Compiled by Daryl E. Witmer, AIIA Director
Think about this or a moment…
If the Bible really is the inspired Word of a Creator-God who has chosen to reveal critical truth to humanity in written form, you would then expect this God to see
to it that the Bible survives, right?
You may say that Bible survival of itself cannot be proof of Divinity – that the scriptures of numerous other religions have also endured periods and acts of opposition. But to the extent that opposition to the Bible is extraordinary, and to the extent that survival of the Christian Scripture is unique from that of other holy writs and sacred literature – to that extent its significance as evidence of Divinity must be considered.
Bernard Ramm noted Protestant theologian and author
“A thousand times over, the death knell of the Bible has been sounded, the funeral procession formed, the inscription cut on the tombstone, and committal read. But somehow the corpse never stays put.”
H. L. Hastings 19th C clergyman
“If this Book had not been the Book of God, men would have destroyed it long ago. Emperors and popes, princes and rulers have all tried their hand at it; they die and the Book still lives.”
The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict, ©1999 Nelson, pp9-10
The Bible is unique in it’s survival:
through time. “The Scriptures have never diminished in style or correctness, nor have they ever faced extinction.”
through persecution. In 303 A.D. the Roman Emperor Diocletian issued an edict, by imperial letter, to stop Christians from worshiping, and to destroy their Scriptures. Just 25 years later the Roman government under Constantine printed 50 copies of Scripture at government expense.
through criticism. “The Bible is unique in its ability to stand up to its critics. There is no book in all of literature like it. The results of the higher critics are no longer as assured as we once believed.”
Francois-Marie Voltaire – French humanist philosopher (1694-1778)
F.M. Voltaire once predicted that within 100 years the Bible would be gone. Fifty years after his death, however, men were printing Bibles on the very press that he once owned – distributing them from his own former house!
A Modern Story of Bible Survival
Gross, Netty C. “Unrolling the Past,” The Jerusalem Report. 25 Feb 2002:10; excerpted from Christ for the Nations periodical: June 2002, p13.
During the reign of Adolph Hitler, German Nazis looted a collection of 300 ancient scrolls in Vilnius, Lithuania. The collection included 31 full Torah scrolls, 70 partial scrolls, various megillot, and books of the Prophets. Of the 31 full Torah scrolls, 18 are considered ‘kosher’ – without defect.
Upon learning of these scrolls, Josef Stalin’s office directly ordered their destruction. But a brave Lithuanian archivist by the name of Antanas Ulpis defied the orders and secretly hid them in St. Georges church. In 1990 the collection was moved to the Mazvydas Nation Library in Vilnius and in late January (2002), after a great deal of negotiation, the material was turned back to Israel.
In spite of the fact that some of the scrolls had been cut and used by the Nazis as wallpaper, on the whole the intact survival of these first five books of the Jewish and Christian Bibles was remarkable.
Arthur W. Pink The Divine Inspiration of the Bible: Christian Classics Ethereal Library, 2001-03-01; Chapter Eleven, The Indestructibility of the Bible Is a Proof that its Author Is Divine
“The survival of the Bible through the ages is very difficult to explain if it is not in truth the Word of God. Books are like men – dying creatures. A very small percentage of books survive more than twenty years, a yet smaller percentage last a hundred years and only a very insignificant fraction represent those which have lived a thousand years. Amid the wreck and ruin of ancient literature the Holy Scriptures stand out like the last survivor of an other-wise extinct race, and the very fact of the Bible’s continued existence is an indication that, like its Author, it is indestructible. No other book has provoked such fierce opposition as the Bible, and its preservation is perhaps the most startling miracle connected with it. Just as an earthly parent treasures and lays by the letters received from his child, so our Heavenly Father has protected and preserved the Epistles of love written to His children.”
Henry Halley Bible scholar
“The dear Old Book has worn out many anvils, and long after the critics have been forgotten, will go marching on, loved and honored, by unnumbered millions. Precious Book!”