The answer is simple-“Yes”. Of course, you expected us to say that, didn’t you? So, the real question is “Why do you think so?” Again, the answer is simple but not simplistic. We believe the Bible is inspired because it shows evidence of being from God. It is intriguing that the Bible makes the claim of inspiration because not all religious books do. While we realize that just claiming something doesn’t make it so, it surely invites investigation. In this article we will investigate the reasons that will explain its claim to being inspired of God.
As we look at these reasons or evidences of inspiration, I want you to think about this familiar comment: “The Bible was written by a bunch of men and is full of mistakes.” The phrase is partly correct and partly incorrect but it does make a valid point. If men did write out of their own experience and imagination, then we would expect there to be mistakes. We have been taught by experience that this is the case with human beings. Read your paper lately? But what if we read a book and noticed that it lacked the familiar type of mistakes that characterize men’s writings? What would we think then? Before we look at some examples let’s take a moment to see a broader picture of the Bible.
Introducing the Bible
The Bible is really a library and the word Bible means “books”; 66 of them in fact. It contains a variety of types of literature from the literal narrative of history to the figurative expression of poets. It includes letters between individuals and between an individual and different churches that existed in different countries with different cultures. The Bible covers a wide span of history, about 1500 years, and is recorded by 40 different men. These had different backgrounds and were from different countries. Some were educated, some were fishermen, some were kings and some were shepherds. What is amazing about these men is that they wrote the same thing on some pretty controversial and profound themes. For instance, they agreed that man’s problem is sin and that the solution is to obey God. They were able to write these 66 books with amazing consistency concerning God’s plan of redemption for mankind realized in Jesus Christ. The prophecies of Jesus alone are adequate proof of the harmony and agreement that is typical of the Bible. From Genesis 3 through Revelation 22, we see a distinctive and unmistakable thread of prophecy concerning many different aspects of the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.
Remember our statement in the first paragraph, “We believe the Bible is inspired because it shows evidence of being from God” as well our statement from the second paragraph, “If men did write out of their own experience and imagination, then we would expect there to be mistakes” ? Now we are ready to see some reasons for why we believe the Bible is uniquely from God; things that will contrast the wisdom and knowledge of God with the wisdom and knowledge of man.
The Bible is trustworthy in its historical accounts.
- Skeptics once denied the existence of a Hittite nation until Hugo Winkler unearthed their ancient capital at Boghaz-koi in 1906-07.
- Scholars once doubted the reference to Sargon in Isaiah 20 till 1843 when Emilo Botta discovered the palace of Sargon at Khorsabad and much information has become known about Isaiah’s prophecy since that time.
- Skeptics once questioned the failure of Sennacharib to capture Jerusalem but excavations of Nineveh revealed a monument that boasts that he only had “shut up Hezekiah like a bird in a cage”.
- Sir William Ramsey, British historian and archaeologist, began a study of the apostle Paul under the conviction that the book of Acts was full of errors. His studies changed his mind and he came away with a deep conviction of the historical accuracy of Luke’s account of the early church and he even wrote an excellent commentary on Acts detailing these. It is called St. Paul, The Traveller and Roman Citizen and can still be purchased today in print as well as an electronic version.
- These and other examples too numerous to list, give us a sense of the historical accuracy of the Bible as compared to the assumptions of men. When men attacked the Bible as being historically inaccurate (therefore not inspired), they were constantly being embarrassed by discoveries that verified the biblical account. We close this section with this quote, “The reviewer has spent many years in biblical archaeology, and in company with his colleagues, has made discoveries confirming in outline or in detail historical statements in the Bible. He is prepared to go farther and say that no archaeological discovery has ever been made that contradicts or controverts historical statements in scripture.” Dr. Nelson Glueck, The New York Times, “Book Review”, Oct. 28, 1956
The Bible is scientifically trustworthy even though it is not a science textbook.
- In our day of complete and blind acceptance of evolution as the explanation for the universe, this particular aspect of the Bible is proof positive to some people that the Bible is not inspired of God but just a book of myths.
