What distinguishes Bible from other religious books?

There are many religious books in this world. As a truth seeker, you may have many legitimate questions about the Bible like:

Is Bible truly the Word of God? Isn’t it just another religious book with some do’s and don’ts? What differentiates the Bible from all other literary works and religious books? This article is an honest effort to find answers to such important questions

We have listed a few factors that differentiate bible from other religious and literary works below

Unity and Harmony of the Bible

Multilayered unity in the formation of the Bible

The amazing unity of the Bible is an irrefutable internal evidence of the divine planning and origin of this book. To really understand Bible’s order and unity, one should see it against the backdrop of its great multiplicity. Bible’s unity in diversity in the below mentioned areas reveals the hand of a divine author in the formation of this amazing book.

  1. Multiplicity of Books Bible is a collection of 66 different writings. But they are not seen as a compilation of 66 different books, but clearly as one book- The Bible.
  2. Multiplicity of Authors and Years The 66 books of the Bible were written by 40 different authors over a period of about 1500 years (1450 BC to 100 AD). These authors were not just priests or theologians, but people from different walks of life- shepherds, farmers, fishermen, tentmakers, doctors, philosophers, statesman and kings. They were spread across many generations and most of whom never met one another. The individual writers at the time of writing had no idea that their message was eventually to be incorporated into one such book called the Bible. The only thing they had in common was the claim that what they wrote was inspired by one true God.Almost all other religious books are penned by a single person based on some vision or enlightenment that they claim to have received during his lifetime. There are chances that these books could be the ideas or result of a single person trying to propagate his ideas. Moreover it would be difficult to determine the veracity of that single author because he alone has claimed to see the vision. Investigate this yourself.
  3. Multiplicity of Locations and Languages The Biblical writings were composed in 3 different continents- Asia, Africa and Europe. The Bible was written in three different languages- Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic. The Old Testament was written mostly in Hebrew with some parts being composed in Aramaic. The New Testament was originally written in Greek.
  4. Multiplicity of Circumstances The authors wrote the Biblical books while undergoing different situations and moods, in widely different regions and cultures. It was written in different places and situations such as wilderness (Moses), dungeon (Jeremiah), palace (Daniel), prison (Paul), while travelling (Luke), in times of peace (Solomon) and some others in the rigors of a military campaign (David). Some of these writings were written during the heights of joy and some others from the depths of sorrow and despair.
  5. Multiplicity of Subjects and Literary Genre The Bible covers a variety of subjects. These include the existence and nature of God, the creation of the universe, origin of mankind, the meaning and purpose of human existence, the final destiny of the planet earth, life after death and many other topics. The Bible deals with many controversial subjects, but to one’s amaze none of them are contradicting in nature.The Bible consists of a number of different literary forms. It has a collection of letters, sermons, law, poetry, wisdom literature, narratives of historical events, prayer, praise and prophecy. The books of the Bible contain a wide array of writing styles which express the entire range of human emotions. Bible is a religious text but it is also a work of literature. In fact, it’s a literary masterpiece! Think about a book written over a period of 1500 years, by 40 different authors from different continents, who do not even know each other, who wrote in different languages, in different circumstances, upon different subjects, and in different literary forms. With all these contrasts what could one expect when their writings were assembled into one book? Something chaotic and disjointed, right? Read on, to find out.

Unity in content

One may think that such multiplicity will result in a book talking about some random topics, which will be either chaotic or disjointed in nature. This will be true in a normal human scenario, but not in the case of the Bible because of the divine intervention.

There is an amazing unity, harmony and continuity from the first book to last book of the Bible. There is one unfolding story, about one God, who is administrating “one redemptive plan for the salvation of mankind” which is centred around one person Jesus Christ. From the first to the last chapter of the Bible is the amazing unfolding of God’s plan of salvation for mankind. This definitely shows that there was a divine intervention which inspired all the authors to write about a single topic in a non-contradicting manner.

The unity of the Bible cannot be mere coincidence or collusion. But it is the strongest evidence for its divine inspiration.

Take this simple test. Find 20 people in your locality who have similar education background, who speak same language, with similar cultural values. Separate them and ask them to write their opinion on one controversial subject. When finished compare their point of view. You will soon conclude that they will never agree to each other.

In short, the Bible displays an outstanding literary unity that reveals the hand of a single divine Author in its formation and content. It is one of a kind – like no other book that has ever been written. There is nothing like it and it has no equal!

Reliability of the Bible

Is Bible Reliable? Is Bible really the word of God? These are the few questions which many critics and sceptics ask. Through this page we attempt to provide you with many reasons which will strengthen your confidence about Bible.

