The accuracy of the Bible has been questioned throughout the centuries. In a world that has seen the rising and overthrowing of multiple governments and religious figures, many have stopped clamoring for truth.
Since “truth” seems to mean something different to everyone, the world tells us that the truth about truth is that truth is relative.
We know just from our observation that is not the case, but nevertheless, it is the prevailing philosophy in our day. But, what makes someone question Truth?
In my mind, it is when there is no ultimate, objective standard in one’s worldview that truth cannot be known. However, there are worldviews who claim to have objective standards, Christianity and Islam, for example, and the world wonders how we are supposed to figure out which one is right?
Now, of course, there are more “players” in the game than just Yahweh and Allah. But the God of the Bible has given us something unique–He has given us His very Words in a book written over a long period of time, by multiple authors, and we Christians hold to the fact that it is without error and without flaw.
There is a “test,” if you will, that a worldview must be put through if we are to understand its validity.
Let me give you a quick example. Suppose that everything you know about the Bible is exactly the same, except the Bible tells us something obviously different about the world that anyone could observe. I don’t mean to be facetious, but let’s say the Bible describes that Zebras are purple-striped animals.
Any 5-year-old knows this is simply not true. Therefore, we would be able to directly observe a claim made by a book we claim to contain Ultimate Truth, that would be contrary to what we know about the world!
Don’t miss this: Even though we Christians do not put the Bible (or God, for that matter) on trial, we would be foolish to believe it if we KNEW it was lying.
Don’t take my Word for it. Here is what the Apostle Peter said: “For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.” (1 Peter 1:16).
Simply put, if the Bible were not an accurate depiction of reality, it would indeed be a “cunningly devised fable” like the Quran or the Book of Mormon.
In a previous post, we dealt with the Bible’s ability to self-authenticate and gave some reasons why we think it has legs to stand its own. In this one, we will expand a bit on those ideas and bring to light just some of the areas where the Bible makes truth claims (usually centuries before their popular discovery) about reality that we can all observe.
The Scientific Accuracy of the Bible
It has been well said that the Bible is not a science textbook. It is not there to give us specific scientific information about the world we live in, and yet, we find that it does just that in many situations.
Well, it stands to reason that the God who made our earth would know quite a bit about it! God knew that a day would come in which the integrity of His Word would be questioned. In light of that, I believe God intentionally included scientific details in the Bible that would validate its position as the Ultimate Authority for Truth.
Here are just a few examples:
The shape of the earth. Isaiah 40:21-22 says this: “Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in.”
The Hebrew word used for “circle” in the verse above is indicative of a spherical shape. There are plenty of conspiracy theorists who use this verse to attempt to prove a flat earth, but this is just simply incorrect. We have plenty of evidence for the spherical Earth on which we live, and the first to make that claim?–the Bible.
The Flood. When we look at the geography of the world around us, we naturally begin making attempts to explain it. Modern scientists have used the evolutionary model to suggest the Earth has been here for about 4.5 billion years–plenty of time, they say, for geographical formations such as the Grand Canyon to form by natural processes.
A closer examination of the evidence, however, takes us to an obvious conclusion: the geographical features we see on the Earth are the results of rapid, catastrophic erosion. Even secular scientists are beginning to admit this. We Christians have a perfectly preserved accounting of the events that caused these geological wonders–the Flood that took place around 4,000 years ago.
The Water Cycle. Amos 9:6 says, “It is he that buildeth his stories in the heaven, and hath founded his troop in the earth; he that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The Lord is his name.”
This verse is describing the process known today as the Water Cycle, or Hydrological Cycle, which was discovered in the late-1500’s. Looks to me that the Bible writers beat modern science to it!
Innumerable stars. “Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.” (Hebrews 11:12). We find here a recalling of the Lord’s promise to Abraham and Sarah.
For many centuries, scientists believed there were only between 3,000-5000 stars in the sky. Today, we understand that in the Milky Way ALONE there are estimated to be 100 billion stars. This is not a number you can physically count to in your lifetime, let alone considering the estimated 10 trillion galaxies in the universe.
Transcendent creation. The Bible is the only “holy book” that gives us an accurate account of creation, even by the standards of secular science. One point we can all agree on is that time, space, and matter all came into existence at the same exact time. This formed the Universe (one verse).
God told us all about this in one verse–Genesis 1:1: In the beginning (time), God created the heaven (space) and the earth (matter). The fingerprints of our Creator are inescapable–even from the first moments of time. For many years, an eternal universe was the best explanation science had to offer, but they missed the mark. It was the eternal God they should have been looking for.
Underwater springs. In Job 38:16, God rhetorically asks, “Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea? or hast thou walked in the search of the depth?” This article explains this natural wonder and its discovery in great detail.
In short, there actually underwater springs found in the bottom of the sea! These discoveries were made just recently, in the late 60’s and 70’s. How could the writer have known about these? He didn’t–but THE Writer did!
