Is The Bible A Reliable Historical Source?

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

Can we read the Bible and know it is a reliable historical source and not just the writings of men?

The Author of the Bible

The authors of the Bible are not who we think they are.  What I mean is, we might think that men wrote the Bible but we need to get our facts straight as the Bible actually says that “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim 3:16-17).  The Apostle Peter writes, “that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Pet 1:20-21). Even King David wrote “The Spirit of the LORD speaks by me; his word is on my tongue” (2 Sam 23:2). These Scriptures prove that we are not reading the words of men but of God as the phrase “Thus says the Lord” appears 418 times in the Bible and another 48 times (that I could count) that says “God said.”  No, even the revelation that the Apostle John received was of Jesus Christ and not his (Rev 1:1-2). The point is the Bible is the Word of God and not of man.  It would be like saying that my computer wrote this article when in reality, I wrote it; I only told the keyboard what to say.  Would anyone really say this article was written by a computer and not by me?

Is The Bible A Reliable Historical Source

Historical Facts

Did you know that the Ebla tablets found by archaeologists in 1975 have provided absolute, concrete evidence about life in the ancient world?  Ebla was a known kingdom that included Syria/Damascus and South-East Turkey and with the discovery of 20,000 cuneiform tablets and fragments they discovered the names of David (Da-u-dum), Abraham (Ab-ra-mu) and even Ishmael (Ish-ma-il). The discovery of the Ebla tablets in northern Syria in the 1970s also mentions the ancient regions such as ‘Canaan,’ and all these discoveries legitimize the patriarchal accounts, proving them to be viable and genuine. [1] The Jewish historian, Josephus writes about the authenticity of Jesus Christ as being a living, breathing historical figure of history, by writing

“At this time there was a wise man called Jesus, and his conduct was good, and he was known to be virtuous. Many people among the Jews and the other nations became his disciples. Pilate condemned him to be crucified, and to die. But 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 who the prophets had reported wonders. And the tribe of the Christians, so named after him, has not disappeared to this day” (Antiquities 20:200).

Archaeological Facts

Up until 1993, there was no valid proof that King David even existed but today, we have archaeological proof that David was a real man and he ruled Israel in actual time and space but now, archaeologists have proof of King David’s existence outside the Bible where an ancient mound called Tel Dan, in the north of Israel, had words carved into a chunk of basalt which were translated as “House of David” and “King of Israel”  Also found was an inscribed stone that  refers to Pontius Pilate, named as ‘Prefect of Judaea’ which he was known as by the Romans. [2]  Additional finds include A decree of Claudius found at Delphi (Greece) describes Gallio as proconsul of Achaia in AD 51 which perfectly correlates with the ministry of Paul in Corinth (Acts 18:12) and at Ephesus, parts of the temple of Artemis were unearthed which matches that in Acts 19:28-41 (The New Bible Dictionary).  The number of archaeological digs providing rock-solid support for the Bible grows year by year and today there are well over 50,000 digs at 30,000 different locations that have been excavated and some of these finds include the names of Belshazzar, King Darius, and King Cyrus’ and names like the Hittite’s who were once thought to be fictional but now have been found to be true.  Even King David’s reign was found recorded on ancient Egyptian inscriptions and giving more substantial evidence of the historical accuracy of the Bible, the Regal House of Nebuchadnezzar and a stone tablet bearing Pontius Pilate’s name have been discovered.  The number of archaeological finds that relate to what is recorded in Scripture cannot possibly be covered in one article for it could fill a book.  All I can say is that the Bible is the most reliable of all historical books that we know of from ancient antiquities.  That is enough for me to rest in the fact that the Bible is the true revelation from God for man.


God has no need for us to prove His Word is true my matching up the prophecies or historical accounts with what we find in archaeology or paleontology.  Artifacts and history don’t prove the Bible is true; the Bible is true and artifacts and history reveal that it is.  In Revelation 22:19 God has a warning that if anyone adds to or takes away from the words of the Bible, God “shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city (heaven or the new Jerusalem)” and this same warning is given in the Old Testament in Deuteronomy 4:2.  Another message from Jesus about believing in Him seems appropriate right now as He gives us all only one of two choices; “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him” (John 3:36)

More to read about historical evidence: Existence of Jesus Christ

Resources – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. [1] In What Ways Have the Discoveries of Archaeology Verified the Reliability of the Bible? By Dr. Bryant Wood (1995). [2] The New Bible Dictionary, (Wheaton, Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1962).

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