The Hillcrest Church Podcast

Is the Bible reliable? Big Question Series

March 27, 2020

Is the Bible reliable? Outline

Big Questions Series

March 22, 2020


What happens to a world that slowly rejects any form of absolutes?

In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes. (Judges 21:25, NLT)

Who gets to decide what is right and wrong?

1.___________.      “That is _______________ truth.”

2.___________.        History has never been ______________to trending truth.



Three reasons the Bible is reliable.

  1. The Bible has __________________________ support.

It was now the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius, the Roman emperor. Pontius Pilate was governor over Judea; Herod Antipas was ruler over Galilee; his brother Philip was ruler over Iturea and Traconitis; Lysanias was ruler over Abilene. (Luke 3:1, NLT)

Annas and Caiaphas were the high priests. At this time a message from God came to John son of Zechariah, who was living in the wilderness. (Luke 3:2, NLT)  

Over and over again, archeology has ______________________ what was written in the Bible.

“It may be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a Biblical reference. Scores of archaeological findings have been made which confirm in clear outline or in exact detail historical statements in the Bible.” Nelson Glueck


  1. The Bible has been _______________________________ from generation to generation.

An overwhelming number of manuscripts.

  • Gallic Wars: Julius Caesar (c. 58-50 B.C.)
  • Natural History: Pliny the Younger (c. 70-79 A.D.)
  • Iliad: Homer (c. 8th century B.C.)
  • The Bible: 40 authors (1250 B.C. to 90 A.D.)


  1. The Bible contains __________________________________of real events.

Gnostic gospels? Written between _____________________A.D.

(Comparative studies help date ancient writings.)


The resurrection was a____________________________________.

But God has protected me right up to this present time so I can testify to everyone, from the least to the greatest. I teach nothing except what the prophets and Moses said would happen—that the Messiah would suffer and be the first to rise from the dead, and in this way announce God’s light to Jews and Gentiles alike.” (Acts 26:22–23, NLT)

Suddenly, Festus shouted, “Paul, you are insane. Too much study has made you crazy!” (Acts 26:24, NLT)

But Paul replied, “I am not insane, Most Excellent Festus. What I am saying is the sober truth. And King Agrippa knows about these things. I speak boldly, for I am sure these events are all familiar to him, for they were not done in a corner! (Acts 26:25–26, NLT)


Ok, so maybe the Bible is reliable but is it the Word of God?


  1. ________________believed the Bible was authoritative for his life.
  • He quoted the Bible (e.g. Luke 4:1-13)
  • He taught using the Bible (e.g. Luke 4:16-20)
  • He referred to stories and people from the Bible as if they were real events (Noah, Jonah, Solomon, David, etc)
  1. ________________believed the Bible was authoritative for his life.

All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16–17, NLT)


  1. _________________believed that Paul’s letters were “Scripture.”

This is what our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you with the wisdom God gave him—speaking of these things in all of his letters. Some of his comments are hard to understand, and those who are ignorant and unstable have twisted his letters to mean something quite different, just as they do with other parts of Scripture. And this will result in their destruction. (2 Peter 3:15b–16, NLT)


What is your source of wisdom and authority?

And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth. (Acts 17:11–12a, NLT)


God’s invitation: _______________________________.

If you have an interest in questions surrounding the reliability of the Bible you might want to check out this page. There are many articles to consider.


Digging Deeper

A deeper study for individuals and families

What do you really think of the Bible? What is it to you? Is it a mysterious holy book? A book only priests or scholars can interpret? Is it a bunch of myths? Good moral teaching? Just the words of people? The Word of God?

Read Luke 4:16-17.

What does this imply about Jesus attendance at Synagogue services?

A distinguished visitor was asked to read scripture in the Synagogue. Why do you think Luke put such an emphasis on Jesus’ reading of this Scripture from Isaiah?


Read Luke 4:18-19.

The Scripture Jesus read, verses 18-19, is a quote from Isaiah 61:1-2. As Jesus applies this to himself, what was he anointed by the Spirit to do? Who are the four groups of people mentioned here? What do they all have in common?


Look carefully at each one and ponder what it means:

  1. What is the good news that is going to the poor?
  2. Who are the captives that will be released? What do you think this meant for the people of that time? What does it mean for us in our time?
  3. Who are the blind, then and now?
  4. Who are the oppressed, then and now? What would freedom mean for them?


Read Luke 4:20.

After the reading, Jesus applies it all to himself. What is he saying in his one-sentence sermon in verse 21?

Jesus took very seriously the authority of the Scripture of his day, and its witness to him. What did the combined witness of all of the Old Testament Scriptures mentioned in this passage say about Jesus? Who is he, and what is his mission? What in this passage was surprising or intriguing for you? Why?

In closing:
How does the emphasis on Jesus’ love for sinners, the outcast and the blind apply to you? What does it say about the priorities his people should operate by? Who are the poor, captive, blind or oppressed people on your campus or living near you? What can your group do to show Jesus’ love to them?


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