Dinosaurs. A favorite topic of recent creationists is dinosaurs, and for good reason! Since the discovery of dino fossils, we are now able to make sense of passages like Job 40.
Some may laugh and say this is impossible, but one has only to look at the cultural literature of civilizations gone by to find evidence of dragons, “large lizards,” and the like. Some even say there may be a few dino species still living today in remote areas such as jungles and caves.
One race. The Human Genome Project has confirmed that humans are not made up of different races that have evolved over millions of years, but rather, our anthropology can be traced back to one man, and one woman! We are all one race–something the Bible plainly and clearly teaches from the very first chapters.
[clickandtweet handle=”” hashtag=”” related=”” layout=”” position=””]Try as it might, modern science has been unable to prove the Bible to be fallible or incorrect.[/clickandtweet]
The Historical Accuracy of the Bible
Not only is the Bible scientifically accurate in its entirety, but it is also, and primarily, an accurate accounting of history. Of course, the Bible is also relevant for us today and has quite a bit to say about the future as well!
There is no other “holy book” on the planet that is written with the historical accuracy of the Bible.
When we want to know something about the ancient world, we must first look to the pages of God’s Word in order to gain a truthful and accurate understanding.
Here are some areas of great historical accuracy in the Bible:
Creation. I take the stand that God created the Universe in six literal days, roughly 6,000 years ago. Some Christians accept the Big Bang theory, which claims the Universe came into existence about 14 billion years ago. In either case, the Creator has to be God.
Since “nothing” cannot become “something,” we see the necessity of a transcendent Creator–a spaceless, timeless, immaterial, powerful, personal being. That’s what’s we mean by God. From creation until today, God has kept an accurate accounting of history.
Judaism. Jewish historians throughout the centuries have long-confirmed what the Bible teaches about their history. Some of these historians even go so far as to accurately record the embarrassing details, such as why the disciples of Jesus (all Jews) gave their lives (all but one, who was exiled) because they would not back down from Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.
Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus Himself is the most influential character in the history of the world. The Bible gives an accurate accounting of His life, again, confirmed by historians and other writers of the day. In fact, to claim that Jesus never existed would get you laughed out of even many secular institutions today.
We have WAY more documented information about the life of Jesus than we do for Plato and Aristotle put together. The existence of Jesus Christ and His actions are among the most well-attested facts of known history.
New Testament details. All throughout the New Testament, tiny details are scattered throughout which give us historical context. If the Bible were a “long ago and far away” type of account, there would no doubt be many historical flaws with the facts presented.
Of course, other “holy books” make historical claims as well. Some are true–but many are false. For instance, the Quran teaches that Jesus was born in Jerusalem and that His mother Mary was Moses’ sister. Flaws like this are not present in the Bible. It has yet to contradict itself historically.
The Archaeological Accuracy of the Bible
Another way in which the Bible excels evidentially is in its archeology. There are some aspects of the ancient world that, indeed, we only have a decent understanding of because of the Bible.
In fact, when archeologists want to know where to dig next, many of them look to the Bible first! What a testament to its reliability and accuracy.
The Hittite civilization. The early 1900’s saw the discovery of the Hittite’s, a civilization known only to the Bible for thousands of years, and suspected to have never existed. One of King David’s men, Uriah, is perhaps the name that comes to mind when you think of this people group.
King David. For many, many years, King David himself was thought to have never existed. There was no rock solid evidence that such a figure ever held the throne in Israel’s history.
Until, that is, the discovery of the Ten Dan Inscription in 1993. This is the first discovered conclusive evidence for King David. This article states, “The broken and fragmentary inscription commemorates the victory of an Aramean king over his two southern neighbors: the “king of Israel” and the “king of the House of David.”
The Exodus. This is a bit more controversial, but a 1970’s archological discovery claims to have found the crossing point of the Children of Israel when Moses parted the Red Sea.
There is said to be a land bridge in this location, and there are even pictures of chariot wheels near this location, indicative of a drowning event. One of these wheels was supposedly characteristic of the chariot that only a Pharoah would ride in.
Mt. Sinai. This article makes the case for the discovery of what is believed to be the accurate location of Mt. Sinai, a location critical to many Bible events.
The falling of Jericho’s walls. One researcher makes this observation: “Above the fill associated with the kerb wall [marked “KE” at lower left], during which the final M[iddle] B[ronze] bank [or rampart] remained in use, was a series of tip lines against the [outer] face of the revetment [wall]. The first was a heavy fill of fallen red [mud]bricks piling nearly to the top of the revetment [wall]. These [red bricks] probably came from the wall on the summit of the bank [emphasis supplied].”
The writer of the article states, “Thus, in Kenyon’s opinion, the pile of bricks resting against the outer face of the revetment wall came from the collapsed city wall. Here is impressive evidence that the walls of Jericho did indeed topple, as the Bible records.” This occurred around 1400 BC in the estimate of the archeologist.
