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Blog / NIV Quest Study Bible: Is There Any “Secular” Evidence to Support the Bible’s Claims?

NIV Quest Study Bible: Is There Any “Secular” Evidence to Support the Bible’s Claims?

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This is the second post in the NIV Quest Study Bible (Zondervan, 2019) series in which a popular question about the Bible is asked and answered.

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The NIV Quest Study Bible (website) is the result of two publishing companies, Zondervan and Christianity Today International, working together to enhance the Bible text with answers to challenging questions people have as they read Scripture.

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More than 1,000 average Bible readers helped determine questions the notes explain, creating a resource featuring more than 7,000 notes written in question-and-answer format that provide insight into the common, uncommon, and sometimes perplexing passages from the Bible, such as “What prevents God from hearing our prayers?” and “Why does God test us?”


Question Two: Is there any “secular” evidence to support the Bible’s claims? (Psalm 119:160)

Although the Bible is not an ancient history textbook, it does report events that have been confirmed by other historical works. Consider the following examples:

  • Archeological digs and ancient Assyrian records confirm the Bible’s portrayal of King Sennacherib’s invasion of Judah (2 Kings 18:13–19:37).
  • Until recent excavations at Tell Mardikh uncovered tablets mentioning Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:1–29), scholars dismissed the existence of both cities as a biblical legend.
  • The Hittites were also considered a biblical legend until their capital and records were discovered in modern-day Turkey.
  • The palace of King Sargon, an Assyrian ruler mentioned in Isaiah, was uncovered in Iraq. The events recorded in Isaiah 20 were even recorded on the palace walls.
  • In 1947, the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls (which are copies of almost the entire Old Testament) confirmed how accurately the Bible was copied from 200 BC to AD 1200.
  • Greek and Jewish writers (e.g., Pliny, Tacitus and Josephus) supported the Bible’s claims that Jesus really lived, that he was executed between AD 26 and AD 36 and that he was worshiped as God.
  • Many of the details of the New Testament — including facts about Pontius Pilate, the census recorded in Luke 2, the death of Agrippa I, the execution of Ananias the high priest, and the crucifixion of Jesus are also mentioned in other historical works.

[Also see the Bible Gateway Blog post, Latest Biblical Archaeology Research]

Buy your copy of the NIV Quest Study Bible in the Bible Gateway Store where you'll enjoy low prices every day

Question One: How Do We Know the Bible Is True?

Question Three: Who Is God, What Does He Value, and How Can We Approach Him?

Question Four: Why Does God Allow Bad Things to Happen? (Sept. 16)

Question Five: What Is My Purpose in Life? And How Can I Be Certain of It? (Sept. 23)

Click the image to enlarge this page comparison of the original and the updated NIV Quest Study Bible

Click to enlarge this page comparison of the original and the updated NIV Quest Study Bible


The NIV Quest Study Bible is published by HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc., the parent company of Bible Gateway.


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Filed under Bible, Bible Study, Editions