3 Reasons the Bible is Divine Rather than Simply Human in Origin

In today’s world, the Bible is under continual attack, whether it be from the skeptical, secular humanist and academic worldviews or from other religions such as Islam, Mormonism or New Age.  Oddly enough, sometimes the Divine Authorship of the Bible is even questioned inside the church.  Since one of our central claims as Christians is that the Bible is the Word of God, we need to be prepared to defend that assertion.  It is not good enough to just say that the Bible is God’s Word because it says so, unquestioningly assuming it is true because that is written in the text of the Bible.  We have to be able to demonstrate this view as being the most reasonable inference from the evidence.
So, here I will give you 3 reasons that you can trust that the Bible is Divine rather than simply human in origin.

1. Indestructibility of the Bible

From Got Questions website:

“Because of its importance and its claim to be the very Word of God, the Bible has suffered more vicious attacks and attempts to destroy it than any other book in history. From early Roman Emperors like Diocletian, through communist dictators and on to modern-day atheists and agnostics, the Bible has withstood and outlasted all of its attackers and is still today the most widely published book in the world.”

The Christian Courier (Jackson, Wayne. “The Holy Scriptures–Indestructible.” ChristianCourier.com. Access date: January 10, 2016. https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/31-holy-scriptures-indestructible-the) records the following attempts to eradicate the Bible or portions of it:

Antiochus Epiphanes 175-164 B.C.

After the death of Alexander the Great, the Greek empire was divided into four segments (cf. Daniel 8:8), and the Jewish people fell under the control of a remarkably evil ruler whose name was Antiochus Epiphanes. Antiochus, known popularly as “the madman,” launched a bloody persecution against the Hebrew people. One aspect of his vendetta was an attempt to destroy copies of the Jewish Scriptures. An ancient document records this episode:

And [the officials of Antiochus] rent in pieces the books of the law which they found, and set them on fire. And wheresoever was found with any a book of the covenant, and if any consented to the law, the king’s sentence delivered him to death (The Apocrypha, 1 Maccabees 1:56-57).

The historian Josephus comments upon this event:

And if there were any sacred book of the law found, it was destroyed, and those [Jews] with whom they were found miserably perished also (Antiquities of the Jews 12.5.4).

The heathen plan backfired, however, for it was this very persecution that generated more intense examination of the divine writings. Out of this circumstance the genuine books of the Old Testament canon were formally separated from contemporary spurious documents that feigned inspiration (McClintock and Strong 1968, 76).

Diocletian, Roman Emperor from A.D. 284-305

Following the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth from the dead, Christianity was introduced into the Roman world. It spread like wildfire in the stifling environment of ancient paganism. Not many decades passed before Rome came to view the Christian system, with its New Testament Scriptures, as a threat to the security of the empire. And so history repeated itself. A determined effort to eradicate the Bible from antique society was initiated by the Roman ruler, Valerius Diocletian.

Diocletian occupied the imperial throne from A.D. 284-305. In A.D. 303, he inaugurated a series of merciless persecutions upon those who professed the religion of Christ. Hurst notes:

[A]ll assemblies of Christians were forbidden and churches were ordered to be torn down. Four different edicts were issued, each excelling the preceding in intensity. One edict ordered the burning of every copy of the Bible—the first instance in [Christian] history when the Scriptures were made an object of attack (1897, 175).

Julian the Apostate (Roman Emperor from A.D. 361-363)

The year he assumed Roman rule, at the age of thirty, he openly declared his hostility to the Bible (hence he became known as Julian the Apostate). Three centuries of bloodshed (prior to Julian) had not enhanced the cause of heathenism. Persecution had merely accelerated the spread of the Christian cause. Julian thus determined that he, with logical argument, would destroy the influence of the Scriptures… Now, in a period of greater tranquility, Julian would renew the assault. Shortly before his death, he wrote a bitter attack against Christianity, the only remains of which are to be found in a refutation produced by Cyril of Alexandria (ca. A.D. 432). The “Apostate” merely regurgitated the arguments of Celsus and Porphyry in a modified form, expanded somewhat by his larger acquaintance with the Bible (Schaff 1981, 75). While this literary effort was doubtlessly effective with some, a skeptical historian, Edward Gibbon (1737-1794), penned this curious remark: “[T]he Pagans . . .derived, from the popular work of their Imperial missionary [Julian], an inexhaustible supply of fallacious objections”.

Papal Opposition

The Bible has had to survive not only the persecution of its enemies, but has had to weather the opposition of its so-called “friends” as well. Though some historical revisionists attempt to exonerate the Roman Catholic system of efforts to suppress the Holy Scriptures, the plain facts are undeniable. On numerous occasions in centuries past, church authorities had committed the Bible to flames under the guise that the translation was vulgar. The Fourth Rule of the Council of Trent stated that the indiscriminate circulation of the Scriptures in the common vernacular would generate “more harm than good.” Therefore, those reading or possessing the Bible “without . . . permission may not receive absolution from their sins till they have handed [copies of the Scriptures] over to the ordinary” (Schroeder 1950, 274).

