Is the Bible Corrupt?

The Quran, upheld by those in Islam, says that the Bible has been corrupted. Bart Ehrman, a well-respected atheist, wrote in Misquoring Jesus, the Bible has “been altered over the years at the hands of scribes, who were not only conserving scripture but also changing it.”

The word of God claims it is not corrupted, “The word of the Lord endures forever” (1 Pet. 1:25), as would befit a document made by the hand of men. However, we can not solely rely on the Bible’s message because even a corrupt document can claim to be not corrupt. So we need to look to the history of the Bible’s text.

Some of the books of the Bible were written more than 3,400 years ago. The latest books were completed 2,000 years ago. All of the original documents have been lost or  destroyed. Our Bibles are only composed based upon copies of copies of the originals. The copying of the Bible was done by hand by scribes and many people have criticized the purity of the Bible because of this fact.

If you have ever played the game Telephone you understand the logic of this accusation. One person will begin by telling someone a secret, that person then tells someone else that same secret, and so on. By the time the message has passed through everyone the message is completely different. They apply this principle to the Bible and claim it is corrupt.

But if we applied this principle to all historical documents then history would become a very mysterious subject. When a textbook speaks of Caesar, how do you know he really existed? You haven’t met Caesar and neither has the person who wrote the textbook. But those scholars have studied historical documents concerning the man. In that same way, the Bible tells us of factual events and factual people. If scholars required the same historical standards of the Bible as they do other documents they would understand its purity is a statistical impossibility that can only be explained by inspiration. “The word of the Lord endures forever” (1 Pet. 1:25).

Bobby Price
Jonesboro, AR

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