Who wrote the Bible – God or man? Didn’t the Bible lose its reliability when it was translated several times over? Aren’t there lots of interpretations of the Bible? Ever hear these questions before? Ever wonder what the truth is? The Bible makes the answers crystal clear.
Isn’t it strange that the only book whose author some people deny is the Bible? We accept by faith the authorship of every single book in our libraries except the Bible. For example, why don’t we cast doubt on the authorship of Pilgrim’s Progress or Guinness Book of World Records or 1001 other textbooks, novels, DVDs, documentaries, Youtube videos, magazines, and newspaper articles? There’s only one reason: Because the world doesn’t want to admit that the God of the Bible exists! If the God that the Bible speaks about is real, then each person will have to submit to His claims on their life, or face the consequences.
Many people are confused; they have been convinced by someone who appeared intellectual that the Bible is just the work of men. But good men would not have written it to fool us, for truly good men don’t deceive. Bad men would also not have written it for the very Bible they would have written would condemn them to eternal punishment in hell. To say that men, without God’s direction, wrote the Bible is therefore illogical.
Some people genuinely ask questions, and they really want to know the answer. If they are willing to be reasonable, you can give them the clear evidence they desire.
But in spite of all the evidence, it really comes down to faith. Hebrews 11:1 says, ‘Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.’ Faith imparts reality to our mind for things we have not seen. Faith is not just something religious. If you have faith that London exists, even though you haven’t seen it, that faith may cause you to act as if it does, and you might book a ticket to go there. If you have faith that money can be made by investing in a particular business proposal, that faith may propel you to invest in it. You are acting as if you believe what is not yet actual fact. Likewise, faith in a God you have yet to see will cause you to act as if He does.
This is not blind faith, for there is much evidence for the existence of London. There may be evidence that is put forth to persuade you in the value of a particular business proposal. Similarly, it is not blind faith to believe in a God you haven’t seen, yet have been persuaded to believe in by the sheer weight of evidence. Rather than being blind faith, it’s believable faith.
Being a Bible believer does take faith, but it’s not a blind faith – it’s a believable faith! We don’t grope in the darkness for answers; our faith rests on a sure foundation: God’s Word, the Bible. And there are several evidences that our foundation is solid.
A preacher went into an old country store where two men were sitting next to a potbelly stove. It wasn’t long before the preacher heard these two men bring up an interesting topic. One fellow said: ‘Did you know that there are 3000 contradictions in the Bible?’ The other replied: ‘No, but I will next time someone asks me.’ The preacher walked over and said: ‘Gentlemen, I was interested in your conversation. I’ve read the Bible many times. I never knew there was one contradiction in it. If there are 3000 contradictions, shouldn’t there be an average of one per page? The man said, ‘Yes.’ The preacher said: ‘ I just happen to have my Bible – could you show me one?’ The man replied, ‘Oh, I don’t know where they are, but I know they’re in there somewhere!’
I have one question: Which man demonstrated ‘blind faith’ – The preacher or the sceptic?
I’m not going to prove that the Bible is reliable, that God wrote it, that it is without error. It is reliable; God did write it; it is without error! These are absolute facts. It’s up to us to believe those facts!
Here are six logical evidences that strengthen our faith that God wrote the Bible and that the Bible is trustworthy. Then, we will see just why it is vital that we believe the Bible. Our eternal destiny is at stake!
1. God Says So
Did God or man write the Bible? 2 Peter 1:19-21 makes the answer clear: ‘We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place…. Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost [Spirit].’ Who moved these holy men of God to write the Bible? God, the Holy Spirit! Let the impact sink in – God wrote the Bible!
2 Timothy 3:16 says it too: ‘All scripture is given by inspiration of God [God-breathed]….’ The Bible itself tells us its Author is God, not a church, not people, but God Himself. You see, He wanted to reveal to us some truths about Himself, and without the Bible we couldn’t know these truths. The primary truth He wants us to know is how to receive eternal life. 1 John 5:13 ‘These things have I written unto you…that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.’
‘Thus saith the Lord’ – This phrase is found approximately 3800 times in the Bible.
God clearly claims to have written this book. If He didn’t, then He’d be a liar, and God can’t lie!
Furthermore, He has promised to preserve it free from error. In the English language, this preservation has historically been fulfilled through the King James Version of the Bible.
