Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Authenticity of the Bible

The Bible

The reliability of every document depends on two factors:

1. The Author of the document

2. Whether or not the document can be subjected to proof of its dependability. In this we need to verify the accuracy of the document in contemporary history and its accuracy in content.

We wish to subject the Bible to verification of its authorship and its content. Next week, we shall verify its historic accuracy.

The Holy Spirit is the Author of the Bible

In a single word we can say that the Holy Spirit is the Author of the Bible – the Word of God. He has chosen three basic methods in the preparation and reception of His divine manuscript, the Bible. These “steps of the Holy Spirit” are:

Revelation: The process whereby the Holy Spirit spoke to the forty human writers of the Bible the message He wanted to transmit: - From the Holy Spirit to Prophet

Inspiration: That process whereby the Holy Spirit guided the very pen of those forty writers so that the Spoken Message would be accurately written – From Prophet to Paper

Read More: Bibliography for and on-line articles about inspiration

Illumination: That process whereby the Holy Spirit takes the written Word when it is preached and read and enlightens those human ears who will hear it – From paper to the human heart. 

David claimed that the Holy Spirit of the Lord spoke by him, and His word was in his (David’s) tongue – Second Samuel 23:2: “The Spirit of the LORD spoke by me, and His word was on my tongue."

Isaiah made a similar claim in Isaiah 59:21: “As for Me,” says the LORD, “this is My covenant with them: My Spirit who is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your descendants, nor from the mouth of your descendants’ descendants,” says the LORD, “from this time and forevermore.”

Jeremiah wrote in a similar vein in Jeremiah 1:9: “Then the LORD put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the LORD said to me: Behold, I have put My words in your mouth”

Jesus Christ himself said in Matthew 5:18: “For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled”.  See also John 10:35: “If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken)”

Peter himself said in Second Peter 1:21: “for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” See also Second Peter 3:14-16: “Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation — as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures”.

Paul asserted – “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (Second Timothy 3:15-17) See also First Corinthians 14:37; 2:13; First Thessalonians 4:15)

John the apostle also wrote: “He, who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.”’  (Revelation 2:7) See also Revelation 1:10-11: “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, saying,  “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”  

From all these we find an assertion which spans the entire length and breadth of the Bible, involving forty writers all of whom claim that they were inspired by the Holy Spirit ; hence you see such words as “Thus says the Lord...”. All forty are either correct or all are making false claims. For their writing to be authentic we need to answer these questions: Who is the Holy Spirit? Is He in a position to make reliable statements?

Who is the Holy Spirit and is He a reliable Author?

The Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Holy Trinity. He is as much a Person as the Father and the Son are Persons. He has all the attributes of the Godhead. He is Omniscient – knowing all things; Omnipotent – having all power and Omnipresent – being at all places at the same time. He was at the beginning with the Father and the Son.

In the New Testament alone there are two hundred and sixty-one passages which refer to the Holy Spirit. He is mentioned fifty-six times in the Gospels; fifty-seven times in the Book of Acts of the Apostles; One hundred and twelve times in the Pauline Epistles and thirty-six times in the remaining New Testament.

He is:

  • Omnipresent - Psalm 139:7;
  • Omniscient - First Corinthians 2:10-11;
  • Omnipotent – Genesis 1:2, 12;
  • Eternal – Hebrews 9:14;
  • also called God – Acts 5:3-4.
  • equal with the Father and the Son – Matthew 28:19-20.
If, like we have seen, the Holy Spirit is God, knows all things, and can do all things, can His statement be reliable? I guess it must be!

A greater proof of the authenticity of the Bible lies in its content. 

The Bible covers the whole range of literature including History, Poetry, Drama, Prophecy, Science, Philosophy, and Inspirational readings. Of all these, three or four can be subjected to critical survey and proof. The historicity of the Bible is covered in Archaeology and the Bible

Its greatest challenge is in the prophecy. The Bible contains more prophecy than any other issue.  Take a look on the prophecy on man and his ambition in the Garden of Eden. The Bible contains some prophecies, which taken at its context would seem impossible to be fulfilled; yet they all came true. Think of the prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem; in AD 70 it came true.

But most outstanding are the prophecies about the Messiah. There were forty-four prophecies about Christ in the Old Testament recorded in fifty-six verses. They were all fulfilled without exception. Christ Himself made forty-six prophecies all but seven are yet to be fulfilled. They are prophecies concerning His Second Return and the White Throne Judgment. They too would be fulfilled

One person has said – “Bad people did not write the Bible for it condemns them. It was not written by good people for they will not be good by saying it was God, when God did not. It must therefore have been written by God – the true Author.”

My conclusion is that the Bible is indeed authentic, what of yours?

God bless you all.

You might want to check out:
1. The Reliability of the Bible -
2. Are the Biblical Documents reliable?
3. Is the Bible really the Word of God?

(updated June 19, 2014) - Found an interesting video on the reliability of the Bible. Food for thought

1 comment:

  1. I do not think; I know the Bible is authentic. Thanks for sharing.