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How to know the Bible is God's Word

tb_know

A church leader proclaims:-

The Bible is the Word of God.
The Bible reveals God's love to us in Jesus Christ.
The Bible is our Creator's instruction manual to us.
Great rewards are received by obeying the Bible,
not only in this life, but also in the next!
You can have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ!

Many people wonder about these claims.  If they are true, then learning the Bible and obeying it is essential to every person; no life goal can be more important. Be encouraged, God declares in the Bible that you can know His will for your life... you will seek Me (The LORD God) and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
.                             Jeremiah 29:13
.

Begin researching the truths of the Bible for yourself today! Start with the information on this page.

 

The Bible - Oh so important!
... You have magnified Your word above all Your name. Psalm 138:2

The first petition that Jesus taught His followers to pray is "Hallowed be Your name".  There is nothing is more important than the glory of God's name; God's name reveals who He is.

So what does it mean when God says He will exalt His word above all His name?

The answer is that God reveals Himself to us more fully and clearly in the Bible than in any other of His revelations.  It is through the Bible that we learn of God's love, power, majesty, holiness and justice.  It is through the Bible that we learn of God's great love for us and how to receive that love!

 

The miracle of the Bible - It's a work of God

  • The Bible is a collection of 66 books written over a period of around 1,500 years.
  • The Bible was written by about 40 authors from diverse backgrounds including kings, shepherds, priests, fishermen, a tax collector and a medical doctor.
  • The Bible was written in 3 languages, Hebrew, Greek and a little in Aramaic.
  • tb_bibsty The Bible was written on 3 continents, Asia, Africa and Europe.

If the Bible were originated by men, then it would have no consistent story-line and would be filled with errors.

Here's the miracle -

Putting all the Bible stories together we have ONE UNIFIED STORY: man's sin and God's loving solution, Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ through the Bible ...

Word frequency - NKJ translation
God said 44 times
Word of the LORD 262 times
Says the LORD 852 times
The LORD God 490 times
LORD (YHWH) 6298 times
Lord 1052 times
God 2232 times

tb_wrdThe Bible is called
the word of God
because it claims
to be God's word!

4 Bible claims

1.  The Bible claims to be the word of God

The Bible claims repeatedly that it’s the word of God. Expressions like “the word of the LORD came to Samuel Now the word of the LORD came to Samuel, saying,
.                             1 Samuel 15:10
/ Nathan … the word of the LORD came to Nathan, saying,
.                             2 Samuel 7:4
/ Gad … the word of the LORD came to the prophet Gad, David's seer, saying,
.                              2 Samuel 24:11
/ Solomon Then the word of the LORD came to Solomon, saying:
.                             1 Kings 6:11
/ Elijah … the word of the LORD came to Elijah, in the third year, saying, …
.                             1 Kings 18:1
/ Isaiah And the word of the LORD came to Isaiah, saying,
.                             Isaiah 38:4
/ me Then the word of the LORD came to me (Jeremiah), saying:
.                             Jeremiah 1:4

… the word of the LORD came to me (Ezekiel), saying,
.                             Ezekiel 3:16

… the word of the LORD came to me (Zechariah), saying:
.                             Zechariah 4:8
/ etc, etc, are common.

The most frequently used word for God is the Hebrew word "YHWHYHWH means the Self Existing One. 
God exists by Himself.
God existed before anything existed.
All things exist through Him.
", usually translated as LORD in English Bibles. It appears in the Old Testament over 6,000 times. Check out the table opposite, the frequency of these words used in the Bible show it strongly claims to be the word of God.

2.  The Bible claims to be TRUE

The entirety of Your word is truth,
and every one of Your righteous judgments
endures forever.                                   Psalm 119:160

… Your word is truth.                            John 17:17

Jesus said … I am …the truth, …              John 14:6

3.  The Bible claims to give (spiritual) light to men's lives

tb_lmp

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.      Psalm 119:105

Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying,
"I am the light of the world.
He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness,
but have the light of life."       John 8:12

 

4.  The Bible claims to be the ETERNAL word of God.

Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven.       Psalm 119:89

Heaven and earth will pass away,
but My (Jesus Christ's) words will by no means pass away.      Matthew 24:35

God's word does not change with time.  What God specifies as morally right or wrong does not change.

 

The origin of Scripture

The AUTHORITY of the BIBLE

No person or church can give authority to the Bible. The Bible's authority comes directly from God - it's His word!  People and churches can only affirm that this is so!

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God,
and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction,
for instruction in righteousness,      2 Timothy 3:16

knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation,
for prophecy never came by the will of man,
but holy men of God spoke
as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.      2 Peter 1:20,21

The origin of Scripture is God Himself. Scripture comes to us because God's Spirit moved in the hearts of holy men to write His Word. Today we read God's Word, the Bible, faithfully preserved for us from the records of these godly men.

The writer of the book of Hebrews puts it this way:-

tb_ot_ntGod, who at various times and in various ways
spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets,
has in these last days spoken to us by His Son,
whom He has appointed heir of all things,
through whom also He made the worlds;        Hebrews 1:1,2

Here we have the Old Testament - God's words spoken by the Prophets to the (Jewish) Fathers, and the New Testament - God's words spoken by His Son Jesus Christ. It is the New Testament which faithfully records the teachings of Jesus.

