How do we know the Bible is true?

The Bible consists of 66 books (39 Old Testament and 27 New Testament) written by approximately 40 authors in a span of approximately 1,600 years. Christians believe the Bible is the inerrant, infallible, and complete Word of God. We believe the Bible contains the ultimate truths of every aspect of life, and from it we obtain our beliefs and our doctrine. So how can we know, without a shadow of doubt, that the bible is 100% true? Are there any signs in the text that prove its divine origin? Let’s explore and see.

Prophesies of Jesus Christ

To understand the significance of prophesy, it is important to understand the chronology of the Bible. In other words, it is important to understand the time frame of when the text was written.

It is estimated that the entire Old Testament canon, from Genesis to Malachi, was written in the time period of approximately 1500 BC to 400 BC. Biblical evidence aside, virtually all modern scholars believe that Jesus Christ was a real historical figure, and He lived in the early part of the 1st century AD. The point to remember is that Jesus lived well after the Old Testament canon had been written.

There are over 300 fulfilled prophesies of Jesus Christ in the Old Testament, but for brevity let’s examine just 10 of them:

1. Born of a Virgin

  • Prophesied:

“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” – Isaiah 7:14

  • Fulfilled:

“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost . . . And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.” – Matthew 1:18, 25

2. Seed of Abraham

  • Prophesied:

“And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.” – Genesis 22:18

  • Fulfilled:

“The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.” – Matthew 1:1

3. Born in Bethlehem

  • Prophesied:

“But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” – Micah 5:2

  • Fulfilled:

“Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem” – Matthew 2:1

4. He Shall Be a Prophet

  • Prophesied:

“I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.” – Deuteronomy 18:18

  • Fulfilled:

“And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.” – Matthew 21:11

5. He Shall Be a Priest

  • Prophesied:

“The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.” – Psalm 110:4

  • Fulfilled:

“Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus” – Hebrews 3:1

“So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.” – Hebrews 5:5–6

6. He Shall Be a King

  • Prophesied:

“Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.” – Psalm 2:6

  • Fulfilled:

“And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.” – Matthew 27:37

7. He Shall Judge

  • Prophesied:

“For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; he will save us.” – Isaiah 33:22

  • Fulfilled:

“I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” – John 5:30

8. He Would Be Preceded By a Messenger

  • Prophesied:

“The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” – Isaiah 40:3

  • Fulfilled:

“In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” – Matthew 3:1–2

9. Rejected By His Own People

  • Prophesied:

“He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” – Isaiah 53:3

  • Fulfilled:

“For neither did his brethren believe in him.” – John 7:5

10. His Side Pierced

  • Prophesied:

“And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.” – Zechariah 12:10

  • Fulfilled:

“But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.” – John 19:34

Psalm 22

A short analysis of Psalm 22 reveals a remarkable parallel with the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Keep in mind that Psalm 22 was written centuries before Jesus Christ ever walked the earth.

  • Prophesied:

“(To the chief Musician upon Aijeleth Shahar, A Psalm of David.) My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? . . . For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet . . . They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture” – Psalm 22:16

  • Fulfilled:

“And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.” – Matthew 27:35

“And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” – Matthew 27:46

Isaiah 40:22

“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” – Isaiah 40:22

An interesting phrase used in this verse is “circle of the earth.” Why is this significant?

At the time Isaiah was written (approximately between 739 BC and 687 BC), the widely held belief in Mesopotamian mythology was that the earth was flat. The first Greek philosopher attributed to questioning the flat-earth belief was Pythagoras. Pythagoras lived from 570 BC to 495 BC, over 100 years after the writing of Isaiah. The concept of a spherical earth was not even considered mainstream until the 3rd century BC. This evidence further demonstrates the divine origin of Scripture.

Conclusion

There are a plethora of reasons why Christians believe the Bible to be absolute truth. This article only presents just a handful, but they are examples of why we can trust the Bible and its divine inspiration as the Word of God.

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Dear Reader, do you agree with me?

Dear Reader,

Do you agree with me? Do you agree with my perspective? If you don’t, it’s okay.

The intent of this blog is multifaceted. First, I want to give my readers a perspective that may differ from their own. Perhaps they’ve never heard of a doctrine or teaching that I mention, or maybe they are unaware that it is biblical. Second, what if my readers don’t agree with my perspective? I want them to take it to Scripture, read it for themselves, and make up their own mind. The Scripture speaks of believers having differences of opinion:

“One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.” – Romans 14:5

In addition, we are commanded to prove all things:

“Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:21

How do we prove all things? We put them to the test of Scripture. What if you hear something you don’t agree with it? Take it to Scripture. Regardless of what I say, what does the Scripture say?

