Psalm 119:160 says, 'All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal.'
But do we accept the Bible is true just because it tells us so? Isn’t this circular reasoning?
There are four main reasons why we can affirm that the Bible is reliable and trustworthy.
First, the Bible can stand alone as a coherent text. It provides a comprehensible and consistent worldview. Particularly, the Bible makes accurate sense of our world. It diagnoses the problem of our brokenness and provides the solution for our restoration, found in the saving work of Jesus Christ.
The idea of objective truth has been under assault in our postmodern world. Many young people are troubled by this undermining of Scripture as true. However, this misconception has begun to be debunked. Truth can be objective. Instead, for contemporary thinkers, it is our human ability to fully know truth that is in doubt. Humans are limited in our capacity to know truth because we are so bound to our context (including our historical location and culture). This should cause us to be humble because we are fallible (that is, our knowledge is limited).
Secondly, the Bible is trustworthy because God is trustworthy. This reminds us that Scripture itself is not divine but it is “God-breathed” (2 Tim 3:16). The origins of Scripture in the Triune God give us confidence that the words of the Bible are true. The reliability of the Bible is grounded in God’s eternal, unfailing and self-less love. This includes our infallible God’s ability to reveal truth, and by His Spirit to lead us (who are fallible) into all truth (John 16:13).
Thirdly, there is external data that validates the historical reliability of the Bible. This includes archaeological evidence that verifies many of the events and people to which the Bible refers. There is especially an overwhelming amount of evidence for the historical person of Jesus Christ, his life, death and resurrection. The authenticity of the gospel records of Jesus are well attested, affirming the integrity of the texts handed down to us.
Fourthly, experience is another way by which we can affirm the Bible as trustworthy. Pentecostals often emphasise that Scripture is experientially true. This is a valid approach. We can testify that the Word of God brings transformation and speaks truth. Our testimony to the truth of the Bible as experienced in our own lives reinforces the Bible’s claims.
God’s Word is living and powerful. The Bible is informative, applicable, and true in all it affirms. To this we say “Amen!” (which means: “it is true”).