The following reasons are sufficient to prove to an unbiased mind that the Bible is a genuine, authentic, inspired revelation of God:
THE GENUINENESS AND AUTHENTICITY OF THE BIBLE PROVES IT TO BE AN INSPIRED REVELATION FROM GOD. By genuineness we mean that the books were actually written in the age to which they in assigned and by the men to whom they are ascribed. By authenticity we mean that the Bible relates truthfully the matters of which it treats, and its contents are the same today as written originally. From man's standpoint, the genuineness and authenticity of the Bible rest upon the claims of the Bible itself, the original manuscripts, lectionaries, patristic quotations, ancient and modern versions, archaeology, and secular history.
Origins, Morality, Geography, Chronology, History, Spirituality
Of all the writings of antiquity, the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible) is the most remarkable. The various subjects it embraces makes it a necessity in the understanding of God's plan for man. It is the foundation of divine revelation to man. Its explanation of the origin of all things, its code of laws, geography, chronology, history, and religion prove it to be a divine work worthy of careful study and acceptance by the whole human race.
The Pentateuch is generally called "the law of Moses," but it is really the law of God. For Moses to be the sole author and originator of this civil and religious system (not to mention the many revelations regarding God's creative and redemptive work), he would have to be immortal: a mere human could not have invented such a work. For comparison, consider the following religious documents:
1. Zend-Avesta, by Zoroaster, about 1200 B.C., the sacred book of the Medes and Persians to revive the ancient Magian religion
2. The Four Vedas, the four sacred books of the Hindus, or the Institutes of Menu, written by Menu, son of Brahma, and containing the code of civil and religious laws of the Indians, written about 1100 B.C.
3. Five Kings, the sacred book of the Chinese, written by Confucius about 1100 B.C.
4. The Pitikes of the Buddhists, written by Gautama, founder of Buddhism about 600 B.C.
5. The Koran, written by Mohammed about A.D. 600
6. The Eddas of Scandinavia, two religious codes containing mythology and traditions, written about A.D. 1100 or 1200.
All these were written about 500 to 2,400 years after Moses, and some are made up partly of quotations from the Old and New Testaments, the Talmud (a Jewish commentary of the Old Testament), and the Gospel of Barnabas. Others contain the best sayings of the wise men of the people producing the work; certain ethical, political, and moral aspirations of those people; as well as old traditions, mythological and fantastic tales of gods, their wars, etc.
The Holy Bible has made the ultimate and justifiable claim for itself that no other ancient text has made. The Bible repeatedly asserts to be the perfect Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21; Psalm 19:7, 119:160).
All over the world we find cultural legends and myths that closely resemble certain accounts in the Bible, such as the Creation, the Fall, the Flood, and the Tower of Babel accounts (Points 4 - 12 of The Plan of God). See also Myths from Mesopotamia: Creation, the Flood, Gilgamesh, and Others, by translator Stephanie Dalley
All human heritage goes back to the city of Babel where all human population once lived after the global Flood of Noah's day. We would expect to find common accounts of history (such as Creation and the Flood) within the stories and traditions of today's people groups that once lived together in one place after the great Flood. Given years of cultural diversity as mankind spread throughout the world, it is also not surprising that these stories have taken on their own cultural influences in the retelling.
And, the sacred books of other religious opinions & worship reveal many erroneous and superstitious ideas which could only be the product of the human mind. While their profitable sayings may have helped in the social life of some in the past, there is little in them that inspires one to righteousness, and nothing that brings a correct understanding of the true and living God. How different are the Pentateuch and the other portions of Scripture which radiate truth like the sun, compared to the candle of these other works. Consider more about origins here.
(1) SECULAR HISTORY.
