It should be noted that there is NO evidence about any religious scripture. Scripture is based on belief. There is certainly evidence that certain people mentioned in the scriptures were real people who actually lived, but it is difficult to "prove" a religious belief. That said, here are some answers from our contributors to explain their faith:
There are many evidences. Here are just a few:Science and Natural Laws
While the Bible was not written as a science textbook, it is in harmony with true science when it deals with scientific matters. But other ancient books regarded as sacred contain scientific myths, inaccuracies, and outright falsehoods. Note just four of the many examples of the Bible's scientific accuracy:
Some insist on interpreting this as a "flat circular earth," as a disc or pie. Since that was the concept used by mankind at the time the Bible was written, one could also accept that interpretation. Note, though, that one's interpretation today of such information does not mandate that this be the onlyinterpretation, as noted above.Thus, the Bible was not influenced by the unscientific views prevalent at the time regarding the earth?s support and its shape. The reason is simple: The Author of the Bible is the Author of the universe. He created the earth, so he should know what it hangs on and what its shape iis. Hence, when he inspired the Bible, he saw to it that no unscientific views were incorporated in it, however much they may have been believed by others at the time.
The Bible contains the most accurate ancient history of any book in existence. The book ''A Lawyer Examines the Bible'' highlights its historical accuracy this way: "While romances, legends and false testimony are careful to place the events related in some distant place and some indefinite time, thereby violating the first rules we lawyers learn of good pleading, that the declaration must give time and place, the Bible narratives give us the date and place of the things related with the utmost precision."
The Bible gives very practical commands relating to hygiene and communicable diseases. The book ''Manual of Tropical Medicine'' comments: "No one can fail to be impressed by the careful hygienic precautions of the Mosaic period. ... It is true that the classification of disease was very simple [namely] into acute disorders, called plague; and chronic disorders, with some sort of eruption, called leprosy but the extremely stringent quarantine rules very likely did a great deal of good."
Consider, too, the Bible's statement: "All the winter torrents are going forth to the sea, yet the sea itself is not full. To the place where the winter torrents are going forth, there they are returning so as to go forth." (Ecclesiastes 1:7) This sounds like the description of the water cycle found in textbooks today. The rivers deliver water into the sea, where it evaporates and is carried in the form of clouds back over the land, to fall as rain or snow and run back into the rivers.
Similarly, the conclusions of scientists that mountains rise and fall and that at one time today's mountains were under ancient seas harmonize with the poetic words of the psalmist: "The waters were standing above the very mountains. Mountains proceeded to ascend, valley plains proceeded to descend to the place that you have founded for them." Psalm 104:6, 8.
The ''New Bible Dictionary'' comments: [The writer of Acts] sets his narrative in the framework of contemporary history; his pages are full of references to city magistrates, provincial governors, client kings, and the like, and these references time after time prove to be just right for the place and time in question.
Writing in ''The Union Bible Companion'', S. Austin Allibone says: "Sir Isaac Newton ... was also eminent as a critic of ancient writings, and examined with great care the Holy Scriptures. What is his verdict on this point?" "I find," says he, "more sure marks of authenticity in the New Testament than in any profane [secular] history whatever." Dr. Johnson says that we have more evidence that Jesus Christ died on Calvary, as stated in the Gospels, than we have that Julius Caesar died in the Capitol. We have, indeed, far more." This source adds: "Ask anyone who professes to doubt the truth of the Gospel history what reason he has for believing that Caesar died in the Capitol, or that the Emperor
Charlemagne was crowned Emperor of the West by Pope Leo III. in 800...
