Is the Bible the Word of God? (brief notes from a talk)
The intricate design of living things and the precise balance of the solar system cry out to us that there must be a grand designer. We start with the premises that there is a God – our Creator.
We would EXPECT such a wise designer and creator to COMMUNICATE with his creation - to let them know why he made them, what he expects of them, and what future they might have.
Where do we look for such a revelation? Man’s writings make no serious claim to be from God, and man’s opinions often contradict one another. A revelation from God would TELL US and CLAIM that status – that is the first test we can apply. This narrows the field down to a few books claiming divine authority or origin, and the Bible stands out as superior in every way.
Many writers acknowledge that the Bible is unique. One wrote as follows:-
“There is an extraordinary wisdom, sublimity and majesty in the style of the Bible, which is above man. Strange as it may seem, the ancient writers of scripture have produced a book which even today is unrivalled…It stands entirely alone…because there is a strain, a style, and a tone of thought which separates it from all other writings.”
Let us apply some tests:-
1) Does it claim to be God’s Word? Yes, throughout! Note 2 Peter 1:21: “Holy men of God spake AS THEY WERE MOVED by the Holy Spirit (the power of God)”.
2) Does it speak with authority? Yes, throughout. One example – Isaiah 8:20: “If they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them”.
3) Have its prophecies been fulfilled? Yes, time and again, in detail. For example, the whole history of the Jews, their scattering, survival and re-gathering, all foretold in advance, in detail. Likewise Babylon was to perish (fulfilled exactly) Egypt was to remain, but always a third-rate country (fulfilled exactly). Many more examples can be given to convince a fair mind.
1) Is its TEACHING consistent? Yes, for example, from beginning to end it teaches that mankind is MORTAL: death is OBLIVION although there is hope of a future RESURRECTION for those who respond to the love of God.
2) If it is the word of God, we would expect it to have a very important message- does it? Yes, it tells us how we can be saved from the consequences of our own sins and failings – by belief in “the things concerning the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ” (Acts 8:12).
As we would expect, the message is both important and urgent, calling upon all men and women to ACT, and DO SOMETHING before it is too late. Jesus instructed his disciples like this: “Go into all the world, and preach the gospel (good news) to every creature. HE THAT BELIEVETH AND IS BAPTISED SHALL BE SAVED” (Mark 16:15,16).
The ultimate proof that the Bible is the Word of God is its message. It gives true teaching on all moral issues and, above all, it tells us what to do to be saved from an eternal grave. Surely this is what we would expect from a book claiming to be the Word of God?!
Bro David Webb (Walton, UK)