The Bible has been the best-selling and most controversial book in history, preserved for centuries and protected by the saints. The dispute about the reliability of the Bible has been a question for many centuries, most of the time left unanswered. A big controversy that may have led to this uncertainty, is the fact that the Bible was written over 1,500 years and could’ve have been changed or “tweaked” by the other writers. We have archaeological records, and the Christian records are full of history that really happened.
Last but not least, we have confirmation of many things happening even from people who were not Christians. One of the reasons the Bible can be thought unreliable is the idea that the Bible may have been a “tweaked” by past writers of the different books, which is a common misconception. The foremost proof we have of this being false is the fact that the Bible was not all written as one book together. Instead, every single chapter was its own book. Archaeological records support the fact that the Bible has not been altered from the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and when comparing the Bible with these artifacts, they line up, but what about the New Testament? Well, considering the shipwreck of Paul, which will be referenced later, the event was historically accurate and proven by Pliny.
Therefore, proving the Bible is in its original form and that it has not been altered. In the Bible, there is proof that it is reliable. When it comes to historical accuracy, archaeologists have recorded the seven-year famine in Egypt, from 1708 to 1701 B.C. which was also recorded in the Bible. Another example of this is the Apostle Paul’s journey to Rome and shipwreck, which has quite an amount of historical evidence supporting it. While it may seem suspicious that Paul was allowed to bring his friends along with him on his journey to Rome while being imprisoned in a ship, in Pliny’s writings he talked of a man who was allowed to bring his slaves with him on the journey. Even the weather confirms this, for when the ship was traveling from Caesarea to Sidon, it was early fall. Had it been another time of the year, the winds would not have permitted them to travel the distance of sixty-seven miles in one day.
Now, in Acts 27:6, it talked of Paul and the other prisoners being transferred over to a grain ship, and at this time of year the grain ships would not be sailing for Rome but for what is known as modern-day Turkey. While this may seem to destroy our evidence, it actually supports it, the port they stopped at was known as Myra. It was known for being “one of the great trans-shipping ports of the ancient Mediterranean (White).” Therefore, it made sense for Paul and the prisoners to board this ship and leave their coastal vessel “for the final leg of the voyage to Rome (White).” After boarding the grain ship, they sail for many endless days on a slow voyage, the wind was against them at this point. The proof for this is that, as they left the land known as modern day Turkey, they were no longer shielded by it, resulting in the difficulty to sail. After quite a while of prolonged sailing, they decided it was going to be impossible to sail any further than the city of Cnidus. To beat the wind, they decided to sail behind Crete, hoping the land would block out some of the wind, making easier sailing.
After some difficulty sailing, they “reached Cape Salome on the eastern edge of Crete (White).” They continued to use the island to block them from the wind until they reached Fair Havens. Luke never states or records why they stopped at this place. Some meteorological evidence can back up why, though, because if you take a look “at the map of southern Crete, you will see that Cape Matala lies just four miles west of Fair Havens harbor (White).”
Therefore, this place was an ideal area to stop before proceeding to Cape Matala. Had they not stopped, it would have made the journey to Cape Matala quite difficult. Luke’s statement of how difficult it was to reach Fair Havens makes this assumption and evidence even more accurate, considering if it took them such great difficulty to reach Fair Havens, it would have been extremely difficult to reach Cape Matala had they not stopped at Fair Havens.
As mentioned earlier, many events were confirmed by people who were not Christians, like Pliny, who confirmed the existence of Paul and how there was a prisoner allowed to bring his slaves to accompany him on his long voyage to Rome. Another great example of confirmation from people who were not Christians is when Solomon built what was and is known as The Golden Temple. It was recorded that an egyptologist came, known as Pierre Lacau, to look over and “inspect” The Golden Temple. After discovering some holes in the temple, he read the inscriptions on the temple, and he discovered that they were there to put gold-plating over it, proving the Bible correct that Solomon was going to embellish the temple with gold. While this may seem like a small proof, but one coin can tip the scale.
In conclusion, the Bible can be proven unaltered; it can be proven historically accurate, and it can be proven accurate from people on “the outside” who were not Christians. Therefore, the Bible’s reliability, while it will always be tested, can be proven.
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