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: Are there different interpretations of the Bible? - 2021/07/27
- Bible study: Interpretation practice - 2021/07/27
- Q&A: How can we be sure the Bible includes what God originally gave us? - 2021/06/29