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Can We Trust the Bible?

Jesus trusted the Bible.  Perhaps that’s the best reason of all to trust the Bible. Jesus openly and willingly trusted the Bible.  The Old Testament authors declared that they spoke the very words of God (Exodus 20:1–4; Deuteronomy 8:3; Isaiah 1:2; Jeremiah 1:1–13) and Jesus accepted that. If ever there was a chance to say the Bible is an old outdated book, Jesus could have said that about the Old Testament when He was here but instead, He affirmed the Scriptures. 

In fact, Jesus trusted the Bible so much that it cost Him His life.  When the soldiers came to arrest Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, He saw them coming. Due to the lay of the land and the fact that it was at night, Jesus had maybe 5 -10 minutes lead time.  If Jesus wanted to get away, He could have done so easily.  Jesus chose to stay and allow Himself to be arrested, knowing the horrific events of the crucifixion were soon at hand.  He gave one reason:

"Am I leading a rebellion," said Jesus, "that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me?  Every day I was with you, teaching in the temple courts, and you did not arrest me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled."  Mark 14:48-49 (NIV)

We can add to that mounds of empirical evidence that points to the veracity of Scripture but here’s just one.  The Dead Sea Scrolls were found in 1947.  Among these well-preserved scrolls were fragments of Scripture and an almost complete copy of the book of Isaiah.  What the Dead Sea Scrolls did for us was verify the accuracy of the transmission of Scripture. In other words, we claim that Scripture was free from error as it was originally given.  Ok, but what about the copies of Scripture, or the transmission of Scripture down through the ages.  Are the copies good?  Is what we have in the English Bible what God wanted us to have?

Yes. The Dead Sea Scrolls imposed upon us a verification of one thousand years of copying Scripture!

Before 1947, the oldest Hebrew manuscript dated to AD 900.  But with the discovery of 223 manuscripts in caves on the west side of the Dead Sea, we came into possession of Old Testament manuscripts dated by paleographers to around 125 BC.  These scrolls were a thousand years older than any previously known manuscripts. 77 FAQs About God and The Bible, p156

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is there evidence of jesus outside the bible?

Yes. Not only is there evidence of Jesus outside of the Bible but some of that evidence comes from hostile sources.  These are individuals or groups of people who were not writing to corroborate the historicity of Jesus but to demean the followers of Jesus.  Their remarks serve as nonbiblical corroboration of the veracity of Scripture.  For example…

 Josephus, Jewish historian, AD 37-100, described Jesus in his work, The Antiquities of the Jews. 

 “At this time there was a wise man who was called Jesus.  His conduct was good, and he was known to be virtuous. And many people from among the Jews and the other nations became his disciples.  Pilate condemned him to be crucified and to die.  And those who had become his disciples did not abandon his discipleship.  They reported that he had appeared to them three days after his crucifixion and that he was alive; accordingly, he was perhaps the Messiah concerning whom the prophets have recounted wonders.”

Tacitus, Roman historian, AD 56-117, referred to Jesus and to Christians in his work, Annals.  From a section in which he described Emporer Nero’s response to the great fire in Rome:

“Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the and of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moments, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular.” 

As we compile the description from the ancient writers outside of the Bible, we find a description of Jesus that matches the Biblical record.  Josephus, Tacitus, Thallus, Phlegon and Mara Bar-Serapion mention these things about Jesus:

He lived in Judea
A virtuous man
Had wondrous power
Could predict the future
Was the “Wise King” of the Jews
Accused by Jewish leaders
Crucified by Pilate
During reign of Tiberius
Darkness and earthquake at his death
Reportedly raised from the dead
Believed to be the Messiah
Called the Christ
Followers called Christian
A “superstition” about him spread

For further reading: Cold-Case Christianity, J. Warner Wallace