The bible is full of contradictions
This is a commonly heard view but is badly misplaced. When asked to give examples, people struggle to answer because they have never spent the time to research biblical accuracy. It often goes along with comments like ‘the bible got changed with time and what we read is not what was written originally’ which is also not true.
It’s worth saying a few things about the bible in terms of its reliability
Gospels as eye witness accounts
The gospels were written as eyewitness accounts often recording different events and events are not always told in the same order. It shows that there was no ‘collusion’ but they were genuinely, independently written accounts. For example I used to think there were differences recorded in the number of fish and loaves in the well known ‘Feeding of the 5,000’. Then it was pointed out to me that in Matthew’s account there are actually two different occasions where Jesus fed the crowd
– In Matthew 14 there were 5 loaves, 2 fish, 5000 men, 12 basketfuls (also told in Mark 6, Luke 9 & John 6)
– In Matthew 15 there are 7 loaves and a few fish, 4000 men, 7 basketfuls (also told in Mark 8)
Archaeology has proven the historical accuracy of many of the places, people and practices of the bible. Much of this can be found on line. Pontius Pilate is well known to us, as is Herod. Pilate's inscription is shown on the stone on the right in image above. The various governors referred to are known historical characters. The historian Josephus born in AD37 wrote in 93-93 AD shedding a lot of light on the events and circumstances of the time and refers to Jesus and John the Baptist.
The bible is a reliable historical document. Ancient historical accounts always paint a glowing picture of their subjects (otherwise the writers would lose their lives or livelihoods). It is common for both sides to record victory in a battle! But the bible gives full descriptions of its characters with all their flaws and mistakes. Accounts are not flattering and they ring true unlike other historical documents. This is true of all the key characters such as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Gideon, Saul, David, Solomon etc.
The original New Testament documents were very rapidly copied and spread throughout the newly Christian world. The great advantage of this is that any error in copying only existed in that line of copies and could later be checked against all the other copies. There are virtually no uncertain parts of the original text today and every one that remains is marked with a note in the most commonly used New International Version of the bible. Tacitus and Pliny, Roman historians, also refer to Jesus. Use the link below if you want to learn more.