Is The Bible The Word of God? (II)
Grant B. Caldwell
The use of external sources is not the only means by which we may show the Bible to be the word of God. In fact, the Bible is its own best proof as to its authenticity. Surely, if it is the word of God, the Lord will give ample demonstration of it in the book itself. And so He does!!! Notice some of these internal demonstrations.
The Survival of the Bible
The Bible says that the scriptures, the word of God, would endure forever. (I Peter 1:23-25) In almost every period of history, however, there has been some effort to do away with the book of God. Jesus said, "My words shall not pass away." (Matt. 24:35) You might also note such passages as John 12:48 and Rom. 2:16 which place the scriptures in the judgment.
Notice some of the extreme efforts which have been perpetrated against the Bible:
1. In Jeremiah 36, King Jehoiakim endeavored to destroy a portion of Jeremiah's prophecy.
2. About 100 B.C., Antiochus IV burned all the copies of the Old Testament that he could find.
3. Emperors such as Claudius (A.D. 41-54), Nero (64), Domitian (81-96), Trajan (98-117), and Septimius Severus (193-211) along with others are known for their murderous nature in regard to those who would believe in the divine book.
4. Diocletian (284-305) is said to have made a hobby of killing Christians and burning their Bibles.
5. We read of the soldiers of Mohammedanism and their efforts to destroy all Bibles and kill all Christians.
6. Under the hand of the Roman papacy, the Bible has suffered much.
a. Innocent III had the French Bible burned in 1199.
b. The Council of Tarragona under Pope Gregory IX in 1234, ordered the people to submit their Bibles to be burned.
c. Wyclif was condemned for translating the Bible in 1383.
d. Charles IV issued a papal edict against the German Bible.
e. Ferdinand II burned Ten thousand Bibles in 1600.
f. The Jesuits burned 60,000 Bibles in 1637.
g. And pope after pope condemned Bible reading for Christians.
7. Even today, scoffers attempt to give up the Bible and have us do the same under the guise that it is not the word of God.
Imagine the odds against the unlearned (for the most part) and uneducated writers of the Bible penning a book that would not only withstand such treatment, but go on to become the best known and loved, most widely read, and most influential of all of the works penned by men. Can you explain it, if the Bible is not the word of God?
The Unity of the Bible
Consider, if you will, these facts: The Bible was written by about forty different men. These men did not live all at the same time but over a period of at least 1600 years. They were not all the same kind of men for some were rich, some poor, some learned, some unlearned, some kings, some common laborers. They did not necessarily know each other personally, nor did they know what the others would write. They lived in different areas, spoke different languages, and wrote under a great variety of circumstances.
We bring all of these writings together into one book known as the Bible, and yet for all the differences in the writers, there is not one mistake or contradiction in the entire writing. They indeed constitute a unit.
Though every work of man -- including the most scholarly -- contains errors, this one does not. Can you explain that, if the Bible is not the word of God?
The Character of the Writing
The character or style of writing in the Bible is another proof of the authenticity of the Bible. The book is unlike any written by man and yet it contains its own style.
1. The literary style, though differing somewhat from writer to writer, has some very definite points of style indicating a common author. The use of long but easily understood sentences is a feat not readily accomplished by even learned men, but common to the pages of the Bible. The continuity of thought and wording indicates likewise. This is easily explained when we remember that even though there were some forty different writers, the Holy Spirit guided the thinking of each of them.
2. One very interesting factor in the Bible is the complete impartiality of the writers. All of the weak points of even the heroes are never minimized.
3. There are amazingly intricate details given in the Bible. These are things it would seem unlikely to invent. Peter outrunning John to the tomb; the napkin being by itself; the woman wiping Jesus' feet with her hair; etc., are all the reading of an honest and truthful account.
The Moral Standard of the Bible
Men have never placed upon themselves a moral code of such strictness as that found in the Bible. Pagan Rome and Greece were baptized in immorality, practices shocking to contemplate. (Romans 1) Christianity claims a moral standard for all people and all times, without causing the people grief in so doing.
We have but to look at the nations where the Bible is not the standard of morality to see that men would not have devised such a plan to govern their lives.
We cannot help but come to the conclusion that the Bible is the word of God when we are faced with such a variety of evidences as those mentioned here. No other writing has so many evidences as to its authenticity.
I readily admit that I cannot explain these, if indeed, the Bible is not the word of God. I believe that it is.
TRUTH MAGAZINE, XVI: 31, p. 6-7