is the Bible real?


Category : Bible reliability, sharing faith


Growing up I never questioned if the Bible was real.  That’s not because I accepted the Bible as truth, it’s just because asking that question never occurred to me.  Why would I study a religion that while I sort of believe in, never had any impact on my life? 

But life has a funny way of making you ask questions that you should.

After many years of not caring about Christianity my views began to shift.  I began to wonder “what if…?” What if the Bible was true?  What if there is a God?  And the biggest what if question I had: What if I should pay attention.

I eventually found my way to a local church.  After a few months of sporadic attendance I vividly remember sitting in a service when the person on stage began to talk about the Bible.  Ok, so that’s not totally unusual.  But they were speaking as if it was something true and real.  And more shockingly…something historical.

For the first time in my life something about the historical nature of the Bible caught my attention.  A slide was shown stating essentially this:

  author               –  gap between    –  # of copies
                           original & copy 
Homer              –    400 years         –    643
Plato                –   1,350 years        –      8
Demosthenes    –    1,400 years       –     200
Caesar              –  1,000 years        –      10
Pliny Secundus   –    750 years       –       7
New Testament  –    50 years         –   5,366

McDowell, J.  (1999).  Is the New Testament Historically Reliable? The New Evidence that Demands a Verdict ( p. 38).  Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

I have always considered myself a scientist at heart – someone who was swayed by empirical evidence.  I remember sitting there in shock.  I couldn’t believe it.  There was no way the Bible could have so many manuscript copies.

As I came out of my surprise, and realized my mouth was actually hanging open, my mind raced.  Two thoughts occurred to me.  First, why didn’t someone tell me this earlier?!  Secondly, I could no longer pretend Christianity was merely a set of interesting philosophical questions.  I had to make a choice.  For the first time I realized there was actual evidence to make true/false or yes/no decisions.  I could no longer tell myself it was simply a philosophy that “sounded good.”

I won’t pretend that the historical evidence we have is 100% conclusive.  But I also can’t pretend that there isn’t any evidence to support the Bible.  So as any scientist does when confronted with an interesting dilemma I began to study the “problem.”

What you do with this knowledge is your decision.  You can embrace it.  You can disagree with it.  You can just think about it.  But the one thing you can’t do is ignore it. 


Comments (2)

[...] not everyone sees Christianity this way.  Some people question the reliability of the Bible.  Others question the sanity of believing.  Not long ago Sam Harris, an atheist, challenged the [...]

[...] It has re-shaped my understanding of who God is.  And the more I study it, the more I realize the Bible is real.  I’ve written about my own experience reading the Bible many times.  But that [...]