Author: Professor Walter J. Veith, PhD
The Bible contains 66 books written over a 1500-year period of time by 44 different authors. The authenticity of its stories and of the people that lived in its history has been authenticated by the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1948.
The Cyrus Cylinder Enlarge picture The scrolls date back to 150-170 BC and contain all or parts of the Old Testament books except the book of Esther. Many other discoveries have helped prove many details of the Bible that had been scoffed at by higher critics:
The Cyrus Cylinder, discovered in 1879, records Cyrus' overthrow of Babylon and his subsequent deliverance of the Jewish captives.
The Rosetta Stone, discovered in 1799 in Egypt by Napoleon's scientists, was written in three languages: hieroglyphics, demotic, and Greek. It unlocked the mystery of the hieroglyphics which have helped confirm the authenticity of the Bible.
The Moabite Stone discovered in 1868 at Dibon, Jordan, confirmed Moabite attacks on Israel as recorded in 2 Kings 1 and 3.
The Lachish Letters, discovered in 1932-1938, 24 miles north of Beersheba, described the attack of Nebuchadnezzar on Jerusalem in 586 BC.
The Bible's authenticity is also evidenced by archeological excavations that prove the existence of names of people and cities found in the Bible. The discovery of the city of Petra, for example, helped confirm the authenticity of the Bible's record.
In addition, many of the Bible's prophecies have already come true. Prophecies concerning Babylon (Isaiah 13:19-22), Tyre (Ezekiel 26:3-5), Sidon (Ezekiel 28:21-23), Cyrus (Ezra 4:3; 5:13-14; Isaiah 44:28; 45:1), Medo Persia (Daniel 8:20-21), Greece (Daniel 8:20-21), and Jesus' birthplace Bethlehem (Micah 5:2) have all been fulfilled exactly as predicted. These fulfilled prophecies are an extremely strong argument for the trustworthiness of the Bible. They signify that we can trust the prophecies concerning the Antichrist and other end- time prophecies.
Unity of Scripture
Another evidence of the Bible's inspiration is found in its cohesive unity. In more than 3000 places, the Bible declares itself inspired. It does not contradict itself.
The prophecies of the Bible in cases such as Babylon, Tyre, Petra, and Egypt, as well as the Messianic prophecies, prove the Bible's authenticity.
The Moabite Stone Enlarge picture The Bible has survived centuries and even millenia. Despite all the attempts of Satan to hide it, destroy it, and make it inaccessible to the common person, the Bible has been preserved by God.
"The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever" (Psalm 12:6-7). Jesus also promises that "heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away" (Matthew 24:35).
But what does the Bible have to say about its inspiration? From where does it say it gets its revelation?
2 Peter 1:21 says, "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost."
In fact, the Bible states emphatically that, "all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" (2 Timothy 3:16).
When this was written, it was primarily referring to the Old Testament. Those that say that the Old Testament, or the Gospels, or other parts of the Bible are no longer applicable to us, are incorrect. The entire Bible exists for our edification. The Scriptures point to Jesus and His solution for our sin problem.
From Genesis to Revelation, Jesus is revealed in His various forms. In the Pentateuch (the first five books), Jesus is revealed. In Genesis, Christ is our Creator. In Exodus, Christ is our Sanctuary, our Haven, and our Deliverer. In Leviticus, Christ is our Sacrifice and Judge. In Numbers, Christ is our Guide. And in Deuteronomy, Christ is revealed as our Reward. In the books of Revelation and Daniel, we see Christ as our Judge. And we find these aspects of Christ revealed throughout the Bible.
Psalm 119:160 says, "Thy word is true from the beginning."
In John 17:17 we read, "thy word is truth."
The greatest evidence of the Bible's inspiration is evidenced in the Christ it reveals and the changes in those who study it (John 5:39; Acts 4:12; Matthew 11:26-28).
Tyre and the Bible
A Biblical prophecy accurately foretold the history of the ancient city of Tyre.
Petra and the Bible
The ancient city of Petra was virtually unknown to archaeologists, with only the Bible to give account of its existence. But 200 years ago all of that changed when one man made a legendary discovery.
Egypt and the Bible
Are the Bible's stories about Egypt simply mythology as critics suggest, or is there proof in Egypt's own ancient writings?
Babylon and the Bible
Babylon was excavated in 1898. The archaeological findings point to the truth of Scripture's prophecies about that great city. Updated November 2009.