In San Francisco in 1921 we heard Robert Dick Wilson, Ph. D., D.D., professor of Semitic Philology in the Princeton University, say, "As a young man I began to hear criticism of the Bible. I made up my mind that I would consecrate my whole life to finding out if the Bible was genuine and authentic. For fifteen years I studied and mastered the ancient languages and dialects so that I could examine all the ancient versions and manuscripts of the Bible. I spent another fifteen years in biblical textual study of these ancient documents. I spent another fifteen years in writing out what I had learned so that the whole church might share them. After forty-five years I am fully convinced that the Bible, as we now have it, is genuine and authentic. No man knows enough to assail the truthfulness of the Old Testament upon which the New Testament is based. Once, in order to answer a single sentence of a critic of the Bible, I read all the extant literature of that period in numerous languages, and collected together no less than 100,000 citations from that literature in order to get at the facts and disprove the argument of the critic of the Bible."
Just before Thomas Newberry (author of the Newberry. Bible) departed this life he was asked if he had ever been tormented with doubts as to the inspiration of the Bible. He replied, "I have spent sixty years in the study of the Scriptures in the original languages, marking carefully every tense and preposition, and the impression left on my mind is not the difficulty of believing but the impossibility of doubting the inspiration of the Scriptures."
Ferar Fentop, the author of a complete Bible in English translated direct from the original languages, says, "I never ceased to read Philology, Scientific Writers, and Scientific Research, History, Sociology, Statesmanship, and every field which the Scriptures touch upon, to enable me to attain my object [to see if the Bible was true]. The laws and writers upon Criticism, whether Orthodox, Heterodox, 'Higher,' Broad,' Lower,' 'Assyriologic,' or 'Sanskrit,' have all been open to me, and my conclusion is that in the Hebro-Christian Scriptures we have the only key that unlocks the Mystery of the Universe ... In this conviction I present the last section of the Bible to my race, not as a 'parson paid to preach it up' ... but as a man who began the investigation of the possibility of a Divine Revelation, as an absolute disbeliever in any such thing, and who, after fifty years of honest and independent research, have become a profound believer in such a revelation as the only solution to the mystery of existence, not only of man but of all things."
The events described in the New Testament were well known as facts throughout the Roman Empire and have been quoted and referred to as actual events by fifty other authors of the first four centuries of the Christian era. The whole fragments of their writings still remain. Jerome, 392 A. D., mentions about fifty others whose writings have perished. These writers belonged to all parts of the world and represent both pagans and Christians. They agree in quoting Scripture as genuine and authentic. They refer to the Bible as a distinct volume, universally received as God's Word. Early versions attest the truth of the Scriptures. Heretics who separated from the main body of believers still held to the fact that the Bible was God's Word and was genuine and true. They differed only in doctrines which they supposed the Bible to teach. Even ancient infidels who fought the Bible based their reasonings upon the very facts our present Bible contains; so it must have been in existence then as it is today.
Heathen and Jewish writers confirm the facts of Y’shua the Messiah (Christ) and His followers and the existence of both the Old and the New Testaments. Josephus, Tacitus, Suetonius, Juvenal, Pliny and others, 93-117 A.D., all confirm statements of sacred history. There is no event in ancient history that can produce more than a fraction of evidence by which the Bible in its entirety is sustained as genuine and authentic. The Christian has more proof and more right to believe that all the versions of Scripture had one original than for Americans to believe that all the copies of the Declaration of Independence had one original.
We do not receive the canon of Scripture upon the authority of the Fathers and Church Councils. We receive them only on the same grounds they received them because we have evidence that they were written by a group of credible and inspired men. The Scriptures are here; and as seen in all the points above and below, there is only one way to account for such a book and that is by revelation and inspiration of God. They have power because God is in them.
(2) THE CLAIMS OF THE BIBLE ITSELF.
Fulfilled prophecy, Bible miracles, and the claims of the Bible all go to prove its revelations and inspiration. If the Scriptures are inspired they are also genuine. If they are genuine they are authentic, for genuineness is based upon authenticity. We’ll develop this a little more below.
1. ITS REMARKABLE UNITY. Over 40 different authors wrote the 66 books of the Bible during a period of over 1,800 years, and they all had one theme - the creation and redemption of the human race by God through Y’shua the Messiah (Jesus the Christ) and the Holy Spirit.
