Why do we say that the Bible is God’s Word when people wrote it?
The Bible is God’s breath
The Bible teaches the doctrine of plenary verbal inspiration. Literally, the Holy Spirit breathed all of the words of Scripture into the writers. Second Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed.” This is not to say that God made the authors into robots. Read the Bible, and you will recognize an abundance of styles that give a physician’s precision, a fisherman’s profound simplicity, a former persecutor’s perspective, or a shepherd’s experience. In fact, dozens of authors were inspired to write over the course of 1,500 years. Yet, as you read the Bible, you hear a single voice. That voice is God’s. Therefore, the Bible is infallible.
Some object to the background of the authors. Moses was a murderer, David an adulterer, Solomon a polygamist, Peter a denier, and Paul a persecutor of Christians. However, inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture does not rest on infallible authors but on the reality of our perfect God who inspired those authors to write.
The Bible is God’s truth
The Bible doesn’t merely contain God’s truth; it is God’s truth. Jesus says, “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth” (John 17:17). What a comfort!
We live in a culture that champions subjective truth. Subjective truth is the idea that truth is based on each individual’s feelings and opinions, but not an objective truth. For example, whatever is true for me is truth, but it can be different from your truth. Of course, the moment you say, “There is no objective truth,” you have made an objective truth claim! In such a culture, we have objective truth directly from God, a truth that never changes. Isaiah said, “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever” (Isaiah 40:8). Science changes and opinions vary, but the Word of God endures forever.
The Bible is God’s Word because it says so. To an unbeliever, this sounds like circular reasoning, but the unity of the Bible’s message over the centuries and the prophecies and their fulfillment indicate that it’s not circular. Read Isaiah 53 or Psalm 22 in the Old Testament. It’s as though you are standing at the foot of the cross. In fact, hundreds of prophecies pertain to who the Messiah would be and what he would do. Jesus fulfilled every one of those prophecies. This would be impossible if the Bible were not from God.
The Bible is God’s love
The goal of showing others the fulfillment of prophecy and the unity of Scripture’s message is to convince them to read the Bible. Reason will never convince someone that the Bible is God’s Word or bring that person to faith. Only the Holy Spirit can do that through the Word about Jesus (cf. 1 Corinthians 12:3; Romans 10:17). The Bible is self-authenticating. No outside source convinces us of its truth. Instead, the Bible itself works that conviction as we read.
The Bible is the only book written that answers our greatest need. Human-made solutions to the problem of sin come up short. You cannot minimize, ignore, or make up for sin. Sin must be paid for. The Bible gives us the only solution for sin in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. This was God’s purpose in giving you his Word in the 66 books we call the Bible: “These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31).
Author: David Scharf
Volume 108, Number 2
Issue: February 2021
- Q&A: Why is Pontius Pilate immortalized in our creeds?
- Q&A: How does remembering my baptism help with the guilt I carry?
- Q&A: Do parts of the Bible teach works righteousness?
- Q&A: How can I overcome my struggle with lust and pornography?
- Q&A: How should I help my child struggling with same-sex attraction?
- Q&A: Should Christians pray to saints?
- Q&A: Is anger sinful?
- Q&A: How can parents encourage adult children who wander from the faith?
- Q&A: Does the doxology belong in the Lord’s Prayer?
- Q&A: Is God fair?
- Q&A: When we pray, “Your kingdom come,” what are we praying for?
- Q&A: How can I better manage what God has given me this year so that I glorify him?
- Q&A: What are ways to glorify God besides singing in church?
- Q&A: I have no special gifts, and I mess up all the time. Does God really need me?
- Q&A: How do I overcome the feeling that my life has no purpose and I don’t make a difference?
- Q&A: My friend died and was not a professing Christian. What do I say to the family?
- Q&A: How can my mother and I forgive my father for being unfaithful and causing my parents to divorce?
- Q&A: Why were demon possession, gifts of healing, and gifts of tongues more prevalent in biblical times?
- Q&A: Is Christianity the only religion that gives the certainty of heaven?
- Q&A: If people go to hell, isn’t it their fault because God gave them free will and they rejected him?
- Q&A: Why are the 40 days between Jesus’ resurrection and his ascension important for the disciples and for us?
- Q&A: Can you explain Jesus’ words to the wailing women he met on his way to be crucified?
- Q&A: What if spouses don’t “love” each other anymore?
- Q&A: Is it wrong to have a cross with Jesus’ body on it?
- Q&A: Is our time of grace really unchangeable?
- Q&A: I know that we are saved by grace apart from works, but how can it be that easy?
- Q&A: Are there degrees of glory in heaven as a reward for good works?
- Q&A: Do Lutherans take the Bible literally and teach millennialism?
- Q&A: Are there different interpretations of the Bible?
- Q&A: How can we be sure the Bible includes what God originally gave us?
- Q&A: Why does it seem like Christianity is so negative?
- Q&A: How can I explain how Jesus’ resurrection is possible and if the Bible is reliable?
- Q&A: Is it okay to live together if we are planning to get married?
- Q&A: How is the Bible God’s Word?
- Q&A: Were we “created to make a difference”?
- Q&A: Am I being judgmental if I point out someone’s sin?
- Q&A: Do I need to read the Bible to have a relationship with God?
- Q&A: Can a Christian vote for a political candidate who supports abortion?
- Q&A: Does God really care?
- Q&A: Does it really matter how God made the world?
- Q&A: Does God send people to hell?
- Q&A: Is death natural?
- Q&A: How can I forgive and forget?
- Q&A: Does God help those who help themselves?
- Q&A: How can we say that the Old Testament God is the same as the New Testament God?
- Q&A: Is Jesus the only way to get to heaven?
- Q&A: Doesn’t God want me to be happy?
- Light for our path: Does God hate us?
- Light for our path: What kind of comfort can you give someone when a loved one commits suicide?
- Light for our path: What does a submissive wife in a Christian marriage look like?
- Light for our path: Is it a sin to want to die from a terminal illness?
- Light for our path: What advice can you give about applauding in church?
- Light for our path: Can you please explain Matthew 5:20?
- Light for our path: What is karma?
- Light for our path: Can the devil personally be tempting me and a lot of other people at exactly the same time?
- Light for our path: Does the word Easter refer to Ishtar, the Babylonian fertility goddess?
- Light for our path: What role does emotion play in contrition?
- Light for our path: What does the white stone in Revelation 2:17 mean?
- Light for our path: Is the cross symbol now anti-Christian?
- Light for our path: Were Joseph and Mary engaged or married when Joseph learned of Mary’s pregnancy?