Trust Your Bible

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Contributed by Brian Shifflett, Worship Pastor at Image Church

I am currently reading “Doctrine: What Christians Should Believe” by Mark Driscoll & Gerry Breshears.  There is a section in chapter two which deals with trusting that the Bible that we read today in actually God’s word (p. 63-64).  Due to the nature of the topic, this blog will consist primarily of facts that I believe to be profitable when dealing with skeptics of modern-day Bible authenticity. 

The fact of the matter is this; a good modern translation of the Bible is nearly exactly what its original authors wrote.  Until the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in 1947, the oldest copies of the Hebrew Old Testament dated around AD 900.  Although we knew the extreme care rabbi’s used in copying the text before they were worn or destroyed, the oldest copies from AD 900 were distant from the originals.  However, the Dead Sea Scrolls provided us with copies of much of the Old Testament that were over 1000 years older than the AD 900 copies.  A comparison of the manuscripts showed minor variations which were mostly insignificant spelling differences such as the American honor and the British honour.

One thing to consider is many who question the accuracy of our current Bible would never question the writings of men such as Plato, Homer, and Caesar Augustus.  All of whom we have fewer than 10 copies that were made at least 1000 years after the author wrote the originals.  We have around 14,000 copies of the New Testament with fragments that were written no more than 100 years after the original books and letters.  This is astounding considering the fragile material the Bible was copied onto.  God, in His sovereignty, surely protected these copies considering they were not stored anywhere to keep them from being destroyed. 

The number of manuscripts we have available is so vast that we can be over 99 percent sure that the Bible you hold in your hands today is faithful to the original manuscripts.  I hope these facts strengthen your faith and encourage you to be bold about the truth that is found in Scripture. 

Reference: Driscoll, Mark & Breshears, Gerry. (2010). Doctrine: What Christians Should Believe. Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway.

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