Seven Reasons the Bible is the Word of the Living God
by Pastor Bernie Diaz
I believe the Bible is God’s Word because of it’s ……
Over the last few years, rather thick books have become best sellers including the Twilight, Harry Potter or the Hunger Games series. We are making a point that even though we live in a fast paced, busy society, people will take the time to read what’s important to them. The Bible is the greatest story ever told and yet many people, including Christians, have never taken the time to read it.
Even though, it explains us, and explains our world in a way it corresponds to reality. It answers those 4 key philosophical questions that man-kind has been wrestling with for centuries: origins, meaning, morals and destiny. Christianity is only one of many competing religions and world-views. But as one writer said, “When faced with a choice among competing propositions of different world-views, we should choose the one that, when applied to the whole of reality, gives us the most coherent picture of the world.”
Although our world is growing technologically and in information, it is not getting better. We’re more vile and violent as a race of people than we ever have been. Everything the Bible has said about the human race- about you and me, is true. It’s not a science book, but when it speaks to science, it does so accurately- same for history. The Bible revealed that the earth was round nearly 2,200 years before 15th century explorers discovered that the world wasn’t flat after all (Isaiah 40:22). Same with the number of stars in the heavens (Jeremiah 33- ‘cannot be numbered’).
The predictions in the Bible are fulfilled flawlessly. The book predicted the rise and fall of great empires like Greece and Rome, the destruction of cities like Tyre and Sidon, the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. that Jesus foretold. As to Jesus, there have been already more than 300 prophecies that have been fulfilled: from His birth to be of a virgin in Bethlehem (Isaiah 7:14 & Micah. 5:2), to being betrayed for 30 pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12-13), die by crucifixion (Psalm 22), be buried in a rich man’s tomb (Isaiah 53:9) and on and on.
According to noted scientist Peter Stoner, the odds of just one man, fulfilling just 8 of the 300 plus prophecies concerning Christ’s 1st coming, by chance, are 1 to the 17thth power, which is a ten, followed by 75 zeroes.
Those odds are the same as if you covered the entire state of Texas with silver dollars, and you were blindfold and told to find the one silver dollar that was marked on the first try. That’s impossible by chance- mathematically incalculable.
How do we know it’s a reliable document? Did it accurately record history? How do we know any document of antiquity is reliable? It should be verifiable, it should have been transmitted faithfully and accurately over time right?
Well for one, we have early and objective historians like the 2nd century Jew Josephus, and we have early church fathers who quote directly from this book and it affirm its events and truths, and archeology has told us we have reliable manuscript evidence of this document – better than any other major and verifiable or reliable historic work. Let’s look then at textual criticism.
Here’s the point- if the numbers of manuscripts are few and the time gap is wide between the original (autograph) and the oldest copy (manuscript), it’s harder to reconstruct the original and you have reliability problems.
We have today a small portion of John 18 (John Rylands Papyri) discovered in Egypt - maybe our oldest manuscript from AD 117-138. The Chester Beatty Papryi is from the mid-third century, the nearly complete Codex Vaticanus, c. 325-350.
Archeology is good to the Bible. Places that have been excavated and confirmed from the Bible: the pool of Bethesda, Jacob’s well, the pool of Siloam, the residence of Pilate, evidence of the crucifixion (recent findings of an ankle bone pierced or impaled from the late first century, with a nail). The resurrection is still as historic an event, as any reported in history. Remember, we have eye-witnesses- 12 apostles that changed the world, 500 according to Paul amongst others, who testified to have seen the risen Christ.
This book is remarkable because is contains a clear, and consistent, harmonious message, written by more than 40 authors over a period of 1,500 years. Who were these writers? All brilliant intellectuals? No, the range of humans writing were from: kings, poets, generals, a rabbi, statesmen, scholars and a doctor, to: peasants, fisherman and tax collectors. They wrote from three different continents in that huge span- all with this same message of redemption from God to man. Amazing.
How is that possible? Plenary and verbal inspiration. God wrote the book. The human writers of it themselves understood that. Over, 3,000 times in the Old Testament, we have writers who declare “thus says the Lord” or “the Lord” says.
"knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit." -- 2 Peter 1:20-21 --
vs. 20 Interpretation = epilusis/loosening or solving (Message - ‘private opinion).
vs. 21 moved = phero / carried (as in the NIV or ESV) along, like persons in a ship at sea, by a strong wind. In 2 Timothy 3:16, the Word is ‘inspired’, from a Greek word to mean, ‘God-breathed’. The Bible is not natural or creative inspiration, nor is it a matter of dictation/inspiration (robotic).
By the way because it is God’s word, it is inerrant and should not be tampered with. That means no edits- deletions or additions.
"You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you." -- Deuteronomy 4:2 --
This book still remains the all-time best seller of human history. It’s been read by more people than any other work of literature. The 1st book printed by Guttenburg’s printing press (7 billion have been copied), it can’t be destroyed. Jesus said, He came to fulfill it – ‘every jot and tittle and that His words would not pass away.’
The French philosopher Voltaire a skeptic, who destroyed the faith of many, boasted that within 100 years of his death, the Bible would disappear from the face of the earth. He died in 1728 and what happened to the Bible? Even better, the Geneva Bible Society moved into his former house and used his printing presses to print thousands of Bibles.
President Lincoln said, “I believe the Bible is the best gift God has ever given to man. All the good from the savior of the world is communicated to us through this book.”
2 Timothy 3:16-17; It’s all sufficient and satisfactory.
President Washington said, “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God or the Bible.”
This Word has the authority and the power to change lives, to bring people to God by reconciliation and redemption that comes through salvation.
It’s ‘sharper than any two edged sword’, it is the truth that set us free (John 8) and as Psalm 19:10 says, "More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb."
So why do some read it and some don’t understand it or find the truth- the road to God?
You need spiritual ears to hear as Jesus said in the New Testament. God’s Holy Spirit must give that to you when and if He wills. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 2 that ‘the natural man does not discern spiritual things.’ You can’t read it like any other book.
The great 20th century theologian A.W. Tozer said, “The saving power of the Word is reserved for those for whom it is intended. The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him. The impenitent heart will find the Bible but a skeleton of facts without flesh or life or breath. Shakespeare may be enjoyed without penitence; we may understand Plato without believing a word he says; but penitence and humility along with faith and obedience are necessary to a right understanding of the Scriptures. The Bible is a supernatural book and can be understood only by supernatural aid.”
The fourth century theologian and scholar Augustine said, “Seek not to understand that you may believe, but believe that you may understand.” Ultimately, It will be a faith issue.