Why the Bible is Reliable
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” 1 Timothy 3:16
Many scoff at the Word of God. The Bible says that even in the “LAST DAYS” there would be scoffers asserting, “Where is the promise of his coming, for since the fathers fell asleep all things continue as they were from the beginning of the Creation.” (2 Peter 3:4). Although all life is miraculous, and day and night are a wondrous phenomena: yet man thinks it impossible that the Great Creator could have handed him a divine Handbook explaining His purpose with the earth and man upon it. In other words, divine power is limited to man’s own punt understanding.
But have you ever thought over the claims of the Bible to be the Word of God? Just for a few moments, consider this brief evidence:
First, its Antiquity: The excavator’s spade is a great testimony to the truth of the Bible. The gaunt ruins of Babylon may be seen today – deserted, for the Arab will not pitch his tent there. (see Isaiah 13:19-22). In the sea around Tyre can be seen remnants of ancient pillars of Tyre, the old maritime city. Fishermen spread their nets upon them just as Ezekiel said they would do (Ezekiel 26:1-14). Some years ago, the record of Joshua of the city of Jericho was ridiculed. But in 1934 Professor Garstang uncovered the city and found evidence of it having been burnt (ch. 6). Likewise Edom, Moab, Ammon and Palestine itself, abound with evidence that the Bible record is true.
Then its Harmony: Thought written by more than forty writers over a period of 1,800 years, its sixty-six books all agree. There are 333 prophecies in the Old Testament about Jesus Christ, whilst the New Testament quotes 278 references, word for word, in the Old Testament; 100 partly word for word, and 124 incidents mentioned therein. In fact, our Calendar commences with the birth year of Jesus, who, in turn, endorsed the story of Adam and Eve, the existence of Abraham, David, Solomon, Ezekiel, Isaiah, Moses and Noah, whilst the apostles likewise endorse many of the other early Bible characters. Also, on a memorable walk to Emmaus, Jesus told the two astonished disciples of himself, when he “beginning at Moses and ALL THE PROPHETS he expounded unto them in ALL THE SCRIPTURES the things concerning Himself.” (Luke 24:27).
Now For its Divinity: The Bible does not elevate man, but God. It tells of Moses, the great leader of Israel, of his indiscretion at Meribah (Numbers 20:12). It takes David, the honoured king of Israel, and exposes his sin with Bathsheba, and leaves the world to scoff. It tells of Hezekiah’s weakness in showing his riches to the king of Babylon (Isaiah 39). It tells of Solomon, the wisest man of his day, how he fell from his high estate in spite of all his wisdom – for he left God for a time. Any ordinary biography – if of man – would at least have endeavored to cover up the deficiencies of its famous characters. About 2,000 times the Bible says, “Thus saith the Lord”. It is the only book which can peer into the future with unerring glance. Seven hundred years before Jesus came, Zechariah foretold that the Lord Jesus would ride into Jerusalem on an ass (Zechariah 9:9). One thousand years earlier; the Psalmist foretold Jesus’ death in detail, and by a form of punishment which was then unknown to the Jews – crucifixion (Psalm 22). Hundreds of the Bible’s prophecies speak similarly.
Note its Preservation: Although so ancient, the Bible remains impregnable. Take all the books under 50, 100, or 500 years old, out of a library, and how few would be left. But the Bible remains. It has been publicly burnt, in the endeavour to exterminate it. It has carried the death penalty for its possession. Three of the oldest manuscripts from which the Bible has been translated, the Vatican, Alexandrian, and Sinaiticus, take us back to the fourth century, whilst Tatian’s Diatessaron is likewise an ancient summary, presenting a summary of the four Gospels.
Thus there is no other book in the world which has been preserved in a like manner. And in 1947 its authenticity was placed beyond doubt by the discovery near the shores of the Dead Sea of many ancient scrolls dating back to the century before Jesus. Some contained complete books of the Bible, such as the book of Isaiah, and many other portions of Scripture, and these were almost word for word with our present translated Bible. Thus God, in His wisdom, has seen fit in these “LAST DAYS” to endorse the truth of His Word, and to confirm the prophecy of Habakkuk (ch. 2:3), “At the end it shall speak and not lie.”