How do you know that such a man as Charles I. [of England] ever lived, and was beheaded, and that Oliver Cromwell became ruler in his stead? ... Sir Isaac Newton is credited with the discovery of the law of gravitation ... We believe all the assertions just made respecting these men; and that because we have historical evidence of their truth. ... If, on the production of such proof as this, any still refuse to believe, we abandon them as stupidly perverse or hopelessly ignorant." Then this source concludes: "What shall we say, then, of those who, notwithstanding the abundant evidence now produced of the authenticity of the Holy Scriptures, profess themselves unconvinced? ... Surely we have reason to conclude that it is the heart rather than the head which is at fault;?that they do not wish to believe that which humbles their pride, and will force them to lead different lives."
Imagine that a book began to be written during the time of the Roman Empire, continued down through the Middle Ages, and was completed in this 20th century, with many different writers contributing. What result would you anticipate if the writers were as diverse in their occupations as soldiers, kings, priests, fishermen, herdsmen, and doctors? Would you expect the book to be harmonious and coherent? "Hardly!" you may say. Well, the Bible was written under these circumstances. Yet, it is harmonious in its entirety, not just in overall concepts but in minute details too. Granted, some will try to pick at "contradictions" in the Bible, as if it must hold fast to 20th century standards of precision and interpretation. Indeed, one can find contradictions in anymodern science text if one takes sentences out of context and twists them into their own interpretation.
The Bible is a collection of 66 books written over a period of 1,600 years by some 40 different writers, beginning in 1513 B.C.E. and ending in 98 C.E. The writers came from different walks of life, and many had no contact with the others. Yet, the book that resulted follows a central, coherent theme throughout, as though produced by one mind. And contrary to the belief of some, the Bible is not a product of Western civilization, but it was written by Orientals.
While the majority of ancient writers reported only their successes and virtues, the Bible writers openly admitted their own mistakes, as well as the failings of their kings and leaders. Numbers 20:1-13 and Deuteronomy 32:50-52 record the failings of Moses, and he wrote those books. Jonah 1:1-3 and 4:1 list the failings of Jonah, who wrote those accounts. Matthew 17:18-20; 18:1-6; 20:20-28; and 26:56 record poor qualities shown by Jesus? disciples. Thus, the honesty and candor of the Bible writers give support to their claim of being inspired by God.Fulfilled Prophecy
In addition, the Bible bears the mark of divine inspiration in a uniquely outstanding way: It is a book of prophecies that have had and continue to have unerring fulfillment.
For example, the destruction of ancient Tyre, the fall of Babylon, the rebuilding of Jerusalem, and the rise and fall of the kings of Medo-Persia and Greece were foretold in great detail in the Bible. The prophecies were so accurate that some critics tried, in vain, to say they were written after the events took place. Isaiah 13:17-19; 44:27; 45:1; Ezekiel 26:3-6; Daniel 8:1-7, 20-22.
A Prophecy at Isa. 44:24, 27, 28; 45:1-4 says: "Jehovah ... the One saying to the watery deep, "Be evaporated"; and all your rivers "I shall dry up;" the One saying of Cyrus, "He is my shepherd, and all that I delight in he will completely carry out;" even in my saying of Jerusalem, "She will be rebuilt," and of the temple, "You will have your foundation laid." This is what Jehovah has said to his anointed one, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have taken hold of, to subdue before him nations, so that I may ungird even the hips of kings; to open before him the two-leaved doors, so that even the gates will not be shut: "Before you I myself shall go, and the swells of land I shall straighten out. The copper doors I shall break in pieces, and the iron bars I shall cut down. . . . For the sake of my servant Jacob and of Israel my chosen one, I even proceeded to call you by your name." (Writing by Isaiah was completed by about 732 B.C.E.)
Its fulfillment: Cyrus had not been born when the prophecy was written about 200 years in advance. The Jews were not taken into exile to Babylon until 617-607 B.C.E., and Jerusalem and its temple were not destroyed until 607 B.C.E. In detail the prophecy was fulfilled starting in 539 B.C.E. Cyrus diverted the waters of the Euphrates River into an artificial lake, the river gates of Babylon were carelessly left open during feasting in the city, and Babylon fell to the Medes and Persians under Cyrus. Thereafter, Cyrus liberated the Jewish exiles and sent them back to Jerusalem with instructions to rebuild Jehovah's temple there. The ''Encyclopedia Americana'' (1956), Vol. III, p. 9; ''Light From the Ancient Past'' (Princeton, 1959), Jack Finegan, pp. 227-229; "All Scripture Is Inspired of God and Beneficial" (New York, 1983), pp. 282, 284, 295.
