Why should we trust the Bible?

The Bible lies at the heart of the Christian faith. Without it, we would know little or nothing about God, Jesus, and the Easter story that defines Christianity.

The Bible makes some very specific claims about truth and the meaning of life—so it’s clearly important to ask whether or not we can trust what the Bible says about these things. How would you answer that question?

Here’s how Faith Facts answers the question:

From many years of study, we have become convinced that the Bible is true and trustworthy—and that the skeptics are incorrect in their challenges. There are many evidences that confirm that the Bible is reliable. First, history and archeology confirm the biblical record. Over 25,000 sites have now been discovered that pertain to the Bible. As Nelson Glueck, renowned Jewish archaeologist said, “It may be stated categorically that no archeological discovery has ever controverted a biblical reference.” Even though archeology does not prove spiritual truth, archeological confirmation is an amazing testimony to the accuracy of the Bible.

As a comparison, the religion of Mormonism makes many claims as to history, especially about the Americas. Yet none of its claims have been or can be verified by archeology, seriously damaging its credibility.

Read the rest of Faith Facts’ answer.

Here’s how RBC Ministries answers the question:

There are many factors that give the Bible unparalleled moral and spiritual authority. The Old and New Testaments are deeply rooted in a historical and geographical record that is linked to laws, poetry, and predictions that express timeless life-changing wisdom. Even the parts of the Old Testament with parallels in Mesopotamian literature (the creation story, the story of the flood, etc.) are incomparably superior to the pagan versions. Although it is an ancient document, its realism is stunning and contemporary. The records of the Bible portray people in all of their complexity and inconsistency, with not only their achievements but also their sins—and the consequences of their sins—clearly displayed. J. B. Phillips expressed in a few words what countless others have noticed about the New Testament: It has the “ring of truth.” There are few people of any religious tradition who are familiar with it that don’t hold it in high esteem. Further, the historical accuracy of Scripture has been demonstrated time and again—often to the surprise of skeptical scholars.

Read the rest of RBC Ministries’ answer.

How would you answer this question?

What do you think?

8 Responses to “Why should we trust the Bible?”

  • Not so sure. says:

    Trusting the Bible because archaeological finds do not contradict its historical accounts isn’t a reason to support any non-historical aspect of it, or even the entirety of its historical accounts. For example, I may tell you that the United States fought Canada (British North America) in the War of 1812. This is a fact that secular history agrees with. If I also tell you that Martians visited a small town a year after the war ended, something which archaeology has not definitively proven to be false, am I to be trusted? If I tell you that it is morally permissible to eat cows but not chickens, am I to be trusted?

    It’s worth noting that study in other areas of science do indeed contradict the Bible’s accounts. Dates in the Bible put Creation billions of years after both the Universe and the Earth were created according to the natural sciences. Similarly, the Bible seems to say things like the Earth doesn’t move and the Moon produces light. If you have any acceptance of the sciences (which did things like give you the computer you’re currently using), then you know that these propositions are false. The science of evolution, which is well-studied and has been repeatedly confirmed, also contradicts the Biblical account of creation. These hardly showcases the supposedly “stunning and contemporary” realism of the Bible.

    The claim that the Bible’s versions of flood myths are “incomparably superior” to others is, well, a bold, value-based and utterly meaningless statement. I’m not sure what that’s meant to be based on, but… “my version is better than your version” seems to be a pointless claim to make if you’re trying to determine the authenticity and trustworthiness of a document. My wife does a better job at telling the story of our honeymoon than I do, therefore here views on metaphysics are true. This does not follow.

    The Dead Sea Scrolls, which are said to demonstrate the Bible’s authenticity, in fact show a range of beliefs that differ a great deal, and include several books that are not considered canon by most Christian authorities. Why are the documents that “confirm” the Bible’s authenticity readily accepted while those that contradict, refute or otherwise differ from it are ignored?

    Sure, I could agree that the generally accepted (by Christians) canon of the Bible is authentic in the sense that it is, in word and spirit, the same document that was produced in the years when Judaism and Christianity developed. Why, though, does this mean that the information contained within it is reliable, especially on normative grounds, such as ethics? If I write a page now that says that people ought to shave their heads so that God can see into their minds, and this paper survives for two thousand years, does its authenticity say anything about the claims it makes?

    Faith Facts says that the Bible is an “amazingly consistent document”. Nope. — 1 Samuel 31:4-6 and 1 Chronicles 10:4 say that Saul committed suicide. 1 Chronicles later says that God killed him directly (10:14). 2 Samuel says Amalekite slew him (1:8-10), and also that the Philistines killed him (21:12). — Matthew, Mark, Luke and John each tell a different account of Peter denying Jesus. — Matthew, Mark and Luke say that Jesus was taken to Caiaphas and later Annas. John reverses this. — Matthew says Jesus’ tomb was closed when the women arrived, while the other three say it was open. — Luke and Mark place the ascension into heaven on the day of his ressurection, while John places it eight days later. — Judas hangs himself in Matthew, while in the Acts he falls to his death.

    These are a small few of the many, many, many contradictions and inconsistencies in the Bible. It is not internally consistent. Not even close.