Over and over, down through the years, men who hated God tried to destroy the Bible. Here are a few examples:
- Government – ‘Roman Emperors realised that the Christians grounded their beliefs on the Scriptures. Therefore, Diocletion, by a royal edict in 303 A.D. demanded that every copy of the Bible be burned. He killed so many Christians and burned so many Bibles, that when those left were in hiding, he thought he’d destroyed Christianity. He had a Medal inscribed with: “The Christian religion is destroyed and the worship of the gods restored.”
- Roman Catholic Church – “The Bible was translated into the tongue of the common people. Roman Catholics made persistent efforts to suppress the Bible. They said that the people were incapable of interpreting and understanding the Bible. In 1543, an act was passed forbidding the reading of the Bible in an assembly without permission from the Roman Catholic church. As quickly as Bibles could be printed Roman Catholics would buy them and burn them. An estimated 18,000 Bibles were printed from the years 1525-1528, yet only 2 fragments remain today.
The Anvil – God’s Word
Last eve I passed beside a blacksmith’s door, and heard the anvil ring the vesper chime;
Then looking in, I saw upon the floor old hammers, worn with beating years of time.
‘How may anvils have you had,’ said I, ‘to wear and batter all these hammers so?’
‘Just one,’ said he, and then, with twinkling eye, ‘the anvil wears the hammers out, you know.’
And so, thought I, the anvil of God’s Word, for ages skeptic blows have beat upon;
Yet, though the noise of falling blows was heard, the anvil is unharmed – the hammers gone.
- Infidels – ‘Voltaire, the French infidel, died in 1778. He predicted that within 100 years of his death Christianity would become extinct. 25 years after his death the British and Foreign Bible Society was founded and the very presses used to publish Voltaire’s literature have been used to publish Bibles.
- Modernists – ‘Today, since Satan is unable to physically destroy the Bible, and since the Bible remains in circulation, Satan is causing it to be viewed as a Book without Supernatural Authority’ (Dr. Mike Aylestock).
One of the strongest evidences for the divine authorship of the Bible is the specific prophecies often made hundreds of years in advance of the fulfilments. Each one was fulfilled without even slightly deviating from God’s prediction. For instance:
- 50 years before King Cyrus was even born, Isaiah prophesied that Cyrus would decree that the children of Israel could return to the land and rebuild Jerusalem. Isaiah 44:28 says, ‘That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.’
- Babylonian Captivity – Jeremiah prophesied at about 600 B.C. that Israel would serve the king of Babylon. This prediction is found in Jeremiah 25:11 – ‘And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.’
- World Empires – Daniel 2:37-45. In circa 537 B.C., the Bible accurately predicted the Babylonian, Medo-Persian (538 B.C.-333 B.C.), Greek (333 B.C.-63 B.C.) and Roman Empires, even telling details that happened several hundred years later!
- City of Tyre – Ezekiel 26:3-5, 7, 12, 14, 16. This was written in approximately 590 B.C.
- Nebuchadnezzar shall take the city.
- Other nations shall participate.
- City to be made flat.
- City to become a place for spreading nets.
- Stones and timbers to be laid in the sea.
- Other cities to fear greatly.
- City never to be rebuilt.