 

How did people know it was Scripture?

How did they know?
tb_why

How did men discriminate which words were from God as distinct from human writings?  Consider the case of Psalm 22.  People today read the opening line "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?" and easily see it was propheticGod announced the future before it happened. of Jesus' cry on the cross.  It also contains many other prophecies of the cross 7 All those who see Me ridicule Me; they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,
8 "He trusted in the LORD, let Him rescue Him; let Him deliver Him, since He delights in Him!"
.                             Psalm 22:7,8
14 I am poured out like water, and all My bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it has melted within Me.
15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and My tongue clings to My jaws; you have brought Me to the dust of death.
16 For dogs have surrounded Me; the congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me. They pierced My hands and My feet;
17 I can count all My bones. They look and stare at Me.
18 They divide My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots.
.                             Psalm 22:14-18
.  But how could Jews living before Jesus Christ, who knew nothing of Him, come to the conclusion that these were words from God and needed to be carefully preserved?

This Psalm was written by King David, as moved by God's Holy Spirit about 1,000 years before Christ.  How did other Jews know these words were from God?  The only answer is that godly men, seeking God's will, were guided by God’s Spirit to agree, “Yes, we believe these words are from God, we don't understand them very well, but we are convinced they are God’s words”.

 

Formation of the Old Testament Canon

Apocryphal books not Scripture

The (Old Testament) Apocrypha is a group of books that is sometimes published in Bibles. These have always been rejected as Scripture by godly men. This is because they contain geographical, historical and theological errors and they have no spiritual light for people's lives.  The New Testament Apocryphal gospels are less well known but they have also always been rejected as Scripture for the same reasons.

The Bible as we know it today with 66 books, 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament has been settled since the Council of Carthage in 397 AD.

Canon means rule or law. We know little about the process of how the Jews were certain that these books came from God.  We do know the last books of the Old Testament were written around 400 BC.  We also know that about 250 BC, the Jews made a very important translation of the Hebrew Old Testament into Greek, called the Septuagint.  It is clear that by this time, the Jews were absolutely sure of which books were from God and which were not.  When Jesus ministered on earth, around 30 AD, He had countless disputes with the Jews concerning the (Old Testament) Scriptures.  The disputes were always about interpretation, there was never any dispute over what was the word of God and what was not.

 

Formation of the New Testament Canon

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Before the original apostles died, God moved them by His Holy Spirit to faithfully record the teachings of Jesus Christ.  Today we know these as the New Testament, but by the 2nd century, there were many false apostles and many false gospels were also in circulation.  The Christian Church in the 2nd century faced the problem of discriminating between which books were of God and which were not.

This was achieved by consensus! The world wide Church agreed that the 27 books we know as the New Testament were Scripture from God.  These were joined with the Old Testament to form the complete Bible.  As the diagram shows, this process took about 300 years.  It was before the days of the internet and jet travel.  There were many great councils in many countries and countless meetings and sub-meetings. tb_blv Godly men were praying and seeking God's guidance on the subject.  The books of the Bible as we know them (66 in total, 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament) have never been seriously challenged since the Council of Carthage in 397 AD.

Christians today, all around the world confidently affirm that the Bible is the word of God.  You need to decide for yourself.

 

External tests (scientific tests)

tb_aff
Christianity is built on historical facts.
The most important are
Jesus' life on earth,
His death on the cross and
His resurrection from the dead!

Because the Bible claims to be completely true, a number of things may be verified scientifically, things like:-

  • Are the stories in the Bible absolutely true?
  • Did the peoples written about really exist?
  • Did the towns and cities exist?
  • Is the geography correct?
  • Is the history correct?
  • Does the practical wisdom of the Bible work?
  • Did the man Jesus really live on earth?
  • Did Jesus Christ really rise from the dead?

Faith in God and His Word is to be built on facts, not fiction.  Anyone with a fair and open mind can research these things for themselves.

 

Internal tests (spiritual tests)

You can be sure the Bible is God's word. Over thousands of years, countless people have discovered that the Bible provides spiritual light for their lives.  This is the work of God's Spirit. The Bible answers the deepest questions of their hearts, it shows them the way to God's love.  It gives them peace and security.  They are totally convinced it is the word of God primarily by the witness of God's Spirit in their hearts.  If you have a heart to seek and obey God, then you too can have this peace and assurance.  Jesus assures us, anyone who truly wants to obey God will know God's will If anyone wants to do His (God's) will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I (Jesus) speak on My own authority.
.                             John 7:17 17
.  You will be rewarded... he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
.                             Hebrews 11:6
.

Here's your opportunity to learn more about God and how to become friends with Him.  Having your own personal relationship with Jesus Christ will give you peace and security in your heart, now and forever!

Start by reading the Bible for yourself and listen for God's Spirit speaking directly to your heart. The beginners Bible reading plan is an easy way to start reading the Bible.  You should also join a local church and ask lots of questions.  Please join us at Monash Christian Fellowship or another good local church.  You can also email your questions to us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

May God bless you as you set your heart to seek Him.

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Produced by Monash Christian Fellowship, Melbourne, Australia. Author Pastor Bill Wheaton 2013. This document may be freely reproduced and used for non-profit evangelism provided that it is unchanged and carries this credit. Scriptures are quoted from the New King James translation of the Bible.