It’s been way too long since I did an installment in this series, and we’re not even half way through yet. I am passionate about the Bible because I am passionate about the God that it tells me about. Since it has been so long, it makes some since to have a look back at what we’ve covered thus far:
- Introduction to Series [07/29/2009]
- #1 – The Bible’s Claims About Itself (Inspired By God)
- #2 – The Bible Call Us to Test It
- #3 – The Bible is a Book of History
- #4 – The Bible is Internally Consistent
- #5 – The Bible is Unique Amongst Books (Literary Uniqueness)
- #6 – The Supernatural Survival of the Text
- #7 – The Reliability of Transmission of the Old Testament
- #8 – The Bibliographic Evidence for the New Testament
- #9A – The Process of Canonization (Old Testament)
- #9B – The Process of Canonization (New Testament)
- #10 – Eyewitness Evidence
- #11 – The Honesty of the Bible About Its Authors and Heroes
With that brief recap, it’s time to move on to reason #12 that I believe the Bible is true and that is the hardships that found its authors and their unwillingness to renounce anything that they had written.
Church history tells us that 11 of the 12 disciples dies a martyr’s death because they refused to renounce the story they were spreading of Jesus Christ. James, Bartholomew, Andrew, Phillip and Simon were crucified. Peter requested that he be crucified upside down because he did not feel worthy of dying the same way as his Lord. James and Mathias were stoned to death. Matthew, James and Thomas died by the sword. Even Paul was beheaded for his believe in Christ. John was the only disciple to escape martyrdom, and it wasn’t for lack of trying. Church tradition tells us the he was boiled in hot oil before being exiled to Patmos. Many of these disciples penned much of the New Testament, but rather than denounce what they had preached and avoid persecution, they chose to die for what they believed. In and of itself the martyrdom of these men does not prove the Bible to be true. However, while it is possible that one man may choose to die for a lie, it is hard to believe that so many would die and none would recount their story if it were not true.
In addition to the disciples, vast quantities of early Christ followers also died for their belief in Christ. Tens of thousands of early Christians were martyred. Catacombs were discovered under the ancient city of Rome with over 7,000,000 graves. These catacombs were known to be the hiding place for early Christians in an anti-Christian empire. Romans frequently used Christians in their Lion’s dens, and King Nero would impale Christians on wooden stakes and light them on fire to bring light to his parties.
The fact that so many would be willing to die for something they knew to be untrue is unfathomable and lends further credence to the reliability of the Bible!