How do I know the Bible is the Word of God?
This is an important consideration. We know for a fact that the prophets of the Old Testament prophesied about Jesus Christ centuries before He was born. The Bible records these. We know that more than three hundred prophecies or predictions about the life and death of Jesus were fulfilled while Jesus lived on earth. These facts demonstrate that the Bible is no ordinary book; that the people who wrote it were inspired (moved by God’s Spirit) to write down God’s words. No book other than the Bible has had so many of its prophecies fulfilled in history, especially those about Jesus Christ. (See Lesson 5, The Promises and Prophecies about the Messiah).
The Bible also tells us of other future events that will take place (e.g. Revelation 20-22). If we know that the Bible is trustworthy and that many prophecies in it have been exactly fulfilled, then we can trust what it says about the future of the world, about eternity, salvation and how to receive eternal life. The Bible is God’s Book about reality, and how to discern truth from error. It gives instruction about righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16); how to discern acceptable and good behavior from unacceptable and bad behavior. The Bible is the compilation of the trustworthy (infallible) words of God. Do other books record the fulfillment of prophecies as the Bible does (e.g. the Koran or the Bhagavad Gita)? These books contain no prophecies that have come to fulfillment. If books contradict the clear message of the Bible, then we know they are false.
There are absolutes in the Universe. Truth cannot change from day to day or from century to century and remain the truth. In Isaiah 46:9 it is written, ‘For I am God, and there is no other, I am God, and there is none like Me.’ If truth changes from context to context then we cannot know anything for sure. God is the standard of truth because He is the truth (John 14:6). God cannot sin, be unholy or lie (Hebrews 6:18; Titus 1:2) as humans can. He forever remains holy and good and just. He is unchangeable in all His divine attributes (James 1:17). Anything contrary to His nature falls into the category of falsehood and moral corruptness. If we ever found another book that truthfully recorded so many fulfilled prophecies (more than 2000) we would have a contender with the Bible in terms of containing God’s words. The fact of the matter is that there is not another book in the world like the Bible! It is in a class all of its own!
Only God knows the future (Isaiah 46:10) and only He can tell us about it. The Bible records that hundreds of times God has been correct in predicting future events that later came to pass to the letter (e.g. the crucifixion and atoning sacrifice of the Messiah in Isaiah 53:3-12; the 7 years of abundance and 7 years of famine in Egypt in Genesis 41-47; the rise and fall of kingdoms in the Middle East in Daniel 2:27-45; the destruction of the livestock and life in Egypt and the Exodus of the Israelites in Exodus 3-14), so we can trust the Bible to tell us about our own future and the future of the world. Even more importantly; what makes the words of the Bible the true words of God and different from other books is the fact that people still testify that the same Jesus who healed and exorcised demons and did many miracles many centuries ago, saving, forgiving, cleansing and healing people from drug and sin addictions, is still doing it today! The transformation of wicked, evil people all around the world, into good, loving and holy people (1 Corinthians 6:9-11), testifies to the fact that the Jesus of the Bible was and is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:5) and is still working miracles among us – salvation is the greatest miracle of all!
The corresponding unity and the internal consistency between the Old and New Testament also demonstrate that the Bible is no ordinary book. Although many of the authors did not live in the same decade, century or even millennium there is a corresponding unity in the Scriptures. The prophecies about the life, death, resurrection and glorification of Jesus Christ given in the Old Testament and fulfilled in the New Testament, and the meticulous way God planned and worked out His redemptive plan for the human race, demonstates that a Mastermind, an extremely Intelligent being, was at work behind the scenes and working within the authors who penned Scripture. The literary integrity of the different books in the Bible also demonstrates that God wanted us to know that the Scriptures are of divine origin. Heroes of the faith like Abraham, Jacob, Judah, Moses, Aaron, Samson, David, Peter and Paul are presented as they really were. We see them with their faults and sins. They are not presented as, ‘holier than thou’ people, but we see them making mistakes, sinning and being judged for their sins. We also see how God used them despite their many sins.
There is also much archeological evidence supporting many of the historic events recorded in the Bible. Investigations have discovered the location of the place where the Red Sea was crossed, the location of Mount Sinai, the location of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah which were destroyed, the location of the site on which the Temple was built, the remains of the walls of Jericho which fell and the sites of many other Biblically recorded events. These events really occurred at places that really existed.
There are many scientific facts in the Bible. Science in Biblical times believed that the earth sat on a large animal or was established on pillars, but the book of Job correctly states that the earth hangs upon nothing (Job 26:7). Science in Biblical times proposed that wind blows in straight lines. The Bible states that wind blows in circles according to Ecclesiates 1:6. There are many such scientific facts in the Bible. The authors of the Bible books didn’t know these things when they wrote them, but the Spirit of the Lord moved and inspired them to write down these revelations (1 Peter 1:20, 21; 2 Timothy 3:16).
Question to consider: Have you come to the Jesus of the Bible, willing for Him to do the miracle of giving you a new heart and transforming your life into a life of godliness, holiness and love?
Read: Revelation 20-22; 2 Timothy 3:16; Isaiah 46:9; John 14:6; Hebrews 6:18; Titus 1:2; James 1:17; Isaiah 46:10; Isaiah 53:3-12; Gen 41-47; Daniel 2:27-45; Exodus 3-14; 1 Cor 6:9-11; Heb 13:5; Job 26:7; Ecclesiastes 1:6.