The Bible is God’s Word
The fundamental premise of Christianity is that God has spoken to us (Heb. 1:1-2).
He is intelligent.
He is capable of communicating with whomever He wishes.
He is capable of being understood by His creation.
We can know what God wants us to believe and do.
God has a right to command us.
Without these presuppositions, God speaking to us is useless.
Bible is the expression of the will of God for us today (2 Pet. 1:21; 2 Tim. 3:16-17).
A few ground rules:
We cannot impose modern standards of precision on a text thousands of years old.
They did not have copy machines or recording devices.
Despite this, it is still the best attested book from ancient history by miles.
What are some metrics for determining inspiration?
It claims it.
It is prophetic.
It has knowledge before its time.
It is accurate.
It has no contradictions.
The Bible Claims to Be God’s Word.
There is no time to go into every single book to determine inspiration.
Overall, we see passages like 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:19-21.
But every book is dripping with “thus saith the Lord.”
Example: Heb 3:7; 4:7.
That is circular reasoning!
If someone says they speak for God, and you ask them how they know that, you can’t just say because he said so.
Merely claiming inspiration is not good enough.
You’re right—if that’s all we had, we would be guilty.
But that’s merely the starting place.
You don’t research the works of Shakespeare to see if they are inspired by God. Why? Because there is no claim to inspiration.
The Bible Is Prophetic.
There are several prophecies that come true in Scripture.
The most notable are the prophecies concerning Christ, there are hundreds.
Isaiah 53 is perhaps one of the most clear concerning Christ.
It is easy to make prophecies fit when people have edited things to fit.
It’s like a man claiming to be a great archer when he only paints the bullseye on the wall only after the arrow strikes.
This ignores the historicity of how the Bible was preserved and compiled.
Our OT is not too different from the Hebrew Bible—you think they would edit things to fit our Messiah?
They made every effort to preserve the original.
As for the NT, many many copies were made and some did try editing things, but it was easy to spot when compared to other manuscripts—weeded out.
If just 8 of the hundreds of prophecies came true, that would be like finding a needle in a haystack the size of Texas two feet deep.
The Bible Has Knowledge Before Its Time.
The Bible gives the best time to circumcise an infant boy—at 8 days old (Gen. 17:12).
Quarantine is required for those with communicable, debilitating diseases (Lev. 13:45-46).
Dead bodies were considered unclean (Num. 19:11-12).
Instructions for making a lye soap (Num. 19:17-18).
Sanitation laws (Deut. 23:12-13).
Perhaps they used trial-and-error.
They were using other ancient remedies of the time.
They got lucky.
It was just their ceremonial laws.
So you think they used the scientific method 3000 years before it was invented? About 1000 years before Aristotle was born?
Moses, having been educated as an Egyptian, could have used their remedies, but he didn’t. They included things that sound like a witch’s brew, including a hog’s tooth and worm blood, along with human waste. They deliberately infected wounds to use as a remedy.
Is it more believable that they “got lucky” so many times, or that God helped them?
These are ceremonial laws that help them live longer, cleaner lives.
The Bible Records Things Accurately.
Archaeological discoveries every year corroborate the biblical narrative.
Luke, for example, in recording Acts, is very thorough in his geographical details, something very uncommon for his time.
What about the anachronisms in the Bible?
Darics did not exist in David’s time (1 Chron. 9:27).
The city of Dan in northern Canaan wasn’t call that until later (Gen. 14:14).
Philistines mentioned in Genesis (26:1).
Any alleged anachronism in Scripture was put in place intentionally by the author or a scribe for clarity’s sake.
Chronicles was written post exile, so the Jews would know what a daric was.
It was helpful for later readers to know where Dan was—might not know Laish.
Or it is not really an anachronism at all, as with the Philistines.
None of this means editors changed things of importance—more detail in next point.
The Bible Has No Contradictions.
A book from God would have no contradictions in it whatsoever.
Since God does not argue with Himself, neither should His book.
The Bible is riddled with contradictions!
Where did Cain’s wife come from?
What about the different genealogies in Matthew and Luke?
Etc. etc. etc.
There have been many who have tried to find contradictions in the Bible.
The Bible has much redundant material, as we’ll soon see with the Chronicles and later the four gospel accounts—redundant doesn’t mean unnecessary.
Many alleged contradictions stem from a misunderstanding of the text.
Others are copyist errors—authors inspired; scribes not.
OT scribes were meticulous, but occasional errors would creep up.
Later scribes, even if they thought someone previously made an error, were bound to continue the error (what if it wasn’t?), often writing what they thought was correct in the margin.
Most common errors in OT that propagate in our Bibles are in spelling of names and in numbers—it is easier to spot other spelling errors.
NT books were copied so much, and errors were more common (not professional scribes until later).
But because we have so many manuscripts, we can use “textual critical method” to determine what the original autographs said, or near enough.
Most common reason for variant is a “removable nu.”
Anything edited in both the OT and NT would be found out.
The point in all this is to show that we can have confidence in the Bible as God’s Word.
It was inspired by God, as is evidenced by all these characteristics of a divine book: claims inspiration, prophetic, foreknowledge, accurate, & lacks contradictions.
We can also be confident that it was preserved faithfully over the millennia.
Only these 66 books that we have fit all these criteria.
Since these characteristics prove the Bible’s origins, will you do what it says to be right with its Author?