There has been much debate and controversy over centuries of time about this one book. Is it true? Can its contents be trusted? How did it come to be written and by whom? Is there proof that it’s contents are true? These and many other questions have been asked over the centuries and continue to be asked today. So is there a way to find out the truth about the bible?
The book with highest sales and first printed on a printing press
Just google the Guinness World Records and you will see a claim that the Bible is the best-selling book of all time. With its sales into the billions. A google search reflects articles that state the best-seller of all the books in history is the Bible.
Created in China, the printing process using wooden blocks revolutionized society there before being further developed in Germany in the 1400s by Johannes Gutenberg and his invention of the Gutenberg press. Among other things, the Chinese printed the Diamond Sutra (Buddhist Scripture) and the first thing Gutenberg printed on his new printing press was the Bible. Just one depiction of how important religion is to various cultures. The Library of Congress, the largest public library institution in the world, with one of the largest collections of rare and valuable books anywhere. It was one of the first places in America to boast a Gutenberg Bible. The copy here is one of only five in the world that is both complete and written on Vellum, making it one of the most valuable of all editions.
Who wrote the bible and when did they write it?
In 2 Timothy 3:16 (1599 Geneva Bible) – The verse begins For the whole Scripture is given by inspiration of God… but does that mean God’s hand actually wrote it? No, the 66 books were written by 40 divinely inspired writers. These writers vary quite a bit from all walks of life. From kings to common fishermen and spans over a period of approximately 1,500 years.
Yet every book in the Bible is consistent in its message. These 66 books talk about history, prophecy, poetry, and theology. Despite their complexity, differences in writing styles and vast time periods, the books of the Bible agree miraculously well in theme, facts and cross-referencing. Quite a feat for any ancient group of authors over 1500 years. Although quite impressive it lacks definitive proof of its truth.
Does archaeology prove the truth about the bible?
Did the people, places, and events of the bible really exist as the bible, as well as other ancient texts, have written about them? Yes, in many cases, they did according to several internet searches. Archaeologists have found evidence for many of the locations and cultures mentioned in the ancient texts. They have also uncovered some physical evidence or supporting documents from other sources for some of the battles, the political struggles, and the building and collapse of cities.
Since the places, cultures and some of the events described in the bible and other ancient texts can be supported by archaeological findings, should we then make the assumption that the miracles and mysterious parts also happened?
The mysteries of the Bible and other ancient texts are just that: mysteries. It is not within the evidence of archaeological findings to prove or disprove their reality. There can be no object found that would give proof of a miracle happening. For example, no archaeological evidence would be able to prove that over 5,000 men and their families were miraculously fed with a little boy’s lunch. That remains a question of faith and spirituality, not science.
What about the bible’s prophecies?
2 Peter 1:20-21 (1599 Geneva Bible) – So that ye first know this, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation: For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
Many bible scholars suggest that at least 300 prophecies about the Messiah were fulfilled by the life of Jesus. Among these are his birthplace, lineage, sought out to be killed by Herod, that he would be called a Nazarene, and the method in which he died. All of these and others were beyond his control and could not have been accidentally or deliberately fulfilled. Many have discussed the statistical improbability of one man, whether accidentally or deliberately, fulfilling just eight of the at least 300 prophecies that Jesus fulfilled. How can anyone visualize the magnitude of such odds? I heard someone on the radio trying to put it into perspective once. The odds would be 1 in 10 to the 17th power. For example, if someone took 10 to the 17th power of silver dollars and lay them on the state of Texas. They will cover the state two feet deep. then you mark only one of these silver dollars and stir the whole mass thoroughly, all over the state. Blindfold someone and tell him that he can travel as far as he wishes, but he must pick up one silver dollar and say that it is the right one with the mark on it. What chance would he have of getting the right one? The same chance that the prophets would have had of writing just eight prophecies and having them all come true in one man, while also providing they wrote using only their own wisdom.
There are many other prophecies that have been fulfilled more recently. There are yet some that have yet to be fulfilled.
Here are just a few that were fulfilled in the 1900s which seems to show that it’s prophecies, though thousands of years old are still coming to pass in our modern times.
Zechariah 8:7-8 Says God will gather is people from the east and west and bring them to dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Jews have been returning to Israel/Palestine from all over the world. President Trump declared Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017.
Isaiah 27:6 Says that Israel shall flourish and grow: and the world shall be filled with fruit. Since 1948 the Jews in Palestine managed to establish their own state of Israel at a high price, war and violence over many years. Though there were many struggles the land went from a barren, desert wasteland to one that flourishes with a variety of trees, vines, and, plants.
Isaiah 41:18-20 (1599 Geneva Bible) I will open rivers in the tops of the hills, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness as a pool of water, and the wasteland as springs of water. I will set in the wilderness the cedar, the Shittah, and the myrrhe tree, and the pine tree, and I will set in the wilderness the fir tree, the elm and the box tree together. Therefore let them see and know, and let them consider and understand together that the hand of the Lord hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it.
Micah 4:1 (1599 Geneva Bible) But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the House of the Lord shall be prepared in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills, and people shall flow unto it.
So then what’s the conclusion on the truth about the bible?
Well, I suppose that is just left up the individual to figure out for themselves. Can it be done? Likely yes, if a person really does want to know for sure. Actually get a bible, then every day ask God to reveal if it is true before you begin to read it. The same way a person would find out how to know if anything is authentic is to examine it. If you wanted to learn to surf, you would seek help from someone who knew about surfing. Someone with experience. So the best people to talk to regarding the truth about the bible are those old saints who have been in the faith for many years. They know their bible and have real-life experience living within godly standards. Ask people about their testimony. How they came to be a believer and what made them so sure it was real. Ask people who have had experiences that are amazing and can not be explained by anything but God’s hand of intervention. Get first-hand information. You learn about it then closely examine it. The bible’s spiritual aspects must be examined with a spirit that is open to being shown the possibility that it could indeed be true. Ask God if he is real and to make it obvious to you and then be open to accepting what comes about and not just shrug off things that happen as coincidence. If you are one of those people who believe in witchcraft, voodoo, hexes, curses and the like, why would you refuse to be open to the wonderful, miraculous things God can do? The bottom line is are you willing to take a chance to really seeing for yourself? Though it’s hard to argue with your own personal experience, some refuse to believe no matter what. Some people will not accept it for one simple reason. Because they want to run their own lives their own way. They aren’t about to let God tell them what to do and how to do it. And the old saints say, “Oh but if they could only realize the amazing possibilities. How anxious they would be to accept Him”. Acts 26:28 (1599 Geneva Bible) Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to become a Christian. If we, one day find out it isn’t true what have we lost? Hangovers, addictions, broken relationships, being so high that we can’t remember portions of our life, wasting money on things that our kids will throw away when we’re gone. If we find out too late that the Bible was true after all what have we lost? The wonderful feeling you get when you use your time and money to help someone in need, a sense of peace and joy here on earth that can’t be explained in the natural as well as eternal life with the Creator who loves you more than words could ever explain. Could you handle it if you found it to be true? What would keep you from giving Him a chance to prove it to you and possibly experiencing what the awesome love of the Creator feels like?
I hope God draws you to himself so you can experience, especially through every hardship life brings, peace and satisfaction most people can’t even begin to understand. Because an obedient life with God is supernatural. He has been good to me. I want that for you.
Blessings – Tina – your online bible study provider