This is the second part of the article in the Tough Questions blog series entitled “How Do You Know The Bible is Actually True?”. In the last post we looked at the archaeological, historical and geographical accuracy of the Bible, as well as the astounding and accurate fulfillment of prophecy that point to the truth of the Bible’s validity.
Today, we’ll look at the astounding scientific accuracy of the Bible, followed by common criticisms and how to refute them.
You certainly don’t have to read the posts in this blog series in any certain order, but just in case you would like to catch previous posts, you can do so here:
OTHER POSTS IN THE TOUGH QUESTIONS BLOG SERIES:
- Why Did God Put That Tree in the Garden?
- Which Ark Story is Actually True?
- How Do You Know The Bible Is Actually True? (Part 1)
How Do You Know The Bible Is Actually True?
As mentioned in the last post, this over-arching question comes with a whole host of smaller questions.
The three smaller questions covered in the first part of this post were:
- QUESTION 1: Is the Bible Historically/Archaeologically Accurate?
- QUESTION 2: Is There Geological Evidence to Support the Bible’s Accuracy?
- QUESTION 3: Have Prophecies In The Bible Really Come True?
Now on to the next question.
QUESTION 4: Is the Bible Scientifically Accurate?
Before we delve into answering this question, I want to make an initial point.
Science is the means through which mankind tries to understand our universe. But science doesn’t always get it right, as proved by prior beliefs about the shape of the earth, powered flight, vaccines, blood transfusions, and even reproduction.
Yesterday’s scientific beliefs are often contradicted by today’s scientific finds. That means that today’s scientific beliefs can plausibly be contradicted by tomorrow’s scientific finds.
So if we put our faith in science, we are trusting in the limited understanding of fallen and fallible mankind.
How can we know which scientific theories are indeed fact? Since God’s Word is true in its entirety (Psalm 119:160), one of the best ways is to examine what the Bible has to say about our universe. As all-knowing Creator, God gave us His eye-witness account of His world in His Word.
Let’s examine the evidence that proves the scientific accuracy of the Bible:
- Spherical Earth – Though scientists one time believed the earth to be flat, the Bible has always held the position of a spherical earth, a fact we know to be scientifically true. Check out these passages: Isaiah 40:22; Job 22:14.
- Changing Topography – A view of the earth from outer space, an event that has only been possible in my lifetime, reveals the truth of Job 38:12-14. This verse from one of the oldest books in the Bible (Job is believed to have been a contemporary of Abraham) explains this in vivid detail: “It is changed like clay under the seal, and its features stand out like a garment.”
- Earth Suspended in Space – Job 26:7 speaks of the earth being suspended over nothing.
- Expanding Universe – There are several passages in the Bible that talk about God “spreading out the heavens” (Job 9:8; 37:18; Psalm 104:2; Isaiah 40:22; 42:5; 44:24; 45:12; Jeremiah 10:12; 51:15. With the help of powerful telescopes and satellites, astronomers can testify to our expanding universe.
- Uncountable Number of Stars – Ptolemy supposedly tried to count the number of stars in 150 A.D. He reached a little over a thousand and declared that there could not be more than 3,000. This theory, of course, has since been proven false. But guess what? We still don’t know the exact number of stars. All we have are estimates that far surpass Ptolemy’s measly 3,000. (See Genesis 15:5; Psalm 147:4; Jeremiah 33:22.)
Star Clusters That Can’t Be Unchained – Psalm 147:4 and Isaiah 40:26 tell us that God not only created the stars but calls them by name. He does exactly this in Job 38:31-32, and He mentions that man cannot untie the chains of the Pleiades. Since the writing of Job, that scientific fact remains! And notice that these star formations still carry the same names today!
- Singing Stars and Creatures of the Deep – Job 38:7 mentions the stars singing at creation. But can stars really sing? As early as 1947 there is scientific data to suggest that stars emit sound. Psalm 148:7 commands the creatures of the deep to praise God. Here is an awesome video about the reality of both of these: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=helxFeG-0n0
- Fixed Order of the Moon and Stars – Jeremiah 31:35 proves that the moon and stars follow a predictable pattern, and have done so for thousands of years.
