(NOTE: This sermon series and devotional series is based on a book by Randy Frazee entitled, “BELIEVE.”
You may choose to download or purchase the book as a supplement to your worship and devotional emails.)
Friday’s question: What “nonbiblical” evidence do we have to support the credibility of the Bible?
(If you have a question, please email to email@example.com. I look forward to sharing a devotional thought on it on Fridays)
Are there reasons that we can trust the Bible outside the Bible’s testimony of itself? The Bible says, “All Scripture is God-breathed…” (2 Timothy 3:16). It also says, “19 We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 20 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. 21 For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.…” (2 Peter 1:19-21)
Can we see evidence of these realities in the Scripture itself?
Here are three “arguments” that support the conclusion that the Bible is the true, credible Word of God and useful for all things of faith and life.
- Consider the challenge if you were to orchestrate a writing of a document using multiple authors over the course of 1400 years. The fact that this reality is true of the Bible and yet its message is clear and focused throughout on the plan of God to save the world through the person and work of Jesus is testimony that it is a special and credible book.
- Consider the mathematical challenge of having every prophecy about a person come to reality in one person. There are different calculations, but conservatively over 300 prophesies were fulfilled by Jesus. Here’s the numbers and conclusion:
According to Peter Stoner in his book, Science Speaks, the likelihood of a person fulfilling just eight of the major prophecies would be 1:1017. Josh McDowell, well-known apologist who became a Christian after setting out to disprove Christianity, shares the following explanation:
“To help us visually comprehend the staggering odds of this probability, Stoner proposed that we take that many silver dollars and lay them across the state of Texas. In doing so, we’d find they would stack up across the state two feet deep. But wait; there’s more! Now mark one of the silver dollars, and stir up the entire mass of coins. Then blindfold an enthusiastic volunteer and tell him that he can travel as far as he likes across Texas, but that he *must* pick out the marked silver dollar. THAT is how difficult it would be for one man to fulfill these prophecies. Unless, of course, he did so because of divine appointment.” (josh.org/jesus-fulfill-prophecy/)
McDowell further shares that Stoner goes on to calculate that the odds of any man fulfilling 48 of the more than three hundred Old Testament prophecies would be 1:10157 (that’s a one followed by 157 zeros!!!). To me, this represents the beautiful world where Biblical integration meets mathematics curriculum. Students get to look at empirical evidence that validates their faith in Jesus Christ as the Messiah, the Savior of the world. (https://www.northhillschristian.com/about/what-child-is-this/)
- The third aspect is the historical congruency with secular sources that reference leaders, places, and events. The Bible is not a book of fiction, but a book of historical facts intersecting with other world events and eras. While not every event and person is referenced in secular sources, many are. Here’s one list: https://drivethruhistory.com/biblical-figures-found-through-archaeology/
The Bible is one of the most attested to books of ancient literature. With confidence we can hold the conviction Jesus makes of the Word of God and the Word of God makes of itself. The Bible is God’s Word for you!
John 17:17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.
Apply: Which of these three reasons is most convincing to you? How could you use it when discussing the credibility of the Bible with others?
Prayer: Lord thank you for recording and preserving your Word for us to read, believe, and put into practice. As always you prove your love and your faithfulness to us! AMEN.