These books of the Bible were written by men from all walks of life such as kings, priests, judges, lawyers, princes, shepherds, soldiers, courtiers, statesmen, musicians, inventors, singers, poets, preachers, prophets, fishermen, farmers, tentmakers, publicans, physicians, rich men and poor men. They were written in various lands of three continents - Europe, Asia, and Africa. They were written in different ages and by many men, some who never saw each other or knew what the others wrote on the same subject. Yet when their writings became one book, there is not one contradiction among them.
Suppose 40 medical people, each in a different land and age, would write 40 books on how to cure a disease, what kind of cure would such a collection make? How much unity would one find among their writings? Collect together 40 books of mankind on a subject and one can see many contradictions and controversies among the authors. Some will be found trying to prove how the others are wrong and why his theory is right. This is all too apparent to those who have read different authors on any one subject. There-is no unity of thought between the books of men on any subject. But there is perfect unity between the books of the Bible, which speak of hundreds of subjects in the realm of religion, politics, science, etc. This proves there is one divine author for all 66 books. Who but a divine author could produce such a work?
2. FULFILLED PROPHECY PROVES ITS INSPIRATION. There were 333 prophecies – spoken centuries before – fulfilled in the life of Y’shua the Messiah (Jesus the Christ). According to laws of simple and compound probability, the 333 prophecies of Y’shua could have only one chance in one and ninety-seven ciphers of fulfillment.
About 3,268 verses of the Bible prophecies of thousands of details have been fulfilled. Not one detail of any prediction that should have been fulfilled even up to 1948 has ever failed.
3. THE TESTIMONY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT TO THE INSPIRATION OF THE OLD TESTAMENT. Jesus quoted the Old Testament 78 times. He quoted from 15 separate Old Testament books. He referred to the Old Testament as “the Word of God,” “The Scripture,” and, “the wisdom of God.” The apostles quoted 209 times from the Old Testament and considered it “the oracles of God.” Point # 2 above and this one testifies to the genuineness and authenticity of the Old Testament, both Testaments must be considered together as the Word of God.
4. THE SPIRITUAL POWER OF THE BIBLE. The soul of man longs for the truths of God as recorded in the Bible, which meet and satisfy all his spiritual needs. The book is just what one should expect from a heavenly Father to point the way to direct relations with Him, the way of salvation, provide help in every life struggle, inspire, and guide in prayer. Man’s soul thus finds what it craves – fellowship with God. It answers the longing for immortality and assures eternal life to all who submit to God. It holds out a future as big as the universe. It must be divine.
5. MAN COULD NOT HAVE WRITTEN THE BIBLE IF HE WOULD, NOR WOULD HE HAVE WRITTEN IT IF HE COULD. It is the strangest book and has the strangest teachings. Its ideal and the method of approach to that ideal are wholly unlike those of any human book. The teaching of the Bible of getting life through death, self-exaltation through self-abasement, salvation through grace and not of works, and many other teachings are supernatural and unlike human teachings.
For all those who refuse to accept its inspiration, it condemns their activities and promises punishment in the end.
The way of the Bible to become great is being a servant of all, not through lording it over all and making all servants to self as is the human way. When one is nothing from the standpoint of the Bible he is somebody, and when he is somebody he is nothing. When one loses his life he finds it, and finds his life he loses it. The way up is down. So it continues with practically all principles and ways of life according to the Bible. This is why a complete change must be made in every man who consecrates himself to obey the Bible.
God’s way of worship was not man's way, as proved by Cain and Abel. Man's way of improvement in life is not God's way. Man goes at it by self-effort and works. He requires entire dependence upon God and His working in the life. For this reason many natural men cannot understand the ways of God. For this reason many of them refuse God's way, as did Cain. Paul said, "The natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually determined" (I Cor. 2:14). No man could have written such things contrary to his natural self, and no man can attain to the principles of the Bible apart from God; so the Bible must be of God.
