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Christian Biblical Studies
THE BIBLE: A DIVINE REVELATION
All Scripture references are to the
New International Version (NIV; British text)
Question: How do we know that the Bible is a revelation from God, and not just the writings of fallible men?
Answer: Most Christians believe the Bible to be a Divine revelation, but what evidence exists for one to confidently draw that conclusion? Although this question could be addressed from many different standpoints, we will consider it from the standpoint of reason (Isaiah 1: 18).
The Bible is one of the oldest books in existence, and despite attacks on it from many sides throughout the centuries, it continues to be a best seller year after year. Its influence for good and for liberty has also been generally acknowledged, and nations who have adhered to its teachings have consistently developed generally higher moral standards and allowed their peoples more freedom.
Bible Points to One Individual
The Bible from beginning to end points to one prominent individual – Jesus of Nazareth – who it claims is the Son of God. History outside of the Bible corroborates His existence and that He was crucified because He promoted an unpopular cause.
Most of the writers of the New Testament were the personal disciples of Jesus, and their writings explain His teachings. These men were not fanatics, but were sound and reasonable. How then can we account for their dedication to the cause of Jesus, especially after He was put to death, knowing that by doing so they were exposing themselves to persecution and even death? They must have been convinced, through indisputable evidence, that Jesus was who He claimed to be – the Son of God, the Messiah sent by the God of Abraham.
The Old Testament Writers and Books Examined
The writers of the Old Testament, likewise, were generally men regarded as faithful to the Lord, yet their weaknesses and shortcomings were acknowledged. If the Bible had been written by uninspired men who sought to present their own writings as the inspired word of God, would the writers not have been portrayed as men of blameless character? Certainly this was not done for David or Solomon or Samson.
The Five Books of Moses
The first five books of the Bible, known as the Books of Moses, or the Pentateuch, set forth laws which are widely regarded as superior to others in ancient history, and form the legal framework of many modern nations. The Ten Commandments, remarkable in their simplicity and comprehensiveness, are a summary of the wider set of laws.
The Superiority of Israel’s Laws
Let us consider some of the salient features of Israel’s laws:
1. They provided that the rich and poor alike should be treated equally. The Law mandated restitution every fiftieth year – the Jubilee year. This prevented the inequitable accumulation of property and wealth in the hands of a few.
2. Once every seven years the priests were required to read the laws to the people, assuring that even the poorest and most unlearned would not be ignorant of them.
3. The law provided for the rights and interests of foreigners and even enemies.
4. The laws protected animals. Mistreatment of them was prohibited, and their rest was provided for.
5. The tribe of Levi, assistants to the Priestly class, were not allowed to hold land, but were supported by the tithes, or contributions, of the people.
6. The sanitary arrangements of the law were set out in detail, and provided for the general health of the population.
The Bible Presents One Plan and Purpose
One remarkable proof that the Bible is a Divine revelation is the fact that all of its writers – Moses, the Prophets, and the writers of the New Testament – covering a span of 1,500 years, present one unified line of thought.
What is that common thought? The first three chapters of the Bible describe the creation and fall of man into sin, the last three predict man’s recovery, and the intervening part shows the successive steps of God’s Plan for the accomplishment of that purpose, given “a little here, a little there” (Isaiah 28: 10).
The entire Bible points to the necessity of a Saviour willing to offer Himself as a sacrifice for the sin of father Adam. The Old Testament writers prophesy of Him, sometimes in great detail, and the New Testament writers describe the fulfilment of those prophecies, pointing out that God’s Plan provides for a “little flock” of joint-heirs who will be associated with the Messiah in the blessing of all the families of the earth (Genesis 12: 3).
The Bible, in all of its contributors, holds out a doctrine that is found in no other religion – that mankind will be recovered by a great miracle – by a resurrection of the dead. At that time all who have ever lived will be given the opportunity to regain everything that was lost by sin; and if they fully reform from the heart, they will be granted eternal life in a perfect earth.
To a fair and reasonable mind the teachings of the Bible validate the existence and intervention of a wise, powerful, just, and loving Creator. The promised redemption of the sin-cursed race by Jesus’ blood is the basis of restitution.
It is no fable or unfounded wish.
Copyright 2008, UK Bible Students. Use only with permission.