The Bible has had an enormous impact on the world. It has influenced cultures and shaped nations. It has been copied and circulated more extensively than any other literature, and has been translated into about two thousand languages.
The Bible claims to be from God. 2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” The phrase “breathed out by God” means that it is the product of his creative breath. This process is best described in 2 Peter 1:21, which says that men “spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” However, claiming to be from God does not prove the point. Many books claim to be from God. How then can we prove that the Bible’s claims are true?
Is the Bible from God?
There are many ways to prove that the Bible is from God. We shall note just some of the evidence in this article.
Unity. The Bible is a library of 66 books. There are 39 books in the Old Testament and 27 books in the New Testament. It was written over a span of about sixteen hundred years (1500 B.C.—100 A.D.) by more than forty writers. The writers were not always aware of one another’s writings and sometimes did not even know the meaning of their own words (1 Peter 1:10-12). Yet the Bible fits together perfectly. There are no contradictions or inconsistencies.
The writers could hardly have come from more diverse backgrounds. They were shepherds, statesmen, prophets, priests, kings, physicians, fishermen, and tax collectors. They were wealthy and poor, educated and uneducated. They wrote from palaces and prisons, in times of peace and times of war. Furthermore, the Bible was written in three different languages on three different continents. There is no way that mere men from such diverse backgrounds could have written the Bible in such a unified manner without divine guidance. The unity of the Bible proves that it is from God!
Accuracy. Although the Bible was not written as a textbook on geography, history, or science, it is always accurate in those areas. One of the most fascinating studies of the Bible’s accuracy is in the field of archaeology. For instance, Genesis 40 mentions grapes in Egypt. Yet some had contended that the Egyptians never grew grapes or drank wine. However, archaeology has proven that there were grapes in Egypt. Tombs have been discovered which depict the dressing and pruning of vines, and scenes of drunkenness. Another example is the Hittite nation. For a long time critics denied that the Hittites ever existed. However, excavations in Turkey have uncovered their existence.
The ancient Egyptians were renowned for their medical advancements. However, we now know that some of their practices were actually harmful to the patient. For instance, the famous Ebers Papyrus, a medical document of the Egyptians (1552 B.C.), indicates that they would prescribe animal dung in certain instances. This is significant because Moses was “instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians” (Acts 7:22), yet he never included any of their harmful practices in his writings. What are the chances that a man educated in the ways of the Egyptians would not incorporate at least some of the faulty remedies of the Egyptians in his writings? Not only that, but every instruction given by Moses has been proven correct by modern medicine. Circumcision on the eighth day, the quarantine of lepers, burning contaminated clothing, burying waste, forbidding the eating of blood, etc. are all proper instructions!
Leviticus 17:11 says, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood.” Although we easily understand that statement to be true, until recent times people believed that a sick person needed to have his blood drained. They did not know that blood carries oxygen to the body and removes impurities from it. Yet Moses knew that the blood was life!
The Bible told us that God “hangs the earth on nothing” (Job 26:7) and “sits above the circle of the earth” (Isaiah 40:22) before we knew that the earth hangs from nothing and is round!
Fairness. In most books, there are heroes and villains. The heroes are presented favorably and flawlessly. However, such is not the case with the Bible. It makes no attempts to hide the mistakes of its heroes. For instance, Noah’s drunkenness (Genesis 9), Abraham’s lies (Genesis 12, 20), Moses’ presumption (Numbers 20), David’s adultery (2 Samuel 11), and Peter’s denials (Matthew 26) are all plainly revealed. There is no attempt to excuse or shield their shortcomings. Human authors only present the good side of their heroes. God presents the good, the bad, and the ugly!
Prophecy. The Bible is a book of prophecy. Many of these prophecies were uttered hundreds of years before their fulfillment. For instance, it was prophesied that the Messiah would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14) in the town of Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). It was also prophesied that He would be preceded by a messenger (Isaiah 40:3), betrayed for thirty pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12-13), pierced in the hands and feet (Psalm 22:16), numbered with the transgressors (Isaiah 53:12), buried in a rich man’s tomb (Isaiah 53:9), and resurrected from the dead (Psalm 16:10). All of these prophecies, and countless others, came to pass! Could men utter predictions hundreds of years before their fulfillment with such stunning detail without making a mistake? The very thought is absurd. Yet Bible prophecies did just that!
1 Kings 13:2 says, “And the man cried against the altar by the word of the Lord and said, ‘O altar, altar, thus says the Lord: Behold, a son shall be born to the house of David, Josiah by name, and he shall sacrifice on you the priests of the high places who make offerings on you, and human bones shall be burned on you.’” This detailed prophecy was fulfilled some 300 years later (2 Kings 23)!
Preservation. The Bible has been the object of much persecution. On many occasions men have sought to ban and destroy it, but their efforts have always failed. Others have scrutinized the Bible trying to find contradictions that would prove it false, but to no avail. The Bible has survived the scrutiny. The fact that the Bible continues to exist intact and possess the same strengths today that it has always possessed proves that it is from God.
There is more evidence that proves the Bible is from God. However, these points are more than sufficient. The writers claimed to be inspired (2 Samuel 23:2; 1 Corinthians 14:37; 1 Thessalonians 2:13) and the evidence proves that their claims were true. No other book can do what the Bible does. No other book can pass the tests the Bible passes. The Bible is from God!