‘Nebuchadnezzar took the city of Tyre in 586 B.C. When he took the city, he found that the people of Tyre had escaped to an island just off the coast. 241 years later, Alexander the Great, of Greece, along with the navies of other conquered nations, made a sea attack on Tyre. This was not enough, so he scraped off all of the old buildings and even the earth from the old location of Tyre and threw them into the sea, building a causeway out to the island where the city of Tyre had been relocated. His armies made a land attack over the causeway while his navy made a simultaneous sea attack and conquered the city. By his actions, other nations participated in the prophecy and the location of the old city was made flat like the top of a rock, and its stones and timber were laid into the sea. Other cities in the area were so frightened at the fall of Tyre that they surrendered to Alexander without a fight. Although the site of the old city of Tyre is an ideal site for the building of a city, it has never been rebuilt to this day. The site of ancient Tyre is used today by area fishermen for the spreading of their nets to dry in the sun.’ -Dr. Mike Aylestock
- Jesus Christ – 18 Fulfilled Prophecies:
- Born of a Virgin – Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23
- Seed of Abraham – Genesis 12:3; Galatians 3:8
- Tribe of Judah – Genesis 49:10; Hebrews 7:14
- Lineage of David – Psalm 110:1; Romans 1:3
- Born at Bethlehem – Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:6
- Anointed of the Spirit – Isaiah 61:1, 2; Luke 4:18, 19
- Ride into Jerusalem on Donkey – Zechariah 9:9; Matthew 21:4, 5
- Betrayed by a Friend – Psalm 41:9; John 13:18
- Sold for 30 Pieces of Silver – Zechariah 11:12, 13; Matthew 26:15; 27:9, 10
- Forsaken by His Disciples – Zechariah 13:7; Matthew 26:31, 56
- Pierced in Hands and Feet, No Bone Broken – Psalm 22:16; 34:20; John 19:36; 20:20, 25
- Given Gall/Vinegar to Drink – Psalm 69:21; Matthew 27:34
- Part His Garments, Cast Lots for Vesture – Psalm 22:18; Matthew 27:35
- Forsaken of God – Psalm 22:1; Matthew 27:46
- Buried with the Rich – Isaiah 53:9; Matthew 27:57-60
- Rise from the Dead – Psalm 16:8-11; Acts 2:27
- Ascend on High – Psalm 68:18; Ephesians 4:8
- Sit at Father’s Right Hand – Psalm 110:1; Matthew 22:43-45
Bible prophecy is powerful evidence that God wrote the Bible. I have shown you specific prophecies that occurred hundreds of years after the specific prediction was made. Not only is the prediction not vague, but the fulfilment was 100% accurate. There are hundreds of these prophecies in the Bible. There is nothing like this anywhere else in ancient or modern literature. Why? Simply put, the eternal God who knows the beginning from the end, knew what would happen and told us well in advance.
Listen to Isaiah 42:9, which says, ‘Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.’
Contrasting the one true God Jehovah with the idols, Isaiah 45:21 says, ‘Tell ye, and bring them [the idols or false gods] near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me.’
And again, Isaiah 46:9, 10 say, ‘Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, 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.’
Prophecy sets God and His Word apart from the pretenders.
‘The Bible contains almost every known form of literature – history, biography, stories, dramas, arguments, poetry, prose, prophecy, parables, pleas, philosophy, law, letters, satires, and songs. It was written in three languages by about forty different authors, who lived on three continents. It was in the process of composition some 1500 or 1600 years.’ – Dr. Mike Aylestock
‘Among these authors were kings, farmers, mechanics, scientific men, lawyers, generals, fishermen, ministers, and priests, a tax collector, a doctor, some rich, some poor, some city bred, some country-born – thus touching all the experiences of men.’ – Peloubet’s Bible Dictionary
‘Here is a volume made up of 66 different books, written in separate sections, by scores of different persons, during a period of 1500 years, a volume antedating in its earlier records all other books in the world, touching human life and knowledge at hundreds of different points. Yet it avoids any absolute, assignable error in dealing with these innumerable themes. Of what other ancient book can this be said? Of what book even 100 years old can this be said?’ – Manly
5. Testimony of a Changed Life
Reading Mother Goose or Little Red Riding Hood never changed anybody’s life! Fairy tales are not life-transforming. Yet the Bible takes God-haters and changes them into God-pleasers, men who wasted hours at the pub into men who pray for hours at a time, men who used to sit in front of a TV for dozens of hours a week into men who are out telling others how they can have eternal life. Only God can do that!
6. Science and Archaeology
Both science and archaeology are often used by sceptics to show that the Bible is incorrect. But more and more, these same ‘proofs’ leave them red-faced when further developments in these technical fields actually help to confirm what the Bible said all along!
