headergraphic

Why I Believe the Bible

What you believe about the Bible ultimately determines how you live your life. In this article, I discuss evidence in support of the trustworthiness of the Bible.

A Journey of Faith and Reason

by William L. Nowell

Introduction

I was raised in what most would call a "Christian" home. I went to Sunday school and church, and I believed the Bible. But, at school, I learned what was then called the "theory of evolution". I wanted to believe my science teachers, and I wanted to believe the Bible too. However, it's not possible to believe two diametrically opposed worldviews. As a teenager, I saw this as a challenge, but not as a real problem. Being somewhat resourceful, I devised my own "brilliant" compromise theory of origins. But there was a problem. The truth of the Bible mixed with the lie of evolution is just a different lie.

After entering college, I accepted Jesus as my Savior. Immediately, I took the Bible as 100% true, and totally rejected evolution. At the time, I didn't have answers for why evolution was false, but by faith, I knew what I believed.

The Institute for Creation Research and similar organizations provided much valuable information in support of Biblical creation. Their publications also exposed and debunked the so-called "facts" of evolution. Now I had solid reasons to believe.

You don't need blind faith to be Christian and to believe the Bible. Blind faith has never been God's ideal for us. Instead, we are told to love God with our heart, soul, and mind. (Matthew 22:37) God wants us to use our intellect to understand what we believe and why we believe it. We are also told to be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks a reason for the hope that is in us. (1 Peter 3:15) The word translated into English as "answer" is the Greek word apologia, which actually means "logical defense." We should have concrete, logical reasons and evidences for believing as we do. With that in mind, let's look at a few of the many of reasons for believing the Bible. No one argument is definitive proof of the trustworthiness of the Bible. However, the preponderance of evidence is sufficient reason to believe.

This article is divided into the following sections.

  1. Uniqueness of the Bible
  2. Archaeological Evidence in Support of the Bible
  3. Mathematical Probability of Fulfilled Messianic Prophecy
  4. Israel in Prophecy
  5. Scientific Accuracy of the Bible

Uniqueness of the Bible

The Bible is a most unique book. It's actually a collection of 66 books. The first of these books were written over a 40-year period from about 1446 to 1406 B.C. The last books of the Old Testament were written between the years 450 and 430 B.C. So it took roughly 1,000 years to write the Old Testament.

This was followed by a period of about 500 years when no writing was done. Then, between about 50 and 95 A.D., the books of the New Testament were written. In totality, it took at least 1,500 years to write the remarkable collection of books we know as the Bible.

The Bible is also unique in that it was written by more than 40 authors who came from a wide range of backgrounds and occupations:

  • Moses was trained to be a political leader
  • Joshua was a military general
  • Ezra was a scribe
  • Nehemiah was a butler
  • David and Solomon were kings
  • Jeremiah and Ezekiel were priests
  • Daniel was a prime minister
  • Amos was a shepherd
  • Matthew was a tax collector
  • Luke was a doctor
  • Peter and John were fishermen
  • Paul was a Pharisee and rabbi
  • Etc.

The Bible was written on three continents, Europe (Italy), Africa (Egypt), and Asia (Judea). Furthermore, it was written in three languages. Almost all of the Old Testament was written in Hebrew, except for a few chapters and verses written in the Aramaic language. The New Testament was written entirely in Greek. Despite the differences in lifestyles, locations, and languages of the authors, the Bible is an extremely cohesive and unified collection of books. Together they tell one continuous story: God's plan of redemption for mankind. This is consistent with what we would expect if the Bible were indeed the divinely inspired Word of God.

Archaeological Evidence in Support of the Bible

Many attacks on the Bible have accused it of being full of made-up stories of people and places that never existed. However, numerous archaeological excavations have confirmed the historical accuracy of the Bible. Here are just two examples of archaeological finds that confirm the existence of cities mentioned is Scripture.

Sodom and Gomorrah

Ruins of the legendary cities of Sodom and Gomorrah have been found southeast of the Dead Sea. The Bible tells us that God caused burning sulfur to rain down on these cities. In the past, some people questioned the existence of these Biblical cities. But we now have archaeological evidence that these cities actually did exist. Trapped in the rubble are numerous skeletons of people who perished in the firestorm that destroyed the cities.

A possible explanation for the awful devastation and destruction lies in the fact that the cities were located exactly over a fault line. Half of the city of Sodom appears to have dropped more than 300 feet, evidence of a horrific earthquake. There is also evidence of underground deposits of bitumen in the region. (Bitumen is a thick, oil based substance containing impurities such as sulfur.) Pressure from a major earthquake could have forced large quantities of flammable bitumen through the fault lines and high into the air. Once ignited, this blazing bitumen would've unleashed a holocaust of Biblical proportions. It would've rained "fire and brimstone" on the surrounding region just as the Bible describes.

Nineveh

Archaeological digs have also unearthed the ancient city of Nineveh mentioned in Book of Jonah. Nineveh, once thought by some to be a mythical city, is situated on the east bank of the Tigris opposite the modern-day city of Mosul in northern Iraq. This is just one more example of archaeology confirming the Bible.

Archeologists have unearthed a great deal of evidence of people, places, religious practices, etc, recorded in the pages of the Bible. Archeology confirms the historical accuracy of the Bible.

Mathematical Probability of Fulfilled Messianic Prophecy

A Messianic prophecy is a prediction regarding the Messiah (Christ). The Old Testament contains over 300 distinct predictions foretelling the first coming of the Messiah. These prophecies, written over roughly 1000 years, were all fulfilled by Yeshua (Jesus). In fact, 29 prophecies concerning His betrayal, trial, death, and burial were fulfilled by Jesus in one 24-hour period!

