HOW CAN WE KNOW THE BIBLE IS THE WORD OF GOD?
Index
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 believe the Bible is a verbal revelation from God that makes it unique from every other book. But how can such a claim be verified?

First, we would expect certain things to be true about a book from God. Such characteristics might also be true about humanly-authored books, but we would expect that, at the very least, they would be true about God's book. Such characteristics would include the following:

  1. It would claim to be God's Word.
  2. It would be historically accurate when it speaks on historical matters.
  3. The authors would have to be trustworthy.
  4. The book would be thematically unified and without contradictions.
  5. We would have received accurate copies of the original manuscripts.
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 counterfeited. These characteristics would include the following:
  1. It would make statements that would reveal knowledge about the way things work beyond the knowledge of its day.
  2. It would make predictions about the future that could not be known through natural means.
  3. The message would be unique.
  4. The messengers would be confirmed by miracles.
  5. The words would have a transforming power.


CHARACTERISTICS THAT MUST BE TRUE OF GOD'S WORD,
BUT COULD ALSO BE TRUE OF A HUMAN BOOK

1. THE BIBLE CLAIMS TO BE GOD'S WORD

  1. The Authors Claimed To Speak God's Words
  1. The Bible Claims to be "Breathed Out" by God
  1. The New Testament Was Seen As Being Revealed Scripture As Well
  1. What The Bible Says, God Says, and Vice Versa
  1. The Biblical Writers Claim "Thus Said The Lord"
  1. The Bible Claims To Have Divine Authority In All Its Parts
  1. Christ Testified That The Bible Is From God
  1. THE BIBLE IS HISTORICALLY ACCURATE

  2. 1 Corinthians 15:17 - If the Bible is not accurate historically our faith is useless.

    Archaeological Evidence

    Noted archaeologist, Nelson Glueck, states,

    "It may be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a Biblical reference. Scores of archaeological findings have been made which confirm in clear outline or exact detail historical statements in the Bible." ("Rivers in the Desert: A History of the Negev", p. 31 by Nelson Glueck, New York: Farrar, Strauss & Cudahy, 1959).
     

  3. THE TRUSTWORTHINESS OF THE BIBLICAL AUTHORS
Evidence for the authors integrity.
  1. THE TESTIMONY OF THE AMAZING UNITY OF THE BIBLE
The Bible is amazing in its unity amid vast diversity.

Its diversity

Its Unity
  1. THE DOCUMENTS WE POSSESS ARE ACCURATE COPIES OF THE ORIGINALS


CHARACTERISTICS THAT COULD BE TRUE ONLY OF GOD'S WORD

  1. SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE BEFORE ITS TIME
    1. The Body

    2. In the 1840's, Dr. Semmelweis started the practice of washing his hands after doing autopsies and thus reduced mortality rates of patience he and others treated. God set down cleanliness laws through Moses ~ 3,500 years earlier than this recent discovery. (cf. Numbers 19:17,19)
       

    3. The Earth
The following are physical phenomena mentioned in the Bible that not only went against the wisdom of the surrounding cultures at the time but that also predate the earliest scientific discoveries of such phenomena by usually 2,000-3,000 years:
    1. The Heavens
The Biblical writers when talking about the heavens amazingly did not make the errors that were common beliefs in the surrounding cultures of their day.
  1. THE SUPERNATURAL PREDICTIONS OF THE BIBLICAL PROPHETS
    1. Memphis and Thebes

    2. Ezekiel in  the 6th century B.C. (Ezekiel 30:13-15) make accurate predictions about Memphis and Thebes' destruction hundreds of years before they were destroyed.
       

    3. The coming of Christ
  1. THE UNIQUENESS OF THE BIBLICAL MESSAGE
    1. Spiritual Death

    2. 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.
       

    3. Eternal Life

    4. 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.
       

    5. A Gift
Gospel is unique because the gift of eternal life is entirely free and only has to be received.
  1. THE MIRACULOUS CONFIRMATION OF THE BIBLICAL WITNESSES

  2.  
    1. One of the sure ways a true prophet can be distinguished from a false one is by miracles (Acts 2:22; Hebrews 2:3-4)
    2. Moses - Exodus 4:1-5
    3. Jesus - Acts 2:22; Luke 7:20-22; John 3:2
    4. other prophets and apostles (Hebrews 2:3-4; 2 Corinthians12:12)

     

  3. THE TESTIMONY OF THE TRANSFORMING POWER OF THE BIBLE
Hebrews 4:12 Note the above is an abbreviated version of an article by the same name written by Dr. Norman Geisler, ©1995, by International Students Inc. Colorado Springs CO.

A full copy of this information can be downloaded from the International Students Inc. web site at http://www.internationalstudents.org/pdffile/knowhow2.pdf

This free informational brochure is available as a downloadable pdf document (requires Adobe Acrobat - free download of Adobe Acrobat )

Bible Index