Factual Evidence for Gods Existence and Identity.
Can you imagine jumping off the edge of a 10,000 foot cliff without a parachute while screaming, "Gravity is true for you but not for me!" Not unless you're crazy, right? We all know the law of gravity is true because of the evidence. We drop something and it falls, we trip and we fall. I like to point out to people that my dogs have no idea what gravity is, so they can't believe in it, but they never float away. Gravity is true for everyone, everywhere, whether they believe it or not.
But do you think that any single belief about God can be true for everyone? I have often heard people say, "God is true for you but something else is true for me," as if the truth about God is just personal opinion. In fact, the Bible claims to be true for everyone, whether they believe it or not, just like gravity. In essence, it warns that leaving this world without heeding the Bible's crucial advice is more foolish than jumping off a cliff without a parachute.
Is the New Testament Accurate?
The New Testament is accurate, according to most Biblical scholars. In the Baker Encyclopedia of Apologetics, 2002, Baker Books: Grand Rapids (MI), pp. 532-533, Bruce Metzger, a highly recognized scholar, is quoted as estimating the New Testament we have today as 99.5 percent accurate.
There are approximately 5,600 handwritten manuscripts (MS) in Greek, which is the original language of the New Testament. In total, there are more than 25,000 full or partial manuscripts in several languages. Due to the enormous number of texts, scholars can compare one to another and determine what the originals said. The texts have what scholars call variants, small variations, due to word placement (Jesus Christ vs. Christ Jesus, for example), spelling, proper nouns and the like. These are not errors, simply variations in the text. Because there are more than 25,000 manuscripts, there are an estimated 400,000 variants. Here are two simulated verses that vary in five places, thus five variants:
Jesus Christ died for our sin and rose again.
Christ Jesus died for your sins and arose.
The actual texts have nowhere near this number per line. If 1,000 manuscripts had 100 spelling errors each, that would equal 100,000 variants. This demonstrates why the estimated 400,000 variants discovered in the manuscripts are not that significant. Notice how even in a short verse with several variants, we can still determine what the verse says. If you had 1,000 MS with the same verse, do you think you could figure out what it says? According to Biblical scholars, inconsequential variants like these alter no meaning and account for 99 percent of the total. Only one percent of variants are of any consequence, and they do not affect Christian doctrine. Ironically, God’s plan for man to disperse thousands of handwritten manuscripts in the ancient world protected it from alteration better than if one person had the original and could change it.
“While the New Testament documents do not survive or have not yet been found, we have abundant and accurate copies of the original New Testament documents – many more than for the ten best pieces of ancient literature combined. Moreover, nearly perfect reconstruction of the originals can be accomplished by comparing the thousands of manuscript copies that do survive. We have discovered manuscript fragments from the second century as early as the mid first century. There are no works from the ancient world that even come close to the New Testament in terms of manuscript support.” Turek and Geisler, I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist, page 248.
“Non-believers are concerned that our New Testament Scriptures cannot be trusted, but they’ve come to this concern without examining the evidence. As Christians, we KNOW that we have the most reliable and attested ancient documents. You can trust that, if nothing else, we have today what the ancients had to begin with.” Detective Jim Wallace, former atheist, www.pleaseconvinceme.com
In addition to all of the manuscripts, there are more than 36,000 instances of quotation of New Testament scriptures by the early church fathers. All but eleven New Testament verses are quoted, allowing for virtually 100 percent reconstruction of the New Testament. Norman Geisler and William Nix, General Introduction to the Bible (Chicago: Moody, 1986), 431.
Many critics claim the Bible cannot be accurate or true because it was written by men, and men make mistakes. But men write accurate and truthful books all of the time. Look at a dictionary or an encyclopedia. The Bible says all scripture is inspired by God—so just as you use a pen as an instrument to write a letter, God used men as instruments to record His Word.
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness (2 Tim. 3:16).