It comes down to one word. If that word is true, then the Bible ought to matter more than all else in life. Paul wrote, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:16). The word “inspiration” translates θεοπνευστος (THEOPNEUSTOS), a Greek word occurring only once in the New Testament. Its meaning, literally, is “God-breathed.” Such is the claim the Bible makes for itself—that its origin traces to God, who is responsible for the words of Scripture (1 Corinthians 2:13). Or, as Peter put it, the Holy Spirit “moved” Bible writers to take pen in hand and write down divine prophecies (2 Peter 1:21). There are so many evidences of the Bible’s inspiration that an article can scarcely begin to touch on the subject. For example:
The Bible’s remarkable unity defies explanation on the basis of mere human effort. How could approximately 40 men from different continents, from different educational backgrounds, with occupations as diverse as medical doctor, king, shepherd and fisherman, over a span of roughly sixteen centuries compose a series of books that, then put together, flawlessly extol the glory of God and the salvation of man through Jesus Christ, which is the Bible’s theme? The unmistakable common thread running from Genesis through Revelation testifies to the veracity of the writers’ claim that the Holy Spirit guided their pens.
The Bible is historically accurate. Critics have said that Moses could not have written the Pentateuch because writing did not even exist in his day. But the Code of Hammurabi, found c. 1902 in modern Iran, disproved that false assumption. Critics questioned the Bible’s prominently mentioning the Hittites (over 40 times), when archaeologists could find no evidence that such a people even existed. Finally, c. 1906, the Hittite capital city was discovered in modern Turkey, proving, once again, that the Bible was right all along. The archaeologist’s spade has yet to unearth a single find that disproves any biblical statement—in fact, quite the opposite is true. And the Bible will continue to be right, whether or not any given event is corroborated during our lifetime by archaeology. The problem is, many times they are digging in the wrong place!
Then there is the scientific foreknowledge pointing indubitably to a divine Author. How did Isaiah, writing c. 683 B.C., know the earth was round (Isaiah 40:22)? A lucky guess? How did Noah, who had never experienced a flood or built an ark, manage to come up with the perfect dimensional ratio (length to width to height) for seaworthiness—a ratio that was even being used to make WWII cargo ships in the twentieth century? Beginner’s luck? The First Law of Thermodynamics, which says that now neither matter nor energy is being created nor destroyed, is corroborated by Genesis 2:1. The Second Law of Thermodynamics, which says that all processes are in a state of increasing entropy (disorder, randomness, deterioration), is corroborated by Hebrews 1:10-12, “You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of your hands; they will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment, like a robe you will roll them up, like a garment they will be changed. But you are the same, and our years will have no end” (ESV).
And what of the credibility of the writers? Men who penned the New Testament believed so strongly in the cause about which they wrote that they were happy to die for it. Men do not willingly die for what they know is a joke. Are we to believe they conspired to foist onto humanity a skillfully contrived myth, and that they then were willing to be executed in its defense? Such a thought stretches the bounds of credulity.
But there is no greater proof of the Bible’s inspiration than predictive prophecy. If you were to take from the major world religions all the books that make a claim to be from God, you would have but a handful, including the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Koran, and parts of the Hindu Veda. If, from that short list, you were to take all the books that contain predictive prophecy, you would be left with only one—the Bible. Biblical prophecies are explicit and involve vast amounts of elapsed time, placing them far outside the realm of human guesswork. There are over 300 Old Testament prophecies about Jesus, and every one of them passed through at least 400 years between the prophecy’s being made and its being fulfilled. And they were specific, telling of Christ’s divine nature, lineage, virgin conception, birthplace, suffering, betrayal for thirty pieces of silver, being counted with criminals, having his hands and feet pierced, having no bone broken, being buried with the rich, and being raised from the dead. That Jesus fulfilled to the letter over 300 prophecies is well beyond an accident of history and constitutes conclusive proof of his claim to be the Son of God—and the Bible’s claim to be “God-breathed.”
To paraphrase an argument offered many years ago by Charles Wesley, uninspired good men could not have written the Bible. Why? Because Bible writers claim their words are from God and if they were not inspired, then the writers were callous liars, in which case they were not good men. On the other hand, uninspired evil men would not have written the Bible. Why? Because it condemns evil on practically every page, banishing evil men eventually to eternal hell. Evil men would not have written material which condemned them and upheld everything they were opposed to.