How do we know that the Bible is true and can be trusted?
Someone may say, "OK, so we know that, even mathematically, Bible prophecy proves that the Bible is accurate, but how do we know that the Bible's prophecies have not been changed to reflect what has already happened? Couldn't they have been changed 500 years ago or so, just to make us believe a lie?" That's actually a very good question and the answer is, "Yes, the Bible could have been changed years ago."
So what we need in order to show that the Bible has not been changed is a "Time Capsule" of some sort. We need to compare what we have now with something written a VERY long time ago. What we need is to find something containing a part of the Bible that contains a number of prophecies, and this "Time Capsule" needs to have been written before Jesus was here, then buried for hundreds of years, and recently found.
Between the years 1947-1956 such a "Time Capsule" was found. Very old scrolls, written over 125 years before Jesus was on this earth were discovered in caves located close to the Dead Sea. These scrolls are commonly known today as the "Dead Sea Scrolls". (see exhibits A, B & C)
The writing on these scrolls could not have been changed recently because the scrolls are extremely brittle. In fact, all of these scrolls would fall apart if they were opened.
All of the book of Isaiah was discovered (actually 19 copies of Isaiah were found) and translated. (The book of Isaiah contains many prophecies that point directly to Jesus. See "Jesus, Fraud or Messiah?")
The fact is, our Bible is 98½ percent textually pure. The National Geographic Magazine puts it this way: "The text of the ancient scrolls is astonishingly close to today's Hebrew Scripture". Through all the copying of the Biblical manuscripts of the entire Bible, only 1½% has any question about it. Nothing in all of the ancient writings of the entire world approaches the accuracy of the biblical documents. The 1½ percent that is in question does not affect doctrine. The areas in question are called variants and they consist mainly in variations of wording and spelling. (As an example, in one chapter of 166 words, only one 3-letter word is in question and it does not make a significant difference to the meaning of the text.)
In summary, these scrolls prove that the prophecies in our Bible have not been changed and that they are like the original. And in turn, these prophecies prove that every detail in the Bible is accurate, even the stories that seem odd. Stories like the donkey that talked, or 5,000+ people being fed by just 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish, and a Man who walked on water are all stories that are true. These ancient scrolls prove that the prophecies written in our Bibles are the same as what was written over 2,000 years ago. We can trust our Bibles, even when we do not completely understand everything it says.
(Click here for more information about the Dead Sea Scrolls.)
Would you like even more evidence that the Bible is accurate and can be trusted? Here are a few links to other unrelated web sites containing information that may be very helpful:
- Additional evidence of the Bible's accuracy can be found in the Red Sea (see the Bible story in Exodus 14): http://users.netconnect.com.au/~leedas/redsea.html
- Even more evidence of the Bible's accuracy can be found at the location of the former cities of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:1-28): http://www.arkdiscovery.com/sodom_&_gomorrah.htm
- "Science Speaks", written by Professor Peter W. Stoner, takes a look at the fulfillment of just 48 of the Bible's prophecies about Jesus in a mathematical way. After calculating the astronomical probability of these 48 prophecies coming true by sheer chance Professor Stoner made this comment: "What stronger proof can any man ask for the inspiration of the Bible?"