- All Things Hold Together Through…Laminin? – The human body is miraculous. As science unfolds the uniqueness, diversity, and intricacies of the human body, we are learning much. The Bible tells us this: “…in Him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:17). Don’t miss this short video on a type of molecular glue in our bodies called laminin: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSR8z_0uW5E
- Water Cycle – The water cycle of condensation and precipitation is one most of us learned in our early school years. But Job 37:27-28, Isaiah 55:10 and Ecclesiastes 1:7 reveal that this knowledge has been around for years as both scientific and Biblical fact.
- Wind/Air Cycle – For almost as long as we’ve understood the water cycle, we’ve known the circular pattern of the winds and they affect the weather. The Bible confirms this scientific fact in Job 28:25, Job 37:9, and Ecclesiastes 1:6.
- Ocean Currents – Psalm 8:8 testifies to the scientific accuracy of the Bible through these verses about ocean currents.
- Fountains of the Deep – In March of 2014 scientists verified that there are large underground oceans that perfectly line up with the Biblical accounts of “fountains of the deep” in the great flood account of Genesis 7:11. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140312150229.htm
- Life in the Blood – In the 19th century scientists believed blood was responsible for disease. That’s why blood letting and leeches were popular medical techniques of the day. Now scientists recognize that life is in the blood as testified to in Leviticus 17:11.
- No Large-Scale Mutations – Evolutionists would have us think that all life evolved from primordial ooze that originally housed only single-cell organisms, and that the similarities between apes and humans is proof of their faulty theory. But the missing link that would prove evolution has never been found. Some even point to small mutations within a given species as proof of evolution theory. But the Bible tells the scientific truth that is corroborated by good science in Genesis 1. Plant, animal, and human life can only reproduce “after their kind.”
- Waters Teeming With Life – Ever looked at a drop of water under a microscope? Genesis 1:20 got it right!
- One Human Race – Nineteenth-century biologists believed there were five different human races, a very different viewpoint than what we see in Acts 17:26, 1 Corinthians 15:45, and Genesis 3:20. In corroboration with God’s Word, modern-day genetics has proved that all people come from one common ancestry.
- Detailed Complexity of the Human Body – King David realized the detailed complexity of the human body and life development as God’s handiwork (Psalm 139:13-16).
- Earth Made For Habitation – Isaiah 45:18 tells us that God created the earth to be inhabited. Science has proved this. Earth is the only known planet to support life, and it is clearly designed and calibrated with divine precision. Consider these facts:
- Our proximity to the sun is so precise as to allow liquid water, a necessity for life of all kinds — human, plant, and animal.
- The earth’s composition and specific chemical ratio support life. If any of this were altered by a small percentage, humans could not survive. As an example, the earth maintains a constant oxygen level of 21%. If this number was at 25%, spontaneous fires would erupt. At 15% humans would suffocate.
- The magnetic molten core of the earth is crucial to life. Our core creates a magnetic field around the earth that protects its lifeforms from solar radiation and winds.
- The transparency of our earth’s atmosphere is perfectly calibrated to support life. If it were more transparent, humans would die from radiation and disease. If it were less transparent, photosynthesis could not occur, temperatures would plummet, and human bodies could not produce Vitamin D.
- Did you know that the average temperature on Venus is 864 degrees Fahrenheit and on Mars is -80 degrees Fahrenheit? In contrast, Earth has a consistent range of temperatures, without which most life forms could not survive.
- The diversity of life on Earth creates food necessary for survival.
- The moon affects our orbit around the sun. If it weren’t there to serve this function, it would result in the instability of our planet.
- Not all stars are as stable as our sun. Without that stability, life would indeed be drastically affected.
- Did you know that planets like Jupiter act like a giant vacuum cleaner to protect the inhabitants of earth from space debris?
Even our location in the Milky Way galaxy protects Earth. If it were pulled into one of the rings rather than between rings, the chances of a collision would be much greater.
- The tilt of the earth on its axis is perfect for supporting life. Even the slightest variance would make human life impossible.
- Even the size of the earth and speed in which it travels around the sun are perfectly calibrated to support life.
- The four laws of particle physics that are interwoven into earth’s design are gravitational pull, electromagnetism, the strong nuclear force, and the weak nuclear force. A perfect balance must be maintained among these for the support of life. We find that perfect balance in our earth.
