134. How can we know that the Scriptures are true?

There are five main ways that help us to rely on the truth and authenticity of the Bible:

  1. Historically accurate. History has proven that the Bible is historically accurate. For example, Mohammed Dib, a Bedouin shepherd in 1947 found “The Dead Sea Scrolls” in a crevice in the rock face at the Wadi Qumran. The texts of Isaiah amongst the scrolls was atomically tested and dated to 100 B.C. The Hebrew text contained 66 chapters, the content of which was the same as today’s text. So the charge that The Bible has been changed or corrupted is not credible when there is such strong proof of it being unchanged.
  2. Prophecy fulfilled. In the Old Testament, there are 333 prophecies about the birth, life, death and resurrection, all of which were fulfilled in the life of Christ. The 1947 Dead Sea Scroll discovery proved that these prophecies were in existence before the birth of Jesus Christ. Refer Isaiah Chapter 49, 50, 52, 53, 55, 61 etc.
  3. Its power. The Bible records God’s word to man. If we take God’s word in faith and apply it to our lives, it produces a powerful result. This is also proof of its truth. Salvation is received through God’s Word (John 3 v 16); victory is in God’s Word (James 4 v 7); Forgiveness from sins (1 John 1 v 9). But the Word of the Lord endures forever (1 Peter 1 v 25).
  4. Eye witnesses. The four gospels that record the life and teaching of Jesus Christ were written by three of His disciples, Matthew, Mark, and John, and one close observer and researcher called Luke, a medical doctor. All of these persons were still alive when they wrote these texts and were first hand witnesses to the life and teaching of Jesus. As evidence of a series of events, any lawyer would be delighted to have four concurring witnesses to produce before a judge to prove his case. Josephus an historian who lived at the time of Jesus independently confirmed the major aspects of the life of Jesus of Nazareth even though he was not a disciple of Jesus. Roman history also independently confirms the historical evidence that Jesus Christ lived and died by crucifixion, and that His body was taken by Joseph of Arimathea, but later disappeared under the governance of Pontius Pilate.
  5. The Canon of Scripture. In the third century the early Church fathers and theologians such as Origen of Alexandria using the 27 books of the New Testament. Early Church Fathers were concerned at the use of some heretical books that claimed to contain Christian truth, so they set about compiling the Holy Bible from the 66 books that are contained in today’s versions of the Bible. The Scholars used a series of tests to decide which books were authentic and had the evidence of the Holy Spirit’s inspiration in their message. The Canon of Scripture contains 66 books and was written by 40 different authors inspired by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Bible does not claim to be a dictation from God or an angel although the last book of the Bible, the Book of Revelation, was given in a vision to the Apostle John circa 95AD. Other prophets throughout the Bible also claimed to see visions that inspired their writing. A well know example of this is Isaiah’s vision in chapter 6.

In the Qur’an Surah 2 Al Baqarah ayah 87 it states about the Torah – ‘We gave Moses the Book, and followed him up with a succession of messengers.’ The Psalms are commended in the Qur’an Surah 4 Al Nisa ayah 163: ‘We have sent thee inspiration, as We sent it to Noah and the Messengers after him: we sent inspiration to Abraham, Isma’il, Isaac, Jacob and the Tribes, to Jesus, Job, Jonah, Aaron, and Solomon, and to David We gave the Psalms.’ The Gospels are commended by the Qur’an in Surah 3 Ali Imran ayah 3: ‘It is He Who sent down to thee (step by step), in truth, the Book, confirming what went before it; and He sent down the Law (of Moses) and the Gospel (of Jesus) before this, as a guide to mankind, and He sent down the criterion (of judgment between right and wrong).’ Also, “And in their footsteps We sent Jesus the son of Mary, confirming the Law that had come before him: We sent him the Gospel: therein was guidance and light, and confirmation of the Law that had come before him: a guidance and an admonition to those who fear Allâh,’ Surah 5 Al Ma’idah ayah 6, and in ayah 34 we read: ‘Rejected were the messengers before thee: with patience and constancy they bore their rejection and their wrongs, until Our aid did reach them: there is none that can alter the words (and decrees) of Allâh. Already hast thou received some account of those messengers,’ In Surah 6 Al Anam ayah 115) we read: ‘The word of thy Lord doth find its fulfilment in truth and in justice: None can change His words: for He is the one who hears and knows all.’ ‘For them are glad tidings, in the life of the present and in the Hereafter; no change can there be in the words of Allâh. This is indeed the supreme felicity.’

‘The Psalms of Islâm’ or Al-Sahifat Al-Kalimat Al-Sajjadiyya written by Imam Zayn al-Abidin ‘Ali ibn al Husayn are the supplications attributed to the founders of the Shia Islâm dating back to the year 265. The author explained in the introduction to ‘The Psalms of Islâm’ that ‘supplicating or calling on Allâh to address him with one’s praise, thanksgiving, hopes and needs are personal prayers commonly understood by contemporary Christians. It forms the basic part of religious life, but like ‘dhikr’ (remembrance of God), though commanded in the Qur’an in general terms, it does not take a specific form in the injunctions of the Shari’ah because of its personal and inward nature. Everyone must remember to supplicate Allâh, but this can hardly be legislated, since it pertains to the secret relationship between the human being and Allâh. The salat however is the absolute minimum which Allâh will accept from the faithful as the mark of their faith and their membership of the community (ummah). Salat is the public practice of prayer and worship. Dhikr is totally personal. The sunna contain the highest example of supplications and everyone should emulate them. When the Prophet of Islâm recited them his Companions would remember them and memorise them. They used these supplications on various occasions.’

‘To the Prophet of Islâm’s supplications the Shi’ites have added the supplications of the Imams, beginning with ‘Ali. Nowadays, the most widely used of the comprehensive prayer manual, which contain a variety of supplications from all Imams and for every occasion, is probably ‘Mafatih al-jinan’ (‘Keys to the Gardens of Paradise’) by ‘Abbas Qumi (d. 1359/1940).’