It’s a question worth considering: How much should we trust a 3,000-year-old book? The Bible certainly has its enemies. Since the moment of its completion, Scripture has been under attack.
- AD 300—The Roman emperor Diocletian ordered Scripture destroyed, churches razed, and Christians flogged. Twenty-five years later, his successor, Constantine, ordered that Bibles be printed at the government’s expense.
- 1700—Voltaire, the French humanist, declared that “one hundred years from now the world will hear no more of the Bible.” Fifty years after his death, The Geneva Bible Society bought his house and started printing Bibles on his printing press.
- 1950—Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin ordered all Bibles purged from the Soviet Union. When communism fell in 1980, a poll revealed that more Soviet citizens than ever believed in the Bible as the Word of God.
The Bible was written over a period of 1,500 years by more than 40 different authors in three different languages, yet it tells one unfolding story from beginning to end: God’s plan of salvation. Confidence in the New Testament derives partly from the amazing number of copies discovered—more than 30,000 ancient texts containing all or part of the New Testament. The Bible’s closest peer would probably be Homer’s Iliad, a manuscript existing in 650 copies.
Scripture has been preserved from those who would destroy it. What, then, should be our response? Serious study seems the only logical course of action, so crack open your Bible and see what God has preserved for you through the centuries.