How can we know that the Bible is TRUE?
If the Bible is not TRUE, then we Christians have no faith. And it can’t be merely true like other normal human books are true. The Bible claims to be the Word of Word, the source of truth.
This claim cannot be “proven” in the sense that people expect scientific facts to be proven. Nevertheless, a compelling cumulative case can be made.
There are three unique elements of the Bible to consider. First, the foundation of the written authority of the Bible, the Ten Commandments given at Mt. Sinai, includes an absolutely unparalleled eyewitness authentication: 2 million people witnessed this extraordinary event!
Second, only the Bible has a coherent narrative that answers all of life's big questions: Where did everything come from? Why is the world broken? How does it get fixed? Third, Jesus himself testified to the truth of the Bible and demonstrated with His many miracles and His resurrection that He was a divine authority.
For more details on these three elements, see the long answer below.
Many well-meaning Apologists have spent a lot of time and effort addressing less important elements of this question while missing the main point. They might emphasize that the Bible was written very shortly after the actual events, that it was translated and copied accurately, or that it contains some accurate scientific information, or that archaeological evidence today confirms its history. But those things only prove that the Bible COULD be true, much like a textbook or encyclopedia in today’s culture… not that it is THE TRUTH.
For those who may not have studied the Bible in depth, the Ten Commandments are the foundation of the Torah, which is the foundation of the Old Testament, which is the foundation of the New Testament. Hence the Ten Commandments are the cornerstone of the entire Bible. They were given directly by God Himself to over 2 million eyewitnesses and “ear-witnesses”, since they heard God speak the very words (Deu 4:9-14). The entire Jewish religion of today hinges on that one account being true. The fact that the Jewish race has survived for thousands of years despite incredible persecution by every major world power, to convey the story of that amazing and unexplainable event down through the generations to their descendants, is doubly astounding. For comparison, other religious “major revelation claims” like the Quran in Islam or the Book of Mormon in Latter Day saints had zero other eye/ear-witnesses besides the person who claimed to hear from God.
Second, the Bible gives the best explanation of the reality around us. Everyone inherently knows a few basic things: that this amazing world could not have come from nothing, that there is something wrong with the world today, and that it SHOULD be fixed. Those are the big ideas in life. Only the Bible describes a plausible creation account that is intended to be scientifically tested and scrutinized. Only the Bible describes a holy God who made people in his image but who were separated from Him through their sinful rebellion, which affected all of creation and is the root cause of suffering in our world today. And only the Bible describes a perfect God who Himself was the Savior of the world by paying the debt for the sins we had committed against Him to reconcile the world to Himself. The Bible alone describes reality consistently and comprehensively.
Third, Jesus Christ, the most attested person in all of history and a main substantial figure in every major world religion (even besides Christianity), clearly taught that the Bible was true. His profound wisdom, the miracles he performed, and the prophecies he fulfilled are universally recognized, and His resurrection is the most documented event in the ancient world. He has had a profound and transformative impact on the entire culture of the world (there is no second place that even comes close). His audacious claim to be God rested on the fact that the Bible was true and that it spoke of Him.
Lastly, everyone has an ultimate authority that (by definition) they cannot “prove” to be true. The Bible is a reasonable ultimate authority because:
It doesn’t rely on something else.
It doesn’t change (and never HAS changed).
It is self-consistent.
It is specific.
It explains all of reality.
It claims to be the ultimate authority.
Link: Person of Interest (J Warner Wallace)
Additional Bible verses
God, who exists outside of our created universe, created everything and sustains it by His power: Neh 9:6; Joh 1:1-3.
Mankind’s sin ruined everything, cursed the whole world, and is responsible for all kinds of evil and suffering today: Rom 5:12, 8:20-22.
God, who is perfectly just and right, will make all things right in the scope of eternity. In this lifetime, salvation is available through Jesus Christ: 2Cor 5:18-19; Rev 21:1-4.
Jesus’ authority was proven when he rose from the dead: Act 17:31.
Jesus taught that the Bible was the Word of God and would be fulfilled: Luk 24:44.