Authenticity of the Bible
Although the recent movie “Da Vinci’s Code” received strong condemnation from churches around the globe, it nonetheless broke first-day box office records in many countries. Since its publication in 2003, the novel has had over 60,500,000 copies in print and was translated into over 40 languages. Most astoundingly, over 60% of its readers believe that the substance of the novel is authentic. Although fictitious, the author claims that the content of his work was based on fact. In reality, the so-called facts utilized are contradictory, and do not conform to history and archaeology. If this material were placed before a modern-day court of law, it would not be adjudicated upon as there would not be any evidence. As well, the passages that were quoted all came from the Apocropha, which were written over one to two hundred years after the New Testament. There are no existing manuscripts of them in Greek, only ancient Egyptian. Their contents were never adopted into canonical usage by the apostles or their students, do not conform to the essence of the Old and New Testaments, and have never been accepted by the church. Because their dates of composition were so far removed from the events depicted, there were no human or material evidence nor eye witnesses for them, and their content does not correspond to Jewish or other histories. Therefore they have always been relegated to the heretical Apocropha.
Despite that, why are there still so many believers?
The first reason is as noted in 2 Timothy 4:3-4: “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” The Bible foretold that at the end of days, non-believers will be more enamored with bizarre, ominous falsehoods.
The second reason is people’s lack of knowledge of the Bible. I would like to share with you some basic Biblical facts.
When and how was the Bible written (1 Corinthians 15:1-8, Luke 1:1-4) – The Bible was written approximately between 1,500 years before Christ and 90 years after, a period of around 1,600 years. God is the author of the Bible. He appeared to and instructed some men (Exodus 16:10-11, Jeremiah 31:3), revealed to or inspired them (2 Corinthians 12:1, Galatians 1:12, Revelations 1:1, Isaiah 22:14, 2 Timothy 3:16), in order that His words would be recorded by them. These scribes also did their own careful research as they proceeded with their transcription. They were of different eras, backgrounds, careers and standings. Their languages also varied. The Old Testament was written in Hebrew with the occasional Aramaic. The New Testament was penned in Greek. Yet despite the foregoing differences, the Bible’s central tenet is markedly consistent without any contradiction, so that it has been everyone’s favorite tome for thousands of years. It is full of the power to convert people and turn them back to the one true God. Its longevity and broadness of distribution to every corner of the earth far surpass that of any other literature in the world. We see then that the Bible is truly the revelation of God. When the writers recorded these canons, there were still many witnesses alive who could testify to the accuracy of the accounts.
The reasons it became canon – These scriptures were recognized as canon and dogmatic dissertation from the moment they were written. Their authority was decidedly never created through the proclamation of certain individuals or assemblies in resolution (2 Peter 3:15-16). Use of these orthodox works by the early church fathers as fundamental religious foundation was affirmed by myriad church leaders.
From archaeological data, we know there have been thousands of Biblical manuscripts. New Testament manuscripts were all produced in the first to third centuries. The Septuagint translation of around 200 B.C. established the chronology of the Old Testament. From Christ’s affirmation of the Old Testament, we conclude its authoritative nature (Luke 24:22, Matthew 24:35-36, John 6:63).
The Bible matches up with archaeological and historical data completely, whether it be Roman history, Christian history, or ancient Jewish history. As pertaining to historical events recorded in the Bible, anthropologists and archaeologists have discovered and authenticated many locations and items such as the site of the Garden of Eden, artifacts from before the flood (Genesis ch. 6-9) and the site of the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:4-9). Many hundreds of thousands of believers in the first to third centuries were martyred because of their faith in the Bible. If they were not certain of the realty of these records, why would they sacrifice themselves?
The accuracy of the prophesies in the Bible, over 300 of which relate to the foretelling of the birth, death, resurrection and ascendance of Christ and have been totally fulfilled, cannot be compared to by any other tome. The reason for the Bible’s composition - John 20:31: “But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name.” The Bible helps us to have faith in the Son of God and gain true life. May we take His Word as “the lamp to my feet and the light for my path” (Psalm 119:105) so that we will not be swayed by the teachings of the world and secure our belief on the Word of God.
By: Esther Lau