‘…one cannot be exposed to the law and order of the universe without concluding that there must be a Divine intent behind it all….Science and religion are not antagonists…they are sisters. While science tries to learn more about the creation, religion tries to better understand the Creator.’ – Werner von Braun
The Bible speaks accurately of these scientific facts, among others:
- Roundness of the Earth – Isaiah 40:22
- Northern Empty Expanse – Job 26:7
- Earth Hanging on Nothing (not back of a turtle) – Job 26:7
- Weight of Air – Job 28:25
- Rotation of the Earth – Luke 17:34-36
- Number of Stars – Genesis 22:17; Jeremiah 33:22; Psalm 147:4
- Water Cycle – Ecclesiastes 1:7
- Trade Winds – Ecclesiastes 1:6
- Importance of Blood – Genesis 9:4; Leviticus 17:11, 14
- Unity of the Human Race – Genesis 9:19; 10:32; Acts 17:26
- The Second Law of Thermodynamics – Joshua 9:13; Nehemiah 9:21; Hebrews 1:10-12
Long before scientists made these discoveries, Bible students knew these scientific facts. In other words, scientists are still catching up with the Bible.
Tell me, how could the Bible contain these basic facts so long before scientists discovered them? Could it be coincidence? Were the witnesses making lucky guesses? Or could it be that an all-knowing God authored the Bible just like the Bible claims?
The following chart demonstrates how many great scientists and inventors were Bible believers. As Creation Scientists they believed the Lord created Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden just as the first two chapters of the Bible declare.
- A. S. Yahuda wrote: ‘…every archaeological discovery of Palestine and Mesopotamia – of the Bible period – bears out the historical accuracy of the Bible.’
- Professor A. H. Sayce said: ‘Since the discovery of the Tel el-Amarna tablets until now great things have been brought out by archaeology, and every one of them has been in harmony with the Bible, while nearly every one of them has been dead against the assertions of the destructive critics.’
- For example, archaeologists have discovered a pair of tiny silver scrolls that date back to about 600 B.C. While digging at the site of the 5th-century church in Jerusalem, researchers found a Roman legionnaires’ cemetery. Exploring still deeper, they found a small burial cave containing the scrolls. Very carefully, less than a hundredth of an inch at a time, the scrolls were unrolled. On each of them appeared an excerpt from the book of Numbers that included the word Jehovah. And these scrolls date back to the days before the exile to Babylon, earlier than liberal scholars supposed that the Pentateuch had even been written. People sometimes ask, ‘How do you know the Bible wasn’t written by a modern-day person with a great imagination? Archaeology counters that argument! The Bible has been around for ages!
A Closing Challenge
I challenge you to read the Bible for yourself! Don’t take anyone else’s word for it – read it yourself! Begin reading the book of John a chapter a day. Thinking men and women will take this challenge and see for themselves! They don’t just follow the crowd. Will you?
A young lady once laid down a book she’d just finished, with the remark that it was the dullest story she had ever read.
In course of time she became engaged to a young man, and one night she said to him, ‘I have a book in my library whose author’s name, and even initials, are precisely the same as yours. Isn’t that a singular coincidence?’ ‘I do not think so,’ he replied. ‘Why not?’ she asked. ‘For the simple reason that I wrote the book,’ he answered.
That night, the young lady sat up until two o’clock reading the book again. And this time it seemed the most interesting story she’d ever read. The once-dull book was now fairly fascinating, because she knew and loved the author. So, a child of God finds the Bible interesting because he knows and loves the Author! It is his Father’s message, addressed to him. – Sparks
Do you personally know the Author of the Bible? Have you received His gracious offer of eternal life through the Lord Jesus Christ? If not, receive that gift today, and you’ll begin to understand the Word of God in a brand-new way!
The Main Message of the Bible
- Heaven is a free gift – we can’t earn it. Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8, 9.
- All of us sin. Romans 3:10, 23.
- Our sin makes us worthy of hell. John 3:18, 36; Romans 6:23.
- God is a God of love and justice – we can’t emphasise His mercy to the exclusion of His holiness. Sin must be punished. His justice demands that we be penalised in hell. But His love demands a way of escape from hell. Habakkuk 1:13.
- That’s why Jesus Christ came to earth – to provide a way of escape from the penalty we truly deserve. Romans 5:8; John 3:16.
- The gift of heaven is received by repenting of your sin and trusting Christ alone to get you to heaven – Jesus Christ’s death on the cross is all that it takes to have your sins forgiven and to make you right with God. Do you believe that? Luke 13:3; Romans 10:9, 10, 13; Acts 4:12; John 14:6; Acts 16:31; John 1:12.
Have you asked Christ to be your Saviour yet? Are you sure that you have everlasting life?
1 Picture Credit: The Bible in Focus by Clem Clack, Dawn Saward, and Olive Clack