The Inspiration of Scripture

The Bible claims to be inspired by God.  2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” The word “inspiration” implies that it was “God breathed”.  There are thought to be 40 persons who wrote the Bible. Whereas men such as Moses wrote the Bible, the Bible claims that the material that the writers wrote was inspired or directed by God – He caused the Bible to be written.  Jesus promised His apostles that the Father would send the Holy Spirit to guide them into all truth.  John 14:25-26 “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you.  But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” John 16:13 “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.” God wanted mankind to know the things contained in the Bible, so He sent His Holy Spirit to direct the writers in what they wrote.  Therefore, we have the Bible.

The Bible should be very important to believers. It claims to be God’s message to mankind to tell us many things about God, His dealings with mankind, His gospel, His plan of salvation, what He expects from us, and many other truths.  But some people are skeptical that the Bible is a book from God.  They may believe that there is a creator God because they see the wonderful design in everything around them. Romans 1:19-20 “Because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.” But skeptics do not believe that the Bible was inspired by God.  Is there proof that the Bible is from God?  If God caused the Bible to be written, we would expect four things to be true.  First, there would be internal consistency within the Bible.  Second, the Bible would be historically accurate.  Third, the Bible would be scientifically accurate.  And fourth, since the Bible contains prophesies, the prophesies would be accurate and come true.  Let us briefly look at these four proofs.

The Bible was written by approximately 40 different human authors over a period of 1600 years.  These authors had a variety of backgrounds such as shepherd, fisherman, doctor, tentmaker, and prophet.  There are books of history, law, poetry, prophesy, and letters to churches and individuals. They discuss hundreds of controversial topics, and yet there is complete agreement within the 66 books of the Bible.  It is one consistent message.

The Bible is historically accurate.  It is an ancient book which records many historical events, places and individuals.  Critics of the Bible question the historical accuracy of the Bible because there is a lack of archeological evidence for the existence of some of the places and individuals written about in the Bible.  But as time goes by and more discoveries are made, time and again the Bible is proven to be historically correct.  For example, for many years there was no proof for the existence of the Israelite king David.  He was thought by some to be a fictitious individual, merely a legend. However, in 1993 a broken stone slab was discovered in northern Israel called the Tel Dan Stele. Dating to the late-9th or early-8th centuries BC, the inscribed stone monument commemorates the victory of a king of Damascus over two rival enemies. Contained within the celebratory praise, archaeologists identified the phrase translated: “House of David”.  This inscription is considered proof that a royal house bearing the biblical character’s name did indeed exist in the Ancient Near East.

The Bible is scientifically accurate.  Thousands of years before the discovery of bacteria and germ theory, the Bible prescribed what should happen if someone touched a dead body (Numbers 19:6-12).  The person was to wash in the “water of purification” which consisted of cedar wood, heifer ashes, scarlet wool and hyssop. He was to be considered unclean for seven days and was to wash in this water on the third day and the seventh day.  Modern science has discovered that cedar wood and heifer ashes combine to produce lye or soap.  The hyssop plant can be converted into thymol, which is isopropyl alcohol that kills bacteria.  Scarlet wool acts as an abrasive agent, aiding in the cleansing process.  Bacteria thrive in a damp environment, so waiting a few days to dry out and repeating the cleansing wash would be beneficial.  The whole process would be effective in cleansing a person who touched the body of a person who had died. God knew what was needed and supplied the cleansing process.

The Bible is prophetically accurate.  There are many prophesies given in the Bible that have come true just as they were prophesied.  Sometimes the prophesies were made hundreds of years before they came true.  The city of Babylon was the mighty capital of the Babylonian Empire.  But the prophet Jeremiah foretold of its destruction (Jeremiah 50:39-40). The city of Tyre was prophesied to be destroyed and become “a place for spreading nets in the midst of the sea” (Ezequiel 26:1-6). There were many prophesies about Jesus that came true such as his birth by a virgin in the city of Bethlehem and details of His death on the cross.  Jesus prophesied about the destruction of the city of Jerusalem (Luke 21:20-24) which happened in AD 70. 2 Peter 1:21 “For prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”

Skeptics need reasons to believe that the Bible is inspired by God.  I have briefly addressed that the Bible is internally consistent, that it is historically accurate, that it is scientifically accurate, and that it is prophetically accurate.  There is no other book like the Bible.  I encourage you to believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God.

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