Persistent effort was made by the Romanizers to suppress the English Bible. In 1543 an act was passed forbidding absolutely the use of Tyndale’s version, and any reading of the Scriptures in assemblies without royal license (Newman 1902, 262).

Thousands of copies were burned. “Of the estimated 18,000 copies printed between 1525-1528, only two fragments are known to remain” (Thiessen 1949, 84).

Francois Marie Arouer (Voltaire)

In France, Rationalism found a champion in Francois Marie Arouer—popularly known by his pen-name, Voltaire—a deist who produced several volumes brimming with hatred for the Bible. No one in Europe did as much to destroy faith in the Word of God as Voltaire. France rejected the Scriptures, tied a copy of the Bible to the tail of a donkey, and dragged it through the streets to the city dump, where it was ceremoniously burned. But, as Coffman notes, “since that time, the government of France has fallen thirty-five times” (1968, 343-344). Voltaire predicted that within a hundred years of his death (1778) Christianity would be swept from existence and pass into history (Collett n.d., 63), yet two centuries have come and gone, and today, rare is the person who owns a copy of Voltaire’s writings, while almost every home is adorned with a Bible.

Thomas Paine

In America, the battle against the Bible was led by men like Thomas Paine and Robert Ingersoll. Paine (1737-1809) came out of a Quaker background and gained considerable prominence as a result of his writings (e.g., Common Sense) advocating America’s independence from Britain. Eventually he went to France. There he yielded to the influence of French deism, and so composed his infamous tome, The Age of Reason, which was a passionate attack against the Bible. His qualification for such a task may be illustrated by the following admission. In discussing a passage in the book of Job, Paine says: “I recollect not enough of the passages in Job to insert them correctly . . . for I keep no Bible” (n.d., 33). Again: “[When] I began the former part of The Age of Reason, I had, besides, neither Bible nor Testament to refer to, though I was writing against both” (Ibid., 71). So much for scholarship. Paine died a bitter and lonely old man, having lost most of his friends due to his political views and his hostility towards Christianity (Cross 1958, 1005). His trifling little volume is mostly ignored today. In this writer’s city (Stockton, California), of more than a quarter-of-a-million people, the public library’s only copy of The Age of Reason has been checked out sixteen times in the past ten years!

2. Continuity of the Message of the Bible

Despite the geographic, cultural, lingual and historical separation of its human authors, amazingly, the Bible has a unity and continuity of its message throughout.  This is evidence of the Bible’s Divine origin.

From Got Questions web site:

“One of the first internal evidences that the Bible is truly God’s Word is seen in its unity. Even though it is really sixty-six individual books, written on three continents, in three different languages, over a period of approximately 1500 years, by more than 40 authors who came from many walks of life, the Bible remains one unified book from beginning to end without contradiction. This unity is unique from all other books and is evidence of the divine origin of the words which God moved men to record.”

From Answers in Genesis:

“Among all the books ever written, the Bible is absolutely unique. Actually, it is not just a book—it’s 66 books. And one of its most remarkable qualities is the complete unity of the overall message despite having so many different authors writing over many centuries on hundreds of controversial subjects. Natural explanations fail to account for the supernatural character and origin of Scripture… Shepherds, kings, scholars, fishermen, prophets, a military general, a cupbearer, and a priest all penned portions of Scripture. They had different immediate purposes for writing, whether recording history, giving spiritual and moral instruction, or pronouncing judgment. They composed their works from palaces, prisons, the wilderness, and places of exile while writing history, laws, poetry, prophecy, and proverbs. In the process they laid bare their personal emotions, expressing anger, frustration, joy, and love.  Yet despite this marvelous array of topics and goals, the Bible displays a flawless internal consistency. It never contradicts itself or its common theme.”

3. Fulfilled of Prophecy in the Bible

From Answers In Genesis:

“Biblical prophecy is different from all other predictions. With incredible detail, forthright clarity, and impeccable accuracy, the Bible has consistently unveiled the future for centuries. Critics of the Bible, for instance, have squirmed over the prophetic insights of Daniel, the sixth-century BC Jewish prophet in Babylon. With eye-opening precision, Daniel interpreted two sets of dreams, one by a pagan ruler (chapter 2) and the other by the prophet himself (chapter 7), thereby forecasting the entire course of Middle East history over the next five centuries. Daniel describes the exact ebb and flow of four empires from Babylon to Medo-Persia to Greece to Rome. He even foresaw the meteoric rise to power of the Greek conqueror Alexander the Great, as well as the final division of his Greek empire by four of his surviving generals (Daniel 7:6, 8:5–8, 11:2–4).  Desperate to counter the implications of this prophetic phenomenon, nineteenth-century skeptics concocted dating schemes that placed the time of Daniel’s writing after the events. Careful research by modern textual scholars, however, has validated the early origin of this prophecy, establishing Daniel as the authentic author.1 Daniel’s prophecy is a genuine ‘Wow,’ which clearly gives evidence of the Bible’s divine nature.”

