From Craig Swanson…
The Bible – we read it, we quote it, we listen to sermons on it – but how do we know it’s really God’s word? My next three blogs will address this matter. The first thing we’ll do is look at what the Bible says about itself.
“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.” (2 Tim 3:16) This is a book that claims God as it’s author. “But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.” (2 Peter 1:20, 21) The Bible proclaims that God is it’s source and that He used men to write down exactly what He wanted to communicate. A book like that would have a lot to live up to. It would have to be authoritative, supernatural and without error.
The Old Testament uses the phrase “thus says the Lord” over 400 times and is then followed by a command. In other words, “this is what God says and He expects you to obey it.” We see God’s authority here. Moses and the prophets spoke for God to the people and then God attested to the validity of their testimony by doing miraculous things through them. The New Testament is equally authoritative in the way it’s human authors spoke. “If anyone thinks he is a prophet or spiritual, let him recognize that the things which I write to you are the Lord’s commandment.” (1 Corinthians 14:37) The authors of the New Testament also did signs and wonders to confirm that these were indeed the words of God.
Think of any other book that was compiled by over 40 different authors, over a 1500 year time span, in three different languages, using different literary genres such as narrative, poetry, song lyrics, prophecy, and teaching. Now combine all the material from all those authors and put them together into one book. What would you expect to get? Nothing cohesive, that’s for sure. Yet the bible comes together as a unified book, with all it’s parts working together to tell the story of God’s redemption of man through His Son. The book itself is supernatural – the very words of God.