Reliability is the foundation of trust, therefore it is the base of friendship and relationships.When forming long lasting relationships, one searches for someone consistent and trustworthy. It is important to have those foundations when putting faith in someone or something. Similar to relationships, if the Bible is not reliable or accurate, how could one trust and use it in everyday life? The Bible can be known as a reliable document because of its historical and scientific accuracy, its relevance in addressing the struggles of all societies, and its truthful conviction.
Throughout historic and scientific research, the Bible has been proven to be accurate and true. In short, reliability means something is trustworthy. It can also mean that something is consistently good in its quality. In reference to the Bible, reliability has to do with whether or not what it contains, from ideas to history to geography and more, is trustworthy or not. If, for instance, the Bible is full of historical and factual errors or blatantly contradicts itself, it’s hard to trust it or view it as reliable (Velarde, 2020). Historically, through archaeology, manuscripts, and through oral communication, it is clear that many of the events in the Bible are accurate and correct. There are more than 5,000 copies of the New Testament or extensive portions of it. There are also several thousand more fragments or smaller portions of the New Testament. The manuscript evidence and copies for the New Testament far outweigh manuscript evidence for other ancient historical works. For instance, there are less than 700 copies of Homer’s Iliad and only a handful of copies of any other work of Aristotle (Velarde, 2020). If you laid the surviving copies of Aristotle, one on top of the other, it would make barely four feet. If you do the same with the surviving copies of the New Testament, the stack would be a mile high. Nothing else in History even comes close. How is that for reliable? (Gunn, 2017). Aristotle’s works have been used for centuries. There is no doubt in its historical importance. The Bible surpasses Aristotle in accuracy, quantity, and quality. Historians do not deny Jesus’ arrest and crucifixion on the order of Pilate during Passover time. Most historians even acknowledge that Jesus’ body was buried in a tomb and that his followers had experiences of appearances of Jesus soon after, risen and alive from the dead. Archaeology has also confirmed or corroborated many specific details of the Bible. Archaeologists have located towns and villages mentioned in the Bible but otherwise unknown today. They have found political and military inscriptions referring to various rulers and other major figures in the biblical world. In some instances they have found evidence confirming specific events (Bowman, 2018). The evidence and case of the Bible’s reliability is firmer than any other account in History. We have a report of the resurrection with specific Eyewitnesses that dates all the way back to within months of the resurrection itself. That source also adds that 500 separate people saw Jesus at the same time. We’re not talking decades or centuries after the cross, it’s months (Gunn, 2017). The timing of those accounts is incredibly specific. The Iliad, for example, was created about 800 years before Christ. Copies of the Iliad are found from 1100 years after the original. The time gap between those is so significant that we can assume it is not a first hand account of the original. It is proven through historic and archaeological evidence that the Bible is reliable and accurate.
The reliability of the Bible and the accounts in it are also proven based on medical science. Regarding Jesus’ physical death and resurrection, When the soldiers thrust their spear between Jesus’ ribs, blood and water came out, which we now know is a description of pericardial effusion as a result of death by asphyxiation. This is not a condition anyone could fake. So it is medically accurate that Jesus Christ died on that cross (Gunn, 2017). It is a medical conclusion that Jesus died on the cross. Eyewitness accounts prove that He was later seen after His concluded death, meaning that there was a resurrection. It is not a religious statement to confirm the death and resurrection, it is medical and recognized by even non-religious and impartial sources like The American Medical Association, which states the following. On the physical death of Jesus: clearly the weight of the medical and historical evidence indicated that Jesus was dead before the wound to his side was inflicted. Accordingly, interpretations based on the assumption that Jesus did not die on the cross, appear to be at odds with modern medical knowledge (Gunn, 2017). Medical evidence shows that Jesus’ death and resurrection is accurate, meaning that the accounts of seeing him afterwards are true, therefore proving that the most important account in the Bible, and the Bible itself, is reliable.
The Bible has accurately described the struggles of society from the beginning of time. Though today’s society has technological advancements and things older times did not have, the Bible shows the struggles of the heart that continue even today; idolizing, homosexuality, adultury, murder/crimes, jealousy, unforgiveness and bitterness, pride, etc. The Ten Commandments are just as relevant now as they were so long ago. The New Testament letters are situational or occasional, meaning that they were written by the authors to address specific situations faced by the churches, and still apply to churches today. Misplacing Christ happens today still, very frequently. Many churches today put things before God and twist His word to conform to the world. The Bible serves as a guide to live one’s life according to God’s Words, so why would He make it only applicable to the world of when it was written? Historically, Christians have affirmed that God inspired human authors to compose the Scripture as a means to convey his truth through human words, reporting human circumstances and events through diverse kinds of literature (Klein, Blomberg, & Hubbard, 2017). God made His Word according to human circumstance and events, through love letters, stories and parables, direct quotes and experiences, and many more. The Bible is accurate and reliable because it presents specific examples and themes of the struggles of society.
Although the Bible is historically, scientifically, and relevant to societies of all times, it is also truthfully convicting. Why would so many people commit to serving an entity most have not truly seen in person? Conviction from the Holy Spirit. Besides the overwhelming amount of scientific and historical proof, people tend to have tremendous faith in things they feel so powerfully. True interpretation of the Bible combines both an exercise in ancient history and a grappling with its impact on our lives (Klein, Blomberg, & Hubbard, 2017). Reading the word is powerful and even if one is not religious, it provides comfort and encouragement. God certainly wants us to know biblical principles and valid applications, but His ultimate goal in communicating with us is to transform our thinking and acting so that we conform to the image of His son, Jesus Christ (Duvall & Hays, 2012). God wants us to know scripture and The Word, but He looks at our hearts. The purpose of His Word is to further our walk with Him and to live our lives to be like Jesus Christ, not to memorize historical facts from a book. God only wants the best for us. He wants us to go to heaven, a perfect and happy place, and gave up His only Son to allow us to do that. All that He asks is that we accept what He did for us and that we have a relationship with Him. He loves us and His Word only seeks to benefit and convict us. “Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.” -C.S Lewis. Conviction through the Bible is very powerful and it proves just how much more reliable it is.
The Bible has been backed up with large accounts of historic and scientific research, as well as its relevance to the struggles of society and its truthful conviction, to prove its reliability. It is important to know the Bible’s accuracy and relevance so that it can be used in daily life. The Bible also serves as a guide to how to live one’s life correctly and manage the struggles they will go through. The Bible is often written off as a circumstantial and purely religious book, but it is a wonderful account of history that is scientifically and historically proven to be true and reliable.