*WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Kadarius and Terence were walking around the city looking for a birthday gift for Terence’s girlfriend Candice. She wanted a really nice watch, and he had been saving up for months to get the brand he knew she liked. They had been shocked to see the prices at the big-name department store and decided to get a hamburger and talk about it. On their way to the restaurant a man approached them and opened a case full of expensive watches. They couldn’t believe the bargain prices, and Terence snapped one up right away. “Candice will love this,” he told Kadarius. He was right. Candice did love it until the day after her birthday when it quit working and the watch band fell apart. Where did Terence go wrong?
Today we are talking about how the Bible is reliable, like the real watch, not the fake one. How do we know we can trust the Bible to be so reliable that we can base how we live our lives upon it?
WHAT DOES GOD SAY ABOUT THIS?
1. Let’s play a game to help us learn how we can trust the Bible. Read the verses. Then match them with the description that fits best.
- Luke 1:1–4
- Romans 1:1–4
- 2 Timothy 3:16–17
- 2 Peter 1:16–21
- Matthew 24:35
- Explains that the Bible is inspired by God, which literally means “God-breathed.”
- Shows that the author got his facts about Jesus through careful research and from eye-witnesses to his life.
- Human authors wrote the Bible as God’s Spirit directed them.
- Jesus’ words will never pass away.
- Jesus’ return from the dead proves he’s God and that everything he says—including his words about the reliability of the Bible—are true.
HOW DO WE APPLY THIS TO OUR LIVES?
2. Why would it matter to your faith whether the Bible is something we can trust?
- How is it like the difference between a house built on a firm foundation and a house of cards?
Determining whether the Bible is something we can trust isn’t a science question that you can test in a lab. It is more of a courtroom question where you weigh evidence and decide what is most reasonable. On the next page, we have a few pieces of the many evidences for the Bible’s trustworthiness. We hope that helps you become more confident that you can trust the Bible.
*3. Look at the “Evidence” list. There are eight pieces of evidence listed there that help us trust that the Bible is God’s Word. Below the line are eight sentences that tell why each evidence is valuable to us. Match the evidence to the meaning by writing the number of the evidence in the box.
4. Which piece of evidence do you think is most important for your friends to understand and why?
5. If this were a game show and I was going to give you a million dollars to know the right answer to the question, “Can I trust the Bible?”, what would you say? Would you research it to find out more?
A short study like this can only scratch the surface of this topic. The evidence about the trustworthiness of the Bible is overwhelming. If you have questions about the trustworthiness of the Bible or want to dig more into this topic, here are a few great places to start…
- WEBSITE – WHY YOU CAN BELIEVE THE BIBLE – article from EveryStudent.com
- BOOK – Josh McDowell’s More than a Carpenter
- VIDEO – https://youtu.be/DYdR0HBzk1o
Evidence 1 : At least 10 non-Christian writers living around the time of Jesus also talked about him, and what they said was consistent with what the Bible says.
Evidence 2 : The Bible was written by over 40 authors in vastly different walks of life (poor shepherd, fisherman, king, prisoner, etc.) over the span of 1,500 years, but has one consistent message.
Evidence: Scholars continue to prove the Bible by finding physical evidence (archaeology) of the stories in the Bible. Not a single find from the world of archaeology has conflicted with what the Bible records. In fact, many archaeologists have been aided in their search by the descriptions in the Bible.
Evidence 4 : Some people claim that the Bible is full of contradictions but, when asked, they can’t name any. When they do bring them up, a closer look at the Bible shows that the contradiction was really just a misunderstanding of what the Bible was really saying.
Evidence 5 : There are 24,000 ancient manuscripts of the New Testament compared to 643 of Homer’s Iliad, and only 7 copies of Plato — many more than any other ancient writing.
Evidence 6 : There are over 140 details in the Gospels that only eyewitnesses would have known or written down.
Evidence 7 : The writers of the Bible include very embarrassing stories about themselves that make them look bad.
Evidence 8 : The writers of the New Testament were killed by rulers who wanted them to admit that they were lying about what they wrote. These writers would not admit to lying. They decided to die instead.
Meaning: These details point to the fact that the Gospels in the New Testament were written by people who were actually there, not written years later by someone making it up.
Meaning: Any human book written like this would have drastically different views and contradictions. The fact that the Bible is consistent in its view throughout points toward the Bible as a divine book, shows that it is written by God through these men.
Meaning: This shows that Jesus was a real historical person and that he was well-known at the time even by non-Christians.
Meaning: Knowing that the Bible doesn’t contradict itself gives us confidence that it is true and worth reading and applying to our lives.
Meaning: If someone were making these stories up about themselves, they would have left out the parts that make them look bad. The fact that they left them in makes it more likely that they were writing the truth about what happened.
Meaning: No one would die for a lie. If they made up the stories about Jesus and the early church, they would have chosen to admit that before they were killed, but every one of them chose to die instead. This is evidence that what they died for is true.
Meaning: This gives us more confidence that the stories in the Bible actually happened in real places as we find evidence of them still today.
Meaning: Manuscripts are really, really old copies of these books. If we trust our copies of Homer’s Iliad and Plato to be accurately translated over the years, we should also trust the New Testament that has far more, and more reliable, manuscripts than any other ancient writing.
What ideas do you have that could improve this study? Are there creative things you do to bring this topic home to your students? Please share with the community clicking the FEEDBACK button or leaving a comment below.