- Conflicts between science and religion are legion according to some but there are at least three points that need to be considered:
- The Bible and theories of science may conflict.
- Facts of science and theories of the Bible may conflict.
- Truth of the Bible and the facts of science do not conflict.
- We would like also to observe that since Nature and Scripture both came from God, there can be no real contradiction between Natural truth and Biblical truth.
- Rotundity of the earth-Isaiah 40:2 (discovered in 15th century)
- Earth suspended in space-Job 26:7 (discovered in 1650)
- Paths in the sea-Psalms 8:8 (discovered in 1854)
- Life is in the blood-Leviticus 17:11 (discovered in19th century)
- Principles of quarantine, disinfection, covering mouth in treatment of infectious diseases-Leviticus 13 & 14 (discovered in 17th century)
QUESTION: How did the Bible writers know these things centuries before science discovered them?
ANSWER: God told them!!
The Bible does not contain the errors and fallacies of science common to the age in which it was produced.
- Moses, writer of the first five books of the Old Testament, was “instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians” (Acts 7:22), yet his writings did not contain any of the theories of the Egyptians concerning the beginning of the world from a flying egg, or the origin of man from the white worms of the Nile. (see Genesis 1:1; 2:7). The question that needs to be asked is “Why did Moses disregard his Egyptian learning?” and “Where did he get his information?”
- Until the time of Louis Pasteur most men believed that life could spontaneously spring from non-living matter, but the Bible is never guilty of making that mistake. The Bible says that everything “brought forth…after its kind.” Life comes from life.
- Although bleeding a sick person was a popular medical treatment that existed in ancient history and has persisted until recent times, the Bible does not teach that this is a means of increasing health. Leviticus 17:11.
QUESTION: Where did Moses get this information?
ANSWER: Not from Egypt, nor from any known science or medical book of his time, THEREFORE, not from any man. The only conclusion is that he got it from GOD!
One of the strongest evidences for the divine origin of the Bible is Fulfilled Prophecy.
- The prophet Isaiah rests God’s claim to Deity on His ability to predict the future and to bring it to pass and challenges the idols to do the same. Isaiah 41:1-8; 21-26; 44:6-8; 46:8-11.
- The test for a false prophet was if he predicted something and it didn’t happen proving that God didn’t send him-Deuteronomy 18:20-22 and Jeremiah 28:9.
- Successive world kingdoms were prophesied about in the Bible. Daniel 2 identifies the present kingdom of Daniel’s time, the Babylonian, and predicts three more to rise in succession and finally, for a spiritual kingdom to arise during the time of the fourth kingdom. In Daniel ch.8, the second kingdom is named, the Medes and Persians (v20) and the third kingdom is named in v21, the Greeks. That helps us to identify the fourth kingdom as the Roman Empire. It is one thing to say that there will be successive world kingdoms but to name them accurately is out of the realm of mere men. And that spiritual kingdom to come during the Roman Empire(the fourth kingdom) was the kingdom of Jesus Christ.(see John 18:36-37; Colossians 1:13-14). What man could predict that?
- Israel was prophesied to have a king 400 years before it happened-Deuteronomy 20:36. Fulfilled when Saul was chosen as king.
- They would be in bondage to another nation-Deuteronomy 20:37. This was fulfilled in the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities.
- The prophecies of Jesus (all 322 of them, according to Henry Liddon) remains the most compelling example of divine prophecy and fulfillment. These prophecies start at Genesis 3 and go throughout the Bible. They predict His time and place of birth, His lineage, His divinity, and mentions the main events of His life in some detail, like the betrayal and trial, the amount of the betrayal money, His crucifixion and burial and finally, His resurrection, ascension to heaven and coronation as the Messiah King.
A final word
All of the things we have mentioned in this article have just scratched the surface. We have mentioned so few examples in each category but we hope that it will encourage you to investigate further the claims of the Bible. If you would like more information on this topic please contact us.
“But know this first of all, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.” II Peter 1:20,21