From the God and Science website:

 

85 Fulfilled Prophecies of Jesus of Nazareth as Messiah
# Prophetic Scripture Subject Fulfilled
1 Genesis 3:15 seed of a woman Galatians 4:4
2 Genesis 12:3, Genesis 22:18 descendant of Abraham Matthew 1:1, Acts 3:25
3 Genesis 17:19, Genesis 21:12 descendant of Isaac Luke 3:34, Luke 3:23-24
4 Genesis 28:14, Numbers 24:17 descendant of Jacob Matthew 1:2, Luke 3:23-24
5 Genesis 49:10 from the tribe of Judah Luke 3:23-24, Luke 3:33
6 Isaiah 9:6, 11:1-5, Jeremiah 23:5-6 descendant of David Matthew 1:1, Luke 3:23-24
7 Isaiah 11:1 descendant of Jesse Luke 3:23-24
8 Ezekiel 37:24 will shepherd His people Matthew 2:6
9 Isaiah 9:7 heir to the throne of David Luke 1:32-33
10 Micah 5:2 His pre-existence Colossians 1:17
11 Isaiah 9:6, Micah 5:1 eternal existence John 8:58, 11, 14, Ephesians 1:3-14, Colossians 1:15-19
12 Psalm 45:6-7, Psalm 102:25-27 anointed and eternal Hebrews 1:8-12
13 Psalm 110:1 called Lord Matthew 22:43-45
14 Isaiah 33:22 judge John 5:30
15 Psalm 2:6 king Matthew 27:37
16 Micah 5:2 born in Bethlehem Matthew 2:1, Luke 2:4-5, 7
17 Daniel 9:25 time for His birth Matthew 2:1, 16, 19, Luke 2:1-2
18 Isaiah 7:14 to be born of a virgin Matthew 1:18, 24, 25, Luke 1:26-27, 30-31
19 Psalm 72:9 worshipped by shepherds Luke 2:8-15
20 Psalm 72:10 honored by great kings Matthew 2:1-11
21 Jeremiah 31:15 slaughter of children Matthew 2:16-18
22 Hosea 11:1 flight to Egypt Matthew 2:14-15
23 Isaiah 40:3-5 the way prepared Matthew 3:1,2, Luke 3:3-6
24 Malachi 3:1 preceded by a forerunner Luke 7:24, 27
25 Malachi 4:5-6 preceded by Elijah Matthew 11:13-14
26 Psalm 2:7, Proverbs 30:4 declared the Son of God Matthew 3:17, Luke 1:32
27 Isaiah 9:5-6, Jeremiah 23:5-6 God’s name applied to Him Romans 10:9, Philippians 2:9-11
28 Isaiah 11:2, 61:1, Psalm 45:8 anointment of Holy Spirit Matthew 3:16, 17, John 3:34, Acts 10:38
29 Isaiah 9:1-2 Galilean ministry Matthew 4:13-16
30 Psalm 78:2-4 speaks in parables Matthew 13:34-35
31 Isaiah 56:7, Jeremiah 7:11 temple becomes a house of merchandise instead of prayer Matthew 21:13
32 Psalm 69:9 zeal of Jews for the temple instead of God John 2:17
33 Deuteronomy 18:15, 18 a prophet Matthew 21:11, Acts 3:20, 22
34 Isaiah 29:18, Isaiah 35:5-6 blind, deaf, and lame are healed by the Messiah Luke 7:22, Matthew 9:35, 11:3-5
35 Isaiah 40:11, 42:2-3, Isaiah 53:7 Messiah will be meek and mild Matthew 12:18-20, Matthew 11:29, Hebrews 4:15
36 Isaiah 53:9 Be sinless and without guile 1 Peter 2:22
37 Isaiah 42:1, Isaiah 49:1 will minister to Gentiles Matthew 12:18-21Luke 2:32
38 Isaiah 61:1-2 to bind up the brokenhearted Luke 4:18-19
39 Isaiah 53:12, Isaiah 59:16 to intercede for the people Romans 8:34, Hebrews 7:25
40 Isaiah 53:3, 8:14, 28:16, 63:3, Psalms 69:6, 118:22 rejected by His own people, the Jews John 1:11, 7:5,48, Luke 23:18, Acts 4:11, 1 Peter 2:6-8
41 Psalm 118:22 Be rejected by the Jewish leadership Matthew 21:42, John 7:48
42 Psalm 2:1-2 plotted against by Jews and Gentiles alike Acts 4:27
43 Psalm 110:4 priest after the order of Melchizedek Hebrews 5:5-6
44 Zechariah 9:9 enter Jerusalem on donkey Mark 11:7, 9, 11, Luke 19:35-37
45 Haggai 2:7-9, Malachi 3:1 entered the temple with authority Matthew 21:12, Luke 2:27-38
