Is The Bible True? Responding to the 7 major challenges to the Bible’s reliability

by Todd Clay

Is the Bible true?

Short Answer:

The Bible is true in everything it addresses. Despite the many attacks it has endured over the centuries, it continues to withstand the harshest challenges. The important thing is to consider each challenge separately and understand both the critique and a reasoned response by a Christian scholar.

Long Answer:

Many people wonder if the Bible is true. No other book has endured as much scrutiny from critics than the Bible. For nearly two centuries, the Christian Scriptures have endured a persistent onslaught of attacks, yet it remains the most reliable collection of ancient manuscripts in existence.

Despite the attacks, the Bible claims to be the very words of God on multiple occasions and in several ways (Psalm 18:30, Matthew 4:4, 2 Timothy 3:16-17). It’s almost as if God dares his critics to prove his words wrong and many people have risen to the challenge.

In this limited space, my goal is to present the major challenges to the Bible’s reliability, briefly respond to the challenges, and provide additional links to help further your studies.

Challenge #1: The Bible Is Full Of Contradictions

The biggest challenge unbelievers level against the Bible is that “it’s full of contradictions.” So what exactly is a ‘contradiction’. Importance of Philosophy provides a good definition…

“A contradiction arises when two ideas each make the other impossible.”

So a Biblical contradiction would happen if one passage teaches one thing while another passage teaches the opposite. If there was an actual contradiction in the Bible that would be a real problem. It would make the Bible a non-coherent set of texts to an extent, so it’s crucial to address this issue.

“This God—his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.” (Psalm 18:30)

It’s no secret there are many challenging parallel passages in the Bible. Infidels.org has outlined many of the challenging passages they dub “contradictions”. These include…

  • Discrepancies between the creation accounts in Genesis 1 & 2.
  • Differing accounts of similar stories in Jesus life from Matthew, Mark, and Luke – aka “the Synoptic Problem.”
  • Apparent theological issues when comparing various passages with each other.
  • And more…

There are several other reasons why potential contradictions aren’t actual contradictions. When somebody raises a supposed contradiction in the Bible, they often fail to account for…

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