In part one of this series I started out by saying that I know the Bible is from God because I believe in God. In that article we discussed the rational and logical belief that God is real, and, if God is real it is only rational and logical to believe that He would want to communicate with His creation.
I also know the Bible is from God because the Bible claims to be from God. It would be silly to try and prove that a book is from God if that book never even claims to be from God.
The Bible does indeed makes such a claim. Again, I understand that there have been many, many books over the years that all claimed to be from God.
As we continue this discussion in future articles I will show why only the Bible’s claim to divine authorship proves to be true under the most critical of honest examinations. As for this article, we’ll look at the implications of the Bible’s more than 3,000 claims of divine authorship.
There are several terms used in the Bible’s claim of divine authorship. For example, the phrase, “Word of God” (or Lord), is used 335 times in the Bible. It is not the word of man, it is the word of God!
God told the prophet Jeremiah, “I have put My words in your mouth” (Jer. 1:8). When Moses prophesied of the coming Messiah (Christ), he said that He would be a prophet like Moses (i.e. a law giver) and that God would put His words into that Prophet’s mouth (Deut. 18:18).
Peter said that no biblical prophet was the original source for what he spoke, everything they spoke came from God via the Holy Spirit (2 Pet. 1:20-21).
This biblical claim of divine authorship is referred to as “the doctrine of biblical inspiration.” There is another biblical doctrine connected to the doctrine of inspiration called “the all-sufficiency of the word,” meaning all we need in order to have a successful spiritual life and go to heaven is found in the word of God (2 Pet. 1:3).
The doctrine of biblical inspiration refers to the fact that none of the Bible came from any other source than God Himself.
Paul teaches the doctrine of biblical inspiration most explicitly in 2 Timothy 3:16-17. In that passage, the phrase “inspired of God” comes from a single word that most literally means, “breathed out by God.”
Paul says that “all Scripture” is “breathed out by God.” Again, none of the inspired writers were writing anything that was from their own understanding. They were all writing as they were “moved” by the Holy Spirit as He “breathed” the word of God into their hearts.
But we shouldn’t understand that to mean that God just gave the biblical writers the ideas that He wanted them to write and then left it up to them to put it in their own words. It wasn’t their words, it was – and is – God’s word!
Paul makes this clear when he says, in 1 Corinthians 2:13, “These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” That is, the words Paul and the other inspired writers were using were not their own words. They were the words given to them by the Holy Spirit.
It is not just the ideas of the Bible that are “breathed out by God.” It is the very words that were used.
This is just a very small example of the biblical claims to divine authorship. Peter said the Holy Spirit spoke by the mouth of David in foretelling Judas’ betrayal of Christ (Acts 1:16).
In referring to an Old Testament quotation originally written by David (Ps. 95:7; Heb. 4:7), the Hebrews writer said it was the Holy Spirit who spoke those words (Heb. 3:7, “as the Holy Spirit says”). We could fill this entire paper with such claims of divine authorship for the Bible.
I know the Bible is from God because it claims to be from God. Of course, with such claims of divine authorship, one would expect to find “divine fingerprints” in the text of the Bible.
Lord willing, we’ll look to see if we can find any such evidence of God’s hand in the Bible as we continue this discussion of how I know the Bible is from God next week.
Norm Fields is the minister for the Church of Christ Northside meeting at 1101 Hogansville Road in LaGrange. He may be reached at 706-812-9950 or BibleQnA@NormFields.com.