The Herald of Jehovah's Kingdom
The Herald of Jehovah's Kingdom
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so on earth.
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The International Association Jehovah's Witnesses

Bible Study

 
Authenticity of the Bible
 
    Jehovah continues to bring forth to his covenant people corroborative proof that the Bible is His authentic Word of truth, and not the word of man. From the earliest times the canonical books have been received by the Jews as inspired and as wholly trustworthy documents. The truth of the Scriptural narrative has been attested to by the unanimous testimony of that nation, though a great portion of it is a record of their own repeated disobedience, unfaithfulness, and falling away to idolatry or religion and into the hands of their enemies. The writers speak with all candor and humility about their own shortcomings; they spare no creature. They were faithful witnesses of Jehovah; they suffered and even died for his truth. Seeming inconsistencies may perplex the superficial reader; but they vanish before a reverential and accurate investigation. The contemporary Israelites of the writers, both of the Hebrew and of the Greek Scriptures, always accepted each book as a true record of events.

    Profane history confirms the Bible record where names and biographies of historical characters are given, and the same is true relative to the names and locations of historical places. For example, there is an abundance of profane testimony corroborating the story of the Gospels, and some of the testimony comes from anti-Christian historians. Among such historians and writers of the first and second centuries are Flavius Josephus, Tacitus, Suetonius, Pliny the younger, Lucian, Phlegon Trallianus, Celsus and Numenius. All these testify to the facts that in the reign of Emperor Tiberius Caesar there lived one called Jesus Christ; that he was an extraordinary man who did great miracles; that he was put to death at the command of Pontius Pilate; that there was a phenomenal darkness and earthquake at his execution; that his teachings spread rapidly; and that they attracted many followers, who suffered persecution.

    Repeatedly archeological discoveries have proved the Bible record true and have closed the blaspheming mouths of "higher critics" and atheists. Ancient secular records, by monumental inscriptions, coins, remains of cities, and numerous other antiquities unearthed, all unite to verify the Bible. It is noteworthy that plants, animals, birds, fishes and insects mentioned in the Bible have been found in precise keeping with the plant and animal life of the particular regions mentioned. Furthermore, even the order of creation as given in the first chapter of Genesis is corroborated by geology. Certain forms of plant and animal life are found in certain strata or layers of rock, to which layers geologists assign a certain period of time. The order in time to which scientists assign the appearance of certain forms of life is in the same order of appearance as the Genesis account of creation sets it forth. Of course, scientists, vying one with the other for attention, set fantastic figures of time upon their findings; but the important thing is that the record of creation found in the rocks of the earth agrees with the record in ink in Genesis. And why not? The Creator of the one is the Author of the other. Both records are true, even if misinterpreted by scientists and clergymen.

    All the foregoing facts are strong and convincing proof of the authenticity of the Bible. But there is evidence many times stronger: the thousand fold and accurate minor and major fulfillments of Biblical prophecies irrefutably proving the Scriptures as inspired history written in advance. Men cannot foretell events, not even one day ahead: "Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth." (Proverbs 27: 1) Jehovah has blessed man by "declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done". He has inspired men to record these prophecies in his Word, such men themselves not knowing whereof they wrote. (Acts 15:18; Isaiah 46:10; 2 Peter 1: 20, 21; 2 Timothy 3:16,17; Daniel 12:4,8,10; 1 Peter 1:10-12) All men are fallible; despite their possible sincerity their words are not always authentic. The foregoing texts show, however, that men were not the authors of the Bible, but merely employed as secretaries to the Author, Jehovah God. And He is infallible!

    If physical facts have come to pass in fulfillment of Bible prophecy, then they constitute the strongest kind of circumstantial evidence of the Bible's authenticity, and the reasonable mind is satisfied and faith is firmly established. (John 14:29) Unnumbered Bible prophecies are now fulfilled. But space rules that we cannot here consider them in detail. Hence the matter will be narrowed down in scope to meet the limiting conditions of space. Prophecies recorded in the Hebrew Scriptures, which were written centuries prior to Jesus' life, will be cited and shown to have been fulfilled in Jesus, hence proving him as Messiah Christ. His words of prophecy will then be cited and modern events, nineteen centuries later, referred to as fulfillments. This will establish Jesus as the Messiah and his word as true and reliable. Then all should be willing to acknowledge him as a credible witness and should accept his testimony concerning the Bible's authenticity.