other religious book. I recently read an article written by Hank Hanegraaff on the reliability of the Bible. Hank also host a podcast called the Bible Answer Man Broadcast. In his article he went over an acronym that you can use to explains the authenticity and reliability of the bible. It’s called MAPS. I’m going to go over it today and you can learn and easily remember how to explain why you believe in the bible. Let’s jump in.
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Episode Notes & Bible Verses
Manuscript definition: The original copy of a book or article before it is printed. Or an old document or book written by hand in the times before printing was invented.
There are more than 14,000 manuscripts and fragments of the Old Testament. Approximately 10,000 manuscripts from the Cairo Geniza find of 1897, which dates back as far as about 800AD. About 190 bible manuscripts from the Dead Sea Scrolls found between 1947-1955. And at least 4,314 assorted other copies. That’s more than 14,000 copies that have been discovered and this ensures the trustworthiness of the Old Testament text.
From the New Testament the same is true. Over 5,300 manuscripts or portions of the (Greek) New Testament have been discovered.
In this article from Hank he goes on to say, “Unlike writings from other world religions which make no historical references or which fabricate histories, the Bible refers to historical events and is historical accuracy. The Bible is not only the inspired Word of God, it is also a history book — and the historical assertions it makes have been proven time and again.”
Many of the events, people, places, and customs in the New Testament are confirmed by secular historians.
In his article, Hank goes on to say, “For years critics dismissed the Book of Daniel, partly because there was no evidence that a king named Belshazzar ruled in Babylon during that time period. However, later archaeological research confirmed that the reigning monarch, Nabonidus, appointed Belshazzar as his co-regent while he was away from Babylon.”
So archaeological research has proven the bible account of Belshazzar as true. Let’s move on to more archaeological support.
One of the most well-known New Testament examples of archaeological research confirming the authenticity of the bible concerns the Books of Luke and Acts. A biblical skeptic, Sir William Ramsay, trained as an archaeologist set out to disprove the historical reliability of The book of Luke and Acts.
Through his efforts to prove the bible wrong he become converted. I’ve heard this truth about the bible. “The bible is like a wall that is 5ft high and 10ft wide and if anyone can push it over it’s twice as hard to over turn than before”.
As Sir William Ramsay tried to disprove the writings from Luke and other New Testament writings, one after another the historical statements of Luke were proved accurate.
Here’s some example:
Related to Quirinius
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. – Luke 2:1-4 NIV
Luke wrote that Joseph and Mary returned to Bethlehem because a Syrian governor named Quirinius was conducting a census (Luke 2:1–3). Archaeological discoveries in the nineteenth century revealed Quirinius (or someone with the same name) was also a part of the government of Syria and Cilicia from 11 BC to the death of Herod. Quirinius’s name has been discovered on a coin from this period of time, and on the base of a statue erected in Pisidian Antioch.
Related to the Pool of Bethesda
Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. – John 5:1-2 NIV
John wrote about the existence of a pool of Bethesda (John 5:1–9) and said that it was located in the region of Jerusalem, near the Sheep Gate, surrounded by five porticos. In 1888, archaeologists began excavating the area near St. Anne’s Church in Jerusalem and discovered the remains of the pool, complete with steps leading down from one side and five shallow porticos on another side.
So these are just two examples of many of archaeological discoveries that prove the accuracy of the bible.
The third principle of Bible reliability is Prophecy, or predictive ability. The Bible records predictions of events that could not be known or predicted by chance.
Critics argued that the prophecies actually were written after the events and that editors had merely dressed up the Bible text to look like they contained predictions made before the events. I touched on this and in previous episode a couple of weeks ago called “What Makes the Bible True”.
Since Jesus is the central person in the Bible we can look at the prophesies concerning him. The many predictions of Christ’s birth, life and death were made more than a 100 years before they occurred as proven by the manuscripts of the Dead Sea Scrolls of Isaiah.
Prophesies Concerning Jesus
- His descent from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Gen. 12:3; 17:19; Num. 24:21-24);
- His birth in Bethlehem (Mic. 5:2);
- His crucifixion with criminals (Isa. 53:12);
- the piercing of His hands and feet at the crucifixion (Ps. 22:16);
- the soldiers’ gambling for His clothes (Ps. 22:18);
- the piercing of His side and the fact that His bones were not broken at His death (Zech. 12:10; Ps. 34:20);
- and His burial among the rich (Isa. 53:9).
- Jesus also predicted His own death and resurrection (John 2:19-22).
Bible Statistics Evidence
When you look at some of the prophecies of the Old and New Testaments, it seems incredible that skeptics still try to reject the statistical evidence of the bible.
So let me give some stats that are most of the time are not in our favour but people still hold out hope to try to beat the odds.
In men’s basketball, for example, there is only a .03% chance of a pro career. This means that of the almost 156,000 male, high school senior basketball players only 44 will be drafted to play in the NBA after college.
The odds of hitting the biggest jackpot on a slot machine would be 1 in 262,144.
In a lottery in which you pick 6 numbers from a possible pool of 49 numbers, your chances of winning the jackpot (correctly choosing all 6 numbers drawn) are 1 in 13,983,816. People still play the lotto.
When we look at the bible we have to consider that the Bible was written over a span of 1500 years by forty different human authors in three different languages. And yet there is one consistent, noncontradictory theme that runs through it all: God’s redemption of humankind. And every prophesy lines up without contradiction 100% of the time.