The Bible is the collected writings of people who knew God over many centuries. But more than that, as Christians we understand that God has spoken through these people. Some Bible books recite what God has done in people’s lives—like 1 and 2 Kings. Other books, like Isaiah, show God speaking directly to us through the voice of a prophet. Isaiah doesn’t just reflect on his personal experiences with God. He speaks for God, and God actually speaks through him. And the New Testament Gospel writers have Jesus speaking directly to us.
Centuries ago, Jews and Christians had to settle which writings were inspired by God and which weren’t. But there were many more writings floating around than we now have in our Bible. The Jewish community met about A.D. 90 to decide which writings were authoritative. The collection of writings that was selected is what we now call the Old Testament.
Christians had a harder time coming up with the New Testament, because early Christianity was an underground movement; Christians couldn’t even hold public meetings until the 4th century. But 2nd-century bishops (overseers of groups of churches) were already writing to individual churches saying, “Read these books, don’t read those books”—even before there was an “official” New Testament. So, there were already books considered authentic and books considered fraudulent.
The Bible claims to be the Word of God and by staking this claim the Bible simply but plainly declares its divine authority, complete infallibility and absolute sufficiency.
Its authority is grounded upon God Himself. 1 Thessalonians 2:13– “Ye received the Word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the Word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.” The Bible’s authority is not derived from reason. The Bible does not appeal to reason and demand obedience because our reason sanctions its teachings. Its authority is not rational in that sense, although we believe the Bible to be reasonable ultimately, because it is the Word of Him Who is the source of all reason. Our reason needs to be approved by the Bible and not the Bible by our reason.
The Bible’s authority is not derived from the emotions. The Bible does not appeal to our feelings and demand obedience because our feelings acquiesce in its teachings. Its authority is not emotional, and our feelings need to be approved by the Bible, and not the Bible by our feelings. The Bible’s authority is not derived from the Church. The Bible does not appeal to the Church and demand obedience because the Church decrees its teachings. Its authority is not ecclesiastical and the Church needs to be approved by the Bible, and not the Bible by the Church.
The Bible claims that its authority is derived from the God Who breathed it. Its authority is divine.
Its infallibility is complete. John 10:35– “The Scripture cannot be broken.” In all its words it can make no mistake. All it says, in the sense in which it says it, is true. What it records as history is real history. Its descriptions of the processes of nature, though not described in scientific language, are as popular statements infallibly true to what appears and hence scientifically correct. When the mistakes of men or the lies of Satan are given it is an infallible record of mistakes or of lies that we have.
Its sufficiency is absolute. Galatians 1:8-9 “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”
All that we require to know in regard to faith and practice is contained in the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make us wise unto salvation. John 20:31 “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His name.” Thus the Bible claims to be the Word of God, and as such is divinely authoritative, completely infallible and absolutely sufficient.
The greatest fact of all time is the Bible. How a book which has been so universally attacked could survive and attain to such a place of eminence is a miracle eloquently testifying to its supernatural origin.
Because the Bible forthrightly condemns sin, the hatred of sinners has been hurled against it. Because the Bible in plain and unmistakable language debases the pride of man, proud man has set himself the task to discredit it. Because the Bible uncovers the satanic underworld it is the object of the diabolical attacks of hell. Because the Bible declares that salvation is by grace alone all false religions have sought to extinguish it.
The Bible condemns every man and condones no man; it accuses every man and excuses no man; it abases human reason and exalts revelation; it repudiates the natural and rejoices in the spiritual, glorying not in flesh but in faith.
The unity of the Bible is one of the greatest evidences of its supernatural origin. This unity stands out in bold relief as we consider:
The Diversity of the Bible’s Writers: This diversity extends to their historical position. The Bible consists of sixty-six books written by some forty different authors over a period of a millennium-and-a-half (1,500 years). The first writer, Moses, died about 1450 years before the last writer, John, was born. Yet none of these writers ever denounced, criticised or condemned any inspired teaching in the books of the others. Their historical position was diverse, but their spiritual position was one and the same. Such a diversity creating such a unanimity must of necessity strike the candid reader of Holy Scripture with profound wonder, and surely underlines the unimpeachable conclusion that One Divine Mind was behind this One Book.
