Why We Believe the Bible

We believe the 66 books of the Bible, 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament, are inspired by God.  The original writings, by 44 different authors over a 1500 year span in three languages, are without error.  We believe the Bible originated with God but, was written using humans as the means.  The Bible speaks with the authority of God while reflecting the backgrounds, cultures, styles and vocabularies of the human authors.  The Bible is unique, reliable and it is the final authority on all matters of Christian faith and practice.

  • Second Timothy 3:16-17 says,”All scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.  God uses it to prepare and equip His people to do every good work.”  (NLT)
  • The more one reads the Bible, the more one realizes the wholeness, symmetry and consistency of the Word of God.
  • There are over 5300 Greek manuscripts of the New Testament, over 10,000 Latin Vulgate manuscripts, about 9300 other versions and 24,000 manuscript copies of parts of the New Testament. No other work comes close to that volume of manuscripts.
  • The New Testament was written between 40 and 100 AD. The earliest known copy is dated 125 AD.  That is a 25 to 85 year time span between the original and the first copy.  Scholars are comfortable with calling copies written as long as 1400 years after the original as trustworthy.  Since the New Testament copies appeared so early after the originals, their reliability is assured. 
  • Textual variations between documents are another measure of reliability. In the New Testament, 400 words are in doubt and none of these words are on doctrinal issues.  There are 7640 words in the Iliad that are questionable.  Five percent of the Iliad is questioned versus 0.5 percent of the New Testament. 
  • The rules that the early scribes adhered to when making copies of the scriptures were detailed and rigorous. These rules were followed so well that when the two copies of Isaiah found in 1947 with the other Dead Sea Scrolls were compared to the manuscripts written one thousand years after the newly found copies, they were 95 percent accurate.  The 5 percent differences were spelling and slips of the pen.
  • The writers even recorded events like the apostles fleeing at Jesus’ arrest, Peters denial, Jesus’ bitter moments, His agony on the cross. Nothing is hidden or diluted in the scriptures, not even the humanity of His disciples. 
  • The historian Eusebius preserved the writings of Papias who was a student of the Apostle John. Papias wrote that “John told him that Mark wrote down all that Peter told him accurately.” Iraneus, who was a student of Polykarp who was a student of John, wrote “Matthew published his gospel among the Hebrews in their own tongue while Peter and Paul were preaching the gospel in Rome.”  Archaeologists often provide external evidence about events that are recorded in the Bible.