Scientific Evidence

Even though the Bible is not primarily meant to be a science textbook, the Bible contains many statements which are related to cosmology, hydrology, biology, meteorology and other fields of science. All of the statements can be scientifically verified and are true.

The most amazing and notable aspect about these statements is that they were written around 3000 years ago, when science was not developed and the popular beliefs were contrary to what was written. But none of these statements had to be re-written with the advance of time and science. The fact that the authors of these statements not being scientists, and the scientific information at their disposal was generally misleading, points out to the divine inspiration of this amazing book.

Here are a few examples of scientific accuracy in the Bible:

  • Job 26:8 “He binds up the water in His thick clouds, yet the clouds are not broken under it.”
  • Job 36: 27-29 “For He draws up the drops of water, they distil rain from the mist, which the clouds pour down, they drip upon man abundantly. Can anyone understand the spreading of the clouds, the thundering of His pavilion?” The hydrological cycle was not fully understood until about 30 B.C. by a Roman engineer named Marcus Vitruvius. But Job, a man of God, who lived around 1600 BC, was aware of this fact.
  • Job 38:16 “Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea? Or hast thou walked in the search of the depth?” It was only discovered in 1920 that there are springs in the sea. The same Job, revealed it around 3500 years before.
  • Job 26:7 “He stretches out the north over the void and hangs the earth on nothing.” Job states that earth hangs on nothing. This is clearly contrary to the common belief of the time that the earth was supported by something, be it the god Atlas, giant elephants or something else. The first scientist having this understanding would appear
  • Isaiah 40:22 “There is One who is dwelling above the circle of the earth.” The fact that the earth is not flat but of spherical shape is generally considered to be recent knowledge. However, Isaiah spoke of the circle of the earth approximately 750 years before Christ.

In fact, the modern science was developed by scientists who believed in Bible and a Biblical God. We list down the renowned scientists who believed in Bible.

  • Physics – Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday, Maxwell, Kelvin, Joule
  • Chemistry – Boyle, Dalton, Ramsay
  • Biology – Ray, Linnaeus, Mendel, Pasteur, Virchow, Agassiz
  • Geology – Steno, Woodward, Brewster, Buckland, Cuvier
  • Astronomy – Copernicus, Galileo, Johannes Kepler, Herschel, Maunder
  • Mathematics – Blaise Pascal, Leibniz, Euler
  • Oceanography – Matthew Maury

Prophetical Evidence

One of the greatest evidence for the reliability of the Bible is its fulfilled prophecies.Out of the 66 books in the Bible, around 18 books are dealing with prophecies. Around 27% of the Bible is prophecies. There are around 360 prophecies about the first coming of Jesus and all of them have been fulfilled word to word, no errors. The manuscripts of those prophecies written many years before Christ are still available.

There are prophecies about fall and rise of kingdoms, kings, famines, wars, restoration of Israel, end of the world, second coming of Jesus Christ, the new heaven and earth, etc. Most of them have been fulfilled and some of them are yet to fulfil. It is very interesting to see how the world is shaping up for the fulfilment of the Bible prophecies.

Some of the prophecies which are already fulfilled:

  • Prophecies about the fall of Babylonian kingdom
  • Prophecies about the destruction of Jewish temple etc.
  • First coming of Jesus Christ, his birth and death
  • The birth of the nation Israel and restoration of Jews in their own land

The prophetical events in Bible which are yet to fulfil:

  • Hatred and war against Israel by many nations
  • The rebuilding of Jewish temple
  • The rise of Anti-Christ, new world order and mark of the beast- 666.
  • 7 years rule of Anti-Christ
  • 3.5 years of Great Tribulation
  • The return of Jesus Christ etc

If you don’t believe in the prophecies of Bible, watch for these events happening in the future.

Historical Evidence

Bible talks about the history too. It talks about how this universe came into existence, how different languages, tribes, kingdoms came, the history of Israel, the rise and fall of different kingdoms, the birth, life and death of Jesus, growth of Christianity, the birth of Judaism and many more. Many of these things can be historically verified also.

E.g.: Luke 3:1 “In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar – when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea …” Bible is very precise and all the details which Luke mentions –the year of reign, about Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate, governor of Judea etc can be historically verified. These details are in-accordance with other secular historians.

There were many secular historians who have mentioned about Christ, his death and about Christians. They have also recorded the incidents which are mentioned in the Bible.

