WE KNOW THE BIBLE IS THE WORD OF GOD?
Note what follows is an abbreviated version of an article by
the same name
written by Dr. Norman Geisler, ©1995, by ISI,
Colorado Springs CO.
See also How
do we know the Bible is true?
Christians claim the Bible is God's Word. That means that they
the Bible is a verbal revelation from God that makes it unique from
other book. But how can such a claim be verified?
First, we would expect certain things to be true about a book from
Such characteristics might also be true about humanly-authored books,
we would expect that, at the very least, they would be true about God's
book. Such characteristics would include the following:
Second, because God is unique, His book would bear characteristics that
could be true of it alone. Such characteristics would distinguish God's
book from all other books in such a way that it could not be
These characteristics would include the following:
- It would claim to be God's Word.
- It would be historically accurate when it speaks on historical
- The authors would have to be trustworthy.
- The book would be thematically unified and without contradictions.
- We would have received accurate copies of the original
- It would make statements that would reveal knowledge about the
work beyond the knowledge of its day.
- It would make predictions about the future that could not be
- The message would be unique.
- The messengers would be confirmed by miracles.
- The words would have a transforming power.
CHARACTERISTICS THAT MUST
BE TRUE OF GOD'S WORD,
BUT COULD ALSO BE TRUE OF A
1. THE BIBLE CLAIMS TO BE GOD'S WORD
- The Authors Claimed To Speak God's Words
- The Bible Claims to be "Breathed Out" by God
- The New Testament Was Seen As Being Revealed Scripture As
- What The Bible Says, God Says, and Vice Versa
- The Biblical Writers Claim "Thus Said The Lord"
- The Bible Claims To Have Divine Authority In All Its Parts
- Christ Testified That The Bible Is From God
Evidence for the authors integrity.
- THE BIBLE IS HISTORICALLY ACCURATE
15:17 - If the Bible is not accurate historically
our faith is useless.
Noted archaeologist, Nelson Glueck, states,
"It may be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery
ever controverted a Biblical reference. Scores of archaeological
have been made which confirm in clear outline or exact detail
statements in the Bible." ("Rivers in the Desert: A History of the
p. 31 by Nelson Glueck, New York: Farrar, Strauss & Cudahy, 1959).
- THE TRUSTWORTHINESS OF THE BIBLICAL AUTHORS
The Bible is amazing in its unity amid vast diversity.
- THE TESTIMONY OF THE AMAZING UNITY OF THE
- written over a period of some 1500 years (~1400B.C. to nearly
- contains 66 different books
- written by some 40 different authors
- written in 3 languages
- discussions on hundreds of different topics
- written in a variety of different literary styles
- composed by authors of many different occupations
- It has one, continuous unfolding drama of redemption from
- It has one central theme - the person of Jesus Christ (Luke 24:27).
Old Testament Expectation of Christ came to a historical realization in
the New Testament.
- The Bible has one unified message from beginning to end:
is sin (Genesis
6:5; Romans 3:23) , and the solution is salvation through
19:10; Mark 10:45).
- THE DOCUMENTS WE POSSESS ARE ACCURATE COPIES OF THE ORIGINALS
- The findings in 1948, of the Old Testament manuscripts
Dead Sea which where date to be 2,000 years old confirms the accuracy
much newer copies only 1,000 years old.
- The large number of New Testament manuscripts (5366),
of a book dated at just over 50 years after the writing of the original
and a complete copy dating to 225 years after the original. These large
sources of manuscripts also confirm the accuracy of the text of the
we have today.
CHARACTERISTICS THAT COULD
BE TRUE ONLY OF GOD'S WORD
- SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE BEFORE ITS TIME
The following are physical phenomena mentioned in the Bible that
only went against the wisdom of the surrounding cultures at the time
that also predate the earliest scientific discoveries of such phenomena
by usually 2,000-3,000 years:
- The Body
In the 1840's, Dr. Semmelweis started the practice of washing his
hands after doing autopsies and thus reduced mortality rates of
he and others treated. God set down cleanliness laws through Moses ~
years earlier than this recent discovery. (cf. Numbers 19:17,19)
- The Earth
The Biblical writers when talking about the heavens amazingly did
not make the errors that were common beliefs in the surrounding
of their day.
- The Heavens
- THE SUPERNATURAL PREDICTIONS OF THE BIBLICAL PROPHETS
- Memphis and Thebes
Ezekiel in the 6th century B.C. (Ezekiel
30:13-15) make accurate
predictions about Memphis and Thebes' destruction hundreds of years
they were destroyed.
- The coming of Christ
12:1-3, Matt. 1:1
49:10, Luke 3:33
Samuel 7:12-16, Matt. 1:1
7:14, Matt. 1:21-23
5:2, Matt. 2:1 and Luke 2:4-7
11:2, Matt 3:16-17
35:5-6, Matt. 9:35
118:22, 1 Peter 2:7
22; Isaiah 53:3, Luke 9:22
9:25-26 and crucifixion in 33 A.D.
53:3, John 1:10-11; 7:5,48
53:7, Matt. 27:12-19
22:7-8, Matt. 27:31
22:16, John 20:25
53:12, Luke 23:34
12:10, John 19:34
53:9, Matt. 27:57-60
22:18, John 19:23-24
16:10, Acts 2:31; Mark 16:6
Note how these predictions contrast examples of predictions made today.
- They were very specific
- none of these predictions failed
- since these predictions were written hundreds of years before
born, no one could have been reading the trends of the times or just
- many of these predictions were beyond human ability to force a
- THE UNIQUENESS OF THE BIBLICAL MESSAGE
Gospel is unique because the gift of eternal life is entirely free
and only has to be received.
- Spiritual Death
The spiritual condition of humanity is hopeless in that humanity
is spiritually dead Ephesians
2:1, we can not save ourselves Eph. 2:8-9,
and God will not allow sin in his presence Psalms 5:4.
- Eternal Life
Man can have eternal life in fellowship with God Himself John 17:3
and this based on the fact that only in the Bible do we have a founder
of a religion who has bodily risen from the dead.
- A Gift
Note the above is an abbreviated version of an article by the same name
written by Dr. Norman Geisler, ©1995, by International Students
Colorado Springs CO.
- THE MIRACULOUS CONFIRMATION OF THE BIBLICAL WITNESSES
- One of the sure ways a true prophet can be distinguished from a
is by miracles (Acts 2:22;
- Moses - Exodus
- Jesus - Acts
2:22; Luke 7:20-22; John 3:2
- other prophets and apostles (Hebrews
2:3-4; 2 Corinthians12:12)
- THE TESTIMONY OF THE TRANSFORMING POWER OF THE BIBLE
A full copy of this information can be downloaded from the
International Students Inc. web
site at http://www.internationalstudents.org/pdffile/knowhow2.pdf