Meeting objections about the Bible
After you have shared the gospel, your friend might say things like:
♥ What you’ve said is not true, because I don’t believe the Bible is true.
♥ People have changed the Bible over the years
♥ Everyone interprets the Bible in a different way
♥ The Bible can’t be true, because the creation account conflicts with evolution
Only God can bring the person to believe that the Bible is God’s Word (see entry “inspiration” under Bible Terms), but you can give reasons like the following to show that it is not blind faith to take the Bible seriously.
REASONS TO ACCEPT THE BIBLE
ARCHAEOLOGY. The number of archeological finds that undergird the reality of the places mentioned in the Bible has been increasing as time goes by. (see examples here)
PROPHECIES. The vast number of fulfilled prophecies is a concrete reason to accept the Bible as true. These prophecies are found in the Hebrew Bible, which Christians call the Old Testament. Before 1947, it was possible to wonder whether the prophecies were written after the events happened, but in that year the Dead Sea Scrolls were found, which included copies of the Old Testament books in Hebrew dated to the years before Jesus was born. In addition, before 150 BC, Jewish scholars had translated the Hebrew Bible into Greek (that version is called the Septuagint), so the prophecies were written before that time.
BAD BEHAVIOR. The fact that the Bible events portray negative behavior of leaders makes it less likely that the stories were made up, because if the leaders were making up the Bible, they would not want to reveal bad things about themselves. Here are some examples: King David, from 1000 BC, is a heroic king, but his evil actions are not covered up. Peter was an early leader of the church, but the Bible stories reveal his early lack of understanding and his denial of Jesus when under pressure.
CONSISTENT MESSAGE. Though written by many authors in a time span of over a thousand years, the message that God continues to love his people despite their failures fills the entire Bible.See Bible Overview See Does God Exist?
WOMEN. In the first century, the testimony of women was not given high credibility, so the fact that the Bible presents women as the first witnesses to the resurrection is an indication that it really happened that way – if the story was being made up, the writers would not have selected women as the witnesses.
CRITICAL APPROACH. In recent centuries, those taking an academic approach to the Bible have called into question whether the events happened as written. See the background of this Critical Method on the Modern/Postmodern page.
NUMBERS OF COPIES. We have hundreds more hand-written copies of the Bible than we do of any other ancient manuscript, yet we do not reject those other manuscripts. Is it reasonable to single out the Bible as the only ancient manuscript to be rejected?
CARE IN COPYING. Comparing later with earlier hand-written copies shows the care with which the Bible was copied over the centuries. For the Old Testament, we have long had versions in the original Hebrew that were copied in the Middle Ages, but when the Dead Sea scrolls were discovered in 1947, we found copies of Old Testament books that had been copied centuries before Christ, and they were almost the same as the copies we now have. For the New Testament, we have hundreds of hand-copied scrolls in the original Greek dating back to the early centuries after Christ, and in fact there are seven copied before the year 200. All the manuscripts have been compared, and some differences have been found. These differences are noted in the footnotes of the printed Greek versions we use today. None of them bring into question the concepts or teachings of the Bible. more details
It is not true that translations are made from other translations so that the Bible becomes less accurate every time it is translated. Today translations into new languages are made directly from the original languages, using the editions that allows translators to see all the copying variations. It is in the nature of all translating that words in the receiving language do not necessarily cover the same ground as those in the original language. Therefore it is helpful to compare the same sentence in several different translations in the same language. This is easy to do on websites like Bible Hub, that compare English translations of the Bible side by side. On that site, by pressing on “interlin,” you can see the original Hebrew or Greek words with the meaning of each one, and make your own translation. With the free app called You Version you can have hundreds of translations on your phone.
THE SELECTION OF THE BIBLE BOOKS
The Jewish people realized that God had ceased giving them inspired books around 400 BC. These 39 books in the Hebrew language that make up the Jewish Bible (which Christians call the Old Testament) were formally declared by Jewish leaders around 100 AD. The Christian church accepted their conclusions. When the New Testament quotes from “the scriptures,” it means those 39 books.
Some Jewish writings written in Greek after 400 BC were not regarded by them as scripture, but are printed in some Bibles and are called ”the apocrypha.”
The 27 books of the New Testament were written during the first century AD. Additional books that appeared during the next couple centuries that claimed to come from Biblical authors were recognized as promoting a different message and therefore were not added to the 27. Most of the 27 are noted and quoted by Christian writers from the end of the first century on, and all 27 are specified in a document of 367 AD. See details at New Testament manuscripts
See separate section on science and faith.
Return to list of specific objections