Is Bible God's Words?

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Old Testament Archaeology New Testament Reliability Biblical Prophecies
Fiction test for New Testament 

New Testament passed the Legend test: its content are not altered over the past 19 century since it was written. But are the Gospels fictions? something like Jewish version of King Arthur? Or is it an accurate record of the life of Jesus Christ? In order to test the factuality of the Gospel record, two areas of the documents are studied:. 

The first area is extra-biblical sources; if extra-biblical sources collaborate with the content of the Gospels in general, historicity of the Gospel can be affirmed. The second area is archaeology; the study of archaeological discoveries can attest the historicity of the New Testament Bible.

1. Extra-biblical Sources

Researchers  identified at least 14 ancient extra-biblical documents which are within  125 years after Jesus' death concerning the life of Jesus and the early church lives. Below are the collaborative facts.


  1. Jesus' brother is called James. 
  2. Jesus' ministry was in Palestine.
  3. Jesus was known to be a wise, virtuous and ethical man.
  4. Jesus was reported to be able to perform miracles.
  5. Jesus was said to be a fulfillment of prophecies.
  6. Jesus was thought by some as Messiah. 
  7. Many, Jews and Gentiles, became Jesus' disciples.
  8. Jesus was judged by Jewish leaders and found guilty of teaching spiritual apostasy.
  9. Jesus was put to death as a result.
  10. Jesus died in the hands of Roman procurator Pontius Pilate.
  11. Jesus died on Passover Eve.
  12. Jesus was nailed on a cross.
  13. After Jesus' death, it is recorded that his teaching broke out again in Judea. ( about his resurrection?)
  14. Many believers of Jesus came from all walks of life.
  15. Jesus was worship as God.
  16. Believers were named Christian after Christ.
  17. Jesus' death provided salvation for believers.
  18. Christians believed in eternal life.
  19. Christians made oath against committing sins.
  20. Christians practiced their faith by denying worldly goods and share common possessions.  
  21. Christians practiced Lord's supper. 

Conclusion from study of the extra-biblical sources:

Numerous collaborative data with the New Testament strongly affirm the historicity of the New Testament. The New Testament narrative cannot be fictional. 


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2. Archaeological Evidences

Recent archaeological discoveries also support the factuality of the New Testament record and the following findings are related to Jesus' life. They effectively refute the fiction theories about the Gospels.


Jesus Census: British Museum papyrus 904

Ancient papyrus census forms have been discovered confirming that a census was scheduled every 14 years. A census form in the British Museum has been dated to 104 AD. There is nothing yet from 90 AD or 76 AD but forms have been discovered dated at 62, 48, 34 and possibly also 20 AD. The census which affected the birth of Jesus should therefore have started about 10 BC although it may possibly have taken several years to reach and involve Palestine. 

Luke wrote: "And all went to be enrolled, each to his own city." (Luke 2:3) and from the papyrus people returning home for census was the procedure in a Roman census: 

"Gaius Vivius Maximus, Prefect of Egypt [says]: seeing that the time has come for the house to house census, it is necessary to compel all those who for any cause whatsoever are residing out of their provinces to return to their own homes, that they may both carry out the regular order of the census and may attend diligently to the cultivation of their allotments."
Pool of Bethseda. It was recorded in the Gospel of John where Jesus healed a paralyzed person. John describes a pool in Jerusalem, near the Sheep Gate, called Bethesda, surrounded by five covered colonnades. Until the 19th century, there was no evidence outside of John's Gospel for the existence of this pool. Skeptical scholars said that the gospel was written later, probably by someone without first-hand knowledge of the city of Jerusalem, and that the pool had a metaphorical or symbolic, rather than actual, significance.  Then in the nineteenth century, archaeologists discovered the remains of a pool exactly matching the description in John's Gospel. Yet again, archaeology confirms that the Bible.

"Afterward Jesus returned to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish holy days. Inside the city, near the Sheep Gate, was the pool of Bethesda, with five covered porches. Crowds of sick people--blind, lame, or paralyzed--lay on the porches." (John 5:1-3)

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Pontius Pilate. Pilate was the procurator who put Jesus to death. Until recently, there was no contemporary evidence outside the Bible for Pilate's existence. Then in 1961, Italian archaeologists excavating the theatre at Caesarea found this stone inscription of Pontius Pilate. Coins have also been found dating from Pilate's rule as governor.
Caiaphas, the High Priest. Caiaphas' ossuary was discovered in 1990. He was the high priest judging Jesus as recorded in the Gospel. Once again, the Biblical records proves to be factual.
Yohannan, the Crucified. Found in 1968 in Jerusalem tomb chamber, a 7 inches nail curled at the end, piece of wood, right and left heel bones, and the wood the cross was fastened together. The foot was amputated from the body since the nail was curled when it was driven against a knot of the cross, and the foot could not be removed from the cross. The skeleton itself was found with both leg bones brutally fractured, and the radius bones of the front arms near the wrist has scratches made by compression and friction and gliding on the fresh bone. All these indicate the person being crucified. The date of the body is 70AD and the victim was about 24-28 years old. This finding confirms many descriptions in the Bible about crucifixion, reinforcing the historicity and reliability of the New Testament Bible. yohanna.jpg (100245 bytes)
Nazareth Decree. This 15" by 24" marble slab was discovered in 1878 at Nazareth. It is an Ordinance of Caesar issued between AD 41-54. The message was a strict prohibition against the disturbing of graves. Other previous  Roman indictments of this kind only prescribe a fine for the offenders, but this order demands capital punishment in Palestine. The reason might well be the spread of Christianity and the resurrection message in the Christian Gospel triggered such action straight from the Roman emperor to Palestine. nazareth decree2.jpg (58003 bytes)


The New Testament Bible not only pass the Legend test but also the Fiction test. The factuality of the New Testament are well attested. It is not a legend made up by Christians over the years; nor is it a fiction made up by some creative authors. The New Testament is both reliable and is an extra-ordinary and true record of the life of Jesus Christ. As you read the Bible, you could see the real picture of what happened about Jesus then.

Let's see the supernatural nature of the Bible: Biblical prophecy...