"We the undersigned, Students of the Natural Sciences, desire to express our sincere regret that researchers into scientific truth are perverted by some in our own times into occasion for casting doubt upon the truth and authenticity of the Holy Scriptures. We conceive that it is impossible for the Word of God written in the book of nature, and God's Word written in Holy Scripture, to contradict one another ... physical science is not complete, but is only in a condition of progress." —Signed by eight hundred scientists of Great Britain, recorded in the Bodelian Library, Oxford, England.
6. THE RESPONSE OF THE SOUL TO THE BIBLE PROVES ITS SOURCE. The Author of the Bible and the creator of the soul are the same person. The Bible is perfectly adapted to the soul. It shows complete acquaintance with the soul. It was made for all parts of man's nature. The law and the epistles are for man's reason; the psalms and gospels for the affections; and the prophecies and revelations of the wonders of God for the imagination. The Bible judges the soul by contradicting its passions, revealing its guilt, and humbling its pride and vanity. No mere human product could or would look down upon and condemn that nature. The Bible meets the deepest needs of the soul by solving its problems, and presenting a way out of its slavery to sin and Satan.
7. TWENTY CENTURIES HAVE NOT IMPROVED IT. Enemies of the Bible have made many claims that the Bible can be improved upon, but none of them have ever tried to prove such claims except in talk, and talk is very cheap. If man had written the Bible in the first place he certainly could make a better one today, since he claims to be far superior to original writers of the Bible. Is it too much to expect the modern superiors of the Bible authors? Until man makes a better book or one a billionth as good as the Bible, common sense requires him to lay aside all criticism of something better than he can produce. All books written and rewritten by man without inspiration can and are constantly being improved. Even men who are not authors of these books can improve upon them. Why can't they do this with the Bible? Why do not other books stand the criticism of the Bible? All this proves that the Bible must be of divine origin.
8. ITS SUPERIORITY TO OTHER BOOKS. There is an abundance of evidence that the Bible is superior to all other books. It is not like any other book in its claims. In its message, in its moral tone, in its insight into the future, and in its words of peace and comfort and hope to all men. It is different because of its insight into human nature and into all things of life here and hereafter.
It is the outstanding book among millions of books. It is in a class by itself. Other books can be classified as to their subject matter, message, and style. But this is not so with the Bible. It does not fit into any human classification of books. Its unique origin, its message, and its wonderful structure all prove its superiority.
It is also unequaled in its benefits to men, in its circulation, and in its popularity. In spite of all competition and the advantage of advertising that other books have over the Bible, it is still the perennial bestseller. More than 30,000,000 copies are distributed annually. Millions of men in all lands acclaim the Bible as the only book that satisfies the soul, and gives any hope of life beyond the grave. When a book penned by a modern writer is translated into a few languages, the author is as proud as a peacock. The Bible has been translated into1,086 languages and dialects, and new translations are being made every year. There are twelve editions of it alone for the blind. It is the most modem book of all ages, and all other books are hopelessly outclassed when compared with the Bible.
From the standpoint of literature and truth, the Bible is a recognized authority on the affairs of daily life as well as of things in the next life. It has no equal. Millions of men in all ages have lived and died by its teachings. No such trust can be placed in any other book. Religions, secret orders, and practically every kind of human doctrine claim to be based upon the Bible. It is the simplest book to understand and yet it needs constant study. Even the non-believer feels he is uneducated without a knowledge of its teachings. The more one reads, the more he realizes he is far short of mastering its contents. There are always new discoveries of truth in the Bible. It is always new to those who read it most. This is not so with any other book. When they are read a time or two, their contents are mastered, and the subject matter becomes old and uninteresting. All this proves the divine origin of the Bible.
9. ITS INFLUENCE IN THE WORLD. No book has had an influence on the world like the Bible. It has been, and still is as high as the heavens above the Earth in comparison with other books. In lands where the Bible is unknown, this fact is plainly evident. While the Bible his made modern civilization, man's present trend of rejecting the Bible, if it continues, will destroy such civilization. Without the Bible men would be in dense spiritual and moral darkness, and in mental ignorance, believing pagan superstition. Millions of lives have been enlightened and changed in every generation by its teachings, thus proving that its superior influence must be of divine origin.