Lastly, we are commanded to study the Scriptures:

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” – 2 Timothy 2:15

Conclusion

I cannot emphasize enough the importance of knowing the Scripture. Jesus said “Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures” (Matthew 22:29). We are commanded to study the Scriptures. Scripture is the Word of God, and we cannot downplay its significance.

 

Why Scripture alone?

Scripture alone, also referred to as sola scriptura, is the belief that the Bible, being the inspired, inerrant, and infallible Word of God, is the final authority on all matters related to the Christian faith. It is the belief that the Scripture is the only element needed to educate the Christian unto salvation and good works. Furthermore sola scriptura suggests that the Bible provides a system of “checks and balances” on church doctrines and dogmas, therefore guarding against the risk of falling into apostasy. Does the Bible make any such claim? Let’s take a look.

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” – 2 Timothy 3:16–17

From the above Scripture, we see first see that all Scripture is inspired. Of course when writing this, the apostle Paul was referring to the Old Testament Scripture in existence at the time, but this is implied to encompass the entire canon of Scripture, both Old and New. There is no disagreement among any Christian theologians as to the inspiration of the New Testament.

Next, we see that Scripture is “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” This statement alone suggests that the Bible is to provide our church doctrine, protection against false teachings, and instruction in ways of the faith. It continues saying “that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” It seems clear that the Bible does in fact equip the church and Christian for all that is necessary. But what about the knowledge of salvation? Look at the preceding verse.

“And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” – 2 Timothy 3:15

The Scriptures are able to make us wise unto salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. Are there any tools, other than the Bible, needed to bring salvation to an unsaved, lost person? The answer is clearly no. The Bible is the only book of doctrine and instruction one needs.

Why is it important to read the Bible?

Let’s look at what we, as Christians, are commanded to do in Scripture:

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” – 2 Timothy 2:15

We are commanded to study the Scriptures. Why is this important? First as a Christian, wouldn’t you want to know what God has to say? In prayer we are speaking to our Lord, but how does he answer us? One of the ways is through His Word. Furthermore, it is through the Scripture that we are able to become wise regarding the core fundamentals of our beliefs. How would you know if you are being led astray into false teachings if you didn’t know the correct teaching to begin with? Herein lies the problem with not reading the Bible. Is there an example of this in Scripture? Consider the following:

In Acts 17, we find the apostle Paul preaching to the Jews in Thessalonica. Paul was reasoning with them “out of the scriptures.”

“Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews: And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures, Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.” – Acts 17:1–3

Paul was sent away from Thessalonica and came unto Berea. What did he have to say about the Bereans?

“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” – Acts 17:11

The Bereans were considered to be more noble. Why? Because they checked Paul’s teachings against Scripture! This is case-in-point regarding the importance of reading the Bible and checking your own church’s teaching against it. Are there any other verses that are important to note regarding this topic? Look at this:

“One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.” – Romans 14:5

Paul is speaking about Christians that have disputes or disagreements about beliefs. What does he say? “Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.” The bottom line is that you have to read the Scriptures for yourself and make up your own mind what you believe. You cannot let anyone, whether it be a pastor, minister, teacher, or church organization tell you what to believe. In the end, salvation is a personal relationship between you and Jesus Christ that cannot be worked out involving others.

“Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.” – Matthew 22:29

What about teachings not in Scripture?

The Bible is clear regarding this subject:

“And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.” – 1 Corinthians 4:6

We are not to “think of men above that which is written.” Furthermore, there are several other verses that address adding to or taking away from Scripture:

“Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.” – Deuteronomy 4:2

“What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.” – Deuteronomy 12:32

“Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.” – Proverbs 30:5–6

“For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” – Revelation 22:18–19

When we go beyond what is written in the Scripture, we risk falling into apostasy, away from the truth, and into error.

Does sola scriptura mean anti-tradition?

There are many who see biblical Christianity as an adversary to church tradition. Is this the case? Of course not. Tradition is a very important element in the worship of many Christians throughout many denominations. If you noticed what I mentioned earlier, the Bible is to be the final authority on all matters relating to the Christian faith. What is meant by final authority? The fact that as long as a church’s tradition does not add to or contradict Scripture, it is permissible. What did Jesus have to say about tradition?

“But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.” – Matthew 15:3–6

The bottom line: we are not to nullify the Scripture for the sake of tradition. Scripture checks tradition.