“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness…” – 2 Timothy 3:16
It has become increasingly fashionable lately to view the Bible as out of date, as needing to be brought up to 21st century standards. Some people believe that the Bible is a relic of a bygone age—an outdated remnant of a barbaric and superstitious society. How could anyone possibly take this book seriously when so much of it is outmoded, so many of its ideas primitive, culturally regressive, and out of touch with social norms of today?
It seems a logical argument in the enlightened, progressive, politically and socially correct society we live in. That story of how the Hebrew people emerged from their centuries of slavery in Egypt is a great story, but does it have any connection to my world of lightning fast e-mails and jet travel? The problems of a fish swallowing a disobedient prophet named Jonah seem pretty far removed from finding a good orthodontist or deciding which data plan is best for my iPhone.
People are not content with its relevancy alone, they also attack its accuracy. Experts from all over the world attack the names and dates and events and numbers in the Bible, telling those who will listen that the scriptures are littered with errors and fabrications.
The French philosopher Voltaire said that in a hundred years from his day, the Bible would have passed into the mists of history as people became more liberated and enlightened.
I’d like to give you a few things to think about when you are considering this issue.
Let me start with some basic facts about the Bible. The Bible is found in most households in the United States. Most hotels have a Bible tucked inside a drawer, put there by an organization called The Gideons. Go to any library, bookstore and you’ll find Bibles, either for reading or for sale. It’s the oldest book passed down through the centuries and around the world that is still read and treasured. This book has transformed the world. People have been and are still willing to die for this book. Some have tried to eliminate it. All who have tried have failed. This book contains a life-changing message of freedom. And it connects you to history’s most important figure. It seems strange for a book that has had that impact and continues to impact millions around the world to be outdated or irrelevant.
People ask about the accuracy of the Bible considering it was written over 2,000 years ago. Consider these four things:
Archaeology – In Josh McDowell’s classic composition on the historical evidences supporting the Bible’s accuracy, renowned archaeologist Nelson Glueck is quoted as saying, “It may be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a biblical reference.”
History – The Bible describes places, people, and events in various degrees of detail. It is essentially an historical account of the people of God throughout thousands of years. Dr. John McRay, Professor of New Testament and Archaeology at Wheaton University in Illinois, explains about one of the Bible’s authors: “The general consensus of both liberal and conservative scholars is that Luke is very accurate as a historian. He’s erudite, he’s eloquent, his Greek approaches classical quality, he writes as an educated man, and archaeological discoveries are showing over and over again that Luke is accurate in what he has to say.”
Manuscript Evidence – Dramatically, when the Bible manuscripts are compared to other ancient writings, they stand alone as the best-preserved literary works of all antiquity. F.F. Bruce declares: “There is no body of ancient literature in the world which enjoys such a wealth of good textual attestation as the New Testament.”
Prophecy – Author Randall Niles says, “I discovered over 1,000 prophecies in the Bible. Of those, an astonishing 668 of them have been fulfilled and none have ever proven false (three seem to be unconfirmed). The others focus on events that are supposed to take place in the future.”
Having said that, I have one problem with the thinking that the Bible is out of date. It is at odds with Jesus. And I will side with Jesus every time. Look at what Jesus says in Matthew 5: 17-18. “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.“ (NKJV)
What is a “jot or tittle”? The word “jot” in form was like an apostrophe, not even a letter, not much bigger than a dot. The “tittle” is the little projecting part at the foot of a letter, the little line at each side of the foot of, for example, the letter “t”. According to Jesus, not even that much can be taken out. Jesus affirms the permanence of the scripture right down to the tiniest flick of a pen. Jesus doesn’t say: look at the general idea, or the gist is important – hold on to that. He says: every letter; every part of a letter stands firm. Heaven and earth may pass away, but His word remains.
I believe the Bible Is The Word Of God. The Bible is a Divine Revelation. In the Bible we find out what God wants mankind to know about Himself and His plan.
No one has ever successfully refuted the Bible. Many mock the Bible but avoid challenging it point by point. No one who has done in-depth research, honestly examining the evidence for the Bible’s inspiration and truthfulness, has been able to disprove the Bible.
In fact, history records many who set out to disprove the Bible, who instead became believers.
And remember Voltaire’s prediction. Since Voltaire’s death, millions upon millions of Bibles in numerous languages have flooded the world and his house is now home to a Bible-printing publisher.