Reliable Eyewitnesses

The Bible, like many books, was written by eyewitnesses (Luke 1:2; 2 Peter 2:16) to the events and circumstances that they recorded. That they were trustworthy witnesses is only to be expected, since God inspired them to co-author their respective portions of the Bible. But some ask: how can we know if the Bible’s human co-authors were really reliable eyewitnesses?

The following eyewitness traits are the ones emphasized in common law, in law school, and in the Rules of Evidence.

A reliable witness will evidence honesty by his/her sincerity of speech, and be clearly motivated by a drive to speak the truth. The quality of a witness’s observations can be observed by accurate memory, evidenced often by access to accurate records. The competency of his/her communication will be demonstrated by an ability to recall and describe observations, with accurate information and relevant details. Testimonial consistency is also a key factor in reliability.

Though each witness will provide idiosyncratic differences (due to different perspectives and interests), all Scripture has perfect evidentiary consistency. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, Moses, Daniel, Jude, and all of the other Bible’s co-authors qualify as impeccably reliable eyewitnesses. Many of the Bible’s writers suffered cruel treatment, even death, for their stand on their witness. To the obvious credibility of their writings is added the unshakeable belief that their testimony was so true that it was worth suffering and dying for.