The Bible is a book that makes an incredible claim. It claims that it comes from God. Moses claimed to be a prophet of God (one who speaks the words from God). The prophets constantly used the phrase,
The word of Jehovah,
Thus says Jehovah, and similar phrases. Luke 2:23 calls the Old Testament law,
the Law of the Lord. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 14:37,
If anyone thinks he is a prophet or spiritual, let him recognize that the things which I write to you are the Lord’s commandment.
But how do we know that its claim is right? There are many books in our world today that claim to have come from God. There is the Bible, the Koran, the Book of Mormon, and many others. What makes the Bible any different from them? Or all they all from God?
First, all of the religious books cannot all be from God. The Koran teaches that the Bible is from God. But it contradicts the Bible and therefore cannot be from God. (The followers of the Koran can see this and that is why they came up with the theory that the Bible has been changed over time.1) The Book of Mormon is the same way. The Mormon religion clearly states that the Bible is from God, but their other religious books contradict the Bible and so they rule themselves out as being from God. These two religious books prove within themselves that they are not from God, but that still does not prove that the Bible is from God.
The Bible has 3 main things (as I see it) going for it to back up its claim — the unity of its message, the miracles that were done, and the fulfilled predictive prophecies.
Unity of the Message
Below, I have listed a couple of examples of the unity of the message of the Bible.
Sin results in spiritual death
The LORD God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” (Genesis 2:16-17)
Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death. (Romans 6:21)
God has a plan for the salvation of all men, not just Jews.
And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed. (Genesis 12:3)
The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “ALL THE NATIONS WILL BE BLESSED IN YOU.” (Galatians 3:8)
The theme of the Bible is the same all the way through, with the focus on Christ, the Saviour, thousands of years before Jesus was born. Romans 8 is another wonderful passage to show that God had always planned for the Gentiles to be part of His people. It would be very surprising to see the Old Testament passages quoted there if they just came from a Jewish mind instead of God with a plan in mind.
No other religious book that I have seen maintains the same high level of coherency even though most of them were written by only one man instead of about 40.
The miracles we read about in the Bible are there to give evidence that it is the word of God. God was never shy to let people know who were His spokesmen. Moses performed many miracles that were so great that all the nations around the Israelites heard about them. There are those today who claim that the miracles in the Bible are just myths that were composed long after the real events. There is however no evidence for this claim. The Jews as far back as we can tell all believed that Moses wrote the first 5 books of the Bible. If he was the writer, would the Israelites really let him get away with telling all sorts of bad stories about them if the miracles had not really happened to prove that he was God’s spokesman? I would not if I were them. They agreed to incorporate those stories into their law even though it made them look bad.
Of course, the strongest evidence lies in the miracle of the resurrection of Jesus. The empty tomb, the witnesses who claimed to see him alive, and the inability of the Jewish leaders to stop the spread of Christianity even through capital punishment all give great evidence that the witnesses were not lying. They truly saw Jesus alive after his crucifixion.
Fulfilled Predictive Prophecy
In my mind, the predictive prophecies in the Bible hold the strongest evidence that the Bible is from God. It is true that not all prophecies very specific, but some are very specific. Look at the prophecies of Daniel. In Daniel 2, Nebuchadnezzar had a dream from God and Daniel interpreted it. The message was that there would be 4 great world kingdoms and then in the days of the 4th kingdom, God’s kingdom would be established, crushing the world kingdoms. That is exactly what happened - Rome was the 4th kingdom and in that time, the church was established (God’s kingdom) and even though Rome fought against it, Rome crumbled and there has not been a world kingdom like it since then.
The prophecies about Jesus are sometimes specific, sometimes not. In Psalm 22, you see a great picture of Jesus on the cross - it really does not fit anyone else.
They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing (v. 18). In Isaiah 53,
He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death (v. 9). There are many more examples, but they are all the same way - accurate about things that would happen hundreds or thousands of years later. There can be no denying that these things were written hundreds of years before Jesus was even born. How could they prophecy such things without the aid of God? I cannot think of any way.
Why do I believe that the Bible is the word of God? The Bible claims to be the word of God. It was written by many men over a period of about 1,600 years, but it tells the same story all the way through and the doctrine does not change with the times. The miracles that are recorded are convincing - they convinced the people at the time and they certainly convince me. And the predictive prophecies that are so accurate must be from God. There is no other way for this book to exist. I believe that the Bible is the word of God. How about you?
- See The Koran and the earliest Muslims did not believe the Bible was corrupted. http://www.bible.ca/islam/islam-bible-not-corrupted-early-muslims.htm [return]