Summary: Reasons why the Bible is the Word of God
A new minister was asked to teach a boys' Sunday School class when the regular teacher was absent. He decided to see what they knew about the Bible, so he asked them who knocked down the walls of Jericho. The boys immediately began denying that they did it, and the preacher was appalled at their lack of knowledge of the Bible.
At the next deacons' meeting, he told about the experience. "Not one of them knows who knocked down the walls of Jericho," he complained. The deacons were silent until finally one old veteran spoke up. "Preacher, this appears to be bothering you a lot. But I've known all those boys since they were born and they're good boys. If they said they didn't know, I believe them. Let's just take some money out of the buildings and grounds fund, fix the walls, and let it go at that."
They didn’t know the Bible very well, did they?
How well do we know the Bible?
A recent survey demonstrated that many Americans have a woeful knowledge of the Bible.
• Among Christians in the survey, 22% thought there actually is a Book of Thomas in the Bible, and 13% said they did not know whether Thomas is a book of the Bible or not.
• 61% knew that Jonah is a book of the Bible, while 27% said it is not, and 12% had no idea.
Why is there so much ignorance about the Bible? Obviously, it’s because they don’t read the Bible.
The survey found that only 18% of all Christians said they read the Word every day, while another 18% read the Bible between three and six days a week, 37% read it once or twice a week, and 23% said they do not read the Bible at all.
Could it be that the reason that we don't read the Bible more, is that we're not really convinced that the Bible is the Word of God? It seems like the whole world is asking the question that Pontius Pilate asked Jesus in John 18:38. Pilates' question was "What is truth?”
In another survey, people were asked, "Do you agree or disagree strongly with the following statement: “There is no such thing as absolute truth; different people can define truth in conflicting ways and still be correct." Only 28% of the respondents expressed strong belief in "absolute truth," and more surprisingly, only 23% of born-again Christians believed in absolute truth.
If there is no absolute truth, then by definition, nothing can be said to be absolutely true. That’s a problem. But the problem isn't just with lay people.
A poll was conducted by sociologist Jeffery Hadden of 10,000 pastors in the United States. When they were asked if they believed that the Scriptures are the inspired and inerrant Word of God in faith, history, and secular matters:
95% of Episcopalians said "No."
87% of Methodists said "No."
82% of Presbyterians said "No."
77% of Lutherans said "No."
67% of Baptists said "No."
If the pastors of our churches don't believe in the absolute truth of God's word, then why should we expect the members of their churches to be any different?
Is the Bible the Word of God? Is the Bible true? Is the Bible reliable?
Is the Bible any different from any other book?
Claims of the Bible
So what does the Bible claim for itself? According to the Bible itself, it claims to be no less than the inspired word of God.
"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NKJV)
What does it mean that Scripture is given by "inspiration" of God? The Greek word translated ”inspiration," in 2 Timothy 3:16, literally means "God-breathed." It refers not to the writers, but to what is written. God used men to write the words but the words are God's.
2 Peter 1:20-21 tells us, "knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” (NKJV)
You see, the Bible says that it didn't come from the will of man but by holy men of God as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the Bible itself, claims that it originates from God, not man. The Bible came from God through the men who wrote it.
So the Bible claims to be the revelation of God to mankind. Through the Bible, God reveals Himself, His plan, and His grace and mercy for all mankind.
But if we’re witnessing to non-believers and quoting Scripture, many times they reject what we say because they don’t believe the Bible. So, how can we know that the Bible is what it claims to be? Let's take a look at some of the characteristics of the Bible.