What about the inspiration of the Bible? How do we know it is God’s Word? John Burton, Sr. wrote about this book,
Holy Bible, Book divine, Precious treasure, thou art mine:
Mine to tell me whence I came, Mine to teach me what I am.
Mine to chide me when I rove, Mine to show a Savior’s love;
Mine thou art to guide and guard, Mine to punish or reward;
Mine to comfort in distress – Suffring in this wilderness;
Mine to show, by living faith, Man can triumph over death;
Mine to tell of joys to come And the rebel sinner’s doom:
O thou holy Book divine, Precious treasure, thou art mine.
The Bible is the handbook for man, it is the instruction manual that gives the rules for life and for eternity. With everything that is manufactured, there are instructions for its use. Sometimes those instructions are hard to understand, and a phone number or address is given so that the reader can get in touch with someone who knows the meaning of the words in that document. The Bible does better than that. The Author of the instruction manual for mankind has promised to be with us at all times, especially when we are reading the Bible. Have you ever asked Him to explain to you what you have read in the Bible?”
The Bible gives the principles of life, life on earth and life in eternity, with more written on how we should live in this life than is written on how we need to live in Heaven. We will have changed bodies and minds when we get to Heaven, and we shall know, even as we are known. (First Corinthians 13:12. Its author is God, and it is the source of information about God, the textbook of Truth. Second Peter 1:21: “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”
Paul was led to describe the inspiration of the Bible in these words in Second Timothy 3: 16& 17 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (or thoroughly equipped for every good work.)
The Bible is not to be judged by other books, but other ideas are to be judged by the Bible. There are those who would use science textbooks to evaluate the Bible and its content. Would these persons feel as comfortable using the textbooks of the 1800s or earlier for this same purpose? Or go back a few more centuries and use the scientific knowledge in vogue at that time. We must remember that true science is only a listing of truth learned by being able to duplicate a process. Theories should not be considered scientific truths, but are speculations based on the knowledge or experimentation that has been done. How would one go about duplicating the creation of the earth, or the miracles of the Bible. Has any scientist created a human being from the dust of the earth? Has any science book survived one hundred years of critical study and been accepted as truth? The Bible has withstood critical examinations for hundreds of years and is still Truth.
It is truth and speaks accurately even when the truth explained ran contrary to the accepted teaching of the time. In Isaiah 40:22, the Bible says: “It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:” This was written when the earth was thought to be flat, and yet the idea of a round earth was taught accurately in the Bible.
For years, man tried to figure out what was holding up the earth. Interesting, but absurd ideas were concocted. Some has Atlas holding the world on his giant shoulder. Then someone asked what was supporting Atlas. Various ideas came forward, not the brightest of which was the suggestion that he stood on the shells of two giant turtles. Then, some inquiring mind asked what supported those two turtles. After some thought, someone decided that turtles can walk on mud, so they had the turtles on mud ponds. No one questioned what held up the mud, so this was accepted for years. Meanwhile, the Bible had already stated, in Job 26:7 “He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing.” Oh, and by the way, modern telescopes confirm that empty place toward the north in the heavens. (Had the Bible stated that this empty space was in the east or west, there would have been reason for calling it in error, since east and west directions toward the heavens change each hour!)
In Leviticus 17:22, the Bible states that “For the life of the flesh is in the blood:” This was written thousands of years before that became medical truth. In fact, our first President died at Mount Vernon with a Bible alongside his bed. He had taken a horseback ride around the fields in a rain and caught a chill. His condition worsened, and a man was summoned who knew how to let blood, a common practice of the day to get rid of fever or disease. The report reads that the bloodletting continued until the blood ran very slowly from the vein. He was literally bled to death because the truth of the Bible was not accepted. While the Bible is not a science book, it is scientifically correct.
The Bible is not a textbook of history, but it is historically correct. For many years, critics of the Bible scoffed at its claim that Abraham came from Ur of the Chaldees. There was no “scientific proof that such a place existed. However, later excavations gave the proof that some were looking for. Ur of the Chaldees is mentioned in the Bible as the birthplace of Abraham, although there is no real evidence to support this statement. On a surer footing, it was the capital of the ancient civilisation of Sumeria, and was first excavated in 1922-34 by Sir Leonard Woolley. In fact, a search on the web recently turned up over 74,000 sites that mentioned Ur of the Chaldees. Again, the Bible has outlived its historical critics.
The Bible, alone, stands the test of time. A man once came to the blacksmith and watched him hammer red hot metal on the anvil. When the blacksmith put the metal back in the fire, and reheated it, the man asked him how many anvils he had gone through in his career. He said, “This is the one I started with, my friend.” I have had many hammers and a lot of metal has been formed on this anvil, but it is the same anvil. You see, it is the anvil that stands when all hammers and metal is gone.” The Bible is that anvil for the Christian. God has said, “For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.” Psalm 119:89 Even if someone had the hammer that would break the Bible (and they do not), there is no way it could be used on the Word, because it is settled forever in Heaven.
Matthew Henry comments on this verse: “thou art the same, and with thee there is no variableness, and this is a proof of it. Thy word, by which the heavens were made, is settled there in the abiding products of it; or the settling of God’s word in heaven is opposed to the changes and revolutions that are here upon earth. All flesh is grass; but the word of the Lord endures for ever. It is settled in heaven, that is, in the secret counsel of God, which is hidden in himself and is far above out of our sight, and is immovable, as mountains of brass. And his revealed will is as firm as his secret will; as he will fulfil the thoughts of his heart, so no word of his shall fall to the ground; for it follows here, Thy faithfulness is unto all generations, that is, the promise is sure to every age of the church and it cannot be antiquated by lapse of time. The promises that look ever so far forward shall be performed in their season.
He produces, for proof of it, the constancy of the course of nature: Thou hast established the earth for ever and it abides; it is what it was at first made, and where it was at first placed, poised with its own weight, and notwithstanding the convulsions in its own bowels, the agitations of the sea that is interwoven with it, and the violent concussions of the atmosphere that surrounds it, it remains unmoved.”
Each cult has its own bible. It may be a book that is added to the Bible or it may be a book that substitutes for the Bible. In either case, the replacement book is a false source for truth. God said about His Book, the Bible, “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” Revelation 22:18 & 19. The Bible stands alone as God’s Word, and needs no additional book to explain or complete it.
For more on this topic see 050303 Divine Inspiration