Part 1

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“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”
2 Timothy 3:16-17

The Bible Is Unique In Its Circulation.

It is without question the single most published book in the history of the world. It has been read by more people and published in more languages than any other book. Billions have been printed and tens of millions continue to be sold and circulated year after year. Find another book that has stayed on top of the bestseller list for three hundred years.

The Bible Is Unique In Its Translation.

It is the single most translated book in the world. Even though it’s been translated in over 1,200 languages already. A literal army of fulltime translators is working today to make it available to still more people groups.

The Bible Is Unique In Its Durability.

It has survived bans and burnings, ridicule and criticism. Countless kings and rulers have tried to eradicate it - but it lives on and its influence continues to spread. Thousands of Bibles continue to pour into Eastern block countries, the Middle East and communist China. The Bible has outlived every one of its cruelest opponents.

The Bible Is Unique In Its Impact.

Over centuries of study millions upon millions of people have credited the Bible for transforming their lives, altering their view of the world, changing their relationships, values and their view of eternity. Not many books have that kind of effect on people’s lives.

“This Jesus of Nazareth, without money and arms, conquered more millions than Alexander, Caesar, Mohammed, and Napoleon; without science and learning. He shed more light on things human and divine than all philosophers and scholars combined; without the eloquence of schools, He spoke such words of life as were never spoken before or since, and produced effects which lie beyond the reach of orator or poet; without writing a single line, He set more pens in motion, and furnished themes for more sermons, orations,
discussions, learned volumes, works of art, and songs of praise than the whole army of great men of ancient and modern times.. ” Historian Philip Schaff

The Bible Is Unique In It’s Composition.

  1. Written over a 1,500-year span.
  2. Written over 40 generations.
  3. Written by over 40 authors from every walk of life including kings, peasants, philosophers, fishermen, poets, statesmen, scholars, etc.:
    1. Moses, a political leader, trained in the universities of Egypt
    2. Peter, a fisherman
    3. Amos, a herdsman
    4. Joshua, a military general
    5. Nehemiah, a cupbearer
    6. Daniel, a prime minister
    7. Luke, a doctor
    8. Solomon, a king
    9. Matthew, a tax collector
    10. Paul, a rabbi
  4. Written in different places:
    • Moses in the wilderness
    • Jeremiah in a dungeon
    • Daniel on a hillside and in a palace
    • Paul inside prison walls
    • Luke while traveling
    • John on the isle of Patmos
    • Others in the rigors of a military campaign
  5. Written at different times:
    • David in times of war
    • Solomon in times of peace
  6. Written during different moods:
    • Some writing from the heights of joy and others writing from the depths of sorrow and despair
  7. Written on three continents:
    • Asia, Africa and Europe
  8. Written in three languages:
    1. Hebrew: Was the language of the Old Testament. In 2 Kings 18: 26-28 called the language of Judah.
      In Isaiah 19:18 called “the language of Canaan.”
    2. Aramaic: Was the “common language” of the Near East until the time of Alexander the Great (6th century B.C. - 4th century B.C.) 32/218
    3. Greek: New Testament language - was the international language at the time of Christ.

The Bible was written over a 1,500 year time span by 40 different generations coming from radically different backgrounds and cultures. It was written from different places, at different times, in different languages by
writers on different continents, yet it contains an unmistakable thread of continuity throughout its pages.


More than a few answer - .”Of course it’s not accurate. It’s riddled with myths, mistakes and contradictions. It has nothing to do with historical fact.” However, Christianity is rooted in history. Jesus Christ was counted in a Roman census. If the Bible's historical references are not true, grave questions may be raised about
the reliability of other parts of the message based on historical events.

Question: Are The Old Testament Documents Historically Reliable?

The Old Testament was completed about 400 BC. From 400 BC to today is 2,400 years. Since they didn’t have copy machines, and computers, it makes sense to think that in those 2,400 years, certainly there would be all kinds of mistakes and errors.

