The Bible comes primarily from eyewitness accounts and was recorded with extreme care. The people who copied the Old Testament followed very precise rules and were very specific in policing its accuracy (wouldn’t you be too if you were responsible for copying the word of God?). Many copies were preserved throughout history and there is extraordinarily little deviation between the copies. In his book, Systematic Theology, Normal Geisler writes:
“the degree of accuracy is greater than that of any other book from the ancient world, exceeding 99 percent. The reasons for this amazing accuracy are:
- We have many more manuscripts of the Bible than for other books from the ancient world.
- The manuscripts date more closely to the originals.
- They were copied more accurately.”
Regarding the accuracy of the Old Testament, a collection of leather scrolls known as the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered and carbon-14 dated to being written in 250BC to 68AD, showing very little deviation from the text we today. But what of the New Testament?
The New Testament is easily the most reliable ancient writing known today. There are as many as 25,000 ancient manuscripts that contain all or portions of the New Testament.
Some of those documents date back as far as 125 AD! The Bible is incredibly accurate to its original writings, but its truth is also proved by archaeology. For example, the Pool of Siloam where the blind man was healed (John 9:1-11), portions of Herod’s temple and other such discoveries prove that the Bible is historically accurate. It may be stated that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a Biblical reference. Scores of archaeological findings have been made which confirm in clear outline or exact detail historical statements in the Bible.
The Bible is also entirely consistent. Considering over 40 authors wrote in 3 languages over the course of thousands of years, it is remarkable that it never contradicts itself. It is quite something for a book the size and scope of the Bible to be so consistent with history, archaeology and within itself after such a long period of time. Despite the efforts of many over the years to disprove the contents of the Bible outright, none have succeeded. It is truly an incredible book and as Christians, we believe that it really contains the very words of God.
This is a brief look at a massive topic that could not possibly be covered in such a short space of time. If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch through the comments section below!