Reliability of Scripture
“…but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.” John 20:31
No other historical book has more evidence of reliability than the New Testament documents. It’s surprising how many people don’t know this. Matter of fact, lots of people have no clue how ancient history is authenticated. This is how historians attest to ancient documents: the trustworthiness of ancient documents is based on the number of manuscripts available—the more you have, the more accurate the document is. There are close to six-thousand New Testament Greek documents alone – more than any other ancient book!
Skeptics argue that since we don’t have the original manuscripts (or autographs), we can’t trust the accuracy of the Bible. However, there are no known originals of any ancient documents in existence! If we can’t trust any ancient documents without having the originals, then we’d need to throw out everything we know about history.
The earliest New Testament manuscripts that we have date to the second century. Scholars date the manuscripts by examining the syntax and grammar styles of the ancient culture. The first copies of New Testament are dated within 150 years of Jesus’s death. Other ancient manuscript copies, like Homer’s Iliad, are dated as late as 500 years after the originals. The New Testament copies are also written closer in time to the originals than any ancient document.
The Old Testament is well attested, too. The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1946 contained most of the Old Testament and proves it’s accurate to our Bibles today. Less than one-percent of variations were noted from the Old Testament when compared to the Dead Sea Scrolls (dated 150 B.C.). Nothing has been lost, and no doctrine of the faith has been changed.
Think Divinely: If God can create the entire universe, He most certainly can guide men to write and
preserve His Holy Word.
Lisa Quintana is a Christian Apologist and blogs at ThinkDivinely.com. She is a former broadcast reporter and left her career to stay home and raise her two children. She also homeschooled her son during his middle school years, while earning a Master’s degree in Apologetics at Biola University (Dec. 2017). She now teaches classes at her church in Madison, Wisconsin, and has been happily married for over 26 years.
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If you enjoyed this devotional by Lisa Quintana, you might enjoy reading Who Are You?