King Sargon. Finally, we see the archeological discoveries of King Sargon’s reign as described in 2 Kings. He was the Assyrian King at the time of the fall of Israel.
According to this article, the significance here is (1) it confirms the accuracy of Isaiah’s report concerning Ashdod, including the correct title of Sargon’s military commander; and (2) it confirms the Biblical story of the fall of Israel, including the deportation of the Israelites and the re-population of Samaria with foreign peoples.
The Prophetic Accuracy of the Bible
One would be remiss not to mention the overwhelming amount of prophetic content in the biblical account. So far, we have seen just over 2,000 prophecies come to pass without an error. There are only about 2,500 in the entire Bible!
Since God got the last 2,000 right, we can safely assume He will do the same with the next 500. Though we cannot even scratch the surface, let’s look at a few.
The Suffering Servant. Isaiah 53, one of the most compelling portions of Scripture, describes perfectly the events of Jesus’ dying on the cross and bearing our sins–around 700 YEARS before it was to occur. Notably, Jesus could not just have read this and conformed to it. This is because the actions of others (such as “He is despised and rejected of men;” found in v. 3) were necessary to its fulfillment.
Alexander the Great. Daniel records Alexander’s siege of Jerusalem a stunning 250 years before it took place. Alexander the Great did not believe in God, but he was certainly God’s instrument in the fulfillment of this prophecy.
The birthplace of Jesus. Micah 5:2 records that the birthplace of Jesus would be Bethlehem over 600 years prior to the events. His parents, Mary and Joseph, are from Nazareth, again making this an unlikely prophecy to be fulfilled by chance.
The name of Jesus. Isaiah 7:14 says, “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” Immanuel, of course, means “God with us.”
King Cyrus. This is most fascinating. We find that, over 200 years before his birth, the prophet Isaiah actually calls King Cyrus by name, and foretells of a decree he will make concerning the freeing of the Jewish people from captivity.
The Crimson Worm. This is not conventionally thought of as directly as prophecy, but it is prophetic in nature and quite interesting. This article describes a worm that performs a strange ritual reminiscent of what Jesus did for us on the cross.
Psalm 22:6 makes a strange prophetic statement: “I am a worm, and no man.” This passage is describing the events of the cross about 1,000 years before it is to take place. But the Hebrew word for “worm” used here is specifically speaking about a Crimson Worm. Click here to read the amazing story.
The Experiential Accuracy of the Bible
This final area of accuracy I feel must be presented a bit differently. What I am referencing here is the “strange” insight that the Bible seems to have about the nature of mankind.
The Bible says in Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
In other words, the Bible, and God know us better than even we know ourselves!
The Bible knows humanity is fallen. And so do we. It is no secret even among the most atheistic of us that something is wrong and broken in the world. The Bible is the only Book that tells us why!
The Bible makes sense of our “bent.” 2 Timothy 3:13 – “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.” Our propensity to sin and do evil is no shock or mystery to the Bible believer.
The Bible teaches us why we are moral beings. Romans 2:12-15 teaches us that even the most wicked among us know right from wrong. Unbelievers just cannot make sense of this “objective morality,” but Bible-believers can!
The Bible tells us where knowledge comes from. The Bible tells us that the “fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” in Proverbs 1:7. True knowledge comes only through the respecting of God as the provider of the logical and scientific laws our experience is governed by.
The Bible gives us practical advice. No other “revelation” gives us such a complete and accurate accounting of the world around us and yet can help us at a pragmatic level. The Proverbs and the Song of Solomon, for example, tell us how to handle even the most mundane of situations–showing that the entirety of our existence is a big deal to God.
The Bible gives us the solution to our problems. Finally, we see that for all the problems the Bible exposes, it does so not without giving us the Solution–our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. From Genesis to Revelation, the beautiful Story of Redemption unfolds. There is hope for us, but it is found only in one man-Christ Jesus.
We have barely scratched the surface, here. Entire books could be (and have been!) written about any one of the tiniest bullet points mentioned here.
And, certainly, further research into each of them is recommended and necessary to a better understanding! Nevertheless, I hope this article has accomplished one thing–if you are already a believer, I hope it has strengthed for you the reliability of God’s Word. If you are an unbeliever, I hope that it helped you to see a glimpse of the reasonable nature of the Bible.
There are those who believe the Bible is full of nothing but fairy tales. But as I have attempted to show, we are very much so dealing with reality.
As always, I encourage you to research more on my site and don’t hesitate to reach out should you have any questions. If you feel the Lord drawing you today, don’t wait one more moment. Email me right away so that I may introduce you to Jesus.
Questions? Feel free to comment below and start the discussion, or click the blue button on the right (desktop only) to ask a question with a voicemail. We will do our best to answer in an upcoming post. Thanks!