“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable…” -1 Timothy 3:16
While there are several historical documents tests to determine the historical reliability of a document, I would like to highlight just a few for you today. One test is called the bibliographical test. This test looks at several aspects of ancient manuscripts like how many exist right now. In order for a document to take this test, the originals must no longer exist. Today, we have close to, if not more than 25,000 copies of the New Testament either in part or whole. The document that comes closest to this is Homer’s Iliad which has around 643 copies. Another test looks at the time gap between the oldest surviving copy and the original manuscript. Again in second place is Homer’s Iliad with a time gap of 400 years from penning of the original manuscript until the oldest surviving copy. The New Testament has a gap of only fifty years. There is no other ancient book that matches the textual availability and integrity of the Bible. Time would fail me if I went on to tell you about how non-Christian historians, like Tacitus, Suetonius, Josephus, and many others document and validate the existence of the Word of God. If you haven’t given the Bible much attention lately, I would encourage you to give the most historically reliable book of all time another look!