Is the Bible God's Word?

Dan Lenington on May 20, 2015

Bible

Many ask the question, how do we know that the Bible is the Word of God? This is a good question sometimes coming from honest seekers, and it deserves an answer. First of all, why would God want to communicate to us? Well, He created us, loves us, and knows we need Him. We can't truly understand reality without His help. He is also motivated to speak to us to communicate our purpose which is to glorify Him (Rev. 4:11). We need to know how to fulfill this purpose, and so He tells us how to glorify Him and enjoy Him.

So if God wants to communicate to us, what would be the best way to do it? We are an entertainment driven culture, and we might think a movie or song would work really well. However, these are relatively short forms of media and couldn't contain all of His message. Likewise, if God communicated through individual thoughts or feelings, we could easily mistake His message by the vague nature of these methods. God chose the written word as the perfect form (2 Tim. 3:16) since it is precise, able to be studied, and can express God's words through man's experiences so that we can apply it easily. The Bible also uses various styles of writing including poetry, prophecy, narrative, doctrine, and application to help all topics and truths to be understood by all types of person.

But how do we know the Bible is God's message to humankind? Well, first, it claims to be the ultimate standard. Everyone appeals to a standard of truth whether science, personal opinion, public opinion, or religion. The Bible claims to be the Word of God over 3,800 times (2 Sam. 23:2; 2 Pet. 1:21 etc.). If the Bible is the Word of God, we would expect it to claim to be the Word of God. If it is the Word of God, then it would make sense that it would be the ultimate standard of truth. God claims that His Word is ultimate truth (Num. 23:19; John 17:17; Titus 1:2). Its logical unity is unmatched though written over a period of 2000 years by 40 different writers. If the Bible is the Word of God and the ultimate standard of truth, we would expect it to be consistent and coherent.

The question remains, can the Bible support its claim of ultimate trustworthiness? Since the Bible is primarily a historical document, (although it does give some scientific insights), it would make sense to evaluate it through its historical record. It is proven by its historical accuracy in archaeology. For instance, King Belshazzar or Babylon was denied by skeptics for many years, but it was finally discovered that he was coregent with his father Nabonidus and thus could only offer Daniel the third position in the kingdom (Dan. 5). The Hittite nation (Ex. 34:11) was also denied by critics but has been verified through archaeology.

Likewise, the Bible's trustworthiness is proven through miraculous prophecy in history. God had Isaiah predict in Is. 44:28-45:1 (around 700 BC) that a king named Cyrus would permit the return of Jews to Jerusalem after their captivity in Babylon and their rebuilding of the temple foundation. In Ezra 1:1-8, Cyrus king of Persia did indeed permit this return and rebuilding around 535 BC. Micah 5:2 prophesied the birth place of Jesus the Messiah in Bethlehem Judea. An unnamed prophet pronounced the doom of Israel's King Jeroboam around 900 BC and the destruction of his idolatrous altar by a descendant of David named Josiah. This took place around 623 BC as recorded in 2 Kings 23:15.

Lastly, the Bible's trustworthiness is proven through scientific accuracy by recording scientific observations unknown to most of society at the time of their writing (Is. 40:22; Ecc. 1:7; Ps. 8:8; Acts 17:26; Gen. 1:24-25). Certainly, some of modern scientific theory disagrees with the Bible in the areas of evolution and long ages, but these theories are being shown to be faulty by Christian scientists from organizations such as the Institute for Creation Research and Answers in Genesis. The Bible has stood the test of truth in all areas and has verified its supernatural source through its prophecy and the miracles performed by its writers (Moses, Elijah, Peter, Paul, etc.). Therefore, it can be trusted as the Word of God.

However, there are many other religious books that claim to be the Word of God too. What should we make of them? Well, the Bible claims to speak for God exclusively, which is a claim we must take seriously since it has proven itself to be God's Word. Christ supported only the 39 books of the Old Testament not the Apocrypha by listing only the three Jewish divisions of the Old Testament including the Law, the Psalms (wisdom books), and the prophets (Luke 24:44). Christ declared that the Spirit would help the church to revognize God's Word (John 16:13). Paul predicted an early end to God's prophetic Word (1 Cor. 13:9-10). John pronounced a curse on those adding to Scripture after AD 90 (Rev. 22:18). Finally, God demanded death for those falsely speaking in His name even once (Deut. 18:20-22). God takes this matter of divine revelation very seriously.

So what about other religious writings? Usually, one man writes a book when no one is near to verify his claims of revelation such as Muhammad or Joseph Smith (Book of Mormon), but the Bible is verified by 40 united writers. Usually, other religious books either contain false history (The Book of Mormon) or avoid being verified by it (Koran, writings of Buddha, writings of Hinduism etc.). Usually, other religous books contain many internal contradictions proving their man made nature. Other religious books contain either false or no verifiable historical prophecies. Finally, only the Bible proves its divine source through historically documented miracles.

Beyond all reasonable doubt, the Bible alone is God's perfect and complete message to mankind. Therefore, we are responsinle to learn what it says and obey it since we will be held accountable for its contents. I always hate taking a test for which I haven't studied. How much worse to be judged by God with a standard we never learned or applied? May your confidence in and commitment to God's Word be strengthened.