The Bible was written so long
ago. How can we be sure that it was really written by God?
In fact, there is a lot of evidence that the Bible is divinely
inspired. In this chapter we look at several lines of evidence
which give us confidence that the Bible did come from God.
Debate: Why believe the Bible?
Divide into two groups. Select one group to argue in favour
of the Bible being inspired, the other against. Each group
should spend 5-10 minutes preparing their arguments. Then
take turns in presenting the arguments.
After the “debate”, answer the following questions.
1. Was the case in favour of inspiration convincing?
2. Was the case against inspiration convincing?
3. Were there other arguments that could have been used?
PREACH: six reasons to believe
PREACH is a convenient word to help remember six convincing
arguments for believing the Bible to be true.
Fulfilled prophecy shows that the Bible must come from a powerful
God who knows the future. In the next chapter, we consider
prophecies about Israel.
There are also detailed prophecies about other places such
as Babylon. Babylon was one of the leading superpowers of
the world when Isaiah and Jeremiah prophesied:
that Babylon would never be inhabited again;
2. that desert creatures would infest the ruins of the city;
3. that the stones would not be removed for other buildings;
4. that the ancient city would be visited rarely; Jeremiah
5. that the city would be swampland. Isaiah
of these prophecies has been fulfilled.
Nebuchadnezzar’s image (Daniel 2) is another extraordinary
prophecy. Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, dreamed about a
large statue composed of different metals. It represented
a series of four major empires that would dominate the Middle
East. It was a dramatic, detailed vision given at a time when
only the first of the empires existed. Because the empires
have come and gone as predicted, we can be confident that
the last part of the vision will be fulfilled and the kingdom
of God will be set up replacing all human kingdoms.
The prophecies about Jesus are also important. Read Psalm
22 and compare it with Matthew 27 to see how many events at
the time of Jesus’ crucifixion were prophesied. We know
this Psalm was written before the crucifixion because copies
of the book of Psalms dating before that time have been found
amongst the Dead Sea Scrolls. See page 3
Perhaps the most amazing claim in the whole Bible is that
Jesus rose from the dead. There is very strong evidence that
this event did happen.
For example, a large number of people claimed to see Jesus
after his resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:3-8). Many of them
were initially skeptical and Jesus had to give “many
convincing proofs that he was alive” (Acts 1:3). The
fact that they all did believe, shows that there must have
been compelling evidence. How
is this different from the martyrs of other religions?
After Jesus died, the disciples were demoralized and frightened.
Within a few weeks they were motivated and courageous, publicly
proclaiming their faith. Why did they change unless they had
truly seen Jesus alive again? The disciples had every reason
not to believe. When they acknowledged their faith in the
resurrection, they were severely persecuted. They must have
been absolutely convinced that Jesus had risen from the dead.
Anybody with doubts would not have willingly suffered as they
Perhaps more than any other reason, the missing body is evidence
of the resurrection. The Jews desperately wanted to stop the
young Christian movement, and could have done so easily by
simply producing the body. After all, the tomb had been under
guard. Matthew 27:62-66; 28:11-15
Arguments such as these have convinced many skeptics that
Jesus really did rise from the dead. And if Jesus rose, then
there must be a powerful God and the Bible must be his word.
David looked up into the night sky and said “the heavens
declare the glory of God”. Wherever we look amongst
God’s creation, we see evidence for his almighty power
and the remarkable design behind all he made. Psalm
example, the physical structure of the universe is extraordinarily
finely tuned. If gravity was any stronger, the sun would have
burnt up too quickly for life. On the other hand, if gravity
was much weaker, elements heavier than helium could not be
formed. There are more than fifty such physical constants
that have obviously been finely tuned to allow the universe
and life to exist.
Biology also provides evidence of extraordinary design. Take
the eye as an example. It is a remarkably complex organ which
has many parts all working harmoniously together. When Sir
Isaac Newton considered the complexity of an eye he wrote
“Was the eye contrived without skill in optics?”.
No, it required the skill of the Almighty Creator.
Even Charles Darwin wrote (Origin
of the Species, 1859.) “to
suppose that the eye . . . could have been formed by natural
selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest
Chapter 7. Creation.
God’s creation provides ample evidence of his power
and existence. Paul
told the Romans that there was so much evidence that
people had no excuse if they did not believe it.
See Romans 1:20
Many archaeological finds demonstrate the historical accuracy
of the Bible. For example, evidence for the existence of a
number of Bible people has been found in the form of clay
seals. When letters and official documents were sent to someone,
they were normally sealed with a wax or clay seal bearing
the writer’s name and title. Some of the clay seals
have survived and been found (although the documents to which
they were once attached have long since crumbled away). Some
of the seals found have belonged to the following people.
son of Neriah
son of the king
son of Shaphan
son of Neriah
son of Hilkiah
of high priest)
son of Meshullam
seal of Baruch
Other archaeological finds show the Bible to be historically
accurate about events, places, and people. (See the references
at the end of this chapter.)
