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By Luke Griffin

The evidence that the Bible is the word of God is overwhelming. Consider:

1. Claims Inspiration: Any claim of inspiration must be tested. However, an inspired book would acknowledge its source (2nd Timothy 3:16-17).

2. Unity: The Bible contains 66 separate books written in three languages by approximately 40 authors from different locations and diverse backgrounds over a period of 1,500 years, yet there are no contradictions. The theme is consistent resulting in a rich harmony lacking in works by mortal man.

3. Scientific Understanding: While atheists attempt to pit science against religion, true science is the Christian's friend. The Bible demonstrates inspiration both by what it omits and what it includes. The Bible avoids errors about astrology, false medical cures, divination, omens, the Earth's shape and position, which contemporary literature and culture contain. Yet it includes scientific information unknown at that time such as ocean currents, logical dietary laws, the water cycle, seabed topography, and quarantine.

4. Fulfilled Prophecy: The Bible contains verifiable prophecies about nations (Daniel 2:37-45) as well as 300 prophecies regarding the Messiah, including predictions about His birth, death, and resurrection, which were fulfilled in the life of Jesus of Nazareth. One man could not have accidently fulfilled all these prophecies (Luke 18:31-34).

5. Historical Reliability: The Bible's historical accuracy has been proven. In Acts, Luke mentions 32 countries, 54 cities, and 9 Mediterranean islands. He also names 95 people. These citations contain no mistakes. Sir William Ramsey was a skeptic, but after an on-site study of Luke's accounts, he concluded that Luke was "the very greatest of historians". A book may be historically accurate without being inspired, but an inspired book must be historically accurate.

Despite the evidence, critics will claim, "Yes, but the Bible has been mishandled and corrupted through the years. Today's Bible is not anything like the ancient writing." Centuries of accumulated evidence dispute this claim. The Bible is the best-preserved book in history, with compelling manuscript evidence. Besides the Bible, the best preserved ancient work is Homer's The Iliad. Written around 900 B.C., only 643 known ancient copies exist. The earliest is from approximately 400 B.C., a full 500 years after it was written.

Compare this example to the Bible. More than 5,000 manuscripts of the New Testament exist. The earliest fragments are from a mere 35 years after the books were written.

In addition, many early Christians wrote defenses, sermons, and commentaries that contain more than 86,000 direct quotations from the scriptures. In fact, 99.86 percent of the New Testament could be reconstructed from these quotations alone.

This conclusive evidence proves that the Bible is trustworthy. New finds and continuing research show that our Bible is identical to the text of the earliest days of Christianity.

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