The Bible is the most popular and influential book ever written. Guinness World Records estimates there are over 5 billion Bibles in the world today. Billions of individuals have been transformed by its message. Communities and nations have been built upon its foundational precepts. The history of the worlds cultures, social communities, nations and government have been influenced by the Bible. A study of World History would be incomplete and inaccurate without exploring and understanding the Bibles direct influence upon individuals and historical events. The Ten Commandments, the Magna Charta, the US Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution, Bill of Rights are all part of the chain of Biblical influence.
Reasons the Bible was written:
The Bible was written over a period of 1500 years by 40 different authors maintaining a consistent theme. The Bible was written for the glorification of God and to deliver His redemptive plan for fallen man. Beyond the most fundamental reasons, there are many other reasons why the Bible was written and they are described here in this article.
There is no other book in existence that has inspired the writing of so many others. Works of criticism and praise, prose and poetry, literature and science all have volumes of work inspired and influenced by the Bible. It is apparent that there is something powerful about its message. What other book has been so vilified through the ages, so misused and abused by the corrupt and reprobate?
In Apologetics the Bible is central because in it you will find answers that best explain who God is, who man is, and what life and death and meaning are all about. If, as many claim, the Bible is just a book written by men, and is of little value for today, why does it have such lasting impact upon generations? Why is there so much animosity towards its teachings in comparison to other religious books? How do you explain the obvious life transformations of many individuals from depravity and despair to righteousness, joy and hope.
Questions about the Bible:
There are many questions about the Bible that have been asked through the ages. Some of these questions are explored briefly in this article.
Reasons to be skeptical:
Bible skeptics are passionate about discrediting the integrity, reliability and ultimate value of scripture for the individual and society. The American Humanist Association give many reasons to be skeptical of the Bible.
Answering the Skeptic:
Bible scholars and apologist have many reasons to support and promote the truth and value of its teachings. They also do a good job of answering the skeptics such as the humanist and agnostics. The following links will bring you to sites that will encourage you and give you answers for the skeptics in your life.
Jim Warner Wallace, Cold Case Investigator has an inspiring testimony tracing his path from skeptic to believer.
Aids to responding with confidence:
Many of us use acronyms as a memory aid. In this valuable link to the article at the Christian Research Institute you will find such a tool.
The acronym MAPS is used to aide you in describing how we can be certain of the Bible’s integrity and reliability.
- M is for the early manuscripts. There are numerous copies of the original manuscripts, however there are no originals.
The Acronym BEE is used as an aide in remembering the test that help determine if we have an accurate and reliable rendition of the original.
- B for Bibliographic support considers the numerous copies available, the sources and the time span between the copies.
- E for Eyewitness support considers the testimony of eyewitness and contemporaries hostile and favorable.
- E for External support considering evidence from other non- biblical sources both hostile and favorable.
Once the manuscript is tested the reasoning moves on to the second letter of the MAPS acronym.
- A is for Archaeological support and
- P for Prophecy or Predictive reliability, and finally
- S for Statistics This helpful apologetic tool is described further at the CRI site linked above.
“The next time someone denies the reliability of Scripture, just remember the acronym MAPS, and you will be equipped to give an answer and a reason for the hope that lies within you (1 Pet. 3:15). Manuscripts, Archaeology, Prophecy, and Statistics not only chart a secure course on the turnpikes of skepticism but also demonstrate definitively that the Bible is indeed divine rather than human in origin.” Hank Hanegraaff
How to prove the Bible is true:
In an article at Answers in Genesis the author Mike Matthews explains how we can prove the bible is true.
Many people will not be persuaded of the truth of the bible even within a reasonable discussion. You must remember that for many it is not a lack of evidence but a will towards un-belief. Matthews points out that
“It’s not a matter of evidence; they just don’t want to be convinced. So it is a mistake to proceed as though the main problem is a lack of knowledge. Your hearers have a heart problem. They have rejected the God of the Bible even before they begin to consider whether His Word could be true.”
Another of Matthews articles “Seven Compelling Evidences Confirm the Bible Is True” presents seven clear and compelling evidences for the reliability and truth of scripture!
As you explore these evidences and arguments for the reliability of the Bible I hope you will be encouraged to continue pressing on living and sharing these truths.