The Christian Counter Project Witnessing Viewpoints Series, Number Two


Much has been said about the reliability of Scriptures,

both in the Old and New Testaments. What we need to do is to

pinpoint what we mean when we say that "the Scriptures are

reliable." We also want to substantiate our own belief that the

Bible is the Word of God, authoritative and God's revelation,

complete in its original texts.

Throughout our society, we have come to rely on different

kinds of evidence. Evidence supporting the reliability of the

Scriptures lies in many of these kinds of evidence.

1. Scientific Evidence

Scientific evidence is the kind of evidence that is used to

study natural events. This kind of evidence is characterized by

noting that the outcome of a particular set of controlled

variables is both consistent and repeatable. An example of this

is the property of gravity. Objects fall, and this can be

demonstrated over and over again, and it happens in a consistent

manner. An example of what is NOT scientific evidence is the

supposition that intermediate species exist to bridge the gap

between man and ape. We cannot repeat the circumstances that

would lead to the confirmation of this kind of evidence, and the

inference of intermediate forms is subject to personal

interpretation, so it would not be considered scientific


2. Historical Evidence

Historical evidence is the kind of evidence that implies

that an event occurred sometime in the past, and there is some

kind of record that we may rely upon, demonstrating or

purporting that such an event existed. Historical evidence

requires either a written, oral, or natural record of what

happened. The written record of social events, the orally

transmitted stories told by many tribal peoples, and

archaeological and geological finds can all be considered valid

historical evidence. An example of what is NOT historical

evidence is the interpolation of data. An example is when

statistical data is correlated and used to estimate the trend of

some type of action or result. The estimation is not historical

evidence, although the base data may be.

3. Testimonial Evidence

Testimonial evidence is evidence given by one person to

another. It may sometimes rely on historical evidence. A

personal testimony is an example of this. The autobiography of

Billy Graham is also an example. It may also be that the

testimonial evidence is given by the subject matter itself.

4. Subjective Evidence

This can really be referred to as personal conclusions.

This kind of evidence is very often discounted, unless some

record of credibility exists in the subject giving the evidence.

This may easily turn into testimonial evidence.

Scientific Evidence And The Bible

Because of the nature of Scriptural writings, it is often

hard to imagine scientific evidence for the reliability of

Scriptures. However, when coupled with testimonial evidence, we

find that Scriptures are reliable. How so?

The testimonial evidence of the Bible implies a rational

and intelligent order to our world. This is demonstrated by the

consistency of what we have come to know as "natural laws." The

wonder and intricacy of naturally occurring and repeatable

wonders serves as the evidence for a rational and intelligent

creator. Our own being, complex and wondrous as it is, gives

evidence that is repeatable.

This implicit testimonial evidence, and also explicit

testimonial evidence, show that scientific truth supports

Scriptural claims in some way. (Rom 1:19-20) Scientific

evidence is usually not used alone to support the reliability of

the Scriptures.

Historical Evidence And The Bible

Historical evidence is by far the richest and most abundant

source of testimony in favor of Scriptural reliability.

Concerning the New Testament, consider the following:

-> There are more than 5500 original writings in Greek.

-> Two major manuscripts exist, written within 250 years of the

events of the New Testament. Codex Vaticanus, AD325 and Codex

Sinaiticus, AD350.

-> Over 18000 transcriptions from the times of the early Greek

manuscripts exist. (These are translations into other

languages.) What they say is consistent with what is contained

in the Greek writings.

Contrast this to:

-> Caesar's "Gallic Wars", only existing copy was from 1000

years after it was written.

-> The copy of the Odyssey, 2200 years after it was written.

-> Herodotus' Histories: only 8 copies exist.

What Others Have Said About The Scriptures

"The evidence for our New Testament writings is ever so much

greater than the evidence for many writings of classical

authors, the authenticity of which no one dreams of

questioning." -- F.F. Bruce

"And if the New Testament were a collection of secular writings,

their authenticity would generally be regarded as beyond all

doubt" -- F. F. Bruce

"The interval between the dates of original composition and the

earliest extant evidence becomes so small as to be in fact

negligible, and the last foundation for any doubt that the

Scriptures have come down to us substantially as they were

written has now been removed. Both the authenticity and the

general integrity of the books of the New Testament may be

regarded as finally established." -- Sir Frederick Kenyon

Testimonial Evidence and the Bible

The Bible has contained its own evidence.

"But the Word of the Lord abides forever." (1 Peter 1:25)

"All Scripture is God-breathed, ..." (2 Tim 3:16)

"For no prophecy was made by an act of human will, but men moved

by the Holy Spirit spoke from God." (2 Peter 1:21)

Subjective Evidence and the Bible

Your own testimony is subjective evidence for the Bible.

Selected bibliography.

Blomberg, Craig; The Historical Reliability of the Gospels; IVP;


Larson, Bob; Larson's Book of Cults; Tyndale House; 1986

Little, Paul; Know Why You Believe; IVP; 1968

Presented by:

The Christian Counter Project

P.O. Box 957215

Hoffman Estates, IL. 60195

Copyright 1989 The Christian Counter Project

Reproduction permitted only if text is intact, not within the

body of any other text, and is not sold for gain or profit.

Copyright notice must appear on all transmissions, and must

include the notation "Reprinted by permission of the Christian

Counter Project."



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