Another Prophecy at Jer. 49:17, 18: "'Edom must become an object of astonishment. Everyone passing along by her will stare in astonishment and whistle on account of all her plagues. Just as in the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah and her neighbor towns,' Jehovah has said, 'no man will dwell there.'" (Jeremiah?s recording of prophecies was completed by 580 B.C.E.) It's Fulfillment: ?They [the Edomites] were driven from Palestine in the 2nd century B.C. by Judas Maccab?, and in 109 B.C. John Hyrcanus, Maccab? leader, extended the kingdom of Judah to include the w. part of Edomitic lands. In the 1st century B.C. Roman expansion swept away the last vestige of Edomitic independence ... After the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 A.D. ... the name Idum?[Edom] disappeared from history.? (''The New Funk & Wagnalls Encyclopedia'', 1952, Vol. 1
Among the hundreds of prophecies in the Bible are those concerning the Assyrian capital, Nineveh, ?the city of bloodshed? that instilled terror throughout the ancient Middle East for more than 15 centuries. (Nahum 3:1) Yet, at the height of Nineveh?s power, the Bible foretold: ?[God] will make Nineveh a desolate waste, a waterless region like the wilderness. And in the midst of her, droves will certainly lie stretched out, all the wild animals of a nation. Both pelican and porcupine will spend the night right among her pillar capitals. A voice will keep singing in the window. There will be devastation at the threshold; for he will certainly lay bare the very wainscoting.? (Zephaniah 2:13, 14) Today, visitors see that only a mound marks the desolate site of ancient Nineveh. Furthermore, flocks of sheep graze there, as foretold.
In vision, God?s prophet Daniel beheld a two-horned ram and a male goat with a great horn between its eyes. The goat struck down the ram, breaking its two horns. Thereafter, the goat?s great horn was broken, and four horns came up in its place. (Daniel 8:1-8) The angel Gabriel explained: ?The ram that you saw possessing the two horns stands for the kings of Media and Persia. And the hairy he-goat stands for the king of Greece; and as for the great horn that was between its eyes, it stands for the first king. And that one having been broken, so that there were four that finally stood up instead of it, there are four kingdoms from his nation that will stand up, but not with his power.? (Daniel 8:20-22) As history has proved, the two-horned ram?the Medo-Persian Empire?was overthrown by ?the king of Greece.? That figurative he-goat had a ?great horn? in the person of Alexander the great. After his death, his four generals replaced that ?great horn? by establishing themselves in power in ?four kingdoms.?
Scores of prophecies in the Hebrew Scriptures (?Old Testament?) have been fulfilled in connection with Jesus Christ. Some of these were applied to him by divinely inspired writers of the Christian Greek Scriptures (?New Testament?). For instance, the Gospel writer Matthew pointed out the fulfillment of Scriptural prophecies in Jesus? birth by means of a virgin, in His having a forerunner, and in His entry into Jerusalem on the colt of an ass. (Compare Matthew 1:18-23; 3:1-3; 21:1-9 with Isaiah 7:14; 40:3; Zechariah 9:9.) Such fulfilled prophecies help to prove that the Bible is indeed God?s inspired gift.
The present fulfillment of Bible prophecy proves that we are living in ?the last days.? (2 Timothy 3:1-5) Wars, food shortages, pestilences, and earthquakes of unparalleled proportions are part of ?the sign? of Jesus? ?presence? in Kingdom power. That sign also includes the worldwide activity of over four million Witnesses of Jehovah, who are preaching the good news of the established Kingdom. (Matthew 24:3-14; Luke 21:10, 11) Bible prophecy now undergoing fulfillment also assures us that God?s heavenly government under Jesus Christ will soon bring about a new world of eternal happiness for obedient mankind.?2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1-5.
