Is Bible truly the Word of real God or is it just a book written by human beings – this is a very interesting and thought provoking question; and probably one of the most important questions which anyone can ask the followers of Christ:Is Bible truly the Word of real God or is it just a book written by human beings – this is a very interesting and thought provoking question; and probably one of the most important questions which anyone can ask the followers of Christ.
What is so special, so unique about the Bible that we should consider it as the Word of God? Is Bible truly the Word of God, the authoritative instruction manual from creator God to guide us in right way and attitude of living our lives?What is so special, so unique about the Bible that we should consider it as the Word of God? Is Bible truly the Word of God, the authoritative instruction manual from creator God to guide us in right way and attitude of living our lives?
It is very easy to believe it by faith. Yes! But it is equally difficult to prove it unless we know the facts, especially when people demand reasoning for our faith.
I believe Bible is the true and only Word of God given to us to express the will, purpose and ways of God to the human race (irrespective of our caste, creed and religion). Whether you are born in a Hindu, Muslim, Catholic or a Christian family, you must know the following:
There are several reasons (apart from our faith which is must to believe) which we should consider to find out about the uniqueness of the Bible. Bible is the only book in this world which has been examined in a great deal for mistakes or contradiction and yet none was found; it is the only book which has gone through various plans of total destruction, yet it has survived till today, it is the only book which has largest number of printed copies, it is the only book which is translated in various languages (approx. 2062 languages) of the nations of the world and is read by almost all nations of the world… This list could be endless.
I wish to put some facts here which would be valuable in this study:
ASSERTION OF THE BIBLE FOR ITSELF:
If a book is from God, it must affirm and prove that it is so. It must be complete in all sense to give the full message and it does. Bible time and again uses the words, ‘Thus says the Lord’, and it has scriptures mentioning its source, strength and reasons of existence.
As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any eans disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.
A book from God must claim that IT IS FROM GOD. Bible claims itself to be the inspired word of God.
All Scripture is God-breathed 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 3:16-17]
UNIQUENESS OF THE BIBLE:
First, the Bible is not just one single book. This is a more common misconception than many people realize, especially with people who do not come from a monotheistic religion background. Rather than being a single book, the Bible is actually a collection of 66 books, which is called the canon of scriptures. These 66 books contain a variety of genres: history, poetry, prophecy, wisdom literature, letters, and apocalyptic just to name a few.
Second, these 66 books were written by 40 different authors. These authors came from a variety of backgrounds: shepherds, fishermen, doctors, kings, prophets, and others. And most of these authors neither knew one another personally, nor could they meet even if they existed in the same time span. These authors of different intellectual levels wrote different sections of the Bible in different moods (emotions) and situations in their lives. Sometimes frightened, sometimes romantic, sometimes hungry, sometimes needy, sometimes in the war, sometimes in the peace, sometimes in political turmoil, sometimes in the pain of physical sickness.
Third, these 66 books were written over a period of 1500-1600 years. Yet again, this is another reminder that many of these authors never knew or collaborated with one another in writing these books.
Fourth, the 66 books of the Bible were written in 3 different languages. In the Bible we have books that were written in the ancient languages of Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic; a reflection of the historical and cultural circumstances in which each of these books were written.
And finally, these 66 books were written on 3 different continents: Africa, Asia, and Europe. Once again, this is a testament to the varied historical and cultural circumstances of God’s people. Mind it, they did not have internet or any other telecommunication means, by which they could share their work with each other.
Think about the above realities: 66 books, written by 40 different authors, over 1500 years, in 3 different languages, on 3 different continents. What’s more, this collection of books shares a common storyline- the creation, fall, and redemption of God’s people; a common theme- God’s universal love for all of humanity; and a common message- salvation is available to all who repent of their sins and commit to following God with all of their heart, soul, mind and strength. In addition to sharing these commonalities, these 66 books contain no historical errors or contradictions. God’s word truly is an amazing collection of writings!
It is actually impossible, for any collection of human writings. However, the Bible passes this test. The Bible contains 66 books, written by 40 different authors, over 1500 years, in 3 different languages, on 3 different continents, with no historical errors or contradictions. The entire Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, bears the mark of Divine inspiration.
Someone who asks you why you believe the Bible is the inspired word of God, try sharing this challenge with them. Tell him/her:
If you do not believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God, if you do not believe that the Bible is of a supernatural origin, than I challenge you to a test. I challenge you to go to any library in the world, you can choose any library you like, and find 66 books which match the characteristics of the 66 books in the Bible. You must choose 66 books, written by 40 different authors, over 1500 years, in 3 different languages, written on 3 different continents. However, they must share a common storyline, a common theme, and a common message, with no historical errors or contradictions.
