Summary: No matter how or from what angle we look at this incredible Book, it is Divine in Its origin!
External proof of the truth of Scripture.
We have alluded to the internal testimony, the authority of the Holy Spirit showing us Jesus through the written Word working on the inner man. But there is an external set of “proofs” for the Bible also. Never did one speak like Jesus, said the Temple guards sent to arrest Him. And never has there been a Book like the set of 66 portions of Holy Scripture that we call the Holy Bible.
I follow Boice’s Foundations of the Christian Faith for an outlining of these facts. He lists ten such evidences, some of which we have covered already:
1. The Bible claims to be the Word of God.
2. Jesus believed the Bible of His day, and the writings to come, were of Godly origin.
3. The Bible is doctrinally and morally/ethically superior to all other books. Some might say this is a subjective statement, but few who have read its pages in depth could deny that the message of the Bible is so very much better. Unbelievers have used its maxims and quotes for all these centuries. Some have even tried to model their lives after the righteous patterns set forth in the Book, although denying the Way to do that, through a born-again experience triggered by faith in Jesus Christ. There is certainly not a more well -known and hugely- published book anywhere. Hands down best-seller of all the ages is still the Bible.
4. The Bible could only have come from God . Unholy men feel threatened. By this we know unholy men could not have produced it. The Book is against sin, and no sinner would have created such a book. The book says 3800 times, “Thus says the Lord.” Could any man have lied so many times in one book?
5. The writers of the Bible. Could they have said over and over that the Book is from God, knowing it was really only from themselves?
6. The Bible was written by over 40 men in a period of about 1500 years. The men were all different, from differing locations and social status. Many did not know any of the other writers. None knew all of them. Without modern communications, these men wrote a book that, though very diverse, is perfectly unified in theme and content. The Book is about Jesus, Whom many of the writers did not have the privilege of meeting. It is about sin and its consequences and its atonement, and every part of the Scripture lends its hand to paint a portion of that picture.
7. Though some like to focus on the “mistakes” in the Bible, attributable to copyist errors, translation difficulties, as-yet undiscovered archaeological artifacts, what should grasp our fancy is that this Book is so totally accurate. Over and over those who uncover history and the hidden secrets of the Earth bring forth the evidence that God’s Word is true. Consider, should you desire to pursue such a study, the titles of government officials and territories in the time of the Bible writers. And the names of Bible characters, that correspond with similar names in concurrent historical times. All accurate. Consider the varying accounts of the resurrection. At first cited as evidence of contradiction, it is now widely affirmed that the accounts complement and supplement one another and add yet another proof of Divine Inspiration. These men did not copy off of one another. They each told what they saw and their four accounts mesh perfectly.
8. Then there is Biblical prophecy, fulfilled marvelously. The future of Gentile nations and Kingdoms is given in explicit detail. Nations that were supposed to crumble did. Those that were to continue, have. The coming of Christ is told in detail, as we have mentioned above. Bible scholar E. English states that no less than twenty Old Testament prophecies regarding Christ were fulfilled within 24 hours when Christ died! And Israel. Her coming destruction fulfilled by the crushing blows of Assyria and Babylonia is without parallel for accuracy. Truly the person who wishes to bolster faith in the Word of God can hardly do it better than investigating the multitude of prophecies of Scripture and their fulfillment. It is clear to true Bible believers that such a record of accuracy can only mean that the prophecies about our own future and the coming again of Jesus Christ are safe and secure, and one’s life can be built safely around them.
9. The very fact that the Bible is here is proof of Its Divine character. The Bible has universal presence. No book has even come close to matching its circulation. But this should not be, naturally speaking. No book has ever been fought against so severely, either. At first, Bibles were copied one at a time by monks and priests, a laborious task guarded by strict rules. We shall talk more of this later. During this early period, the enemies of the faith attempted to talk the Bible into oblivion, ridiculing it, arguing against its truths. The Bibles that were produced were not available to the public, and not that much to the Catholic priesthood. Only a privileged few ever saw a Bible. The Reformers actually committed a crime by publishing the Bible in the language of the peoples of different countries. Little by little, nation after nation has received the entire text and to this day new languages are being codified so that the Bible can be translated to every people group on earth. Communism and Islam and other enemies of Christ have suppressed the Book, tortured and killed the owners and obey-ers of that Book. Yet it persists. It grows. It cannot be stopped. An ongoing miracle, is this miracle of preservation.