The audience that I have in mind while writing this post might be anyone who saw the video from Business Insider produced by Joe Avella regarding the reliability of the Bible. So, he or she might believe that the Bible is the inerrant, inspired and infallible Word of God, disagree that it is the Word of God, or just wants to stay neutral as regards to it. Thus, my purpose in writing this blog is to address the cause that triggered it. My goal in mind is to try to clearly present to you why the Holy Bible is the divinely inspired Word of God. And if you are an atheist or agnostic, my goal is ofr you to be convinced that the Bible should be diligently studied because of its unsurpassed historical reliability. God’s divine revelation matters to Him that’s why it should matter to us. I’d also like to state ahead of time that the succeeding paragraphs do not present all of the relevant arguments for biblical reliability but rather its what I thought would address the video produced by Joe Avella.
I just like to clearly state that I don’t mean no harm to Joe Avella. I just disagree with video that he produced in Business Insider. I hope that he will consider this blog post if he’ll read it or if not consider what other scholars has to say about it like the ones whom I’ve mentioned in the paragraph below because Dr. Ehrman already debated some of them. I want you to be the judge. I’ll just lay out what the truth is because it makes me angry when other people malign the objective truth that I believe in.
NO OFFENSE to the PRODUCER of the VIDEO shared by Business Insider BUT I think he is just BIASED against the Biblical worldview because he cited a LIBERAL New Testament scholar named Dr. Bart D. Ehrman. (No offense also to Dr. Ehrman) It is true that I don’t have a doctorate degree in Systematic Theology or other branches of Divinity but there are brilliant minds who have their doctorates (E.g. Dr. Edwin M. Yamauchi, Dr. Greg Boyd, Dr. Craig Blomberg, Dr. Bruce Metzger, Dr. John MacArthur, Dr. Steven Lawson, Dr. William Lane Craig, Dr. Michael Brown, Dr. James White and the names go on and on) who have an opposing and more reasonable position regarding this matter. I agree that the Bible contains minimal ERRORS but generally it is a very accurate and a highly reliable historical book IF we are to believe that it is not the Word of God. It is also true that the original manuscripts are not available but we have copies of copies of copies. TONS OF IT. Also, the early church fathers cited the teachings of Jesus and the apostles. As J. Warner Wallace stated in his blog, “the Early Church Fathers did confirm enough of the New Testament claims to validate and authenticate the writings of the apostles.” (1)
Also, biblical transmission is reasonable if we consider it in light of its cultural and theological context. The producer misrepresents biblical transmission. He commits Straw-Man fallacy and fallacy of composition. There might be less important truths that could be forgotten but IMPORTANT AND FOUNDATIONAL TRUTHS that would lead us to salvation? I DOUBT IT. Kindly read “Four Reasons the New Testament Gospels Are Reliable” by J. Warner Wallace for a more detailed explanation. (2)
Going back to my point, “The Bible is a collection of 66 books written by about 40 authors, in three different languages, on three different continents, and over approximately 1600 years.” (3) Isn’t it amazing? Even though, the Bible is written by 40 different authors there is still one Voice that resounds in the Bible. And that is the voice of the Trinitarian God. Furthermore, there are archaeological, geographical, historical, scientific, biblical evidences, extra-biblical (writings of Josephus and other non- Christian historians) and other reasonable bases that corroborate the truth claims found in Scripture. For example, the places asserted in the Bible can be verified geographically. In addition, Messianic prophesies written about Jesus Christ that are written hundreds of years before the Lord Jesus Christ came into the earth were fulfilled. (E.g. Isaiah 53) Do you know the mathematically improbability One can satisfy all the Messianic prophesies that are found in the Bible? As Dr. William Lane Craig puts it, “It’s like shooting an alive fly with a gun” (blogger’s rendition). (4) Our finite minds cannot just grasp the impossibility of it happening.