No human mind, however intelligent, could so accurately predict future events. Only the mind of the all-powerful and all-wise Creator of the universe could, as we read at 2 Peter 1:20, 21: ?No prophecy of Scripture springs from any private interpretation. For prophecy was at no time brought by man?s will, but men spoke from God as they were borne along by holy spirit.?An Alternative View:History and Prophecy
The bible is literally filled with rich and sophisticated prose and poetry. It is not primitive, as some might claim. It is easy to go back and take the subtle and rich material and 're-construct' how it could be justified against current knowledge. The same can be done for the 'predictions' of Nostradamus. But it is literally impossible to take the material from the bible, or from Nostradamus for that matter, and point to a future event, or some future knowledge not yet uncovered. There is no convincing evidence that prophetic materials were written prior to the events they predict. The Greek scriptures were assembled and written by people who were very well versed in the Torah and other Hebrew writings. Since the gospels, for example, were written for proselytizing and not as history or science, it is not possible to know whether those materials may have been compiled and edited in such a way as to harmonize with ancient writings. In fact, gospel authors go out of their way on more than one occasion to point out that this or that event was "to fulfill" a prophecy. Some non-believers (or believers who are skeptical of the fundamentalist approach) consider these things and think of them as possible attempts to force the record to fit the ancient accounts.Science
Most people understand that the Judeo-Christian scriptures were not written as science books. But unlike scripture, science never claims to reach unalterable truth. Everything is questionable, and many things change. The philosophy of science recognizes the deep difficulties associated with "what we think we know", "what we think we ought to know", and "how we think we can get there". This has been generally understood for centuries, even if there have been arrogant practitioners who have fought well beyond reason to preserve their personal scientific legacies. There are no fewer fallible human beings in science than there are in any branch of religion or theology. The truth is that having theories proven "wrong" is an absolutely essential part of doing science. In fact, the disproving of theories might be seen as the engine that runs the whole enterprise. A rigid and dogmatic paradigm for science would be the death of knowledge. Tomas Khun, in his "Philosophy of Scientific Revolution" shows that science progresses not in any kind of linear fashion, as some teachers may present it, but in fits and starts, a step forward here, a regression there, something completely unexpected now and then, and an occasional breathtaking change in world view. In short, science is bumpy, beautiful and strange. The scientific method is a man-made heuristic. It might be totally undone tomorrow (and perhaps has already been undone by Quantum Mechanics). There is no evidence to support that this heuristic is the only or best possible method of doing science. But it would be impossible to argue that there has not been a progression of knowledge and very important technology over the last few centuries. This is most fortunate. I would not like to have my root canal problems treated by a medieval practitioner, or by Moses, for that matter.
Scripture aspires to no such dynamic search for truth, since it is a static document that does not pretend to be a scientific treatise in the first place. It seems unnecessary to attempt to harmonize scripture with science, and in any event, examples of harmony prove nothing. For example, the creation accounts of Genesis indicate that our planet and "the deep" (waters) existed before light. There were countless stars in existence before any part of earth even came close to existing. Also, the land produced vegetation before the sun, stars and moon existed. How can these be ignored when attempting to harmonize science and scripture, and yet the phrase "according to its kind" is taken from Gen 1:25 as inspired knowledge that evolution is wrong? Who decides which phrases are 'in', and which are 'out'? In chapter one of Genesis, God created vegetation on day 3, before light existed, and before the sun existed. Then on the 6th day he created man and woman. In chapter two, he creates man before vegetation existed. There is no need to go further; there is no need to harmonize scripture with science.The Argument from Faith
Another problem with attempts to "prove" divine origin of scriptural materials is that the more one tries to prove it, the less important faith becomes. One runs the risk of becoming "Thomas with attitude". I believe that faith is the believer's single most powerful argument for divine inspiration of scriptures. The author of Hebrews defines faith like this (Heb 11:1): "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." An argument from faith is presently unassailable by science. What makes this argument immune from any kind of scientific criticism is that there is no possible frame of reference from which the definition can be dis-proven. This approach is in keeping with the static and fundamental qualities of scripture that believers are constrained to hold. Not only is faith the one unassailable proof of biblical inspiration, but those who try otherwise to demonstrate the inspired nature of scripture with arguments and evidence are missing the pearl of greatest value. 1 Cor 2:10b-16 (NIV) says "The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man's judgment: For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ." Believers Should be able to rest in their knowledge based on these verses. (Emphasis added by commentator)
These things look different to the non-believer. It is hard to reconcile sectarian division among Christians in light of these same verses from Corinthians, verses which should put to rest any disagreements around matters of faith.
