Is the Bible Really from God?


by Rob Lundberg

Looking over my blogroll history for the past few years, I noticed that I have written more on things like biblical authenticity, and textual transmission. However there is one basic question that I have not addressed in a while if at all.  It is a question that I received from a friend at work, who was asked the question, “who wrote the Book?”

That is a great question! Who wrote the Book (the Bible)?  How do we know that the Bible is really from God?  After all we see a lot of great (quantitatively speaking) amount of religious texts out there that one can pick out; and we know they do not say the same things on the fundamental categories of who God is, sin, salvation, our origin, how to find meaning, sources  of morality and our post mortem destiny. 

What makes this book we call the Bible so unique?  How do we know that it is from the one true God? After all it does possess a special quality, a divine something that people have recognized. Let’s look into it shall we?

Why is it so relevant?

Written over 2000 to 3500 years ago, the Bible remains relevant today as if it were written recently.  People from all times and all places have given their lives to see the Bible translated in their own tongue, own a copy of it, and place it into the hands of others.  Bible believing Christians will attest that the Bible’s special quality is its source — God. To back this up, let me share with you four lines of evidence.

Evidence Line #1:  What does the Bible claim for itself?   A lot of religious books will use open thought phrases like “And it came to pass. . . ” and indeed the Bible does the same thing in parts of it.  However the biggest claim statement in the Bible that we can read are the words, “God said…” more than 1900 times, “Thus says the Lord roughly 500 times in the first five books known as the Pentateuch[1] and more than 1200 times in the prophetic books[2]. In dozens of places it calls itself “the Word of God.” That status applies in both Old and New Testaments.  Let me also note that the writer of epistle (letter) to the Hebrews ranks the New Testament with the Old Testament (Hebrews 1:1-2; 2:3), and Peter identifies Paul’s writings as “Scripture” (2 Peter 3:16), which is an internal piece of evidence within the body of biblical text.

The Bible clearly claims a divine origin, jus on this line of evidence alone.  But one piece of evidence does not make a sound case. There is a second line that will help my case.

Line of Evidence #2: Jesus’ view of the Bible. You might be thinking, wait a minute Rob, Jesus is just in the New Testament right?  Yes, and no.  Jesus is prophesied in the Old Testament, but He also referred to the Old Testament. One thing we can surely believe, if Jesus believed the Old Testament, you get both the New and Old Testaments as being the Word of God, according to Jesus.

Jesus called the Old Testament “the word of God” (Matthew 15:6; Mark 7:13; and John 10:35).  He introduced Old Testament quotes with “it is written” (Matthew 4:4, 7, 10) during His temptation.[3] This phrase “it is written” was a standard Jewish introduction to Scripture.  In Matthew 22:43 Jesus referred to David’s words in Psalm 110:1 as spoken by the Holy Spirit. Jesus also promised that the Holy Spirit, sent by God the Father, would bring more truth, referring to the New Testament (John 14:25-26; 16:13). If the Bible is not from God, Jesus either was mistaken, or He lied, a position only the most hardened skeptics hold.

Let’s move to the third line of evidence and that is the Bible’s unity.  The Bible is not a group of stories or fables and myths. There is a unity among the writers. Some of them were contemporaries of others.

Line of Evidence #3: The Bible’s unity.  The Bible is a reliable collection of historical documents, written by eyewitnesses, during the lifetime of other eyewitnesses, recording historical supernatural events that were in direct fulfillment to specific prophecies. And these writers claim that their writings were divine rather than human in origin (2 Peter 1:16-21).[4]

This collection of sixty six books was written by forty different authors from different times and cultures. Their various personalities and experiences resulted in diverse writing styles  as well s distinct forms of writing styles as well as distinct forms of literature: poetry, parables, history, personal letters, and direct theological instruction. But a singular theme runs through every page from these writers’ styluses: God salvation plan for mankind.  Such an unchanging focus from such a diverse background could result only from a divine source.

Let me move to my final line of evidence with the frailty of the human element of the authors.

Line of Evidence #4: The human authors’ self-perception and sacrifice.  Jesus was not the authoritative person who believe in Scripture’s divine origin.  The prophets were convince that they were speaking and writing God’s Word.  Near the end of the Old Testament era, the prophet Zechariah mentions “the law and the words that the Lord Almighty had sent by the Holy Spirit through the earlier prophets” (Zechariah 7:12). Peters says in 2 Peter 1:21 that “prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”  Many of the prophets suffered and died for their belief that they were speaking God’s Word (Matthew 23:34-35).  Those men who made that claim were the only ones who really knew, and they accepted death rather than recant their faith.  Frauds and the unconvinced don’t willingly submit to torture and death.

Conclusion.

Taking these four lines of evidence can help you explain why this ancient book we call the Bible remains relevant today and have been translated into thousands of languages and dialects — more than any book in human history. The Bible remains the most popular book in the world. It was written by God and it shows. People read it and their lives are changed forever by learning from it, applying it, and living daily in fellowship with the risen Jesus.[5]

For more posts on the Bible on this blog check out the links below:

Does the Bible Have “Errors” or “Contradictions?”
Why does the Bible Include 66 Books and not Others?
Can the Gospel Writers Be Trusted and What Outside Proof is There for Christianity? 
See my Category Search Page on Hermeneutical (Interpretational) Challenges

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Notes

[1] The Pentateuch consists of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy (the Second Law).

[2] The Major Prophets in Christianity are: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel and Daniel.  There are the Minor Prophets considered by both Jews and Christians which make up Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. Each of these books were addressing certain issues, like injustices that Judea (the Southern Kingdom) and Israel (the Northern Kingdom) were committing against God’s moral and ceremonial laws.

[3] Wherever in the New Testament Jesus uses “it is written,” and not just in the passages where He is quoting the word of God to Satan, the original language renders this “it is written” as “it stands written.”  What that means that what was written in the past is still applicable in the present.

[4] The 66 books of the Bible are a compilation of historical narratives, poetry, proverbs and wisdom literature, epistles, gospel accounts, apocalyptic literature and other genres. It quotes outside books, that are only referenced, but because they are, what is referenced is a part of holy Scripture.  The 40 writers of what we have between the covers from Genesis to the Revelation, wrote in 3 different language (Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic) from three different continents (Asia, Europe and Africa).

[5] I have a challenge for you if you have not opened the Bible in a while. Don’t start in the beginning with Genesis. Start with the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) and just read them. As you read them make it your prayer to ask Jesus to reveal who He is through the pages of the gospels. If you do not see Him as He is when you are reading, read through them a second time asking in prayer for Him to reveal Himself through the pages. If you do that, and you encounter Jesus as your Savior, I would love to hear from you. Email me at realissueapologetics@yahoo.com and let’s discuss.



LIKE WHAT YOU HAVE READ?   LET US KNOW. . . 

Version 3Rob is a blogger, writer and public speaker on a mission to equip the believer to think and articulate what they believe and to communicate the message of the gospel to a confused culture in a chaotic, “postmodern world.”

He is available to come and speak to your church, college club, or group. If you would like to check out his speaker profile click here.  Looking for a specific topic to equip your church, here are some ideas click here.   If you would like to know the places that I have spoken click here.   Check out what people who have engaged this ministry have to say click here. To book Rob to speak to your group or your church, contact him by sending an email.


 

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