    Consider the following passage:

    “If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her; Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled his neighbour’s wife: so thou shalt put away evil from among you.” Deuteronomy 22:23-24

    Unless I’ve lost my ability to read, the Bible claims that rape victims deserve death if they do not scream loudly enough during their rape. This is not a commonly held belief today, and I dare say that in any conventional morality it is absurd and offensive. But, this is the stance of the Bible. The same book even says “Thou shalt not kill.” Deuterotomy 5:17. Contradictions are not the friend of reason, and certainly not promising for deeming this book trustworthy.

    If you trust the Bible, and hope to follow its teachings, would you kill a woman who, in the shock of being raped, did not scream loudly enough for her neighbour to hear her and come charging to her rescue? Would you kill a victim of rape, as the Bible seems to command?

    I think my point is clear at this point — I would answer the question by saying that you shouldn’t trust the Bible, and that the reasons given that suppose to be reasons why you should are not satisfactory.

  • Emeka .C.M says:

    Today, the church has not been able to separate the law of Moses that was not able to save the Jews from the life in the spirit that was introduced by CHRIST. These has made the church now to use the jewish law in justifying its merchandizing . Thereby, fighting for the glamour of the earth with the people of the world. Im not a judge, but that we may ponder and turn around. If the law was able to save the jews, Christ should not have come. Therefore, let us allow the Lord to live His life through us. Gal2v20

  • JUDITH ACTON says:

    I agree with not so sure on many points. I think the so called historical books were just so many political speeches, writings, messages tailored to different groups, all with the goal of making a cohesive group of many tribes of Hebrews.

  • Miriam says:

    We believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God because it was revealed to us by divine revelation. It is not possible to convince someone of the truth of God, if they have not had an experience with the Savior. For those of us who already believe, the proofs are just a confirmation and reinforcement that our God is a real God. It does not profit us to argue with those who cannot see. But, prayer changes things. It opens blind eyes and deaf ears.

    May the Lord bless all of you, including those who do not believe. The Word says that there will come a time when EVERY knee shall bow, and EVERY tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. My prayer is that we may all proclaim Him as Savior and Lord before it is too late.

  • I think and belive that it is the christion manual.It is from the bible that we know how to put our life right with God.

  • Matthew Wright says:

    The Bible can be taken as realiable as it has proven trustworthy at the points that can be tested, the archeology.
    This is in spite of at least 200 years of academic work, that was by those who propounded it to have disproved the Biblical account, through the ‘assured results’ of the Higher Critics. In a spectacular manner, these results have been shown to be inaccurate, and authors like Luke to be the most reliable of the ancient world. This means that the basic charge levelled by the modern western world, that the Bible is a collections religious fairy tales and legends arranged by well meaning priests, is deeply flawed. This has led, as seen by other replies, to even sceptics accepting that the text is written by people with an intimate knowledge of the time period and races they are supposed to represent. Since this knowledge was lost to later generations (as testified by later ancient authors), these facts support the idea that the Bible was written by those whom tradition says it is.
    As for the content of the Bible – to say that the supernatural never happens, and so any account must be fabricated, simply begs the question.
    In normal experience, if someone tells us something unusual has happened, we ask ourselves a number of simple questions. Are these people reliable witnesses? Is there collaboration for what they say? Is it reasonably consistent? These are all value judgements made by police men, politicians, scientists, lawyers and business men (to name a few) every day.
    Without delving into the vexed issue of Old Testament Law (rape accusation and witness handling remains a troublesome to this day), or minor differences in eye witness accounts, this book some call “The Word of God” had been loved and trusted, found reliable by both the simple and the learned, has been the text that has inspired great leaders and scientists, and can easily be shown to be the single biggest factor in the shaping Western science, democracy and justice.
    If a positive view of the books of Moses could be countenanced, there is undeniably remarkable knowledge contained within the religious ordinance. For example, it is hard to comprehend how a wandering tribe could have developed laws of hygiene that were not equalled in public health until the 1950′s. These laws were in direct contradiction to the great civilisations around them, and unlike these civilisations, Moses rules accord perfectly with modern understandings of infection and disease. It is also interesting to compare the lyrical account of Creation in Genesis 1 with the modern ‘Big Bang’ theory. While the great Civilisations were describing rivers of blood forming the Tigris as the corpses of giant gods formed the mountains and valleys of the Earth, Moses summarises is a few short words the progression from emptiness to light and energy, to a formless earth to formation of the oceans and then life, in a way that is strikingly modern. Admittedly, the mist appears to have parted on day 4 to allow the observer to view the stars, but this slight difficulty is minor compared to what any other recorded cosmology of the time has to say.
    In short, it has contributed to the good of the world in a way no other book has, its hygiene rules and cosmology are far beyond what one would expect in any other ancient text, and hundreds of millions of people who realise their need of God have found it a route to know God.
    And this is the short answer, there is so much more that could be said…

  • Matthew Wright says:

    For “collaboration”, please read “corroboration,” above, slip of the keyboard…:-)

  • It is amazing how fiercely the reliability and accuracy of the Bible is contested by non-believers. If the Bible was just any other book why be so jitterry about it? We who believe know that the very first trick of the enemy was to cast doubt in Eve’s mind on God word, what He said and meant.We who are in the know appreciate the fact that the enemy continues to cast doubt on the Bible by using such avenues as higher criticism.