“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands.”
Common Criticisms Against the Bible
Accuracy of Bible Manuscripts Questioned
One criticism leveled at the Bible is that of questioning if the Bible manuscripts are accurate.
If that line of reasoning is to be used, it only makes sense to hold other ancient manuscripts up to the same scrutiny.
For the sake of time and space, we will consider only two manuscripts (though there are several others we could include): Homer’s The Iliad and the New Testament.
The chart below shows the number of known original manuscripts and the span of time between the oldest known manuscripts and when they were written. After comparing the two, which one mathematically alone has the best odds of being accurate? No brainer.
My point is this. No book in the history of mankind has been held up to greater scrutiny than the Bible. And yet never have we heard someone question the accuracy of The Iliad.
Translations Cause Error
The original Old and New Testaments were written in ancient Hebrew and Greek. Since learning these ancient languages is difficult and time-consuming, there have been many translations. This has been especially true in the latter half of the twentieth century, mainly because of ancient biblical manuscripts which have been made available.
But because of these many translations some argue that the original text has been manipulated and marred.
This is the exact opposite of the truth. The many translations actually make the Bible better understood. Ancient Hebrew and Greek are rich languages that carry multiple meanings for each individual word. Our English language can’t even come close, needing several of our modern-day words to adequately describe the full meaning of the ancient text.
Based on what God says about His Word, we can rest assured that He is watching carefully over His Word.
“For I tell you truly, until heaven and earth pass away, not a single jot, not a stroke of a pen, will disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. “
I want to begin by pointing out that there has never really been any question about the books of the Old Testament. The early church accepted the Hebrew scripture as God’s Word. But in the early Christian church, several books of questionable doctrine and legitimacy surfaced, giving rise to concern that God’s Word would be tainted.
As mentioned in prior posts, the evil one (Satan) is our enemy — a known liar, murderer, thief, and destroyer who stands in opposition to God and all that is good. He distorts truth by mixing it with lies for the purpose of causing chaos, doubt, and confusion. What better way to do this than to plant falsity for the purpose of distorting God’s Word?
Goes right back to his famous words in the garden, doesn’t it? “Did God really say…?”
Just by way of example, similar happenings have occurred in recent history as well. When the atrocities of World War II concentration camps became apparent to Allied troops, General Omar Bradley said this on April 24, 1945:
“It is the desire of the Theater Commander that both still and moving pictures be utilized to the fullest extent practicable as exhibits in reports of investigations of war crimes committed by the Nazis with particular reference to Allied prisoners of war both in and out of camps and to concentration camps for the purpose of recording for civilization the history of horror written by over five years of German atrocities.”
And guess what? Holocaust denial is happening right now. Had it not been for the visible proof of photography, there’s a chance that history books would have been altered to record a more acceptable version of what happened in Nazi Germany.
Even more recently, we have the issue of “fake” news. The best way to keep people from hearing the truth is to make it difficult to know who is telling the truth and who isn’t!
In like manner, canonization of scripture was for the purpose of maintaining the accuracy of the Bible, not the other way around. Canon means “rod,” or a measuring tool.
It’s important to note that the canonization of Scripture wasn’t some random choosing of what mere men wanted the Bible to say. First off, because of God’s promises about His Word, we have full assurance that He is ultimately the One who determined which books would be included in the Bible, and He did so through His people.
Second, because of how congruent the Bible is in message and doctrine, it’s clear that criterion were used to determine the canon. Most scholars agree that books were included in the canon based on the following questions:
- Was the book written by an apostle? This was the most critical test of all. Obviously, those who had been specifically sent out by Jesus with the good news carried more authority than those who weren’t. These men were also eye witnesses to all that had happened (2 Peter 1:16).
- Was the book accepted as legitimate and accurate by the church? Any inaccuracy could be spotted by how it lined up with apostolic teachings and the rest of God’s Word.
- Did the book center around the person of Jesus Christ? The church was founded on Jesus. If the book in question didn’t focus accurately on Jesus then it stands to reason that it shouldn’t be included in the Bible.
- Did it testify to the power of God’s Spirit? Since God’s Word is living and active and inspired by His Spirit, this was a necessary criterion for inclusion.