46 Psalm 8:2 adored by infants Matthew 21:15-16
47 Isaiah 53:1 not believed John 12:37-38
48 Zechariah 13:7 sheep of the Shepherd scattered Matthew 26:31, Mark 14:50
49 Psalm 41:9, 55:13-15 betrayed by a close friend Matthew 10:4, Luke 22:47-48
50 Zechariah 11:12 betrayed for thirty pieces of silver Matthew 26:14-15
51 Zechariah 11:13 betrayal money used to buy Potter’s field Matthew 27:6-7
52 Psalm 35:11 accused by false witnesses Mark 14:57-58
53 Isaiah 53:7 silent to accusations Matthew 27:12, Mark 15:4-5
54 Isaiah 50:6 spat on Matthew 26:67, 27:30
55 Isaiah 50:6 beaten Matthew 26:67, 27:26, 30
56 Micah 4:14 struck on cheek Matthew 27:30
57 Isaiah 49:7, Psalm 35:19, Psalm 69:4 hated without reason John 7:48, 15:24-25
58 Isaiah 53:5 wounded and bruised Matthew 27:26
59 Isaiah 53:5 vicarious sacrifice John 1:29, , 3:16, Romans 5:6, 8
60 Daniel 9:24-26 cut off, but not for Himself Matthew 2:1, Luke 3:1, 23
61 Isaiah 53:12 crucified with malefactors Matthew 27:38, Mark 15:27-28
62 Zechariah 12:10, Psalm 22:16 pierced through hands and feet Luke 23:33, John 20:25-27
63 Psalm 22:7-8 sneered and mocked Matthew 27:31, Luke 23:35
64 Psalm 109:24, 25 fell under the cross Luke 23:26
65 Psalm 69:9 was reproached Romans 15:3
66 Psalm 38:11 friends stood afar off Luke 23:49
67 Psalm 109:25 people shook their heads Matthew 27:39
68 Psalm 22:17 stared upon Luke 23:35
69 Psalm 22:16, 69:21 given vinegar for His thirst Matthew 27:34, John 19:28-29
70 Psalm 109:4, Isaiah 53:12 prayer for His enemies Luke 23:34
71 Psalm 22:17-18 soldiers gambled for His clothing Matthew 27:35-36, John 19:23, 24
72 Psalm 22:1 forsaken by God Matthew 27:46
73 Psalm 31:5 committed Himself to God Luke 23:46
74 Exodus 12:46, Psalm 34:20 no bones broken John 19:32, 33, 36
75 Psalm 22:14 heart broken John 19:34
76 Zechariah 12:10 His side pierced John 19:34
77 Amos 8:9 darkness over the land Matthew 27:45
78 Isaiah 53:9 buried with the rich Matthew 27:57-60
79 Psalm 3:5, 16:10, 49:15 to be resurrected Mark 16:6-7, Acts 2:31
80 Isaiah 44:3, Joel 2:28 sent the Holy Spirit John 20:22, Acts 2:16-17
81 Isaiah 55:3-4, Jeremiah 31:31 establishes a new covenant Matthew 26:28, Luke 22:20, Hebrews 8:6-10
82 Psalm 68:18, Psalm 110:1 His ascension to God’s right hand Mark 16:19, Acts 1:9, 1 Corinthians 15:4, Ephesians 4:8, Hebrews 1:3
83 Psalm 29:11, Micah 4:3 peace proclaimed by disciples Luke 2:14, John 14:27, Acts 10:36
84 Isaiah 60:3 “Light” to Gentiles Acts 13:47,48
85 Isaiah 11:10, 42:1, 49:1-12 the Gentiles will seek the Messiah Romans 11:25, 15:10

Although some of these prophecies are vague and could have been deliberately fulfilled, many are very specific:

  1. Place of birth (Micah 5:2).
  2. Date of birth (Daniel 9:25).
  3. Manner of birth (Isaiah 7:14).
  4. Manner of death (Zechariah 12:10; Psalm 22:16 prophesied before the invention of crucifixion).
  5. Piercing in side (Zechariah 12:10).
  6. Burial (Isaiah 53:9).

There are additional reasons why one could infer divine involvement in the creation and preservation of the Bible, but this sampling of 3 reason ought to give us enough data to believe that to be true beyond a reasonable doubt!

 

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