Is the Bible True?
The Bible is the best-selling book of all time.
“Although it is impossible to obtain exact figures, there is little doubt that the Bible is the world’s best-selling and most widely distributed book. A survey by the Bible Society concluded that around 2.5 billion copies were printed between 1815 and 1975, but more recent estimates put the number at more than 5 billion.
“By the end of 1995, combined global sales of Today’s English Version (Good News) New Testament and Bible (copyright for which is held by the Bible Societies) exceeded 17.75 million copies, and the whole Bible had been translated into 349 languages; 2,123 languages have at least one book of the Bible in that language.” (Guinness Book of World Records)
“It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.” —George Washington, first president of the United States.
The Bible is a book of spiritual truth. It gives us information about the spiritual world in which God created us to live. It also gives us information about the physical world. The Bible gives tells us how to have an orderly society, basic principles of success in occupational and financial matters. It speaks to living a healthy and nutritional life, personal relationships, and how to live in both the physical and spiritual world.
Divinely Inspired and Divinely Revealed
Many believe that you must accept the Bible’s truth simply on faith. I believe faith is a developed attribute, not a mental decision. Faith comes from spiritual knowledge and understanding. It is a byproduct of spiritual revelation. Paul the Apostle says this – “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Paul says faith is what gives the ability to face both the present circumstances and the future with a steadfastness that nothing else provides.
Yes, faith is an asset in believing the Bible, but a blind faith that the Bible will affect your knowledge or your life without spiritual help may lead to a terrible disappointment. But let us look at the physical proofs of the Bible’s accuracy.
The Bible and Archaeology
How can we be sure the people mentioned in Bible really existed? Biblicalarcheaology.org published an article “53 Bible People Confirmed in Authentic Inscriptions”. The article includes kings, pharaohs, priests, assassins, government officials, governors, and relatives of mentioned people. All have been identified by inscriptions, steles, monoliths, stone tablets, seals, letters, and other means. All those identified show to have lived in the general time period recorded in the Bible.
The Bible and Astronomy
Some discoveries by astronomy seem to contradict the Bible like Copernicus’ conclusion in the 16th century that the earth was a sphere and traveled around the sun. This contradicted the church’s view that earth was the center of the universe and the sun rotated around a flat square earth. The church accepted the Greek astronomer Ptolemy’s view who decreed the earth was the center of universe. Some interpreted Isaiah’s statement about the “four corners of earth” meaning the earth is square and flat. (Isaiah 11:2) Yet Isaiah said in 40:22 that God sits above the circle of the earth. Aristotle determined the earth was a sphere.
This created a huge controversy in organized religion because it showed the Bible was in error. In fact, it was simply an error in interpretation. This of course is the cause of most “contradictions” in the Bible. Time has shown again and again this is case. The World Christian Encyclopedia counted 33,830 denominations in 2001. Each of the denominations most likely has a different interpretation of some scripture in the Bible or doctrines drawn from the Bible.
Age of the Earth
This is a biggie, right? Astronomers looking at the number of lights years a planet or star is from earth would show the universe to be many billions of years old. Many Bible scholars believed the universe to be around 6000 years. This was determined by counting backwards using genealogy in the Old Testament. Science has shown this not to be true. It is an argument still today in some religious circles. The Some people explain away the conflict by assuming God can create a 20-billion-year-old universe if He chooses.
Yet such arguments are unnecessary. The Bible does not contradict scientific evidence, and science does not disprove the biblical record. But the argument is mute because the Bible does not say when the universe God created the universe. We can assume from genealogy that God created Adam about 6000 years ago. The Bible does not say God created Adam and the universe at the same time.
Let’s look at Genesis 1 and see what the often-misunderstood creation account really says. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters” (Genesis 1:1-2, New International Version). The first statement in this account refers to God’s initial creative act. No exact time is given as to when this took place. What is evident, from comparing this passage with other scriptures, is that between verses 1 and 2 something happened to render the earth “formless and empty” [in Hebrew, tohu and bohu]. Isaiah 45:18 tells us that God “did not create [the earth] a chaos [tohu], he formed it to be inhabited” (New Revised Standard Version). The initial creation was followed by destruction and chaos. The New International Version’s footnoted alternate reading for verse 2 is, “Now the earth became formless and empty . . .” This indicates a time difference between the original creation described in verse 1 and the time leading to the creation of man beginning in verse 2 ….We are not told exactly when the initial creation took place. But the Bible hints that the original creation was followed by widespread destruction brought about by the rebellion of the powerful angel Lucifer, who became Satan (Isaiah 14:12-15). Thus the account of Genesis 1:3-31 is apparently a description of a restoration of the earth as a habitable planet just before the creation of man (see Psalm 104:30). Biblical genealogies indicate that this occurred approximately 6,000 years ago, though nowhere does the Bible tell us when God first created the heavens and the earth. (Is the Bible True? United Church of God)