If you hear the words, “But that’s impossible!”, then you have won an opportunity to share about God’s love to that person, if you already believe in Jesus and his word – the Bible. If you did not believe in Jesus and Bible until you read this article, now you have the reason to believe in it.
OTHER FACTS TO CONSIDER:
Some people claim that Bible has been changed. I have many evidences to support that it has not been changed, yet instead of any evidences, I would rather say, prove for me that Bible has been changed. None has proven yet that Bible is changed, it is just a misconception. The original manuscripts (approx. 5000 copies in various places) available in London museum, copies found in the caves in Israel, dead sea scrolls and several other documents tally word by word to the printed Greek, Aramaic and Hebrew copies of the Bible books. More than this, I believe that Bible has not been changed, because IT IS THE WORD OF GOD, and God is able to protect his word, if it is his word.
Josh McDowell and other apologetic writers have done a thorough research and have concluded several tests by which they prove that Bible is not changed at any point of time in history.
Biographical test: All historical documents are subjected to this test to prove their validity. It is an examination of the textual transmission taking place through the time in contrast to all available original manuscripts. Bible has been proven several times against all available manuscripts, that it has not changed and the text available to us today is authentic. Manuscripts available for old testaments books is comparatively very less yet, dead sea scrolls found in 1947 (approx. 40,000 inscribed fragments) have helped to construct 500 books, most of which prove biblical text.
Internal evidence test: This test determines whether the written record is credible by analyzing the ability of the author or the witness to tell the truth. It relies on the witnesses of the incidents mentioned in the documents. New testament documents have been scrutinized on this test, and the eye witnesses of Jesus’ times never confronted what was written in the Bible then. If the facts were written incorrectly, many contemporary writers must have criticized it, but it did not happen ever.
External evidence test: This test is another test which is used to validate the authenticity of the historical documents. In this test, other contemporary documents/writings from authors [other than the author (or any person related to him) of the document under scrutiny] are checked to see what do they report. One document contradicting the truths of the Bible is yet to be found. Dr. Clark Pinnock states:
“There exists no document from the ancient world witnessed by so excelling a set of textual and historical testimonies and offering so superb an array of historical data on which an intelligent decision may be made. An honest [person] cannot dismiss a source of this kind. Skepticism regarding the historical credentials of Christianty is based upon an irrational (i.e., antisupernatual) bias.”
Archeology also provides evidences for the reliability of the Bible. With more than 25,000 sites already discovered that show connections to the Old testament period, the amount of archeological support is overwhelming. Critics of the nineteenth century felt that Abraham could not have existed as he is described in the Bible. Sir Leonard Woolley’s excavations at Ur (the city of Abraham’s birth – Genesis 11:27-29) of the Chaldees show that it was a highly developed city. In August 1993, an Israeli archeologist discovered the inscriptions on a broken monument in the northern Israel which are nothing but the biblical text, proving the historical reality of the Bible.
Apart from these facts, there are some more biblical reasons to believe the Bible as the Word of God. The old testament contains over 300 prophesies of the coming messiah (masiha in hindi) – the Christ, that were exactly fulfilled in Jesus.
|#1 Born of a Virgin
Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will
be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name
Immanuel.” – Isaiah 7:14
|“… she was found to be with child by the Holy
Spirit, …And Joseph… kept her a virgin until she
gave birth to a Son; and he called his name Jesus.” –
Matthew 1:18, 24, 25
|#2 Born at Bethlehem
“But as for you,
Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of
Judah, from you One will go forth for me to be ruler in
Israel. His goings forth are long ago, from the days of
eternity – Micah 5:2
|“… Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea… ” –
|#3 Hands and feet pierced
pierced my hands and my feet.”
|“And when they came to the place called
the Skull, there they crucified Him…” -Luke 23:33
|#4 Garments parted and lots
“They divide my garments among them,
and for my clothing they cast lots.” – Psalm 22:18
|“The soldiers therefore,
when they had crucified Jesus, took his outer garments
and made four parts, a part to every soldier and also
the tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one
piece. They said… ‘Let us not tear it, but cast lots
for it, to decide whose it shall be’ … ” -John 19:23,
|#5 Bone not broken“He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.”
coming to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead,
they did not break his legs.” -John 19:33
(Historical Note: The executioners normally broke
criminals’ legs to hasten their death.)
|Ref: (Page 64-72)Life builders, destined for security, India
Campus Crusade for Christ