The Bible-The Most Unique Book in the World-Part 1
By: The John Ankerberg Show
|By: Dr. John Ankerberg, Dr. John Weldon; ©2002|
|The Bible is not the product of human invention, nor does it contain a mixture of truth and error. It does not require “enlightenment” to understand it properly. Nor is the Bible an incomplete revelation of God. All those are things the Bible is not. Over the next few months the authors will give seven points that are necessary for understanding what the Bible IS!|
The Bible—The Most Unique Book in the World-Part One
The Bible is not the product of human invention or ingenuity, nor does it contain a mixture of truth and error. It is not a hidden book requiring “higher” or “enlightened” consciousness in order to interpret it properly. Nor is the Bible, despite the claims of the cults, an incomplete revelation requiring additional scripture to interpret it or to fulfill God’s purpose. Biblical claims leave us few options. Either the Bible is what it claims—the literal inerrant Word of God—or it is not possible to know if God has revealed Himself to us truthfully.
The facts of the Bible cannot be explained by recourse to human theories concerning its origin, and the biblical data itself leave inerrancy as the only option concerning its contents. The God of Scripture has revealed Himself as a God of truth, so errors in the autographs (the original writings) would prove that God was not their author. Indeed, since no other religion offers genuine evidence for belief in their God, apart from the Bible we are forced to remain agnostic about God. He might exist, but beyond general revelation we can know nothing about Him. The following seven points are necessary for understanding what the Bible is.
1. Biblical Inspiration
The Bible claims to be the inspired Word of God. “All Scripture is God-breathed [theopneustos] 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” (2 Timothy 3:16). In what sense is the Bible inspired? Biblical inspiration is (a) verbal (extending to the very words, not just the ideas, of Scripture), (b) plenary (extending equally to every part of Scripture) and (c) perspicuous (sufficiently clear for the average person to understand and be spiritually nourished without recourse to scholarly or technical insight). Directly or indirectly, the Bible claims or implies divine inspiration hundreds of times. Here are several examples:
- This word came to Jeremiah from the LORD: “Take a scroll and write on it all the words I have spoken to you concerning Israel, Judah and all the other nations from the time I began speaking to you in the reign of Josiah till now.” (Jeremiah 56:1-2)
- Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”’ (Matthew 4:4)
- For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:21)
- For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it…. Whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say. (John 12:49-50)
- The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. (Revelation 1:1)
- In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways…. (Hebrews 1:1)
- The word of the LORD that came to Hosea…. (Hosea 1:1) The word of the LORD came to Ezekiel…. (Ezekiel 1:5)
- Moses then wrote down everything the LORD had said. (Exodus 24:4; see also 31:24)
- … you should remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken by your apostles…. [Our] beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you … letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do the rest of the Scriptures. (2 Peter 3:2, 15, 16 NAS)
2. The Bible Is Authoritative and Powerful
“‘Is not my word like fire,’ declares the LORD, ‘And like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?’ “ (Jeremiah 23:29). Because the Bible is the Word of God it is the most important literature in all the earth. It is important for what it is and what it does. “… My word that goes out from my mouth… will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11). “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). Because of its divine nature, ignorance of the Bible is spiritually and otherwise dangerous. As Jesus told the hypocritical religious leaders of His day, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God” (Matthew 22:29).
(to be continued)