Is the Bible Inspired?
Asked another way: “Why should I believe the Bible?” When we find ourselves in a conversation with a person who makes no claim to know or even believe in God, we want to share the marvelous Good News of the Gospel. But something inevitably gets in the way – you begin to share the words of John 3:16, and they stop you and say “The Bible is insignificant, just an interesting work of literature – those words have no impact in my thinking at all.”
What do you know about the Bible?
- Inspired – God’s moved holy men by His Holy Spirit to write, 2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:21
- The nature of this inspiration infers that God permeated every word of the Bible with His own mind, soul, life – this compares to God creating man and breathing into him the breath of life (Gen. 2:7), that is spiritual life and understanding, in God’s image – also see Job 32:8; Prov. 20:27; Psa. 33:6
- The extent and depth of inspiration – what is its impact, how far does it reach?
- The facts – 40 authors with a broad variety of backgrounds, over 1600 years (from Moses to John), many cultures, geographies, political systems, religious traditions. The Bible was the first book to be printed (Gutenberg) and is still being printed more than any other book (>40 million/year). It has been translated into the majority of the world’s languages, and countless thousands of books written about it
- The statements – “God said”, Gen. 1:3; Exo. 3:14; “Thus says the Lord”, (Moses to Pharoah); God spoke through the prophets – the expressions of God’s mind & heart, His faithfulness, promises, compassion, etc. – I will redeem, starting in Gen.3, followed by many statements and narratives of progress towards the Savior and Salvation – I will complete, promises and descriptions of what transpire in the “end times”, the “Day of the Lord”, and Eternity.
What is Revelation?
- Unveiling the Mind of God –
- Secret things – Deut. 29:29, the secret things of God’s mind, His mind encompasses everything that can be known, revelation of His omniscience
- God chooses what to reveal to us – Isa. 65:1, He determines what we need to know or are capable of handling, the expression of His benevolence
- The mystery of the Church – Eph. 1:7-14, a good example of vast amounts of truth that He already knew but chose to withhold until later in man’s history
- General Revelation
- Rom. 1:19-20 – God’s witness to Himself through “natural” creation, science, man’s conscience, witnessed by every human who ever lived by observing a sunset, the mountains, a galaxy a million light years away, or the complex information of a DNA molecule
- 1:21, Unredeemed man is responsible to bow and worship the God of creation
- Psa. 19:1-6; Job 38
- Special Revelation
- What God has revealed about Himself by unique revelation, His witness through salvation history – cp. Psa.19:7-14 with vv1-6
- Abraham & Isaac, Gen. 22; Passover and Atonement, Exo. 12; Heb.1
- Progressive Revelation
- God has clarified and expanded His relationship with man , as history has developed through a sequence of dispensations in man’s history as He progressively reveals His provisions for establishing relationship with Him
- Dispensations – through history, different periods are observed in theBible related to moral responsibilities based on what God has revealed about Himself
- Completed Revelation
- God’s work of revelation is now closed, no further revelation will occur,after the completion of the New Testament
- Our understanding of the doctrine of the Bible requires that no new revelation be agreed to
So much more!
The Bible is God’s wisdom – the very mind of God! We have only made some introductory observations about this marvelous treasure. There is so much more you need to know – for example …
- How many books are there in the Bible? How many in the Old & New Testament? Can you name them – in order??
- Even better, can you name each book and give a basic summary of what the book is about and give two or three main verses or events in the book?
- What different types of literature are included in the Bible? Which books go with each type?