The simple truth is that some people adhere to Christian (and other) faith, and some people do not. There is room for everyone, differences in belief notwithstanding. Logical proofs of divine inspiration will sway few, and a believer's faith should be firm against the onslaught of secular knowledge. Anyone who is wondering about, or questioning the divine inspiration of scripture should examine all the evidence that it is possible to accumulate, including the top section of this response. He/she should also consider the information from alternate points of view before coming to a conclusion. Ultimately, you will see the order and coherence that you are meant to see; you should then embrace it.
In the library of the Louvre, Paris there are apparently 3.5 miles of shelves filled with obsolete science books. There is really only one Bible and it has been man's wrong understanding of it that has had to be modified constantly. A good example of this is when the Roman Catholic church clung to the Ptolemaic Astronomy and used this pseudo-science to interpret the Bible. On the basis of their wrong interpretation they forced Galileo to retract his scientific findings. The problem thus is not in the Bible but in men who are fallible.
'"This fool [Copernicus] wishes to reverse the entire science of astronomy; but sacred scripture tells us that Joshua commanded the sun to stand still, and not the earth." by Martin Luther.. source http://www.positiveatheism.org/hist/quotes/Luther.htm ... end quote
This is a good further illustration of the principle mentioned above that it is not always a good idea to marry the prevailing scientific view of the day to the Bible. Frequently this results in violence to the Biblical teaching as it can result in the Bible being wrongly interpreted in the light of science. Calvin also rejected the 'new science' based on observation in favor of the old Ptolemaic system not based on observation.
The unfortunate end result of this is an attack on the inspiration of scripture because when the science of the day is modified as more is discovered the Bible is seen as being fallible like science. In 2 Peter 1 v 16 it says 'For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.'
Thus the integrity and infallibility of the Bible is based on real people who made direct observation and reached conclusions based on them - sometimes these were contrary to their own preconceived notions.
It is obviously offensive to the pride of man to be so often found wrong both in fact and in his God-avoiding philosophy. The fact that the Bible has been demonstrated to be empirically accurate is an important part of validating its claim to inspiration. This does not mean that the Bible can be 'proved' by archeology or science because much of what it proclaims is outside of verification by either. But simply put, where it does intersect with history it is correct and man is repeatedly wrong. Thus the God who created time in the beginning and entered history at various points is well able to give us an inspired record of it.AnswerDivisions and strife among men are another sign that points to inspiration in the sense that the God who created man in the beginning and who witnessed their tragic departure from his will, has provided us with ample evidence as to why the human race is in drastic need of his remedy.
Firstly strife gives us ample evidence of the reality of what the Bible calls sin. Human nature with all its tendencies for people to 'not get along' is accurately described.
Secondly as specific evidence of people not being in touch with God's Holy Spirit, the ultimate divine 'author' of scripture and trying to add their own personal interpretation or quirk to the Bible. Every (and I mean every) humble Bible believer acknowledges their own fallibility and hence the possibility that they may have 'got it wrong' in some point or another or that they are unbalanced in their emphasis. Dis-unity among believers is specifically mentioned as a sign of people being out of touch with God. See 1 Corinthians 1 v 3 -4.
