Summary: This apologetic message examines the reliability of the Bible and challenges us to be people of the Scripture.
(ON THE STREET INTERVIEWS-VIDEO)
The Bible is a unique and remarkable book. It is actually a library of 66 books written over a span of 1,500 years. There isn’t another book in history that took that long to write. 40-different authors from every walk of life wrote the Bible. We all know that people from different walks of life have different perspectives on life.
Yet the Bible was written by:
• Military Leaders
• And even a First Century IRS agent
The authors wrote from different places like deserts, dungeons, palaces, islands, battlefields, hillsides, and prison cells.
They wrote on 3 different continents (Europe, Asia, and Africa) in 16 different countries in 3 different languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek).
Their writings cover hundreds of controversial subjects yet they speak in perfect unity. This can’t be explained by coincidence or by collusion.
Think about it: If we brought up one controversial subject. Let’s say, the war in Iraq. If all of us in this room were to write a couple of pages on that subject, do you think we would all have total unity in our opinions? Absolutely not! Yet the Bible, which was written by 40 different people, with various backgrounds, living in diverse places, spoke with perfect unity on a broad range of controversial subjects. The Bible is a unified story of how God worked throughout history to restore His relationship with human race.
The Old Testament – Someone is coming
Gospel – He is here
Epistles – Someone is coming again
Read it cover to cover and you find:
• One hero – the Messiah
• One villain – Satan
• One problem – Sin
• And one purpose – Salvation
The only reasonable answer to the amazing unity is that there was one master architect who designed the book. The Bible is God’s Word to the human race.
The Bible also enjoys unique long-standing popularity.
Since the Bible began to roll off of Guttenberg’s Printing Press in 1450 AD it has maintained the #1 spot as the best selling book of all time. It now sells between 30 million and 60 million copies world-wide every year.
The Bible is the most translated book in history. The Bible has been translated in over 1,200 languages and still counting as new languages are being added every year.
It is the single most popular book in the world, the most translated book in history and the most smuggled book ever. In some places in the world such as in Communist or Islamic nations, people risk their lives to get their hands on a Bible.
No other book has been as scrutinized, ridiculed, criticized, misinterpreted, banned and burned like the Bible. Kings, emperors, dictators and governments have all tried to wipe it out of existence but it just keeps living on and changing lives.
Noted French philosopher and skeptic Voltaire died in 1778. Before he died he said, “Within 100 years the Bible will be a forgotten book.” When Voltaire died they auctioned off his home and it was purchased for the headquarters of the French Bible Society. The Bible outlives its pallbearers.
Jesus knew what He was talking about when He said, “Heaven and earth may pass away but my Words will never pass away.”
Bernard Rom adds, “A thousand times over the centuries the death nil of the Bible has been sounded, the funeral procession formed, the flowers ordered, the inscription placed on the tomb stone and the eulogy written but somehow the corpse never stays put.”
The Bible is also unique in its relevance. There has never been a book like it. It’s as relevant today as it was thousands of years ago.
This book will give you timeless answers for:
• Raising kids
• Improving your marriage
• Managing your emotions
• Handling your money
• Breaking bad habits
• Finding fulfillment in life
• Experiencing God’s forgiveness
• And receiving eternal life
Despite all of this, some people are still not impressed. They question the reliability of the Bible. So that is the subject we are going to tackle today. Is the Bible reliable?
Reasons You Can Rely On the Bible
1. The Bible is textually credible.
Is the text we have reliable?
Is the Bible we have today what was written by the original authors?
The integrity of any historical document depends on the number of manuscripts we have to examine.
How do the ancient manuscripts stack up?
• Plato’s writings 7 (no one questions)
• Aristotle’s writings 49 (Again, no one questions)
(Outside the Bible the record for most manuscripts belongs to)
• Homer’s Iliad 647
The Bible is the most documented manuscript in civilization. Guess – 700, 1000
• The Old Testament 14,000