Recently there was a religious discussion and the topic of literal belief in the Bible was discussed. I stated I believe the Bible to be the absolute truth and when questioned about the great flood, I stated I believed that as well. After making my proclamation the question of my intelligence and logic or lack of was mentioned. Not a problem. I do believe the great flood occurred, I believe people in the old Testament lived for hundreds of years, I believe that Jesus existed and I believe many other difficult and hard to believe things about the Bible.
Before we get into the discussion of the Bible and its content, I must first talk about God. I am not here to debate His existence at this time; I am merely going to offer answer as to who or what He is. Without having a basic understanding of God, it can be difficult to understand the Bible.
The Bible teaches that in all eternity and all existence there has always been and always will be only one God. God was not created. He is perfect and He is completely holy, loving, just, merciful, and He wants nothing but the best for us. Since God is perfect and completely holy He cannot sin. God is the Creator, He is omnipotent and He loves everyone.
Now let us look at the Bible. It contains 66 books, it was written in three different languages, on three different continents and it was written over approximately 1600 years. Approximately 40 authors wrote the Bible, it is inspired by God and it is without error in everything it addresses. The Bible has many different styles of writing. It contains history, poetry, stories, law, narration and prophecy, and the Bible must be interrupted in the context of those styles. The Bible contains the words of God and how Christians are to apply His words to their lives.
Many people have difficulty believing the Bible, due to claims that it has been rewritten many times throughout history. The Bible has not been rewritten. Jesus disciples wrote the New Testament in Greek and though the original documents are unavailable, there are approximately "6000" Greek manuscripts which were written very close to the time of the originals. These copies agree with each other with almost 100% accuracy. The New Testament is "99.5% textually pure." What this means is that only ½ of 1% of all copies to not agree with each other 100%. It has been found that the majority of the disagreements were nothing more than spelling errors and very minor word variations. The amount of variations of text is very low, so there is a very accurate compilation of the original texts.
Now the Bible was not written in one language, and then translated to another, then to another, then to another until it was finally translated into English. That is simply not the case. One of the biggest complaints is the Bible was rewritten so many times in so many different languages that it must be corrupted. When the Bible is translated it is not translated from another translation. The Bible is translated into English, German, French, Spanish, Japanese, etc, from the same Greek manuscripts. That is how it is done every time the Bible is translated into another language. The Bible is not translated from Greek, to English to Spanish then to German. So, it can be seen that the translations are very accurate and trustworthy from the original manuscripts.
I did not get into the great flood debate and other Bible specifics, but I will address those later.