10. ALL MAN'S NEEDS ARE MET BY THE BIBLE. This has been true of all ages. Every promise in God's Word has been fulfilled in the lives of men who have met the conditions, so it must be from God who fulfills these promises.
11. THE HEAVENLY CHARACTER OF ITS CONTENTS PROVES THE BIBLE TO BE A REVELATION FROM GOD. The Bible is full of heavenly truths that could never have been known except by revelation.
12. THE PRESERVATION OF THE BIBLE THROUGH THE AGES PROVES ITS INSPIRATION. No other book has ever gone through the conflicts such as the Bible his. Whole kingdoms and religions have tried to destroy the Bible, but it has weathered every storm; and it still exists long after its enemies have passed off the scene of action. Voltaire, over one hundred years ago, said, "The Bible in one hundred years will be a thing of the past." Nevertheless, today in the same house where Voltaire lived and made this statement there are thousands of Bibles stacked, and from that house many thousands of Bibles are distributed annually. Most books written a few hundred years ago have been destroyed and forgotten, but the Bible has come down to us from thousands of years and it becomes known more and more the world over as time goes on.
(1) MANUSCRIPTS. No original Manuscript of the Bible can be produced because of the fact that they were written thousands of years ago on perishable material, but they do not need to be found in order to prove ' the genuineness and authenticity of the Bible. After 170 years the original Declaration of Independence shows old age and should it be lost, we could still believe its original contents by the many copies we have of it today. Scholars today are willing to admit as genuine and authentic any writing of the same period if ten or more copies can be found. There are many thousands of copies of the original writings of the sacred writers. These writings are in Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Syriac, Chaldee, Samaritan, Arabic, Armenian, Egyptian, Ethiopic, Gothic, Persian, Coptic, and many other languages.
Many of these ancient Manuscripts date back to the third and fourth centuries, and a few even before that. New discoveries of new and older Manuscripts are being found constantly. Many thousands of ancient writings (even running into the million) have recently been found in Egypt in a good state of preservation because of the dry climate where papyri (paper) could be best preserved. These are throwing much new light upon the New Testament, but always the light confirms the fact that it was in the beginning as it is today. (See "The New Archeological Discoveries" by Camden M. Cobern.)
Many used to argue that the early Bibles were not like ours but since many new have been found that date even from a time long before Constantine, it is certain that the first ones were like ours of today. Not even one discovery has been made that is opposed to the overwhelming testimony regarding the antiquity of the Bible. About ninety years ago we had only 550 Manuscripts collated by scholars. Thirty years ago there were 1,700, and today there are 4,200, and they all confirm the integrity and purity of the Bible.
(2) LECTIONARIES. These make another link in the chain of evidence proving the genuineness and authenticity of the Bible. The lectionaries were lessons or portions of Scriptures from the Gospels and Epistles that were read in churches. There are 1,000 of the Gospels and 300 of the Acts and Epistles known to exist.
(3) THE PATRISTIC QUOTATIONS. These are quotations from the early Christian writers. These form a gap between the oldest whole Manuscripts of the third and fourth century back to the time of the apostles. If the New Testament were destroyed all but eleven verses of it could be collected again through the writings of the early church fathers of the first three centuries. Then writings may be bought today in ten large volumes called "The Ante-Nicene Fathers." These early writers all quote from both Testaments and agree that they are genuine and authentic. They refer to both Testaments as a distinct volume, universally received as divine; so both of them were in existence in their day. Some of these writers quote the Bible as many as 17,922 times.
(4) ANCIENT AND MODERN VERSIONS COMPLETE THE CHAIN OF EVIDENCE, THAT THE BIBLE IS GENUINE AND AUTHENTIC. These versions are in many languages, some dating back to the first and second centuries. They are valuable in determining the exact text of the Bible.
This site relies mostly on the “King James Version” (KJV) of the Bible. Here are some of the reasons.
Link to God's Plan for Mankind