Is the Bible the Inspired Word of God?
By Jason Carlson and Ron Carlson 5/25/11
During a question and answer session at a recent speaking engagement,
a university student asked me, "Why do you believe that the Bible is the
inspired word of God?" Now this is a very interesting question; and
probably one of the most important questions any Christian could ask
themselves. What is so special, so unique about the Bible that Christians
believe it is literally the inspired word of God?
In answering this student's question, I encouraged him to consider the
following facts about the Bible:
First, the Bible is not just one single book. This is a more common
misconception than many people realize, especially with people who do
not come from a Judeo-Christian background. Rather than being a single
book, the Bible is actually a collection of 66 books, which is called
the canon of scriptures. These 66 books contain a variety of genres:
history, poetry, prophecy, wisdom literature, letters, and apocalyptic
just to name a few.
Second, these 66 books were written by 40 different authors. These
authors came from a variety of backgrounds: shepherds, fishermen,
doctors, kings, prophets, and others. And most of these authors never
knew one another personally.
Third, these 66 books were written over a period of 1500 years. Yet
again, this is another reminder that many of these authors never knew
or collaborated with one another in writing these books.
Fourth, the 66 books of the Bible were written in 3 different
languages. In the Bible we have books that were written in the ancient
languages of Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic; a reflection of the historical
and cultural circumstances in which each of these books were written.
And finally, these 66 books were written on 3 different continents:
Africa, Asia, and Europe. Once again, this is a testament to the
varied historical and cultural circumstances of God's people.
Think about the above realities:
66 books, written by 40 different authors, over 1500 years,
in 3 different languages, on 3 different continents.
What's more, this collection of books shares a common
storyline - the creation, fall, and redemption of God's people;
a common theme - God's universal love for all of humanity;
and a common message - salvation is available to all who
repent of their sins and commit to following God with all of their
heart, soul, mind and strength. In addition to sharing these
commonalities, these 66 books contain no historical errors or
God's word truly is an amazing collection of writings!
After I had shared the above facts with this student, I offered him the
following challenge: I said to him, "If you do not believe that the
Bible is the inspired word of God, if you do not believe that the Bible
is of a supernatural origin, than I challenge you to a test." I said
to the student, "I challenge you to go to any library in the world, you
can choose any library you like, and find 66 books which match the
characteristics of the 66 books in the Bible. You must choose 66
books, written by 40 different authors, over 1500 years, in 3 different
languages, written on 3 different continents. However, they must share
a common storyline, a common theme, and a common message, with no
historical errors or contradictions." I went on to say, "If you can
produce such a collection of books, I will admit that the Bible is not
the inspired word of God." The student's reply was almost
instantaneous, he emphatically stated, "But that's impossible!"
"But that's impossible!" It truly is impossible, for any collection of
human writings. However, the Bible passes this test. The Bible
contains 66 books, written by 40 different authors, over 1500 years, in
3 different languages, on 3 different continents, with no historical
errors or contradictions. The entire Bible, from Genesis to
Revelation, bears the mark of Divine inspiration.
The next time you encounter someone who asks you why you believe the
Bible is the inspired word of God, try sharing this challenge with
them. Better yet, don't wait until you're asked, just go ahead and
share this challenge with a friend today.. You don't even have to
mention the Bible up front, just ask them if they think it would be
realistic to assemble such a collection of books. After they say,
"But that's impossible!" you've got a ready-made opportunity for sharing
the truth of God's word with somebody!