"For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account." (Hebrews 4:12-13)
What is MAPS?
The Bible is the accurate infallible Word of God and is therefore reliable and trustworthy. The Bible, the Word of God is a book penned by forty different authors written over a period of fifteen hundred years consisting of sixty-six different books. There are four hundred years separating the thirty-nine books of the Old Testament from the twenty-seven books of the New Testament. Yet from Genesis to Revelation, they tell one seamless unfolding story and together present the consistent theme of God's holiness, love and grace, while providing answers to the most important questions we can ask of ourselves.
Through out history many people have doubted the historical and geographical accuracy of the Biblical accounts. Yet modern archeology has repeatedly discovered evidences of the people, places and culture described within the pages of scripture. As new discoveries are made and new sites are unearthed, we see that the Biblical accounts have shown to be a more accurate record than that provided by the speculation of scholars and critics. So much so, that no one has been able to refute or dispute the Biblical accounts with any actual evidence from the archeological records. As a matter of fact archeology is in many cases catching up with the Bible. Those who visit the museums and lands of the Bible cannot help but come away impressed with the geographical and historical accuracy of the biblical text.
Through out history people of all times and places have spoken well of the Bible, but no endorsement is as compelling as that of Jesus Himself. Jesus made it clear that He believed the Scriptures (Matthew 4:1-11; 5:17-19). Jesus also stated that the Bible was a book about Himself. To the Pharisees and His countrymen He said, "You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life." (John 5:39-40)
But how would you answer those tough questions from skeptics who question the reliability of the scriptures? What defense could you give for the reliability of the Bible in a day when it's popular to claim that the Bible is filled with errors. As well as the assertions abound that it consist of myth? Have you ever wondered where to start in your defense of the Bible? How we answer these question can determine how we view the Bible. And ultimately determine what impact the Word of God has on our lives. If we believe that the Bible is truly the Word of God rather than a good book, what does that say about the way we are living our lives? How does our behavior, thoughts and actions toward others and our worship of God compare with what's written in its pages?
The question we are often asked is "How can we be sure that the Bible is the word of God and not just a good book?" What's unique about the Bible that sets it apart from other religious books? What evidence is there that the Bible is truly God's word? These questions must be addressed if we are to seriously examine the biblical claim that the Bible is the very word of God, divinely inspired, and totally sufficient for all matters of faith and practice.
Well, there is hope for us, there is a wealth of information available that doesn't require a degree in theology to understand. There are four basic principles which can be key to understanding the basic arguments for the reliability of the Bible. These principles are easily remembered through the simple acronym "MAPS." When faced with questions regarding the reliability of scripture the acronym MAPS can help us provide a reasoned defense for our beliefs. These four letters can remind us of the areas of evidence for the reliability of scripture. Using the acronym MAPS we can remember that:
- M = Manuscript Evidence
- A = Archaeological Evidence
- P = Prophetic Accuracy
- S = Scientific/Statistical Evidence.
"Bible Reliability: M-A-P-S to Guide You through Bible Reliability." Christian Research Institute, Http://Www.equip.org, 6 Apr. 2009, www.equip.org/article/bible-reliability-m-a-p-s-to-guide-you-through-bible-reliability; By Hank Hanegraaff.
Scripture taken from the Modern King James Version of the Holy Bible Copyright © 1962 - 1998 By AJay P. Green, Sr.
MacArthur, John. The MacArthur Study Bible: New King James Version. Nashville: Word Bibles, 1997. Print.
ESV Study Bible: English Standard Version. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2011. Print.