Apocalyptic Science Fiction

An open bible sitting on a table

Why I know I can trust the Bible


Lester Lau

“…yea, if you’re a Christian!” he snorted derisively. Even slouched in my seat at the back of the room, I could see the slightest hint of a smile creep across the professor’s face, betraying her agreement with the student’s flippant comment. During my undergraduate education, I was required to take a single English elective. I chose “Apocalyptic Science Fiction”. I thought it would be good fun and it fit my schedule. The course description promised a selection of sci-fi novels and films as part of the course curriculum. I didn’t realize that the Book of Revelation would be part of the required reading. Although the professor had reminded the class to be respectful with comments during discussions, the reminder hardly stemmed the tide of sarcastic remarks and snide comments.


To this point in my life, I had not taken faith very seriously. I was raised by Christian parents who saw fit to send me to a Christian school. I also had not considered whether or not I believed the Bible could be trusted. Sitting at the back of the room, with my baseball cap on as low as it could be and the oversized hood of my sweater up over my head, I slouched down in my seat. I listened as fellow classmates bantered back and forth over what seemed to them to be an obvious work of fiction. Internally, I began to question my own positions. “Is the Bible true?” “Is it accurate?” “How do I know I can trust it?”.

At some point in our lives, each of us has our own moment in the back of the lecture hall where we must confront the reality of whether or not we believe the Bible is true and accurate.

It’s True.


At some point in our lives, each of us has our own moment in the back of the lecture hall where we must confront the reality of whether or not we believe the Bible is true and accurate. While a certain measure of faith is necessary, knowing the facts helps to give us confidence in our faith. 


The Bible is the most attested to ancient document in the history of the world. Historical facts and ancient documents do not prove their authenticity through the scientific method. Rather, they rely on the “evidentiary method”. The evidentiary method evaluates the reliability of the sources, corroboration of sources, and internal and external reliability. This is the very same method used in a court of law to determine guilt or innocence. 


  1. Reliability of Sources – There is no other ancient document that has proven to be as reliable as the Bible. The Bible is a collection of historical documents written by eyewitnesses during the lifetime of other eyewitnesses. Many of the documents relay first hand accounts of historical events. For example, 1 Corinthians was written at a time when there were 301 eyewitnesses to the resurrection of Christ. None of these eyewitness accounts contest the reality of the resurrection. When dealing with ancient documents, it is important to remember that originals are often lost. However, what is relied upon is ancient manuscripts, which are copies of the original. The ancient manuscripts of the Bible have proven to be extraordinarily reliable. To compare, we might take texts like Aristotle’s poetics which are widely accepted to be reliable and accurate. The oldest known manuscript for Aristotle’s poetics was written at least 1000 years after the original and there are less than 12 known ancient manuscripts. On the other hand, the oldest known manuscripts of the New Testament were written only 100 years after the original and ancient manuscripts or portions of manuscripts number over 6000.
  2. Corroboration of Sources – Corroborating sources means that a piece of evidence can be confirmed with multiple sources. In this, we can also find great confidence with the Bible. With regard to its claims, to date, there have been over 25,000 archeological digs and studies related to the Bible and its claims. Not a single one has contradicted anything found in the Bible and many have confirmed its claims. Furthermore, early church fathers’ commentaries quote and comment on the New Testament so thoroughly that the whole of the New Testament could be reproduced from these commentaries save for 11 verses. These commentaries corroborate the accuracy and authenticity of the Bible when we compare the Scriptures found within the commentaries to the Bible we use today. What we find is that the Scriptures have remained unchanged and that they can be trusted.
  3. Internal and External Reliability – An internally reliable document is one which does not contradict itself. Again, the Bible is remarkable in this regard. The Bible is one cohesive work written by over 40 authors, in 3 languages, in 3 continents, over a period of 1500 years. This is a testament to the fact that the Holy Spirit was the common inspiration behind all these different authors. Because of this, we find countless passages like Psalm 22, written over 1000 years before the coming of Christ, which accurate prophesy his death on the cross and victory over sin by a man who had never seen a crucifixion. As to the external reliability of the Bible and its ancient manuscripts, we also find confidence. Translations of the Bible are not written like a game of broken telephone where a new translation is written based upon the most recent translations. Rather, translations refer to the ancient manuscripts and the original Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic languages that they are written in. When examining the vast collection of manuscripts, we again find that they are cohesive and no major changes or errors occur throughout the centuries and millennia. So, we can have confidence that God’s story has not “drifted”, “changed”, or been altered over time. 


God’s story has been preserved for us throughout all of history and is reliable, true, and relevant. We can have confidence in it and we can meet the relational God through it.


Meet the author

Pastor of Adult Discipleship
Lester Lau
Lester and his wife Rene welcomed their first child, Theo in 2021. Lester has his M.Div. – Pastoral Ministry from Tyndale Seminary and now is on staff at Springvale. Born in Toronto to parents who immigrated from Hong Kong, Lester was named after the street his parents met on while attending the Chinese Christian Fellowship at the University of Waterloo. He grew up in Markham and enjoys playing and watching all manner of sports.

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