“It is impossible for God to lie …” (Hebrews 6:18b NIV)
You can trust the Bible because it’s doctrinally correct. You can trust the Bible because it’s theologically correct. You can trust the Bible because it’s accurate regarding morals and ethics.
But you can also trust the Bible because it’s historically accurate.
Why does that matter?
The Bible tells us in Hebrews 6:18, “It is impossible for God to lie” (NIV). The only reason the universe works is because God is true all the time.
If the Bible has one lie in it, it’s not a godly book. It’s not from God, because God can’t lie. Psalm 33:4 says, “The Word of the Lord is right and true” (NLT).That means the Bible is right and true about salvation and history.
How do we know the Bible is historically accurate? The same way you judge any other history:
- The Bible comes from first-person accounts. An historian would look to see if the historical information is written down by someone who saw it, whether it’s second hand, or whether it’s a fable, written hundreds of years later. The Bible is primarily eyewitness accounts. Moses was there when the Red Sea split. Joshua was there when the walls of Jericho fell. The disciples of Jesus sat in the upper room and saw the resurrected Jesus appear.
- Biblical history was recorded with extreme care. When the Old Testament copyists — the scribes — would copy scrolls from one to another, they’d do so like a photocopy machine!
They had a long list of rules they used to make sure it was copied exactly. They had a specified number of columns throughout the Old Testament that would always be the same. Even the lengths of those columns had to be the same. They knew how many of each letter were in each book. For example, they might have known there were 1,653 As in the book. If there were 1,654, they’d throw the scroll away and start over.
- Archeology proves the Bible is true. Archeologists have been able to dig up the places mentioned in the Bible. For example, they’ve found the Pool of Siloam where the blind man was healed and portions of Herod’s temple. The Hittite Empire is a great example of how archeology has shown us that the Bible is historically accurate. For generations, historians had no record of the Hittites’ existence anywhere else. Yet in the early 1900s, an archeologist discovered 10,000 clay tablets in the Hittite capital. Now everyone knows that the Hittites once existed.
Talk About It
- Do you trust that the Bible is true?
- What would you say to someone who says that God’s Word is not historically accurate?
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional © 2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.