Few of them are:

  • Cornelius Tacticus (AD 55 -120)
  • Suetonius
  • Pliny the Younger (Roman governor in Bithynia AD112)
  • Tallus
  • Phlegon
  • Josephus ben Mattathias (Flavius Josephus 37-100AD)
  • The Babylonian Talmud etc.

Archaeological Evidence

Many archaeological expeditions have been made on the Biblical sites, some for the purpose of proving Bible wrong and some for the genuine interest in archaeology. Amazingly, none of the archaeological discoveries are against what is written in the Bible but indeed proving the Bible is true. It is not just one discovery but hundreds of archaeological discoveries. It clearly proves that what is written in Bible are not fairy tales but real incidents.

In few cases, there were accusations about some of the kings / kingdoms in the Bible but later they were archaeologically discovered proving the accusations to be wrong and Bible stood.

Few of the notable archaeological discoveries includes the discovery:

Burial places of the kings and patriarchs in the Bible Structures mentioned in Bible like palaces, pools, temples etc Tablets which talks about biblical incidents like a Global flood, tower of Babel, list of the kings who ruled, names of ancient Biblical places and people etc

Uniqueness of Bible

Unique in its circulation

The Bible is the best seller of all times. It is the book which is most printed, sold and read in the world. It is translated to and published in more languages than any other book.

Unique in its survival

The Bible has withstood vicious attacks of its enemies over the centuries. Many tried to bur it, ban it and outlaw it. Emperors and kings, popes and priests, princes and rulers have all tried their hand at it. They died and the book still lives.

Unique in its influence

There is no other book which has influenced the world as the Bible. The Bible has had astounding influence on world culture, language, literature, literature, art, science, law and education. Many cultured nations and societies were savages once and it was the message of the Bible that transformed them.

Bible has influenced:

  • Law and judicial systems
  • The benevolent practices in the society ( Orphanages, Hospitals, Rescue missions etc)
  • Education ( Harvard, Princeton, Yale etc founded by Christians, First 126 colleges and universities in the USA were built for the glory of Jesus.)
  • Culture and traditions of society
  • Language and Literature
  • Music and Musicians, Art and Artists, Science and Scientists, Medical Field
  • Archaeology and History

Unique in its teachings

The Bible is unique in its content and teachings. It is the most remarkable volume that has ever been produced in the history of human race. Its teachings about God, about man, about salvation etc can be found nowhere else. Its teachings are holy and its precepts are binding.

Bible talks about the past, present and future of mankind and world. It talks about how this entire universe was created, creation of the man kind, development of various languages, tribes and cultures, birth of Judaism, Rise and fall of many kings and kingdoms, birth and life of Jesus Christ, growth of Christianity etc. It also talks about the present – God’s plan for this age. How God is revealing Himself in this time period? What is church? The New Testament Etc. Bible talks about the future of this world and human beings. It talks about how this earth is going to be destroyed, what are the signs of end of the world, relevance of Israel and wars against Israel, 7 years rule of Anti-Christ, 3.5 years of great tribulation, second coming of Jesus Christ, the judgment and new heaven and new earth etc.

In Bible you get answers for all your questions. Why was man created? Why was this earth created? What is the purpose of life? What happens after death? Is there life after death? Etc. Bible beautifully explains all these which no other religion or science could answer. Read the Bible and you will get answers to all these questions. The greatest proof for that is the transformation which is happening in the life of the millions of people.

Unique in its accuracy with originals

Bible is unique in its accuracy. Even though it has been written centuries back, its accuracy with the original text is very high compared to the other literatures or any ancient texts. The two main factors which accounts for this accuracy are (a) how early the copies of original text were made (b) how many copies/manuscripts of the original text are available.

Author DateWritten Earliest Copy Approximate Time Span between original & copy Number of Copies
Pliny 61-113 A.D. 850 A.D. 750 yrs 7
Plato 427-347 B.C. 900 A.D. 1200 yrs 7
Herodotus 480-425 B.C. 900 A.D. 1300 yrs 8
Suetonius 75-160 A.D. 950 A.D. 800 yrs 8
Caesar 100-44 B.C. 900 A.D. 1000 10
Tacitus circa 100 A.D. 1100 A.D. 1000 yrs 20
Aristotle 384-322 B.C. 1100 A.D. 1400 49
Homer (Iliad) 900 B.C. 400 B.C. 500 yrs 643

The vast number of manuscripts to compare and availability of the earliest manuscripts strengthens the accuracy of the Bible.

The Bible is the most amazing and absolutely unique book in the entire world!!! The amazing unity, reliability and uniqueness of the Bible are irrefutable evidences for the diving planning and origin of this book. If you would like to know more about Bible, the Word of God, please do write us.