Dr. Voddie Baucham, Jr. and J. Warner Wallace offer two of the best explanations with compelling evidence for why we should trust that the words of the Bible have been accurately preserved, can be trusted, and are true.
There are plenty of theologians and religious apologists who can provide reasons that support the accuracy and truth of the Holy Bible. In this article, we are going to focus on two. We’ll begin with a brief introduction of the two men who will offer us a very enlightening perspective.
Dr. Voddie Baucham, Jr., is a former pastor, author, professor, conference speaker, and church planter, as well as a husband, father. He currently serves as Dean of Theology at African Christian University in Lusaka, Zambia. He has garnered a lot of attention for his stance on the truth of the Bible, against cultural Marxism and his mission for true equality.
J. Warner Wallace operates the website “Cold Case Christianity” and is a former LAPD cold-case homicide detective, who is now an adjunct professor of apologetics at Talbot School of Theology (Biola University) and Southern Evangelical Seminary, and a faculty member at Summit Ministries, a national speaker and best-selling author. He says he was previously an atheist who came to Christ at the age of thirty-five.
He now uses his expert investigative skills and knowledge of law to make a case for Christ using the same techniques prosecutors employ to establish truth.
Pastor Baucham garnered a lot of attention in 2014 when he gave his statement on why the Bible is true. Videos of his speech can be found readily on YouTube. Not only were his words profound, but they represent one of the best apologetic argument ever made for the validity of the Bible. It refutes often repeated claims that the Bible has changed over time and offers the facts against such allegations.
“I choose to believe the Bible because it is a reliable collection of historical documents, written by eyewitnesses during the lifetime of other eyewitnesses, reporting supernatural events that took place in fulfillment of specific prophecies and claimed their writings are Divine and not of human origin.”
Baucham points out that there have been over 23,000 archaeological digs that have corroborated the biblical record – without one disapproving find. The Bible is comprised of 66 books in 3 languages and was written by 40 authors spanning three continents over 1,500 years.
Next, there were many eyewitnesses telling the same story. Because there were many eyewitnesses to the biblical events, if they were not true, those eyewitnesses who lived during the lifetime of the events would have disputed the testimony of Scripture.
Most telling of all are the prophecies in the Bible. One-third of the Bible is prophecy. Some of these prophecies are very specific and detailed. Yet, many events have come to pass and have been verified by secular historians’s outside of the Bible. Further, the probability of these prophecies coming true brings up numbers on an astronomical scale that is seemingly impossible.
This is compelling evidence that the Bible is the true word of God.
Being a former LAPD police detective and cold case investigator, J. Warner Wallace brings a scientific approach to validating the accuracy and truth of the Bible. Warner’s expertise brings a significant advantage in bringing compelling evidence to those who prefer to lean on the scientific method of establishing facts.
Wallace says that in criminal investigations, trials usually ask for critical questions: “Were the witnesses really present at the time of the crime? Can the witnesses’ accounts be corroborated in some way? Have the witnesses changed their story over time? Do the witnesses have biases causing them to lie, exaggerate or misinterpret what was seen?”
Warner says the Bible can be investigated by asking similar questions.
In summing it up, Warner says that the evidence is timely, the gospel writers were present; verified, the gospel writers were corroborated; accurate, the Gospels were accurately delivered with the proper chain of custody; attested, the gospel writers had no ulterior motive.
1. Gospels were written early in the same generation as those who were eyewitnesses. They were still alive to know if the facts were true or not.
2. Gospels were corroborated by many facts. In fact, the first century gospel accounts are better corroborated than any other historical account. Archaeology has corroborated the places, locations and events described in the Gospels. History writers and other writers outside of the gospel have corroborated the people, places and events as well. The gospel writers correctly cite the ancient names that were used in the region at the time of the events. The gospel writers corroborate the accounts of one another.
3. Proper chain of custody. Warner says the Gospels were handled in a proper “chain of custody” which refers to how criminal and civil law refers to the chronological order in which items of evidence has been handled during the investigation of the case, proving it has been properly handled through an unbroken chain, free of gaps or discrepancies ensuring it has not been tampered with.
Warner says the “chain of custody” can be reconstructed from the gospel authors to confirm the original content of the document. Due to the vast number of ancient copies, they can be compared to one another for accuracy.
4. Gospel writers were unbiased. The main take away here is that the writers of the Gospels had absolutely nothing to gain by their testimonies. Warner says three motives that usually show bias are absent in the lives of the gospel writers.
(A). The Gospel writers were not driven by financial gain, or by the pursuit of power, and there was no sexual or relational lust involved. Warner says the gospel authors all died without gaining any of these advantages that tend to drive a bias.
(B). The Gospel authors claimed to be eyewitnesses and wrote what they observed.
(C). The Gospel writers were willing to die for what they claimed they saw, and in fact, they suffered and some died martyrs death. The Bible itself doesn’t tell us how all twelve apostles died, only to: Judas who betrayed Jesus and hanged himself, and James who was executed by Herod.
However, writings outside of the Bible tell us that Peter and Paul were martyred in Rome during the persecution under Emperor Nero; Andrew was said to have been crucified in Greece; Thomas was killed in India by the spears of four soldiers; Philip was cruelly put to death in Asia minor; Joseph was stoned and clubbed to death in Syria, according to the Jewish historian Josephus; and the accounts of how Matthew and Bartholomew died are unclear, with some reports also attesting that they were martyred.