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Bible Evidence Introduction

Not all evidence is scientific. For example, we consider certain people to be criminals, but on what basis? Paper trails, money spent, character, associations, etc.— the kind of evidence presented in a court of law. That’s the kind of evidence that supports the Bible.

Now it should also be pointed out that the Bible does not violate any known, proved, valid scientific laws in its presentation of creation. Of course miracles, by definition, do violate those laws, but if such events are confirmed by reliable witnesses, we can’t just dismiss them with the wave of a hand. As Sherlock Holmes put it, when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth. ˜Sherlock Holmes Quotations, (1890) Sherlock Holmes in The Sign of the Four, ch. 6 (Doubleday p. 111)

So the Bible is not a scientifically-falsifiable book, but we’ll see that no other texts can present more support than the Bible has when it comes to both internal and external manuscript evidence. There is simply no other ancient text subjected to the same degree, and for as long a time, as the Bible, and the true skeptic must wonder why.

Manuscript Evidence

Take a look at this source. On the part about measuring layers of ink, ask yourself these questions: Who goes to this much effort to examine a document? Who puts any other writings to such extreme tests? For further documentation we’ll be referring sometimes to this source. Notice that several links are to refutations of claims that Christianity plagiarized or adopted earlier pagan beliefs. So the Bible is, at the very least, much more supported by objective evidence than any other ancient text. It’s quite ironic when critics try to cite older documents to debunk it, and they uncritically accept those documents as true and accurate.

As for internal evidence, that source includes a link to a document called Testimony of the Evangelists by Simon Greenleaf, a founder of the Harvard School of Law who cross-examined the four Gospel writers and found them credible witnesses. Similar examinations of the other writers of New Testament books have shown them to be reliable as well, as far as anyone can determine. Here are a few sources:

As for the Old Testament, these reliable New Testament writers, and Jesus of course, quoted often from it as true and accurate, in spite of the fact that they were quoting the Septuagint (LXX), the early translation of scripture into Greek. You might also want to check this source.

Extra-Biblical Evidence

As for alignment with secular history, the evidence presented so far leaves little doubt that without references to the supernatural, no one would question the Bible’s accuracy or trustworthiness— which indicates philosophical bias. Consider this article and another article from History.com. These are primarily about historical evidence for Jesus, but the first one includes a link for an earlier document on people named in the Old Testament. So on what basis does anyone reject the Bible as a historical source in its own right? We need to turn a critical eye to secular history as well. Take a look at this video and these links, which also present very interesting evidence that there was tampering with the ages of some of the people before the Flood in the Bible:

Dates for people and events from Abraham forward are easier to establish, though we have to remember that precise dates by our standards wouldn’t be the norm until much later. As to the charge that the Bible as history is unreliable because of alleged bias, that charge can be made more easily against the Bible’s critics. For example, in this source we see quotes from Sir William Ramsay, who was quite convinced that the Bible was unreliable— until he did his own investigation rather than relying on what his professors and collegues had told him.

Diligent students of the scriptures need to do their own studies rather than trusting authorities for everything, but we need to be consistent and not allow personal prejudices to interfere, especially while criticizing others for the same thing. If we’re going to be skeptics, we should have standards by which we can discern between true and false, including admitting that we can’t always tell.


We can’t leave this topic without a hat-tip to the amazing Robert Wilson:

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