Here are five reasons why we can trust what the Bible says:
- The Bible contains four Gospels, or books about the Good News of Jesus Christ and salvation. Those Gospels are Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The authors knew a lot about Jesus’ ministry: Matthew was a tax collector who became one of Jesus’ disciples, or followers; Mark worked with those who started the first churches; Luke was a doctor who carefully investigated the life of Jesus and wrote in great detail; and John was also one of Jesus’ disciples. The Gospels include eyewitness accounts of Jesus’ ministry, historically accurate details and were written shortly after His ministry. Non-Christian sources and archaeology also confirm historical facts that appear in the Gospels.
- Between 25,000 and 30,000 handwritten copies of the New Testament survive today. Ancient church fathers quoted from the New Testament so much that even if these copies were destroyed, nearly all the books could be put back together. Some critics say these copies contain thousands of variants, or differences in text. However, nearly all of these variants are minor, like differences in spelling or using “Jesus” instead of “Lord.” None of them change the core message of the New Testament.
- All four Gospels tell about Jesus’ ministry, but include different details. The authors wrote to different audiences for different reasons. Matthew wrote to the Jews to prove that Jesus is the Messiah, the Savior. Mark wrote to Roman Christians to emphasize Jesus’ teachings and heart for serving others. Luke wrote to Gentiles (non-Jews) to show that Jesus, by living a life without sin, paid the price for our own sins. And John showed new believers that Jesus is the Son of God and those who believe in Him will have eternal life. Each author had a different style of writing, but all four accounts present the same basic truth. Their differences are actually evidence that the Gospels were not a conspiracy. The Gospels also include embarrassing accounts, like the disciples failing at times to understand Jesus’ teachings. Those testimonies would not have been used by those who called Him Lord if they weren’t true.
- Even without copies of the New Testament, people throughout the centuries have passed on stories of Jesus by word of mouth. Plus, there were so many eyewitnesses to His teachings—think feeding the 5,000 with five loaves of bread and two fish—that an inaccurate detail could easily be crushed.
- God used the Bible’s authors to convey His message, guiding them through visions, dreams and their own experiences. 2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed.” God did not move the pen in the writer’s hand, but guided him through the process; He inspired the text. Just because humans make mistakes doesn’t mean they can’t write truthful documents.
Many people reject the Bible without ever actually reading it. But since the Bible claims to answer life’s deepest questions, it makes sense to see what it has to say. Even if you read a paragraph at a time, God can teach you the Bible’s truth and use it in your life. You will also discover that Jesus Christ was a real person who loves you and that life’s greatest joy comes from following Him.