A recent article appeared in Christian Today on this topic. Being able to defend the accuracy of the Bible is a vital part of “always be[ing] ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15), so I thought I would share some of the author’s observations with you.
The author writes that, “There are differences between early manuscripts, but they help us know what the original text said.” You see, before the invention of the printing press, biblical manuscripts had to be painstakingly copied by hand. As you can imagine, small errors and differences in spelling or wording slowly crept in as the texts were copied. But as this writer points out, “nearly always these are miniscule differences. . . . Most don’t change the meaning and none have serious implications for doctrine.” So should these minor differences between ancient texts cause us to doubt the Bible? Actually, just the opposite!
Textual criticism is the practice of looking at different versions of a text to determine what the original said. Because we have so many copies of the Scriptures (thousands more than any other historical work), we are able to compare them and determine where the discrepancy arose and what the original said. It actually gives us more confidence that we can know we have a trustworthy, accurate source.
We have a Bible that we can fully trust. It wasn’t written by mere men but by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 3:16). Since God is the ultimate author of Scripture, we can be confident in the inerrancy of His Word.
You can read the full article on Christian Today’s website.
Learn more about how we can know the Bible can be trusted in a DVD set from British theologian Brian Edwards, How Do We Know the Bible is True? available at our online store. Also, we have an excellent exhibit inside the Creation Museum on the reliability of the biblical texts. When you visit, look for it toward the beginning of the museum walk-through.