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Authority of the Bible - McQuilkin (2009) says that, ‘Since God is the Author, the Bible is authoritative. It is absolute in its authority for human thought and behaviour. As the scripture has said is a recurring theme throughout the New Testament. In fact, the New Testament contains more than two hundred direct quotations of the Old Testament. New Testament writers, following the example of Jesus Christ, built their theology on the Old Testament. For Christ and the apostles, to quote the Bible was to settle an issue’. To call the Bible ‘God’s Word’ is in itself a way of expressing that God Himself speaks His words directly to us. This concept is Biblical. In Genesis 1:11 and Psalm 33:6 it appears as God’s Created Word, in Proverbs 8 as the personalized Wisdom of God, and in Isaiah 55:11 as the vehicle of God’s activity. In John 1:1-14; 1 John 1:1; Revelation 19:13 we see it used by Jesus Himself.
The Old Testament was viewed by the Lord Jesus and His apostles as a supernatural, Christ-centred book, with a single message; ‘redemption’. Jesus believed the Old Testament to be authoritative and quoted from each of its main sections, the law (Matthew 4:4); the poetic books (Mark 12:10) and the prophets (Mark 7:6). Following Christ’s example, the New Testament authors also quoted from each of its sections and almost every book of the Old Testament. Jesus stated in Luke 24:46, John 5:39 and John 5:45 that Old Testament scriptures were to reveal Him, and it is therefore not surprising that He denounced those who did not believe them or by appealing to human traditions robbed them of their divine authority. Packer (1958) says; ‘Jesus Christ, so far from rejecting this principle of biblical authority, accepted and built on it, endorsing it with the greatest emphasis and the full weight of His authority. And the authority to which He laid claim was absolute and unqualified. He appealed to no human authority, but put His teaching forward as divine in origin, and therefore eternally valid in its own right’. Nee (1974) adds; ‘the Lord Jesus once said ‘the words that I have spoken to you are spirit’ (John 6:36). And hence the words of the Bible are not words only, nor are they mere letter, they are also spirit’.
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Trustworthy - According to McQuilkin (2009) ‘Christ and the apostles presented a revelation of God and His will that went far beyond what was revealed in the Old Testament. But there is not the slightest hint of error, even when the New Covenant is explained as setting aside the temporary, Old Covenant. Since the Bible is the Word of God, it is considered absolutely trustworthy in its overall message and in each part of the revelation’. Paul writes in 2 Timothy 3:16; ‘All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness’. The fact that God is the source of the Bible makes it trustworthy in all its parts which form a harmonious unity.
Internal Evidences - One of the first evidences that the Bible is God’s word is in its unity. The Bible is comprised of sixty-six books, written in three different languages (the Old Testament was written in Hebrew and Aramaic, and the New Testament in Koine Greek), and on three different continents. It was written by more than forty authors who came from many walks of life over a period of approximately 1500 years, and yet the Bible is one single unified book without contradiction from beginning to end. This unity is unique and sets it apart from all other books. Another Internal evidence indicating that the Bible is truly God’s Word is the hundreds of detailed prophesies relating to the future of certain cities, mankind and individual nations including Israel. There are three hundred prophesies concerning Christ Jesus in the Old Testament including His birth place, His lineage and how He would die and the fact that He would rise again. There is no other or logical way to explain the fulfilled prophesies in the Bible other than by divine origin.
External Evidences - One of the external evidences that the Bible is God’s Word is the integrity of its human authors. Men who were willing to die for what they believed testifies that they were honest and firmly believed that God had spoken to them. These were men from all walks of life used by God to speak and record His words. The original manuscript written by the prophet is known as the autograph. The autograph is inspired by God from the first generation. It is then copied to additional manuscripts over time as the originals wear out this is known as manuscript transmission. Over time the manuscripts from accepted prophets were collected and today this is known to us as the Bible. The Bible is written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The word ‘Inspire’ is derived from the Latin word ’inspirare’ meaning ’to breathe upon or into something’. God chose to reveal Himself through people so He could communicate to a much larger audience. The term ’revelation’ simply means that God communicated to mankind what He is like and how we can have a relationship with Him. Milne (2014) puts it like this; ‘Revelation means unveiling something hidden, so that it may be known for what it is’. From the time of the Exodus when God brought the Israelites out of Egypt, He told them that He was going to communicate with them through prophets, men who would speak to God and then represent Him to the people. This was in response to the request from Israel who were in fear when God spoke to them directly from Mount Sinai, they pleaded with Moses to speak with God, and then to speak for God to them, for fear they might die if God spoke to them directly. God was pleased with their request (Exodus 20:18-21).
Additional external evidence that the Bible is God’s Word is the historical events it records. Their accuracy and truthfulness are like any other historical document, subject to verification. Archaeological and other writings have proven time and time again the accuracy of the historical events of the Bible. This evidence makes it the best documented book of the ancient world. The fact that it accurately and truthfully records historical verifiable events is a great benefit when dealing with religious subjects and helps substantiate its claim to be the Word of God. It could be argued that the most important of all the ‘external’ evidences is the Lord Jesus Christ’s repeated reference to the Old Testament being the Word of God (Matthew 5:18 and Mark 12:36).
Conclusion - When we look at some of the facts concerning the bible it is hard to come to any other conclusion other than the Bible truly is God’s Word. Firstly, the Bible was written over a period of approximately 1500 years by more than 40 authors under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The Old Testament was written by 29 different authors over a 1000 year period, between 1450 BC and 425 BC and included Kings, Priests, Shepherds and Prime Ministers, and was written in two languages; Hebrew and Aramaic. The New Testament was written by 10 to 11 different authors over a 45 year period, between 45 AD and 90 AD and included a rabbi, fishermen, a physician, a tax collector and others, and was written in Koine Greek. Taking all this into account, the Bible stands as a single unified book without contradiction.
We must also consider the many detailed prophesies of the Old Testament, fulfilled in the New Testament, such as the Birth, Life, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and the historical events it records have proven to be accurate, trustworthy and true and verified by archaeological and other writings. And the fact that Jesus Christ Himself gives repeated testimony to the Old Testament as the Word of God and the Scriptures and makes the profound statement in John 10:35 when He says…’and the Scripture cannot be broken’.
So, The Bible is the Word of God, it is God’s Word, it is God in Word and it is Spirit. John 1:1 The Word is God.
Is the Bible trustworthy and true? Absolutely 100%.
I hope this has given you food for thought and may the Lord bless His Word to you.
Author: Pastor Kevin Hunt
May God bless and enrich your life
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McQuilkin, R (2009) ‘Understanding and Applying the Bible: Revised and Expanded’, Moody Publishers, ASIN: B0037714VM
Milne, B (2014) ‘Know the Truth’, Third edition, IVP Publishers, ISBN-10:178359103X
Nee, W (1974) ‘Ye Search the Scriptures’, Christian Fellowship Publishers, ISBN-10: 0935008470
Packer, J.I (1958) ‘Fundamentalism and the Word of God’, William B Eerdmans Publishing Co, ISBN-10: 0802811477