This diversity also extends to their social condition: The writers of the Bible, socially speaking, had no common denominator. They were men actually very diverse in social condition, physical temperament and mental ability. Some were sovereigns, others were subjects; some were lawyers, others were labourers; some were conquerors, others were captives; some were farmers, others were fishermen; some were scholars, others were shepherds; some were priests and others were physicians, and some were prophets and others were poets.
The Bible is unique. Hundreds of years and in some cases over a thousand years before certain events took place, the Bible made precise predictions concerning those events. No other sacred book ventured to make such predictions. The Bible is the only book which dared to stake its claim to divinity on the accuracy of its prophecies.
In the following passage in Isaiah God challenges the idol-gods of the heathen to predict future happenings. Isaiah 41:21-23– “Produce your cause, saith the LORD; bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob. Let them bring them forth, and show us what shall happen: let them show the former things, what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things for to come. Show the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods: yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold it together.”
The idol-gods are impotent in this matter, and in contrast to their impotency God declares His Omnipotence. Isaiah 46:10– “Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure:”
“We present you with this book, the most valuable thing that this world affords. Here is wisdom, this is the royal law, these are the lively oracles of God.” These words, used in the presentation of the Bible in the Coronation ceremony of the British monarchs simply sum up the fact that the Bible is an inexhaustible Book.
Man can exhaust what man has produced and written. Man cannot exhaust what God has produced and written. The inexhaustibility of the Bible is an evident token of the divinity of its origin. The greatest of intellects singly and in concert have studied the sacred volume, but the depths of the riches of the Book are still unmined. Fresh light and truth continually burst forth from its bosom, enlightening and instructing the diligent student of its contents.
It is surely a striking fact that although the Jews were the privileged depositories of the Bible revelation, and the greater part of the Bible was therefore primarily national in character, yet the Bible is an international Book. This fact is even more remarkable when we consider that the Hebrew was the most exclusive and continues to be the most exclusive race on the face of the earth, and that the Bible writers were characteristically dominated with this Jewish exclusivism. By divine choice the Jewish people were severed in feeling, religion, policy and destiny from the rest of the race in such a manner that even adversity and dispersion could not destroy their peculiar isolation. How strange that such an exclusive race could produce an inclusive Book. Only the high-born origin of the Bible can explain the mystery. It is plainly manifested that the Jewish race became not merely the recipients of the divine message but also the spokesmen to proclaim that message to the ear and heart of the entire world.
Holy Scripture, being God’s own Word, written by men prepared and superintended by His Spirit, is of infallible divine authority in all matters upon which it touches: It is to be believed, as God’s instruction, in all that it affirms; obeyed, as God’s command, in all that it requires; embraced, as God’s pledge, in all that it promises. . . . 4. Being wholly and verbally God-given, Scripture is without error or fault in all its teaching, no less in what it states about God’s acts in creation, about the events of world history, and about its own literary origins under God, than in its witness to God’s saving grace in individual lives.
We believe that God has revealed Himself and His truth in the created order, in the Scriptures, and supremely in Jesus Christ; and that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are verbally inspired by God and inerrant in the original writing, so that they are fully trustworthy and of supreme and final authority in all that they say.
The message of the Bible is addressed to all mankind. For God’s revelation in Christ and in Scripture is unchangeable. Through it the Holy Spirit still speaks today. He illumines the minds of God’s people in every culture to perceive its truth freshly through their own eyes and thus discloses to the whole church ever more of the many-colored wisdom of God. (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21; John 10:35; Isaiah 55:11; 1 Corinthians 1:21; Romans 1:16; Matthew 5:17-18; Jude 3; Ephesians 1:17-18; 3:10, 18).
Cockroft, Martin. “Why You Should Believe the Bible.” Christianity Today. 2016.
Loftus, John W. “Why I Don’t Believe the Bible is God’s Word.” Debunking Christianity. November 30, 2010
Paisley, Ian Richard Kyle. “Seven Reasons Why I Believe The Bible Is The Word Of God.” Christian Foundations. 1971.
Piper, John. “Why We Believe the Bible.” Desiring God: Inspiration & Inerrancy of the Bible, 2016.
Rogers, Adrian. “What evidence is there that the Bible is in fact God’s Word?” Christianity.com: Love Worth Finding Ministries. 2006.