For follow-up discussion and general commentary on the topic. Comments are sorted chronologically.
I can tell you by my own experiences with God that you should have a personal experience with the Living God, one that will make more sense when you seek after Him by reading His word. What I am saying is somewhere in your quest or relationship with God, He will reveal Himself to you. This revelation or experience should or could cause you to desire Him more, or thirst after Him as some will say.
Once you begin seeking after God diligently, through His scriptures the word, then things will begin to happen to you. For me the scriptures took on a life form. I develop my relationship with God through this word somehow. Now I need the word, just as we need air to breathe. The word is my lifeline to the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit aligns me to Him. This is how I know and defend the bible. It is an experience of Truth, and nothing can replace it, but God Himself, but He is the Word. It is written, 'Believing is hearing, and hearing by the word of God.' Paraphrasing. Hope this helps. Be Blessed!
By the way, it is my opinion that Michael Houdman's answer is a wonderful scholar's input and answer to your question. My own is a response coming from a believer's experience. Michael Houdman, I really enjoyed reading your response here, you should be teaching on some level!
But the bible was first written over 2,000 years ago. Don't you think that over all those years that it may have lost some books or even gained more?
The article was well presented and there have been many archeological discoveries, books and pages written in the last 2000 years that support what is written there. Anything new discovered only supports what is there already.