Mathematician Dr. Peter Stoner calculated the probability of one man fulfilling the following eight prophecies.

Born at Bethlehem
Prophecy: Micah 5:2 / Fulfillment: Matthew 2:1
Preceded by Messenger
Prophecy: Isaiah 40:3 / Fulfillment: Matthew 3:1,2
Enter Jerusalem on Donkey
Prophecy: Zechariah 9:9 / Fulfillment: Luke 19:35-37
Betrayed by a Friend
Prophecy: Psalm 41:9 / Fulfillment: Matthew 10:4
Sold for 30 Pieces of Silver
Prophecy: Zechariah 11:12 / Fulfillment: Matthew 26:15
Money Thrown in God's House
Prophecy: Zechariah 11:13 / Fulfillment: Matthew 27:5
Dumb Before Accusers
Prophecy: Isaiah 53:7 / Fulfillment: Matthew 27:12
Crucified with Thieves
Prophecy: Isaiah 53:12 / Fulfillment: Matthew 27:38

Dr. Stoner found the chance that any one man could fulfill all eight prophecies is one in 1017. That would be 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000. (Science Speaks, Chicago: Moody Press, 1969, 4) He calculated the probability of one man fulfilling 48 of the Messianic prophecies as 1 in 10157. That would be 1 followed by 157 zeroes. In simple terms, it is mathematically impossible for one man to fulfill just 48 prophecies by mere chance. Yeshua fulfilled over 300 prophecies concerning His first coming. (It's only reasonable to expect Him to fulfill each of the prophecies concerning His second coming.)

Fulfilled Messianic prophecy is powerful evidence in support of the trustworthiness of the Bible. However, in addition to Messianic prophecies, the Bible contains over a thousand prophecies dealing with specific events, cities, nations, empires, end times, and many more topics. Many of these prophecies were written centuries before they were fulfilled. For example, consider Biblical prophecies concerning the nation of Israel.

Israel in Prophecy

Jesus predicted the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. From history, we know this happed in the 70 A.D. Siege of Jerusalem, the first of 3 Jewish-Roman wars. The fall of Jerusalem resulted in the death of thousands of Jewish people, with most of the survivors sold into slavery. The Jewish-Roman wars devastated the Jewish people, reducing them from a major population to a scattered and persecuted minority.

The ancient prophets predicted that the Jewish people would be scattered to the ends of the earth. However, their prophecies did not end with the dispersion of the people. They also prophesied that the people would be re-gathered from all the nations of the earth. Nearly 1900 years after the initial dispersion, on May 14, 1948, the nation of Israel was formed. Since then, people of Jewish decent have returned from Russia, Ethiopia, India, China, and more nations, to their Promised Land, Israel. The existence of Israel is but one more example of fulfilled Biblical prophecy.

In 2014, the population of the nation of Israel (8.2 million) is less than the population of the city of New York (8.4 million). Yet Israel is continually the focus of the world. This is no coincidence. The Bible predicted more than 2000 years ago that all the nations of the earth would come together against Israel. There has been a significant rise in Anti-Semitic hatred across the globe. At the same time, Iran threatens Israel with nuclear annihilation while Hamas terrorists attack at every opportunity. We are seeing ancient prophecy fulfilled in the daily news.

Scientific Accuracy of the Bible

The Bible is not a science book; however, it is replete with statements suggesting scientific knowledge. These statements predate the corresponding scientific discoveries by thousands of years. I'll only give three examples of scientifically accurate information found in Scripture, but there are many more.

Astronomy

Some pseudo-intellectual evolutionists attempt to berate creationists by calling us "flat-earthers." Nothing could be further from the truth. The Bible teaches that the earth is round and floats in space. The phrase "the circle of the earth" found in Isaiah 40:22 is a fitting description of the earth as viewed from space. In fact, the Hebrew word for circle can also be translated as sphere, an even more fitting description of the earth. The popular "flat-earth" myth of the Middle Ages would have been seen as nonsense if more people had simply believed the teachings of the Scriptures.

The Bible also teaches in Job 26:7 that God "hangs the earth on nothing." In other words, the earth is suspended in empty space. How could ancient man have known this long before the rise of modern science without divine inspiration from an all-knowing Creator God?

Oceanography

Oceanographer Matthew Maury had a strong belief in the accuracy of the Bible. Words from Psalm 8:8, 'the paths of the seas,' stuck with him. Maury believed that if the Bible said there were 'paths in the seas, ' then there were 'paths'. So he set out to find these 'paths' by studying old ships' logs. His studies led him to develop charts of wind and ocean currents–'paths' in the seas. His charts greatly aided the science of marine navigation.

Biblical Health Laws

The Old Testament health laws show advanced knowledge of food preparation, bacteria, and pathogen awareness that far exceeded anything known in ancient times.

The Bible describes food as either "clean" or "unclean." Clean foods are acceptable to eat, whereas unclean foods should be avoided. For instance, the dietary laws tell us not to eat blood or animal fat. Nowadays, we know that infectious diseases such as tuberculosis can be transmitted to humans by ingesting blood of diseased animals. We also know that diets high in saturated fat are linked to increased incidences of heart disease, stroke, breast and colon cancer, obesity and other illnesses. This is just one example of an Old Testament dietary law that modern science has proven valid.

Many other dietary and sanitation laws are given in the Old Testament. In every case, there are medically sound reasons for following these Old Testament health laws. Modern science helps us understand why God gave us these health laws. It has taken thousands of years, but science is starting to catch up to the Word of God.

Conclusion

In this article, I've discussed five broad categories of evidence in support of the Bible's validity. There are many more reasons to trust the Bible. However, these five evidences should be more than enough to convince skeptics that this book is trustworthy. For those of us who believe, we know that this book is truly the Word of God.

Three Crosses