Summary: How can I know the Bible is a reliable record of God’s revelation of Himself to us?
"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."
There are many people who will say that the Bible is merely a collection of myths and legends. There are even some who will say that it is made up completely of lies. And then there are those of us who believe that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are true and trustworthy because they are the very words of God.
Mark Twain once said, "(The Bible) has noble poetry in it; and some clever fables; and some blood-drenched history; and some good morals; and a wealth of obscenity; and upwards of a thousand lies." On the other hand, Woodrow Wilson once said, "When you have read the Bible, you will know it is the Word of God."
What would persuade Woodrow Wilson to come to a different conclusion about the Bible than Mark Twain? For that matter, why should anybody believe what Christians believe about the Bible at all? How do I know the Bible is true? Paul offers three reasons for concluding that the Bible is absolute truth without any mixture of error. Consider...
1. The Divine Nature Of It - v. 16a
The Bible has the stamp of God upon it. Consider...
A. Its Inspiration -
Paul says that Scripture is "God breathed," that is, it finds its source and origin in God. Just as I breathe out the words that I speak, the words of the Bible are the very words of God Himself.
This having been said, we need to make it clear that the Bible didn’t just fall from heaven. Rather, the Lord moved upon men to write, communicate and transcribe His Word. This very fact, ironically, offers the greatest evidence that the Bible is truly inspired by God Himself.
You see the Bible is not one book. The Bible is a compilation of 66 different books written by 40 different authors from 3 different continents in 3 different languages and written over a period of 1500 years. The 66 books of the Bible, 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament, contain different literary forms or genres, such as historical writings, poetic writings, prophetic writings, gospel biographical writings and the letters. Yet, within each of the 66 books, we read an incredible unity of themes from Genesis through Revelation, progressively revealing God’s plan to restore His creation.
One area that points powerfully to the divine inspiration of the Bible is the area of prophecy. The prophecies of the Bible are precise. Many times they’re given hundreds, even thousands of years in advance of the event.
Of course, the ultimate example of fulfilled prophecy has to do with Jesus.
Let’s go over these prophecies together now.
1. The Messiah would be born in Bethlehem.
The Old Testament (Micah 5:2) says:
"But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times."
The New Testament (Matthew 2:1) says:
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod...
2. The Messiah would come from the tribe of Judah.
The Old Testament (Genesis 49:10) says:
This passage talks about a ruler coming from the Tribe of Judah, one whose rule will be all-powerful:
"The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is his."
Here you’ll find a list of Jesus’ ancestors, going back to Judah, who was one of the 12 sons of Jacob. (Jacob’s 12 sons were the fathers of the 12 Tribes of Israel).
3. The Messiah would enter Jerusalem on a colt.
The Old Testament (Zechariah 9:9) says:
Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
The New Testament (Luke 19:35-37) says:
They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road. When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen.
4. The Messiah would be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver.
The Old Testament (Zechariah 11:12) says:
I told them, "If you think it best, give me my pay; but if not, keep it." So they paid me thirty pieces of silver.