Using The Bible itself to prove anything about the Bible is an example of what is known as circular reasoning. It relies on the Bible to be divinely inspired and inerrant in order to be useful evidence that it is divinely inspired and inerrant. Therefore, any evidence as to whether the Bible is divinely inspired must come from outside the Bible and be independent of the Bible.
There is no extra-biblical evidence that the Bible is divinely inspired. In fact, the Bible's many errors and inconsistencies militate against divinely inspiration. Speaking of the two gospel genealogies of Jesus, Raymond E. Brown (An Introduction to the New Testament) says, "Inspiration does not guarantee historicity or reconcilability; otherwise God should have inspired the two evangelists to give us the same record."
They were divinely inspired.
Belief is not dependent upon evidence. Either you are convinced or you are not; either it makes sense or it does not. From a fundamental Christian perspective, it is believed that while the Bible was written by humans, it is the divinely inspired word of God.
There are 40 earthly authors of the Holy Bible. However, because it was divinely inspired, some would say one was the author and that is Holy Spirit.
It is the abnormal belief that one is divinely inspired.
A warning possibly divinely inspired.
There are 40 earthly authors of the Holy Bible. However, because it was divinely inspired, some would say one was the author and that is Holy Spirit.
Catholics and Orthodox Christians believe that the Bible is the inerrant, divinely inspired word of God. For us (I am an Anglo Catholic) we do not believe the Bible is the ONLY source of divinely inspired truth: we believe that the Tradition of the church is ALSO AND EQUALLY inspired by God. So, unlike most Protestants who believe the Bible is the ONLY source of divine revelation, we have TWO sources. Finally, we do not believe every word of the Bible is to be taken literally. The Bible is not a single book, but a disparate group of books that we consider to be divinely inspired. They are divinely inspired literature and thus not everything in the Bible is intended to be taken as FACTUALLY true. There is allegory, parable, analogy, symbolism, etc. In other words just because the Bible said that the world was created in seven days doesn't mean it literally happened that way. It is symbolism. We interpret it to mean that God created the world and man in his own image. It used language and symbols that were meaningful to the time the bible was written. Thus unlike fundamentalist protestants we interpret the Bible appropriately: thus every word of the bible contains DIVINELY INSPIRED TRUTH not necessarily HISTORICAL FACT. This does not mean however that there is no historical fact in the Bible. We literally believe among other things, in the birth, ministry, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus as well as the coming of the Holy Ghost, or Pentecost.
Being brought up in a Quaker family I feel that Quakers do not doubt that the Bible was divinely inspired. Most Quakers felt and feel that the Bible is a holy book that should be read to further your knowledge of a related religion. But, and this is a point that is commonly confused with the root of your question, most Quakers do not believe the words and how the Catholic church proclaims that they are true. This is often confused with not believing in the divinity of the Bible. I hope this helps answer your question and I thank you for taking an interest in a topic such as this.
They don't KNOW. They BELIEVE because: 1) The bible says she was a virgin when she conceived Jesus (most Christians) 2) Sacred tradition says she was a virgin her whole life (orthodox, roman catholic, and some Anglican christians) Roman Catholics, Orthodox Christians, some Anglicans and a few other believe the Bible and Sacred Tradition are both divinely inspired. Most protestants believe only that the bible is divinely inspired.
The Bible was never discovered. It was written by men who were divinely inspired. The Bible records all the way back tobeginning of the world and time, so we must assume that the Bible has been around for all time, always there as a doorway to answer our questions and to strengthen our walk with God.
Sacred Scripture are texts that are divinely or supernaturally revealed or inspired.
The church teaches that the bible account of creation is a divinely inspired story of creation to explain to man and woman of the time, and is not in conflict with evolution, should evolution be true.