Why I Believe the Bible is the Word of God (Part 3)
This lesson is the conclusion in the series on the existence of God and why I believe the Bible is the word of God. We are in the process of examining seven questions--questions that must be answered by atheists if they are going to rationally hold the belief that the Bible is no different from any other book so far as its origin is concerned. Of course, I do not believe that these questions can be answered satisfactorily by atheists (or agnostics). I believe that there is a God and that the Bible is His word!

Thus far, we have observed that the Bible contains many examples of scientific foreknowledge as well as plenty of prophetic proofs. When the Bible addresses issues of science either directly or indirectly, it is always accurate, and many scientific truths were recorded in the Bible centuries before man ever discovered them. Also, the Bible is full of detailed prophecies, and not a single one of them has ever been shown to be inaccurate. How can an unbeliever explain this? How could these men of old have recorded these unknown scientific truths and detailed prophecies of the future unless there was a Supreme Being revealing information to them?

Let us now consider the third question we are challenging atheists to answer: If the Bible is not inspired of God, then how do you explain the fact that it contains absolutely no contradictions?

There is only one way to attempt to disprove the Bible--find some contradictions or other errors within its pages. Unfortunately, even in our highly educated society, many people do not really know what a contradiction is. A contradiction is two or more statements that cannot be brought into harmony with one another. They are diametrically opposed to one another. The two statements that make up a contradiction cannot both be true and they cannot both be false. If one of the statements is true, then the other must be false, and vice versa.

Many times, skeptics will draw attention to surface contradictions, which are really not contradictions at all. They are statements that may appear to be in conflict with one another, but a closer examination of the passages will reveal otherwise. When one encounters a verse that appears to conflict with some other passage, both contexts should be studied carefully. As long as there is at least one reasonable explanation to the seeming conflict, then one has not found a contradiction.

It is interesting to note that only one-tenth of a percent of the Bible has ever been called into question! It is an obvious truth that if the Bible is inspired of God, then there would be no contradictions whatsoever. Did you know that the Bible has never been proven to contain even one contradiction? How can an unbeliever explain this? As a side note, if someone denies the fact that the Bible contains no contradictions, ask them to show you one! If the Bible is "full of contradictions," as some skeptics allege, then they ought to be able to show us at least one!

Let us move on to the fourth question we are challenging atheists to answer: If the Bible is not inspired of God, then how do you explain its incredible unity?

An interesting detail that makes the emphasis of no contradictions even stronger is the way in which the Bible was written. The Bible is considered by many to be a single book, but actually it is a compilation of sixty-six books. These books were written by approximately forty different men over a period of approximately 1600 years. These men came from practically every walk of life. Nehemiah was a royal cupbearer. Peter was a fisherman. Luke was a physician. Matthew was a tax collector. Solomon was a king. Moses was a shepherd.

Paul was a tentmaker. They wrote in three languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek) from at least two continents (Europe and Asia). With all of this in mind, one might expect such a diverse group of men writing on various subjects over such a lengthy span of time to produce a book full of inconsistencies, errors, and incongruities. However, this is hardly the case. The Bible exhibits such astounding harmony, consistent flow, and unparalleled unity that it defies any purely naturalistic explanation. It is as if the Bible were a magnificent symphony orchestrated by a single Conductor. How can an unbeliever explain this? How can they explain how the Bible fits together with such perfect unity?

Allow me to share an illustration that clearly shows how amazing the unity of the Bible is. There was an artist who believed in the Bible, and he had many unbelieving friends who were also artists. One day he took a canvas and divided it into forty equal sections. He mailed a different section to forty unbelieving friends and told them to paint on it anything they desired. He then requested that they mail the pieces back to him when they were finished. After he had received all of the finished canvas pieces, he assembled them back into their original order. Now some of the artists had painted landscapes, others had done portraits, and still others had painted abstractly. So, what did the composite work look like? You could well imagine that there was no harmony or unity in the picture. It looked like chaos! The believing artist owned a store where he sold art supplies and different works of art. He went to his store window, and in one side he put the work of the forty artists with the following note: "This is what happens when forty men put something together without guidelines or instruction." On the other side of the window, he put a copy of the Bible and wrote: "This is what happens when forty men put something together with harmony, unity, instruction, and inspiration." Friends, Bible harmony and unity cannot be just a coincidence!

The fifth question we are challenging atheists to answer is this: If the Bible is not inspired of God, then how do you explain its detailed historical accuracy?

Sir Isaac Newton once said, "There are more sure marks of authenticity in the Bible than in any profane [i.e., secular] history." I am in full agreement with Newton. The Bible is specific in regards to places, names, people, time, etc. Yet, even though it is very detailed in these aspects, it has never been proven to be historically inaccurate, not even one time! It should be noted that works of non-fiction, no matter how scholarly, always seem to be characterized by unintentional mistakes which show the authors to be human (at least in the first editions). For example, when the famous Tacitus penned his renowned History and Description of Germany, it was flawed with so many errors that modern scholars are shocked. When the Encyclopedia Brittanica was first published, it contained so many mistakes regarding places in America that the publishers of the New American Cyclopedia issued a special pamphlet exposing the blunders of its rival! Yes, one finds mistakes in human works, but one never discovers such flaws in the Bible. Now what does that tell you about the origin of the Bible? The Bible is totally inspired by God!