In addition, the disciples and early followers of Jesus Christ willingly died for their faith. It wouldn’t make sense if they’d lie for a lie. Right? Also, they did not gain any monetary benefit or a rise in social status in advocating the teachings of Jesus. They just suffered and died because of it. What would then be the plausible explanation for the this? That Jesus Christ is who He claims to be – the Son of God. That being said, it’s still highly reasonable to believe that the Bible is the divinely inspired Word of the Christian God INSPITE of the minimal errors and first-glanced discrepancies for the reason that there’s no foundational doctrines that are affected. We may also resolve these alleged discrepancies by interpreting the implicit verses by the explicit verses. In contrast, the maker of this video is MORE CONCERNED to the minimal, non-doctrinal and non-foundational errors found in the Bible rather than the voluminous divine truths that are found in it. I think he’s tacitly suggesting that we should interpret the explicit verses with the implicit verses. This line of thinking is UNREASONABLE. By just merely asserting that the Bible has some scribal errors found in it does not conclusively falsify that ALMOST ALL of the texts that are found in the Scripture are FALSE. It’s like you got one mistake out of a hundred in your exam. Does it make your score zero? Of course not. This is just common sense. The MAKER OF THIS VIDEO COMMITS THE FALLACY OF COMPOSITION – the parts do not conclusively determine the whole. He’s like saying, “I’ve found these variations or scribal errors that’s why all the passages in the Bible are also erroneous.” I hope that it’s clear to you how unreasonable his line of thinking is. If this mindset is applied to all of us, then all of us are deemed to be untrustworthy because we all lied or spoke falsehood even just once in our lifetime. Have we not? To conclude, the Bible is a very reliable and a highly accurate historical book IF WE DON”T BELIEVE THAT IT IS THE WORD OF GOD. As Matt Slick aptly writes it, “The copies are so accurate that all of the Biblical documents are 98.5% textually pure. The 1.5% that is in question is mainly nothing more than spelling errors and occasional word omissions like the words “the,” “but,” etc. This reduces any serious textual issues to a fraction of the 1.5%. Nevertheless, no thing affects doctrinal truths. In fact, nothing in ancient history even comes close to the accuracy of the New Testament documents.” (5) Also, reading the Case for Christ authored by Lee Strobel is of big help if you are really serious in knowing whether the claims of the video are ridiculously biased or not. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t claim that I’m unbiased of my worldview, All of us have biases but the question is, “Are our biases reasonable or unreasonable? It is reasonable if it’s based on facts and evidences that conform to absolute reality. The things mentioned by Joe Avella are also discussed by Lee Strobel in his book: the Case of Christ. Also, Dr. Ehrman is also mentioned in it. Thus, it would really be a big help for you if you’re interested to study further biblical reliability. You may also watch the Inerrancy Summit that is spearheaded by Dr. John MacArthur. I really hope that you’d grab a copy of the book or watch the conference if you’re really serious in knowing the truth. The conference could just be easily accessed in you tube. (6) It’s also for free. I’M DEAD SERIOUS ABOUT THIS THAT’S WHY I’M STAKING MY REPUTATION FOR THIS BLOG POST. Feel free to respond on this post, I’d really be glad to read your comments and respond to it.
In the succeeding paragraphs, I’d like to cite some of the Scriptural verses that support that the Bible is the divinely inspired Word of God. Kindly also note that all verses are taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB). Just to remind you, these are not all of the verses that support that the Bible is the Word of God. I firmly believe that all the words that are found in the Bible are divinely inspired even though there are alleged discrepancies found in it. There are reasonable inductive bible study tools that could be used to arrive at the original meaning of the Scripture in spite of it. Maybe, just maybe, the producer of the video is just too lazy to do it and trusts himself more rather than God. Furthermore, as a Christian, I firmly believe that the Holy Spirit Who indwells within me teaches me and gives me understanding to know the Word of God. (Jn. 14:15 – 17) It is true that there are copyists’ errors but it could still be resolved using the voluminous verses in the Bible that lack error. Also, the Bible provides footnotes regarding variations in the early manuscripts or other words used by other manuscripts. That being said, I’d now proceed to the verses that support that the Word of God is what it claims to be. Please be reminded that the Bible is written by (40) authors who are divinely inspired by God through the Holy Spirit. That being said, I’d now proceed to cite Bible verses. Kindly thoroughly read the verses (7 & 8) below.
“All Scripture is INSPIRED by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” – 2 Timothy 3:16 – 17
“and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the WISDOM given him, wrote to you, as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the REST of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.”
–2 Peter 3:15 – 16
“For the word of God is LIVING and ACTIVE and sharper than any two-edged sword, and PIERCING as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to JUDGE the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” – Hebrews 4:12
“The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.” – Isaiah 40:8
“For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.”
– Matthew 5:18
“But the word of the Lord endures forever.” And this is the word which was preached to you.” – Peter 1:25
“God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” – Numbers 23:19
“They are upheld forever and ever; They are performed in truth and uprightness.” – Psalm 111:8
“Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven.” – Psalm 119:89
“Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’;” – Isaiah 46:10
“So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.” – Isaiah 55:11
“As for Me, this is My covenant with them,” says the Lord: “My Spirit which is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your offspring, nor from the mouth of your offspring’s offspring,” says the Lord, “from now and forever.” – Isaiah 59:21
This will be the sign to you,’ declares the Lord, ‘that I am going to punish you in this place, so that you may know that My words will surely stand against you for harm.’ – Jeremiah 44:29
I firmly believe that we can use this overwhelming piece of argument with other arguments to make a powerful case for Christianity. Biblical reliability, coupled with Kalam Cosmological Argument, complexity of DNA (one example of Teleological Argument), Fine-Tuning of the Universe, deity of Christ through His resurrection, and the experiential argument would make a powerful case for Christianity.
Soli Deo Gloria.
(7) http://biblehub.com/isaiah/40-8.htm (most of the verses quoted are obtained here in the cross-references section)