- Did the book line up with other teachings in the Bible? Obviously, this criterion was needed. And as a result, the Bible maintains the same message from cover to cover.
And how is this for proof? Of the two earliest Bibles in the Christian church, both testify to the canonicity of all 27 New Testament books.
I do want to point out that many who use this criticism against the Bible do so because of reading or viewing The Da Vinci Code. In this fictional work, author Dan Brown claimed that the Council of Nicaea voted on which books to include in the Bible, all for the purpose of getting people to make Jesus a god.
Not only was the claim inaccurate in content and history, but it wasn’t people who claimed Jesus was God. It was Jesus Himself that made that claim! (See John 10:30-33.)
“I and the Father are One.”
Jesus, John 10:30
We’ve all come across different accounts of the same event that don’t perfectly line up.
Usually the supposed contradiction can be traced to one of the following:
- Variations in details. I might tell one person that I stayed home to watch television last night and mention to another that I had friends over last night. Both statements could be equally true; I just mentioned different details to different people.
- Applying modern-day understanding to ancient texts and figures of speech. People in ancient times and from a different culture uniquely experienced and explained their world. Just because their figures of speech don’t line up with how we experience and explain our world doesn’t mean a contradiction exists.
- Perspective changes. Some look at the first two chapters of Genesis and claim a contradiction. But in truth the difference in these two accounts of creation can be explained by a change in perspective. Chapter one takes a broad overview perspective, while chapter two zooms in on the creation of mankind.
- Copyist error. It is important to note that the overall message of the Bible or of various passages has never been affected by copyist error. The really cool thing is that these variants are pointed out in the notes of study Bibles. No one is trying to hide them!
- Differing vantage points to describe the same event. Give ten people a book to read and report on, and every report will be different. Why? Because different things stand out to different people.
Partial Fabrication Theory
Especially when it comes to recorded miracles in the Bible, some scholars suggest that the events have been partially fabricated, though they may contain bits of historical truth. Along with this partial fabrication theory comes naturalistic explanations, intended to explain away the supernatural power of God.
This approach to the Bible always creates more problems than it solves. Usually this involves assumptions that other Biblical narratives of the same event are also “wrong.”
What arrogance! Those who hold this position believe they have a better grasp of Biblical events than those who witnessed and wrote about them!
I’m not sure there’s another question in our Tough Questions series that is as important and critical as this one: How do you know the Bible is actually true?
So many of the answers to other questions are based on what we find in the Bible. So if this post’s question can’t be answered to reveal the absolute truth and validity of God’s Word, then the answers to all the other questions are undermined.
That being said, all the proof in the world won’t help those determined not to believe.
For those seeking truth, I highly encourage you to read the Bible from cover to cover, for no other purpose than to seek out its author, our Creator God. He promises that those who wholeheartedly seek Him will indeed find Him (Jeremiah 29:13).
Between both Part 1 and Part 2 of the Tough Question, “How do you know the Bible is actually true?” we see overwhelming evidence to support the truth of the Bible, which in turn testifies to the existence of God and so much more.
For His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being understood through what He has made. As a result, people are without excuse.
Most important is this truth: God’s Word will never pass away (Matthew 24:35) despite those determined to destroy it. Why? Because God’s Word is Jesus, and He is victorious!
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
(Note: Inclusion of these resources in no way means that I concur with their theological beliefs. They are simply included here for others to peruse in their search for truth.)
- The God Who Speaks (website & documentary)
- Oppositions of Science (podcast)
- Faith vs. Science (podcast)
- The Bible and/or Biology (article)
- Amazing Proof That God Exists (video)
- Atheist Scientist Becomes Christian After Researching Evidence For God (video)
- World’s Most Famous Atheist Accepts Existence of God Because of Science (video)
- Taking Back Astronomy (online book)
- What Is Science? – series of articles
- The Universe Confirms the Bible (article)
- Is the Universe Expanding? (article)
- Do Faith in God and Science Contradict? (article)
- Star Maker (video)
- Scientists Confirm Biblical Account of “The Fountains of the Deep” (article)
- Planet Earth: Lucky Accident or Master Handiwork? (article)
- What is the Difference Between Macro-evolution and Micro-evolution? (article)