Note some examples of Biblical precision. The Bible is always topographically correct. Egypt is "down" from Bethel (Gen. 12:10). Sodom is "down" from Hebron (Gen. 18:21). Ai is "up" from Jericho (Josh. 7:2). Selucia is "down" from Antioch (Acts 13:4), and Antioch is "down" from Jerusalem (Acts 15:1,2). Big deal, Stephen. It is a big deal! In the late 1800's, Sir William Ramsay, a scholar who was skeptical of the authenticity of the book of Acts, set out upon an archaeological expedition in Asia Minor with the declared intention of disproving the historicity and accuracy of Luke's narrative. The purpose of his entire expedition was to prove that the book of Acts was inaccurate! Well, what happened? After years of research, literally digging up the evidence, Ramsay was forced to conclude that Acts was historically accurate! In the book of Acts, Luke mentions 32 countries, 54 cities, and 9 Mediterranean islands. He also mentions 95 persons, 62 of which are not named elsewhere in the New Testament. And all of Luke's references, where checkable, are always correct. Evidence such as this could be multiplied thousands of times more if one considered the entire Bible. Archaeology, geology, and paleontology are continually finding proof to strengthen the claims of the Bible being historically accurate. How can an unbeliever explain this? Surely, if it was all made up or written by men there would be inconsistencies and mistakes just like every other work of human literature of this magnitude, right?

Let us consider the sixth question we are challenging atheists to answer: If the Bible is not inspired of God, then how do you explain the impartiality, brevity, and restraint of the Scriptures?

Some of the intriguing characteristics of the Bible include its impartiality, brevity, and restraint. The Bible is impartial in its description of every character. Books that are written by men tend to glorify the "hero" and condemn the "villain." But, what does the Bible do? It describes David as a man after God's own heart (Acts 13:22), yet it also portrays him as a murderer and an adulterer (II Sam. 11 & 12). Peter, who was a strong follower of Christ, is recorded as later denying Him three times (Luke 22:54-62). Naaman, who was a Syrian general, an enemy of the Jews, is described as having some good qualities (II Kings 5:1). One may rightly wonder, if the Bible was merely written by men, why would it include such details as these?

It is also worth mentioning that the Bible does not cater to man's curiosity as other literature does. Have you ever noticed that there is no physical description of Jesus within the Scriptures? A mere human writer would have certainly included such. Also, consider the fact that the account of the creation of the Earth and its inhabitants is only thirty-four verses long! An uninspired human writer would not have exercised such restraint but would have recorded as many fascinating details as possible. It is estimated that approximately fifty days of Jesus' life are chronicled by the gospel writers. A human writer would have definitely given more detail. The brevity of the Scriptures does not seem to support the notion that the Bible was written by uninspired men.

Also, there is no hype in the Bible. Words such as "stupendous," "fantastic," and "spectacular" are not included. How can an unbeliever explain this type of restraint and seriousness of tone from such a wide variety of authors?

The final question we are challenging atheists to answer is this: If the Bible is not inspired of God, then who wrote it?

If God did not give us the Bible, then who did? Who wrote it? There are really only four possibilities: (1) Did the devil write it? This is not logical, because the Bible exposes the devil for who he really is. (2) Did evil, brilliant men write it? They would not write a book that condemns their evil deeds (cf. Psa. 119:155). (3) Did good, brilliant, uninspired men write it? Good men would not lie, and the Bible claims to be God's word thousands of times! (4) There is only one logical option remaining "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God" (II Tim. 3:16,17).

How can an unbeliever explain any of this? All of these seven questions that we have seen in this series of lessons are simply unanswerable without God in the picture. Now admittedly, these internal evidences are not as impressive if considered individually, but collectively they are very powerful--like a brick wall, for instance. Bricks are not very special when considered individually, but when you start building them up row upon row, then you get something more impressive! Friends, it is impossible that all of these internal characteristics of the Bible could have just happened. Even the evolutionist, who has made "chance" his god, can see that these qualities of Scripture did not just happen. The Bible is the only book that contains all of these qualities. No other book can claim unity of this degree. No other book of its magnitude is without error or contradiction. No other book is 100% accurate concerning the fulfillment of prophecies. No other book contains the scientific foreknowledge of the Scriptures. These internal evidences (and others) demand the conclusion that there is a divine being responsible for the Bible! Total inspiration of the Bible is the only logical option! Friends, God is, and the Bible is His word. Let us live our lives accordingly. Thank you for listening, and may the Lord bless you as you strive to do His will.