See its Circulation: The Bible still remains the world’s “best seller”. It has been translated into about 1,100 languages with a yearly production of about thirty million copies. It adapts itself to all environments and all nations. Colporteurs in many countries carry it through fire and flood, desert and city, through countries hospitable and inhospitable. What other book has called forth the energies of men and women in this way? None.
Now its Power: One quotation will suffice to show how it was written “Holymen of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:21). This same Spirit has often moved even wicked men to utter that which of themselves they would not do, as witness the record of Balaam (Numbers 23:5). Then again, never do we hear of a book – say – on geography, or medicine, having changed a sinner, but the Bible changes lives. It humbles a man and shows him the need of God and His Son. As Hebrews 4:12 says, “The Word of God is quick and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword”.
And its Freshness: The Bible is always ahead of the newspapers always up to date. Age has no effect upon it, but how different with other books. Just think! How few books after, say, 50 years, are still standard textbooks. Who would care to study Medicine, Engineering, or Science from such books? They would be obsolete. But the charm of the Bible lies in its sufficiency for our daily needs and every circumstance. In vain the infidel has endeavored to overthrow it, to discredit it, to deny its power – but the infidel sleeps in the dust – the Bible still marches on.
Watch its Prophecies: There is not a journal in the world which can unerringly forecast the events of a day ahead. But the Bible foretells events centuries before they happen. Five hundred years before Jesus came, Isaiah foretold his sufferings (ch. 53). Daniel foretold the appearing of the Messiah nearly 500 years before he came (ch. 9). Micah foretold the very place where Jesus would be born (Micah 5:2). Jeremiah foretold the dispersion of the Jews and likewise their regathering – the commencement of which we have lived to see (ch. 32). Jesus himself foretold the downfall of the Turkish Empire (the great river Euphrates, Revelation 16:12, 17). So the Bible is true – is God-breathed – and is God’s Handbook to man.
Today, and Tomorrow: Test the Scriptures with what is happening in the world today. We live in an age which is unparalleled in the history of the world for its problems: Fear, economic chaos, war preparation on a gigantic scale, and taxation burdens as never before. Jesus foretold this in Luke21:25-26. Then we are told that just before the return of the Lord Jesus, Israel would come home from their long dispersion and that the Arab nations around them would close in on them and that ultimately Russia, the “king of the north” would take the Holy Places in Israel (Ezekiel 36:2-5).
Again, the LAST DAYS of human government would be noted for a general march to WAR, which would not stop until Armageddon was reached. Has not this been so ever since 1914? The two world wars of 1914 and 1939 have but paved the way for a THIRD and (we believe) a FINAL conflict which brings the Lord Jesus prominently before all peoples (see Revelations 16:14-16).
Further, this outstanding Age of War would also be noted for the universal cry of “Peace and Safety” (1Thessalonians 5:1-3) which precedes “sudden destruction”. Has this not been so? The great Peace Organisations of our times have been unique in the history of the world. The League of Nations of 1920 was composed of 62 nations. The League Palace at Geneva was sumptuous and contained thousands of books and essays on how to keep the peace, but all failed, and the 1939 war eventuated. Now the United Nations Organisation has taken over the role of World-Peacemaker with over a hundred nations, but still the drift to war goes on. The Bible is true. It stands as an impregnable ROCK, a divine testimony from the Most High, and a witness to human failure. So it assures us that our days will see the most glorious transformation of all time, for “in the days of these kings, shall the God of heaven set up a Kingdom which shall never be destroyed” (Daniel 2:44). That wonderful Day is near at hand.
READER, believe God’s Word; accept its message!
Believe in its glorious pages; repent and be baptised, and wait for the Lord’s return now so near (Galatians 3:27; Romans 6:3; Mark 16:16).
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