Is the Bible True and Reliable?

“I’ll be with you tomorrow.”

Is that statement true and reliable? A promise? A hope? A lie? If there’s only a 50-50 chance it will happen, is that “true and reliable”? You may choose to wait and see.

Is the Bible “true and reliable”? Some would say “Yes” and others would say “No.” What do you say?

Here’s the mixed message: The Bible comes from God (true and reliable), but it’s been delivered through humans (not always true and reliable). According to 2 Peter 1:21 (Phillips), “No prophecy [message from God] came because a man wanted it to: men of God spoke because they were inspired by the Holy Spirit.” The same Holy Spirit is available and necessary to understand the Bible. If you rely only on yourself, the Bible will no longer be God’s message to you.

God has always communicated through nature. Here’s how Psalm 19:1-4 (NCV) explains it:

“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the skies announce what his hands have made.

Day after day they tell the story; night after night they tell it again.

They have no speech or words; they have no voice to be heard.

But their message goes out through all the world; their words go everywhere on earth.”

Is this true? Is it reliable?

God has also given other messages (“special revelation”) in addition to creation (“general revelation”). The apostle Paul wrote, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching the truth, rebuking error, correcting faults, and giving instruction for right living” (2 Tim. 3:16, GNT). Is this true? Is this reliable?

Where do you get your input from God? From creation? The Bible? Listening in prayer? Your own thoughts and feelings? Circumstances? What others tell you? The Bible has been the source of true and reliable input from God to people for literally thousands of years.

Those who find the Bible not true or unreliable may be misreading or misunderstanding it. It’s possible to take a phrase or verse out of context and twist the Bible to mean whatever you want it to mean. Some people get tripped up by technicalities such as the story of Jesus cleansing the demoniac (Mark 5:1-20; Luke 8:26-39; Matt. 8:28-34). Mark and Luke refer to one demoniac, but Matthew mentions two, and John doesn’t tell this story at all. Which account is true? Which one is reliable?

The point of the story is that Jesus powerfully cleanses people from demon possession. His power can intimidate those who don’t know him. Whether it was one or two demoniacs isn’t the point. There could have been two, although Mark and Luke only mention one of the two.

Minor technical inconsistencies like this aren’t unusual in a book that has been copied repeatedly and also translated. What’s amazing isn’t human errors but divine impact. The Bible continues to speak to people.

The Bible is true and reliable. God’s message to you is, “I’ll be with you tomorrow (as well as today).” How will you respond?

For a deeper understanding of the issue involved, we suggest people go to the following link: