Is the Bible True?
In 1536, William Tyndale, who’s been called the “Father of the English Bible,” was burned at the stake for translating the Bible into English. His passion to make the Bible available to everyone cost him his life.
But why would Tyndale give his life for a mere book?
Tyndale, and other martyrs who have suffered similar fates, were motivated by the belief that the Bible isn’t merely a book written by men, but rather it is God’s one true message to humankind written through men who were specially chosen and inspired by God.
Tyndale believed that each person should be given the opportunity to read the Bible for himself, and be able to evaluate it on a personal basis.
Skeptics believe Tyndale died in vain, arguing that the Bible is a fictional book written thousands of years ago by men who copied down ancient stories, passed on from previous generations.
Leading the skeptics’ charge today is atheist Richard Dawkins, who warns his daughter, Juliet,
Belief that there is a god…belief in Heaven,…belief that Jesus never had a human father, belief that prayers are answered…not one of these beliefs is backed up by any good evidence.
And, next time somebody tells you that something is true, why not say to them: “What kind of evidence is there for that?”
Your loving Daddy(1)
Dawkins argues that the Bible is scientifically and historically inaccurate. He recommends it be taught because of its cultural value, but “emphatically not as reality.” He says, “It is fiction, myth, poetry, anything but reality.”(2)
Another skeptic who doubted the inspiration of the Bible, Bertrand Russell, was once asked what kind of evidence it would take for him to believe in God. Pondering the question, Russell responded,
Well, if I heard a voice from heaven and it predicted a series of things and they came to pass, then I guess I’d have to believe there’s some kind of supernatural being.”(3)
For skeptics like Dawkins and Russell, the question of the Bible’s validity comes down to the evidence.
Oxford scholar C. S. Lewis also considered the Bible to be untrue. But after hearing an atheist friend exclaim that the evidence for its truth was “surprisingly good,” Lewis decided to evaluate it for himself.(4)
As an atheist, Lewis didn’t want to obey the good moral laws and teaching in the Bible. On the contrary, Lewis decided he would only accept the Bible’s teaching about God and Jesus Christ if it were true. He explains,
Christianity…if false, is of no importance, and, if true, is of infinite importance. The one thing it cannot be is moderately important.(5)
Lewis understood that the truth of Christianity is based on the truth of the Bible. If the Bible isn’t true, then why should we believe what it says about God, about Jesus Christ, and about our purpose on Earth?
On the other hand, if the Bible is really God’s word to us, then its credibility is based on him alone. Theologian J. I. Packer explains,
We are to believe and obey [the Word of God, or Bible]…because it is a true word. Its author is “the God of truth.”(6)
Lewis wanted freedom to live without moral restraints, but realized that if the Bible is true, he needed to personally respond to its message. Lewis decided to let the evidence speak for itself. Once he accepted the Bible as true, Lewis admits he came “kicking and screaming” to faith in Christ.(7)
Although he was an atheist, Lewis set aside his personal desires in order to discover the truth. He was willing to let the evidence speak for itself. In this article we will attempt to discover if there is evidence which would convince an objective person that the Bible is true. To find out we need to examine the evidence for the Bible in three crucial areas:
- Its scientific accuracy
- Its historical accuracy
- Its prophetic accuracy
Is the Bible Scientifically Accurate?
The Bible touches on science with profound statements about our origins. It is regarding our origins that skeptics like Dawkins have criticized the Bible as being scientifically inaccurate. Let’s take a look at science and the Bible to see if they agree or disagree.