Despite being written by many different authors, from all
walks of life, over a period of about 1600 years, the Bible
is consistent, even in the apparently trivial details. There
are many examples in the Bible where different passages support
each other, providing “undesigned coincidences”.
The following passages give an example.
we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the
giants. And we were in our own sight as grasshoppers.
that time Joshua went and destroyed the Anakites from
the hill country . . . No Anakites were left in Israelite
territory; only in Gaza, Gath and Ashdod did any survive.
champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of
the Philistine camp. He was over nine feet tall.
These passages were written by three different authors at
three different periods of history, yet they harmonize with
each other perfectly. The first passage shows that when Israel
entered the promised land there were many giants there (the
sons of Anak, or Anakites). The second passage shows that
later Israel destroyed nearly all of these giants, but left
a few in three towns: Gaza, Gath and Ashdod. The third passage
then casually mentions that the giant Goliath’s home
town was Gath. He must have been descended from one of the
Anakites. There is a ring of truth about these three passages.
They sound more like accurate history than contrived fiction.
Start looking for other examples. There are hundreds!
In the Law of Moses, there are several laws about cleanliness
and hygiene that are now known to be important to human health.
The Israelites could not have known this at the time. So these
provisions provide further evidence that the Bible comes from
For example, before the improved preparation and refrigeration
of foods, eating seafood often led to intestinal problems
and food poisoning. The Law of Moses prohibited these foods.
Another example is the burying of toilet waste. Until relatively
recently, it was common for excrement to be dumped into the
streets. Flies bred in the filth and spread intestinal diseases
that killed millions. Diseases such as cholera, dysentery
and typhoid fever took a heavy toll of lives. But none of
these things were problems to the Israelites. Deuteronomy
Only God could have written such laws thousands of years before
their scientific basis was known.
1. Make a list of the arguments against the Bible being inspired,
and discuss how you could answer each of them.
2. Why is it so important that we believe the whole Bible
is inspired? What would be the effect of considering it a
book written without God’s guidance?
1. Pick one of the six topics discussed in this chapter and
write a brief essay of 500-1000 words explaining how it provides
evidence that the Bible is inspired. In your essay, you should
provide some examples that are not mentioned here.
2. One of the arguments people use against the Bible is that
it contains some apparent contradictions. Some of them are
listed below. Can you explain them?
(a) Sacrifice or not?
In Hosea 6:6, God says “I desire mercy, not sacrifice”.
But God had told them to sacrifice!
(b) Did Saul inquire of the Lord?
Compare 1 Samuel 28:6; 1 Chronicles 10:13-14.
(c) Which country?
Compare 2 Samuel 8:13 with 1 Chronicles 18:12.
(Some versions correct this apparent contradiction. But see
(d) How did Judas die?
Compare Matthew 27:3-5 with Acts 1:18.
God’s truth, by Alan Hayward (Printland Publishers,
revised ed., 1983). This is an excellent book considering
the evidence for the Bible’s inspiration. It covers
all the reasons covered in this chapter, and some others.
On prophecy: Wonders of prophecy by John Urquhart
(revised edition, 1939, Pickering and Inglis: London). An
old book, but it provides an excellent summary of fulfilled
prophecies concerning various nations. Much shorter, but more
easily obtained, is Bible prophecy by Fred Pearce
(published by the Christadelphian, 24 pages).
On the resurrection: Who moved the stone? by Frank
Morison (1983, OM Publishing, Carlisle). The author set out
to prove that Jesus could not have been raised from the dead
and ended up convinced that the Bible was right after all.
On the environment: Does God exist? Science says yes,
by Alan Hayward (2nd ed., Printland Publishers, 1998). Previously
published as God is, this is a good source book for scientific
evidence for God’s existence. 221 pages.
On archaeology: The stones cry out by Randall Price
(published by Harvest House, 1997). This book provides a detailed
survey of archaeological finds that shed light on Bible history
and demonstrate Bible accuracy.
On consistency: Undesigned scriptural coincidences
by J.J Blunt (19th ed., 1983, The Christadelphian: Birmingham).
A fascinating collection of examples where the Bible is consistent
even in tiny details. First published in 1847.
On health laws: The Bible and medicine by John Hellawell
(published by Christadelphian ALS, c.1998). 28 pages.
This booklet shows that the Bible demonstrates an understanding
of health and hygiene thousands of years ahead of its time.
Modern medicine and the Bible by Alan Fowler (Ortho Books,
2000). An orthopedic surgeon discusses the links between Bible
teaching and medical science.
None of these diseases by S.I. McMillen and D.E. Stern (revised
edition, Baker Book House, 2000). Two doctors show that living
God’s way is healthy!
On apparent contradictions: Encyclopedia of Bible
difficulties by Gleason L. Archer (published by Zondervan,
1982). Hard sayings of the Bible by W.C. Kaiser Jr, P.H. Davids,
F.F. Bruce and M.T. Brauch (published by InterVarsity Press,
1996). Both of these books deal with apparent biblical contradictions
as well as other passages that are hard to understand.
1. God’s inspired word
3. Prophecy concerning Israel
30. Old Testament prophecies of Jesus