Answer: The Old Testament Has No Equal With Respect To Manuscript Duplication

The Old Testament was copied with such precision that, when an entire scroll had been copied by hand, one letter at a time, if one mistake was made, the scroll was destroyed. In addition, the Jewish copyists of the Hebrew Scriptures adhered to detailed requirements in copying:

  • Each copy had to be made on a brand new writing surface and had to be prepared in a specific way;
  • Each copy had to be written in a certain number of columns of 30 letters width, written right above each other so if there was a mistake made it was known immediately;
  • Each copy had to be written in a certain color and quality of ink;
  • Each copy had to be made from an authenticated original;
  • Not even the tiniest letter could be written from memory, as one would glance at the word .to. and write the letters .t. and .o. before glancing back at the original, but every letter was copied singly from the original; No letter could connect with or overlap another letter ;
  • Every letter of every page and book was counted and compared against the original. The number of times each letter of the alphabet occurred in a book was counted and compared against the original. The middle letter of the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Old Testament) and the middle letter of the entire Hebrew Bible were computed and indicated in the text. If one of these calculations was incorrect, they took the entire scroll, destroyed it and started over. (These people had a lot of spare time!)
  • We have people who devote their entire life to producing a couple of perfect, flawless copies.

Question: Are The New Testament Documents Historically Reliable?

Answer: The Bible Has No Equal With Respect To Manuscript Documentation.




Copies Made
Number of
Copies Today
Plato 427-347 B.C. A.D. 900 1,200 yrs. 7
Sophocles 496-406 B.C. A.D. 1,000 1,400 yrs. 100
Homer 900 B.C. 900 B.C. 500 yrs. 643
Euripides 480-406 B.C. A.D. 1,100 1,500 yrs. 9
Aristotle 384-322 B.C. A.D. 1,100 1,400 yrs. 5
New Testament A.D. 40-100 A.D. 125 25 yrs 24,000 +

“The interval, then, between the dates of original composition and the earliest extant evidence becomes so small as to be in fact negligible, and the last foundation for any doubt that the Scriptures have come down to us substantially as they were written has now been removed. Both the authenticity and the general integrity of the books of the New Testament may be regarded as finally established.” Sir Frederic Kenyon, a world-renowned scholar of the ancient manuscripts.

“No other ancient document even comes close. The runner-up for textual reliability is Homer’s Iliad, with 643 manuscript copies and a five-hundredyear span between the time it was written and the oldest existing copy. Is the Bible reliable? Compared to any other work of antiquity, it can be said of the Bible. It’s in a league all by itself...” Josh McDowell, Evidence That Demands A Verdict

“After trying to shatter the historicity and validity of the Scripture, I came to the conclusion that it is historically trustworthy. If one discards the Bible as being unreliable, then he must discard almost all literature of antiquity.” Josh McDowell, Evidence that Demands a Verdict


  • The Bible Gives Me Purpose Psalm 1
  • The Bible Gives Me Perspective Psalm 119
  • The Bible Gives Me Power Psalm 27

This information was compiled by an unknown author.

For Part 2 of this article, click here.


Anderson, J.N.D. Christianity: The Witness of History. London: Tyndale Press, 1969. Used by permission of
Inter-Varsity Press, Downers Grove, IL 60515.

Archer, Gleason, A Survey of the Old Testament. Chicago: Moody Press, 1964. Used by permission.

Bruce, F. F. .Archaeological Confirmation of the New Testament.. Revelation and the Bible. Edited by Carl Henry. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1969.

Bruce, F. F. The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? Downers Grove; IL 60515: Inter-Varsity Press, 1964. Used by permission.

Harrison, R. K. Introduction to the Old Testament. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1969. Used by permission.

Metzger, Bruce M. The Text of the New Testament. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1968.

Montgomery, John W. History and Christianity. Downers Grove, IL 60515: Inter-Varsity Press, 1971. Used by Permission.

Ramsay, W. M. The Bearing of Recent Discovery on the Trustworthiness of the New Testament. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1953.

Stott, John R. W. Basic Christianity. Downers Grove, IL 60515: Inter-Varsity Press, 1971.

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