How Accurate Is the Bible?
by Ken Boa
“Jack, you’re always quoting the Bible to me as if were the last word on issues about life. How can you base your life on a book that’s so full of contradictions and errors? Historians and scientists have long since proven that the Bible is inaccurate and unreliable.”
Many people are of the opinion that the teachings of the Bible are outdated, contradictory, and full of scientific and historical errors. With few exceptions, they have reached these conclusions through second and third hand sources rather than their own study of the Bible.
Consider the following statements:
•The Bible says that God helps those who help themselves.
•The books of the New Testament were written centuries after the events they describe.
•”Cleanliness is next to godliness” is in the Bible.
•According to the Bible, the earth is flat.
•The earliest New Testament manuscripts go back only to the fourth or fifth centuries A.D.
•The Bible teaches that the earth is the center of the universe.
•The English Bible is a translation of a translation of a translation (etc.) of the original, and fresh errors were introduced in each stage of the process.
How many of these statements do you think are true? The answer is that all of them are false. Yet these false impressions persist in the minds of many, and misinformation like this produces a skeptical attitude toward the Bible.
In this article, we will consider a number of objections to the accuracy and reliability of the Bible to help you make a more informed decision as to whether or not it is authoritative.
“How can you be sure that the Bible is the same now as when it was written? The Bible has been copied and translated so many times! Haven’t you ever played the game where people sit in a circle and pass a sentence from one person to the next until it comes back around in a completely distorted version? If that could happen in a room in just a few minutes, think of all the errors and changes that must have filled the Bible in the centuries since it was first written!”
There are three lines of evidence that support the claim that the biblical documents are reliable: these are the bibliographic test, the internal test, and the external test. The first test examines the biblical manuscripts, the second test deals with the claims made by the biblical authors, and the third test looks to outside confirmation of the biblical content…
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