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EVIDENCE FOR GOD – Reliability of the Bible

How can I know if the Bible is reliable?

We need to apply same 3 tests which are applied to any historical document.

1) Bibliographical Test – Are the documents reliable?

2) Internal Evidence – Were the writers trustworthy?

3) External Evidence – Does the document compare well with other historical/scientific documents from that period?

The Bible passes these tests with flying colours and here is a helpful way to remember the details:

Remember the acronym – T.I.M.E.

T = Time Gap

The time between the events recorded and the writing down was uniquely small. Jesus ministry around 27AD and biblical documents start from around 50AD (Galatians) with Gospel of Mark dated to around 64AD.

There wasn’t enough time to come up with lies and made up stories. Key thing from this to remember was that, the eyewitnesses of these events were still alive as they were being written down.

I = Internal Evidence

As said the eyewtiness to these events were still alive and there is no known document which gives an alternative version of events.

Acts 2:22 – “As you yourselves know”

The writers of the gospels charged their “enemies” with knowing what happened, without their being any verbal or written denial.

Also, the gospels were full of embarrassing details that one would never include unless there were in fact true.

M = Manuscripts (MSS)

There are over 29,000 NT MSS and over 5,300 Greek MSS. This is more than the next best ten historical works combined.

Many historians agree that increased amount of MSS = Greater Reliability

E = External Evidence

Tacitus/Pliny the Younger & Josephus also confirm the lives of the Christians, the death of Jesus, how society hated the Christians as they did Jesus, along with details on the growth of Christianity and it’s spread.

The Bible, when compared with other documents of antiquity far surpasses all of them, in terms of these tests above, namely it’s reliability.

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