Evidence for God and the reliability of the Bible

Throughout most of history, there was quite limited evidence for the accuracy of the Bible, so it was easy to question God's existance.  Those who rejected God could easily claim that the Bible had been manipulated, and that most of the history recorded in it was legend.

Since Archeology has advanced, we have found many verifications of Biblical events. Most of the towns listed can now be placed and their ruins found, dating from the correct time. Writings of ancient kings certify that the Israelites lived where and when the Bible claims. For example, Sennacherab(sp?) wrote that he had "hemmed in Hezekiah in a cage".

When the Dead Sea Scrolls were found, it demonstrated that the text of the Tanach (Jewish name for what Christians call the Old Testament) had not been changed substantially over a 2000 year period. We are now beginning to explore Bible codes, which seem to serve the same purpose as a digital signature, to certify that the content has not been tampered with.

Comparable arguments can be made for New Testament books also, but the nature of the evidence tends to be quite different. As one example, most scholars thought Luke had it wrong when he called Pilate a 'procurator', which would give him more authority than they believed he had. Fairly recently evidence has come to light that suggests Pilate would indeed have had that title.

The content of the Bible is very diverse, both in time of origin and in type of literature. Nevertheless, if God is really the ultimate author of it, it should have a unifying message throughout, and show signs of reliability.  Some books, such as Jonah and Job could reasonably be considered to be parabolic fiction. But if God really gave "all scripture" to be an example to us, it seems most likely that He would base those examples on real people and incidents unless the context suggested otherwise.